THE VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN
William James, one of the founders of psychoanalysis, wrote a book with the above title. James himself didn’t have too many religious experiences. He was, however, interested in the experiences of others. He was not all that religious, but he defended on a mystical level, the right to have all the religious experiences a person wanted.
I’ve had religious experiences. James might have examined them if he got bored with the real interesting stuff. But these are the ones which bother me the most. Over the years I’ve heard more than one preacher describe in rather explicit terms what women do to make men lust. It may not qualify as a real religious experience, but it is an experience and it is about religion
A friend of mine recalled a time at a summer youth camp, and as part of the staff he was listening to a speaker tell the kids how awful it was to use things in the Bible for humor. I’m sure you’ve heard some of them. It’s like, “Who is the best tennis player in the Bible? Joseph, because he served in Pharaoh’s court.” Or, “Who smoked the first cigarette? Rebekah. It says ‘Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lit off her camel.” (That’s only funny if you know “Camel” is a brand of cigarette.)
The speaker went on and on, listing one after another all the examples he was condemning. My friend, as would I, was trying not to laugh out loud, as were all the kids. You see, such things can be funny. The problem is when you find yourself on the other side of another person’s religious experience. To the speaker, the list was a sacrilege, for the kids and people like me and my friend, it was creative and funny. That’s the kind of religious experiences I have, not the ones James would like to investigate.
It was fifty years ago that West Virginia wanted resend the existing Blue Law. I sat through more than one meeting of preachers where I was told if stores stayed open on Sunday we would see the end of the family as God had ordained it. (At this point you may insert any current doomsday warning) Sunday shopping would increase divorce, unwed mothers and crime. Churches would have to compete with shopping centers. It was a real serious issue for the preachers in West Virginia. No surprise that myself and another preacher ended up on the wrong side, and it was an experience! You have to be careful when you mess with another persons religious issue. I told them I was from Ohio, where the was no Blue Law. But because we were Christians we didn’t shop until after church on Sunday. I pointed out that in the present case, stores were not opening until after most churches had been out an hour or two. That is no longer the case today, but as far as I can tell, the family unit, while perhaps suffering, is not suffering from eating at Olive Garden after church.
In the West Virginia case, many of the churches in the Kanawha valley had chemical worker who worked shift work, and had to work on Sunday. There were also nurses and doctors and emergency personnel who had to work on Sunday. Off course, I was told those were necessary jobs, but if all places could stay open it would be the ruin of our society. If thee prophets of doom were right, the world would not have made it out of the first century. Of course, maybe one day (NOT) someone will pick the exact time ruin came upon the earth like a plague, because someone every day is announcing the end as we know it.
With all the religious experiences we have, I was thinking we could make a list which would define them in simple terms. After all, we all know what Damascus Road Experience means.
How about The Big Chill? Being baptized in an unheated baptistry.
Raiders of the Lost Ark. Finding out too late that some kids ate the communion bread. That’s a religious experience!
Friendly Persuasion. (An oldie, I know) The moment your older sibling keeps elbowing you in the ribs to the 4/4 time of “O Why Not Tonight.”
The Longest Yard. Trying to get by that guy at church who is always asking why you haven’t been baptized.. That is a very real religious experience!
La La Land. The time a friend took you to Lakewood Church to hear Joel Osteen.
Frozen. The day there was no heat in the church and the elders refused to dismiss the services on the ground that suffering was good for the soul.
THOSE TO SERVE IN JULY*Announcements: Wayne Flora
Serve Communion: Connie Crites
Usher: Jeff Bland
Communion Care: Blessing Family
Singing: S cripture:
7-Scott Blessing Holly Wagner
14- Karen Branch Holly Wagner
21-Del Bolin Holly Wagner
28-Del Bolin Holly Wagner
7-Mike Branch Alisa Flora
14-Mike Branch Alisa Flora
21-Mike Branch Alisa Flora
28-Mike Branch Alisa Flora
Assist- Mike Branch & Leena Bolin
If you cannot serve call Erma Williams
JULY BIRTHDAYS7-Kathy Sirgy 8-Larry Foy
9-Nathan Flora 13-Samuel Blessing
16-Zona Fisher 19-Jim Hunter
21-Brock McRoy Oliver Hogan
2-Jake & AC Fuller
4-Wayne & Susan Phlegar
13-James & Mary Smith
* This is a summer schedule. Any time you need a replacement one will be provided.
CONCERNS: Mark McRoy’s neighbor’s cousin Paul Esteppe, has jaw cancer. Teryn Gaynor’s mother’s tumor has enlarged and is being treated. Continued prayers for her stepfather also. Joni Beach’s niece, Jamie Cole. Ray Barnes pray for his wife, Darnell. Jo Wagner’s sister, Judy Powell throat Cancer and her cousin Harold Clark, Lung Cancer. Donte McCadden, a young father with CF. Former members, Ray and Debbie Reiss’son-in law, David, brain Cancer Treatment. Deanna McRoy has a kind of cancer that can return at any time. Debbie McRoy’s cousin, Linda Alsup health issues along with husband, Prentice recurring cancer.
Also: Keep Judy McWhorter, Joni and Alan Beach’s fathers, Gary Overstreet, Bill Albert, Jim Hunter, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder
ROANOKE CHURCH F CHRIST
2606 Brandon Ave SW
Roanoke, Va 24015\
Bible Study: 9:30 AM
Sunday Worship: 10:30 AM
Wednesday Evening: 7:00
ROANOKE CHURCH OF CHRIST
CHURCH WORK DAY Mark your Calendar for July 20th. The next plan work day. Please take a look at the list in the fellowship hall by the entry/exit door. Check to see if you can accomplish any of the items on the list? Please let us know if we missed something that needs to be done? Please be aware that you can work on any project at your leisure if July 20th, doesn’t work with your schedule. Please make notes on the list as appropriate, so all will know the status of the work.
THANKS To Susan Jordan for last Sunday’s hymns and history. Thank you, Susan for your time and coordination of these hymns. Everyone enjoys learning the history behind our hymns.
Next Sunday July 14th, We will have a Guest Speaker Burford Lumsden. Burford has worshiped with Varies Christian Churches. Burford was baptized many years ago in the cold April Waters of Maggie Creek.
The following people are now worshiping with us. Kate Etuk, Rob and Gloria Kinney and Carole Chosen.
There’s always room for you. Please come join us on Wednesday for our weekly supper and bible study. We’re studying The Corinthian letters. Keith will be having Eye Surgery on July 10th, and will not be there that Wednesday night.