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Whats all the fuss about?


lazarus

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Ed Dickerson said:

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All Aboard! All aboard! Guilt trip departing track 7 for Intimidation Station, Silence Dissent, Compunction Junction, and the Devotional Re-education Facility. All unattended luggage will be thrown on your back. Don't worry about seating, the conductor will put you in your place. Boarding now.

T'was funny. But at a fellow Christian's expense. Makes it not so funny. IMHO

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Two issues . . . what the children were doing, and how the situation was handled. As for the first, core issue, if children learn to be careless about God's Sabbath, and engage in activities which are not in harmony with the Bible's teaching about the Sabbath, then yes, that is a very serious matter.

Let me suggest that the second issue is often more important than the first. Greater offence can be caused to God by the way we deal with these difficult issues. The strife and upset about the "offence" is often more damaging than the offence itself.

I think the discussion has been illustrative of that.

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Originally Posted By: Redwood

Tom TOM TOM ...

Please, no drums in here.

Especially on the Sabbath...

I hate to be a legalist ... but this drum roll was done BEFORE the Sabbath. Please check the date before casting the judgment drum.

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I haven't enjoyed the tone, either. OF course I could have replied with some pious posturing of my own, but I decided to lighten up, rather than retaliate.

One of the greatest problems in our churches is not THAT people disagree, but HOW they disagree. And, strangely, it is considered 'bad form' to say, "your continual obfuscation frustrates me and makes me angry," but it is considered almost saintly to declare, or even better, to subtly imply 'God doesn't like what you're doing.'

Now I ask you, which is comes closer to blasphemy 1) making light of pious posturing, or 2) enlisting God's name on behalf of personal pique?

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but I decided to lighten up, rather than retaliate. One of the greatest problems in our churches is not THAT people disagree, but HOW they disagree.
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What's this chapter about, anyway?

In reading the chapter (Isa. 58) I see a number of issues. The chapter seems to be part of a discourse by God which covers several chapters. This discourse is wide-ranging. I don't see the subject matter being broken down by chapters or even by verses. Looking at the section we call ch. 58, I see several issues there. Someone has already mentioned one, true worship. Other issues I see are how people are treated, relationships, and an appeal against selfishness. I also see reference to carelessness about the Sabbath. That is a recurring theme, throughout Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the minor prophets in a number of cases.

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Some who do not deal with the text to that level of detail, could perhaps perceive it as 'obfuscation.' In reality, it is not. I

I'm beginning to think you really think you're the only one who knows anything about exegesis.

Words fail.

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I'm beginning to think you really think you're the only one who knows anything about exegesis.

Not at all. As I mentioned above, learning occurs as students exchange ideas and feedback. That will necessarily involve tough questions and challenges to ideas. How a person handles those challenges can be an indicator of one's interest in the discovery process. I am looking for others who are seriously interested in it, and who would enjoy carrying on technical discussions. In regard to the subject of recent posts, the meaning of 'chepets,' the usage pattern, the semantic range, Isaiah's use of the word (seven occurrences) and comparing the other six occurrences, all would be of real interest to me.

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....Exegesis, including textual studies, is a science. To be accurate, it must be done carefully, methodically, with close attention to fine details. Some who do not deal with the text to that level of detail, could perhaps perceive it as 'obfuscation.' In reality, it is not. It is essential to reaching a correct understanding of the passage. An accurate understanding of a passage is arrived at after the most careful study, with the most rigorous attention to detail, and is achieved on the basis of a series of tiny steps, with each step requiring validation. Discussion between serious students of the Word about the merits of a particular understanding of a passage can be productive of good, if the parties are comfortable with that level of inquiry and are open to feedback and observations, in the spirit of discovery.

With all due respect David, here is the problem, as I see it with the virtual derailment of this topic since this so called scientific method has so dominated the discussion. The whole point has been lost, no, killed. Let me illustrate by a frog story.

There once was a frog, full of life, hopping and swimming and eating bugs and croaking the night away to his fair maiden frogs. Life was good in the swamp. Living near the frog's swamp were two people.

Billy, a young lad of six, spent his days happily exploring the woods and fields and swamp, watching all the creatures and endlessly exploring the wonders of life. And he especially loved frogs. He could tell you all about what the frogs ate, where they lived, where you could find the best ones, where they laid their eggs in the spring, and he could recognize and imitate the songs of all the different kinds of frogs in the swamp.

