Roanoke Church of Christ


“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 28 – NAS (Nadab and Abihu Syndrome) or How to Sink an Ark

Just about anyone who has gone to church has been warned not to end up like Nadab and Abihu, the son’s of Aaron, who were toasted because they offered “strange fire” before the Lord. (Lev10:1,2)
Therefore, if we do anything “strange” (unauthorized by direct command, necessary inference or example) we will also be toast. The parentheses is, for many, the divine method of hermeneutics.
Along with NAS we also have the issue of “gopher wood” and the ark. (NIV “cypress” with a footnote that the Hebrew meaning is uncertain.) Somehow, out of this came all those sermons which said if Noah had used one board that was not gopher wood, the ark would have sunk. In other words, like Nadab and Abihu, there would be “strange” wood on board.
Lots of explanations about Nadab and Abihu’s demise have been offered. Among them, that they went into the Holy of Holies where they couldn’t go. Or they made their own fire, rather than using the coals from the ever-burning fire in the tent. Or, all of the above and they were drunk. See Lev 10:8. I would like to add to that the idea that what they did had an Egyptian flavor to it, i.e., a tinge of idolatry. No evidence of that, except anything Egyptian was cursed. This is not an article about all that, but about fear.
Last week a woman stopped by the office to leave her business card. She is a long-time member of the Church of Christ in the area. She and her family worship in Montgomery county, even though they live in Roanoke county. No big deal. Except she told me why. It was based on the constant preaching that just about everything is sinful.
She said (in so many words) she got tired of constantly feeling guilty because she didn’t feel the way she thought she was supposed to. She said fear of being wrong undergirded everything. We had a nice conversation.
Thinking about our talk, I wondered why we start in the Old Testament to understand the nature of God instead of with Jesus, or Paul.
There is not enough room here for all of what Paul would say, but surely we could start with his teaching on grace. We could think about, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Or Romans 8:31-39.
In the gospels we could start with Jesus stating that the commandment on which all the others rested, was the great one about loving God, neighbor and self. Or in Luke 6:35 where Jesus says God “is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” Then we could point out how Jesus treated “sinners” just as he treated everyone else, and how John said ,”God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (Jn. 3:17) We might even say the “through him” means a world in the dark about God, will see God as
God is, through Jesus.
Then there are the prophets. Let’s stop at Hosea 6:6 where we find, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” We might ask if that “strange fire” sacrifice was not really wanted, why not a little mercy on Nadab and Abihu?
I really like Isaiah 56:3-5 where it says eunuchs (those rendered impotent) will be welcomed in the Messianic kingdom with a memorial better than many children. Moses may have turned over in his grave. See Lev. 21:20 & Deut. 23:1
Going back farther, there is David, who has a man murdered to cover his adultery, two infractions of the law, but does not suffer the due punishment.
Here’s the point. Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me, has seen the Father.” Jn. 14:9. What did they see before seeing Jesus? God, as taught by those who were their teachers. And, according to Jesus, they didn’t always get it right.
If we start with seeing God in Jesus, then all the rest falls into the historical understanding and need at the time. Which means we can’t sink the ark if we love God.

CONCERNS: Teresa Wilcox has asked our prayers for her aunt, Patricia Hall, who has lymphodema, and her brother, Michael Wilcox who has serious heart problems. Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones, Abraham Sirgy’s brother is at home doing well after a heart attack. Judy Hall is dealing with eye issues. Teryn Gaynor’s mother is having cancer treatment. Remember Sheila Jansen and her daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, (cancer). Melanie Gentry will be going to Duke for testing. Joni Beach’s mother and father, and her aunt, Pat Voss, and a niece, Jamie Cole. Also, Jim Hunter, Wayne Phlegar, David Albert, and Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas. Sandy Blanchard and those caring for her. She is from the congregation where Del Bolin grew up. Ray & Darnell Barns, Gil Richardson (MS), Deana McRoy and Stephanie Rigney. Jenni Cullum has been treated for an eye problem. Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

Monday: Psalm 119:1-24
Tuesday: Matthew 12:22-37
Wednesday: Revelation 3:14-22
Thursday: Galatians 2:11-21
Friday: John 15:1-11
Saturday: Psalm 112:1-10
Monday: Psalm 48:1-14
Tuesday: Romans 11:33-12:8
Wednesday: Matthew 15:29-39
Thursday: Luke 15:1-10
Friday: Galatians 6:1-10
Saturday; Psalm 19:1-14

Our sympathy to Roger Fisher in the death of his sister in Union, West Virginia, on Wednesday, May 25. The funeral was on the following Saturday.
The Wagners and the Downings are planning an inside/outside sale here on Saturday, June 25. If you would like to join in, please do
Dr. Henry and Katie Dodd are to be in Roanoke the beginning of this month. Dr. Dodd will be interning in pediatrics at Carilion Clinic. (RMH)
They are coming from Memphis, TN and are friends of David and Stacy Maharrey, who told them about us. They have twin girl toddlers. Pray that their move and house hunting goes well.
The brackets for the monitors have been purchased and will be hung soon. Nearly all of the equipment for the visual and media upgrade has either been secured or selected.
Not only will this enhance our worship service via the virtual hymnal, it will also allow us to use and teach other songs as well by using a CCLI copywrite licence. For a congregation our size, it is very reasonable.
The announcements and prayer list can scroll before the service starts, as well as the ability to use other scripture readings for the call to worship. The sermon text can also be shown, so following the reading will be easier.
Significant scriptures from the sermon may be shown, or other visuals to help with relevance.
In a word, the possibilities are limited only by our imagination. Look forward to this net and new step in worship.
Now that schools have let out for the summer, many of you will be traveling. Please let Erma Williams know when you will be away to help her set up the service schedule.
Next Sunday we will be preparing th evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House. If you will help, see Martha Albert or Holly Wagner.

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