Roanoke Church of Christ

Month: September 2021

I Can Only Imagine

NEW LIFE BULLETIN    September 19, 2021

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE *

A Friend of mine who lives in Nashville and is a member of the Church of Christ sent me an e-mail which included an article from The Nashville Tennessean. It had to do with a Church of Christ Christian school in Columbia, TN. It seems five of the teachers attended a Church of Christ that had used instrumental music during a Good Friday service. When this was discovered by the Board of Directors the teachers were told to resign or stop attending that church. One woman who had taught kindergarten there for 27 years decided to retire. However, the Board worked out a compromise. The other four teachers were told they could stay if they promised not to attend the three or four services a year the church had where instruments were involved. Two of them took the deal and the other two resigned to seek other jobs. 

A blogger, who I first thought was being sarcastic but, upon rereading and rereading, was serious, talked about dealing with such things quickly because young minds could be lead astray. He added that no one in their right mind would burn in hell over (as I remember) a harp or a flute. 

Let it be said:  I was raised a cappella and intend to stay a cappella until I die. But I do not believe the use or non-use of instrumental music is an offense to God. For me it is more a complication than an innovation. Have I sung in a worship service with an instrument? Yes, and I would again if the situation put me there. That also means I believe, contrary to some folks, that you can sing hymns and play the piano, or guitar, or whatever on some occasion. Having said that, I can only imagine….

The year is 2208 and the choir for the Church of The Future mega-church is preparing for Sunday’s performance. Actually, like most churches, their services are pay-per-view. The congregants simply slide their credit card through a scanner on the TV, their contribution is collected, and they are ready to worship in the comfort of their own home. Some have said this was the result of global warming, but others say it is not. Most believed it was a carry-over from the pandemic two years earlier. So, the rehearsal is on a ‘‘heavenly” looking set, rather than an old-time choir loft. 

A choir member says to another, “You know, I was reading a little history on church music. Did you know some churches actually sang without instrumental accompaniment?”

“Get out!”

“No! They called it a cappella.”    

“Aka what?”

“A cappella, It means something like as in the chapel. Do you want to try it on the rest of the choir?”

“Why not? We’re always looking for a new way to get viewers and save souls, of course. Hey, you people, gather round! Andronis has an idea. He’s found some religious history where people sang in a method called ‘a cappella.’ It means singing without the use of instrumental accompaniment. Would you like to try it?” Frowns passed over the choir’s faces, especially the orchestra.

“What about us?” asked a violin player. “This is what we get paid to do.”

“It won’t be permanent. We just want to see what it’s like. If it works, we’ll slip it in for next Sunday’s broadcast.”

With some reluctance, and a little fear, they agreed to give it a try. When they did, they were surprised at how well they sounded. One woman turned to the other and said, “All these years I’ve never really heard your real voice. It was wonderful.”

 Of course, there were others who discovered some who seemed to sing well, but actually didn’t. That was okay, but it was a little surprising. They decided, after promising the orchestra it would just be for one Sunday, to try it. When time for the Sunday performance came, they were well-tuned and ready. If they had to say so themselves, they thought they sounded really good. Their delight was short lived. As soon as the service was over the pastor was in a rage. “What was that!? I’ve never heard anything like that in church before. It sounded more like a bar room! Good Christians don’t sound like they’re singing to God in the shower! I want it stopped! Now!”

Then the calls and e-mails started coming in, thousands of them. 90% of them were threatening to cancel their membership. Words like “Devil worship” and “Worldly” were tossed around like leaves in the wind. Some said they had to remove their children from the room so they would not be led astray by the siren song of a cappellaism. A few thought it was different, but beautiful. However, they wondered about adding to what the Bible clearly said about instruments of music and their use in heaven and the Old Testament. They asked if it was done again that it not be on a Sunday broadcast but only on other special days.

