Roanoke Church of Christ

Bimonthly Bulletin

COME, LET US REASON TOGETHER – NEW LIFE BULLETIN – VOL. 28, NO. 34 & 35

The title sounds more serious than what I’m about to say, but it sounds more Biblical than, Let Us Think Together.
My question is how are some things important (God said) at one time, and not important (God said) in another with no scriptural explanation as to why?
Last Sunday I was talking about Peter’s visit to Cornelius, and the vision of the sheet which came from heaven filled with all kinds of animals, both clean and unclean, according to the law. (God said) I quipped that Peter did not remind the angelic voice (God?) that it was not he who decided to call some animals unclean, but Moses. (God)
When did that law change? Jesus never said anything about it, except Mark, writing after the fact, in Mark 7:19, says Jesus declared all foods clean. I did find one Jewish writer who said Jesus wasn’t talking about food, but more-or-less about eating with unwashed hands. If they ate clean “undefiled” food with unwashed hands it was till clean food. I don’t think Mark saw it that way.
The issue in Acts 10 is not food, but people. However, food is used to teach the truth. Peter sees it as about food. He is told to kill and eat. He replies, “Surely not Lord! I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” Peter thinks it’s about food. Before he could decide what to do, the sheet is gone. As Peter ponders all this, the men from Cornelius arrive with the message about their Gentile friend. About this time Peter gets a message from the Spirit (God) which tells him to go with the men. By the way, as best we can tell, they were Gentiles, and yet Peter invites them into the house to spend the night. Somewhere along the line Peter begins to think the sheet is about people, and possibly indirectly also about food.
When Peter arrives at Cornelius’ house, he reminds him “That it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him.” He then says that God (in the sheet thing) had told him that he should not call any man impure or unclean.” Amazing revelation! He also says he now” knows that God accepts men (and women) from every nation who fear God and do what is right.” Double amazing! All kinds of walls started crumbling!
But my first question is, do we believe what Peter believed? And do we qualify it? My second question is, was the sheet about food, people, or both? If it wasn’t also about food, what value did it have? Unclean people also ate unclean food. Unclean food was a deeply rooted teaching from the Law of Moses. (God) Peter’s remark that he’d never defiled himself with unclean food, or unclean people, as in Gentiles, shows it was still a, dare I say, kosher teaching. At what point are we told this Old Testament teaching (by God) had been repealed? As I said, Mark alludes to Jesus doing it, but after the fact. It doesn’t seem Peter understood Jesus as having declared all foods clean. So how does such an ancient and significant law (from God and still maintained by kosher Jews today) get flipped in a matter of moments?
The answer is in Peter’s remark to Cornelius. “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism…” How did Peter come to realize that “truth”? Sure, a close reading of the prophets suggested it, along with Jesus’ sermon in Nazareth, but Peter’s attitude suggests it hadn’t been a repealed (by God) teaching from scripture. And yet he has seen a “truth.” He has seen a truth “beyond the sacred page.” A truth which came in a sheet in a “vision” with some help from the Spirit of God. No chapter and verse. No proof text. Just a vision and God’s spirit. I think we could say Peter had a revelation.
In Romans 8:14ff Paul talks about “those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God.” He adds that the same Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”
What it means for “our” spirit to be “Spirit led” is debatable because of how it is understood, or misunderstood. However, that the Spirit of God is involved with “our” spirit (whatever that is) is a clear conclusion for Paul. And it would also seem that “sons” (children) of God are led by the Spirit of God. The tired and false idea that the Spirit of God is the Bible, thankfully has all but disappeared. Does the Bible lead? Yes. But people who claim to be led by it go off in all directions, and always have.
What does it mean to be led by the Spirit? As I view scripture as a source, it seems to me the most notable moments of Spirit leading have to do with people’s lives. Was Abraham led by the Spirit? Was Moses moved by the Spirit of God in the bush? Were the prophets led by God when they railed against the injustices of the rulers? When it says, “The Lord spoke,” concerning a prophet or anyone, was there always a voice? Or was it that movement (spirit) inside that says to tell the truth?
When it said Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, what was the purpose, and the outcome? The purpose was to sort out what kind of Messiah he would be, and he chose to be the only one that would get God’s message into the world.
Peter had no chapter and verse telling him the food laws of Moses (God) had been dumped. Yet in a vision of a sheet filled with unclean animals and a “vision- voice,” Peter connects with a “truth” and he knows he has to break the law. “It’s against our law for a Jew…” (Acts 10:28)
It is God’s spirit testifying to our spirit that an idea, or “law,” no mater how old and biblical, and started for whatever reason, which destroys the truth Peter realized, must be set aside. You can be sure the Spirit of God never leads anyone to reject someone who fears God and does what is right.
Peter’s experience falls in line with something I keep saying: All Old Testament laws were given for a time and needed situations. Jews stopped selling their daughters. (Ex. 21:7) They stopped having rebellious sons stoned. (Deut. 21:18-21. See David and Absalom. The list could go on and on.
Just imagine what the world would be like if we understood it the way Peter did.
Keith

CONCERNS: Along with the cornea transplant, Judy Hall has had some other health issues to deal with. Erma Williams brother-in-law, Greg Lantz is doing better. Teresa Robertson’s aunt, Patricia Hall is dealing with lymphodema and another aunt, Reva Almond also needs prayers. Remember also these folks, Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones, Teryn Gaynor’s mother, Sheila Jansen and her daughter, Amber Weaver, Marjory Wilson and Melanie Gentry. Joni Beach’s parents health is declining and she is spending time with them in NC. Her aunt, Pat Voss and a niece, Jamie Cole also need prayer. Pray for Wayne Phlegar, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas and Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Stephanie Rigney, Jenni Cullum, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.
OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT 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: SEPT. 25-OCT.1
Monday: John 15:12-27
Tuesday: I Corinthians 13:1-13
Wednesday: John 6:35-51
Thursday: Matthew 17:14-23
Friday: I Peter 5:1-11
Saturday: Psalm 125:1-5

SUPER SUNDAY
Today is Super Sunday. Along with the regular meal we have the leftover bar b que which was frozen after the Labor Day weekend event. Plan to stay for the meal and the fellowship.
THANKS
Wayne Flora will be the worship leader for today’s service. We thank him for his willingness to serve.
NEXT MONTH
The third Sunday service in October will be done by Susan Jordan, in which she will tell us about her week with Ezell Clinic in Guatemala.
REX WHITE
We were saddened to learn of the death of former member, Rex White, who died August 31in Columbia SC. A military burial was scheduled for Fort Jackson is that same city.
RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE
Last Sunday evening was a special time at the Ronald McDonald House. Our own (and Roanoke’s) Chef Jeff Bland and a friend and fellow chef from Florida, provided the evening meal for the guests. From all reports it was a big success with lots of second helpings. Thanks Jeff, and pass it on to your friend.
PEAKS OF OTTER HIKE AND PICNIC
A sign-up list is on the foyer table for this October Super Sunday event. Interest was down a little last year, so let’s be sure our wishes are known as soon as possible as to how many want to continue it.
STEPHANIE DIXON
We received a card from Stephanie addressed to “My sweet church family.” In it she thanks everyone who helped with her move to Sarasota, Fla.
She has now settled in her new place to live (on a golf course) and is working as a private duty nurse.
She says her new church family has “adopted” her as we did, and that they are a loving group of people. The full note is on the foyer table. If you missed her new address in the hand-out it is 6281 Timber Lake Dr. H-5, Sarasota FL 34243

WHAT HAPPENED? – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 28, NO. 32&33

