65 million evangelicals +115, 000 orphans + James 1:27 = ?
There are two mind blowing needs when it comes to the situation of the orphans in America:
1. The need for permanent homes for 115,000 children who are currently in the American foster care system available for adoption today (that is not to mention another 385,000 kids in the Foster Care system, some of whom will be reunified with parents while others are deemed too old to be adopted and will age out of the system!)
2. The need for at least that many Gospel-believing, James 1:27-obeying families to provide permanent homes for these children.
In his article, ‘Why Does America Have Orphans If It Has Christian Churches?’, Anthony Bradley writes:
‘While not all Christians are gifted or equipped for taking in orphans it’s pretty convicting that 65 million American evangelicals can’t rescue 115,000 kids from an unstable hell.’
Convicting indeed! But why does such a disconnect in numbers exist?
I suggest (to myself as well because I need the reminder) that one of the major reasons for the disconnect between the number of orphans and the number of able Christians is that we have not only failed to heed the first part of James statement (to live out religion that is ‘pure and undefiled by visiting the orphans’) but, more importantly, the second part â€“ we have not kept ourselves ‘unstained from the world’. The world here includes, among many other things, the mindset that says comfort is more important than need.
There is no neutral ground when it comes to who we are being influenced by. We are either those stained by the world and making no impact or we are those being marked increasingly by the undefiled Gospel that leads to practical, God-glorifying things like orphan-care and widow-love.
O that our hearts would be gripped by such a passion to live out “pure and undefiled religion” that the 115,000 children waiting for a family today would find one in us.