He won't play ball on Sunday

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Laura

Puritan Board Junior
By the thread title I thought you were talking about Chariots of Fire. This is even better. Not to mention the edifying comment posted in response to the first inane one. Thanks for making my morning. :)
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Beautiful story. Reminds me of the Girl's soccer team from the Isle of Lewis that welcomely gave up an opportunity to play for the Scotland title instead of play on the Lord's Day.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
I admire him for his stance....now in stating this I hope he and we understand that this can be a matter of Christian liberty. What I have noticed is that many would frown on me if I played in the NFL.

If you know what I mean Vern?
 

Claudiu

Puritan Board Junior
...I hope he and we understand that this can be a matter of Christian liberty.
Respectfully, no it cannot. God's Law is binding.
Curious, if you had to work many Sunday's as I do, would it be OK for me to rest on Monday or Saturday?
:detective: I've had this discussion with others before :stirpot:

-----Added 12/26/2009 at 04:04:23 EST-----

THE BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH OF 1689
CHAPTER 22; OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP AND THE SABBATH DAY
Paragraph 7. As it is the law of nature, that in general a proportion of time, by God's appointment, be set apart for the worship of God, so by his Word, in a positive moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, he has particularly appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy unto him,28 which from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ was the last day of the week, and from the resurrection of Christ was changed into the first day of the week, which is called the Lord's Day:29 and is to be continued to the end of the world as the Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week being abolished.
28 Exod. 20:8
29 1 Cor. 16:1,2; Acts 20:7; Rev. 1:10

Paragraph 8. The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe a holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations,30 but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.31
30 Isa. 58:13; Neh. 13:15-22
31 Matt. 12:1-13
 

jfschultz

Puritan Board Junior
I admire him for his stance....now in stating this I hope he and we understand that this can be a matter of Christian liberty. What I have noticed is that many would frown on me if I played in the NFL.

If you know what I mean Vern?
This is straight from the 2000 version of the SBC Baptist Faith and Message and not the London Confession of Faith.
 

Zenas

Snow Miser
I predict that this will turn into either the last Sabbath debate of 2009, or carry-over into the first Sabbath debate of 2010.

It ain't the first and I'd bet money it won't be the last. :p
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Will he play ball with his son for enjoyment after Sabbath services? That's MY question.


"I've talked about the 'call to excellence' I perceive in the bible, being the best you can be and I try to present myself as a living sacrifice to the Lord.

"I want to excel in rugby because that's where I've been given the opportunity to serve my God - but it has to fit with the way I want to live my life.

"The most important thing in my life will always be serving Christ.

"I want to live my life believing and doing the things he wants and the Sabbath day is a full day.

"It's not a case of a couple of hours in church then playing rugby or going down the pub, it's the full day."

Good quote, now let's pray that he does not fall, like so many "celebrity Christians" do, or dive into the tacky, like thanking God for good performances during a silly game (Football players somehow thank that scoring a touchdown is indicative of the pleasure of God it seems).
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Sunday is the day the Lord has seen fit to ordain for His sabbath purposes in the New Covenant. As for your profession, I cannot say. Is it in the bounds of what could be called "works of necessity or mercy?" I am unable to answer that question.

Regardless, God's moral law hasn't ended. "Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it thou shalt not do any work." Things like nursing, policing, etc. are works of necessity and mercy. I have no idea if what you do qualifies as such, since I know not what it is that you do. However, those are questions different from playing Sports for profit on the Lord's Day. There is no liberty to contradict what God has indicted as sin elsewhere (Isaiah 58:13-14). It must be squared away in the biggest sense of the whole of Scripture.
Do you watch NFL games on Sunday? Or any NFL games period? Now I am just using this as an example because I am sure we could find something you do on Sunday that could be objectionable to someone who has more scruples than you on this matter.

One again I have no problem with the boy not playing on Sunday what I object to is people who believe that those that do are committing sin.

-----Added 12/27/2009 at 09:24:51 EST-----

I predict that this will turn into either the last Sabbath debate of 2009, or carry-over into the first Sabbath debate of 2010.

It ain't the first and I'd bet money it won't be the last. :p

I could see where this could lead into a heated discussion...been there done that with many SDA's and I would rather not go much further.

Just curious how did the the below verse get interpreted to defend either position? I have a feeling it must of come up.


"16Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day--

17things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ."