Can we agree that the theology of the Christian church is basically Pauline; meaning the writings of Paul, the apostle of Jesus, set the foundation for the doctrine of the church? That just means when it comes to scripture, we have much more of what Paul said than the others. So when we read the letters of Paul we see the fundamental teachings of Christianity. This is not to reduce the teachings of Jesus. Enough of that has been done already. It has been my experience that people know more about how to do church right than the ethical teachings of Jesus.
So a fundamental question would be: If Paul describes the function and teachings of the Church, where did all the Hell get in? In all of the instructive writings and warnings of Paul, not one time does he mention Hell. If you want to read the best biblically based study on that, get Edward Fudge’s book, The Fire That Consumes.
I’m not going to examine that doctrine. What I want to know is how did Hell become the central, or one of the central doctrines of the preaching and teaching of the Bible.
Let’s face it. We are all heirs of prior teaching. What was taught in the past is passed on and hopefully improved before being passed on to others. Let me say here that the Bible has been stagnated by those who refuse to let its truth keep growing. Even Jesus said, “You have heard it said of old, but I now say…”
But what about Hell? I’m not historian enough to know when the work of Jesus became a fire escape. It may have happened when someone decided the three different words for death and destruction, should be translated into one English word, “Hell.” My guess is that the doctrine of Hell was so entrenched by then that it was more, dare I say, politically correct, to leave the then popular idea intact.
My question is how did Hell become so central in Christian teaching? As I make a quick trip though the Bible, I see the idea of relationship, closeness between the created and the Creator. People were described as “Walking with God.” Before you know it, God sneaks up on Abraham and says, “Let’s take a walk.” You know how that story went. There was a lot of “relating” that went on, all the way to Egypt. And all along the way, folks died and their bones were often taken with them. But everybody who died went to Hell. That is, they went to the Hebrew place of the dead, which is “sheol’. It was a generic term for “the unseen state.” If you read about it, nobody wanted to be left there. Note: The NIV does a very good job translating “Hell” into “the grave” in the OT.
Moses is minding his own business when God decides to draft him. Sure, God uses a burning bush, but it’s not to toast Moses. You know how that story went. All the way through the OT, God just related with people as much as they’d let him. Some of it was bad and some good, but it was all done without Hell, but not without the tragedy of the grave, and what “the place of the dead” could include. Beyond Psalms and Proverbs, only Isaiah and Ezekiel spend time on “sheol.” Amos, Jonah and Habakkuk each mention it once.
The favorite NT word is “Gehenna,” from the Valley of Hinnom, a valley of desecration which had the historical significance of being a place where children had been sacrificed. In Jeremiah it is a place where the dead, animals and people were dumped. If it was still a garbage dump in Jesus’ day is disputable. It was, however, the symbol of a wasted and destroyed life. Matthew, Mark, Luke and James use it that way eleven times. And Mark’s use of Isaiah 66:24 about the unquenched fire and maggots points to the historical knowledge of Gehenna. Matthew, Luke, Acts and Revelation use the Greek “hades” to describe “the unseen world” of the dead. So Jesus says his kingdom will overcome the gates of hell, meaning the result of death. The gospel offers people life instead of death. Paul says the last enemy is death, (I Cor. 15:26) and that eternal life is a gift from God. (Rom. 6:23) Are there consequences for wrong doing and refusing God’s gift? Yes. But what about the kingdom of God being a found treasure, or a dreamed of priceless pearl? Who decided that approach wasn’t good enough? I don’t know, but something valuable was lost in that decision.
The Prodical son returned home, not because the father threatened to kill him if he didn’t. He returned because he realized he’d chosen the wrong life. When we get that right maybe we’ll understand why Paul could teach the good news of God, and even warn people about their deadly choices, without mentioning Hell.
Keith

THOSE TO SERVE-SEPTEMBER
Announcements: Martha Albert
Serve Communion: Connie Crites
Lyn Jordan
Susan Jordan
Mary Willa Foy
Nurseries: Jack Thompson
Usher: Jim White
Communion Care: Williams
Singing: Scripture
4-Scott Blessing Steve Gaynor
11-Del Bolin AC Fuller
18-Scott Blessing Debbie McRoy
25-Karen Branch Mark McRoy
Communion: Nursery:
4- Abraham Sirgy Alisa Flora
11-Wayne Flora Debbie McRoy
18-Abraham Sirgy Holly Wagner
25-Mike Branch Megan Downing
PLEASE CONTACT ERMA WILLIAMS IF YOU CANNOT SERVE

SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAYS: 13-Joanne Elder 25-Mark McRoy 25-Judy McWhorter 29-AC Fuller

CONCERNS: Zona Fisher is recovering well at home after gal bladder surgery. Judy Hall is recovering from a cornea transplant. Erma Williams brother-in-law, Greg Lantz is having issues requiring surgery. Teresa Robertson’s aunt, Patricia Hall is suffering from lymphodema, another aunt, Reva Almond also needs prayers. Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones, Melisha Scruggs cousin, Teryn Gaynor’s mother as she recovers from cancer. Sheila Jansen and her daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjory Wilson and Melanie Gentry. Joni Beach’s parents, as well as an aunt, Pat Voss, and a niece, Jamie Cole. Jim Hunter is doing much better. Wayne Phlegar is still rather shut in. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Stephanie Rigney, Jenni Cullum, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 5-10
Monday: Daniel 16:6-28
Tuesday: Mark 4:26-41
Wednesday: Psalm 136;1-26
Thursday: Matthew 7:1-6
Friday: Acts 23:11-35
Saturday: Psalm 115:1-21
OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 12-17
Monday: I Peter 1:1-11
Tuesday: Luke 2:1-10
Wednesday: Proverbs 2:1-15
Thursday: Romans 15:1-13
Friday: I Thessalonians 5:1-11
Saturday: Psalm115:1-18

THE BAR B QUE
There is always some risk writing about an event before it happens, which is the case here. However, at this point the weather looks iffy, so we’ll deal with it. KW decided to try beef short ribs instead of brisket this year. The brisket can be a little stringy, even if cooked a long time, so a change was made. If it didn’t work we’ll make it right next year.
Also a big thanks to those who came early to pull the pork and chicken. And especially those who brought all the fixens to make the meal wonderful.
We always seem to have leftovers, and they will be enjoyed by anyone who would like to stay after the Sunday service. All the rest will be frozen and eaten on Super Sunday.
AN INVITATION
Judy and Bud McWhorter celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last month. Their daughters are honoring them with a celebration on Saturday, September 10th in the annex. They have invited us to join them in this occasion. The time is 7:00 PM. The only present to bring is your presence.
LOOKING GOOD!
We’ve been pointing out how good the area above the disabled parking area looks since Roger Fisher took it on as a project. The property line up there is not well marked, but Roger talked to the neighbor at the adjoining property and he said he would like to see all of the brush and undergrowth gone. He even worked on the area near his yard.
This has been a forgotten area and it needs t be finished. The weather has been hot, but let’s plan a Saturday this month when it cools down to finish cleaning up what is left. And thank Roger for getting this going.
SUSAN JORDAN
Susan Jordan will be away for the next three weekends. She will give us her report on her week at the Ezell Clinic on Super Sunday
THANKS
As we develop the visual technology your feedback concerning font size, background color and other helpful ideas are improving our worship each Sunday.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – NO. 30&31 – THE BIBLE SAYS

