Bimonthly Bulletin

OK, here it is, “When was Apollos (saved) safe? I could have asked when he became a Christian? He appears in Acts 18 and the disciples were first called “Christians” in Acts 11, but when that label was accepted as the official title of the followers of Jesus, we don’t know.

If you go to the commentaries or the internet, you will find several different takes on Apollos being taught by Priscilla and Aquila. And, if you are one of those rare people who like to dig into such things, you will sometimes recognize the doctrinal background of the writer as you read. There are words and phrases which seem to constantly flow through certain ways of thinking.

Before we decide on Apollos’ fate, we should examine the facts as stated. In Acts 18:24ff it says he was from Alexandra and came to Ephesus. “He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.” And, as you probably know, a woman and her husband, Priscilla and Aquila invited him somewhere and “explained to him the way of God more adequately.” NIV

You will notice he had a “thorough knowledge of Scripture” and “taught about Jesus accurately.” Three of the earliest documents say “Jesus.” Others say “the Lord.” “Lord” could mean God, and that seems to be the way some commentators look at it. However, Luke notably interchanges “Jesus” and “Lord.” If the NIV is correct, then we have a problem with how Apollos could be said to have “taught about Jesus accurately” and also be said to only know the baptism of John. It’s that word “accurately” that is the sticky wicket. Ideas differ on the translation of “accurate.” Is there some wiggle room there or not?

What Priscilla and Aquila taught Apollos is of little interest to Luke. The fact that he mentions Apollos only knew the baptism of John is certainly a clue. So the general conclusion is they straightened him out about baptism into Jesus. All this happened at Ephesus.

Then comes another curious question. We are told that Apollos went on to “Achaia” of which Corinth was the capital province. Paul comes back through Ephesus, a place to which he’d promised to return. (Acts 18:21) He finds some “disciples” and asked if they had received the Holy Spirit when they “believed.” They said they knew nothing of the Holy Spirit. When asked about their baptism, they replied it was “John’s” They were then baptized into the name of Jesus and received the Holy Spirit.

What is interesting here is that they were called “disciples” but not yet baptized into the name of Jesus. Now we know that “disciple” means “learner.” How many “disciples” were in Ephesus? Were these twelve men converts of Apollos, or those, apparently in some number, still clinging to John? Was Ephesus so large there could be disciples that had no knowledge of other disciples? Perhaps. It was said to be about 250 thousand strong.

One article said Apollos had to go back and find all those he’d falsely taught. The text seems to indicate he made a hasty exit to Achaia. And “correcting” the baptism of John thing is of no interest to Luke. It does introduce us to a sometimes discussed issue when the passage is examined. At what point is a person a follower of Jesus? Was Apollos one before he was instructed more “accurately”? Was Apollos a “disciple” before he met Priscilla and Aquila, and a “Christian” afterwards? Is there some important distinction between the two? Are Christians also learners?

When Paul meets the twelve “learners” who were baptized into John’s baptism, his main interest was about the Holy Spirit.

Having taken you down this weary road, if you’re even reading this, my question is this: Did Priscilla and Aquila accept Apollos as a brother in Christ before he had his “accuracy straightened out, or not until after? How we answer that will determine how we view all the “learners” out there, doesn’t it?

CONCERNS: T. J. Hall will have surgery on his arm soon to correct a nerve issue. Others to keep in our prayers are Betty Billings, Keith’s sister, Del Bolin, Anna Ferrell’s dad, Nathan Beach, Eleanor Bresee, Erma Williams’ cousin, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, and her mother, Helen, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Mary, (Kim hall’s friend) Gil Richardson, Wayne Phlegar, Rich Crites, Jim Hunter, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood, Sharon (Del’s friend) Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder, Mary Smith, Mrs Matara, Marie Barnett and her family, and Todd Baumgardner. Also: Jessica (Sturm) Stewart asks our prayers for her. She will have a partial mastectomy on 10/7 in Columbus on her right breast. And a possible lumpectomy on the left side. She has taken cemo pills and did well with them. WE also heard that Lewis’s dad passed away a few weeks ago in Florida.
Monday: Psalm 48:1-4
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
Monday: Psalm 119:25-48
Tuesday: Mark 4:1-20
Wednesday: I Corinthians 1:10-31
Thursday: Galatians 5:1-25
Friday: Daniel 3:13-30
Saturday: Colossians 1:3-20

We were saddened to learn of the death of Nick Nicklas, Leena Bolin’s brother. After a long and courageous fight against cancer, Nick died on Wednesday, September, 24th in Montana. He was cremated and part of his remains were placed by a good friend at their favorite fishing site, and the rest will be interred by his father in Pa. ALSO: Jo Wagner’s cousin, Donna Sue Brutto died last week after a long struggle with cancer. She too was cremated. A memorial service was held in Fort Mill SC on Friday.

