We often hear and read that the most Biblical way to care for orphans is through the local church and church planting. Agreed.
Orphaned and abandoned children are a tragic result of sin. The Gospel is the answer to sin. More gospel-preaching churches are desperately needed everywhere. No argument there.
But I can’t help but see a disconnect somewhere with this line of thinking.
If the answer to an orphan problem is church planting, then why do so many churches seem indifferent to the needs of the fatherless in their communities? How is this crucial point of Christianity being so badly neglected by the same churches that believe that a gospel-preaching church is the best solution for orphan care?
I know of many churches and individuals who do care and love orphans deeply…but yet, there are so many others who don’t care or just simply do not want to know enough to care.
I don’t understand.
If we, the church, are content to allow godless institutions to care for the fatherless–a privilege that was given to us by God–we are a church with a gaping hole right in its heart. We aren’t just ignoring the needs of the most vulnerable among us, we are consenting to their suffering–in Jesus’ name.
A church plant on the foreign field may be thriving, and that’s wonderful! But if it is at the same time ignoring a generation of fatherless children, it is, without even trying, raising up a bitter, broken, hardened generation that does not know nor care about Christ or his Gospel. It is cutting itself off at the knees. (This is as true in the United States as it is in foreign countries.)
We cannot claim that church planting is the answer to an orphan crisis unless the churches that we plant beat with God’s heart for the fatherless.
Not every Christian is called to do this in the exact same way, but every Christian is called to do it in some way. If you are a Christian, you are called.
The Gospel IS the answer! The hungry and fatherless need the Bread of Life even more than they need physical comforts!
But, how can we say we care about their souls, if we are willing to let their hearts and bodies suffer and starve?
The answer is: we can’t say that.
If we truly believe that the most Biblical way to care for the fatherless is through church planting and the local church, then that belief needs to go further than easy words spoken from our lips but not our hearts. It shouldn’t stop at the church door, it should begin there.
We have the Answer! We have the Bread and the Water! We have a Refuge! We have a Home! We have a Healer! We have a Family! We, who were once orphans ourselves, have a Father! We have Hope!
We have Jesus.
And Jesus cares just as deeply for that broken boy sleeping on a filthy orphanage floor as he cares for me on my clean sheets and pillow.
Church, let’s step it up. We’re called to do more than preach about the Gospel from an impressive church building.
We’re called to go and live and warm and fill and walk and love in the light of that Gospel.
Called to take that light and spread it like a warm blanket of hope over the estimated 153 million children who will go to sleep tonight without a mom or dad to tuck them into bed.
We are called to care.
James 2:14-20|Matthew 19:21 | Matthew 22:38-40 | Matt. 25 | Mark 10:21 | Luke 17:2 | James 1:27 | Matthew 4:23 | Matt. 11:5 | Mark 13:10 | Mark 16:15 | Luke 4:18 | Acts 3:6 | Romans 10:15 | Ephesians 3:6 |Psalm 82 | Proverbs 21:13