I may have written an article using this title before, but when you’ve written as many as I have you tend to forget. On the other hand it might be just a sequel.
The Bible is the most quoted and misquoted book in the world. It is mostly used to undergird an already held position or idea. Seldom is it quoted in such a way as to create investigation and dialogue. It is the nail that nails down a point, and therefore the point becomes solid and untouchable, because the Bible says.
This use of scripture has been deeply rooted for years in some methods of preaching. I remember a man telling me a preacher should never say, “I think”, when it came to preaching. He should always say, “The Bible says’ and then read or quote a scripture. All this somehow meant he was preaching the truth.
When I first moved to Roanoke in 1988, I inherited a bulletin mailing list. I just sent out the bulletin using that list. It went to many of the general area Churches of Christ. One article ticked off a local preacher and he challenged me to a debate. He printed the challenge and the article in a little journal he sent out to several states. A preacher in WV wrote a rebuttal to my article in which he stated with great indignation that I had not quoted one scripture to prove my point, therefore, my article had no merit. He was right about the scripture, the merit was a matter of taste. In other words, attach a scripture to it and you can say anything and it is true, at least if you agree with the writer and others like him.
For example, in a letter to the editor a few days ago, a writer said Donald Trump was right to build a wall between the US an Mexico because Nehemiah told the people to build the wall around Jerusalem. I know, I tore at my clothing too as I read that. However, it is one of hundreds of examples where scripture, is attached to a biblical/political position. “You can’t be a Christian and be a Democrat.” “You can’t be a Christian and be a Republican .” Both read the same Bible, both quote it and yet they reach different conclusions. Why? If one is more Christlike than the other, why? What is Christlikeness? The answer will depend on our preconceived, comfortable ideas, usually backed up by scripture.
I also realize that in writing about this, I am putting myself in the position of saying I have the answer. Well, I’m trying.
As I see it, quoting scripture to prove a point, or assuming it will change someone’s mind, is largely a fantasy, unless there is an atmosphere of open dialogue and investigation. When was the last time you read a letter to the editor that said, “Wow! Billy Bob’s quoting of scripture changed my mind and blew me away!”?
What does change a person’s mind? Emotion. All thoughts come from and carry with them emotion. In fact “emotion” comes from the French, “disturb”. That being true, we think and act out of our emotional disturbances. Reason has little to do with emotion. Even if we feel we have made a reasonable choice (and it might be) the source for the choice is emotional. Some feeling inside us makes the decision seem rational. If it is will be determined by the outcome.
When Luther saw the abuses of the Catholic priesthood, it had nothing to do with who knew and could quote the most scripture. It was about an emotional response to what was seen as a violation of human dignity, and in Luther’s case, God. This is true of every reformer, social or religious.
But the question still remains: What can cause our emotions (minds) to change? How is it that someone can be hardened against an idea or concept, and then become completely for it? Not everyone gets blinded on the Damascus road. Is it education? Is it learning about the person or thing which is seen as something to be feared? Yes. By the way, fear is probably the strongest emotion, next to love. Let me insert a scripture here and let it mean whatever you think it means. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (I John 4:18) Without applying the text, is it fair to say in any situation, fear and love are conflicting emotions? It seems they are.
Removing this from a Biblical context, would it still be true? Yes, in any context. Even Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is based on feeling safe and secure, and loved, the opposite of being afraid. So if fear is the emotion which motivates the person, will love change fear to love? That’s the question. When it does it is usually by seeing love in action. Face to face as it were. To that extent, love is a force. It is the force which has changed the world for the better throughout history. It is a mysterious, invisible force or wind/breath that moves humankind forward and deeper and deeper into the power of love. That force, wind, breath, is the word for spirit. There is a spiritual force that breaths into humankind a spirit/power to better the world around it in every field of study. It is the force that moves inside us to demand that we see others as equals. It is the force which disturbs us in areas of inequality, discrimination and hatred. It is the force in every time and place that demands justice and mercy. It is the force that freed the slaves. It is the force that gave women the right to vote, as well as equality in all fields. It is the force that broke down walls of racial and national separation. It is a force that cannot be quoted into someone. It is a force that disturbs or does not disturb, until the person yields or refuses to yield to its force. In poetic terms it is described in Genesis as the creative force (wind/spirit) of God. It is the restless force that has brought about every change which love demands in all of history. It is a never-ceasing wind which blows humanity toward peace and harmony. Just stand on the mountaintop of history and see how many destructive, unjust and hateful things this force has blown away. It is the force of the Spirit of God.
Keith

CONCERNS: Teresa Robertson’s aunt, Patricia Hall (lymphodema) and her aunt, Reva Allmond. Judy Hal had a cornea transplant on Wednesday and is doing fine. Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones, Melisha Scruggs cousin; Teryn Gaynor’s mother; Sheila Jansen and her daughter, Amber Weaver; Marjorie Wilson (cancer) Melanie Gentry is recovering from a stroke; Joni Beach’s parents, her aunt Pat Voss, and a niece, Jamie Cole. Jim Hunter has been able to get back to work a little . Wayne Phlegar, David Albert, Lena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, deana McRoy, Stephanie
Rigney, Jenni Cullum, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 22-27
Monday: II Thessalonians 1:2-12
Tuesday: Matthew 1:18-25
Wednesday: John 2:1-11
Thursday: I Thessalonians 1:2-10
Friday: II Timothy 2:1-11
Saturday: Isaiah 40:1-11
OUR DAILY BREAD: AUG. 29-SEPT. 3
Monday: Matthew 2:1-12
Tuesday: Matthew 2:13-23
Wednesday: Genesis 31:36-50
Thursday: Acts 9:19b-31
Friday Psalm 122:1-9
Saturday: Psalm 140:1-13

SUPER SUNDAY
Today is Super Sunday. If you are a visitor it means we will have a fellowship meal in the annex following the service. You are invited to be our guest for that meal.
STEERING COMMITTEE
Even though several of the committee are away, there are still a few items that need to be touched on. Among them are thoughts and ideas on how to use and improve the visual technology we are now using.
The meeting will be in the library following the meal.
Concerning the use of the video screens, last Sunday was our maiden voyage and we can thank Erma Williams for her work on that. We will need to train others to help when she is gone.
THE ANNUAL LABOR DAY WEEKEND BAR B QUE
A sign-up list has been placed on the foyer table for the bar b que. Please let it be known if you plan to attend, and your preference of chicken, pork, or both. As always, the meat will be provided, all the rest is o be brought by those attending. The time for the meal is around 4:00PM. If you can arrive earlier and help set up and pull the pork, please let Keith know.
ROGER FISHER’S PROJECT
If you drive up Carlton and look at the area above the handicapped parking you will see a major improvement in the bushy section on the hill. Roger has been working on this off and on, and it’s time to bring in some help to clear the small trees and undergrowth. As far as the property line is concerned, the neighbor up the hill would like to see it all cleared out as well. Let’s plan a Saturday to finish it.
ABOUT US
Susan Jordan and her fellow travelers are back from the Ezell Cline in Guatemala. We look forward to her report. Vivian Dugan will be spending a few weeks with her daughter on the coast.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – Vol. 28, NO. 27&28 – CAN A NINEVITE GO TO HEAVEN?

