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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Christians are being reminded that the New Testament and Christmas itself began with an adoption.
The Rev. Russell Moore, dean of the School of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says that when Joseph took Mary as his wife, he also was taking the son of God to be his adoptive son.
Speaking this week at the Family Research Council, Moore said Christians who have been adopted into God's family have a biblical instruction to show their faith by caring for orphans and widows.
He contrasted Joseph's embrace of the Christ child with King Herod's determination to kill a child who threatened his comfortable status.
Moore, an adoptive father himself, said churches should welcome and support families that adopt children.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)