Family Lines — September, 2012

Posted by on August 30, 2012 under Bulletins, Front Page Announcements

Family Lines — September 2, 2012

Family Lines — September 9, 2012

Family Lines — September 16, 2012

Family Lines — September 23, 2012

Family Lines — September 30, 2012

King’s Kids A to Z Scavenger Hunt

Posted by on August 21, 2012 under Uncategorized

Sunday, October 7 @ 6pm in the West-Ark Gym
For kids grades Kindergarten thru 6th grade and their families
Register here.

JumpStart 2012

Posted by on August 14, 2012 under WAYG

West-Ark Youth Group will travel to the Rocketdyne Church of Christ in Neosho, MO on August 24-26 for JumpStart 2012.

Back to School Blessing 2012

Posted by on August 13, 2012 under King's Kids

We invite you to join us on Sunday, August 19 at 10:30 am for a special Back to School Blessing for all students, teachers, and school faculty.

What You Should Expect of the Bible

Posted by on August 12, 2012 under Front Page Posts, Sermons

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“It is strange that the Bible is our most treasured book, and yet it seems so difficult that we don’t find it very helpful.  Perhaps we have expected the wrong things of it; we have asked of it what it cannot do.  We have expected the Bible to keep promises that it has never made to us.  The Bible cannot be a good luck piece to bring God’s blessing.  Nor can it be an answer book to solve our problems or to give us right belief.  So the first question about reading the Bible is what can we indeed expect of it.” – Walter Brueggemann, The Bible Makes Sense


1. Why can’t the Bible be a good luck piece?

  • The Bible isn’t a magic book.  It did not fall from heaven; it’s origins are not beyond understanding.  It is revelation that resembles Christ himself – human and divine.  Christ himself came into our world through divine means, but he was physically born in exactly the same manner as all of us.  There is divine influence on the Bible, but it was written in same fashion as other ancient books.  This does not diminish the role of Scripture or its holiness in any way.  God is certainly involved, but so is the community of God’s people who read and live out the words of God.
  • The Bible is not a talisman charged with heavenly magic.  It is communication and narrative.  Before it was a book, it was a scroll, and before it was a scroll it was a word spoken and a word heard.  Parts of it were song, parts of it were news – good news even.
  • When Bibles are treated like Holy Relics, they aren’t read.  Good luck charm or magic totem is not the intended purpose of the Bible.  It is meant to be read and internalized.

2. Why can’t it be an answer book?

  • Approaching the Bible as a quick reference for an answer to our questions is often frustrating because we ask the wrong questions.
  • An often told tale concerns the man who wanted to know what God wanted him to do today.  He flipped the pages of the Bible and with eyes closed he jabbed his finger on to a page at random.  It landed on Matt. 27:5 – “Judas went and hung himself.”  Thinking that this must have been an error he tried the same process again and landed on Luke 10:37 – “Go and do likewise.”
  • The Bible is not a Ouija Board or Magic 8 Ball, and even though we do not always approach the Scripture that way, too often we have our preset questions and we squeeze from the Bible something that seems like an answer for our question.  “It is very difficult to find biblical answers to unbiblical questions.” – Everett Ferguson, The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today.
  • Examples of questions that defy a simple biblical answer.  These are some of the most popular questions I am asked:
  1. Does the Bible say it is okay to get a tattoo? – Leviticus 19:28, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord.”
  2. Does the Bible say it is okay to be cremated? – For those adamantly opposed to cremation, 1 Cor. 15:33-55 is brought up.  It specifically mentions burial, therefore burial is the only method of funeral practice authorized.  But is this what 1 Cor. 15 is really about?
  • The Bible should shape and frame our questions.  Reading Scripture humbly and submissively may not answer all of our questions, but it will always give us better questions to ask.

3.  What to expect from the Word of God:

Thus Saith the Lord . . . . Long before all the Bible was written and certainly before it was thought of as a book, the Word of God was proclamation.

The Message and The Story vs. The Blueprint, the Contract, the Constitution or Dogma . . . There is a wholeness to the Bible’s revelation that gives us perspective, meaning, and imagination.  Imagining is not pretending; it is the ability to see the world through God’s eyes.  To imagine new possibilities and realities that are not given to us by the dogmas of government, sciences, and self.

  • One single Scripture from Genesis can be apply to various situations. When we are critical of ourselves, the word of God reminds us that we are created in God’s image.  Yet, when we are conceited and self-centered the word of God reminds us that we are created in God’s image.

