Bimonthly Bulletin


If you take the title of this article literally, don’t. I know a losing cause when I see one. However, it is important, I think, to have some sense of how to read the Bible and understand it. It’s called “hermeneutics” And one hot issue is usually how the Bible is inspired.
For most of us it has been divided into two main groups: Those who believe every word in the Bible was spoken and directed by God, via the Holy Spirit, and therefore, is literally true in all areas of science and history. Some may even include medicine as well.
The second group says God inspired the Bible’s human authors to deliver God’s message to the world, but the expression of the message was in their own words in the literary and cultural style of their own time; and that it is a spiritual book, not a scientific book. The purpose of the Bible is to reveal the nature of God to those who, by faith, seek to follow its teachings.
Obviously, those two groups are Jews and Christians, and therefore, what teachings are followed vary from the Old and New Testament.
For those who seek to understand the structure of the Bible’s inspiration, especially the New Testament, there is no better place to start than in Luke’s gospel. There he writes, “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”
Luke says his gospel came from eyewitnesses and his own research. That is in stark contrast to the idea that he somehow heard the Spirit of God telling him what to write.
In I Corinthians 7:12, Paul says, “To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer, and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.” The same thought goes on for two more verses.
In v. 25 ff he says he has no command from the Lord about unmarried (virgin) women. But he says he believes his judgement is trustworthy.
Finally, my personal favorite. Hebrews 2:6. “But there is a place where someone has testified” and he quotes from Psalm 8. Wouldn’t God (the Holy Spirit) know where he wrote that?
So, what’s this all about? It’s about a lot of things, but mostly the younger generation.
We live in a time of amazing and rapidly changing technology and understanding. Humans, from the time they are born want answers about everything, and that’s a good thing. That’s how we grow. However, rapid scientific advances have created a whole new area of questions about God and the Bible. Something isn’t true simply someone says it is true. If it’s true, it has to meet certain tests. Those tests do not deny faith. Faith is something which is a realization, and we continue to make those leaps of faith based on the experience of others. That’s why Paul and the Old Testament say things like, “By faith so and so did something.” Those are examples of faith. However, each step of faith has its own unknown events and possibilities.
In this age of inquiry, not all questions can be answered. That’s not the problem. The problem is when the answer given will not hold up under examination,
such as the meaning of inspiration. Does “God’s word” mean the actual words spoken by God, or God’s word as presented by inspired Godly men and women?
Inspiration is not denied by understanding that those who wrote scripture, wrote it in the historical and cultural understanding of their time. So in order to receive the great truths of scripture, we have to separate them from the limits of the historical time in which they were written. We might keep in mind all those like Galileo Galilei, who were called heretics because they challenged a belief, based on scripture, such as that the earth was the center of the universe.
Keith

CONCERNS: Jim Hunter had tests on a lymph node last week and began chemotherapy on Thursday.. Bill Branch is doing well. Betty Billings remains in Raleigh Court Health Care Canter, room 112A. She is slowly regaining her strength. Bill Albert’s son, David, remains on a list to receive a liver transplant. He lives in New Jersey. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas has leukemia. Kim (Hall’s) friend, Mary. (MS) Betty Foy’s sister, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson and Gil Richardson. Rich Crites, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder, Mary Smith and Mrs. Mataro. Wayne Flora’s postmaster, Todd Baumgardner is doing well after a kidney and pancreas transplant.

OUR DAILY BREAD: APRIL 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: APRIL 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

EASTER EGG HUNT
There will be an Easter Egg Hunt after Sunday’s service for all the little children in the yard by the annex. Holly Wagner will meet with the children and get them started.
SMILE
Since this is Easter Sunday, and often we get “decked out” a little more on Easter, it would be a great day to have your picture taken for the new directory. That’s true regardless of what you are wearing. See Erma if she hasn’t lined you up for a picture.
THE ADULT CLASS
After spending forty days (minus weather related time off) the adult class has concluded the study and reading of the New Testament set in book style. For the next month or so, Del Bolin will be teaching the class. He will be asking us to examine the scriptures in relationship to who we are here at Roanoke. He started last Sunday and the discussion was very informative. It would be a good time to start coming if you haven’t been.
THINGS TO DO
Several projects around the building can now be started easier since the weather is warming. These are things that involve the inside of the building, but are easier to do if they can be taken outside to do. We want to replace a front pew with one that was removed from the back when the handicapped restroom was built. It has a crack all the way down the middle where the boards have separated. We also want to trim down another pew so it can be put back in the back. We have those who will do most of these jobs, but may need a little man power to get them done. A time will be announced soon. Also, we may need to have a “spring cleaning day for outside the building before the weather gets hotter.
THE COMMUNION
We all realize how hard it is to break something which is not a tradition, but the way it has been done for a long time. We’ve made several attempts to change the way the servers come forward. Please come forward during the last stanza of the communion song. It helps the one who presides at the table. It would also help if the song leader would remind those who are serving when the song is announced

