Roanoke Church of Christ

Month: April 2015

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – NO. 15&16 – IT SAYS! NO IT DOESN’T!

I receive a journal of sorts, and when I read it I feel like I’m reading a foreign language. Its approach to understanding scripture is familiar, but so foreign than mine. A most recent one was filled with why women shouldn’t be seen as equals in church. I wasn’t surprised when I read that Jesus never appointed a woman apostle, as if that sealed the issue. Jesus never appointed a Gentile apostle either. So, what does that mean? Nothing.
Don’t think I’m going on a scripture quoting spree. I believe that is a waste of time. In every issue involving human rights, scripture shooters have held their lines and shot scriptures across the bow at each other. It is always serious, even getting some people killed.
One thing about getting old is that you have a history, it fact, you are history! Before I was born, scripture shooters fired barrages at each other about women’s suffrage, you know, the right for women to vote. What caused suffrage to happen? A force that has never been defeated, human progress and reason. Of course one scripture shooter’s side claimed victory, but the battle was not won there.
I can remember when the man was the divinely chosen head of the family. The wife, or even women, were to be in complete submission to the men around them. I can remember a wedding I attended where the officiant told the bride that her husband had been given authority over her by God, and that she should never correct him, that God would do it. I prayed the two, bright, intelligent couple wouldn’t listen to such drivel! Of course, there were scriptures to support it.
I remember when preachers preached that a woman’s place was in the home, and if she entered the workplace it was not God’s purpose for her and they had scriptures to prove it, In fact, they had more than did the opposition. But guess who won?
Anybody remember integration? Remember the scriptures used to support segregation? How about that “curse of Ham” thing? Throwing Bible bombs at each other didn’t solve it. What did? The greatest power known to man. Victor Hugo said it, “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
I remember when Christian Barnard transplanted the first heart in the 1960s. In a chaplain’s seminar we were asked to debate the moral and religious implications. There was a lot more scriptures against it, than for it. You know, “As a man thinks in his heart” and how evil comes from the heart. And we even talked about the possibility of brain transplants. Talk about a moral dilemma! But when I talk about that seminar today, younger people laugh that it was even an issue.
In the 70’s the “role” of women in the church surfaced. It floundered for a while, and then took off. The scripture throwers are still at it, but most young folks see it as nonissue. Why? You know what I’m going to say. The quoting of scripture will not do it, anymore then it did the other issues of equality and human rights. Time thankfully marches on, and so does human development and understanding.
Today, the issue of marriage equality. Scripture is being thrown by both sides. Articles and books are written. Sermons are preached. A recent article in the local paper said since Jesus came to fulfil the Law, all of the Old Testament was still in effect. Problem solved!
Just as all the other human rights issues were not solved by tossing scriptural hand grenades, neither will this one. It will be settled one way or the other and the world will not end.
There are still people who think women are inferior, should stay in the kitchen, not do the same jobs as men and receive the same pay. There are still people who believe in discrimination, no interracial marriage, and all kinds of discrimination; and, scripture will still be tossed around. However, as the rolling tide of time goes on, we may learn better how to love each other and treat each other as we would want to be treated. We’ve done it before.
Keith

CONCERNS: Rich Crites is recovering from a broken arm. Jim Hunter is having cancer treatment and his diabetes is also an issue. Leena Bolin’s aunt’s husband has died. Keep “Aunt Betty” in your prayers. Debbie McRoy’s sister-in law, Ellen Tidwell, is being treated for heart problems. Bill Albert’s son, David remains about the same. Lee Nicklas, Leena Bolin’s aunt has leukemia. Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder and Mary Smith. As you pray, remember all those in the Nepal earthquake.

OUR DAILY BREAD: MAY 4-9
Monday: John 1:1-18
Tuesday: Luke 18:1-4
Wednesday: I Corinthians 1:3-11
Thursday: II Corinthians 5:1-8
Friday II Corinthians 1:23-2:11
Saturday: Psalm 97:1-12
OUR DAILY BREAD: MAY 11-16
Monday: Mark 14:26-42
Tuesday: Acts 1:1-14
Wednesday: Psalm 43:1-11
Thursday: Acts 5:17-32
Friday: Hebrews 2:10-18
Saturday: Psalm 107:1-43

