Roanoke Church of Christ

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“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 27, NO. 31&32 – REALLY?

In the most recent issue of the Christian Chronicle, there was a discussion about guns in Church. You can guess for yourself the expressed feelings. However, one Alabama preacher who was pro-guns in church, (even though he said he mostly left his Ruger locked up in his office when he preached) justified his weapon-carrying by quoting Luke 22, where Jesus said, “…and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” So with gun and scripture in hand, off he rode.
I’ve heard that scripture used that way before, along with the explanation that Jesus knew without him they would need to defend themselves with weapons, in this case, a sword. Jesus’ reason for saying that is ignored. The next words out of his mouth are: “It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” From this statement, the disciples said ,”See Lord, here are two swords.” To which Jesus said, “That is enough.” Enough for what? To protect twelve of them?! No, two were enough to fulfill the prophetic accusation that he was the leader of an insurrection, i.e., “numbered among the transgressors.”
Buy a gun. Buy twenty of them, just don’t feel you have to justify it by finding a scripture to support it.
I find it interesting that Jesus seldom quoted scripture. The one significant time he did he said , “You have heard it said of old….but now I say to you…” Of course, there are those who say Jesus was scripture. That might be, but those who heard him didn’t see it that way.
What about Paul, for example? Neither does he underline his teachings with constant scripture. He even quotes from the Greek poets. While he felt what he taught was authoritative, he never claimed everything he said was backed up by scripture. In I Corinthians 7 he says in v.12 and 25, that he doesn’t have a word from the Lord, but offers his own opinion. In v. 40 he offers his opinion and says, “…and I think that I too have the spirit of God.” Paul is not afraid to say what he believes to be God’s will, even if he has no “Thus says the Lord” to back it up.
Is scripture important? Of course. It is the foundation of our faith. It provides insight as to the nature of God, and the will of God. There’s everything good about taking a text and doing one’s best to extrapolate the meaning from it for our lives. It is another thing to make up one’s mind about what is wanted, and then go looking for scriptures to prove a predetermined outcome, and I’ve done that.
I know I’ve harped on this before, but I see it so often. A person has made a point, or is writing about a subject, and they need to validate what they have said, so they seek a scripture. Is it always wrong? No. Is it always right? No.
Let’s end with a little narrative. Someone attends worship and there is a praise team, which they believe is unscriptural. They inform someone and rather than argue, the person sets them back by asking their forgiveness, which promotes the following: “Are you going to stop using a praise team?”
“No. I just asked your forgiveness for doing so.”
“So you admit it’s wrong.”
“No. I know it offended you and I asked that you forgive us for that.”
“Forgiveness only works when there is repentance, and repentance means to stop that for which you are seeking forgiveness. Anything less than that is not Godly sorrow, as Paul says in II Corinthians 7:10. To ask forgiveness without stopping the offense is not true repentance.”
“Let me get this straight. When you sin, or whatever requires you to ask forgiveness, you always stop doing what you asked forgiveness for?”
“That’s what the Bible says.”
“So you never sin that sin again?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“But you did have Godly sorrow?”
“Yes.”
“But you will have to ask forgiveness again? True? So how is that true repentance?”
“All I know is you’re wrong.”
Keith

CONCERNS: Roger Fisher’s brother, Woody, is under hospice care. Betty Billings is dealing with shingles. Melisha Scruggs’ cousin has been declared cancer free. Remember Join Beach’s parents, and also her aunt, Pat Voss, as well as her niece, Jamie Cole. Gary Overstreet will have open heart surgery on the 5th. Also Jim Hunter, Wayne Phlegar, Bill Albert’s son, David, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, Sandy Blanchard and those caring for her. She is from the congregation Del Bolin grew up. She has cancer and has lost her vision. Kim (Hall’s) friend Mary (MS), Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Jenni Cullum and her friend, Sean, Mary and Jim Smith and Tim Elder.

