The church would have a great deal more moral credibility and clout in regards to the current dialogue over gay rights IF her own house were put in order first. This is not to say the church will consist of perfect people. Not at all–in fact quite the opposite will always be true. The message of Christ is one of mercy and grace and that message appeals to broken people; many of whom drag themselves in with addictions and all sorts of battle wounds from a clinched struggle with an unforgiving world. So the church will always be a place where you will find people wrestling and struggling with their own brokenness.
With that said, we cannot compromise on the fact that the Church at large should be a place where God’s ideals are being realized individually and corporately as people pick up their cross and discover a progressive invasion of God’s righteousness, justice and sanctification. Therefore we should expect that God’s heart for the orphan and the abandoned child would be best mirrored in the lives of his people. But sadly this just isn’t so–at least not on a scale that would deprive this post of warrant.
So let’s return to the issue of moral clout and credibility. Take for example gay couples adopting unwanted children or taking in foster kids. Do I think such a scenario is ideal for a child? No. Do I think that two, nice, gay men are to be preferred above a loving husband and wife in providing an ideal home environment for an adopted or foster child? Not all. Anyone that would suggest caring mothers and fathers together are irrelevant or inconsequential to an ideal home environment are off the grid of sociological studies. But that’s just the point. Many Christians are simply content to cry foul over gay couples seeking to become foster parents and adopt children merely because they know it is neither nature’s ideal nor God’s ideal. But have they adopted any children? Have they opened their home up for foster care? Have they financially sponsored others to adopt children? Do they support orphans or unwanted children in any sense?
More often than not the answer is one of deafening silence. Christians don’t just look like hypocrites, they look absolutely silly when they politically expend so much energy seeking to prohibit gay couples from adopting children while all the while not lifting a finger to take such children into their own hearts and homes.
In general it is so much easier to feel one has “done their part” by signing a petition, visiting the ballet box and voting their convictions than by actually getting into the fray and seeking to become an agent of change yourself. For too long the Church has sought to reflect God’s heart and moral ideals through their vote instead of through their actions. James Davison in his book, “To Change the World: The Irony Tragedy, & Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World” says it best:
“In our day, given the size of the state and the expectations that people place on it to solve so many problems, politics can also be a way of saying, in effect, that the problems should be solved by others besides myself and by institutions other than the church. It is, after all, much easier to vote for a politician who champions child welfare than to adopt a baby born in poverty, to vote for a referendum that would expand health care benefits for seniors than to care for an elderly and infirmed parent, and to rally for racial harmony than to get to know someone of a different race than yours. True responsibility invariably costs. Political participation, then, can and often does amount to an avoidance of responsibility.”