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Whats all the fuss about?


lazarus

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Your beef is with that person, not with me.
This is just what I have been talking about. People in the Church who plug me into their apriori, or "principles" and who "really" know what's wrong with me, or what my "real" problem is.

Transferred into the topic at hand; I am trying to say that too many people, some very well meaning, do the same thing with "keeping" the Sabbath. The fuss is not about right or wrong Sabbath "principles" as much as it is about attitudes manifested.

If you will re-read my posts here; I am certainly not just talking about one individual.

But, since you mentioned it again; loaded questions can easily be judgments.

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If you will re-read my posts here; I am certainly not just talking about one individual.

You're clearly demonstrating something often referred to as a "trigger."

You have no idea what principles I'm referring to. You're simply assuming that I must be doing what that other person did. That makes it obvious that you are still reacting to that other situation, not responding to my posts. It's not a matter of me "plugging you into anything." If I were, your reaction would not have surprised me. You, on the contrary assume you know what I'm talking about, "plugging me into" the pattern of the person that yelled at you.

There's no way you can read a jugdmental attitude about Sabbath observance into the following quote:

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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. #112977

If I had the position you attribute to me, I would hardly have written:

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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. emphasis supplied

What you attribute to me is simply incompatible with those statements.

Get a grip, man. You're ranting.

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Get a grip, man. You're ranting.

This is what I was referring to re being judgmental re Lazarus' congregation:

Words that you have just used like "trigger" and "rant" are the rest of what I was referring to.

Sincerely

"Ranting" David :llama

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When the time comes for us to make hard decisions regarding the Sabbath, what will we do if we have not been keeping it holy up to that point? We won't likely start keeping it holy when under pressure.

What does it mean to keep it holy? Isaiah 58:13. It means separating the Sabbath from what is common. If we can paint someone's house or mow their lawn on Sunday or another day, don't do it on the Sabbath. It means if a surgery is not an emergency, do it another time. It means don't do our own work but do the Lord's work on His holy day. It's our date with God, a time devoted to getting together with Him and letting Him sanctify us. And yes, it means obeying Him by not doing ordinary labor on that day. Finally, it means being holy ourselves and in an attitude of worship all through the week, because an unholy person really can't keep the Sabbath holy.

Our prophet says we should be careful about "the edges of the Sabbath." Do we as a church believe and practice this or do we now believe that is an example of "legalism"? Would it be "legalistic" to risk the death penalty rather than disobey God's commandment regarding the keeping of the Sabbath?

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Do we as a church believe and practice this or do we now believe that is an example of "legalism"?

I keep the Sabbath to a legalistic extreme to protect it for my good. I do not believe I obtain any merit in doing so . But I will lose the merit of God and a relationship with God if I do not guard it with extreme effort.

And I say this only from my experience. I would not impose my experience or belief on anyone else. Some may be able to do fine without Sabbath. I can not.

Each person has to answer the Sabbath question for themselves. I would not judge how another keeps it.

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I've mowed lawns on the Sabbath... for shut ins, for sick people, for the elderly.

I've cleaned houses and gone grocery shopping too. For the same folk, and occasionally for my husband, who can't get out and about to help me, and for whom it became an emergency because of his illness.

And don't for one minute tell me it could be done a different day without walking in my shoes. Sometimes, it can't.

Matthew 25:40 - 45 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did [it] not to one of the least of these, ye did [it] not to me.

I am a widow in every way that matters, with the added burden of continuing to care for my husband who cannot leave his bed. Jesus and Abba affirm their care of me when no one else will...

Jeremiah 49:11 Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve [them] alive; and let thy widows trust in me.

Matthew 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

Proverbs 15:25 The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.

Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Malachi 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in [his] wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger [from his right], and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.

Deut 27:19 Cursed [be] he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.

How much better to honor Abba through doing His work for those who cannot do for themselves than to limit His glory by missing an opportunity to help others in the ways they need it most. So very often, when I have "worked" for others on the Sabbath, they ask, "Why are you doing this for me?"

And whole realms of topics to Abba's glory are opened up as conversation. Including the Sabbath and why I will do for them, what I won't do for myself, on that Holy day.

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add my Amen, to that, as well.

So long as we focus on "what" rather than "why" and "for what purpose" we miss the point of the Sabbath. That's why no list can ever do the job.

Like you, Clio, I've helped pump out flooded basements on the Sabbath. Not my own, someone else's. I often do for others on the Sabbath what I would not do for myself.

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And add my hearty AMEN, as well!!

...What does it mean to keep it holy? Isaiah 58:13. It means separating the Sabbath from what is common. If we can paint someone's house or mow their lawn on Sunday or another day, don't do it on the Sabbath. It means if a surgery is not an emergency, do it another time. It means don't do our own work but do the Lord's work on His holy day. It's our date with God, a time devoted to getting together with Him and letting Him sanctify us. And yes, it means obeying Him by not doing ordinary labor on that day...