OUR DAILY BREAD: NOV. 2-7
Monday: John 5:19-47
Tuesday: Philippians 1:19-30
Wednesday: Genesis 7:1-24
Thursday: Lamentations 1:8-16
Friday: Romans 8:12-25
Saturday: Psalm 133, 134
OUR DAILY BREAD: NOV. 9-14
Monday: Psalm46
Tuesday: John 14:1-11
Wednesday: Psalm 23
Thursday: Isaiah 26:1-4
Friday: Matthew 5:1-16
Saturday: I John 2:7-11, 15-17

OUR SYMPATHY
Sue Huel’s died on Friday, October 23 in Kingsport, Tenn. Sue was Betty Foy’s sister and Martha’s aunt. The funeral was Thursday in Richlands, VA.
On Thursday morning the 29th, James Downing’s grandfather died in Charlottesville, VA. He had been in failing health for the last few weeks.
GREAT GRANDMOTHER
Martha Albert became a great grandmother a little over a week ago. Nash Hunter was born to her grandson, Andy and his wife. They live in Alabama.
AWAY
The Wagner’s will be in West Virginia next weekend. Their granddaughter, Melanie is getting married in Huntington, WV. Keith is officiating. Melanie and her husband, Preston, will be living in Jacksonville, Fla. For the time being.
NEEDED
In case you don’t receive email, Jeff and Kirissa Forsyth need a place to stay from December 1 until they relocate to Winston-Salem at the end of February.
Their lease runs out December 1, and they need a short term place to live. If you have any ideas, let them know.
RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE
We have committed to serving the evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House once a month next year. This is a special work which is enjoyed by all who are involved. It is also appreciated very much by those families who have children in the hospital, many of which come from as far away as West Virginia.
FALL BACK
If you receive this via email, don’t forget to set your clock’s back on Saturday.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 27, NO. 29&30 – ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL, EXCEPT WITH TUBE SOCKS

