Roanoke Church of Christ



When our kids were little I used to watch Rocky and Bullwinkle with them. Well, the truth is I probably watched it even if they weren’t there. There was a segment called “Fractured Fairytales”. You get the picture. It was clever and funny. What is neither clever or funny is when Christianity gets fractured. That is a tragedy.

A recent case in point is the fire along the Kentucky Tennessee boarder where the local fire department arrived, but was prevented from fighting the fire because the home owner had not paid the fire fee. That this gained national attention was not surprising. What was surprising is that “Christian” commentators jumped in to defend the fire department’s actions. The reasoning was that if they treated one family to free service it would somehow damage those who had paid.

In one remarkable comment by Bryan Ficher, part of the American Family Association, he said,”The left wants to reward the irresponsible by forcing the responsible to cough up resources to bail them out! Thus perversely the irresponsible are rewarded and the responsible punished! That frankly sounds more like the teaching of Jim Wallis than Jesus Christ!” He then goes on to blame Mr Cranick (the home owner). “What would Jesus do? That’s easy. He’d tell Mr Cranick, ‘Man up, accept full responsibility and don’t blame anyone but yourself for what happened, that’s the Christian thing to do. And next time, Gene, pay the 75 bucks, all right?’”

To his Christian critics (he at least admits there ere Christians who disagree with him) he tells them, “Instead of whining about how hard-hearted everyone else is, why don’t you man up (he loves that term) and send the man some money to help him rebuild his house? That’d be the Christian thing to do right then! Any takers?”

You may remember the American Family Association. They were noted for ranking TV shows as to how much skin was shown, how many sexual innuendos and how many  gays were used, among other things. I don’t know how they chose those steely enough to be the censors, but somebody watched a lot of TV.

As to Mr. Ficher’s request, I think I heard that over five thousand dollars had been sent to help with the rebuilding. I would be surprised if there is any from Mr. Ficher. After all, why reward irresponsibility? It might also be noted that the fire department was offered up to ten thousand dollars on the spot via a check from a neighbor (a good irresponsible Samaritan?), but it was refused because of the “letter of the law”.

It might surprise Mr Ficher if a poll was taken from those who had paid their fee, as to if they would allow their money to be used to save a family home. I could quote a lot of scripture here, but I’ve learned those who claim to know the Bible, read it, as Paul said, “with a veiled heart.” In other words, it would do no good.

Ficher also added that he was surprised that so many Christians disagreed with him. He said it was usually Marxists, and socialists who did that. I found that currently interesting. It seems in the current political climate that if you disagree with the likes of Ficher, you are ether a socialist or a Marxist.

From my point of view, the case for fighting the fire was a no brainer. In fact, I’m surprised the firemen didn’t ignore their orders to stand down. As I understand it, they were volunteers. I guess you can fire a volunteer, but how bad is that when your integrity is on the line?

In many areas the rescue squad and fire department are volunteer. Would Mr Ficher say the same thing if it were not a fire, but a medical emergency? Would he say the Christian thing to do was to “man up” and watch a loved one die because you had failed to pay the fee? Who would he blame? In his own words, the person so irresponsible they had not paid the fee. The scriptural ramifications of that is so staggering I can’t begin to know where to start!

Let’s look at another real-life case. In New York an EMT is on trial for not helping a woman who was dying from an asthma attack. It seems Eutisha Rennix was in the Au Bon Bakery when the attack occurred. Melissa Jackson and her EMT partner, Jason Green were in the bakery as well, but they were off duty. When Eutisha had the attack, Jackson called 911. Rennix died. Why did Jackson and her partner not help? They were off the clock. Why give away free service to someone? (Remember, Mr Cranick didn’t set his house on fire.) If everyone who gets paid to do something starts doing it for free, then everyone will expect free service! Doctors and nurses should not stop and help if they are off the clock. Teachers should not offer to stay after school and tutor. For crying out loud, where would that logic(?) end?