 Added to all this was a call from the Lion Network, on which their show was broadcast. Lion said they had received threats from viewers to boycott the network unless they did something about the lascivious music they’d seen on The Church of The Future’s broadcast. Lion said COTF’s contract would be rescinded unless they signed an agreement not to sing in such a fashion ever again. COTF agreed and passed out loyalty forms for each choir member to sign. A church across town decided they were missing their market share of those who liked “bar room” singing and started a Saturday night service where the choir sang a cappella. It was called “Hum Don’t Strum Saturday Night.” I can only imagine…… 

*From 2008 

   Keith Wagner 

THOSE TO SERVE IN SEPTEMBER

Announcements: Mike Branch or Connie Crites 

Ushers: Lyn Jordan

Singing:19-Wayne Flora,

              26- Del Bolin

Scripture: 19 & 26- Susan Jordan

Communion: 19- Keith Wagner 

                        26-Wayne Flora,

SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAYS

22-Carolee Crosen

25-Mark McRoy

 25-Judy McWhorter

 29-Ann Claris “AC” Fuller

CONCERNS: Please continue to pray for Judy McWhorter’s Sister, Jan, and brother-in-law, Gary Overstreet. Gary is in Hospice care. Deanna McRoy is recovering from cancer surgery in Atlanta. Joni & Alan ask for prayers for their son, Nathan, and his family. Del Bolin’s mom, Carrie, please continue to pray for her health.  Erma’s sister, Lorretta, has a serious six-month oncology treatment plan. Please continue to pray for Alisa Flora’s nephew, Ethan Gentry, and her sister Melanie Gentry. Wayne Flora’s parents, Sylvus and Martha Flora, and sister, Jan. Teryn Gaynor’s mother Brenda Windham has cancer and is on immunosuppressant medicine. Pray for Steve Gaynor’s family.  A friend of Mark McRoy’s, Charlie Duvall, has constant pain and is facing several surgeries. Phil Peters, a friend of Holly Wagner, has stage 4 Pancreatic cancer.  Jim Hunter has been diagnosed with an autoimmune deficiency and will be going to UVA September 29th. Joni Beach’s niece, Jamie Cole. Pray for Debbie McRoy’s cousins, Linda Alsup and Erica Halford.

 ALSO REMEMBER: Wendy Davis & Sons, Judy & Bud McWhorter, Stacey Smith, Bonnie & Judd Beaver, Martha Albert, Steve Nicklas and Family, Alan & Joni Beach, Kerry & Sula Hay, Wayne & Susan Phlegar, Lebreska Whitaker, Nick Hodges, Ruby Crosen, Mark & Ellen Tidwell, Donte McCadden, Joni and Alan Beach’s fathers, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, and Tim Elder

SUNDAY SERVICE  &  CLASS

     This Sunday September 19th, Sunday Class (9:30) and service (10:30) will be OUTSIDE behind the Annex building.  

SUNDAY EVENING

We have evening services at 6:30pm for those who are unable to attend Sunday Mornings. Hand out postcards to spread the word.

SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS

Brian will be discussing the book Saved from What?  Please join us at 9:30 am, in person or online with YouTube.

SUPER SUNDAY- 9/19

Our third Sunday fellowship is back. We will be following COVID-19 protocol, and will be eating outside, wearing a mask and gloves when serving.

YOUTH GROUP

We will be hosting kids from the Rescue Mission. This event will take place twice a month, starting on Friday, October 1st.  If you would like to help let Brian know.

ONLINE YOUTUBE SERMONS

We continue to provide services online. The Roanoke Church of Christ YouTube channel link below:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdNYzpUNlXl5tCx3Mest5kA

WEDNESDAY NIGHT / PRAYER

Stop by the building! Or Join the Zoom prayer meeting at 7pm. Meeting ID:871 5121 9038 Passcode: RCofC

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87151219038

THURSDAY NIGHT

The study of the book Saved from What? is on Thursday nights at 6:00pm at the Mileti home and on Sunday mornings at 9:30am. This will be a great on ramp for someone you have been witnessing to.

NEW LIFE IN CHRIST

Congratulations to Alyssa Mileti, who was baptized in the Roanoke River last Sunday. Way to go, Alyssa!!!

Scriptural Truth

NEW LIFE BULLETIN    September 5, 2021

SCRIPTURAL TRUTH * 

 Most preachers I know who hang on to their old sermons find upon review, that they wouldn’t preach them again. It’s not that what they said at the time was untrue, it’s just that they’ve moved on in their understanding of both scripture and the world. Of course, some themes continue to run through all sermons, but the glue that holds the sermon together is something stronger and deeper than any one period of time. 

