Adoption and orphan care and foster care are not a covert means of evangelism any more than Christians having babies is a form of reproductive evangelism. It’s simply Christians love children, and part of what it means to love children is to share the gospel.
Russell Moore, dean of the School of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, recently talked with Religion News Service about why adoption has become his personal cause and why more evangelicals should be joining him. On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, Moore said adoption fits evangelicals’ anti-abortion values, even as he maintains adoption isn’t right for every family.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Q: You have written on a range of pop culture, political and social issues, so why have you made adoption — and specifically Christian adoption — your big cause?
A: My wife and I went through several years of infertility and miscarriages and found ourselves going through the process of adoption and we felt very much alone. So I started to write about the issue of adoption really to address people who are in the same situation that we were, which is not understanding and seeing the meaning of that rich metaphor of adoption in Scripture, not understanding how adoption makes a real family.
Q: What do you see as the biblical metaphor of adoption?
A: Scripture says that Christians have been adopted into the family of God, and so regardless of background, regardless of past, everyone who is in Christ is part of the family.
Q: With gay marriage legislation moving ahead and not as many victories as they would like on abortion, is this a cause where evangelicals could see more success?
A: I don’t really see success in terms of legislative or cultural victory. I see it more in calling evangelical Christians back to a commitment that we’ve always had to shelter the vulnerable.
Q: Are you suggesting that evangelical churches specifically or churches in general be more involved?
A: At the level of the common good, this is something that all people should be concerned about. But it’s consistent for evangelical Christians to be pro-orphan.
Q: Adoption has been a growing issue for evangelical churches in the last decade. How are they doing, and how much further do they have to go to meet your goals?