The family is a God-ordained institution that has been around since the beginning of time. Andreas Kostenberger writes, “The Bible defines ‘family’ in a narrow sense as the union of one man and one woman in matrimony which is normally blessed with one or several natural or adopted children.” Many of us do not have a positive recollection of “family,” in this sense. Recently, I spoke with a young man who told me about the time he ran away from home because of the abuse he endured at an early age. We live in a broken world where we have sinful parents. So, sometimes our view of God as “Father” is challenging for us to grasp. But the God of the Bible is different from our earthly parents. He is not like an absentee parent who decides to come into his child’s life when it is convenient for him. He does not abuse or neglect His children when they are in need. In fact, He is the good Father who loves, cares, and protects us. That is why we sing about Him in our churches each Lord’s day.
The idea of diversity is attractive in our day. Many churches around the country are seeking to make their church more “diverse.” After all, Revelation 7:9-11 says, “After this, I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” What a beautiful gift to have our congregations reflect this heavenly reality! We believe God has sovereignly placed us in the city of Phoenix to engage all people with all of Jesus, and to be a diverse family for those who do not have a family. In a culture where racial tensions exist, the reality is that “diverse family” is essential to Roosevelt Community Church. We are a diverse group of individuals who are, indeed, brothers and sisters in Christ—committed to this value of being united despite our differences.