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?”
“But you will have to ask forgiveness again? True? So how is that true repentance?”
“All I know is you’re wrong.”
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you receive this via email, don’t forget to set your clock’s back on Saturday.