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Whats all the fuss about?


lazarus

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As A kid when I was first baptised I was very much a legalist.

No swimming on the sabbath.

No Work on the sabbath

No paying for anything on the sabbath.

No playing with friends on the sabbath day

etc

It was ok to sleep away the sabbath hours.

It was ok to go to potlucks on the sabbath.

Iw as ok to read books but only books printed by the adventist printing presses.

Later as I matured as a christian I learned this.

God created the sabbath so we could come apart from our daily routines and work so we could come closer to God and to our family both church family and blood family.

It is ok to do things with the family on the sabbath day be it walks, Picnics family get to gathers or sliding down hills with friends on the snow. After all one does not have to pay one red cent for that simple pleasure.

Christ said it was ok to do GOOD on the sabbath day. That means if it means hauling an ox out of ditch or working to free a cow or dog or other animal for a tangled fence on the sabbath day is ok.

I look at it this way. It is ok to help a person in distress such as a person with a flat tire on the sabbath day. Same principle as the Ox on the ditch IMO.

We have to stop looking at the sabbath in such a way that if we are doing something that is fun then it is a sin. This makes the sabbath a burden. A day to hurry up and get over with. That is why so many take long naps on the sabbath. To hurry up and get it over with.

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This is another case where principles need to be defined and applied.

It is a principle of interpretation that every time a prophet speaks for God on practice, they either enunciate a principle or they apply a principle.

Therefore, some Sabbath texts enunciate principles, and some apply those principles. The application of principle to a particular context usually takes the form of a "rule."

Rules change with the context, principles do not. That's why a GC generated list of "approved activities," which has often been requested, is bound to fail. Because "approved activities," to the degree that they actually reflect true Sabbath keeping, will vary from one context to another.

As someone pointed out to me, in parts of the far north, the sun sets for weeks in the winter, and doesn't set for weeks in the summer. Believers their celebrate Sabbath as a 24-hour period, from 6:00 pm to 6:00 pm (I think). As you go further south, the days get more even. At some point, believers celebrate sundown to sundown, even if it starts in mid-afternoon.

Now, the time of sunset is a continuum. But somewhere, people have to make a choice between one system and the other. That point of choice is arbitrary--there's no particular way to settle it's "rightness or wrongness." Setting up hard and fast rules that must be followed in these diverse settings makes no sense.

Sooooo. Looking at the ice-scating pastor, or sledding children, or the SDA symphony conductor who would perform but not rehearse on the Sabbath, we need to look to principles, not rules.

If we can identify these basic principles, we're on the road to a solution that can be applied--with differing outcomes--in different situations.

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I'm no scholar, but I've heard that the word translated 'pleasure' is actually closer to 'work' or 'business'. Can someone confirm or deny? maybe all those burdensome Sabbaths can be blamed on an error by the KJV translators?

You are indeed on the right track. It is a shame that we have corrupted our Sabbath doctrine by emphasizing one word in one text from the KJV that was either poorly translated at the time or which has changed meaning in the last 4 centuries. Here is an abreviated and slightly edited version (I posted a more comprehnsive Isaiah 58 study in the Breaking the Sabbath topic .) of what I have posted elsewhere on this text in past Sabbath keeping discussions:

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The phrase "seeking your own pleasure" is not the best translation as its contemporary meaning is quite different than in the time of King James. A better translation in more contemporary expression is perhaps "doing as you please" or quite simply, being selfish or doing something for selfish reasons. The context in Isaiah 58 puts a distinct meaning on that phrase as used in Isaiah 58:13 regarding the Sabbath. The very same phrase is used earlier in the chapter, with an explanation of what it means regarding fasting. See what God, through the prophet Isaiah, said He meant in that context in verses 3-4 when He said "doing as you please." "Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife and striking each other with wicked fists." And in case that isn't clear enough then continue on in verses 6-7 to see the contrasting behavior or how God truly wants us to worship Him, by correcting injustice, setting free the oppressed, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, finding shelter for the homeless and we are to start our kindness in our own household. In short, it's all about exercising "otherishness" instead of selfishness.

It has absolutely nothing to do with recreational activity or doing something you enjoy. Otherwise enjoying worshiping in Church, eating a good meal, enjoying a nature walk all would be breaking the Sabbath, because I find pleasure and satisfaction in doing all of them. Understanding the phrase wrongly also renders verse 13 self-contradicting by first saying don't do anything pleasurable and then instructing us to call the Sabbath a delight. By understanding the context it really makes more sense. So go out and enjoy yourself on Sabbath! And nothing brings greater joy and satisfaction than to help someone by easing their burdens, whatever they may be. And playing in the snow is a great burden lifter, IMHO. That is re-creation. (What a radical concept for the weekly memorial of creation!)

Tom

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Should the text about doing your own pleasure on the Sabbath be removed on the next printing of the Bible?