It’s hard to believe that it is almost time for this annual event! A sign-up list is on the table in the foyer. The list is for those attending the picnic after the hike on October 19th.
It seems that the fall colors are getting later and later each year, but we have been going on Super Sunday’s since we started. If there is some thought to changing it to the last Sunday for next year, we’ll talk about it after this time. You may remember when it colors were at their peak and we had a problem finding a place for the picnic.

Also, if you plan to ride the bus to the are near the top, if the day is nice, you will need to get your bus tickets as early as possible.

As indicated above, Super Sunday is October 19th. Combined with the Peaks event, this has always been a special family day for us. Make plans to attend the fellowship meal following the service.
Saturday, October 11 will be the day we will do some fall clean-up around the building. It will be cooler and we should be able to do some final trimming and perhaps some cleaning of underbrush up on Carlton near the telephone junction box. This means we will need a chain saw or two, as well as other tools and equipment to get the job done. If you know of any other areas which need attention, let it be known. We will start about 9:30 or so. That way if it is cool it should be a little more comfortable

Ahaz Jr. Bar Ahaz was miffed. “I hate working Sabbath patrol!”
“You’re a police officer, Junior,” said his friend, James. “It’s your job to work on the Sabbath.”
“Do you have to call me ‘Junior’? I wish my mother hadn’t insisted that I be named after my father. No other Jew I know is a junior. Why couldn’t I have a name like yours? Your name is Jacob, but you can go by James, the Greek meaning. Do you know what the Greek for Ahaz is? Stenos. Who wants to be called that?”
“Quit complaining Stenos. Get your stuff ready and go out on Sabbath patrol.”
C’mon James, tell the truth. Don’t you think Sabbath patrol is a little Mickey Mouse?”
“Who’s Mickey Mouse?”
“I don’t know. It just popped into my head. I feel like a hypocrite doing Sabbath patrol.”
“Don’t let the captain hear you talk like that! The Sabbath is the foundation of all law. If the Sabbath isn’t kept, then the rest of the law falls apart. You might sneak a one- legged dove in for a sacrifice, but if you break the Sabbath, you’re dead meat. If you don’t want to patrol on the Sabbath, why did you become a cop?”
“We bar Ahaz’s come from a long line of cops. My great-grandfather was a cop. My grandfather and my father were cops. As the oldest son what else could I do but carry on the tradition. We Jews are big on tradition, you know.”
“So go do your job.”
“My job? Last Sabbath I saw Omar the carpenter carrying a piece of wood his neighbor had thrown away. And since he is a carpenter, carrying wood violated the Sabbath.”
“What did you do?”
“I gave him a warning.”
“There are no warnings! I should turn you in for a trick like that! . Now go on patrol. Where did they assign you?”
“That’s another thing. I’m out on the east road. How am I supposed to know if the ones I catch have walked farther than the Sabbath law allows? And, by the way, how fast can you run on the Sabbath? Is there a speed limit? Don’t you think there should be a speed limit?”
“Don’t be funny! You know out on the east road there is a marker that shows the limits of a Sabbath Day’s trip from the city. All you have to do is station yourself in hiding on that line and arrest anyone who crosses it. What’s so hard about that?”
“Okey. That marker is measured from the center of town. What if the guy lives on the east side? He should get maybe several hundred extra feet or more. Right?”
“Now you’re getting legalistic. Regardless where the person lives, east side, west side, all around the town, arrest them if they pass that point!”
“So we are at the center of town. If I go past the marker to catch someone, haven’t I violated the Sabbath?”
“Are you kidding me? We’re the police! We have to break the law to catch the ones who break the law!”
“Why don’t the scribes and Pharisees, and at least a Sadducee or two do Sabbath patrol? They’re the ones who get all bent out of shape over it.”
“Junior, how long have you been on the force? They don’t dare violate the Sabbath. Do you ever see any of them on the Sabbath, except walking to and from the synagogue? If they violate the Sabbath, all their power to be sure the rule of law is kept, collapses.”
“Yeah, right! Who would have the guts to turn one of them in? When was the last time one of them was on trial? And whatever happened to that ‘stoning’ thing?”
“The Romans took away our one- hundred and thirty-fifth amendment rights. I’ve heard stories about the good old days when Sabbath justice was swift. But all that has changed now.”
“Was it legal to stone on the Sabbath? I mean, wouldn’t that be work?”
“I don’t know. But you keep up that attitude and you can kiss your job goodbye. I can only protect you for so long.”
“Fine! Say, about how many people do you catch when you do Sabbath patrol?”
“Usually about ten or twelve.”
“If they’re not stoned, what happens to them?”
“I have no idea. My job is to uphold the law. But I have seen some of them later, and they look pretty bad. I do know they are kicked out of the synagogue.”
“Why is being kicked out punishment?”
“To tell the truth, I have seen some of them who really don’t seem to care. It’s like a burden has been lifted off their backs. The sun’s up. You need to head out.”
Just before sundown, Ahaz returns to the barracks. James, who was assigned Temple guard looks up and asks, “How did it go?”
“Lousy! I thought I had Omar the tailor. He came along and right at the line he went off the road and sat down by a rock. It looked like he prayed and then started on eastward. I jumped out and told him he had violated the Sabbath. He said he hadn’t. He took me to the rock he sat on, and beneath it he had buried a patch of cloth. He then quoted something about where your possessions are, that is where your home is. So, after praying, he said he legally had another Sabbath Day’s distance ahead of him! I had to let him go! Did you know about that Law?”
“Yeah, dummy. Anything else happen?”
“Yeah! And this is why I hate being on Sabbath patrol! There was this one guy; I was sure he was Jewish. But he said he was a gentile.”
“What did you do?”
“I made him show me his identification.”
“Yeah, you know, that circumcision or uncircumcision thing. I hate Sabbath patrol!”
“Go home, Stenos,”

