“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 27, NO. 27&28 – TO WHOM DOES GOD BELONG?
The obvious answer is “No one.” The answer for some is, “A chosen few.”
Every Sunday (I think) the local paper asks a religious question of local (I think) clergy. Last week’s was if Christians and Muslims worshiped the same God. They also try to get two different views on the asked question.
One guy said “No”. Then he began to point out the differences between Jesus and the teachings of Islam. That was not the question. However, in his answer he defined “Christian” as those who believed, among other things, in the trinity, even saying that to deny the trinity, (an unbiblical term) was to deny Christ and therefore the loss of salvation. I did notice, since I had the feeling that he was of the opinion that the Jewish nation was still the “apple of God’s eye”, that he didn’t say the Jews worshiped a different God because they denied the trinity and Jesus as Messiah altogether. Neither did he start with Abraham, the place where both Jews and Muslims start their faith.
When it comes to who worships the “right” God, it becomes more philosophical than theological. In other words, we make God fit our image of God, as have people from time immortal.
A way to answer the Biblical question of who owns God, would be to ask if the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees worshiped the same God as did Jesus? Did Paul worship the same God as did Jesus? The answer is obviously “yes”. If believing in the trinity is a matter of salvation, why didn’t the Jews have such a doctrine? Was their understanding and interpretation of God’s will the same as Jesus’ and Paul’s? Obviously, “No”.
The question is not whether there are different Gods, but how God is perceived. By the way, some Muslims say Christians worship three Gods because of the idea of the trinity, whereas they only worship the God of Abraham. I’m not sure what the preacher would have said if the question was, “Do Christians who worship Theos, (the New Testament Greek word for God) worship the same Allah, (the Arabic name for God) as the Muslims? And is that the same God (Yahweh, YHWH) of the Jews?” And, is “God” (from the Germanic) the only valid name of all those other names?
I think it would be safe to say that among the world’s major religions, the philosophical traits of the one known as “God”, at the center, would be that God belongs to everyone and everything. Or as Paul would say, “Who is over all and through all and in all.” Eph. 4:6 Which would parallel Luke 6:35, “But love your enemies…Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.” Matthew, in the same context, says, “He causes his sun to rise on the good and the evil and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteousness.”
When I was looking up these passages on the internet, (it’s quicker than using my trusty concordance) I found people taking issue with whether God loved the wicked, and quoted scripture to back it up.
Is God the God of “all flesh”? Of course. Coming from a Biblical background, the heart of the Bible is that God is the source of everything. Upon the arrival of Abraham, the Bible follows his decedents and the promise made to him. However, a promise was also made to Ishmael, and the Muslim people’s history follows him.
The Bible centers on Abraham and Isaac’s decedents. Therefore, it is no surprise that the idea of who God is, is based on the relationship of the Hebrews to God. However, there are places in the Old Testament where the idea that God is the God of all flesh can be seen. Moses has no trouble marrying a Midianite and Cushite. In Amos 9:7 it says, “Are not you Israelites the same to me as the Cushites?” declares the Lord. Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?”
Regardless the “God”, what is seen in the life of the follower reveals the nature of the God they worship. The God of Jesus can be seen in what he said and did. The same is true in the Christian and anyone else.
CONCERNS: Alisa Flora’s sister, Melanie Gentry is much improved at this time. Melisha Scruggs cousin, Autumn, is being treated for brain cancer. Keep in prayer Joni Beach’s parents ,especially her mother, Betty Voss. Also Joni’s aunt, Pat Voss, and her niece, Jamie Cole. Roger Fisher’s brother, Woody, Jim Hunter, The weather has caused those effected by it to suffer aches and pains. Among them, Susan and Wayne Phlegar and Scott Blessing. Remember Bill Albert’s son, David, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, Sandy Blanchard and those caring for her. She is from the congregation where Del Bolin grew up. She is fighting cancer and has also lost her sight. Kim (Hal’s) friend, Mary, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Jenni Cullum, her friend, Sean and Tim Elder.
OUR DAILY BREAD:
Monday: Psalm 16:1-11
Tuesday: Matthew 20:1-16
Wednesday: Amos 3:12-4:5
Thursday: Hebrews 10:19-39
Friday: Ephesians 5:3-20
Saturday: Psalm 148:1-14
OUR DAILY BREAD:
Monday: I Peter 1:12-25
Tuesday: Psalm 95:1-11
Wednesday: Matthew 14:13-33
Thursday: Romans 12:9-21
Friday: I Timothy 1:12-2:7
Saturday: Psalm 116:1-19
THE BAR B QUE
Thank you to all those who came out and helped prepared the meat from the Bar B Que. Even though it rained off and on all day, the pork, beef and chicken turned out great. We prepared it differently this year and from the amount eaten we seem to have arrived with a plan for next year. Also, thank Jeff Bland for getting the pork and beef for us.
Jim and Mary Smith have sold their home in Goodview and will be moving into The Glebe this week. This will bring them closer to Roanoke, their doctors and other confidences. The Glebe is an independent living facility in the Daleville area.
FROM CONNIE CRITES
To all of my dear church family
Where do I begin? You have loved us, cared for us, supported us, prayed with and for us over these last 2 1/2 years of Rich’s illness. Every card, call, visit, offer of food, and encouraging word has meant so much.
Peace and comfort came from knowing Rich suffers no more and is in the arms of Jesus.
Bless all of you for your many expressions of love and kindness.
October is the month we have the Peaks of Otter Hike and Picnic. We need to plan now as to how many are interested in going. Of course, as we age, less of us are hiking, or riding the bus. But those who don’t have enjoyed the picnic time together as we see the fall colors start to emerge.
The sign-up list will be out soon so the interest in this event can be assessed.
It will be after the Super Sunday meal on October 18.
EZELL CLINIC REPORT
Susan Jordan has been out of town for several weekends and has been unable to tell us about her week at the Ezell Clinic in Guatemala. As soon as she has the time she will once again share her experiences with us.
Next Sunday there will be a correction list for the new directory. If you see something on your page that is incorrect, write it down and give it to Keith.