“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 24, NO. 33 & 33 – SCRIPTURAL CARELESSNESS
Why does a bird stare at the snake until it’s too late? Why does a moth fly into the flame? Why do we read letters to the editor? Why do I read things I know are going to frustrate me? Is it just human nature?
I receive a “journal” of sorts in which I know there will be articles that make me shake my head in wonder. And yet, each time I skim through it to see the latest issues on the author’s minds. Sometimes I get through in a hurry, sometimes not. The snake is staring back at me.
The latest had to do with what is assumed to be current issues in the nation in this political era. Naturally such things as abortion and sexuality were there, along with divorce. Along with those were divorce and sowing discord. I was pleased to even see an article on how God hates social injustice. The author quoted extensively from the prophets and the letter of James. The problem was the only illustration he expanded on was how pornography made people poor. He never mentioned the personal, corporate and political greed that robs people of a better life, which was the basis of the prophet’s lament, as well as James. He did point out that the rich man ignored Lazarus’ needs.
All of the articles were underwritten with the selected scriptures to prove the writer’s point. But it was the one on abortion that caused me the most head shaking.
Abortion is a hot topic, and there are lots of opinions about it. But as we try to deal with it we should be honest and not build cases on the faulty use of scripture, which is what this man did. He uses Ps. 139:13-16 and Job 31:15 as proof that God forms us in the womb. He says, “God did not ‘knit’ together a mere chemical activity or cellular growth…” He then (somehow) jumps to the conclusion that the “unformed substance” Ps. 139:16 was the “embryonic state, the first eight weeks after conception.” How he knows this is not reveled. He says, “He (God) formed us in the womb, human beings, in his own image.” Allow me a little sarcasm. If what he says is true, God may need to take “knitting” lessons. Does God knit together a child with both sex organs, as sometimes happen? Does God knit together a child and forget to add the hands or feet? Does God knit together a child with any birth defect? Now that is an offence to God!
He also ignores Verse 15, “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth your eyes saw my unformed body.” (“Substance” KJV) You will note that the “unformed substance” is not in the womb, but in a secret place in the depths of the earth. Having read that you may want to go see The Odd Life of Timothy Green, a delightful movie about a childless couple who planted I’m not sure what in their garden and got a wonderful little boy.
Psalm 139 also says God “ordains” all our days, which I suppose for him means the child that only lives one day was ordained so by God. Now that’s an offence to God!
He needs to be sure the child is born innocent so he bends Rom. 9:10-13 and somehow thinks Ezek. 18:1-10 means that. What he will not touch is Psalm 51:5. “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”
He also goes to Exodus 21:22-25 where the situation is two men fighting and a pregnant woman is somehow caused to have a miscarriage. More than one understanding of this text has been given, but the author concentrates on the loss of the child and the phrase, “life for life”. One might ask if this instruction is limited to two men fighting, assuming one is the husband of the injured woman, or to any caused miscarriage. If it’s for any caused abortion, and the “life for life” applies today, a kid on a skateboard recklessly coming around the corner and hitting a pregnant woman, causing her to miscarry, would have to be killed. Right?
The main problem, other than careless and prejudicial use of scripture, comes from taking literally words and phrases that were written to be poetic, which is the case in the quotations from the Psalms. You don’t get to the truth by building on untruth and prejudice.
CONCERNS: Phillip Pierce’s mother is in ICU and is very ill. Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones, is recovering from a stroke in Lynchburg. Jim will be spending weekends with her for awhile to help out. Martha Foy’s mother is having some health issues. Martha has a friend, Lauren, who needs prayer due to health problems. Connie Crites’ brother (cancer), Jim Hunter is improving each day. Stephanie Dixon is in Guatemala. Her boss’s son, Grayson, had surgery at Duke to help restore his sight which was lost due to an accident. Sharon (cancer), Billy (cancer) and his wife, Katy, who is pregnant with their fourth child. Leena Bolin’s brother, Nick (cancer), Jenn McCready (Vision problems). Mark McRoy’s friend, Ken Teatino who is being treated for cancer, also has liver failure. He has been sent to Duke for evaluation. Remember Helen Nicklas, Jenni Cullum (Jenni may have to have hip surgery soon) Alma Martin, Ron Matney, Joni Beach’s mother (cancer), Tim Elder and the work of Health Talents Int. and Bread For A Hungry World.
OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 3-8
Monday: Exodus 14:10-31
Tuesday: Isaiah 2:1-14
Wednesday: Romans 14:1-9
Thursday: John 5:1-18
Friday: Genesis 4:1-18
Saturday: Psalm 146:1-10
OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 10-15
Monday: John 1:35-51
Tuesday: Revelation 1:4-20
Wednesday: I Corinthians 6:7-20
Thursday: Luke 17:11-19
Friday: Philippians 2:1-13
Saturday: Psalm 98: 1-9
THE BAR B QUE
Even though this is being typed before the annual Labor Day Weekend Bar B Que, the weather looked as if it would be good. A thanks goes out to all the “cooks”, and those who brought the “fixin’s” and especially Chef Jeff who took care of getting all the meat and flavoring.
Stephanie is in Guatemala this week working with Health Talents International and the Ezell Clinic. This is her first trip. She will return on Saturday.
A thank you card from Roger Fisher concerning the passing of his son, Steven, was overlooked in the last issue of the bulletin. It reads: “A special thanks to my church family for all your prayers, cards, phone calls, visits and just knowing all of you were there for me.
The card is on the downstairs bulletin board.
We also received a card from the folks at the Ronald McDonald House for the work we did there recently.
OUR ABC KIDS
Periodically we receive notes from the two children we help educated via the ABC program in Guatemala. These have arrived and will be read, as well as posted for you to see.
UPCOMING WEEKEND BIBLE SCHOOL
Just over a month away is our Weekend Bible School. Since school has started we really can’t call it “Vacation Bible School”. Maybe since it’s in October we could call it “Oktoberfest Bible School” Either way, it will be the weekend of Super Sunday and the Peaks of Otter Hike and Picnic, which is October 19-21.
STILL WORKING ON IT
We are still gathering ideas and costs concerning the new sound system as well as the video screen, We also need to take a good look at improving the lighting in the auditorium. The large bulbs for the old fixtures are getting hard to find. There has been some talk about adding padding the pews to our list of upgrades. Share your thoughts with any of the steering committee members.