If you’ve decided to read this article, let me say up front that I believe there are things common to all humankind. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll use Maslow’s list. Physiological, Safety, Love-belonging, Esteem, and Self-actualization. If you want an expanded definition look them up.
However, within each of these categories there is room for individual preference. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. Or, gentlemen prefer blonds but marry brunets. You get what I mean. I’m sure there have been studies done, and continuing to be done, on why certain people are attracted to other certain people, and why some are not attracted to those same people. Why do some people chose one vocation over another? Why do we see a particular talent (gift) in one child and not all the siblings? How much does DNA play in all that? So why would we almost insist that people who believe in God, particularly in the teachings of the Bible, all think and feel alike?
Are the individual qualities and desires of one person supposed to be brought in line with the qualities and desires of another? In the area of religion, or “church orthodoxy”, when one person expresses how they live their life, are all the rest supposed to live theirs the same way? Because a religious person likes football and another person thinks it is a waste of time and rather proudly says they’d rather read good books, should those who like football feel less spiritual?
While on vacation years ago, we went to a North Carolina church. We were flying blind, but I knew as soon as I saw the tract rack in the foyer, what to expect. The preacher said, for some reason perhaps known only to him, that when he had to stop his work and take the family on vacation, his idea of a vacation was too take his books and study the Bible. I felt the comment was self-serving. What eldership wouldn’t love to hear that? I thought he should be stoned for working on vacation. I also wondered how many people he made feel they had to be like him to be a super saint?
When it comes to scripture we have the same problem. Paul says he had learned to be content no matter the circumstances. There is certainly a lesson there. But what is it? If you happened to read last Sunday’s paper about the conditions under which many children in the Bristol, Va. live, would you tell them they should learn to be content, even though they do not have food to eat over the weekend? Would you tell the child who comes to school with bruises from the mother, to be content? Would you tell the mother, caught in an abusive relationship, to be content? Other passages can cause the same result, if painted on to cover a deeper issue.
When Paul talked about “modest” clothing, how many times has that been defined by someone according to their hang-ups or standards in a way which indicated those who didn’t agree were somehow sinners? How many times was the culture and the context examined to try to come close to that which Paul was referring?
How many people have read what Paul said about marriage and then defined that to fit themselves and everyone else? In so doing, they set the standard for the rest, making them feel guilty because they don’t feel the same way. I remember a woman who, with three children and a loving husband, said it was better not to be married because of what Paul said in I Cor.7.
I thought about this in the adult class last Sunday morning. Among other things, we talked about forgiveness. A visitor pointed out (as he understood it) that unless we forgive, God would not forgive us. Of course, we all knew the scripture to which he was referring. In my warped mind I was thinking, “Then we’re all in a heap of trouble!” If you think always forgiving others exactly as one should, and of course, asking forgiveness, cleans the slate, what need is there of grace?
Abraham Sirgy said, “What is forgiveness?” The discussion turned to the Amish people who forgave the man who murdered their children in a Pennsylvania town. But Abraham’s question is necessary, what is forgiveness?
In the irony of life, that evening, on 60 minutes, there was a segment about Glenn Ford, a black man freed after thirty years of solitary confinement for a crime he did not commit. The focus was on the prosecutor, Marty Stroud, who tried him. Stroud now says he did it to boost his ego, and that critical evidence was not checked.. He said they even laughed at how easy the case would be. He now sees it as a hole in his life that can never be filled, and it could be seen on his face. A year after Ford was released, he died of lung cancer. No treatment or compensation was awarded him. In the days before Ford died, Stroud went to him and asked his forgiveness for the callous injustice he’d inflicted upon him. Ford refused. You can judge him if you like. Quoting a scripture might even help you make that judgement, but be sure you know what you would do if you were him.
What is forgiveness? Is it a one size fits all? No. Forgiving someone who bumps into you is not the same as forgiving the one who raped and murdered your child. We all know that. Someone who asks forgiveness is much different from someone who says they don’t want or care about receiving it.
I think forgiveness is multifaceted. When we are on the receiving end, we want one size fits all. “You have to forgive me because I asked, and you’re a Christian, and if you don’t God won’t forgive you ever, until you do!” It’s even harder on the giving end.
No one doubts that forgiveness is a healthy thing. But I don’t have a simple, clear-cut answer as to what forgiveness is. What I think I know is amid all the complexities and psychological makeups of humankind, one-sized answers only leave us feeling hopeless and helpless. Maybe it falls into Paul saying to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. . Maybe. Keith

CONCERNS: We’ve learned that Whit Robertson’s brain cancer is now terminal and he is under hospice care. Whit is the teenage son of a good friend of Leena Bolin. They ask prayers that he not suffer. Alisa’s sister, Melanie Gentry will be seeing a specialist soon about her vision and balance problems. Betty Foy was unable to be out and about due to headaches. Her sister, and Martha’s aunt, Sue Huels, is very ill. Hannah, Garrett Lee’s friend, has had something of a relapse with the leukemia and is at Duke. Melisha Scruggs cousin, Autumn, is being treat for brain cancer. Joni Beach’s mother, Betty Voss, as well as her father, are dealing with declining health issues. Joni also asks pray for her aunt, Pat Voss, and her niece, Jamie Cole. Sandy Blanchard is from Del Bolin’s home congregation and is fighting cancer and has lost her sight. Gary Overstreet had open heart surgery on Thursday at RMH. Remember also Woody Fisher, Roger’s brother, Jim Hunter, The
Phlegars, Jim and Mary Smith, Bill Albert’s son, David, Lee Nicklas, Kim (Hall’s) friend, Mary (MS) Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Jenni Cullum and her friend, Sean, Tim Elder and Del Bolin as he finishes his medical work in Honduras

OUR DAILY BREAD: OCTOBER 19-24
Monday: Exodus 14:10-31
Tuesday: Isaiah 2:1-14
Wednesday: Romans 14:1-9
Thursday: John 5:1-18
Friday: Genesis 4:1-18
Saturday Psalm 146:1-10
OUR DAILY BREAD: OCTOBER 26-31
Monday: John 1:35-51
Tuesday: Revelation 1:4-20
Wednesday: I Corinthians 6:7-20
Thursday: Luke 17:11-19
Friday: Philippians 2:1-13
Saturday: Psalm 98:1-9

