I love Tim Tebow as a brother in Christ, and I’ve cheered for him and prayed for him to succeed on his fields of battle as a Florida Gator, Denver Bronco, and New York Met. The homeschooler-turned-Heisman winner and national champion has been a tremendous example of Christian virtue in the face of satanic hostility. He has been vilified simply for standing for central Christian truths, including the exclusivity of Christ (there’s no other way to God than Jesus — see John 14:6), the divine, unalterable institution of heterosexual marriage, the sanctity of all human life from the womb to the tomb (including the disabled and the unborn), and the need to call people to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. In all of this, he has displayed class and composure.
For all of these reasons, Tim Tebow is somebody I absolutely tell my kids to look up to and emulate.
However, in addition to the doctrines we both hold dear, and the God we both love, I actually used to have something in common with Tim Tebow that is — unfortunately — not something anyone should emulate.
Tim Tebow thinks that adopting kids from around the world is a great way to form a family.
Let me explain why that’s not a great idea — and why it took me a long, long time to realize that.
Allow me to quote from this recent article about Tebow, which is basically a verbatim transcript of my thought process years ago:
“You know what I think would be awesome? If I could adopt a kid from every continent. I think that would be a pretty cool goal,” he says. “I want to sit around the dinner table every night and see kids from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, right here in the States. How cool would that be? It’s one of my favorite things to dream about.”
Tebow, who is single, says that any potential spouse would have to be on board with his dream. “Of course I want a woman who I’m attracted to,” he says. “That’s a very big part of it. But I’m looking for someone who loves Jesus and loves people. Someone who makes me want to be a better person for her. And she has to want kids, and has to want to adopt. That’s a requirement.”
For Tebow, who was born in the Philippines, a multicultural family is appealing.
“I think when you look at God’s family, it’s not about color,” he says. “Love knows no color. I want my kids to grow up with an appreciation for every single person, no matter what they look like. That’s what unity looks like to me: knowing that you can love people who aren’t the same as you are. I want to teach that message to my kids; I want them to live it.”
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I once had the same dream for my future family. As a matter of fact, even as I courted and married my wife Mary, the composition of our future family was part of my wife-selection process. Would she be open to adopting kids from other races and other nations? Would she be open to teaching them their languages and their cultures?
As Good Morning White America listeners may know, both my wife and I escaped liberalism with a miraculously tiny amount of damage. Allow me to skip ahead and spoil the ending: despite my strong convictions and desire to do so, we did not adopt interracially or internationally.
Why didn’t we?
Dear reader — and dear, dear brother Tim — please listen to my heartfelt plea for mercy, compassion, and justice towards children.
Your biological children.
Your relatives’ children.
And the children of your own countrymen.
Then the children of other nations.
The reason why we did not adopt interracially or internationally (and yes, that means even from Eastern Europe) are as follows:
1. God calls you to do your duty in what He puts under your authority. God does not call you to save the world first. He calls you to do your laundry first. To go to work. To study hard and get a good education so you can provide for yourself. To honor your father and mother during your youth and later during their elderly years.
At the heart of Tebow’s thinking is the desire to do good to those in need. And that is praiseworthy! But the error comes in applying the right good to the wrong object in the wrong order.
To whom do fathers owe their first allegiance: their children, or the children of strangers? Well, whom did God put under their jurisdiction? Over whom do fathers have the most obvious authority and the responsibility that comes with it?
Their biological children. My own flesh and blood comes first, always and everywhere. This is not only a biblical idea but a universally accepted norm of human behavior. Family first. Blood is thicker than water. The ties that bind.
If we start deconstructing that, we quickly end up with the pro-gay marriage advocates — because what we deconstructed was not racism, but the family.
I recently taught about how Christ differentiated between Jews and Gentiles, and gave preference to His own co-ethnics, in the Gospel of Matthew. It didn’t make Jews blameless in His eyes — far from it — but it did make them dearer to Him than others, just as Paul expressed in Romans 9:1-4 when he wrote,
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: who are Israelites…
The biblical commands to care for the orphan and widow are important aspects of a holy life. Charity towards the poor amongst our own people is a Christian duty. A requirement, a commandment — not a suggestion. See James 1:27.
