When you read the Bible through questions develop. When it is read without chapters and verses, the questions may be easier to see.
Few, if any readers do this without some prior knowledge or influence. In other words, we already know what is there, or at least think we do. This may not come from actual reading, but from sermons and other things we have heard.
For example, when the elders of Israel decided they did not want Samuel’s corrupt sons taking his place, they asked for a king. In the text, God tells Samuel to grant their wishes, but it was not a rejection of him, but of God. So, a king was not what God wanted. However, in Deut. 17:14ff God tells the Israelites they can have a king once they arrive in the promised land. There is no sense of rejecting God in the passage, only that it be the man of God’s choosing.
The law of adultery was clear. Both the man and the married woman were to be killed. There is no place in the Bible where that law was revoked. Yet King David commits adultery with Bathsheba, and the idea of capital punishment never enters the picture. Why? By what and whose authority was the law modified?
In Exodus 12 detailed instructions about the Passover are given. It is to be something continually done. Yet in II Kings 23:21ff it says, “The king gave this order to all the people: ‘Celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God as it is written in the book of the Covenant.’ Not since the days of the judges who led Israel, nor throughout the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah, had any such Passover been observed.” Where was the “word of the Lord” all those years?
I know I may be guilty of “hobby riding” by discussing Biblical understanding again, but in light of the idiotic remarks coming from preachers after the mass shooting in Orlando, I have to vent again.
When we read the books of the law of Moses, we read that the Lord barred from the assembly those who were disfigured in any way. (Deut. 21:16-23) While I’m not sure we can find a place in the OT where such a person was allowed in the assembly, (congregation) we do know such people were not barred from the synagogues in the NT. What changed, and when?
We know from the book of Ruth that the view of Moabites changed. When and how?
The Biblical view of slavery gave way to freedom. And I know about how slaves in the Bible were different than the slaves in America and other parts of the world centuries later. My question is: Why would anyone want to own another person? Sure, treat your slaves right. In some cases, they owe you a debt. But could a person view the slave as not a slave, but an equal, and still collect a debt, or take care of their needs? Paul, in his letters, goes a long way in trying to level that playing field. (Gal. 3:28, Eph. 6:9, Col. 3:11)
My “proof list” could be a lot longer, but here’s the point: The most significant changes in the development of the history of Bible are those involving how people are viewed and treated. Why? Because the Bible, without its constant historical evolution, becomes a book which can be used for evil. Exodus 21: 20,21 says a slave can be beaten as long as he or she does not die but recovers after a day or two. This passage was used by slave owners in later centuries to justify beating slaves. However, no one seemed to hold them accountable if the slave died, as the OT said should be done.
The mass killings of men, women and children in the Old Testament reveals the tribal attitude of the time. It was a matter of survival, not as mass murder. This was historically true for all people and nations, not just the Hebrews. The enemy was not seen as an equal, but as a threat to survival. That is still true.
The constant question is if the God portrayed in such bloody violence is, indeed, God? The answer is “Yes”. But the key word is “portrayed”. God is always understood within the constraints and confines of the time. To confine God to one moment in time is to essentially destroy God. The knowledge of God is ever expanding and always limited by its point in time. In other words, we understand God within the framework of the world as we know it. However, there is a foundation of understanding God which flows through time. Despite everything else, the everlasting nature of God is in both testaments. Love God love your neighbor as you love yourself. That is the eternal God.
Those preachers and others who say the deaths of 49 LBGT (and straight) people in Orlando is God-ordained because of statements in The OT are as dangerous as the one who pulled the trigger. They are ignorant of the Bible and God. Debate over scripture is worthless. This is about the spirit of Jesus Christ and they don’t get it.
Do any of these people who quote OT scripture want to recreate the world of Moses? Do they believe the world today should be that world? Do they want adulterers murdered? Do they want tribal wars? Do they want women to be treated as they were at that time? Well, if they do, they can’t have it. Not because they can’t smite their chests and quote scripture, but because the creative power we call God moves continually forward. The problem is in all other fields of study the progress is quicker than in the area of humanity. Added o that is the fact that too often it has been the “God fearing” who have stood in the way of progress in areas of equality and dignity.
In the Bible, the hated Samaritan becomes the hero who lives in such a way as to gain eternal life. The Eunuch is baptized and welcomed into the assembly. The Gentile is seen as a brother. The tax collector and prostitute are seen as real people, worthy of love. Those disfigured are seen as whole. It’s not about quoting scripture. It is about the movement of God, or God’s spirit, moving in the world in such a way that it cannot, and never has been, stopped. Thank God.
THOSE TO SERVE IN FEBRUARY
Announcements: Joanne Elder
Usher: Lyn & Susan Jordan
Lead Singing: Del Bolin – 7th, 21,28th
Karen Branch – 14th
Scripture Reading: Mark McRoy
Lead Communion: Mike Branch
5-Wayne Phlegar 15-Steve Gaynor
25-Karen Crush Branch
19 – Buster & Debra T. McRoy
CONCERNS: Pray for Holly Wagner as she continues to recover from surgery & kidney stones. Please continue to pray for Judy McWhorter’s brother-in-law, Gary Overstreet, he is recovering at Raleigh Court Rehab. Please keep Rob & Gloria Kinney in your prayers. Keep Martha Albert in your prayers while she is in Alabama with family. Megan Downing’s aunt Stacey Smith with ongoing cancer treatments. Also pray for Megan’s grandmother Bonnie Beaver has stage 4 ovarian cancer and surgery is being scheduled. Please pray for Susan Jordan’s Dad he is dealing with health issues. Alan & Joni Beach are requesting prayers and encouragement during this time with Mayo/UVA health journey. Del Bolin’s mom, Carrie health issues. Alisa Flora’s sister, Melanie Gentry, stage three cancer. Please keep whole Family in prayer. Please pray for friends of Keith Wagner, Jo-Ellen and son Joe Griffith both are having health issues. Teryn’s Mother, Brenda Windham cancer, continue to pray for Martha Albert who is in Alabama for a while. Joni Beach’s niece, Jamie Cole. Pray for Wayne & Susan Phelgar to continue to stay safe and healthy. Pray for Debbie McRoy’s cousins, Linda Alsup and Erica Halford. Deanna McRoy has a kind of cancer that can return at any time.
ALSO REMEMBER: Ruby Crosin, Mark & Ellen Tidwell, Donte McCadden, Jess Perkins, Joni and Alan Beach’s fathers, Jim Hunter, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, Tim Elder.
This Sunday Ms. Natalie Kline from the Rescue Mission will be our guest Speaker. She is the Agape After-Care & Wrap Around Care Coordinator for the Roanoke Rescue Mission.
We are Studying the Epistles of John via web conferencing at 7pm. This is an interactive session that can be joined by computer or phone call.
Join Zoom Meeting
Gary is currently in Raleigh Court Rehab. Room 129A
1527 Grandin Rd. SW Roanoke, VA 24015
ONLINE YOUTUBE SERMONS
We continue to provide services online. The Roanoke Church of Christ YouTube channel link below:
The Steering Committee is currently working on the 2021 Budget. They would like your input regarding any projects or mission work that you would like to include.
WELCOME BRIAN & FAMILY
Brian & Andressa Mileti’s new Address: 2739 Gleneagles Rd.
Salem, VA 24153
Brian’s cell Phone: (540) 521- 2112
Andressa’s cell (540) 492-3081
Brian’s office hours will be:
Tuesday through Friday –
9:00am to 3:00pm