WHAT IN THE WORD? – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN
Some Christians want nothing to do with the Old Testament. (The Hebrew Bible) They say it was “nailed to the cross.” A misapplication of Col. 2:14. Others say it is still important because it was and always will be God’s word. But Paul says in Gal. 5:3 that demanding one part of the law be kept (circumcision) requires keeping it all.
When the “law” is mentioned, it usually means the Law of Moses contained in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, or generally the first five books of the Old Testament.
Orthodox Jews still “keep” those laws, with the exception of animal sacrifices. Reformed Jews (who gave them permission to reform the law?) have modified the law by retaining the spiritual and holy parts while dropping some of the “holiness” codes. For example, those which begin in, say, Leviticus 18. However, lets look at 19:19. “Do not mate different kinds of animals. (That’s how you get a mule.) Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven with two kinds of material.” The list in Leviticus is interesting and revealing.
There are reasons for all this, and my answer might not jive with others. I am not interested in the answer now, but rather the reason modern Jews have tossed so much of that sort of thing away. I haven’t researched the reasoning, but I’m sure it had nothing to do with their love of the law or of God. However, and if you can prove me wrong, please do so with facts, I think the modern Jew realized many of the things in the law were part of their survival in the surrounding culture and when that changed, these “laws” were obsolete.
Were they right in doing that, and by what authority did they do so? By what authority do we Christians pick and choose passages from the law of Moses and not use them all as Paul said we must?
I’ve said all of this to make this point: How much of the Bible including the New Testament, should we understand in it’s historical and cultural context? For example, if a beloved preacher or some other significant man was dying, would we advance the medicine used on King David when he was old and dying? In I King 1:ff it says, “When King David was old and well advanced in years, he could not keep warm, even when they put covers on him. So his servants said to him, (David?) ‘Let us look for a young virgin (an unmarried young woman) to attend the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord king may keep warm.
“Then they searched throughout Israel and found Abishag, a Shunamite, and brought her to the king. The girl was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no intimate relations with her.” The gaps are easily filled in as to why she had to be a beautiful virgin.
Was that appropriate for the time? Well, there were no law against it! Would that be an appropriate treatment for today? No, but that’s how they understood medicine illness and well being at the time I’m pretty sure even an orthodox Jew would not see that as kosher.
Her’s my point, and I know I’ve made it before: We must continually understand scripture in light of current wisdom and knowledge. I know there are people who believe the sick should be anointed with oil (by the elders) as it says in James. I also know that for some this has a special, even powerful meaning. But is it mandatory? Did it have a meaning then that it does not have now? What about foot washing? There are strong examples about it’s place and meaning in the Bible. Is it mandatory? What made much of Christendom decide it was based in custom? Can it have a current significance? Yes. But by what principle was it discarded as a requirement?
Are women required to wear a veil when in church, or as some say, “A second covering”? According to Paul, in I Cor. 11ff, the woman who prayed and prophesied had to wear a veil. That was the original meaning of covering; across the face and head. Her hair was to be long, whatever long was at the time, and a man’s hair was to be short, what ever short was for that time. By what authority was it decided that was based on customary understanding and not the law of God? Do some still demand it? Yes, but not most. Why?
Just as the eunuch, once rejected is accepted, the spirit of God requires that we do not leave our understanding of God trapped in historical understanding.
THOSE TO SERVE IN DECEMBER
Announcements: Wayne Flora
Serve Communion: Lyn Jordan
Usher: Holly Wagner
Communion Care: Williams
2-Karen Branch Susan Jordan
9-Alan Beach Holly Wagner
16-Del Bolin Mark McRoy
23-Scott Blessing Mike Branch
2-Alan Beach Alisa Flora
9-Abraham Sirgy Connie Crites
16-Scott Blessing Holly Wagner
23-Mike Branch Joanne Elder
If you cannot serve contact Erma Williams
2- Jack Thompson 7-Megan Downing
13-Alisa Flora 20- Dillon Hogan
20-Carson McRoy 25-Rhonda McRoy
27-Martha Foy 28-Jeff Bland
3-Jeff & Cathie Martin
23-Gary & Jan Overstreet
CONCERNS: Jo Wagner’s sister is at home. Jamie Cole, Joni Beach’s niece deals with hydrocephalus issues. Alan Beach’s sister-in law is having health problems, as are the parents of the Beach’s. Other family members dealing with aging are Wayne Flora and Del Bolin’s mother. Donte McCadden has CF. Teryn Gaynor’s parents also have health issues. Debbie and Ray Reiss’ son-in law (brain cancer) Wayne Phlegar, Deanna McRoy, Linda .Alsup and husband, Prentice, Bill Albert, Jim Hunter, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Ray and Darnell Barns, Gil Richardson (ALS), Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE
The annual Christmas Eve Service will be on Monday evening at 6:00. More information in the next bulletin.
Those of you who attended the last Super Sunday meal could see how the improvements to the annex are coming. Even if you didn’t stay look in some time when the annex is open and see the improvements.
THE CHRISTMAS TREE
The Christmas tree will be up in the annex this week. Wednesday evening we will spend a little time decorating it.
THE ANNUAL CHRISTMAS DINNER
Rather than having a separate party, we have been combing the annual Christmas Party with the Super Sunday meal in December. Erma has placed a sign-up sheet on the table in the foyer. More information in the next bulletin as to the menu and other items
Aside from family members who visit during the Thanksgiving holiday, we had visitors from Pottstown, Pa. Who were passing though and worshiped with us.
The Wednesday evening soup supper and Bible study is now back on track.