But when we care for orphans, that charity must begin at home. It must begin in our own extended families. Are there any orphans amongst the branches of your family tree? Any widows? Any poor? Any mentally or physically disabled? These must be the first recipients of our charity.
From there, we should look at our local communities, extending outwards to include our fellow countrymen in more distant places. The situation is confused in our multicultural society, but less-confused nonwhites understand this point intuitively. Blacks help blacks before they help whites. Jews help Jews before they help Gentiles. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, that is a virtuous way of extending charity.
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
~1 Timothy 5:8
The above verse is the one that the authors of the Westminster Larger Catechism used in Q. 129 as a “proof text” of the requirement that parents and other superiors owe their children and inferiors physical sustenance.
In contrast, in Q. 130 those same authors explained that parents are sinning against God, and breaking the Fifth Commandment, when they neglect that duty and expose their children needlessly to dangers. Interracial crime, anyone?
God issued the Fifth Commandment for the explicit purpose of prolonging the children’s inheritance and prosperity in the Promised Land. How can that be accomplished when the children’s inheritance is given away, and strangers are invited in to take over their homeland? Again, see WLC Q. 133.
2. Taking necessities, or inheritances, from your own children and giving it to others is sinful. If you take what little money, time, and energy you have from your own children, your nieces and nephews, the kids in your neighborhood and church, and the kids in your own country, and instead spend that money, time, and energy on people that are as foreign to you as could possibly be imagined (like going around the globe to adopt a kid from China or Kenya), that is a sin. Unless the needs of the kids closest to you have been satisfied, and you have an incredibly lucky amount of time, energy, and money still left over to spend on total strangers, whom God did not providentially bring to your doorstep or put under your jurisdiction (at work, church, etc.), then reallocating your limited resources to spend them on people not under your authority is robbery from those kids under your authority.
To make it clearer: If you have not yet attended to the educational, spiritual, emotional, dietary, cultural, vocational, social, and other needs of your kids, relatives’ kids, neighborhood kids, and the kids of your fellow countrymen — why are you robbing them of your time, energy, and money to give what they need and deserve away to the children of strangers?
3. Most of the orphans whom we virtue-signalling white Christians think we’re saving from unthinkable horrors are actually not in quite that amount of danger and despair. This is like the argument people make about deporting illegal aliens. How can you send them back to Mexico, that hellhole? Well, as a matter of fact, Mexico is the 15th richest country in the world by GDP, and Mexicans per capita aren’t that bad off, either. Mexico has far more opportunities to enjoy life than… over 100 other countries! So unless we’re going to take in all of those other 100 countries’ people and all of Mexico (and magically provide for them all), it is unrealistic to start acting on the basis of the alleged horrors of life in Mexico.
I’ve got a friend who has asked me, “If the grid goes down and society falls into chaos, and a black kid came to you begging you to save his life from imminent danger, would you save his life?” To which I answer, “If it doesn’t put my own children and family in danger, of course I would.”
The context is important. In this situation, the danger is ultimate. The danger is imminent. The danger is unavoidable. There are no alternative and acceptable options. And the people I am responsible for will remain safe. Ergo, I can at least temporarily, and even at some risk or expense, save that person. It’s an acceptable trade that doesn’t negate fulfilling my primary duties.
This white desire to save nonwhite lives in danger is why we rejoice at tales like Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place, and why we recoil at Schindler’s List. We abhor taking innocent life, or letting others take innocent lives while we stand around and do nothing about it.
Growing up in Manila or in Mexico City, however, is not a death sentence. Is it as comfortable as a life in an American suburb? Of course not. But like Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you.” Poverty is an unavoidable fact of life in the fallen world. So is widowhood and orphanhood. Jesus apparently did not think it something that demanded total sacrifice in order to be His follower.
Is Mexico a less prosperous nation than the United States? Yes, of course. But is life in Mexico a death sentence? By no means. And in fact if you’re honest about it, arguing that “everything un-American equals unacceptable/poor/immoral/
I’ll continue this in part two later this week, Deo volente.
See also David Carlton’s series “Adoption Reconsidered: Reexamining the Contemporary Trend of Adoption“