-----Added 12/27/2009 at 09:37:15 EST-----

I admire him for his stance....now in stating this I hope he and we understand that this can be a matter of Christian liberty. What I have noticed is that many would frown on me if I played in the NFL.

If you know what I mean Vern?
This is straight from the 2000 version of the SBC Baptist Faith and Message and not the London Confession of Faith.
No doubt. But make no mistake I am not a SB. I admit I don't conform to every jot or tittle of the LCoF.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Do you watch NFL games on Sunday? Or any NFL games period? Now I am just using this as an example because I am sure we could find something you do on Sunday that could be objectionable to someone who has more scruples than you on this matter.

One again I have no problem with the boy not playing on Sunday what I object to is people who believe that those that do are committing sin.

....

No doubt. But make no mistake I am not a SB. I admit I don't conform to every jot or tittle of the LCoF.
1. No.
2. Sure, I have six other days where I can watch the NFL if I so choose.
3. There's no pretending that I've broken the sabbath in thought, word, and deed every Lord's Day. That is irrelevant to whether it's proper or not. I'm convinced that no one but the Lord Jesus Christ has perfectly, fully, and sufficiently kept the sabbath holy. Whether we do or not is not the point, but rather that we make every effort to do so, in good conscience. What's relevant is the attitude and thought people have about God's Law. Just as the rugby player said, there are 10 Commandments, not 9.

You do not have to "conform to every jot or tittle of the LCoF," but you are not welcome to trample on what it teaches. If you have questions about Sabbatarianism, have at it. Assertions contrary to the truth of Sabbatarianism, however, are not welcome.
Concerning 1 and 2. I suggest you stop supporting the NFL entirely in that they promote a breaking of the sabbath by playing on Sunday thus "encouraging others to work" as the soccer player said.

Concerning 3. I enjoyed the tome of your post for though no doubt we disagree with how we are to observe The Lord's Day for I agree it is still 1 of the 10. I am sorry you think I trampled on this day because I tried to be clear by stating that the liberty we have in Christ does allow us some differences in this matter in how we practice such. Which no doubt we both fail as you pointed out in your post. So in deference to the rules of this board I will bow out now in this discussion.

Though I will bow out I would like to hear what you think the below means. :)

Romans 14 5-6

5One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.

6He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Earl,

The same confession that you and I hold to is perfectly clear regarding the observance of the Lord's Day:


1689 LBC 22.7
As it is the law of nature, that in general a proportion of time, by God's appointment, be set apart for the worship of God, so by his Word, in a positive moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy unto him, which from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ was the last day of the week, and from the resurrection of Christ was changed into the first day of the week, which is called the Lord's day: and is to be continued to the end of the world as the Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week being abolished.
The Christian Sabbath, also called the Lord's Day, is not in debate among confessional Baptists or Presbyterians. It can only be observed on one day; that day being Sunday, the first day of the week.

1689 LBC 22.8
The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.
The Christian Sabbath is not meant to bind the conscience of men. Once we start a list of do's and don'ts we have confused the Sabbath's purpose. The Sabbath should be prepared for and enjoyed with delight. There is no other event during the week that should occupy our thoughts more, bring as much joy, and satisfy our needs more than to worship God and fellowship with the saints. One may argue that to anticipate the gathering of the saints each week as less than the pinnacle of our Christian walk, is to have a dim view of God, and of our redemption.

Tis true that even confessional adherents disagree on Sabbath observance. We should not use our Sabbath view as a reason to cause division among us, but the nature of the day will cause sufficient division itself; what with those who hold to a confessional view of the Day centering their mind and activities around the Lord, and those who do not feel bound to the confession on this matter pursuing thoughts and action in keeping with another conviction. There should be charity towards all, but the burden of proof on reinterpreting the Lord's Day rests with the believer who departs from the confession.

As to your question regarding Romans 14:5, 6; let me point to the fact that this passage is not negating the command to observe the Lord's Day. Those things that are clearly commanded in scripture are not open for interpretation. Passage such as the one cited seem to provide a ready proof text for those who would like to re-interpret their spiritual obligations. Paul is simply saying that if a brother happens to enjoy His liberties in Christ, he is free to do so with a clear conscience. Enjoying our Christian liberties never is an excuse to violate a command or the clear teaching of scripture.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Earl,

The same confession that you and I hold to is perfectly clear regarding the observance of the Lord's Day:


1689 LBC 22.7
As it is the law of nature, that in general a proportion of time, by God's appointment, be set apart for the worship of God, so by his Word, in a positive moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy unto him, which from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ was the last day of the week, and from the resurrection of Christ was changed into the first day of the week, which is called the Lord's day: and is to be continued to the end of the world as the Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week being abolished.
The Christian Sabbath, also called the Lord's Day, is not in debate among confessional Baptists or Presbyterians. It can only be observed on one day; that day being Sunday, the first day of the week.