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE VOLUNTEERS
Those of you who have volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House are invited to a picnic and ball game at the Salem Red Sox Stadium on May 12th. The gates open at 6:00 PM. The number attending must be turned in by the 5th, so let Keith or Martha Albert know today. Also, don’t forget to save all the pull tabs from cans. These are a vital resource of funds for the house. Also: We have received a thank you card from the house for our volunteers.
A FURTHER NOTE
Concerning Jenni Cullum’s move: Jenni has moved to Bliley Manor, which is a group home for adults with brain injuries. This enables her to be with people all the time who have experienced brain injuries. It allows her the freedom and independence she has wanted. Her phone # in the last bulletin was wrong. It should be 804-840-3724.
CONGRATULATIONS
Stephanie Dixon will be “pinned” this Thursday at 4:00 PM at the Scottish Rite Masonic Lodge, 622 West Campbell Ave. The Graduation ceremony will be on Friday, May 8th, 9:30 AM at the Elmwood Amphitheater on Jefferson Ave. She would love to see anyone who can come.
Stephanie’s journey has been of interest to us because it was after a trip to the Ezell Clinic in Guatemala, she decide to start on a new path and become a nurse.
We also are thinking of other graduates and are planning a time together to honor all of the. More details later
BEN HAS MOVED
Ben Robertson has moved into the house in the Glenvar area. His address, when all settled in, will be 3508 Gene St.,Salem, VA 24153. Several folks helped with the move yesterday.
WELCOME BACK
The Halls have returned from several weeks in Texas, with some stops along the way. T.J. had a wisdom tooth removed when they got home and it has taken a toll on him.
We also learned that Wayne Phlegar fell while visiting their son. They will be home tomorrow.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – NO. 13&14 – THIS IS MY STORY

If you read this, keep in mind that I am not rewriting the Bible. You might do it differently, but this is my story of Jesus, and about almost everything important.
Way back when time started, human beings saw strange lights in the area above them. They called that area many things, sky being one of them, as well as heaven, or, the heavens. From the sky came loud noises and flashes of light, as well as rain and hot air, all of which could cause pain, harm and death, as well as life. The mountains sometimes spit out hot liquid or shake and fall on them. The seas could swell up and cover them. So it was easy for them to believe the things they saw and experienced were caused by someone, or something. Finding themselves in such a situation, they tried to make contact with the powers that ruled their world by appeasing them. They sacrificed things they valued, even in some cases, their first born children, especially young girls.
They also tried to please these beings in the sky by building images which they hoped mirrored those they called “gods.” If they wanted good crops, they fashioned a crop god. If it was many sons, they fashioned a god representing fertility. Since there were so many different categories it kept them busy. Needless to say, it was a never-ending job.
However, there were some who thought the idea of a lot of gods was too much and impossible to live and die with. They decided to appease just a one and only god. Since there was only one, they wrote it with a capital letter. But there was still a problem. They knew what was good and what wasn’t. They knew there should be some punishment for what was bad and harmful. So it seemed reasonable that there should be a reward for doing good, which presented another problem. It didn’t seem to work that way no matter how hard they tried. They wrote about it and sang about it. They noticed that the life-giving sun and rain fell on the good and the bad. But at times their many-gods neighbors did better in certain areas then they did. So on occasion, just to cover all the bases, they built an idol or two. It wasn’t that they no longer believed in the one God, it was that it couldn’t hurt to be sure.
There were many who maintained the one-God belief, but one man stood out. He followed his beliefs and in time had two sons, each by a different woman. One went one way and the other went another. They both became leaders of great nations, each believing in the one God.
As time passed one son’s people faced hard times and ended up in a foreign country. They stayed there for four hundred years. During that time they became saturated with the culture and beliefs of that country. So much so that they forgot their past culture and lives. It was so bad they were to become known as the “No people.”
After four hundred years of that, a leader among them was born. He was saved from infant death and ended up being raised by the foreign king’s daughter. As he grew, he felt a deep connection to his own people, who had become seen as dangerous, and therefore, enslaved.
After several incidents, one caused this leader to run for his life. When he finally returned, it was with the almost forgotten belief in the power of the one God. He demanded that his people be allowed to go out into the countryside and worship the one God. His intent was not to come back. After several refusals and related tragedies, the king let them go. So they exited the land and headed to the land promised to their ancestor.
It was not an easy journey. Four hundred years in the country they were leaving had left its mark. At every problem they wanted to go back. When things didn’t go right, or they believed what they were doing was a mistake, they reverted to the ways of the old land and culture. Their leader, and those close to him, realized they had to do everything possible to separate the people from the past. So they banned everything that might remind the people of the culture they had left behind. It was not so much that the things were wrong in and of themselves, but they reminded the people of what they had left behind.
Over the years of their travel, rule after rule about things which took them backwards to what was no more, and blocked them from moving forward and becoming their own people, was banned. This was necessary for their freedom from the past.
When they reached the land of their ancestor, in time, as they became more and more independent of the past, the strict rules were softened. They married people who they were once forbidden to marry, and other customs changed as well. But there was one thing they still struggled with: What was the real nature of the one God who had brought them here? They were still surrounded by people who believed in multiple gods. Like those before them, they also tried to cover all the bases and played around with the “many-god” idea. They still felt if they did right they should not suffer, and asked why the evil people seemed to have it better. Maybe the other gods could do the trick.
Finally a man was born that was so different, he was seen as the one God appointed to reveal God’s true nature. He was so loving and kind people felt looking at him was to see the one God. The message he delivered was so powerful that when he was killed for it, they said God loved the world so much, that this son of his was given to show and save mankind from all the other false ideas about God. They saw in this man that God is love. They saw in this man that God was not against them, but on their side. They saw in this man that they did not have to sacrifice and worry to appease God. Because of that they realized the only sacrifice God wanted was that they lived like the one they called God’s son. Those who did, realized that kind of love cast out all the fears of history and they joyed in living in that amazing freedom.
Keith
CONCERNS: Jim Hunter has started chemotherapy. Debbie McRoy’s sister-in-law, Ellen Tidwell, is having heart problems. Del Bolin’s mother is also having heath issues. It’s good to see Bill Branch back after heart surgery. Betty Billings, Keith’s sister is in Raleigh Court Health Care Center, room 12A Bill Albert’s son, David, remains about the same as he awaits a liver transplant. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, has leukemia. Kim (Hall’s) friend Mary (MS), Sue Huels Betty Foy’s sister, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Rich Crites Deanna McRoy, Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Tim Elder, Mary Smith and Jenni Cullum also need our prayers.