Bravus ... I think that no matter how you translate pleasure ... we should not have it removed from the Bible as Stans question above asks ... but we should do all that would bring Glory to God and bring us closer to God on His day.

If we are doing something for our own selfish purpose then I believe we are missing out on the blessing of the Sabbath.

The Bible is purposefully silent when it comes to a list like the Jews had as to what we can do and what we can't do. And I think this is good. We need to allow each individual to make that independent decision. What is fine for one person is not fine for another. So this means that we should not sit in judgment of another and how THEY keep the Sabbath.

I value the Sabbath so much. I feel the Sabbath has saved my spiritual life. So ... I guard it with almost a legalistic vigilance. But I would not propose for one minute that any one else keep it the way that I personally keep it.

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You are correct about sabbath keeping values being different from one country to another.

When I was a missionary kid coming back from West Africa we stayed over the weekend at Cologne France at the SDA College there. On Sabbath afternoon they had an organized soccer game for the students on the feild on Saturday afternoon. Something that is frowned upon in the USA but is considered ok in Europe.

I asked by dad why that was allowed. He said they viewed sabbath keeping differently in Europe than in the USA.

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I have read both sides of this issue...and I am coming to the conclusion that most of you are saying that either the elder was wrong or the kids were wrong....or there is some form of culpability on both sides....

Well, perhaps I am wrong for suggesting this....

But neither were wrong....

The kids were doing what kids do...having a healthy activity and taking advantage of the snow...

The elder was attempting to encourage Sabbathkeeping....

But what we [and I mean you and I] do is assign blame...What if the elder, after the elder 'blew up', someone told him, show us something that is acceptable and fun to do outside on the sabbath? Let's get the kids involved and let's go do something....

Result, the elder gets involved with the kids, and the kids are not repremanded for being kids. A positive activity is passed on to the kids, and the elders of the church are satisfied that the kids are doing Sabbath activities.... It's a win-win situation...

Just my thoughts...

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I've served as elder. I'm currently lay pastor. I do not think, however, that this grants me the authority to declare for others what's acceptable Sabbath keeping, except in the broadest terms.

When it comes to a church-sponsored activity, there is a role for elders to play, but I'm not aware they've been appointed general constables for enforcing righteousness.

From the information we have, I'm stating categorically that the elder was wrong, that he has an inflated idea of his authority and responsibility.

The question I would have is where were the parents? What was their involvement. Frankly, I'd much rather see children sledding than to see the wild packs of children orbiting the average potluck without any adult supervision.

Looking at this discussion, why would anyone outside the denomination want to become part of it?

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Looking at this discussion, why would anyone outside the denomination want to become part of it?

which would explain why my wife doesn't want to bring a non-SDA to her SDA church program, right...

Why is it so hard to fix some of these obviously broken aspects of the SDA culture?

/Bevin

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Looking at this discussion, why would anyone outside the denomination want to become part of it?

Personally I think it is good that we discuss it rather than going on as we have been going on for years and years. Sweeping things under the rug does not help.

Having open dialogue on an important issue can only help.

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I'm happy for discussion. That's not the point. My point is who would want to join lazarus' congregation, when there's so much energy expended over so little?

I'm not criticizing lazarus. Many congregations are like that.

My answer to bevin. I planted a new church, where such things don't happen. It's easy to point out what is wrong. Providing a constructive alternative is the responsible thing to do.

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Don't get me started... I am sure this made a marked impression on the minds of that bunch of teens. I wonder how many of them went away from that little meeting with a greater appreciation of the Sabbath. I also wonder how many of them will look forward to coming to church next week, and the week after that and next month, next year or...

One would have to wonder too what those teens thought of Jesus, never mind all the other "stuff."

It is not very pretty to watch a teen get angry at God, and spit on everyone that "loves" them; but for those of you who have done it, or are going through it now - I know you can relate to what I am saying.

We, as Christians, need to learn better, how to choose our "fights" wisely. We actually do not need to "take a stand" on such things, half as much as we need to set the example.

Personally, I have found condemnation to the left, and to the right, no matter how I "keep" the Sabbath. I have been very "holy" doing nothing but Bible reading/discussion;" but then I have also gone to the gymn for a workout.

So it's really hard to "please everyone;" (liberal or conservative), but one thing I do know. My wife & kids ALL say that they really look forward to the Sabbath.

I know of one example where some "conservative" church members went to visit some not so conservative ones on a Sabbath. When these people saw the church members coming; the man of the house said: "Quick! Put away the coffee cups! Hide the computer games! The real Adventists are coming!"

He was actually quite serious when he told me this; and it is a shame that many feel they have to hide what they really do on Sabbath for fear of the religious police (liberals or conservatives), heaping it on them. I have even seen ones who do the right things like pray or study or "witness" on Sabbath, but even they are often told they are "doing it wrong." Few are safe from the Sabbath noose.

People talk away loftily about getting at the right "sabbath principles;" but this just becomes another program and system of condemnation for those who do not have or understand "the real principles" of sabbath-keeping.