This poses the question: If preachers could live two hundred years or so, would their sermons continue to become obsolete? Would there ever be a time when they had “eternal” sermons? Sermons that, with the passing of time, would not change regarding their application to the surrounding world. I don’t think so. In fact, I believe it is part of the great expansion of knowing God and God’s world that will prevent it from being so. You will also note I said “application.” The topic may be Jesus’ words about loving one another. That theme will not change. What will change is the application, or perhaps we might even say the “hermeneutic,” meaning the method of interpretation.

 All preachers use sources for their sermons. Those sources are closely guarded secrets because most of them are either too good to reveal, or they are “borrowed” (plagiarized) from a compatible and hopefully reliable source. The stealing is not as critical as who you steal from. You can buy copies of Martin Luther and Charles Hadden Spurgeon’s sermons and even preach them if you want to preach sermons outdated by time and language. Were they insightful? Yes, for their time and place. Good themes? Yes, and those themes can be used and expanded upon, but preached word-for-word their application and illustrations belong to another time and culture. In other words, those sermons, as is, would be as irrelevant and tasteless as “peas porridge in the pot, nine days old.”

 As I said, the problem with “borrowing” is who you borrow from. If the preacher continues to only use source material from past preachers of his own thinking, he will be stuck in the past and will think only as they thought. I once knew a preacher who did read beyond Church of Christ preachers, but only from those of the l9th century. He is still thinking in that same century and is a leader in the watch dogs of orthodoxy in his area.

 If you are a preacher or a student of preaching, you might disagree. But I would ask why your old sermons seem too dull, or, for lack of a better word, too awful to be used again without a lot of updating and modification? Were they true? Hopefully. Then what happened? The world happened. The world constantly presents us with deeper and better ways of understanding and applying scripture. By that I mean the world (humankind) keeps on growing in its knowledge and understanding of itself. This, I believe, is the will of God. Without it we would still be in some prehistoric, primal darkness.

 It is in cooperation with the continuing growth of human wisdom and understanding that the truth of scripture also grows. Therefore, at one time, apparently honest men could preach that slavery was the will of God because it was not condemned in scripture. On the other hand, equally honest men and women began to see the world of slavery and scripture in a different light. So, the same scriptures began to be understood in a different and better way. This would also be true of the value and place of women, both in society and in the church. Science and medicine are other fields that have presented (however slowly) believers in scripture with the challenge of new understandings and applications. One can only imagine what things we accept today as an acceptable application of scripture that time and human understanding will challenge us to change.

 I suppose for some this is heretical and dangerous thinking. We want solid ground for our truth, and we want our truth to be unchangeable. However, our “truth” as truthful as it is, is not necessarily God’s truth for all time. That truth must be gained one step, one day, one experience at a time. This is true in every field of endeavor, so why not in the understanding of God? 

Can you imagine someone in the first century telling the apostle Paul to pick up a phone and call the church at Corinth? Such an item in his hands would have seemed evil. Why didn’t Paul know about airplanes and television? Because those steps of knowledge had not yet been taken. And when those steps are taken, we always look back at where we were and are thankful we took them. 

But the question still lingers: Is yesterday’s truth tomorrow’s truth? In many cases, yes. But in other important areas of human (and spiritual) development, they are not. And because it does involve the lives of humans and the continuance of the earth, it also involves how scripture is used. 

For example, in Galatians 4:8,9, Paul tells them they “were slaves to those who by nature are no gods.” He then asks, do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? Question: Was what had enslaved them real or not? How can a “no god” be real? What had enslaved them was the superstition, the belief in all these “no” gods. However, from this and other passages like it, we take an ancient belief in all kinds of “beings” and turn it into a doctrine about a battle going on in heaven. And yet we will acknowledge that the “Lord’s prayer” speaks of doing the will of God on earth as it is done in heaven. Does God get God’s will done in heaven or is “heaven” out of control? In Colossians l:16-18, Paul says about Jesus, “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” Paul then says, “…so that in everything he might have the supremacy.”

 When we use the truth of scripture without separating it from the time and culture in which it was written, we strangle the eternal truth for the world we live in today. As we learn new truths, we should not be among those who use scripture to enslave those it was meant to free. 

