Skip to comments.A Christmas Family Story
Posted on 12/08/2012 9:11:42 AM PST by eagleye85
This Christmas Dr. Russell D. Moore might call upon us to think of Joseph, Jesus father, and his role in the nativity story. Dr. Moore, Dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, argues that Josephs decision to be a father to Jesus reflects God and the way he treats his Christian children. Joseph acts as a father when he takes Mary into his family, when he takes her as his wife, said Dr. Moore at a recent Family Research Council event. He acts fatherly toward Jesus in terms of identity (naming him), Dr. Moore continues, in terms of inheritance (he becomes a Nazarene because of Joseph)and through adoption Joseph becomes so really and truly a father to Jesus, that the lineage that Matthew uses to establish the fact that Jesus is qualified to be Israels Messiah goes through the line of Joseph.
If adoption doesnt create something real, then you and I do not have a real Gospel, he asserts.
According to Matthew 1: 24-25, in the New International Version, When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Dr. Moore expressed his frustration of toward the Darwinian approach many Christians have toward adoption, although he mentioned that he and his wife had been infertile prior to adopting. Now, this sense of reluctance that many Christians have, even when it is unspoken, that somehow adoption is something that is simply the Plan B for infertile couples, shows that we often have more of a Darwinian understanding of what love is about, and family is about, than we do a Christian understanding of what love and family is [sic] about, said Dr. Moore. (Also, there is historical precedent which indicates this desire for blood relatives may come from tribalism as well, and not just Darwinian beliefs.) With regards to his own family, some people would ask whether his boys were really related. The problem was that there is a tendency to think of reality as being simply about bloodlines and DNA, as though at least if these two boys were biologically brothers then there would be something that is real and lasting, and I, I in my frustration as a new father was trying to say that no, the adoption itself creates something that is real.
Dr. Moore found a scriptural foundation for this approach, especially in the Christmas story. When you see the way that the New Testament gives a model of a reality of a new identity, and we also see the fact that this adopting power is rooted in Gods creation of the natural family, so that even in this adopting act, even in the act of incarnation itself, God demonstrates that a child needs both a mother and a father, and in this the leadership happens as the father carries out this reflection of the image of God, he said. In other words, God chose to incarnate Jesus into a family with both a mother and father so Joseph could reflect Gods loving power.
However, he noted in passing, all too often these days, especially in America, children are viewed artificially as a consumer expense, to be a burden to be borne. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a Cost of Raising a Child Calculator on its website. According to the most recent annual report from the USDA, it now costs $234,900 to provide a child with 17 years of food, shelter, and other necessities, reported Colleen Kane for CNBC this September. For 2011, that broke down to an annual cost for two-parent, middle-income families of $12,290 to $14,320 depending on the childs age.
Dr. Moore said that raising a family entails hardship and self-sacrifice. In the case of an adoption, he said, the childs background often entails some sorrow, be it the death of the natural parents or time in an orphanage. Every human relationship brings with it a level of risk and of hardship, he said. As a matter of fact, as we do so we need to remind them that those who would seek to live a life without risk, and without self-sacrifice, not only shouldnt adopt and shouldnt foster, but shouldnt marry, shouldnt have children at all, shouldnt be involved in any kind of friendship or any human relationship, and should simply go and hide under the bed, argues Dr. Moore.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.