The book of Jonah may be the most significant book in the Old Testament, as well as in scripture. It’s a wonder it made it into Old Testament canon. It would seem the appeal was so great that to not include it would have been a denial of God-breathed truth.
As a child listening to the story of Jonah, I had no knowledge that Ninevah was in Arab country. I also found that the folks in that area, especially in Nineveh, were rather barbaric. They beat the stuffings out of Israel about any time they wanted. So we can understand why Jonah would not want anything good for Nineveh. I’ll leave it up to the honest reader to make modern day comparisons.
I realize there is no strong doctrine of an afterlife in the Old Testament. Notice I said “strong.” So my concern is more about justification. Can a Ninevite (and anybody else) be justified (saved) by God? If so, how? How were the Ninevites “saved”? After Jonah’s delightful message of “Forty days from now, Nineveh will be destroyed” reached the king’s ears, the king put on sackcloth, sat in the dirt and made this proclamation: “Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything: do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.” (NIV) They did and it worked, even if Jonah didn’t want it to.
That’s it?! That’s all?! What about the Sabbath? God rested on the seventh day and it seems all humankind was to do the same, so what about the Ninevites? Did they have to keep the Sabbath? Was the Sabbath just a Hebrew thing? What about all the other things in the Law of Moses which had to be done or avoided to please God? If there were things which were universally abominations to God, wouldn’t anyone who violated them commit abomination? Did the Ninevites have to observe the food laws? Not according to Jonah. It says, “When God saw that the people had stopped doing evil things, he had pity on them and did not destroy them.”
Jonah’s response is, “You are a kind and merciful God, and you are very patient. You always show love, and you don’t like to punish anyone, not even foreigners.” Who was a foreigner? Anyone who was not an Israelite, or convert.
What did the Ninevites get? Covenant? Reprieve? Relationship? Reprieve, yes, as long as they stopped doing evil. Was that a covenant? “I will not destroy you as long as you do good.” What about relationship? “You are a kind and merciful God, you always show love.” Did that mean they went to heaven if they continued to avoid evil? Or just safety from being destroyed? Take your pick. What “evil” were they guilty of, or was it the ‘general’ evil of humanity?
Question: Does what worked for the Ninevites still work for anyone, regardless who they are? If not, why not?
What about Amos 9:7? “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?”Did these people of other “exoduses” keep Hebrew law? If not, what law were they judged by?
The prophets were the first reformers of Hebrew theology. They were the ones who saw God as did Jonah. Hosea attacks the sacrificial system, the foundation of Israel’s obedience to God, and says for God, “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” (6:6)
Reading the prophets it is clear that God is seen as judging all people for their evil ways, and not just the Hebrews. When that judgement took place it had nothing to do with a failure to keep Hebrew laws such as the Sabbath, or laws of purity. It had to do with a lack of knowing who God was, and therefore giving themselves to idolatry and the results of the evil practices of that belief
Paul, in Romans 2, says “When Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law , they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.“
Those natural things were not the law of Moses, they were what the Ninevites knew to do to be what God wanted them and all of us to be. That’s what saves us.
Keith

CONCERNS: Teresa Robertson has asked our prayers for her aunt, Patricia Hall, and another aunt, Reva Almond. Melisha Scruggs asks prayers for her cousin. Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones. Teryn Gaynor’s mother has finished her cancer treatments. Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, (cancer) Melanie Gentry is recovering from a stroke. Joni Beach’s parents both have health issues. Also her aunt, Pat Voss, and a niece, Jamie Cole. Jim Hunter had a good report last week. He’s getting stronger each day. Wayne Phlegar, David Albert, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, Ray and Darnell Barns, and Gil Richardson. Deana McRoy, Jim and Mary Smith, Jenni Cullum and Tim Elder.
OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 8-13
Monday: Daniel 5:17-28
Tuesday: Matthew 13:44-52
Wednesday: I Samuel 17:41-54
Thursday: Psalm 70:1-5
Friday: Matthew 7:13-29
Saturday: Psalm 1:1-15
OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 15-20
Monday: John 4:27-42
Tuesday: Ecclesiastes 11:1-10
Wednesday: Psalm 86:1-17
Thursday: Genesis 3:8-21
Friday: II Timothy 3:1-17
Saturday: Psalm84:1-12

OUR WOMAN IN GUATEMALA
If we ever had an ambassador to Guatemala, it would be Susan Jordan. Working a week each year at the Ezell Clinic has become her passion. So passionate is she about this medical mission work, that this year her sister and two teacher friends went with her, at their own expense!
Pray for their safety and that these new workers will catch the fire of service that everyone who has gone has experienced. We look forward to hearing from them when they return.
THE MEDIA PROGRESS
Everything is installed to enable the display of the words and music from our hymnals. The PowerPoint songs should be here by next Sunday. In a test run, after James Downing installed the equipment, the display was clear and readable from all parts of the room. (Thanks James)
As we learn more about what we can do, our hope is to display the announcements before the service starts (hard copies of the order of worship will still be available) and the call to worship. Also, the sermon text can be displayed to make it easier to follow as it is read. The system is wireless and can be operated from a laptop or some ipads. In some cases the song leader may decide to control the display, in other cases there will be a media person(s) taking care of that
THE ANNUAL BAR B QUE
Saturday, September 3rd is that date for this year’s Bar B Que. A sign-up sheet will be on the table in the foyer. It is important to let it be known if there is enough who will be in town, or are interested in doing it. Please let your feelings be known as soon as possible.
CORRECTION
T. J. And Judy Hall are now looking at a home in Clemmons NC, not Mocksville as stated before. Pray for them as they make this move. More details about the time will come later.
THE BOLINS
The Bolins are on a family vacation to England before the boys go back to school. With the unrest in Europe, keep them in your prayers. Among others, the Foys are on vacation at Niagra Falls and the Gaynors in Gatlinburg.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 28, NO. 25&26 – FAITH

In the book of Hebrews it says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” In the context it has to do with those believers who were on the verge of not believing. If you read chapter 11, you might end up with the idea that the writer, in telling all those stories of faithful and trusting people, is also telling his readers since those people had faith, we should also have it just as they did. Perhaps that’s what the writer has in mind, but simply reading or hearing about another person’s “faith” does not necessarily make our search easier. While an individual’s act of faith may inspire us, each of us lays the foundation for our own.
I know most of the usual examples used to “prove” faith, trust, or belief, all of which have the same root meaning. I know about having faith that the plane will fly, and that the rope will hold, and that the father will catch the child when it jumps, and the bridge won’t fall. But in each of these cases, the plane, the rope, the father, and the bridge, can be seen. That’s different than faith in the unseen. So when we talk about faith it is generally connected to God, which is faith in the unseen. The Hebrew writer says faith is “being certain of what we don’t see.” It would be easy to shut the book and say “There it is. Simple as can be.” However, I think the experience of faith is much more involved than that. It seems not to be something we have, but something that has us. It becomes the foundation on which we build our lives and attempt to understand the meaning of life.
To that extent, the believer and the nonbelieiver are alike. We all want to understand what it means to be alive. We might even philosophically ask if what we are is life? How do we know? Who decided to call it “life?” What does it really mean to be alive? Of course, it means not being the opposite of what is defined as life. Let’s leave that to the philosophers. However, there are universal questions about the meaning of human existence.
Descartes’ famous”I think, therefore I am” comes to mind. If you want your head to turn completely around exorcism-stye, read comments on his statement. However, it does pretty much express our explanation for who we are. “I think, therefore I am.”
Since we think, we also question. We wonder about life. Is there any purpose to it? Are we just a meaningless speck of evolutionary dust that happened to develop a higher thought process than the other specks? If so, is that a good thing? Might we not be better off without becoming human life? We have no control over that. That’s life as humans know it. We are faced with continuing questions that demand answers. That is the wonder of being human. We humans are the ones who discover and create. We are the ones who refuse to accept things as they are, but reach for a better understanding of our purpose, if we believe we have one.
What prompts us to ask if life has meaning? And, what is “Meaning?” At what point did humans think life should have a meaning and purpose?
The answer to that, for some people, is plain and simple, it came from God in the beginning. And all believers, regardless if they believe the story of Eden is literal, or if it expresses our existence in ancient terminology, believe that at some point human beings became, for lack of a better word, “human.” And the longer these human beings existed, the more challenges they faced and answered. Each step they took led them to a new opportunity. Each new opportunity led them to new questions to be answered. The foundation under their feet shook, and the area above them brought heat and water and loud sounds. They wanted to know why. It could only be something bigger and more powerful than they. So these strange powers above them and the shaking below them became the power over their lives, at least at that point in time. It would be called by many names, but the most common would be “God,” although that is not the actual Biblical word. It is interesting that with all the controversy over the name “God”, that the word’s origin is ambiguous. It seems to come from the Germanic-European word for “the called upon.” And “the called upon” took on many identities.
The passing of time and increased wisdom and knowledge, reduced much of the superstition. The important questions now came from deep within. They began to ask about the meaning of life. Was there a higher purpose for them as “humans”?
While the natural inclination of procreation was there, humans found something more. In every culture and language they developed a word we commonly call, “love.” Did they wonder where this feeling originated? I’m sure they did, and you can read about it all throughout history. More than wondering about it, they decided it was the highest of all “human” traits. Jesus may be the best-known person to say, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,” (Jn. 15:13) but others had expressed the thought before him. In fact, those who asked about the meaning of life, nearly always included the wonder of human sacrificial love. In fact, human love will make a person give their life even for a stranger.
So faith in a Creative Force (God) that is unseen, can have its origin in what is seen. It can ask the meaning of love, and conclude that love, while undeniable, is beyond any physical explanation. They can decide it is the foundation for living with meaning and purpose. Since it is undeniable, what is its source?
The person who chooses faith in God, amid all the things to the contrary, can build on the thought expressed in I Jn. 4:8, “God is love.” Because they also know in some way that love is God. Believing that may not answer every challenge or question, but it can provide a foundation for a life of faith
Keith.