*From 2008 

   Keith Wagner 

THOSE TO SERVE IN SEPTEMBER

Announcements: Mike Branch or Connie Crites

Ushers: Lyn Jordan

Singing: 5 & 12- Karen Branch

19-Wayne Flora, 26- Del Bolin

Scripture: 5 & 12- Ruby Crosen,

 19 & 26- Susan Jordan

Communion: 5 & 26- Wayne Flora, 

 12 & 19- Keith Wagner

SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAYS  

 13-Joanne Elder

22-Carolee Crosen

25-Mark McRoy

25-Judy McWhorter

29-Ann Claris “AC” Fuller 

CONCERNS: TJ Hall’s son-in-law, Jeffrey Davis (Wendy’s husband) passed away on 8/29/21 of Covid related issues. Deanna McRoy is recovering from cancer surgery in Atlanta. Joni & Alan ask for prayers for their son, Nathan, and his family. Judy McWhorter is recovering from knee replacement surgery and COVID-19. Del Bolin’s mom, Carrie, is home, please continue to pray for her health.  Erma’s sister, Lorretta, has a serious six-month oncology treatment plan. Please continue to pray for Alisa Flora’s nephew, Ethan Gentry, and her sister Melanie Gentry. Wayne Flora’s parents, Sylvus and Martha Flora, and sister, Jan. Teryn Gaynor’s mother, Brenda Windham, has cancer and will start immunosuppressant medicine. Pray for Steve Gaynor’s family. Charlie Duvall, Mark McRoy’s friend, has constant pain and is facing several surgeries. Phil Peters, Holly Wagner’s friend, has Stage 4 Pancreatic cancer.  Jim Hunter has been diagnosed with an autoimmune deficiency and will be going to UVA in September. Joni Beach’s niece, Jamie Cole. Pray for Debbie McRoy’s cousins, Linda Alsup and Erica Halford.

ALSO REMEMBER:  Stacey Smith, Bud McWhorter, Jan & Gary Overstreet, Bonnie Beaver, Martha Albert, Steve Nicklas and family, medical student of Del Bolin, Cory.  Calesta Saunders, Alan & Joni Beach, Kerry & Sula Hay, Judd Beaver, Lebreska Whitaker, Wayne & Susan Phlegar, Nick Hodges, Ruby Crosen, Mark & Ellen Tidwell, Donte McCadden, Joni and Alan Beach’s fathers, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, and Tim Elder.

SUNDAY EVENING:        

          We have evening services at 6:30pm for those who are unable to attend Sunday Mornings. Please be sure to pick up and hand out the postcards.

SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS  

          This Sunday, 9/5/21, Brian will be discussing Discipleship.  Please join us. Then the following Sunday Del Bolin will pick back up with the study of “The Acts of God in the Book of Acts” at 9:30 am, in person or online with YouTube.  

PIG ROAST- 9/4/21      

        We will have a COVID-19 friendly pig roast along with a showing of “God’s not Dead,” a movie-in-the-yard. We will gather around 5:30pm and plan to eat around 6:30pm, when the meat is ready.  Movie will start at sunset, about 7:45pm. This is an outreach event.

  ONLINE YOUTUBE SERMONS 

          We continue to provide services online. The Roanoke Church of Christ YouTube channel link below:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdNYzpUNlXl5tCx3Mest5kA

 WEDNESDAY NIGHT

Join the Zoom Meeting on the study of Matthew at 7pm.

Meeting ID: 842 3705 2443

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84237052443

THURSDAY NIGHT 

          We will begin the study of the book Saved from What? on September 9th at 6:00pm at the Miletis’ home.  It will also be discussed on Sunday mornings at 9:30am. This will be a great on-ramp for someone you have been witnessing to.  Books are in. See Brian.

YOUTH GROUP 

          We will be hosting kids from the Rescue Mission. This will be a twice-a-month event starting in September on Fridays. If you would like to help, let Brian know.                                                

 THANK YOU                             

     We want to thank Mike & Karen Branch for having a church get together at the lake house on 8/22. Everyone who attended enjoyed the time of fellowship. 

FOOD PANTRY

     Food Pantry items needed: peanut butter, Chef Boyardee Ravioli and Beefaroni, and skillet meals like Hamburger Helper.

