Chapter2 is a Christian organisation insofar as the motivation for the mission and value base is rooted in a belief in the gospel of Jesus. However, the primary goal of Chapter2 is to provide boys with a male mentor and male community regardless of the faith of either party. Although the Christian basis for the mission is at the heart of what we do and why we do it, proselytism (i.e. to attempt to convert mentees to the Christian belief) is not the aim.
From a practical standpoint, the intent is to grow the mission from within church congregations, utilising both the accountability structures and child safety process and policies typically owned by such organisations. It is also hoped that the church congregations will provide a good resource for recruiting men to be mentors and an already established community. Co-ordinators responsible for managing a team of mentors must also have the full support of the host organisation.
‘Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.’
The biblical mandate to Christian believers concerning the fatherless is very clear. In both new testament and old Christians are urged to care for the fatherless. Interestingly, the old testament word for an ‘orphan’ comes from a Hebrew word meaning ‘fatherless’. The term is used liberally in the old testament, most notably as a means to describe the compassion that God has for the most vulnerable in society, the fatherless (Psalm 68:5, Psalm 146:9, Hosea 14:3). The term is also used in the context of why God judged Israel for specifically not caring for orphans. But perhaps the most striking reference to the term orphan is in the new testament where it is used only once (James 1:27). Similar to the old testament use of the term, James is using the term to say; how well communities care for the fatherless is a litmus test for the purity of their faith. Or in other words, caring for the fatherless should be a natural behaviour for those that believe whole-heartedly in Christian doctrine.
‘Father to the fatherless, and defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.’
For Christian believers there are two clear motivations for caring for the fatherless. Firstly, it is a good example of how Christians are commanded to love their neighbour and care for those in need, as implied in the specific mandate regarding the fatherless described above. Secondly, as imitators of Christ (Ephesians 5), created in His likeness (Genesis 1:27), Christians are encouraged to reflect the character of God which, as described above, is a character that cares for the fatherless deeply.