Every time I reflect back on the events we know as the Civil Rights Movement, I think about how people with Bible in hand, coming from their respective Christian churches, went out to spew racial hatred. How does that happen?
We know how it happens. No child is born prejudiced. Prejudice is taught, either by the mouth or by actions. Sometimes unintentional (and intentional) standards are set. There can be subtle insinuations that one color is better than another. Is the white, driven snow actually pure? The idea that the bride wears white to represent her purity, according to research, started around the 20th century. Historically, in some countries, brides wore white as a sign of wealth.
Biblically speaking, “dark” or “black” is beautiful and mysterious. In the “Song of Songs” (The Song of Solomon, which is not about the church), the exotic lover is dark skinned. Likewise, the list of dark-skinned people in the Bible is notable, and there is no noticeable disparagement of them due to color. Anyone interested in such a list can find an abundance of material on the internet.
The various historical ideas about the origin of black being associated with evil are too involved to go into here. However, that there is discrimination based on feelings of superiority and inferiority based on culture or color, is deeply and insidiously imbedded in human history. It is still very much part of the present. Think the University of Oklahoma fraternity.
One of the troubling things about the history of segregation in the US is how long it took (and takes) to really work on it, as well as Christian (?) opposition to it. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed the bill to integrate the public school system. It would be three years before any action was taken in segregated areas. Then, in 1957, Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas saw, under federal protection, its first black students.
Meanwhile, in states like Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, to name the more notable ones, nothing was done. This, along with the general unrest among the black population of those states, led by such men as Martin Luther King Jr., caused a movement for to be born.
As I watched the memorial ceremony at the Edmund Pettus Bridge last week, I remembered one of the things I heard said during those years, while being many miles away.
If you happen to be in Selma, there is only one memorial to a person involved in the Civil Rights Movement there. It is to Viola Gregg Liuzzo. You can read her story on any internet encyclopedia. In short, she was a thirty-nine year old white woman who went to Selma to shuttle those who would take part in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March. While doing that, she was seen with a black marcher in her car by four members of the KKK. They chased her down and shot and killed her. She was married, and a mother of five children.
Here’s what I heard about her from those around me. She got what she deserved because she should have stayed in Detroit. She went there to sleep with black men. As a woman she had no business being a Civil Rights activist, especially since she was from the north. I never heard one good word about her from Christian and non-Christian alike. Her death was her own fault.
However, had she gone to Africa with a religious group and was murdered by the locals for interfering with their way of life by educating girls, she would have been considered by most, a martyr. Some, of course, would say she was not wise taking such a risk, especially if she were the mother of children. Such decisions made by those who are called to take such risks always causes the cautious to wonder. And I admit to being one of them. But I thank God for such people. They are the world changers.
At the Selma bridge, speeches were made about how far we have come since Bloody Sunday. Those advances are thankfully obvious. But even without the speeches saying the work is not finished, we see it on the news media every day. It is a sad truth, that the deaths of those of color, does not resonate the same in the world as do those considered white. (Let each one examine themselves.)
The stress I feel for history, is the place the religious of all kinds have had in it. It is easy to point the finger at any radical group. The problem is to me, that each one of them may be reading from the same (spiritual) guide book. For those of us from a Judo/Christian background, we see people reading the same words and arriving at different conclusions. The Jewish leaders who rejected Jesus’ teaching read from the same works as did he. In some ways, this may be expected, and even understood, at least in some areas. However, when the discussion evolves around the worth of the person or persons, there can be little room for differences. The Bible makes that very clear. Except for some, the clarity is still not the same as it is for others
How could the black race be tied to the curse of Ham? I heard that in my early life and I suspect that it is still around. A close look at the text from Genesis 9:25 shows that it was not Ham, but his son, Canaan, who was cursed. That did not keep an early body of Jewish writings from saying the black race was the cursed race. (See various internet sites)
The constant issue for followers of Jesus is to be as sure as we can, that what he taught is not lost in our own prejudices and presuppositions. Just take the Sermon on the Mount and discuss each teaching and see how easy it is to water them down to fit our own interests. At any time in any discussion about the ethics and teachings of Jesus, the explanations can be worlds apart. And yet, for most, Paul saying that everyone should submit to the governing authorities, (Rom. 13:1) is crystal clear. But that’s what the Selma marchers didn’t do, and those troopers who beat them did. Which do you think was doing the will of God?
Keith
CONCERNS: Betty Billings (Keith’s sister) is in Raleigh Court Health & Rehabilitation Center. She is in room 112, bed A. Bill Branch had successful heart surgery and is now home recovering. Bill Albert’s son, David, is now at home, and is on a kidney transplant list. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, (leukemia) Kim Hall’s friend, Mary (MS) Betty Foy’s sister, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Rich Crites, Jim Hunter, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder, Mary Smith, Mrs Mataro and Todd Baumgardner.