CONCERNS: Teresa Robertson has asked prayers for her aunt, Patricia Hall, who has lymphodema. Melisha Scruggs asks prayers for her cousin. Remember also Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones, Teryn Gaynor’s mother (cancer treatment) Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson (cancer) Melanie Gentry, Joni Beach’s parents, as well as her aunt, Pat Voss and a niece, Jamie Cole. Jim Hunter is doing better. Wayne Phlegar, David Albert, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas. Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Jim and Mary Smith, Jenni Cullum and Tim Elder.

OUR DAILY BREAD: JULY 18-23
Monday: Ezekiel 16:1-22
Tuesday: I Corinthians 14:1-12
Wednesday: Philippians 3:2-21
Thursday: Luke 9:46-50
Friday: Luke 6:17-26
Saturday: Psalm 124:1-8
OUR DAILY BREAD: JULY 25-30
Monday: I Peter 1:1-11
Tuesday: Luke 2:1-10
Wednesday: Proverbs 2:1-10
Thursday: Romans 15:1-13
Friday: I Thess. 5:1-11
Saturday: Psalm 115:1-18

CONGRATULATIONS
Too late for the last bulletin, but God’s blessings, our best wishes and congratulations go to Ben Robertson and Teresa Wilcox with regard to their marriage on July 1st. Wayne Phlegar did the honors at the Phlegar’s home in Salem.
SUPER SUNDAY
Today is Super Sunday, which means there is a fellowship meal following the service. As the third Sunday, it is also the Sunday arraigned by a member of the steering committee. Today’s service has been planed by Mike Branch.
SPEAKER NEXT SUNDAY
As the Wagners return from their vacation, next Sunday’s speaker will be Wayne Flora. Thank you Wayne for filling in.
THANKS
If you look up Carlton to the area above the handicapped parking, you will notice a very nice improvement in the brushy area up the hill. This area has needed tending for years. Roger Fisher has been working on it and there is a major difference. It’s been a real work in progress. Thanks Roger. ALSO: Mike Branch did some trimming around the front porch and steps. Thanks Mike.
WEST VIRGINIA AIDE
Roger Fisher delivered all the aide materials to his friend, who then filled a trailer with ours and other’s materials and took it to the flooded areas in West Virginia. By the way, there is no more need for bottled water. It is being sent to rescue missions. Also, no clothing. If you missed out, see Roger and find out if his friend is going again, and what they need.
PREPARING TO RELOCATE
T. J. And Judy Hall have decide it is time for them to relocate nearer their sons in North Carolina. They are looking around Mocksville, which will put them about and hour in between Perry and Joey. They will be with us for awhile as the details are worked out.
STEERING COMMITTEE
Depending on the need, the steering committee may or may not meet today after the Super Sunday meal. There may be interest in the progress of our media upgrade. If there is a need, a meeting will be called.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 28, NO. 23&24 – 21st Century Jesus

Let’s start out by admitting that we all make Jesus in our own image. If you deny that you are fooling yourself.
Perhaps it is impossible not to, after all, even those who knew him did it. However, they had a better reason, in my opinion. They were looking for the promised Messiah that the prophets had promised God would send to restore Israel.
I’m not talking as much about that as I am the struggle to see Jesus as relevant in today’s world. Because of the time difference between Jesus and us, we tend to interpret him in our culture. Various literary attempts at this have been tried. The Man Nobody Knew was one, and Joshua was the latest, as far as I know. The Man Nobody Knows was an attempt to recreate Jesus in his own time, as a salesman who was physically fit as he assembled a crack sales crew. He is seen as going home to his upstairs bedroom and looking at his childhood things, as if Jesus had a middle class home.
Most of this ” husky” view of Jesus has come from the emaciated, medieval Jesus of the middle ages. No one wants a wimp for a Messiah. The problem is it assumes that physical strength is the most effective strength. History would prove otherwise. Gandhi was a small man who changed the world around him. The Dali Lama is a respected figure when it comes to peace and moral living. The list could go on, but we all want a Jesus who fits our needs.
Developing a physical picture of Jesus is not a major deal. What is a major deal is reading the teachings of Jesus and then bending them to fit our wishes. To tell the truth, as I view the “Christian” world, I see a vast variety of Jesus images. Which of them are right, or at least closer to the real thing than the others? To answer that I suppose we would have to know the real Jesus. I don’t mean to actually live back then, but to know the Jesus revealed in scripture, which most Christians think they do.
As for me, I know what I have been taught influences me, especially in the areas where Christians have different views. For example, my background was more conscientious objection when it came to war. However, my brother served in the army, and so did other Christian friends. If you know the debate over that, you know, as always, a good amount of scripture was used on both sides.
How do we deal with Jesus today? I saw a depiction of Jesus (head and shoulders) standing behind a child of six or seven, teaching the child how to fire a handgun. My assumption was it was satire, and while it may have been, does it depict a modern understanding of how Jesus would live in today’s world? If you’re reading this on line, please don’t quote scripture or tell me your opinion, either way. I’m not taking an opinion poll. As I’ve said before, scriptural arguments solve little to nothing once the mind is made up.
You see, I’m caught in the dilemma of Jesus as much as anyone. What am I to do with “You have heard that it was said,’Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who want to borrow from you.” ? (Matt. 5:38-42)
Obviously our first thought is to fit these words into a historical framework. How much of it had to do with marshal law, i.e., the Roman government, and did it apply to all “evil” persons, or just those who would insult you? It is at this point we may be serious, but we are in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water. We end up with little to nothing of what Jesus meant.
I think the hardest thing about being a Christ-follower is to find the nature of God in Jesus and then let that mold us, rather than we molding it to fit our wants and desires. Maybe it’s what Paul said when he wrote, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection. (Phil. 3:10)
Keith

CONCERNS: Martha Foy’s uncle is doing better. Teresa Wilcox asks our prayers for her aunt, Patricia Hall, and her brother, Michael Wilcox, who is having heart issues. Melisha Scruggs asks prayers for her cousin. Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones; Teryn Gaynor’s mother (cancer treatment) Sheila Jansen and her daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, (cancer) Melanie Gentry, Joni Beach’s parents, and her aunt, Pat Voss and a niece, Jamie Cole. Jim Hunter, Wayne Phlegar, David Albert, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas. Sandy Blanchard has died. Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

OUR DAILY BREAD: JULY 4-9
Monday: I Samuel 16:1-13
Tuesday: Mark 15:1-20
Wednesday: Luke 12:1-12
Thursday: I John 2:11-24
Friday: I Peter 4:1-19
Saturday: Saturday: Psalm 11:1-7
OUR DAILY BREAD: JULY 11-16
Monday: Psalm 119:57-72
Tuesday: Matthew 12:38-50
Wednesday: James 1:19-27
Thursday Jonah 3:1-4:11
Friday: Romans 6:1-23
Saturday: Psalm 113:1-9

