The year Disneyland opened, local theme park Knott’s Berry Farm did record business. Other business rivals might have viewed Walt’s amazing dream as bad luck or unfair competitions, but the Knott family used it to up their game and get a piece of thriving Southern California tourist market.

The lesson is simple: competition can benefit, not harm, anybody willing to learn from other people and face changes.

The Church of Jesus Christ has weathered two thousands years of competition. At her best, she innovates and accepts challenges by outthinking, out hustling, and out serving the competition. At her worst, she grows lazy with power and attempts, like all broken humans to stifle dissent rather than answering it.

When religious issues are discussed, the church, if it is what it claims to be, can only benefit. When religion is “private” or not discussed, then the church faces irrelevance as a church, no matter how powerful she seems. Christians exist to serve Jesus and that service is most easily seen in reaching out to others in love.

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