The Will of God

ROANOKE CHURCH OF CHRIST “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN   AUGUST 15, 2021

TIIE WILL OF GOD 

The way people talk about the will of God, you’d think it would be quite simple. For a whole lot of people, the will of God is everything that happens, at least as they see it. After all, if God is all powerful and knows all, then everything that happens must be God’s will. Of course, there’s that little issue of things that are opposed to everything God, as love, isn’t. Evil, for example. For that the answer is usually, “God allows it.”

 Another question is, are there things that just happen because that’s the way the life is structured? A woman asked me a while back if I thought the fact that she had a flat on a tire that was in good shape, was the will of God. What would you say? Would you tell her God allows things like that to happen or tell her sometimes in life you get a flat? I haven’t seen her since to ask if she discovered the reason the tire went flat. My guess is she ran over something. One might say God caused her to run over something to teach her a lesson. Two nice men helped her with the tire. There you have it. God caused her to have a flat tire so she could learn that there are nice people in the world. If they mugged her, she would have learned the opposite. 

A year or so ago we were watching a NASCAR race on a Sunday afternoon. Yes, I watch NASCAR races. Actually, I sleep during the race, and I find they are still going in the same circle (or oval) when I wake up. It reminds me of life. They even rerun all the exciting (depending on your definition of exciting) parts. Again, life is like that. We seldom forget the dumb mistakes we make, and they are subject to instant recall. And at times, don’t we all feel we are going in circles? Alas, I have strayed away from theology and into philosophy. 

During the said race, Mark Martin wrecked near the end just as the door opened for him to win. Interviewed afterward, he said, among other things, “It was the will of God.” Meaning to Martin that it was God’s will that he didn’t win. Now, Mark Martin is known to be one of the nicest drivers in NASCAR. No doubt he is also religious. But somehow the idea that God willed the mistake that he or some other driver made to keep him from winning made me wince and smile at the same time. It’s not that I don’t think God watches NASCAR (along with the Dallas Cowboys), it’s just that blaming or crediting the loss to God falls short of what I believe.

 If I were to believe everything, and I mean everything, was willed by God, set in stone, predestined and unchangeable, since before the dawn of time, it would cause me to give up on the idea of God. Of course, it would fit the caste system of some religions. Some are created to be servants and cannon fodder, and others are created to be rich and oppress the rest. It sounds a little like natural selection. It’s all fixed and you can’t cross from one group to the other. Of course, if by chance someone does, they were simply in the wrong group to start with, which was also God’s doing. The answer given is the ways of God are not our ways. 

How much does free will come into play, if there is such a thing? I believe there is, but does that also mean personal responsibility? Was it God’s will that David commit adultery and murder? Was it decided before David was born? If so, how could Nathan the prophet find David guilty of sin when it was God’s will? After all, Nathan seems to have the ear of God. Why didn’t he just say, “God says what you did was wrong, but it is his will. And, by the way, the child of this adultery will not live.” Actually, Nathan says from God, “Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes?” If it was God’s will, how could it be called “despising” the “word” (the will?) of the Lord? 

On the lighter side, if everything that happens is God’s will, then God picks lottery winners as well as those who win big in Las Vegas.

There is a much deeper issue here. When the disciples asked Jesus how they should pray, one of the things he said was, “May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” What is Jesus saying? If God’s will is everything that happens, why are we supposed to pray that it will be done? And how is God’s will to be done on earth, just as it is done in heaven? How has God’s will been done all through Biblical history? By those who knew God’s will and did it or at least tried. They were called the “righteous.” That meant they stood for what was right and good not that they worshiped God. The prophets railed at the people, telling them God hated their solemn feasts and empty offerings. They said God wanted “mercy, not sacrifice.” Mercy for whom? For those who were oppressed by those who went to the temple and called themselves righteous. All the prophets had the same message. God’s will was that no one should abuse and oppress anyone else. Among the people who claimed to belong to the one God, justice, honesty, and mercy was demanded as God’s will. 

How did Jesus view his part in doing God’s will? He never described the will of God the way we tend to. However, when he first described his ministry, which was surely to do the will of God, he read from Isaiah 61. (Luke 4:10,11) The poor would hear the good news, freedom for those in prison, the blind would see, and the oppressed would be released from oppression. That, to Jesus, was the will of God to be done on earth, and he said he was here to do it. By the way, the “good news” was not that he was going to build a church. It was that finally, the poor would have value before God and not just the rich. It was that the poor were not poor because it was the will of God, which is what they’d been taught.