CELEBRATION
Jim and Mary Smith will be celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary this month. Their children, Donna and PJ are hosting a reception in their honor on July 16th at the Botetourt Room at the Glebe, from 2:00 & 4:00 PM. They have invited us to join them in the celebration. No need to RSVP, and no gifts please.
The invitation and welcome note is on the table in the foyer
THE TELEVISIONS
As you will see when you enter the auditorium, the TVs have been mounted o the wall. Thanks to James Downing and Mike Branch, with help from Del Bolin and KW they are in place. They will not be functional until all the necessary equipment is assembled and hooked up. When ready they will serve as a virtual song book with the words and music from the pew hymnals. Therefore, the hymnals may be used as well. The set up also allows us to uses other songs via a very reasonable copyright licence. The morning text can be displayed so it can be followed. As we learn more, some announcements will scroll before the service starts, as well as the prayer list.
AWAY
Keith and Jo Wagner will be on vacation, along with the Downings from July 16th through July 24th. Todd and his family, as well as Hope and Jerry will be joining them at the beach. The first Sunday they will be gone is the third Sunday, so the service will be planned by one of the steering committee. The second Sunday’s speaker will be announced.
THE SALE
The “yard” sale went well, and thanks to Erma Williams, a number of left over things from past VBS programs were sold by her. Thanks to Megan Downing for doing the advertising and signs.
GOOD NEWS
Alan Beach has returned from his check-up at the Mayo Clinic and everything is fine. He and Joni have been spending time in North Carolina helping with her parents, and they helped Alan’s parents relocate to North Carolina.
WEST VIRGINIA AID
Roger Fisher has a friend who is taking supplies to flooded WV. Roger will take them to the man. We’ll talk about this on Sunday.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 28, NO. 21&22 – BY WHAT AUTHORITY?

When you read the Bible through as the Sunday morning adult class has been doing, questions develop . When it is read without chapters and verses, the questions may be easier to see. This is what the class has been doing with the first part of the Old Testament from the NIV.
Few, if any readers do this without some prior knowledge or influence. In other words, we already know what is there, or at least we think we do. This may not come from actual reading, but from sermons and other things we’ve heard.
For example, when the elders of Israel decided they didn’t 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 he 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 it’s 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 seen as 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. In spite of everything else, the everlasting nature of God is in both testaments. Love God, love your neighbor as you love your self. 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.
Keith

CONCERNS: Martha Foy’s uncle, Ronnie Gentry is recovering from a severe heart attack. Teresa Wilcox asks prayers for her aunt, Patricia Hall, who has lymphodema, and her brother, Michael Wilcox, who has serious heaart issues. Teresa has also had some minor surgery. Melisha Scruggs asks prayers for a cousin. Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones has heart problems. Teryn Gaynor’s mother continues cancer treatment. Sheila Jansen and her daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson (cancer), Melanie Gentry, Joni Beach’s parents, as well as her aunt, Pat Voss and a niece, Jamie Cole. Jim Hunter, Wayne Phlegar, David Albert, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, Sandy Blanchard is now in hospice care. Ray and Darnell Barns, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

OUR DAILY BREAD: JUNE 20-25
Monday: Psalm 119:25-48
Tuesday: Matthew 4:1-20
Wednesday: I Corinthians 1:10-31
Thursday: Galatians 5:1-25
Friday: Daniel 3:13-30
Saturday: Colossians 1:3-20
OUR DAILY BREAD: JUNE 26-JULY 2
Monday: Genesis 2:15-3:7
Tuesday: Exodus 4:1-17
Wednesday: Hebrews 11:1-18
Thursday: Ephesisns 4:17-32
Friday: II Corinthians 4:7-18
Saturday: Psalm 47:1-9

THE BULLETIN
As you can see, the bulletin looks different. This is because the copy machine is beyond repair, and until we decide on a course of action, the bulletin will be printed on the printer in the office. The steering committee will be looking into how to proceed. The old copier was given to us by Cole & King when they bought a new one when Stephanie Dixon worked there. It served us well, but parts are no longer available.
SUPER SUNDAY
Today is Super Sunday. As always, it also falls on Father’s Day. There will be some folks gone this weekend, but if you are staying in town, plan to attend. This can be a double treat for dad. If you want to treat dad to a restaurant meal, do it on some evening this week.
STEERING COMMITTEE
Any members of the steering committee who are available after the fellowship meal will meet briefly to be informed about the copy machine replacement situation.
YARD SALE
There will be a yard sale here on Saturday. Any members who would like to be involved are welcome. It may be both an inside/outside sale, depending on items and space. It would be a good idea to bring your sale items on Friday evening because people get in a hurry to find bargains early. The start time will be 7AM. Megan and James are out of town today, but if you need information, give them a call.
THE YARD
If you travel up Carlton you can tell work has been done on the area above the handicapped parkingg area. Roger and Mitch Fisher worked there last week. Then our yard man moved it to the curb. Thanks Roger and Mitch!
SYMPATHY
As was announced last week, we were saddened to learn of the sudden death of Alan Beach’s brother from complications from an artery stent placement. He lived in Albuquerque, NM. He is to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Remember this family in your prayers.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 28 – NAS (Nadab and Abihu Syndrome) or How to Sink an Ark

Just about anyone who has gone to church has been warned not to end up like Nadab and Abihu, the son’s of Aaron, who were toasted because they offered “strange fire” before the Lord. (Lev10:1,2)
Therefore, if we do anything “strange” (unauthorized by direct command, necessary inference or example) we will also be toast. The parentheses is, for many, the divine method of hermeneutics.
Along with NAS we also have the issue of “gopher wood” and the ark. (NIV “cypress” with a footnote that the Hebrew meaning is uncertain.) Somehow, out of this came all those sermons which said if Noah had used one board that was not gopher wood, the ark would have sunk. In other words, like Nadab and Abihu, there would be “strange” wood on board.
Lots of explanations about Nadab and Abihu’s demise have been offered. Among them, that they went into the Holy of Holies where they couldn’t go. Or they made their own fire, rather than using the coals from the ever-burning fire in the tent. Or, all of the above and they were drunk. See Lev 10:8. I would like to add to that the idea that what they did had an Egyptian flavor to it, i.e., a tinge of idolatry. No evidence of that, except anything Egyptian was cursed. This is not an article about all that, but about fear.
Last week a woman stopped by the office to leave her business card. She is a long-time member of the Church of Christ in the area. She and her family worship in Montgomery county, even though they live in Roanoke county. No big deal. Except she told me why. It was based on the constant preaching that just about everything is sinful.
She said (in so many words) she got tired of constantly feeling guilty because she didn’t feel the way she thought she was supposed to. She said fear of being wrong undergirded everything. We had a nice conversation.
Thinking about our talk, I wondered why we start in the Old Testament to understand the nature of God instead of with Jesus, or Paul.
There is not enough room here for all of what Paul would say, but surely we could start with his teaching on grace. We could think about, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Or Romans 8:31-39.
In the gospels we could start with Jesus stating that the commandment on which all the others rested, was the great one about loving God, neighbor and self. Or in Luke 6:35 where Jesus says God “is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” Then we could point out how Jesus treated “sinners” just as he treated everyone else, and how John said ,”God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (Jn. 3:17) We might even say the “through him” means a world in the dark about God, will see God as
God is, through Jesus.
Then there are the prophets. Let’s stop at Hosea 6:6 where we find, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” We might ask if that “strange fire” sacrifice was not really wanted, why not a little mercy on Nadab and Abihu?
I really like Isaiah 56:3-5 where it says eunuchs (those rendered impotent) will be welcomed in the Messianic kingdom with a memorial better than many children. Moses may have turned over in his grave. See Lev. 21:20 & Deut. 23:1
Going back farther, there is David, who has a man murdered to cover his adultery, two infractions of the law, but does not suffer the due punishment.
Here’s the point. Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me, has seen the Father.” Jn. 14:9. What did they see before seeing Jesus? God, as taught by those who were their teachers. And, according to Jesus, they didn’t always get it right.
If we start with seeing God in Jesus, then all the rest falls into the historical understanding and need at the time. Which means we can’t sink the ark if we love God.
Keith