NEW BABY
Late congratulations to Connie Crites on becoming a grandmother again. Mya Maurer was born to Kelly and Geoff on September 23. The boys are getting use to having a sister in the house.
CONGRATULATIONS
Congratulations to Nick Bolin for making the dean’s list at Virginia Tech. Actually, Nick has made it every year since he started, but this was the first time the local paper published the list.
SUPER SUNDAY
Today is Super Sunday. Among the goodies we will enjoy at the meal will be some of the pork and beef which was frozen after the Bar B Que the last of September. Those of you who were unable to attend, be sure to give it a try
THE PEAKS OF OTTER
Today is also the day some of us go to the Peaks Of Otter for a hike, if you are among the young at heart, and a picnic.
As always, if you are riding the bus, be sure to get there as early as possible. The tickets sell out quickly if the weather is nice. It looks to be sunny and in the mid fifties, but remember, it is cooler up there.
We had twenty-one folks sign up for the picnic, however, if you didn’t and want to join us, please do so.
THANKS
Thanks to Susan Jordan for telling us of her experiences at the Ezell Clinic. Her love of going and helping with the medical work done there by Health Talents has inspired others to plan to go with her next year.
ALSO
Thanks to all of you who have prepared the Sunday evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House lately.
CHEF JEFF
If you don’t get the local paper, the Extra section in Wednesday’s edition featured our own Chef Jeff Bland. It was a great article about Jeff’s accomplishments as well as his choice of a healthy lifestyle that not only produced significant weight loss, but in his view, saved his life.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 27, NO. 27&28 – TO WHOM DOES GOD BELONG?

The obvious answer is “No one.” The answer for some is, “A chosen few.”
Every Sunday (I think) the local paper asks a religious question of local (I think) clergy. Last week’s was if Christians and Muslims worshiped the same God. They also try to get two different views on the asked question.
One guy said “No”. Then he began to point out the differences between Jesus and the teachings of Islam. That was not the question. However, in his answer he defined “Christian” as those who believed, among other things, in the trinity, even saying that to deny the trinity, (an unbiblical term) was to deny Christ and therefore the loss of salvation. I did notice, since I had the feeling that he was of the opinion that the Jewish nation was still the “apple of God’s eye”, that he didn’t say the Jews worshiped a different God because they denied the trinity and Jesus as Messiah altogether. Neither did he start with Abraham, the place where both Jews and Muslims start their faith.
When it comes to who worships the “right” God, it becomes more philosophical than theological. In other words, we make God fit our image of God, as have people from time immortal.
A way to answer the Biblical question of who owns God, would be to ask if the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees worshiped the same God as did Jesus? Did Paul worship the same God as did Jesus? The answer is obviously “yes”. If believing in the trinity is a matter of salvation, why didn’t the Jews have such a doctrine? Was their understanding and interpretation of God’s will the same as Jesus’ and Paul’s? Obviously, “No”.
The question is not whether there are different Gods, but how God is perceived. By the way, some Muslims say Christians worship three Gods because of the idea of the trinity, whereas they only worship the God of Abraham. I’m not sure what the preacher would have said if the question was, “Do Christians who worship Theos, (the New Testament Greek word for God) worship the same Allah, (the Arabic name for God) as the Muslims? And is that the same God (Yahweh, YHWH) of the Jews?” And, is “God” (from the Germanic) the only valid name of all those other names?
I think it would be safe to say that among the world’s major religions, the philosophical traits of the one known as “God”, at the center, would be that God belongs to everyone and everything. Or as Paul would say, “Who is over all and through all and in all.” Eph. 4:6 Which would parallel Luke 6:35, “But love your enemies…Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.” Matthew, in the same context, says, “He causes his sun to rise on the good and the evil and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteousness.”
When I was looking up these passages on the internet, (it’s quicker than using my trusty concordance) I found people taking issue with whether God loved the wicked, and quoted scripture to back it up.
Is God the God of “all flesh”? Of course. Coming from a Biblical background, the heart of the Bible is that God is the source of everything. Upon the arrival of Abraham, the Bible follows his decedents and the promise made to him. However, a promise was also made to Ishmael, and the Muslim people’s history follows him.
The Bible centers on Abraham and Isaac’s decedents. Therefore, it is no surprise that the idea of who God is, is based on the relationship of the Hebrews to God. However, there are places in the Old Testament where the idea that God is the God of all flesh can be seen. Moses has no trouble marrying a Midianite and Cushite. In Amos 9:7 it says, “Are not you Israelites the same to me as the Cushites?” declares the Lord. Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?”
Regardless the “God”, what is seen in the life of the follower reveals the nature of the God they worship. The God of Jesus can be seen in what he said and did. The same is true in the Christian and anyone else.
Keith