I don’t know all the mysteries of what might be called God’s will. My faith is based on how I see, as best I can, Jesus doing it. I don’t take one or two verses and make the rest of the Bible fit into them. I try to make them fit the rest of the teachings of Jesus and the others.

When it comes to the will of God for me and you, there is nothing mysterious about it. It’s right in front of us, Do the right thing. Do what Jesus said was God’s will. Love God and your neighbor (for Jesus that meant everyone) as yourself. That’s not simple. But it’s not a mystery.

Keith Wagner

THOSE TO SERVE IN AUGUST 

Announcements: Connie Crites 

Ushers: Joanne Elder

Singing: 15- Karen Branch

22- Del Bolin 29-Wayne Flora 

Scripture: 15- Debbie McRoy,

22- Alyssa Mileti 

Communion: 15- Wayne Flora 

22- Mike Branch, 29- Keith Wagner

AUGUST BIRTHDAYS

11-Garrett Williams Sr. 

20-Scott Blessing 

28- Holly Wagner  

AUGUST ANNIVERSARIES 

17-Mark & Rhonda McRoy 

27-Bud & Judy McWhorter

27-Tim & Joanne Elder 

31- Steve & Teryn Gaynor

CONCERNS: Joni & Alan ask for prayers for their son, Nathan, his wife, Paloma and newborn son, Jon. Judy McWhorter is recovering from knee replacement surgery and is currently doing PT. Del Bolin’s mom, Carrie, is home, please continue to pray for her health.  Erma’s sister, Lorretta, has a serious six-month oncology treatment plan. Please continue to pray for Alisa Flora’s nephew, Ethan Gentry, and her sister Melanie Gentry. Wayne Flora’s parents, Sylvus and Martha Flora, and sister, Jan. Teryn Gaynor’s mother Brenda Windham has cancer that metastasized into her colon (again) and her liver. She is doing chemo and will get another scan in a couple of months. Leena Bolin’s brother, Steve (Covid lung scarring), Steve’s ex-wife (possible ALS) and son (bi-polar).   Megan Downing’s aunt, Stacey Smith, will be checked monthly for a while.   Jim Hunter has been diagnosed with an autoimmune deficiency and will be going to UVA in September. Joni Beach’s niece, Jamie Cole. Pray for Debbie McRoy’s cousins, Linda Alsup and Erica Halford. Deanna McRoy has a kind of cancer that can return at any time.  

ALSO REMEMBER: Jan & Gary Overstreet, Bonnie Beaver, Martha Albert, Medical student of Del Bolin, Cory.  Calesta Saunders, Alan & Joni Beach, Kerry & Sula Hay, Judd Beaver, Lebreska Whitaker, Wayne & Susan Phlegar, Nick Hodges, Ruby Crosen, Mark & Ellen Tidwell, Donte McCadden, Joni and Alan Beach’s fathers, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, and Tim Elder.

MINISTER’S REPORT:

MOVIE NIGHT:

Monsters Inc. on Friday the 6th was a big success. We handed out 18 bibles.  Stay tuned for more movies this fall!

SUNDAY EVENING:

We have evening services at 6:30pm for those who are unable to attend Sunday mornings.  Please be sure to pick up and hand out the postcards.

SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS:

Please join us for the study of “The Acts of God in the Book of Acts” at 9:30 am, in person or online with YouTube.

PIG ROAST- 9/4/21

We are planning a Pig Roast for Saturday of Labor Day weekend. We will need a headcount of those who will be in attendance.

This is an outreach event! Please invite others. Let us know if you are coming. Will be showing a movie outside later that night.

ONLINE YOUTUBE SERMONS

We continue to provide services online. The Roanoke Church of Christ YouTube channel link is below:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdNYzpUNlXl5tCx3Mest5kA

WEDNESDAY NIGHT

Join the Zoom Meeting on the study of Matthew at 7pm.

Meeting ID:873 6718 6931

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87367186931

THURSDAY NIGHT

On September 9th at 6:00pm at the Miletis’ home, we will begin the study of the book Saved from What? Also, it will be on Sunday mornings at 9:30am. This will be a great on ramp for someone you have been witnessing too. We need a headcount so we can order the books.

