Orphan care is not a distinctively Christian cause. Similar to feeding the homeless, bringing clean water to those who do not have access or any other number of humanitarian and justice related efforts all around the world, Christians and non-Christians have a mutual interest and shared passion on many issues.

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Orphan care is no different. 

Plenty of non-Christian people foster marginalized, abused and neglected children. Plenty of non-Christians adopt children without families into theirs forever. And plenty of non-Christians give of their time and money and energy to help support those who are doing these things. Not unlike a Christian worldview, they see it as the right thing to do. By nature, helping these kids is a good thing. We could all agree on that.

A DIFFERENT FORM OF GOOD

I was recently asked why I talk about the relationship between the Gospel and our mandate to care for orphans so frequently (see other posts HERE). The question was simply this: Why bring the Gospel into it? Isn't it enough to just do good because it's good?

My answer to that question is yes, and no. Of course it's good to do good, but as Christians our good works are not meant to terminate with the work itself but rather point to something greater - the eternally good work Jesus has accomplished for us in the Gospel. Our good works are mere reflections of His work for us and sign-posts pointing others to see that good work of God for themselves. Of course it is good to do good, but this is a different form of good.

This is the consistent message of Scripture and the clear teaching of Jesus, no more definitively stated than in His discussion on the end to which our works and our lives should ultimately point:

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ORPHAN CARE AS EVANGELISM

Orphan care is no different. As those who were once isolated and orphaned from God but now eternally adopted into His family through the work of Jesus, our call to care for orphans is the call to evangelism - to see the Gospel of our adoption propagated into the lives of marginalized, abused and orphaned children and proclaimed to a world that is largely isolated and orphaned from God. 

Caring for orphans is not a distinctively Christian cause. Caring for orphans so they might know the love of God as Father is. Doing good works for this world is not a distinctively Christian agenda. Doing good works so this world might see the greater and more glorious work of Jesus is.

We intercede on behalf of the marginalized, abused and orphaned, in part, so others might see a picture of how Jesus took our brokenness upon Himself. We rescue the oppressed from their plight, in part, so others might see a picture of how Jesus graciously rescued us from ours. We adopt children into our forever families, in part, so others might see a picture of how Jesus eternally accepts us into His.

The Gospel propagated into the lives of children and proclaimed to an orphaned and isolated world - this is the ultimate aim of any and all good we can do. The care of orphans not withstanding. 

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