It really should be a Sabbath rest - Rest ON Sabbath, REST IN CHRIST: like the Bible says. As soon as people start to become like that; we will see a lot more "Sabbath rest," rather than Sabbath tares.

Notice too, that I did not say "as soon as people start to "do" that. By nature, we are human-beings, not doings. If God is in you on Sabbath; He will show through. IMHO, this is what we should worry about the most.

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People talk away loftily about getting at the right "sabbath principles;" but this just becomes another program and system of condemnation for those who do not have or understand "the real principles" of sabbath-keeping.

Only for those whose focus is on judging.

If one understands that the Sabbath is about the relationship of God and His people, then the focus becomes on how these hours may build up that relationship for me and mine, not on what others should or should not do. In fact, it seems pretty obvious to me that what would be helpful to some would be hurtful to others. Sabbath practices might legitimately differ, and thus that would preclude evaluation of what others do.

Is "loftily" a judgment? Just wondering.

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Result, the elder gets involved with the kids, and the kids are not repremanded for being kids. A positive activity is passed on to the kids, and the elders of the church are satisfied that the kids are doing Sabbath activities.... It's a win-win situation...

Just my thoughts...

The result of the "meeting" was that we came to the conclusion that the kids need to have more RECREATIONAL activities on Sabbath. The emphasis was on the parents responsibilty to cater for the need of kids and make it special for them. sabbath should not be about don't but about do's.

The kids had alot of ideas about what they could do to make the Sabbath more enjoyable. Somebody made note of their ideas.

The elder in question is a good guy. He young and passsionate about what he believes. He's quite progressive in many other areas of church life.

Some parents got a bit of a shock when I said I went bike riding on Sabbath and went swimming on Sabbath too!

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I'm happy for discussion. That's not the point. My point is who would want to join lazarus' congregation, when there's so much energy expended over so little.

My church has had a year on year decline in attendence of the past 15 years! The have sped alot of energy over the years fighting about stuff. Thats why they haven't grown. In the last 7 months, since I've been there, we've been trying to refocus the church's energies.

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*tacking on

Personally I think Jesus would have gone sledding with the kids on the Sabbath and given the naysayers/judgementalists the stink eye. Oh yes, Jesus was very capable of giving the stink eye. LOL

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People talk away loftily about getting at the right "sabbath principles;" but this just becomes another program and system of condemnation for those who do not have or understand "the real principles" of sabbath-keeping.

Is "loftily" a judgment? Just wondering.

Well, in your post: #112989 - Mon Feb 19 2007 10:26 PM I think your judgment on Lazarus' congregation would give us an example. I am talking tho of the situation I refered to in my last post in particular. Some people get very defensive and over-bearing when their "sabbath principles" are questioned. If you are being defensive; then "loftily" would be a judgment - but a righteous judgment, according to John 7.

Of course, "loftily" "defensive" and "righteousness" as I have used them in this post are judgments; but perhaps more accurately, they are my personal perceptions.

I have had someone yell at me right in front of others at Church because my "Sabbath principles" were not the same as his. What "judgement" would you attach to this person who did this to me Ed? Wondering if someone is "possibly" judgmental because they have been hurt, abused, and embarrassed is not the best approach at all.

It is interesting to note too that I can name a list of people who have been very over-bearing in their sabbath "defense," that have slowly, one by one, quit going to church. That tells it's own story, and there's not much judgment involved.

That all being said; I can thank the Lord for the Sabbath; it is truly a delight. "My own pleasure" is often to read the Bible for hours; but I also take great "delight" in what the rest of my family "delights" in. Sabbath has been a very effective "glue" for us.

No time for sleeping on our Sabbaths! :JF

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*tacking on

Personally I think Jesus would have gone sledding with the kids on the Sabbath and given the naysayers/judgementalists the stink eye. Oh yes, Jesus was very capable of giving the stink eye. LOL

rollingsmile I agree 100%! But you really got me...what is "the stink eye?" I have never heard that one before. scared
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two points

1) I did not express a judgment, I asked a question.

2) "I have had someone yell at me right in front of others at Church because my "Sabbath principles" were not the same as his."

In my experience, lots of fights are started because of displacement, of confusing one person with another. Your beef is with that person, not with me. I don't think you'll find anything in that post that was the least aggressive toward you or anyone else.

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My church has had a year on year decline in attendence of the past 15 years! The have sped alot of energy over the years fighting about stuff. Thats why they haven't grown. In the last 7 months, since I've been there, we've been trying to refocus the church's energies.

And blessings and more power to you Lazarus as you continue down this path.

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My church has had a year on year decline in attendence of the past 15 years! The have sped alot of energy over the years fighting about stuff. Thats why they haven't grown. In the last 7 months, since I've been there, we've been trying to refocus the church's energies.

And blessings and more power to you Lazarus as you continue down this path.

Amen Nan! I second that heartily!

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