James 1:27 is clear. Exodus 22:22-24 and Deuteronomy 24:17-21 are also clear on how God feels about the fatherless.
God cares about the fatherless and he demands that those who carry his name care and act on that caring by doing more than feeling sorry for the fatherless.
How are we to apply our caring? Some may say that fatherlessness is defined as having lost both parents by death, but this definition is completely debatable. I would argue that the only reason to define fatherlessness in such a way is to limit the sheer number of those who need care due to the inability to care for all. But this definition is not necessary.
Children are fatherless whether their parents have died or have neglected/abused them or have left them due to incarceration for a crime. The fact remains that far too many children are left without both parents being either alive or fit.
Define fatherlessness how you will, but what are you going to do about it? It’s one thing to argue over what classifies as fatherlessness, it’s another to actually obey James 1:27. I find that those who want to argue are avoiding the real issue: they are doing nothing and justify their doing nothing by arguing over what others are trying to do.
Three Rivers has been allowed the opportunity to pioneer a strategy that addresses the foster / adoptive care crisis in Floyd County by opening our foster home as a transition home to incoming children who need more stable or permanent parents.
There will be community members question whether the church needs to be doing foster care. Again, I ask the question: what are they doing?
Our options are:
Personally take a child into your home for short-term or long-term fostering or adopt them.
Corporately and personally support those taking children into their homes.
Corporately take larger numbers into a model that allows the church to care for more children.
For the Christian, there is no option for doing nothing.
Questioning an organization’s effort to obey James 1:27 is not a strategy and it sure does not help homes fulfill their desire to obey James 1:27.
I would encourage every Christian that reads this to either foster / adopt, support those who are, get your church to take on a strategy of operating a home that allows them to be an agent of healing to more children, or support TRCC, but don’t think that doing nothing is an option and certainly don’t criticize those who have their skin in the game.