One thing people laugh about regarding us is "snake handling". Please be assured, I've never handled a snake in church, or otherwise.
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Snakes freak me out.
I don't like them.
I don't care if they are black snakes, good snakes, bad snakes, a snake is a snake to me.
Okay so, some people
People who believe snakes are a mandate for church services draw the conclusion from Mark 16:18 where it says, "They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them."
To be perfectly clear, Jesus was not telling ministers or anyone else to handle snakes, in or out of a church service. The emphasis of this verse is one of having victory over evil in general, and God's protection. However I am not going to take the time to exegete this passage today as it's not the purpose of this post. I am simply using it to illustrate something about adoption.
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There are thousands of words in the Bible.
That doesn't mean we have license to use them in any way we see fit.
Proper interpretation and context is everything.
Jesus also said in three different gospels to "gouge your eye out if it causes you to sin."
What Jesus wants us to do is not literally pluck our eyes out. He is making an emphatic statement to take great care with what we decide to watch, for it affects what we do.
Some people see the word snake and they think, "Yippeeeee! Let's start pulling snakes out in church!"
How crazy is that?
In the same way, some people see the word adoption in scripture, and they think, "Boom, chakalaka! Let's start using the word adoption any way we want!"
Okay, for the love God...
Pentecostal flakes need to leave the snakes alone.
And Christians need to stop taking the word adoption from scripture and twisting it to justify their own desires.
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I am not addressing those who have adopted one of the the half a million children in the USA who are living in foster care. That's where the true need is. There is no shortage of children who need assistance, and their parents are not encouraged, coerced or shamed into relinquishment. Potential adoptive parents don't have to take out loans, borrow money from friends and family, or have spaghetti fundraisers to be able to afford to adopt them. But most people don't want to hear that. Because they want a baby and preferably one as young as possible. Most infant adoptions happen because instead of Christians rallying to help a young mother in need, they encourage adoption or even pray for relinquishment!
Yo Christians...It's Not the Same Adoption
When we see the word adoption in scripture, it refers to spiritual adoption, otherwise known as salvation. It is not the same thing as child adoption, particularly infant adoption as it exists in the world today, most of which can be avoided.
When you see the word adoption in the Bible it has absolutely nothing to do with: Bethany Christian Services, Holt International, Independent Adoption Center, Catholic Charities, Adoptions From the Heart, Lutheran Family Services, Children's Home Society, Gladney Center for Adoption, Adoption Network Law Center, LDS Family Services, The Cradle, the National Council for Adoption or (fill in the blank) adoption agency.
Twisted Scriptures & Manipulation
In the past week I have encountered Christians who present Psalm 113:9 and Isaiah 54:1 as evidence that God wants them to adopt a baby . But no, these two verses are not a mandate to adopt.
You do find an admonition to care for orphans in James 5:17, however care for is not a mandate to adopt. (I have covered this in two previous posts, here and here.)
A lot of manipulation takes place with pregnant girls/women all in the twisted name of redemption, and giving babies "a better life" and bestowing "forgiveness" and "redemption" upon women as if human beings could actually have the power to do so. The false promise of a "new start" for a pregnant woman or girl is just that. False. Birth mothers don't just move on and make a new start. But they don't know that until it's too late. It is absolutely unconscionable to attempt to talk a girl or woman into giving her baby away, encouraging her that her she can redeem her "mistake" or "sin" by giving a childless couple a "gift." Children are not gifts to be given or things to be purchased.
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This is just for my Christian friends.
We didn't write the Bible, and we don't get to twist it to suit our own needs.
We can believe something in our heart but unless it agrees with the Word, it's not truth.
Truth is what's written in the pages of scripture, not what's written upon our hearts even when we are convinced that God spoke to us personally and told us this or that.
Yes, I know the spirit of the law is just as important as the letter of the law.
But in this case, the spirit doesn't match up with the letter because the letter is absent.
Adoption in the way it happens in our world today is not specifically found in the Bible.
Only spiritual adoption is found in scripture.
If something doesn't exist, how can you come into agreement with it in your spirit?
Really, if it's there, show me.
Please show me.
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I know this might be a shock to your paradigm, but you can't write your own Bible.
You may believe that I have gone on the fringe and gotten ahold of some crazy theology but meanwhile I am the one asking for a biblical proof text and all you can give me is what's in your heart.
Actually there is more of a biblical string to play on in picking up a snake in church than adopting a baby, but I would be hard pressed to get any of you to pick up a snake in church.
Because you know that it utterly ridiculous.
So please stop turning it around, and telling people that infant adoption somehow equals redemption.
That even thought it's not perfect, it's the set up we have now.
That the world's current adoption system is endorsed by God, or even planned by Him.
You're hurting a lot of people by this twisted interpretation of adoption.
A twisted interpretation of a beautiful thing, I might add.
Adoption as salvation in the true biblical sense .
THE single most important thing anyone can experience.
Yet many adoptees don't want to even hear about salvation in a Biblical context, because you have twisted it and linked it with the single most traumatic event of their lives.
It was the day they lost their original name, identity, heritage, and their entire first family.
All in one fell swoop.
Then their records were sealed unless they were in all but a few states in America, to try to keep them from knowing their original family, forever.
And now they have to do crazy things like begging strangers on Facebook to help them find their family.
You're turning them away from the One who loves them more than you or I ever could.
I implore you to stop the wrong interpretation of scripture that is literally tormenting a lot of my friends.
What do adoption and snakes have in common?
The moral of the story:
Stay away from snakes.
And watch out for twisted words too.