Going out to eat on the Sabbath

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by luvroftheWord, Jul 2, 2004.

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  1. luvroftheWord

    luvroftheWord Puritan Board Sophomore

    [quote:c51722d35b][i:c51722d35b]Originally posted by fredtgreco[/i:c51722d35b]
    [quote:c51722d35b][i:c51722d35b]Originally posted by luvroftheWord[/i:c51722d35b]
    Was Nehemiah being a Pharisee when he condemned the Jews for buying fish on the Sabbath? [/quote:c51722d35b]

    No. The problem with the Pharisees was not that they encouraged or demanded obedience to God's law. The problem was that they believed that obedience to the law gave them standing before God.

    I was struck by this when reading Matthew 23 for evening worship tonight. It contains the verse about the Pharisees tithing herbs. Read it slowly, you probably thought it said something else. (I did)


    Matthew 23:23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, [b:c51722d35b]without leaving the others undone.[/b:c51722d35b]

    Christ does not set obedience to the law [u:c51722d35b]against[/u:c51722d35b] faith and mercy and justice. He simply shows the [i:c51722d35b]priority[/i:c51722d35b] of faith, mercy and justice. Not that he does not say it would have been better to have done mercy and justice and left undone the tithing. He said you ought to have done both. [/quote:c51722d35b]

    I agree with you, Fred. The question was rhetorical in regards to someone's comments about making lists of dos and don'ts as being Pharisaical. Nehemiah was obviously not a Pharisee.
     
  2. tcalbrecht

    tcalbrecht Puritan Board Junior

    [quote:e8db4a39aa][i:e8db4a39aa]Originally posted by fredtgreco[/i:e8db4a39aa]

    I do not, and I believe it is a violation of the 4th commandment. Instead of going out with friends, we use our home for hospitality and have people over. The warmth of hospitality makes it worth it even if it is cold cuts. [/quote:e8db4a39aa]

    Fred,

    Thanks for your comments on this subject. We have often used Sunday as an opportunity to have folks over for a fellowship meal. It seems to be a common practice even among RP types.

    But I do have a question that has puzzled me. where is such activity permitted in the Bible? Granted, the Scriptures speak of fellowship meals in the congregation at which the Lord's Supper was observed. But I cannot find anything to suggest that private fellowship is permitted if one holds to a strict RP view of the sabbath. We can have such private fellowhip any day of the week, the same as we can work and have recreation on other days of the week.

    Any insight would be helpful.

    Thanks.
     
  3. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    [quote:f23bcecf47][i:f23bcecf47]Originally posted by luvroftheWord[/i:f23bcecf47]
    [quote:f23bcecf47][i:f23bcecf47]Originally posted by fredtgreco[/i:f23bcecf47]
    [quote:f23bcecf47][i:f23bcecf47]Originally posted by luvroftheWord[/i:f23bcecf47]
    Was Nehemiah being a Pharisee when he condemned the Jews for buying fish on the Sabbath? [/quote:f23bcecf47]

    No. The problem with the Pharisees was not that they encouraged or demanded obedience to God's law. The problem was that they believed that obedience to the law gave them standing before God.

    I was struck by this when reading Matthew 23 for evening worship tonight. It contains the verse about the Pharisees tithing herbs. Read it slowly, you probably thought it said something else. (I did)


    Matthew 23:23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, [b:f23bcecf47]without leaving the others undone.[/b:f23bcecf47]

    Christ does not set obedience to the law [u:f23bcecf47]against[/u:f23bcecf47] faith and mercy and justice. He simply shows the [i:f23bcecf47]priority[/i:f23bcecf47] of faith, mercy and justice. Not that he does not say it would have been better to have done mercy and justice and left undone the tithing. He said you ought to have done both. [/quote:f23bcecf47]

    I agree with you, Fred. The question was rhetorical in regards to someone's comments about making lists of dos and don'ts as being Pharisaical. Nehemiah was obviously not a Pharisee. [/quote:f23bcecf47]

    I agree Craig. Just using the "alley" you gave as an opportunity to "oop"! :wink:
     
  4. cupotea

    cupotea Puritan Board Junior

    Joseph Pipa (a Hero of the Sabbath!)

    A book called "The Lord's Day" by Joseph A Pipa is an excellent resource in understanding the Lord's Day. I have read it several times, and always come away with more insights. Mr. Pipa concentrates on principles, not lists of "do's" and "don't's".

    He specifically addresses the issue of eating out on the Sabbath, and instructs his readers to ask a few questions, "...is good being done to my neighbor --- physically, and and more importantly, spiritually? What spiritual benefit is there for the waitress in the restaurant who has to work because church-goers are eating there on Sunday? Does your act promote her salvation? Does your act free her to be able to worship? Is she able to enjoy the purposes of the day? The issue is not that she would be doing it whether or not you were there. The issue for you is whether you are doing those things that promote or hinder her spiritual well-being? Apply that question to every decision you make, to every choice you contemplate, to everything that you do, because that is what we all should desire as Christians."

    In response to the common belief that Sabbath-observance equals legalism, Mr. Pipa says, "The Bible calls us to demonstrate our separateness by living according to the commands of Scripture, including keeping the Sabbath. We are not being legalistic when we observe the Sabbath carefully; rather we are demonstrating Biblical separation. Legalism, by contrast, is adding to the law of God...We should note that conscientious precision in our obedience is not legalism.":book:
     
  5. daveb

    daveb Puritan Board Sophomore

    [quote:94b2c2bc26][i:94b2c2bc26]Originally posted by ReformedLadyRed[/i:94b2c2bc26]
    A book called "The Lord's Day" by Joseph A Pipa is an excellent resource in understanding the Lord's Day. I have read it several times, and always come away with more insights. Mr. Pipa concentrates on principles, not lists of "do's" and "don't's".