Holiness is not refraining from doing anything or something. Holiness is active and as Jesus' life demonstrated, his Sabbath keeping was very active. His "failure" to refrain from activity on Sabbath, indeed it was the work he did on Sabbath, that substantially provoked the Pharisee's resolve to plot to kill him. I have spent quite a bit of time contemplating and studying the 7 Sabbath healing miracles recorded in the Gospels. Not one of them could remotely be described as an emergency. Indeed, at least on one occasion he was admonished that it could wait until after Sabbath. He immediately healed the person. The full context of the Isaiah 58:13, that you referenced, answers your question of what God's idea of holiness really is. Start at verse 1 of chapter 58 and notice in verse 3 what is meant by that "seeking your own pleasure" phrase. The Israelites thought they were being holy by their pious fasting. God didn't see it that way. Notice in verses 6-7 what kind of holy activities he really wanted. By the time you get to our Sabbath proof text at the end of the chapter it almost seems out of context, except that you now should see the distinct parallel of phrasing to the first part of the chapter. In the context of the admonition about fasting, it is as if God said, "Oh, by the way the same thing applies to how you should keep the Sabbath holy." And doing good for others, no matter how hard you work at it, in no "ordinary labor", for it is holy to the Lord.

Originally Posted By: John317
Our prophet says we should be careful about "the edges of the Sabbath."...

"Guarding the edges of the Sabbath" isn't about clock (or calendar) watching. It's about maximizing the full Sabbath blessing which is all about one anothering. If we are keeping the Sabbath to gain a Sabbath days blessing for ourselves, we are aiming in the wrong direction. That same prophet also said, "...works of mercy and benevolence were in accordance with the purpose of the Lord. They were not to be limited to time or place. To relieve the afflicted, to comfort the sorrowing, is a labor of love that does honor to God's holy day."

Tom

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How much better to honor Abba through doing His work for those who cannot do for themselves than to limit His glory by missing an opportunity to help others in the ways they need it most. So very often, when I have "worked" for others on the Sabbath, they ask, "Why are you doing this for me?"

Thanks for sharing that Clio. Making God first, sometimes makes Sabbath one of the busiest days.

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I've mowed lawns on the Sabbath... for shut ins, for sick people, for the elderly.

I've cleaned houses and gone grocery shopping too. For the same folk, and occasionally for my husband, who can't get out and about to help me, and for whom it became an emergency because of his illness.

And don't for one minute tell me it could be done a different day without walking in my shoes. Sometimes, it can't.

Yes, we can mow people's lawns and do work for others on other days of the week. If we can do that work on the Sabbath, it will be so easy to excuse ourselves when it comes to making a decision to keep the Sabbath and the rest of God's commandments or receive the mark of the beast. Would God really expect me to die rather than work on the Sabbath when I have been doing all kinds of work on it all along? "Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. On it you shall not do any work." And we say, What's work? Isn't that legalism? That's the Old Testament. I live under the New Covenant. Pretty soon we sound like those who keep Sunday. And pretty soon there's really no difference between the Lord's holy day and Sunday, and no difference between Sunday keepers and Sabbath keepers. All one-- but maybe that's the goal.

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And add my hearty AMEN, as well!!

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Holiness is not refraining from doing anything or something.

Jesus Christ Himself said, "Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. In it you shall do no work." That is still God's law and Jesus kept it perfectly. There's no evidence of Jesus or his disciples or Paul doing ordinary labor on the Sabbath. What did Jesus followers do after Jesus' death? They still refrained from doing ordinary things, such as embalming Jesus' body, on the Sabbath day. He must have taught them the Sabbath was pretty important, and He apparently never said anything about any changes in that regard.

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Holiness is active and as Jesus' life demonstrated, his Sabbath keeping was very active. His "failure" to refrain from activity on Sabbath, indeed it was the work he did on Sabbath, that substantially provoked the Pharisee's resolve to plot to kill him.

Indeed, it was due to their misunderstanding of the Sabbath. You will notice that Jesus kept the Sabbath holy by not doing any common or ordinary work on it. He preached the gospel and healed people. He did not build houses or paint them or do any ordinary work for others, even for the poor and the sick. Healing them and teaching them about God is different from painting their houses or mowing their lawns.

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I have spent quite a bit of time contemplating and studying the 7 Sabbath healing miracles recorded in the Gospels. Not one of them could remotely be described as an emergency. Indeed, at least on one occasion he was admonished that it could wait until after Sabbath. He immediately healed the person.

