Fostering And Adoption

Krish Kandiah

Krish Kandiah by George Fox Evangelical Seminary on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Is it possible for Christians and churches to be good witnesses in the world by getting involved in the fostering and adoption of children? LifeBridge Church in Colorado, USA, clearly thought so. The number of children on the state waiting list has reduced from 875 to 275 since they became involved.

In the UK, Krish Kandiah of the Evangelical Alliance saw the possibility for Christian involvement, especially given his own family’s experience. He has been behind the initiative ‘Home For Good‘.

Could some of our church members think about this as a ministry they could undertake?

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What Affects An Atheist’s Beliefs?

Drug addict

Drogacicto – Drug Addict by Bill Anderson on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Chris Arnade held a PhD in physics and worked in science for twenty years. For him, atheism was easy, right from his teens.

Then he left behind scientific research and became a photographer. He documented drug addicts and prostitutes. He documents in a Guardian article how this affected his approach to religion and atheism, coming to see atheism as an intellectual luxury for the wealthy. It isn’t presented as a conversion story, but this is how the piece ends:

Soon I saw my atheism for what it is: an intellectual belief most accessible to those who have done well.

I want to go back to that 16-year-old self and tell him to shut up with the “see how clever I am attitude”. I want to tell him to appreciate how easy he had it, with a path out. A path to riches.

I also see Richard Dawkins differently. I see him as a grown up version of that 16-year-old kid, proud of being smart, unable to understand why anyone would believe or think differently from himself. I see a person so removed from humanity and so removed from the ambiguity of life that he finds himself judging those who think differently.

I see someone doing what he claims to hate in others. Preaching from a selfish vantage point.

Perhaps when you see where he started out from, you can see how weak his atheism was. He told one addict,

I am an atheist. I don’t believe in a God. I don’t think the world is only 5,000 years old, I don’t think Cain and Abel married their sisters!

Of course, plenty of Christians see good reason to interpret the early chapters of Genesis non-literally, and it doesn’t make them atheists. Rather, they recognise a different genre of literature.

However, read the article with interest to note what affects him.

The Spirituality Of Mission

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Contemplation by Anya Quinn on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

“Christian life is not a life divided between times for action and times for contemplation. No. Real mission is a way of contemplation, and real contemplation is the core of mission.” ~ Adapted from Henri J.M. Nouwen

(Quoted by Miguel Labrador, American missionary in Ecuador, on Facebook)

Discipleship Or Decisions For Christ?

Discipleship

Discipleship by Brother Timothy on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Derek Vreeland argues that response to the Gospel involves decisions, but is not limited to one-off decisions, it is about a call to follow Jesus as a disciple. When we only preach the Gospel as a call to make a decision, we sell Jesus short.

He says that a discipleship-based message has these advantages:

  • This “come and follow” approach sounds much more like an invite to a party than a high-pressure sales pitch to purchase a new car.
  • This approach is much more about belonging to a community than making a personal and individual choice.
  • This approach may not appeal to the masses, but we will make disciples from the few who see the power, position and authority of Jesus.

What do you think?

Our Christmas Mission

Christmas ornament

Christmas Ornament by Zaimoku Woodpile on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A very Happy Christmas to you. The Risen Lord told his disciples, ‘As the Father sent me, so I send you.’

But how did the Father send Jesus? Answer: ‘The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.’

That text is not just for Christmas Day, it informs our engagement in God’s mission all year round.

May the birth of Christ inspire us to share God’s love in the world.