CONCERNS: Teresa Wilcox has asked our prayers for her aunt, Patricia Hall, who has lymphodema, and her brother, Michael Wilcox who has serious heart problems. Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones, Abraham Sirgy’s brother is at home doing well after a heart attack. Judy Hall is dealing with eye issues. Teryn Gaynor’s mother is having cancer treatment. Remember Sheila Jansen and her daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, (cancer). Melanie Gentry will be going to Duke for testing. Joni Beach’s mother and father, and her aunt, Pat Voss, and a niece, Jamie Cole. Also, Jim Hunter, Wayne Phlegar, David Albert, and Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas. Sandy Blanchard and those caring for her. She is from the congregation where Del Bolin grew up. Ray & Darnell Barns, Gil Richardson (MS), Deana McRoy and Stephanie Rigney. Jenni Cullum has been treated for an eye problem. Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

OUR DAILY BREAD: JUNE 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: JUNE 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

SYMPATHY
Our sympathy to Roger Fisher in the death of his sister in Union, West Virginia, on Wednesday, May 25. The funeral was on the following Saturday.
YARD SALE
The Wagners and the Downings are planning an inside/outside sale here on Saturday, June 25. If you would like to join in, please do
PRAY
Dr. Henry and Katie Dodd are to be in Roanoke the beginning of this month. Dr. Dodd will be interning in pediatrics at Carilion Clinic. (RMH)
They are coming from Memphis, TN and are friends of David and Stacy Maharrey, who told them about us. They have twin girl toddlers. Pray that their move and house hunting goes well.
ONE MORE STEP
The brackets for the monitors have been purchased and will be hung soon. Nearly all of the equipment for the visual and media upgrade has either been secured or selected.
Not only will this enhance our worship service via the virtual hymnal, it will also allow us to use and teach other songs as well by using a CCLI copywrite licence. For a congregation our size, it is very reasonable.
The announcements and prayer list can scroll before the service starts, as well as the ability to use other scripture readings for the call to worship. The sermon text can also be shown, so following the reading will be easier.
Significant scriptures from the sermon may be shown, or other visuals to help with relevance.
In a word, the possibilities are limited only by our imagination. Look forward to this net and new step in worship.
SCHOOL’S OUT
Now that schools have let out for the summer, many of you will be traveling. Please let Erma Williams know when you will be away to help her set up the service schedule.
RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE
Next Sunday we will be preparing th evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House. If you will help, see Martha Albert or Holly Wagner.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 28, NO. 19&20 – ROME, AD 56 OR SO

Imagine if you will, two Roman men talking at a local watering hole sometime in or around AD 56. Of course, they wouldn’t know it was AD anything, because Dionysius Exiguus hadn’t decided to call it that yet, which he did in 525 (AD).
Androclies says to Antonious, “Tony, have you heard about that new sect of Jews that’s spreading across the world?”
“No. Don’t tell me more are coming! I’ll never understand why the government decided to bring them here in the first place! You know what they did to property values! I’m hoping the Emperor will see how wrong that was and decide to send them all back where they came from.”
“I know, and I hear rumblings that he is getting a little nervous about them. But this is a whole new breed of Jews. As you know, the ones who have been here stick to themselves. They don’t bother us or try to change our beliefs. I’m pretty sure it’s because they think they’re better than us. You know, that chosen people thing.”
“So what’s with the new bunch? What are they all about?”
“I’m not sure, except they claim the king of the Jews has come in a guy named Jesus. Some of them call him the Messiah, which as you may know, is the Hebrew word for king.”
“Well, that won’t fly well with the Caesar. But I don’t see any reason to worry about him. He will be gone in short notice.”
“Oh, they took care of him about 23 years ago over in Jerusalem. They crucified him.”
“So what’s the big deal?”
“They say he rose from the dead.”
“You mean alive? Not just a spirit?”
“So they say.”
“Who’d believe that, and why? We all know about life after death. That’s what the Elysian Fields are. Why would anybody want to improve on that?”
“Well, you know we got most of that from the Greeks. I’m not saying it isn’t true, but it does have some complications. First it was said that the fields were reserved only for the ones chosen by the gods, and then only through some kind of relationship.”
“Yeah, I remember. But the new teaching is that you can earn entrance by living a good life. But it’s still not clear how that happens. It seems the gods can still vote you out. Besides, I’ve seen a lot of dead people, but I’ve never seen any of them after they went under to the hadean world. Have you?”
“No. But that doesn’t mean it’s not true. After all, according to the scholars, the Elysian Fields are at the western edge of the world where nobody has gone. It is supposed to be a place where everything is wonderful with everything you need for happiness.”
“Do you think I failed temple school? I know all about what is supposed to happen! I’m just saying I have some doubts. The Greeks have their own way of thinking about things like that. So how are these new Jews different?”
“From what I can tell, they want everyone to believe in one god, not many.”
“That’s crazy! How could one god take care of everything? You have to have a god for each life event. That way you get the full effect of their individual power.”
Androclies looks up and sees a friend coming. “Hey, there’s Aeneas. He’s been known to talk to these new Jews. Let’s ask him.
“Aeneas! Come on over and I’ll buy you a drink. Me and Tony have some questions about these new Jews. What do you know about them?”
“Well, they’re called Christians now. I hear it started in Antioch. I guess it’s supposed to mean followers of the king, or something like that. They believe that a Jew named Jesus, from some podunk town, is the son of their god. Like all Jews, he taught that there is only one god. However, he was different. They say he wanted everyone to know this one god was loving and kind, not like the precocious gods we know. In fact, love is the main attribute of their god.
“He also welcomed people to this god who were not seen as welcome by the standard Jewish teachings. And, because he was seen by some, as the fulfillment of their Messianic prophesies, he was considered a danger to both nations. So he was killed by both the Jews and the Romans. By Rome, mostly because he was accused of sedition. However, they say he rose from the dead and is alive in the heavens.”
“Ok. But what’s so bad about that? We have freedom of religion in the empire.”
“As I hear it, most of the opposition is coming from among the Jews themselves. It seems his followers, particularly a Jew from Tarsus named Paul, are saying under this new Judaism, people they call Gentiles, people like us, don’t need to be worried about circumcision and all those food rules and the wrath of the gods to be granted entrance into an eternal paradise. Many of the Jews who want to believe in this Jesus guy aren’t buying into that. It seems most of the ones who do are Hellenistic Jews. You know, the ones who found value in both the Jewish and Greek culture.”
“I can see how this can be a danger to us. If we all become Christians all of our temples will be empty. And you know how much we love what goes on at the temple! It will disrupt our family values. Not only that, it will destroy the economy. How will the temple craftsmen stay in business?”
Aeneas said, “This has already happened at Ephesus. The metalworkers almost got him there, but he got away. Now I hear they are bringing him here to Rome to stand trial. On the other hand, the idea of one god who doesn’t want anything from us except love and kindness toward one another can be an attractive proposition”
“So that’s how they earn their eternal life?”
“No. They don’t earn anything. They say it’s a gift they receive when they live like the Jesus guy lived.”
“Not to worry. If they kill this guy, Paul, it will die out quickly.”
“You’re probably right.”
Keith

CONCERNS: Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones. Abraham Sirgy’s brother is recovering quickly from a heart attack. Judy Hall is having eye problems. Teryn Gaynor’s mother is receiving cancer treatment. Bill Schreiner is Hospitalized for treatment. He may be home by today. Marjorie Wilson, cancer. Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Melanie Gentry, Joni Beach’s parents, as well as her aunt, Pat Voss and a niece, Jamie Cole. Wayne Phlegar has been unable to attend lately. Jim Hunter, David Albert, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, Sandy Blanchard and those caring for her. Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder. Jenni Cullum is having an eye problem.