Jesus' healing was a simple command. He made no money from it. On the other hand, when we heal, we usually are at the hospital and making money. (It would be good, dontcha think, if those of us who work on the Sabbath at the hospital would give the money we earn to the church to spread the gospel?)

A good example of a non-emergency surgery is a face-lift or breast reduction. Those things have nothing to do with saving anyone's life and can just as well be scheduled for any other day of the week besides the holy Sabbath.

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The full context of the Isaiah 58:13, that you referenced, answers your question of what God's idea of holiness really is. Start at verse 1 of chapter 58 and notice in verse 3 what is meant by that "seeking your own pleasure" phrase. The Israelites thought they were being holy by their pious fasting. God didn't see it that way. Notice in verses 6-7 what kind of holy activities he really wanted. By the time you get to our Sabbath proof text at the end of the chapter it almost seems out of context, except that you now should see the distinct parallel of phrasing to the first part of the chapter. In the context of the admonition about fasting, it is as if God said, "Oh, by the way the same thing applies to how you should keep the Sabbath holy." And doing good for others, no matter how hard you work at it, in no "ordinary labor", for it is holy to the Lord.

Works of mercy and saving of lives are of course things blessed of God on the Sabbath day. But God is no fool, and He knows the difference between genuine works of mercy and saving of lives and raking leaves or mowing a lawn. Those things are not good examples of Sabbath keeping which we try to teach our neighbors and friends. If we rake leaves and paint houses and mow lawns on the Sabbath, why shouldn't they? If they can do that, why shouldn't they go to work on the Sabbath? After all, you'd be amazed at all the rationalizations people can come up with when they look hard enough. "The heart is desperately wicked and who can know it?!" Look how the people rationalized the making of that golden calf! Seems we're not much different, are we?

"You shall not do any work on the Sabbath. Remember to keep it holy. Don't even let the horses work." But, oh well-- does anyone really know what kind of work we're not supposed to do? And what's holy, anyway? I guess it doesn't really matter because no one can keep the law, anyway. Besides, Jesus showed it's all good as long as you're doing it for a good purpose. Well, I'd say keeping myself alive is a pretty good purpose, dontcha think? God certainly doesn't want me to die for it, does He? God just can't be that serious or legalistic.

Originally Posted By: John317
Our prophet says we should be careful about "the edges of the Sabbath."...

Quote:
"Guarding the edges of the Sabbath" isn't about clock (or calendar) watching.

When was the last time you read what Ellen White said about it? Or is that something I shouldn't be doing as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian? Or ought I to read her but just not take what she says so seriously? Yes, she is talking about the "clock edges," as you put it. Jesus' disciples understood it that way, too, and that's after being with Jesus for over 3 years.

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It's about maximizing the full Sabbath blessing which is all about one anothering. If we are keeping the Sabbath to gain a Sabbath days blessing for ourselves, we are aiming in the wrong direction. That same prophet also said, "...works of mercy and benevolence were in accordance with the purpose of the Lord. They were not to be limited to time or place. To relieve the afflicted, to comfort the sorrowing, is a labor of love that does honor to God's holy day."Tom[/quote']

I've looked up Sabbath in the Comprehensive Index to the writings of Ellen White. Seems to me we're missing a little bit of what she says on this subject. But then it's so important for each person to study and make up their individual minds about it. That's what I'm doing. You do it too.

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add my Amen, to that, as well.

So long as we focus on "what" rather than "why" and "for what purpose" we miss the point of the Sabbath. That's why no list can ever do the job.

Like you, Clio, I've helped pump out flooded basements on the Sabbath. Not my own, someone else's. I often do for others on the Sabbath what I would not do for myself.

I can agree with you up to a point. Of course our motive in keeping the Sabbath is so important. We can think we're keeping the Sabbath when we're not. I used to think I was keeping the Sabbath as a kid when I really wasn't at all. Finally I got to the point where I didn't care.

We as Adventist know that the time is going to come--and perhaps within our lifetime-- when we are going to be asked to decide whether to obey the Sabbath commandment and die or disobey the Sabbath commandment and live. How easy it will be to rationalize and say something like, "Well, as I think of the 'why' and the 'purpose' of the Sabbath, I can't see that it makes much difference whether I work on the Sabbath or not. After all God means the Sabbath to be a day of blessing and joy, not a day that will be the reason for my death. Every day is blessed and holy. I can't see why I have to keep Saturday as the Sabbath. After all, all my Christian friends are wonderful people and they keep Sunday."

I can't judge whether you are doing right to do what you do on the Sabbath. That's not up to me, fortunately. We can know what things are wrong and what things are right to do on the Sabbath, but ultimately we each have to decide for ourselves whether we will do what God has commanded. At my job I see quite a few Adventists that go to work on the Sabbath. I used to do it, too, but several years ago I wrote my employer a few pages of the Bible reasons I could no longer do it. I also know a member of the SDA Reform Movement who refuses to work there on Friday nights and on the Sabbath.