OUR DAILY BREAD: MARCH 16-21
Monday: Jeremiah 31:23-34
Tuesday: I Corinthians 11:17-34
Wednesday: ACTS 6:1-7
Thursday: Matthew 5:21-48
Friday: Psalm 119:129-152
Saturday: Psalm 67:1-7
OUR DAILY BREAD: MARCH 23-28
Monday: Psalm 40
Tuesday: John 8:48-59
Wednesday: Philippians 2:14-30
Thursday: Ephesians 2:1-22
Friday: John 19:1-16
Saturday: Colossians 1:3-20

THE GIDEONS
Joel Pack will make a short presentation about the work of the Gideons International as they place Bible throughout the world. Those who wish to contribute to that may do so in the foyer after the service.
SUPER SUNDAY
Today is also Super Sunday. This once a month fellowship meal brings us even closer together as a family. Plan to stay. A special invitation is extended if you are visiting with us today.
AWAY
Occasionally we are told when people will be away for more than just a weekend. Vivian Dugan will be with her daughter on the coast for the rest of the month while Kathy and Jeff are in Italy.
Jeff Forsyth will be in Boone NC for the a few weeks as part of his training. Karissa is there this weekend.
THE SUNDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY
We are nearing the end of reading the New Testament in book form and out of the traditional order. If you have not been part of it and have the book, come and share what you learned.
THE FENCE
You may have noticed that someone took out a section of our fence. This was a dumb thing that had nothing to do with the snow.
Wayne Flora, who installed it way back when, says we can repair it ourselves. He can purchase the needed material when the weather warms and we will plan a day when it can be fixed.
DIRECTORY PICTURES
With the approaching of warmer weather, Erma likes to use natural light for the directory pictures. She will be asking you on nice days if you will have your new picture taken. Once the process starts, if you want to wear something special for the picture, just know that from now on, on nice Sundays, you may have the directory picture taken.
ALSO: Erma needs some help with a program she is putting on here in the annex. If you can help see her for the date and details.