OUR DAILY BREAD: APRIL 20-25
Monday: I Timothy 6:11-21
Tuesday: Psalm 119:89-112
Wednesday: Mark 2:15-3:6
Thursday: Acts 8:4-24
Friday: Luke 22:39-53
Saturday: I Corinthians 15:42-58
OUR DAILY BREAD: APR 27-MAY 1
Monday: Exodus 3:1-15
Tuesday: Matthew 9:14-34
Wednesday: Ecclesiastes 12:1-14
Thursday: II Corinthians 5:11-21
Friday: II Samuel 11:1-27
Saturday: Psalm 121:1-8

SUPER SUNDAY
Sunday, April 19 is Super Sunday. The rain should be over and all the spring colors should be at their peak, so what better way to enjoy it than a good meal after the service? Looking forward to being with you.
IT’S ALMOST HERE
Has it been two years? We’ve all watched as Stephanie Dixon made a life-changing decision to become a nurse after going to the Ezell Clinic in Guatemala. Well, the time is near! Here’s the information for about her graduation.
The Baccalaureate Pinning Ceremony will be May 7th at 4:00 PM at the Scottish Rite Masonic Lodge, 622 West Campbell Ave. The graduation ceremony will be May 8th at the Elmwood park Amphitheater on S. Jefferson St. at 9:30 AM.
Stephanie would be honored to have anyone there if they can make it.
She can’t wait to get back to Guatemala, but will need to work awhile before going.
THANKS
You may have noticed the bright and shiny section of the fence as you came today. Our thanks to Wayne Flora for getting the material and fixing it.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Former member Jenni Cullum wants us to know that she has moved into her own apartment. This is something she has hoped for and has now been able to do. Her address is 6117 Bliley, Richmond, Va 23225. She has a phone and the number is 804-840-3727.
AWAY
The Phlegars plan to be gone for a few weeks visiting their son. The Halls will return near the end of the month after being in Texas.
ADULT CLASS
The Sunday morning adult class is being taught for the next few weeks by Del Bolin, with Mike Branch filling in when Del is gone. The discussions have been both interesting and a valuable look at scripture. You’ll enjoy it if you come.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 27, NO.11&12 – HOW TO UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE

If you take the title of this article literally, don’t. I know a losing cause when I see one. However, it is important, I think, to have some sense of how to read the Bible and understand it. It’s called “hermeneutics” And one hot issue is usually how the Bible is inspired.
For most of us it has been divided into two main groups: Those who believe every word in the Bible was spoken and directed by God, via the Holy Spirit, and therefore, is literally true in all areas of science and history. Some may even include medicine as well.
The second group says God inspired the Bible’s human authors to deliver God’s message to the world, but the expression of the message was in their own words in the literary and cultural style of their own time; and that it is a spiritual book, not a scientific book. The purpose of the Bible is to reveal the nature of God to those who, by faith, seek to follow its teachings.
Obviously, those two groups are Jews and Christians, and therefore, what teachings are followed vary from the Old and New Testament.
For those who seek to understand the structure of the Bible’s inspiration, especially the New Testament, there is no better place to start than in Luke’s gospel. There he writes, “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”
Luke says his gospel came from eyewitnesses and his own research. That is in stark contrast to the idea that he somehow heard the Spirit of God telling him what to write.
In I Corinthians 7:12, Paul says, “To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer, and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.” The same thought goes on for two more verses.
In v. 25 ff he says he has no command from the Lord about unmarried (virgin) women. But he says he believes his judgement is trustworthy.
Finally, my personal favorite. Hebrews 2:6. “But there is a place where someone has testified” and he quotes from Psalm 8. Wouldn’t God (the Holy Spirit) know where he wrote that?
So, what’s this all about? It’s about a lot of things, but mostly the younger generation.
We live in a time of amazing and rapidly changing technology and understanding. Humans, from the time they are born want answers about everything, and that’s a good thing. That’s how we grow. However, rapid scientific advances have created a whole new area of questions about God and the Bible. Something isn’t true simply someone says it is true. If it’s true, it has to meet certain tests. Those tests do not deny faith. Faith is something which is a realization, and we continue to make those leaps of faith based on the experience of others. That’s why Paul and the Old Testament say things like, “By faith so and so did something.” Those are examples of faith. However, each step of faith has its own unknown events and possibilities.
In this age of inquiry, not all questions can be answered. That’s not the problem. The problem is when the answer given will not hold up under examination,
such as the meaning of inspiration. Does “God’s word” mean the actual words spoken by God, or God’s word as presented by inspired Godly men and women?
Inspiration is not denied by understanding that those who wrote scripture, wrote it in the historical and cultural understanding of their time. So in order to receive the great truths of scripture, we have to separate them from the limits of the historical time in which they were written. We might keep in mind all those like Galileo Galilei, who were called heretics because they challenged a belief, based on scripture, such as that the earth was the center of the universe.
Keith

CONCERNS: Jim Hunter had tests on a lymph node last week and began chemotherapy on Thursday.. Bill Branch is doing well. Betty Billings remains in Raleigh Court Health Care Canter, room 112A. She is slowly regaining her strength. Bill Albert’s son, David, remains on a list to receive a liver transplant. He lives in New Jersey. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas has leukemia. Kim (Hall’s) friend, Mary. (MS) Betty Foy’s sister, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson and Gil Richardson. Rich Crites, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder, Mary Smith and Mrs. Mataro. Wayne Flora’s postmaster, Todd Baumgardner is doing well after a kidney and pancreas transplant.

OUR DAILY BREAD: APRIL 6-11
Monday: Psalm 119:1-24
Tuesday: Matthew 12:22-37
Wednesday: Revelation 3:14-22
Thursday: Galatians 2:11-21
Friday: John 15:1-11
Saturday: Psalm 112:1-10
OUR DAILY BREAD: APRIL 13-18
Monday: Psalm 48:1-14
Tuesday: Romans 11:33-12:8
Wednesday: Matthew 15:29-39
Thursday: Luke 15:1-10
Friday: Galatians 6:1-10
Saturday: Psalm 19:1-14

EASTER EGG HUNT
There will be an Easter Egg Hunt after Sunday’s service for all the little children in the yard by the annex. Holly Wagner will meet with the children and get them started.
SMILE
Since this is Easter Sunday, and often we get “decked out” a little more on Easter, it would be a great day to have your picture taken for the new directory. That’s true regardless of what you are wearing. See Erma if she hasn’t lined you up for a picture.
THE ADULT CLASS
After spending forty days (minus weather related time off) the adult class has concluded the study and reading of the New Testament set in book style. For the next month or so, Del Bolin will be teaching the class. He will be asking us to examine the scriptures in relationship to who we are here at Roanoke. He started last Sunday and the discussion was very informative. It would be a good time to start coming if you haven’t been.
THINGS TO DO
Several projects around the building can now be started easier since the weather is warming. These are things that involve the inside of the building, but are easier to do if they can be taken outside to do. We want to replace a front pew with one that was removed from the back when the handicapped restroom was built. It has a crack all the way down the middle where the boards have separated. We also want to trim down another pew so it can be put back in the back. We have those who will do most of these jobs, but may need a little man power to get them done. A time will be announced soon. Also, we may need to have a “spring cleaning day for outside the building before the weather gets hotter.
THE COMMUNION
We all realize how hard it is to break something which is not a tradition, but the way it has been done for a long time. We’ve made several attempts to change the way the servers come forward. Please come forward during the last stanza of the communion song. It helps the one who presides at the table. It would also help if the song leader would remind those who are serving when the song is announced