The Words We Live By . . . God’s word is a collected wisdom and vision for the way we ought to live with one another as his people.  The King was required to do this with God’s law:

  • Deut. 17  – When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.

Building Better Humans . . . Paul wanted Timothy to keep preaching and keep reading the word of God to the church.  He believed that this is what the word of God did.

  • 2 Tim. 3 – Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.
  • We are believers in education, but knowledge without application is useless.  It becomes trivia or teaching to the test.  A well-rounded classic education produced a certain kind of character in those who sought it.   This is why we use the term “spiritual formation” sometimes.  We believe that a God’s word not only informs, but it shapes and equips.  What we believe leads to what we do. We should be hearers and doers of God’s word.

Dangerous Truth . . . Why are we so disenchanted with the news and politics these days.  We can point to many reasons, but they all go back to a single notion: we aren’t sure that we are ever hearing the truth.

  • Hebrews 4:12 – “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”


Traditional and/or Biblical

Posted by on August 5, 2012 under Front Page Posts, Sermons

Wednesday, August 1 was interesting.  It was called Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day by Mike Huckabee, but there was much more than appreciation for chicken sandwiches involved in that day.  Friends sent me the images from the long lines.  Standing in line to get chicken obviously represented more than buying lunch.  Who posts images of what they are having for lunch on an ordinary day?

I won’t rehash the events of the day.  That has been done by others.  I will offer this observation: I was encouraged that a conversation was taking place about the things that people believe.  I do not agree with critics who declared the entire day was only an exercise in mass hysteria.  Regardless of whether one appreciates Chick-Fil-A or not, one has to agree that there were expressions of belief about multiple topics.  For example, there were discussions about free speech, free enterprise, the definition of marriage – those were the obvious topics.  But there were also discussions about love, hate, hunger and poverty.  I am sure there were examples of bad behavior, but critics will have a hard time trying to claim that everyone involved was mean spirited and hysterical.  There are examples of good behavior and goodwill from both protestors and supporters.  What makes the good behavior exceptional is that it took place around a confrontation of belief and a conviction that some things are right and some things are wrong.

Since the first century, Christians have been most like the Lord when they express conviction through words and deeds and do it without resorting to fear, anxiety, name-calling, or compulsion.

1 Peter 3:13-1613 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 

Biblical is sometimes Traditional, and sometimes it is not.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we believe and strive to live out His vision for marriage – among other things.  As disciples of Christ, I prefer that we make his vision our standard rather than saying that our standard is “the traditional view.”  I mean no disrespect or disagreement to anyone who has used those terms.  In most cases, I think I know what they mean.  I admit to quibbling here, but the sources matter and traditional and biblical are not always the same thing.  I believe the followers of Christ must point to the teachings of Christ and the revelation of God.  For, in some cultures “the tradition” of marriage does not always resemble Christ’s vision for marriage.  In some societies, the traditional view of marriage is one in which a man has many wives.  That is their tradition.  In some societies, the husband completely dominates the life of his wife – that is the tradition.  Tradition does not always equal Christ’s vision.

That was the case in the first century in at least two situations:

1. Ephesians 5 – Paul and the household code.  Teaching Christ’s vision for relationship – creation and gospel or the “traditional cultural view” . . .

  1. The traditional view was the Greco-Roman household instructions, such as those promoted by Aristotle.  In that view husbands and fathers are the paterfamilias and therefore like the ruler of a small city-state.
  2. The biblical view introduces a new concept based on the gospel.  That is submitting to one another (v.21).  The role of husband and wife is informed by the Genesisstory, the gospel, and the example of Christ and church

2. Pharisees (Matt. 19:1-12) – Traditional had gotten in the way of truth.  (And this was among the so-called “People of God”):

  1. The traditional view included the provision for the Bill of Divorce (Dt. 24:1) and the rabbinical debate on the definition of indecency.
  2. The biblical view (Jesus’ View) included creation, the disposition of one’s heart (Mt. 5:28) in matters of indecency, the option of celibacy or marriage as God calls and empowers (19:12).

Family Lines — August, 2012

Posted by on August 2, 2012 under Bulletins, Front Page Announcements

Family Lines — August 5, 2012

Family Lines — August 12, 2012

Family Lines — August 19, 2012

Family Lines — August 26, 2012