In 1961 or 1962, the Bering Drive Church of Christ was formed in Houston, TX. Its first minister, Pat Harrell, was my mentor. He died of cancer at fifty years old, after serving for several years as the Director of the Institute for Christian Studies. Now the Austin Graduate School of Theology. For years after his death I’d received the bulletin, “Bering Today”, with its catchy double-meaning title. I no longer do. However, over the years several ministers have served that church. One of them was Bill Love. Bill also died young from the result of a stroke.
In one of Bill’s bulletins (as I remember) he was talking about his daughter moving to Cincinnati. He was talking to her about churches. She said, “Remember dad, today it’s about relationship.”
I thought about that during these last weeks of freezing cold and snow. We had to cancel on the 15th due to the frigid cold, and then on the 22nd because of a late Saturday snow.
Like many of my age, my memories of church was not about relationship. That is not to say there were no relationships built at church. There were. But the main thrust of church was obedience to God. Attendance was checked, primarily so there would be no backsliding.
As an act of obedience, church attendance was to be endured, like it or not, and I don’t mean that from a child’s point of view. Church was just done. Period. Which is not to say it was bad. It wasn’t, at least most of the time. However, church fights always stand out more than the good things which happen.
What I’m talking about is, if we had to close due to the weather, (which was seldom because it was in the city of Cincinnati) it seemed to be more about either displeasing God, or not caring enough about God. As a child, neither of those things entered my mind, any more than when school was closed.
Neither do those feelings trouble me today. My first and second thoughts when we have to cancel church are not about God’s displeasure, or guilt that I’m slacking off. My first thought is about relationship. I miss being with the people who make up my faith fellowship. I’ve found, as have you, that there is a void in my life when I am not with those who worship together here. There is a sense of emptiness in the week that follows, like something is missing. Is it that God is not around? No. God is everywhere. It is that those I know who bring a special meaning to my life are not there in the same way as they are when we are together.
I am reminded of the title and opening line from one of John Donne’s poems, No man is an island. “No man is an island, Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”
Since he was also awarded an honorary degree in Theology, one might assume the line and title was influenced by Paul’s statement in Romans 14:7. “For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.” Of course, Donne was reading that from the King James vernacular, which carries the meaning more toward his point in the poem.
I think Paul and Donne caught the flavor of life. It is lived in its fullest when it is shared with others in a mutual love and respect. Ideally, the Church should be the lighthouse which guides people to such a place.
I’m not playing “My church is better than your church” when I say I’m glad to be part of a church that shines a light of welcome to all people. A church who’s atmosphere is such that when we are not together, something is missing from our lives.
After the announcement that once again we were going to have to cancel the service, some of you emailed me about needing their ‘fix”. There was one who said we should develop skype, so we could all be together. Another talked about the sermon on video. The last one lacks the essential ingredient; being together. As Susan Jordan said a few years ago, “I know God loves me, but I need to feel some flesh.”
Keith

CONCERNS: Betty Billings, Keith Wagner’s sister, is in the Raleigh Court Health Care Center. She is in Room 112A She will be there at least three weeks. Roger Fisher got a good report from some tests. Bill Albert’s son, David, is still in very serious condition. Good news. Wayne Flora’s postmaster, Todd Baumgardner, received both a kidney and a pancreas transplant and is doing well. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas (leukemia), Kim (Hall’s) friend, Mary (MS), Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Rich Crites, Jim Hunter Deana McRoy, Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum, TimElder, Mary Smith and Mrs. Mataro.

OUR DAILY BREAD: MARCH 2-7
Monday: John 10:1-18
Tuesday: Matthew 13:24-33
Wednesday: Psalm 90:1-17
Thursday: Luke 14:15-24
Friday: Amos 5:18-6:1
Saturday: Psalm 71:1-24
OUR DAILY BREAD: MARCH 9-14
Monday: Matthew 7:7-11
Tuesday: Romans 3:21-31
Wednesday: James 2:1-12
Thursday: Mark 2:1-12
Friday: I Peter 1:3-12
Saturday: Psalm 105:1-45

COMMUNITY BIBLE STUDY
Just a reminder since we have had to cancel services two weeks in a row due to the weather, if you are part of this Sunday morning study, read Matthew, and be prepared to discuss why Matthew uses the “Kingdom of Heaven” so many times, rather than the “Kingdom of God”. Coffee time is at 9:15 and the class starts at 9:30.
NEW JOB
Melisha Scruggs is now with Richfield Wellness & Rehab in Salem. She will also be moving closer to her work there soon.
THE DIRECTORY
The weather has delayed the taking of new pictures for the directory. Neither has Erma been able to fact-check all the information to be sure we have it right. Hopefully she will be in touch with some more of you on Sunday. In the mean time, if a birthday or anniversary is missed in the bulletin please call attention to it.
THE VENT WORK
Since we’ve been talking about how the weather has upset things, add the work to restructure the return air vent in the adult classroom. The heating and air conditioning folks have also been very busy helping people who lost their heat during this cold spell. So because their needs are more important than something we’ve put up with for maybe fifty years, work will start as soon as possible.
RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE
Our involvement with the Ronald McDonald House continues and several “new” folks from here have recently gone and helped prepare the Sunday evening meal, as well as interacting with the parents of the children who are in the hospital. Each person who goes who has not been there before should take a tour. It will make you feel good that such a modern and well equipped place is available to parents during a time when a child may just be hanging to life in the neonatal unit. Thanks for all of you who have helped and had the experience of what the Ronald McDonald House is all about. And if you haven’t gone, do so.

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