Roanoke Church of Christ

Month: January 2018

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

It may be due to a misunderstanding of the purpose of the Bible that leads people to a Biblical conclusion which is not the intent of the writer. We have been influenced to read the Bible as if we are reading instructions from God. There are instructions in the Bible, especially in the books of the Law. On the other hand much of the Bible was written as a corrective and to point out the separation which existed between God and humankind.
The reader often comes from a background of “scripture plucking” or “cherry picking”. A scripture is found which fulfills an already preconceived idea an it becomes the foundation for a complete doctrine.
An example of this is the oft repeated statement that God can’t look on sin, despite any number of statements to the contrary. The most common use is to explain why Jesus cried out that he was Godforsaken on the cross. If that is the conclusion, then a passage is necessary to substantiate it. What is found is Habakkuk 1:13. “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong.” (NIV) So there you have an answer and a doctrine about what God can and can’t (see) look at.
However, if the continuing context is read it says the contrary. The rest of verse 13 says, “Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?” That and the rest of the book shows God being very aware of (looking at) the sins of the people.
In I Cor. 11:1-16 why does Paul address the length of hair, the wearing of veils, and the covering of the head in public worship when men and women pray and prophesy? Is he writing a manual on how to do church? No. He is dealing with a problem. What is the problem? If we don’t know that we can’t know what he’s talking about. We know it has to do with women, praying and teaching, (prophesying) the veil and the length of hair. The length of men’s hair is used as a comparison.
Why would this be a problem? The head covering, according to research (Tyndale Bulletin 41.2 (1990) p.245-260 by David Gil) was not worn by all women. It was worn by married women, but not exclusively. It was often seen as an elitist item. What was understood when worn by a married woman, was respect for her husband. If we note other issues involving women who are now “in Christ” in Corinth, we can see the “veil” problem had to do with leaving the wrong impression. If Jesus was their Lord, then they could, in essence, take off the veil (today it might be the wedding ring) and proclaim their first love was to the Lord.
In 1 Cor. 7 (a very revealing chapter) Paul address marital questions among these new converts to Christ. What about Sex? What about marriage itself? In v, 10 the question about a wife separating herself from her husband is addressed. Why would a new Christian entertain such a question? Why would Paul say she can? BUT it is not to get another man. She must remain unmarried. Counsel that! If the single life doesn’t work out she can only be reunited with her husband. What’s going on here?
At least two possibilities. One it may be related to Paul’s warning about the “present crisis” v.26, and the time being short, v.29. This explains the verses which advise against marriage. Which leads to number two. Are the women, wishing to spend what time is left in complete service to the Lord in this new-found freedom from earthly things, including husbands? Why else would Paul allow a marriage to be dissolved even if just temporarily?
As to the wearing of veils, the Gentile (Roman) women may have felt the same way. Jesus is now their Lord, first, not their husbands. Removing the veil would send the wrong message both to the husband and the community at large. Paul does not want that. There will be trouble enough . This was never instruction for how church was always to be done.
The same is true in I Tim. 2. The men are urged to pray. Did they not know that? Why be told? Because they were angry and disputing. V. 8. About what, can be seen in the previous verses.
The women were to dress modestly and decently with propriety and not with expensive jewelry and clothing. V.9,10. Why? Simply put, it delivered the wrong message. Again, research says the Roman government had laws (though not successfully maintained) against showing one’s wealth or standing with jewelry and clothing. Paul does not want these newly converted women to leave the wrong impression with their Gentile friends. The church was not an elitist group. These verses were not intended to become a manual for women’s fashion unless they address the motive for dressing in such a way. The problem Timothy is to deal with is Gentile women converts who are leaving the wrong impression. Carroll Osburn suggests that they want to look like independent women with Jesus only as their Lord. The dress of independent women was often associated with “loose” women. However, such proof is somewhat spotty.
Without going into detail, because it’s a long discussion, Can there be forgiveness without the shedding of blood?
In II Sam. 12 is the story of David and Bathsheba. When Nathan tells David his sin, and David confesses his sin, Nathan tells him the Lord has taken away his sin. Nowhere in the following story is there any blood offering.
In I Kings 21 there is the story of Ahab and Jezebel. When Elijah brings his sin in front of him he”tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and went about meekly.” V27
God sees his humility and granted him a reprieve of sorts, without a blood sacrifice.
The people of Nineveh did not offer blood sacrifices, but were forgiven.
How many times did Jesus forgive sins? (under the Old Law) without a blood sacrifice?
Looking at the whole Bible helps us not build a doctrine on a few misplaced verses.
Keith

