Randy Alcorn Interview on Adoption, the Gospel, and Being Pro-Life – Part 1

https://i0.wp.com/3.bp.blogspot.com/_WB2DtIUEdjo/SJvhX9dSIZI/AAAAAAAADpU/CzCo1okb5Mg/s1600-R/RA%2BBlue%2Bshirt.jpgI had the privilege of spending an hour and half on the phone recently with author Randy Alcorn talking about the gospel, the pro-life movement, and adoption. Randy is the founder of Eternal Perspective Ministries and a author of over 30 books covering a variety of topics such as money, pro-life issues, and heaven. Some of his most popular books include, The Treasure Principle, Money, Possessions and Eternity, The Grace and Truth Paradox, and Safely Home. Randy is a man of great wisdom and I am excited to share this conversation with you. Due to the length I will break it down into a series of posts. Here is the first part of our conversation.

Randy also blogs regularly and can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Enjoy!

Jason: I’ve so highly respected your ministry, including your pro-life work, and also your stuff on treasure and finances. You’ve written and spoken so much on pro-life issues, but I haven’t found anything you’ve written or said about adoption. I’d love to pick your brain on that and get some of your thoughts on adoption, the church, the gospel, and its connection with the pro-life movement.

Randy: Well, I certainly think adoption is hugely connected with the pro-life movement, and of course being known as pro-lifers for many years, we want to be completely consistent with what we’re saying. If we’re saying that these so-called “unwanted children” should be brought into the world, then of course we should be thinking in terms of what we can do to care for those who remain unwanted and who need to be placed somewhere because their parents aren’t ready to have them in their home. Obviously, it would not be in a child’s best interest to grow up in a home where you have drug issues and the extreme immaturity and irresponsibility and that sort of thing. Good for these women whose minds are changed, or maybe they weren’t tempted toward an abortion in the first place, but in many cases they were. They decide, “Okay I’ll have this baby, but I could not raise this child myself.”

So certainly the pro-life movement needs to be there and has been there in many cases, supporting parents who choose to keep and raise the child themselves, offering them support, help, counseling, physical resources, and clothing. It also sometimes offers, when it’s appropriate, financial help. They also bring them the gospel and spiritual community. In the cases where they’re not going to keep and raise the child, what are the alternatives? Of course there is the foster care system. That in itself can be a ministry, but even when the situation is okay, it’s usually not ideal.

So really, adoption is the most obvious alternative and it’s a way of permanently extending the love of Christ to a child, and to do what God does. It’s so interesting that you have all the born again passages in the Bible, and you have the adoption passages. So why does God even bother with that? I mean we are born into the family of God, and it seems that would be the way that scripture would always express it, but it doesn’t. It talks about adoption. Of course, you realize that adoption involves a choice. So here we have a parallel to the divine election in which He looks at us and our need and goes to great lengths and great sacrifice to give of Himself to permanently bring us into His family as His children. He doesn’t distinguish between those who are adopted and those who are born into the family because, in fact, in the family of God we are all born and we are all adopted if we’re part of the family. In a sense, it obliterates the distinction in terms of status and role and the amount of love in the family, yet it makes a distinction since choosing to adopt and someone being born into a family are two distinctly different things in life. Why would God bother to even make that distinction unless He wanted to emphasize some different aspect of what it means to be part of the family of God, and what it means to be a child in relationship to the Heavenly Father.

Certainly there are great theological implications, but even apart from the these it is not just simply to only speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves, but to do unto the least of these in the name of Christ, for the sake of Christ as we would do for Christ.

Praise God for his common grace in the lives of unbelievers who feel moved to open their home and adopt a child. I commend them for it. However, it is not the same to be raised in a non-Christian home as it is to be raised in a Christian home. My wife was raised in a Christian home, and I was raised in a non-Christian home. I love my parents, and both of them ultimately came to faith in Christ. I was able, by God’s grace, to provide my children, and now my grand- children, with what I never experienced— the joy and privilege of growing up in a Christian home. So all that is just kind of off the top of my head about adoption. That’s how I feel about it. I have many friends who have opened their home to adoption. We considered it at one point ourselves. We did not go that direction, but not because of lack of belief in it. It’s right, it’s good, it’s honoring to God. It does, of course, bring its distinctive challenges as you know, but then so does every good thing we do in life.

Jason: Would you agree that being pro-life or pro-adoption are two sides of the same coin?

Randy: Sure. There should essentially be no distinction between them because you cannot be pro-life without being pro-adoption, and the reason you would be pro-adoption is because you’re pro-life. Now there are people who open their homes, who work in the area of adoption, who are nonetheless pro-choice, meaning they defend legalized abortion. That is, to me, inconsistent in a very dramatic way. Nonetheless, among Christians who are involved in adoption, I would think you would have nearly a universal pro-life position. Even among many unbelievers there would be a sense of pro-life as well as pro-adoption, but certainly you cannot be pro-life without being pro-adoption. I mean, how could you? It would be unthinkable.

Read Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Financing an Adoption Webinar – Aug 27th

If you are interested in adopting a child but wondering how you will pay for it, you will want to join Laura Beauvais-Godwin, the director of the SC Branch of Nightlight Christian Adoptions and myself, for a webinar: Financing Your Adoption. We will discuss the tax credit, employer benefits, loans and grants, and creative ways to raise awareness and funds for your adoption.

Thursday, August 27, 2009
9 p.m. EDT

Click here to join the webinar.

No need to register.
This webinar is FREE!
We just ask that if enjoy the webinar and believe that you can gain access to funds for an adoption that you did not know about, you can donate to the ABBA Fund or Nightlight Christian Adoptions. Suggested donation is $15.

You may join the webinar 20 minutes before the event; it is best to  link to it at least 15 minutes before the event so that your computer has time to download the program.

Upcoming webinar:

Launching a Church Adoption Fund: For many families the number one obstacle to adoption is the cost. However, local churches can help families meet this challenge in a meaningful way. This webinar will provide a detailed overview of how to establish a simple yet effective church adoption assistance fund.

Manliness and Adoption

I agree with Zach Nielsen in his recommendation of this excellent sermon. He writes:

I just finished listening to one of the most powerful sermons on adoption that I have ever heard. It’s by David Prince and is entitled, The Manliness of Adoption: Testosterone and Pure Religion: James 1:27. If you are at all considering adoption or not considering adoption (so I guess that’s all of you) I would recommend listening to it. It will bless you for sure.

You can listen or download here.


Empowered to Connect

Over the past week I have been reminded through multiple conversations with folks of the great need for resources for adoptive parents dealing with attachment issues. In the past adoptive and foster parents felt alone. Thankfully,  that is changing. One of the best resources I know of and am thankful to be able to point folks too is Dr. Karyn Purvis. Her summer camps for adoptive families and her book The Connected Child have been a great help to many families.

Today is the launch of a new website compiling Dr. Purvis work and other helpful articles by adoptive parents and adoption advocates, Michael and Amy Monroe. Please check it out.

Picture 16

[My good friend and fellow adoptive dad, Matt Donovan, did a superb job on the site too!]

Online Adoption Magazine Coming!

weaving-families-magazineI’m excited to announce that our good friends at Weaving Families, a ministry that provides adoption counseling, are launching a new project Weaving Families Magazine.

The online magazine will focus on adoption and people serving vulnerable children and families worldwide. I’m also excited that the magazine will feature an ongoing column called Crossroads with Kristin Wong, author of Carried Safely Home.

It will be free for anyone to read.

The first issue will be posted Monday, June 1. You’ll be able to read it here