CONCERNS: Betty Foy has been having headaches due to a yet diagnosed source. Del Bolin continues to improve from a blister behind his eye. Alisa Flora will be laid up for awhile due to a broken tibia. Anna Ferrell’s dad had some medical issues. but is doing better. Nathan Beach will require several more weeks for his recovery from a virus that attacked his heart region. Kathy Sirgy is also doing better. Erma Williams’ cousin, Eleanor Bresee (cancer) Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, (leukemia) Her brother Nick is not doing well. Kim Hall’s friend, Mary, Martha Foy’s aunt Sue Huels (Betty Foy’s sister) Sandra Anderson, and Gil Richardson. Rich Crites, Jim Hunter, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood, Sharon, Jenni Cullum, Helen Nicklas, Tim Elder, and Mary Smith. Marie Barnett, her mother and the rest of the family. Mrs Matara and Todd Buamgardner. Also Stephanie Dixon as she awaits her surgery in December.

Monday: Psalm 48:1-4
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
Monday: Psalm 119:25-48
Tuesday: Mark 4:1-20
Wednesday: I Corinthians 1:10-31
Thursday: Galatians 5:1-25
Friday: Daniel 3:13-30
Saturday: Colossians 1:3-20

Today is Super Sunday. If you missed the Bar B Que you will still be able to enjoy what was frozen, at today’s meal. There is chicken and pork. Plan to stay.
ALSO: There will be a gift from the congregation given to AC and Jake Fuller. This is the “wedding shower” after the wedding. If you want to help with the gift, give it to Keith, or at the fellowship meal.
Some of our folks will be gone for several weeks. Among them, Vivian Dugan. She will be with her daughter in Eastern Virginia for about a month. T. J. And Judy Hall hope to make the “circuit” and will be gone several weeks starting this week.
We are very close to having all the information cards turned in so a new directory can be developed and printed. There are less than five or six of you who haven’t turned in one yet. If you haven’t please pick up a card from the foyer table and fill it out. Be sure to do both sides. Thanks. As soon as we can get the information we will start taking the pictures.
Before we begin to plan for the Peaks of Otter hike and picnic in October, which will be on Sunday, October 19th, we will have a fall clean-up and work day here at the building in October. A final cutting of the shrubs and perhaps cleaning the long-needed area up on Carlton by the telephone junction box, as well as some cleaning on the hill behind the annex, should fix us until spring. There may also be some work inside the building that can be done in the room in which the communion is prepared.
We are getting use to the changes in our worship service, with the communion before the sermon and the contribution at the end. Here’s a suggestion, if you are presiding at the table, or serving communion, come to the front near the end of the last stanza of the song. This will help fill the “gap” as everyone comes to the front. This can also be done if you are leading the prayer. It will not only make the service go more smoothly, but look more orderly. Also, remember you may use the collection box on the right side pew as you enter.

Unless you’re one of those people who think the Pope is the living meaning of Revelation’s 666, you probably like the guy. Or not. It seems he’s on the ropes with some of his own people, as well as others who realize the influence he has.

I like him. I like that he shrugs off all the pomp with which former Popes (and other high ranking people) seem to love surrounding themselves. I like it that he takes a plain, little car instead of the limousine. I like it that he refuses to use the lush quarters reserved for him, but instead lives in a small apartment. But most of all. I like it that he, with his power and influence in the world, speaks of the same things Jesus found important, rather than just spouting ecclesiastical dogma.

You would think that would endure him to all Catholics everywhere. Not so. It seems the Pope is upsetting some folks with his talk about the poor. Rush Limbaugh (who is not a Catholic) called him a “Marxist.” Actually, Limbaugh said the Pope’s words were Marxist. I suppose what someone says might not necessarily reflect who they are, but I think that would make them a hypocrite.