CONCERNS: Judy Hall remains in ICU at Lewis Gale Medical Center. She is critically ill. Deanna McRoy continues with cancer treatment. Abby Keeting (treated for leukemia), Teryn Gaynor’s mother (cancer treatments), Melisha Scruggs friend, Jeanie who has a small child with health issues. Sheila Jansen and Daughter, Amber Weaver, Ray & Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jamie Cole, Alan and Joni Beach’s parents, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder
Please update those who have been placed on the Concerns list. We do want to know of progress and other issues.

SYMPATHY
We were saddened to learn of the death of Tolly Nicklas, Leena Bolin’s cousin. The Bolin’s are in Pennsylvania this weekend for his memorial service.
Also: We learned of the death of former member Diane Sumney’s father. It happened on New Year’s Day.

SEASON’S GREETINGS
We have received cards and pictures from the Sturms and the Maharrey’s David and Stacy sent pictures from their trip to Paris and wrote a very nice note about their experience while they were with us. One problem, the pictures and the note have been misplaced. As soon as it is found it will be posted.

SUPER SUNDAY
Next Sunday is Super Sunday. Plan to stay for the fellowship meal following the service. If you haven’t seen the annex since Judy McWHorter’s quilts are along the walls as an improvement both in beauty and in acoustics, come by and see it. There will be a fire in the fireplace unless we have exceptionally warm weather.

THIRD SUNDAY SERVICE
Next Sunday is also the Sunday we have an alternative service, either of singing and readings, preaching or a combination of all of them. The leader will be announced in that days handout.

STEERING COMMITTEE
A brief report will be given next Sunday concerning our financial situation for last year. The steering committee will discuss the budget for this year if we have enough members in attendance.

HOLY WHAT? – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

What about the Holy Spirit? If your experience is similar to mine ( meaning the Church of Christ is the only church you’ve been attached to) it was somehow connected to baptism. You were supposed to “receive” it, but you weren’t sure what to do with it. It was best not to worry about it and just accept it on faith. Having a Holy Ghost inside you could cause you to get spooky if you weren’t careful. You might become a Holy Roller, if you know what I mean.
In view of those folks who let the Holy Ghost get out of control, and say and do all kinds of stuff, some lines had to be drawn. The “Death of the Springfield Presbytery” made us historically proud, but all that stuff that went on at Cane Ridge made us nervous. Shrieking and barking like dogs, women whipping their heads back and forth so hard their hair cracked like whips was not our cup of tea.
So somebody decided to make the Holy (Spirit) Ghost and the “Word” (the Bible) one in the same. If you read the Bible and understood and obeyed the words, you had the Holy Spirit (Ghost). So that took care of that and we could breathe a little easier.
But there were some who found this view not aligned with other scriptures. They began to ask about the “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit as Paul mentioned in such places as I Cor. 3:16 and 6:19 (among others) where it said the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, dwells in the believer. Along with the idea of being”led” by the Spirit (Gal. 5:18) and the fruits of the Spirit, (Gal. 5:22) some of the “Word only” folks began to rethink the Holy Spirit.
Of course, just as in past times (like Cane Ridge) some folks wanted as much of the Spirit as they could get, as if they hadn’t gotten enough at, say, their baptism. And just as at Cane Ridge some preachers encouraged people to experience being filled with the Spirit. At Cane Ridge (some Methodist preachers I think) were disturbed that Barton W. Stone didn’t try to quell such antics. The same was true when some more modern believers (in the early 1970s) went to churches where they could be encouraged (taught) to speak in tongues.
All this caused more than a ripple in the Churches of Christ. Most noted was what some called the defection of Pat Boone, who was the most famous of ours to go over to the “Charismatics.”
Attempts were made at finding middle ground in seminars around the country. And they provided a place to share and examine the meaning of the Spirit of God in believers lives.
On the other hand, the “Word only” folks marched into battle with the sword of the Spirit/Word flashing. They contended for the faith via “soundness tests” and confrontations to determine true loyalty to the Word. While this is still an ongoing, but fading issue, it was hot for about fifteen or more years. As of today, it seems the “indwellers” are pretty much written off by the “Worders.”
If you were an “indweller” and a “led byer” you tried to make some spiritual and useful sense out of having the Spirit of God/ Spirit of Christ/ Holy Spirit in you. You will notice I used all three terms, but not in a Trinitarian sense. When it comes to understanding having a Holy Spirit in me, I’m not going to worry about if it’s one third of God or what? I just want to understand how to be in harmony with it. I want to avoid as much as I can what Paul called “Quenching the Spirit.”
It seems that Paul, in I Cor. 2:10ff, believes the indwelling Spirit is the only way to understand the things the Spirit of God reveals. I don’t know all that meant to Paul when he said it in Corinthian context, but he doesn’t seem to be talking about understanding scripture, as such. In Rom. 8:16 he says the Spirit in us tells us we are God’s children. This being true, we are called on to make decisions based on the presence of the Spirit of God “in” us. That means we will not need to find a scripture to use as a proof text for every decision we make about what God wants done.
If I look at the New Testament to decide if slavery is approved, I will find that it is. It does not matter if it matches the idea of African slavery as it took place in this country. It is the Holy Spirit of God that begins to whisper deep inside humankind that such thinking is not righteous. Spiritual people, not perfect people, spiritual people are those who have the eyes and ears of their heart open to those even scripture might seem to reject as worthy. Jesus did that.
Keith