Now is the time to stand up for God's Sabbath even if many don't like it. We know that persecution will come when God's people take their stand firmly and begin living and teaching the truth, the Three Angel's Messages. That is what will make Satan angry. But there's no reason for him to be angry now, because he's not threatened.

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What was it that Ed said...hmmm... oh yes, you quoted it, something about missing the point of the Sabbath. And what an extravagant expenditure of words in this adventure in missing the point.

John, read the whole of Isaiah 58. Meditate on it. And consider the words of EGW about that chapter. (She has a lot to say about it, repeatedly.) Such things as "The whole chapter is of the highest importance." "The fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah contains present truth for the people of God." "I cannot too strongly urge all our church members, all who are true missionaries, all who believe the third angel's message, all who turn away their feet from the Sabbath, to consider the message of the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah." "The whole of the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah is to be regarded as a message for this time, to be given over and over again."

And yes John, as much as it probably surprises you, I have read, seriously and repeatedly, what EGW says about the Sabbath and how she stresses the importance of the whole chapter of Isaiah 58 in talking about the Sabbath as The message for the end of time. The importance of the Sabbath at the end of time will not be so much an issue for the clock and calendar watchers as it will be an issue of the true mission and spirit of the Sabbath as identified in the first part of the chapter 58. In the end, that will be God's test of our religion to see if we have pure religion as Christ defined it. (Look up those ideas in EGW's writings...)

Tom

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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?

Nope. I checked two lexical aids, BDB and NIDOTTE. The word definitely is 'pleasure,' or 'desire.'

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Yes, we can mow people's lawns and do work for others on other days of the week. If we can do that work on the Sabbath, it will be so easy to excuse ourselves when it comes to making a decision to keep the Sabbath and the rest of God's commandments or receive the mark of the beast. Would God really expect me to die rather than work on the Sabbath when I have been doing all kinds of work on it all along?

Exactly so. And that is why satan is trying so hard to get us to be careless about the Sabbath. But the closer we come to Jesus, the more careful we will be about His Sabbath, and the greater our reverence for His holy day. The Sabbath is a beacon, a memorial, a monument, and it is the day which God has blessed and sanctified. 'Sanctified' is very clear--'qadash' to set aside for holy use and purposes. Sabbath is not a day, according to Scripture, when we should engage in secular activities.

The language of the Fourth Commandment is unmistakable--"in it thou shalt not to any work." We dare not transgress that plain command, or start down the road of rationalizing activities.

Dave

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The importance of the Sabbath at the end of time will not be so much an issue for the clock and calendar watchers as it will be an issue of the true mission and spirit of the Sabbath as identified in the first part of the chapter 58.

Actually, both issues will be important at that time. God's instruction about how we should keep His Sabbath addresses both we should not do on His day (Ex. 20:8 - 11, Isa. 58:13) AND what we SHOULD do (Isa. 58:1 - 14)

The Sabbath is the counterpart of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Every minute of the Sabbath is sacred, and is to be consecrated to God. That is why it is so important to guard the edges of the Sabbath. That is why the Lord's messenger instructs us, in God's name, to start sundown worship on Friday evening, BEFORE the sun has set, so that we may greet the beginning of the Sabbath with sacred song.

It is of the most urgent concern, right now, today, to treat every minute, every second of the Sabbath as sacred, as holy time belonging to God.

Dave

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

Because a lot of people are looking for high standards, for accountability, for serious interest in being faithful to the Word. Some of the biggest churches in America are those who have real hoops for people to jump through in order to become members. As I recall, Willow Creek and Saddleback are a couple of examples. I have seen the requirements for Willow Creek. By Adventist standards, they are draconian. But people are tired of the namby-pamby, wishy-washy approach used by evangelical churches for decades. They want something more.

Dave

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Because a lot of people are looking for high standards, for accountability, for serious interest in being faithful to the Word. Some of the biggest churches in America are those who have real hoops for people to jump through in order to become members. As I recall, Willow Creek and Saddleback are a couple of examples. I have seen the requirements for Willow Creek. By Adventist standards, they are draconian. But people are tired of the namby-pamby, wishy-washy approach used by evangelical churches for decades. They want something more. Dave

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Bravus,

I suspect that you may have picked up the idea of the association with "work" or "business" from Ed Christian's column in the Adventist Review a few years ago. You can find it at Sabbath Pleasure. That association comes from considering the meaning of the Hebrew translate in verse 14 as "speaking your own words".

Incidentally, that column by Ed Christian from 2003 grabbed my attention because it so closely reflected my own personal study of Isaiah 58 up to that time that I have previously posted here .

Tom

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