Ask Your Preacher
(This question is in response to “Embryo Adoption”)
You stated that, "The Bible is very pro-adoption."
Does the Bible support adopting a child that has living biological parents (those that have offered the child for adoption)?
1 Tim 5:8 demonstrates the responsibility parents have to take care of their own children, and adopting these children could place a legal barrier between those parents and their responsibility to take care of their offspring. Please advise.
Dear Family Ties,
There are two sides to an adoption story, the birthparents whose rights are terminated (either voluntarily, involuntarily, or through death) and the adoptive parents that take the child as their own. We have to deal with both groups separately.
First let’s deal with the adoptive parents. The Bible teaches that when christians are adopted by God, they receive full rights as His children (Rom 8:15-17). Using this principle, when a family adopts a child, they become responsible for all of that child’s needs just as if the child was biologically born to them. Therefore, the commands given to parents and children in places like 1 Tim 5:8 and Eph 6:1-4 would apply just as firmly to an adoption situation.
Now, let’s address what the Bible says about birthparents who place their biological children for adoption. The Bible makes it clear that parents do have a responsibility for their children, and when we said that the Bible is “pro-adoption”, we were saying that the Bible condones adopting children who are in need of families. We were not saying that the Bible condones someone turning their back on their parental responsibilities. The Bible has a lot to say about caring for our children, and in most circumstances, it would be the wrong thing for a christian to place their child for adoption. The only times in the entire Bible that we ever read of faithful people doing this is when Hannah gave Samuel to be raised by the priest Eli (1 Sam 1:24-28) and when Moses’ parents sent him down the river to save his life (Ex 2:3)… and it is safe to say that both circumstances were extraordinary.
What’s your view on abortion? And what stance should the church take?
Looking For Answers
Dear Looking For Answers,
Abortion is a sin, and churches that support abortion are wrong. Children are already alive in the womb. John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb (Lk 1:41). God specifically said that John was a child dedicated to Him from before birth (Lk. 1:15). Ps 139:13-16 makes a clear statement about life within the womb of a mother. Unborn children are credited as living, feeling humans, and therefore, deserve just as much protection as any other human life. The abortion movement is a movement that seeks to deny rights to a silent and innocent segment of human society. Abortion is murder (1 Pet. 4:15). Any preacher or religious leader that promotes abortion is promoting murder.
Hello. I've prayed to God on this subject many times, but I do not seem to get a clear answer either way. I'm hoping you can help. What do you think is God's view on embryo adoption? Many infertile couples undergo IVF treatments, and as a result, many surplus embryos are left over. These are either frozen indefinitely, destroyed, or used for scientific research.
We are unable to have children of our own and would dearly love to adopt one of these embryos which would otherwise never be given the chance of life.
Do you think it is morally wrong to bring a child into the world this way?
Surely it's better for them to have a life and be loved and cherished rather than just destroyed. Okay, we may not be the biological parents, but we would love them with the same intensity. I know it's an unusual question, but I'd appreciate any guidance on this matter.
Dear Maternal Instinct,
What a wonderful heart for children that you and your husband have! Very few people realize that there are tens of thousands of fertilized embryos that exist in America and are being stored because of in-vitro fertilization procedures. This poses a huge ethical dilemma. Since the Bible never tells us when a human life begins, it is impossible to simply treat fertilized embryos as waste. As far as we know, life begins at conception (this is the same argument used against abortion – read “A Voice For The Voiceless” for further details), and that would include these embryos. So what is to be done? Embryo adoption is becoming an increasingly popular option for couples that are seeking to have children and also feel morally compelled to save these children. Adoption is a wonderful option.
The Bible is very pro-adoption. In fact, the greatest adoption story in history is the church. Jesus died, so God could adopt us as His children (Eph 1:4-5, Rom 8:15). What a wonderful legacy of love that you can provide your children with. Your children will always know that they were loved from the earliest stages of life and that their parents chose life.
Since all sickness is a consequence of sin, why are some innocent children dealt a greater portion of this consequence than others? Why might one child be born healthy and another not? Is this random chance, or are some favored divinely?
Sickness is a consequence of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden. One of the curses of their sin was that we all must face our own mortality – life is finite. Sickness, disease, and pain are a part of the human existence. Sadly, this is true even for children. Though, as you mentioned, sickness isn’t doled out equally. Some people suffer greatly, and others face relatively few health problems. There are several reasons that someone might have a greater portion of sickness.
- We reap what we sow (Gal 6:7-8). The choices we make have consequences in this life – and in the next. What you do affects you and those around you that you come in contact with. When you behave godly, certain things happen; when you behave sinfully, other things happen. That is a universal principle of life. If a woman drinks while she is pregnant or a child is neglected and malnourished because of ungodly parents – they will suffer the consequences of the choices their parents make. Some children face health issues that were totally avoidable if the parents had simply lived moral lives.
- Sometimes bad things simply happen because they happen. Job suffered greatly, and his children died, but it wasn’t his (or their) fault. Job hadn’t done anything wrong, nor had his kids. It all happened because Satan wanted to do evil (Job 1:6). As long as we live in this world of sin, there will be troubles. Sometimes, there isn’t anyone at fault… just time and chance wreaking havoc in a sinful world (Eccl 9:11).
- Sometimes people suffer so that God can be glorified. Jesus’ disciples asked Him why a certain man had been born blind, and Jesus answered, “So that God’s works might be revealed in him.” (Jhn 9:1-3) This man’s ailment provided an opportunity for God to show His glory. There are times that we suffer, so God can teach us and teach others through our pain (Eccl 7:2-3).
Is it wrong for Christian parents to lie to their children about Santa Claus and the Easter bunny, etc.?
The Truth Hurts
Dear The Truth Hurts,
It is always wrong to lie; the question is whether telling your kids about Santa Claus is lying or not. Many christians have many different views on this. Some christians tell their children that Santa is imaginary because they feel that is honest. Other christians allow their children to believe in Santa and simply don’t dissuade them from the notion until they ask point-blank. No matter what, christians must in good conscience do what they believe is honest. Lying is always wrong (Rev 21:8). The debate isn’t over whether or not lying is a sin; the debate is over whether or not allowing your children to believe in something imaginary counts as being deceptive. Each must do what they believe is faithful and right… it would not be good to be too dogmatic on this point.