HOSE TO SERVE IN JANUARY
Announcements: Martha Albert
Serve Communion: Lyn Jordan
Susan Jordan
Debbie McRoy
Carson McRoy
Usher: Garrett Williams
Communion Care: Holly Wagner
Singing: Scripture:
7-Karen Branch Martha Foy
14-Del Bolin Steve Gaynor
21-Karen Branch Connie Crites
28-Scott Blessing Mark McRoy
Communion: Nursery:
7-Wayne Flora Joanne Elder
14-Scott Blessing Connie Crites
21-Del Bolin Holly Wagner
28-Abraham Sirgy Susan Phlegar

JANUARY BIRTHDAYS
5-Alan Beach 5-Judy Hall
8-Anna Ferrell 17-Jim Smith
18-Abraham Sirgy 22-Logan McRoy
28-Keith Wagner 31-Martha Albert

CONCERNS: Judy Hall remains in ICU at Lewis Gale Medical Center. The infection in her jaw which required surgery, is responding to the antibiotics. However, due to the toll on her body, she has been fed via IVs; on oxygen, and recently had a tracheotomy. This is because other treatments can only be done for so long. She is responding to touch, her eyes open and she is gradually becoming more and more alert. Visits are limited to one person for ten minutes. However, her family has been in town, so allow them all the time they need with her. Call T J’s cell phone and check about visits. Keith will do updates via email as he knows about her condition.
Some good news. Deanna McRoy had almost a 100% success with her last cancer treatment. She still has more to go, but this is a big step. Scott Blessing’s back has kept him at home. Both Joni and Alan Beach’s parents are having declining health problems. It’s good to see Gary Overstreet able to attend services again. Continue to remember Teryn Gaynor’s mother as she is treated for cancer. Del Bolin’s mother, Tolly Nicklas, Leena Bolin’s cousin is in hospice care with late stage ALS. Abby Keeting, the little girl being treated for leukemia has had her last treatment. Melisha Scruggs friend, Jeanie, whose child has medical issues. Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

GOOD NEWS, KIND OF
It’s never good news when something is going to cost money. You may not know, but because the church does not pay property tax, we are granted one trash can for trash and one for recycling.
Recently the City of Roanoke passed a law that says everyone must pay a trash collection fee, including churches. It will cost about $150.00 a year, much less that the storm water runoff fees.
The good news is that because we were limited to two gratis trash cans, we had to dispose of all other material ourselves, via the dump. Starting next month we will be able to have all materials we need to dispose of picked up by the City. This means when we clear brush or trees they will now be picked up.
As you may have noticed, the owners of the apartments at the lower end of
our property have cleaned some of our land to improve the looks. We have talked with them about improving all the land between us. Now come spring we can remove all the trimmings we have placed in that area and have grass all the way to the end of our property in the fenced in area.

THE NEW YEAR
As we enter another year we will be looking at the things we were able to do in 2017. A report will be presented soon on a Sunday morning, with a view of the new year. If you have any ideas share them with a member of the steering committee.

THINK ABOUT IT
As a group we have been good at volunteering to serve in the public worship. As the new year is now here, if you are not presently signed up for a task, pray about it and perhaps join in with those who make the service run smoothly.