OUR DAILY BREAD: MAY 16-21
Monday: Genesis 15:1-22
Tuesday: Psalm2:1-11
Wednesday: Mark 5:1-20
Thursday: Hebrews 9:6-14
Friday: I Thessalonians 4:1-12
Saturday: Psalm 130:1-8
OUR DAILY BREAD: MAY 23-28
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

TODAY
Today, May 15, the worship service was arranged by Susan Jordan. Del Bolin will be the speaker and he will tell us about his recent medical trip to Nicaragua.
SUPER SUNDAY
Today is also Super Sunday. You are invited to a fellowship meal in the annex following the service.
STEERING COMMITTEE
If needed, the steering committee will meet in the library after the meal.
GOOD NEWS
We received a call from a doctor in Memphis who is coming to Roanoke to complete a residency in pediatrics. They will arrive around the first of June.
The contact with us came from David and Stacy Maharrey, who went to college with them. David and Stacy gave them a glowing report about how much they loved Roanoke and the Roanoke church. They presently attend at the White Station congregation, a church which has a similar view of the New Testament as do we.
They have twin toddler girls and are looking for a three bedroom house to rent or buy. It needs to be in a neighborhood about twenty minutes from Carilion Clinic Hospital. They have a local realtor helping them, but if you know of such a place, tell Keith and he will let them know. Also, pray about them coming to Roanoke
THANKS
Thanks to Wayne Flora for fixing the toilet in the annex men’s room. This must be the time for such repairs. A fixture in the main building’s men’s room had to have a major overhaul about a week ago.
SOME NEEDED WORK
In talking about the need for some work to be done around the building, it should be mentioned that some of it does not need to be a part of a scheduled day. If you want to know what you can do on your own, at a time convenient for you, see Keith. Or in some cases, some of you have seen areas which need tending and have taken it upon yourselves to come on an evening and do it. If you need a key to do some inside work, see Keith. If you need supplies, some are already here and others can be purchased.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 15-18 – THE NEW ABNORMAL?

There was no “mid-month” Bulletin due to the Wagners being away for a funeral. However, just before I left a flyer came that made me sad. It was from a company who advertized “Roanoke’s and Southwest Virginia’s only realistic interactive virtual firearms training simulator systems.” They offered a full range of gun training. Nothing wrong with that. However, with their “Firearms Training Simulators” they would train “Church Security Teams.”
In a cover letter to churches, there is the reminder that the world is becoming more dangerous and violent with each passing day. There was also the statement about more and more terrorist attacks against Christians in the United States and worldwide. Enter the fear factor.
Are such things on the increase? So it seems. How bad is it? Well, I did some digging and according to the Church Tax and Law website, I discovered that the chances of being killed by an invader in a church building is just about the same as being struck by lightening. I hasten to add, as did they, that we don’t go out into lightening-prone places to worship. However, that does not dismiss the statistics that the death rate is about the same. According to Gallup, 118 million people are in churches each Sunday in the US. Records indicate about 75 shooting deaths take place in churches each year, though that varies, just as do lightening strikes.
Should we fear lightening? Yes, but not to the point we are terrified and go to storm shelters when lightening occurs. Should we fear gun violence? Yes. But not to the point we have to live in paranoid fear.
I know churches all across the land are training armed security personnel. We have friends in a large church in Florida who told us they were informed that there were armed members strategically placed in the sanctuary to take out any one who would try to kill the preacher. They were not told who these people were, only that they were armed and ready. It became a guessing game as to who they might be.
I don’t think our friends were excited about all that, but there was a kind of “This is what our church is doing” flavor to it. And for me, that’s the rub.
We have played “My church is bigger and better than your church” for a long time. Better choirs, better music, better media, etc., etc.. Are we on the verge of saying, “My church has a security force with automatic weapons stationed in gun ports overlooking the sanctuary. They are completely invisible to the naked eye. What does your church have?”
“Oh, we still only have six people with sixteen- round glocks stationed around the building, but we are about to upgrade to automatic rifles.”
What I’m saying is that I worry about church folks getting excited about maybe getting to shoot somebody. Of course, any defense is based on hoping it never has to be used. But we all know that in any war there are those who just can’t wait to kill some (fill in the blank). Is “Locked and Loaded” the newest sign outside churches? I can remember when a church advertized that it was air conditioned and people were appalled that such a tactic would be used to get people inside. Is advertizing armed security next? Is that the new normal? I hope not. That means fear has won.
Our daughter, Holly, had an experience which speaks to what fear can do. She was entering a local Krogers, when she noticed a woman leaving who looked somewhat distraught. She asked what was wrong. The woman said she was mad at herself, but there was a boy in the store who was wearing a hoodie and a backpack. She said it wasn’t his fault, but she could not stay in a store with someone dressed like that. So she left without buying anything. Her fear now owns her, and I know we all understand that in some way, but will it become who we are?
I have no scriptural reference to make for this situation. I also reject any “proof” text for armed church security, but I can almost hear some offered. We feel the need to scripturally prove everything. I’m not looking for a scripture to invalidate armed guards. I can guess how Jesus would reply. I just hope this is not the new normal.
Keith

CONCERNS: Mark McRoy has asked prayers for the Harris family in the death of Troy, who leaves a wife and three boys behind. Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones, Abraham Sirgy’s brother, Gamil (Jimmy), is recovering from a severe heart attack. Judy Hall is still having eye issues. Teryn Gaynor’s mother is being treated for cancer. Bill Schreiner is in the hospital for treatment. Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, (Cancer) Melanie Gentry, Joni Beach’s parents Also Joni’s aunt, Pat Voss, and her niece, Jamie Cole. Jim Hunter, Wayne Phlegar, David Albert and Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas. Sandy Blanchard and those caring for her. Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy and Stephanie Rigney. Jenni Cullum is having an issue with her eye. Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.
OUR DAILY BREAD: MAY 2-7
Monday: Genesis 2:1-14
Tuesday: Matthew 3:1-17
Wednesday: I Thess. 3:1-13
Thursday: Matthew 21:28-44
Friday: II Peter 1:16-2:10
Saturday: Psalm 91:1-16
OUR DAILY BREAD: MAY 9-14
Monday Psalm 139:1-24
Tuesday: Matthew 8:1-13
Wednesday: Matthew 12:1-14
Thursday: Colossians 2:8-19
Friday: Revelation 2:1-11
Saturday: Matthew 16:13-28

WE’RE GETTING CLOSER
After doing a lot of checking to make sure our media improvements are user-friendly, we have the big stuff ready to install as soon as the hardware arrives. This has been a major interest of several of us, but especially Del Bolin.
What we are doing is not “keeping up with the Jones’” , but moving into a new level of worship experience. The possibilities for visual enhancement are exciting. Look for it.
THE ANNEX
For years we have talked about the problem with the acoustics in the annex. Ten people singing can almost sound like a hundred, which is good. However, one person’s voice gets lost in bouncing around the acoustical structure so as to almost prevent others from hearing.
A plan to correct that and add to the decor is now in the works.
STEPHANIE
Stephanie arrived in Florida on Wednesday, after a long, tiring trip. She wishes to thank all those who came out and helped her pack the truck.
Her new address will be placed in the hand-out as soon as we have it. Her phone number and email address remains the same.
SPRING CLEANING
A day will be set for us to do some work around the building, both inside and outside. All in all, things on the outside look pretty good, due to some work on the shrubbery by Lyn Jordan and a friend. The area above the handicapped area was treated last year to kill unwanted vegetation and needs to be cleaned out, as well as using more shrub killer.
Inside the women’s downstairs restroom needs some cleaning in order to put Drylock on a wall that has developed dampness.
BOOKS
Stephanie left several books from various types of study, including some of the books we have used in past classes. They are on the library table. If you are interested, stop by and take any of them you want. The rest will be taken to the Rescue Mission, or to some other place they can be of use.