One of the ways that God loves each of God's children (and we all are God’s children, even those who do not believe) is by giving good gifts. Those gifts include making the sun to shine and the rain to come on the good and the bad alike. People that are atheists who are gardeners have wonderful gardens. There are thousands of ways God gives good gifts to us all. These gifts often include world-shaping ideas. It has not been only Christians who have come up with brilliant and universally helpful inventions or made vitally important discoveries. People from every philosophy, theology, ideology, and nation have provided these things.
What saddens me, however, is that I am encountering with greater frequency people having experiences and developing practices, especially when it comes to human relationships and interactions, outside of the church that they should be getting from the church. I am learning about people-skill tools, wisdom and discernment tools, and conflict resolution tools that are being created and developed by non-Christians outside the church. These should come from inside the church because of the way that we should be loving one another.
Why is it that the perception of so many about the church is that it is a place of disharmony, dissension, and mean-spirited fighting? Why are we not on the forefront of showing people what love, unity, and edification mean? But more important than these questions is the one that asks, “How can we become a place that is on the forefront of love, unity, and education?”
David Rayburn is that pastor of First Baptist Church of Black Mountain, and this article originally appeared in their church newsletter, The Builder.