Some may remember the sitcom about Archie Bunker and family, some may not have ever heard of it, and for you let's just say Archie was rather opinionated and rude. If you are from an unusual family ,you may have someone like him in yours, someone who sticks out from others as rather odd.
The Bible is full of examples of folks in the family and heritage of God who were a mess. Noah, David, Abraham, they all had multiple dysfunction within their bloodlines and they too paralleled the oddity of Archie. But from them came some of the greatest leaders, wisest people and most productive citizens. Regardless of what they all did, they were still all in the family.
I received a text from someone who related to how great it was last Sunday to visit with our ATB family. To have that kind of impact on someone means we are doing what 1st century Christians set out to do. They continued to meet, break bread together and talk about their messiah. As they had needs they gave to each other. And if you can imagine what kind of a diverse group they had, there must have been a few problems that they needed to talk about and look for solutions with spiritual guidance.
Most importantly, I don't recall them turning away anyone. There must have been nothing but love and acceptance although in their culture, as in ours, there were differences among them. But they were not centered on their own needs, they were centered on having the mind of Christ.
We are nothing special at ATB, except that we are centered on that same mind of Christ. And that means that as culturally, ethnically and spiritually diverse as we are, we are all about one thing...healing through the power on the Lord and then telling everyone else who will listen about how that happened. We mirror family through and through because just as God shows us, we never give up on anyone, even if they are heading down the wrong road again and again and again.
We truly are all in the family, in the family of God just as those 1st century folks were. If you are a little dysfunctional and quirky, you just might come join us, people who are just like you, you will never be rejected, only loved on and on and on.
That is the mind of Christ!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.