Monday, June 27, 2011

Reader Thoughts Wanted: "Adopted" in Christ vs. "Adopted"

I am a Christian, and I often hear fellow Christians talk about adoption in terms of being adopted by Christ. (See Ephesians 1:5). Then often I hear this Bible verse equated with Christians adopting children. If Christ adopted us, shouldn't we, as Christians, adopt? We're ALL adopted! (See this t-shirt as an example). Hip, hip, horray?


I often wonder if this loose link, seemingly, between the two (Christ adopting us and us adopting children) is offensive to adoptees? Does it minimize adoptee loss? After all, being adopted by Christ is a gain. But being adopted as a child by adoptive parents/parent, is that not both a gain and a loss?

And does the attempt to equate Christ adopting us and Christians adopting children offend God? They aren't really the same thing, are they?

What do you think?


  1. I think it's offensive. Especially the "everyone should adopt because Christ adopted us" line.

    Christ adopted us out of sin and misery and mess. He pulls us from ugliness in to His light. Comparing the two means we're saying that our children are being "rescued from darkness" and that's not really the case, is it? Sure it is sometimes but in general, it's really not.

  2. I think the power in the message that we are all adopted through Christ is the freedom that this gives us to love as family those who are not genetically connected to us. The Incarnation is about this - God becoming human means that all humanity is worthy of immense love and when we love any of our fellow human beings (and I would argue our own selves and the created world) with that love we come into our inheritance as adopted ones of God.

    I think the danger in equating that adoption with the legal adoption of children is in the dangerous positioning of power between the parent and child in the adoptive relationship as well as the erasing of the first family. If this is equivalent, these two sorts of adoption, than that makes adoptive parents like God. Which is...problematic. I am not my child's salvation. I am not God. And yes, it erases the losses and the flaws in the system of legal adoption as it exists.

    good post. :)

  3. As an adoptee it GREATLY minimizes the loss. I don't necessarily feel that adoption has impacted my life as an adoptee as much as I have heard other adoptee's say but for Christians to use that phrase it is very irritating because they have no idea what they are really talking about. They have no idea what the loss of their biological family feels like and while God may have adopted them it doesn't mean the same thing in my book. Not at all.


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