The other person was a noteworthy biologist, studying the Northern Leopard Frog, Rana Pipiens that lived in that swamp. As fate would have it, the biologist met Billy one day while they were both hunting for frogs. The biologist was so impressed with Billy's understanding of frogs and swamp life that he invited him over to his laboratory for a visit. Certain that Billy would be a fine biologist like himself someday, he was especially eager to show Billy his current project, the big green Northern Leopard bull frog that he was carefully dissecting and studying. With great dilligence and biologist intensity he showed Billy the frog's heart and stomach and the muscle and bone structure, its long tongue and even the carefully dissected larynx and vocal sac so Billy could see where the call of the frog was made.

Throughout Billy was very quiet, so finally the biologist looked over at Billy and asked him what he thought of all that amazing stuff about the frog. Billy looked up and with tears trickling down his cheek, he said, "You killed my frog. Can you put him back together again so he can hop and croak again? I thought you said biology was all about studying living things. This frog ain't living." And with that Billy ran out to the swamp to scare all the rest of the frogs deeper into the swamp so that the biologist couldn't find them and study the life out of them too.

David, some of us feel just like Billy after you have finished dissecting this passage.

Tom

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Here's the passage:

1"(A)Cry loudly, do not hold back;

Raise your voice like a trumpet,

And declare to My people their (B)transgression

And to the house of Jacob their sins.

2"Yet they ©seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways,

As a nation that has done (D)righteousness

And (E)has not forsaken the ordinance of their God

They ask Me for just decisions,

They delight (F)in the nearness of God.

3'Why have we (G)fasted and You do not see?

Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?'

Behold, on the (H)day of your fast you find your desire,

And drive hard all your workers.

4"Behold, you fast for contention and (I)strife and to strike with a wicked fist

You do not fast like you do today to (J)make your voice heard on high.

5"Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself?

Is it for bowing one's head like a reed

And for spreading out (K)sackcloth and ashes as a bed?

Will you call this a fast, even an (L)acceptable day to the LORD?

6"Is this not the fast which I choose,

To (M)loosen the bonds of wickedness,

To undo the bands of the yoke,

And to (N)let the oppressed go free

And (O)break every yoke?

7"Is it not to (P)divide your bread with the hungry

And (Q)bring the homeless poor into the house;

When you see the ®naked, to cover him;

And not to (S)hide yourself from your own flesh?

8"Then your (T)light will break out like the dawn,

And your (U)recovery will speedily spring forth;

And your (V)righteousness will go before you;

The glory of the (W)LORD will be your rear guard.

9"Then you will (X)call, and the LORD will answer;

You will cry, and He will say, 'Here I am '

If you (Y)remove the yoke from your midst,

The (Z)pointing of the finger and (AA)speaking wickedness,

10And if you (AB)give yourself to the hungry

And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,

Then your (AC)light will rise in darkness

And your gloom will become like midday.

11"And the (AD)LORD will continually guide you,

And (AE)satisfy your desire in scorched places,

And (AF)give strength to your bones;

And you will be like a (AG)watered garden,

And like a (AH)spring of water whose waters do not fail.

12"Those from among you will (AI)rebuild the ancient ruins;

You will (AJ)raise up the age-old foundations;

And you will be called the repairer of the (AK)breach,

The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.

Keeping the Sabbath

13"If because of the sabbath, you (AL)turn your foot

From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,

And call the sabbath a (AM)delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable,

And honor it, desisting from your (AN)own ways,

From seeking your own pleasure

And (AO)speaking your own word,

14Then you will take (AP)delight in the LORD,

And I will make you ride (AQ)on the heights of the earth;

And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,

For the (AR)mouth of the LORD has spoken."

As Tom has pointed out, and as syntax dictates, this is in fact a unit of discourse, beginning with "Cry loudly. . . " and ending with ". . .the Lord has spoken."

Whatever longer discourse there may be, this is a complete unit of that discourse.

God starts out to "declare to My people their transgression

And to the house of Jacob their sins."

But then interjects a seeming inconsistency: Yet they ©seek Me day by day

If they're seeking God day by day, what can be their sins? Their problem is they think they're righteous.

They act

As a nation that has done (D)righteousness

And (E)has not forsaken the ordinance of their God

and on that basis

They ask Me for just decisions,

They delight (F)in the nearness of God.

But they're frustrated because

'Why have we (G)fasted and You do not see?

Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?'

Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire,

And drive hard all your workers.

In layman's terms "they don't get it," and God proceeds to tell them in verses 3-5 that they're fasting in ways He did not ask for and does not approve.

Verses 6-7 describe what God wants instead, and verses 8-12, in a series of "If-then" statements, describes what blessings will accrue when they do what God has really asked of them.

AND THEN we get to the two verses on the Sabbath. The first twelve verses have dealt with what they do "day-by-day." For the Jews, there were two kinds of days. The Sabbath, and all the others.