CONCERNS: Alisa Flora’s sister, Melanie Gentry is much improved at this time. Melisha Scruggs cousin, Autumn, is being treated for brain cancer. Keep in prayer Joni Beach’s parents ,especially her mother, Betty Voss. Also Joni’s aunt, Pat Voss, and her niece, Jamie Cole. Roger Fisher’s brother, Woody, Jim Hunter, The weather has caused those effected by it to suffer aches and pains. Among them, Susan and Wayne Phlegar and Scott Blessing. Remember Bill Albert’s son, David, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, Sandy Blanchard and those caring for her. She is from the congregation where Del Bolin grew up. She is fighting cancer and has also lost her sight. Kim (Hal’s) friend, Mary, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Jenni Cullum, her friend, Sean and Tim Elder.
OUR DAILY BREAD:
Monday: Psalm 16:1-11
Tuesday: Matthew 20:1-16
Wednesday: Amos 3:12-4:5
Thursday: Hebrews 10:19-39
Friday: Ephesians 5:3-20
Saturday: Psalm 148:1-14
OUR DAILY BREAD:
Monday: I Peter 1:12-25
Tuesday: Psalm 95:1-11
Wednesday: Matthew 14:13-33
Thursday: Romans 12:9-21
Friday: I Timothy 1:12-2:7
Saturday: Psalm 116:1-19

THE BAR B QUE
Thank you to all those who came out and helped prepared the meat from the Bar B Que. Even though it rained off and on all day, the pork, beef and chicken turned out great. We prepared it differently this year and from the amount eaten we seem to have arrived with a plan for next year. Also, thank Jeff Bland for getting the pork and beef for us.
MOVING
Jim and Mary Smith have sold their home in Goodview and will be moving into The Glebe this week. This will bring them closer to Roanoke, their doctors and other confidences. The Glebe is an independent living facility in the Daleville area.
FROM CONNIE CRITES
To all of my dear church family
Where do I begin? You have loved us, cared for us, supported us, prayed with and for us over these last 2 1/2 years of Rich’s illness. Every card, call, visit, offer of food, and encouraging word has meant so much.
Peace and comfort came from knowing Rich suffers no more and is in the arms of Jesus.
Bless all of you for your many expressions of love and kindness.
IT’S OCTOBER
October is the month we have the Peaks of Otter Hike and Picnic. We need to plan now as to how many are interested in going. Of course, as we age, less of us are hiking, or riding the bus. But those who don’t have enjoyed the picnic time together as we see the fall colors start to emerge.
The sign-up list will be out soon so the interest in this event can be assessed.
It will be after the Super Sunday meal on October 18.
EZELL CLINIC REPORT
Susan Jordan has been out of town for several weekends and has been unable to tell us about her week at the Ezell Clinic in Guatemala. As soon as she has the time she will once again share her experiences with us.
LAST CALL
Next Sunday there will be a correction list for the new directory. If you see something on your page that is incorrect, write it down and give it to Keith.