AUGUST 22nd

Mike & Karen Branch are having a church get together at their lake house on 8/22. Lake house address is 585 November Lane, Wirtz, VA 24184

Time: 12:30- 4:00pm. Having Bojangles chicken & fixins’ and iced tea.  You can bring anything else if you wish. Let Mike or Karen know if you are coming.

THANK YOU CARD

We received a Thank you card from Breazeale family, “To thank you for your kindness and sympathy at a time when it was deeply appreciated.  Thank you very much for your support during this difficult time.  The white roses, mums, lillies and blue hydrangea arrangement in a blue vase was beautiful.  We deeply appreciate your caring, concern and prayers.”

FOOD PANTRY ITEMS NEEDED

We need peanut butter, Rice & Roni – chicken flavor, Ramen Noodles – chicken flavor, mac & cheese, sliced peaches, pineapple chunks, vegetable soup, Chef Boyardee – Beef Ravioli, Chef Boyardee – Beefaroni, Knorr rice side packets – Chicken Flavor, Idaho Potatoes in packages, and crackers.  

NEW SCHOOL YEAR

Please keep teachers, students, staff, and all school personnel in your prayers as they start a new school year. 

Are We on the Same Page; or Do You See What I See?

ROANOKE CHURCH OF CHRIST  “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN” AUGUST 1, 2021          

ARE WE ON THE SAME PAGE: OR DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?

 In my early years I was taught that we could all see the Bible alike. That meant everyone should see it the way the folks I went to church with saw it. Of course, we didn’t say it that way because we had “chapter and verse” for everything we believed. It made for a comfortable religion but with uncomfortable results.

 Even when I found that there were other Churches of Christ that were much like us, but only used one cup for communion, or didn’t have Sunday School, or, as I was to continue to discover, a whole lot of other differences, the feeling was that if they could just see the whole truth, they would agree with us. I wish I could say that type of orthodoxy has gone away, but it hasn’t. And by the way, that way of viewing the Bible is not limited to the Churches of Christ.

 I actually think not seeing the Bible alike can be a good thing as long as it doesn’t pervert the message of the Bible. You’re saying, “Okay, Keith, you’re in a contradiction here.” What I mean is, as long as the Bible is not used to enslave people, take their money, promote illicit behavior, and basically all the things the believers in both the Old and New Testament were derided for doing, then honest differences are a good thing. For example, we have a constitution, The Constitution. It’s pretty obvious that we don’t all see it alike. We even have a Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution for us when we need help. Before you think I might be proposing an authoritative interpretive body for the Bible, I’m not! Big time not! My point is that even on the Supreme Court there are differences in interpreting the Constitution. That’s one reason liberals worry about conservatives being appointed to that Court, and conservatives worry from the other direction. Both believe they are right in their understanding of that important document. Both are sure that if the other side opened their eyes, they would see it as they do. It’s never going to happen, and I’m okay with that. Do you know why? Because dictators want everyone to agree with them in all matters decided by them. It makes for the most efficient form of government.

 But how would we ever make any progress if someone did not disagree with the status quo? And what makes one person see things differently than the other? What if we all wanted the same make of car? What if we all wanted the same man or woman for a husband or wife? The creative balance of the world rests on differences. I think that includes, in a very important way, how we understand the Bible. Why? Because if we are believers in the Bible, how we understand it determines how we live and how we treat others.

 If we take a look at the history of those who believed in the God of the Bible, we can see a progression in the way they understood who and what God was. I say “was” because understanding the nature of God is ever changing. That’s why Jesus could say, “Moses told you that, but I’m telling you this.” Do you get the idea that Moses and Jesus didn’t see things alike?

 Does that mean Moses was wrong? No. Moses was dealing with issues and problems and a cultural situation different from that of Jesus. What Moses said at that time was what needed to be said to keep the people of Israel intact and unique. 

As to our Constitution, when it was written, the culture, at least among the Colonies, accepted African slaves as part of the economy. Then our forefathers said, “All men are created equal.” They did not interpret that the way those who came later would. Where would we be as a nation and as a people if that former understanding had not been challenged by someone who didn’t see it the same way? 