Up till now, the "If-then" promises of blessings have dealt with the other days, their "day-by-day" conduct. The last two verses then turn to the "If-then" promises about Sabbath keeping. If they keep the Sabbath appropriately, these blessings will accrue.

To summarize.

Israel thinks they're doing the right things, but God is falling down on his end of the bargain.

They delight (F)in the nearness of God.

3'Why have we (G)fasted and You do not see?

God says, in effect, "you don't get it."

Is it a fast like this which I choose,

Then a series of "If-then" promises of blessings under the right conditions, dealing with "day-by-day"

loosen the bonds of wickedness,

. . . .

8"Then your (T)light will break out like the dawn

AND on the Sabbath

If because of the sabbath . . . .

14Then you will take (AP)delight in the LORD

Therefore, the meaning of 'doing your own pleasure,' in light of the whole context, means 'doing what you decide to, without regard to my [God's] intentions.'

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If you want to know why young people flee the church, this thread is a good example.

1) Endless legal wrangling about "proper Sabbath activities" that miss the point of the Sabbath entirely.

2) Interminable discussions about "how many angels can dance on the head of a single hebrew word."

3) Institutional tolerance of and even approval of pious posturing, and

4) The treatment of humor as a cardinal sin.

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AND on the Sabbath

If because of the sabbath . . . .

14Then you will take (AP)delight in the LORD

Therefore, the meaning of 'doing your own pleasure,' in light of the whole context, means 'doing what you decide to, without regard to my [God's] intentions.'

Quote:
Two issues . . . what the children were doing, and how the situation was handled. As for the first, core issue, if children learn to be careless about God's Sabbath, and engage in activities which are not in harmony with the Bible's teaching about the Sabbath, then yes, that is a very serious matter.

Let me suggest that the second issue is often more important than the first. Greater offence can be caused to God by the way we deal with these difficult issues. The strife and upset about the "offence" is often more damaging than the offence itself.

I think the discussion has been illustrative of that.

The way we treat others is more important than anything else, including whether we are right about the Sabbath. Keeping the Sabbath should make us more loving and thoughtful toward people who disagree with us.

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If you want to know why young people flee the church, this thread is a good example.

1) Endless legal wrangling about "proper Sabbath activities" that miss the point of the Sabbath entirely.

As I was growing up, the Sabbath was always a great and wonderful time, because while my parents had firm beliefs about what was right or wrong, they never made us kids feel the Sabbath was a burden or something to be endured. In my opinion, if one was going to error, it would be better to allow children to break the Sabbath than to force them to keep it "our way" and watch them rebel and hate it. I did a lot of things as a kid on the Sabbath that were wrong, but when I grew up, it was due largely to my good memories of the Sabbath that brought me back to Christ.

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I would be willing to make a wager ....

I will be that far more kids are turning AWAY from Adventism because of legalistic Sabbath keeping than are drawn because of legalistic Sabbath keeping.

And then what is the message that we are sending them?

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I would be willing to make a wager ....

I will be that far more kids are turning AWAY from Adventism because of legalistic Sabbath keeping than are drawn because of legalistic Sabbath keeping.

And then what is the message that we are sending them?

We can figure out, to the nth degree of the legalistic requirement of the Sabbath....but if we do so at the expense of appearing legalistic, and thus offending the human, what good is our system of justice?

Were we not, first and foremost, created to be human? And LOVING humans at that?

What is so loving that we can not see children having fun on the Sabbath? What is so loving as to allow our children to grow up in the nurture of the Lord? Ok, they don't know everything....but they know how to play together, they know how to enjoy one another in a loving way. They don't make life complicated... I would venture to say that kids having fun know how to be better christians than we adults do...

Again, we need to ponder this text a bit more....

He has showed you, O man, what is good.

And what does the LORD require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy

and to walk humbly with your God.

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How are we to understand Jeremiah 17: 19-27 where, because of failure to "keep the Sabbath day holy," God threatens to "kindle a fire in Jerusalem's gates" "which shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem and shall not be quenched"?

Daniel and most of the rest of Judah were taken into captivity and moved to Babylon because of their failure to keep the Sabbath, according to a comparison of 2 Chron. 7: 19, 20; 2 Chron. 36: 20, 21 and Daniel 1: 1, 2; 9: 3-15. God had even sent many prophets to the people to bring them back to Him, and back to true Sabbath keeping (which can only be done, really, by a holy people), but the record is that they only rebelled further and rejected and killed the prophets. (Jer. 14: 13-16; 23: 21-40; 29: 8-19, etc.)

""...They [those who accepted the words of false prophets] did not heed my words, says the Lord, which I persistently sent to you by my servants the prophets, but you would not listen, says the Lord" (Jer. 29: 19).

What lessons, if any, should we learn from those events?

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