Disclaimer – I’m not a theologian, I’m not a trained minister, and I don’t even play one on TV…….

I think that a question that adoptive parents need the church to ask is simple but yet profoundly complex.

“Is the Church missing something in their theology of adoption?”

Let’s take a very simplified look at what is meant by “the theology of adoption.”

Romans 8:14-17 talks about how we, as believers, have been adopted and welcomed into sonship. We are sons and daughters of God. This is an amazing thing. We have been welcomed into the family and are welcomed into the family as God’s children.

We have not only been welcomed as God’s children but once we come “home” to God’s house (heaven), our entire slate of bad deeds, sins and troubles are wiped clean. We’re home, we’re clean, all is well.

And that’s where I wonder if the church is missing something. Is the way the church compares adoption in this world to our adoption by God as His children missing something? Is it painting an incomplete picture?

Does the church’s theology of adoption make it appear that once an adoption is finalized, everything is wiped clean and everything is wonderful? Does the church’s theology of adoption make it sound like once an adoption is finalized, all struggles and issues are washed away?

I know that once you become a Christian, your sins are wiped clean but the suffering and trials of this world don’t stop. But I often get the feeling that those who speak loudly and in front of conferences and conventions draw a very close parallel between God adopting us as His children and us adopting children who need families.

And the inherent connection there is that once we have been adopted as God’s children, just as when children are adopted into a family, it means that everything is wiped clean.

It’s not. We all know that once we become Christians, life doesn’t become a walk in the park. But does the church and it’s theology of adoption view things differently? Does it present a theology of adoption that makes it appear like everything should be “good” once your adopted child gets home? That “happily ever after” should start right after the airport?

Is the church, in it’s theology of adoption, and in its comparison between us as Christians being adopted as “sons of God” and adopted children being brought into their adoptive family setting up adoptive families for problems?

Is the church making it harder than it should be for adoptive families to say, “Help!?!”

Is the church making it less than okay for adoptive families to say, “Things are different……”

What do you think?

Tom