Thank goodness New York City has a different view than the Fichers of the world! Of course, Jackson’s lawyer has said she did nothing wrong. In fact, he says she did what she should have, she called for help. We’ll see how it turns out

I don’t know if Melissa Jackson is a confessing Christian or not. The question is, did she do the Christian thing? Unbelievably, there are Christians who would say she did. How? Because of the letter of the law. I will quote a scripture here. 11 Cor. 3:6  ”He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter, but of the spirit;  for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.”

I hope no one is thinking that the “letter” and “spirit”, as used here, does not mean every moral and ethical situation in which we  might find ourselves. The Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah, (31:33,34) says, “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.” The writer of Hebrews quotes the same passage as the new covenant is explained.

As Christians we are called on to use the spirit/law written on our hearts to make the moral and ethical decisions we face each day. Those decisions will be guided not by the letter of any law, but by the law of God that tells us to treat others the way we would want to be treated. I can just see a person like Mr Ficher telling the EMTs to let his child die because he was irresponsible and didn’t pay his fee. God help us.

CONCERNS: The Pettry family as they deal with their tragic loss. Leonard Plaster’s brother is having hip surgery. Judy McWhorter’s customer’s nephew is doing well with the cancer treatments. The Smiths have a neighbor who is ill and needs prayer. The Halls also have a neighbor who has cancer. Remember Joni Beach and family as her mother’s health declines from cancer. Joanne Elder and Erma Williams as they search for jobs.  Trisha, a friend of the Bolins. Mike Breeding, Ron Matney’s nephew will soon have a pacemaker implanted. Connie Crite’s father, Polly Altice and her son, James. Zona Fisher’s brother, Tim, (cancer) and her niece is also being treated for cancer. Roger’s nephew in Fla. is also a cancer patient. Helen Nicklas was able to be with us last Sunday. The Phlegar’s friend Julie who lives in Texas and is slowly recovering from a stroke. Jenni and Wilma Cullum, Barbara McCauley, Tim Elder and the work for Christ being done across the world, especially Health Talents Int. and Bread For A Hungry World.
The food pantry has received another donation and continues to help those in need.
Monday: Psalm 46
Tuesday: John 14:1-11
Wednesday: Psalm 23
Thursday: Isaiah 26:1-4
Friday Matthew 5:1-16
Saturday: I John 2:7-11, 15-17
Monday: Isaiah 53:1-12
Tuesday: Matthew 28:1-20
Wednesday: Ezekiel 34:1-16
Thursday: Acts 21:37-22:16
Friday: Psalm 14:1-7
Saturday: Revelation 20:11-21:9 & 22-27
Our hearts were torn with the news of the death of former member, Jim Pettry. Jim and Pat were riding horses at a dude ranch outside of Little Rock, when Jim’s horse was spooked, reared up and then fell on him, causing massive head injuries.

The Pettry’s were part of almost everything that was done when they were here. Jim loved music and gave his talent by  being one of our song leaders. The Peaks of Otter Picnic was Pat’s idea, as was the soup suppers on Wednesday evening.

When I (kw) told our son, Todd, of Jim’s death, he said, “Jim was one of the good ones.” He’s right, Jim was one of the good ones.

Jim had just turned 60. His funeral was in Mawmelle, AR on Friday, Oct. 15. If you would like to drop Pat a letter or a card,  her address is: 129 Hibiscus Dr, Mawmelle, AR 72113.

Today, Oct. 17, is Super Sunday. Plan to stay after the service today and enjoy the fellowship meal. October birthdays and anniversaries will be served first
This is also the day for the annual Peaks of Otter Hike and Picnic. Erma will secure a place for the picnic. If you are just going for the picnic offer to help her set up. If you are riding the bus, and it happens to be a pretty day, try to get your tickets early. The picnic will start about 5:30 after the last bus comes down. If you are hiking it’s a good idea not to start up much after 3:00
Sorry about missing Susan Phlegar’s birthday in the last bulletin. These “misses” will be taken care of when we publish the updated directory. Susan’s birthday is the 24th, which just happens to be next Sunday. Be prepared to sing to her.
Phillip Pierce has fulfilled a lifelong dream and has opened his own collision repair shop in the West Lake area of Smith Mt Lake. See him if you want to know more about it.
Stephanie Dixon’s address is 2116 Broadway Ave. SW Roanoke, 24014. Made a notation in your directory.

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