Such is true of the Bible. I know people today who say slavery can’t be condemned because it isn’t condemned in the Bible. That was said for several years. But the fight against slavery was fought the hardest by those who believed the Bible. Who saw the Bible correctly? And how would it have been if they all saw it alike, as supporting slavery? There were Christian proponents and Christian opponents to slavery and more recently, to integration. Perhaps there still are, but I hope most Christians see any discrimination as against God, even though scriptures will still be waved in support of a past understanding.

 I said recently to someone, “In order to be on the same page you have to be on the same page.” Redundant?  I know. But my point is, if we are not even in the same book, we can’t be on the same page, and I don’t mean the Bible. I mean in the way we think. I don’t think the way I did when I was a young adult. Why? I wish I could put my finger on it, but I can’t. Neither do I want to leave the impression that I’ve got all the answers, and everyone should see things as I do. Even the thought of that scares me. But as to how I reached this time and place in my relationship with God and Jesus, I think it was a combination of things. If I had to define it, I would say it had to do with getting involved. If you’ve been taught to shun the divorced, and you decide to get to know such a person and hear his or her story, your eyes get opened, and you find yourself on the same page in loving and understanding him or her. 

If you had been taught not to play with a black or foreign child, and you did, you would make your decision about that child based not on color or ethnicity but on character. Your eyes would be opened, and you’d be on the same page. Does that mean you’d think alike and agree on everything? Of course not. But the one thing you would come to agree on is the value of the other person as a contributor to your own well-being.

 What could we learn if we got to know someone who isn’t like us, on a different page and who sees things differently? Are we afraid to see with their eyes and read their story? How else will they want to see and read us? 

When our presuppositions are challenged, it is unsettling. But looking back, hasn’t that been how we have grown in Christlikeness and become more like the One who ate with the outcasts?

      Keith Wagner

THOSE TO SERVE IN AUGUST 

Announcements: Connie Crites 

Ushers: Joanne Elder

Singing: 1 & 15 Del Bolin, 8 & 22 Karen Branch, 29 Wayne Flora

Scripture:1 & 15 Debbie McRoy, 8 & 22 Alyssa Mileti

Communion: 1 & 29 Keith Wagner, 8 Del Bolin, 15 Wayne Flora, 22 Mike Branch

 AUGUST BIRTHDAYS             

10-Laura Hogan

11-Garrett Williams Sr. 

20-Scott Blessing 

28- Holly Wagner  

 AUGUST ANNIVERSARIES

17-Mark & Rhonda McRoy 

27-Bud & Judy McWhorter

27-Tim & Joanne Elder 

31- Steve & Teryn Gaynor

 CONCERNS: Joni and Alan ask for prayers for their son, Nathan, his wife, Paloma and newborn son, Jon. Judy McWhorter’s knee replacement, pray for a speedy recovery. Erma’s sister, Lorretta, is in the midst of a six-month oncology plan. Please continue to pray for Alisa Flora’s Nephew, Ethan Gentry, is now at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA., and her sister Melanie Gentry. Wayne Flora’s parents Sylvus and Martha Flora and sister Jan.  Please continue to pray for Del Bolin’s mom, Carrie, who has health issues. Leena Bolin’s brother Steve’s family members/ recent diagnoses of ALS and bi-polar. Teryn Gaynor’s mother Brenda Windham has Cancer that metastasized into her colon (again) and her liver.  Megan Downing’s aunt Stacey Smith will be checked monthly for a while.  Joni Beach’s niece, Jamie Cole. Pray for Debbie McRoy’s cousins, Linda Alsup and Erica Halford. Deanna McRoy has a kind of cancer that can return at any time. 

ALSO REMEMBER: Bonnie Beaver, Jim Hunter, Visitors Bill & Melinda Crigger, Medical Student of Del Bolin, Cory. Alan & Joni Beach, Kerry & Sula Hay, Judd Beaver, Calesta Saunders, Lebreska Whitaker, Wayne & Susan Phlegar, Angela Cavalier, Nick Hodges, Martha Albert, Ruby Crosen, Mark & Ellen Tidwell, Donte McCadden, Joni and Alan Beach’s fathers, Jo-Ellen Griffith, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, Tim Elder.