    He specifically addresses the issue of eating out on the Sabbath, and instructs his readers to ask a few questions, "...is good being done to my neighbor --- physically, and and more importantly, spiritually? What spiritual benefit is there for the waitress in the restaurant who has to work because church-goers are eating there on Sunday? Does your act promote her salvation? Does your act free her to be able to worship? Is she able to enjoy the purposes of the day? The issue is not that she would be doing it whether or not you were there. The issue for you is whether you are doing those things that promote or hinder her spiritual well-being? Apply that question to every decision you make, to every choice you contemplate, to everything that you do, because that is what we all should desire as Christians."
    [/quote:94b2c2bc26]

    Thank you for posting this. I never thought of it like that before.
     
  6. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    Kristine, that is a good point. My husband was recently out of work for almost three months, and we found out it's not so easy to just get a job at McDonalds (or any other restaurant) like everybody says. This is because we refused to work on Sunday: in the city where we lived, there was a church about every three blocks, and Sunday was the biggest day for restaurants with the "after church" crowd. We had quite a few people tell us that our lack of Sunday availability was killing our chances of being hired in the food industry-- how ironic that Christians who would not themselves work on Sunday, but would go out to eat, were the primary cause of a situation where other Christians could not get jobs to provide food for their families.

    I am not sure where to draw the line with this: I have felt guilty about even making the bed on Sunday (after all, is that really a work of mercy?), until I read the account in John where Christ healed the lame man on the Sabbath, and then commanded him to "take up his bed...". He was not to just leave it there in a pile, but to "straighten up" after himself.
     
  7. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    [quote:e5cd7df3d8][i:e5cd7df3d8]Originally posted by a mere housewife[/i:e5cd7df3d8]
    Kristine, that is a good point. My husband was recently out of work for almost three months, and we found out it's not so easy to just get a job at McDonalds (or any other restaurant) like everybody says. This is because we refused to work on Sunday: in the city where we lived, there was a church about every three blocks, and Sunday was the biggest day for restaurants with the "after church" crowd. We had quite a few people tell us that our lack of Sunday availability was killing our chances of being hired in the food industry-- how ironic that Christians who would not themselves work on Sunday, but would go out to eat, were the primary cause of a situation where other Christians could not get jobs to provide food for their families. [/quote:e5cd7df3d8]

    This is an excellent indictment of the modern church, in which each person is so concerned with himself and his own rights that he completely misses the impact on the body.
     
  8. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    [quote:82c4f6ec56][i:82c4f6ec56]posted by Fred[/i:82c4f6ec56]
    This is an excellent indictment of the modern church, in which each person is so concerned with himself and his own rights that he completely misses the impact on the body. [/quote:82c4f6ec56]
    Fred:
    I was thinking the same thing when I read this. We could almost devote a whole thread to this subject alone. I wonder how many other examples we could some up with? How much has the corporate church suffered in our efforts to split hairs on personal insights and understandings?
     
  9. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:9434d7dea1]
    We should note that conscientious precision in our obedience is not legalism."[/quote:9434d7dea1]
    I liked this line. People today confuse this so much.
     
  10. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    [b:0e4014ee79]I previously wrote:[/b:0e4014ee79]
    Has anybody read Matthew's article called "The Lord's Day"? I just started reading it, and it looks like it may cover those things.

    As I'm reading through this article, I couldn't help think how ironic things are sometimes.

    Sometimes, people consider not drinking, smoking, going to movies, etc., to be good indicators of a person's "sanctified life". Some might consider it to be legalistic to set aside Sunday as described in the scriptures, since "We have Christian liberty and are no longer enslaved to the Law - we're under grace now". As I think about what I've read so far and compare it with my life, I can't help but think that how a person reacts to the sabbath commandment is a far better indicator of the sanctified life (or lack thereof). We are to stop working and seeking our own pleasures, and focus our attention on worshipping God. Regardless of where one stands on the debate about how we should observe the Sabbath, not wanting to spend one day out of seven focused on worshipping God is very telling.

    Bob

    [Edited on 7-7-2004 by blhowes]
     
  11. cupotea

    cupotea Puritan Board Junior

    Bob, you're right it is *very* telling.

    Just ask a Sabbath-opposer, "So, what's so bad about devoting one day out of seven to worship, rest, and fellowship?"

    The answer, though they may not want to voice it, is that they don't *want* to give up those things that they would like to spend Sundays doing. (Water skiing, game-watching, etc) Well, none of us wants to give up white lies to cover our mistakes, but as Christians we have to. Give of self; that is our Christian calling. Obedience, that is our Christian calling.
     
  12. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    Kristine,
    Welcome to the board.

    [b:99eb577024]Kristine wrote:[/b:99eb577024]
    Bob, you're right it is *very* telling. Just ask a Sabbath-opposer, "So, what's so bad about devoting one day out of seven to worship, rest, and fellowship?"

    Its also very telling for somebody, like myself, who's not opposed to observing the Sabbath, but just has never been taught properly or never took the time to study it. Its a real eye opener. I'm thinking that, even if its not a requirement for the NT period (which it probably is), it would still be a good habit to get into nevertheless.

    Bob
     
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