Among the tremblers over what the Pope is saying, is Billionaire Ken Langone, founder of Home Depot. In an interview with CNBC he said he was “feeling ostracized by the Popes messages in support of the poor.” He went on to say he might stop giving to charitable causes unless the Pope stops. (Isn’t there some curse for people who threaten a Pope?) He said that such talk could make the wealthy “incapable of feeling compassion for the poor.” I guess that means if you’ve been told in the law of Moses; “However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you,” (Deut 15:4) you should tell Moses that such talk is likely making you incapable of doing what he has commanded.

Let’s do one more, just for fun. Deut. 15:11. “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore, I command you to be openhanded toward your brother and toward the poor and needy in your land.”

There is an interesting twist in those two verses. One says there should be no poor in the land of promise. The next says there will always be poor people in the land and they should be cared for. Is the “should” the ideal and the “always” the reality? If 15:11 states the reality, then even if the land should have no poor, it does. And it does, not because the poor are lazy. It happens because that’s the way life is. Some will have a better chance than others because all things are never equal. Regardless, the poor are to be helped.

Mr. Langone may or may not have used a little soft blackmail on Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York. Langone, who is helping raise 180 million dollars to restore St Patrick’s Cathedral told Dolan of a rich donor who was “worried” about the Pope’s remarks concerning the poor. He said, “I’ve told the Cardinal, ‘Your Eminence, this is one more hurdle I hope we don’t have to deal with. You want to be careful about generalities. Rich people in one country don’t act like the same people in another country.” Really? So greed is not the same country to country? Are some country’s poor different from anothers?

The Cardinal told CNBC that the donor’s concern seemed to be based on “a misunderstanding of the Holy Father’s message.” Good save Cardinal.

When it comes to the 180 million to restore St Patrick’s Cathedral, I’m okey with that. I think historical places need to be kept around. And I don’t think the Pope has come out and said he thinks that money should go to the poor.

My advice to the Pope is that he pull in his reins and get back to preaching the gospel. He should talk about the peace that passes understanding and how the poor should glory in suffering because suffering produces perseverance and how the poor are blessed by God. He should say that all things work together for good to those that love the Lord and stuff like that. If he keeps on talking about the rich sharing their wealth he could end up like another guy who said things like, “Sell what you have and give to the poor and follow me.” Even the Pope should know what happened to him. If not, some wealthy person should take him aside and teach him.

CONCERNS: Alisa Flora broke her tibia and will be going to Duke today. T. J. Hall is having back and vision problems. Del Bolin has a blister behind his eye due to an old injury. While it bothers his vision, the doctor say it will clear in three months or so. Nathan Beach’s recovery will take several months. Kathy Sirgy has had some relief from back pain. Erma Williams cousin, Eleanor Bresee, (ovarian cancer) Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, (leukemia) her mother, Helen Nicklas, and her brother, Nick. Kim (Hall’s) friend, Mary. Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, and Gil Richardson. It was good to see Jim and Mary Smith able to be with us last Sunday, as well as Wayne and Susan Phlegar. Remember as ell, Rich Crites, Jenni Cullum, Jim Hunter, Deanna McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood, Del Bolin’s friend, Sharon, Tim Elder and Mrs Matara. Marie Barnett asks prayers for her and her family as they deal with various issues and the declining health of her mother, Mildred.
Wayne Flora’s postmaster, Todd Baumgardner.

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
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: Psalm 11:1-7

Since 1989 we have had a Labor Day weekend Bar B Que. Each year we get better and better at preparing the pork, chicken and a few years ago we added brisket.

We had two different cuts of brisket and one was outstanding. Perhaps next year we can use that cut again. Also the pork was a different cut, the kind used at a regional Bar B Que restaurant. We had very good results with it.

Please let Chef Jeff Bland know how much you enjoyed it. We started about 6:00 AM. Jeff came early but had to leave before it was time to eat. And thanks to all of you who came and made the day special for all of us who cooked the meat, as well as bringing more food than we’ve seen for a while at the Bar B Que. It was a great day.

Among the visitors was Melissa Keller, who attended here while at Roanoke College and Jeff and Tammy Hunter.

We had a good amount of pork and some chicken left over. It has been frozen and we hope you will enjoy it on Super Sunday

Today we will have the pleasure of hearing from Susan Jordan concerning her week at the Ezell Clinic in Guatemala.

Since we have made some changes in the order of worship, with the collection taken at the end of the service, remember there is a collection box on a right rear pew as you enter. If you wish, you may deposit your contribution when you arrive.

Even though for many of you the information for the directory has not changed, please fill out a new card. These also serve as a handy record for the office, as well as the basis for the directory. We haven’t upgraded these cards in several years so please take the time to fill one out. Also, the directory is not a “membership” list, just a list of folks who worship here.

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