1689 LBC 22.8
The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.
The Christian Sabbath is not meant to bind the conscience of men. Once we start a list of do's and don'ts we have confused the Sabbath's purpose. The Sabbath should be prepared for and enjoyed with delight. There is no other event during the week that should occupy our thoughts more, bring as much joy, and satisfy our needs more than to worship God and fellowship with the saints. One may argue that to anticipate the gathering of the saints each week as less than the pinnacle of our Christian walk, is to have a dim view of God, and of our redemption.

Tis true that even confessional adherents disagree on Sabbath observance. We should not use our Sabbath view as a reason to cause division among us, but the nature of the day will cause sufficient division itself; what with those who hold to a confessional view of the Day centering their mind and activities around the Lord, and those who do not feel bound to the confession on this matter pursuing thoughts and action in keeping with another conviction. There should be charity towards all, but the burden of proof on reinterpreting the Lord's Day rests with the believer who departs from the confession.

As to your question regarding Romans 14:5, 6; let me point to the fact that this passage is not negating the command to observe the Lord's Day. Those things that are clearly commanded in scripture are not open for interpretation. Passage such as the one cited seem to provide a ready proof text for those who would like to re-interpret their spiritual obligations. Paul is simply saying that if a brother happens to enjoy His liberties in Christ, he is free to do so with a clear conscience. Enjoying our Christian liberties never is an excuse to violate a command or the clear teaching of scripture.
I am not saying I am for stopping my observance of The Lord's Day. I was trying to point out the Liberty we have as Christians to observe it as best we can and not use this commandment to put on a heavy load that Our Lord has lifted from us. Maybe I am over reacting from what I view as a legalistic view being expressed here...though I am coming to an understanding why many here believe they way they do in this and other areas. I guess I am "lucky" my job involves "works of mercy" as that I work in a hospital.

So should I have to stop watching the NFL? I ask this because I doubt the church we are visiting (PCA) would go as far as asking us to do such.

PS. I have amended my profile.
 
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Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Folks, allow me to amend a statement I made regarding do's and don'ts about keeping the Christian Sabbath. There are things that we should do and not do. I was not seeking to minimize those areas. My response to Earl was with the intent to get at the proper heart attitude about the Sabbath. When the Sabbath is our delight; better yet, when God is our delight, His day will be a joy. We will not, or should not, find ourselves fighting about what we should and should not do. Our hearts and minds will be open to instruction from the Word of God on how best to honor the day.
 

jfschultz

Puritan Board Junior
I predict that this will turn into either the last Sabbath debate of 2009, or carry-over into the first Sabbath debate of 2010.

It ain't the first and I'd bet money it won't be the last. :p
This thread will probably fade away in time for the annual stupid er super bowl debate thread.
 

Claudiu

Puritan Board Junior
Anyone feel free to correct me where I'm wrong but this is my understanding:
First of all, the text by text analysis of the issue could be a long one, but for the sake of argument I will just add my :2cents:.
As far as the Romans passage goes, the book of Romans was written at a time the church (which included Jews and Gentiles) was still in its infancy. The problem Paul is trying to address here is converted Jews and converted Gentiles coming together in one body, the church. The Jews brought with them some of their traditions, such as the dietary laws (v. 3) and the "day above day" issue (v. 5). This clearly reflects some of the tension that occurred in the early church. What Paul is targeting are the converted Jews who brought with them the traditions of ages past. (This was because of the respect to times the Jews had-passover, pentecost, new moons, and feasts of tabernacles). They thought those days were better than other days. Thus, they were still binding old observances, which were not followed anymore in the Christian church. This passage, however, does not mention "sabbath." It speaks only of "days," and as pointed out, these days were what the Jews thought were more important than others (such as festivals or new moons). With all this, we see that this passage does not even refer to the sabbath but rather other days that the Jews believed were "above" others, which was not applicable anymore.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Here is what I wrote to some Brothers in the Lord on the subject of the 4th Commandment who were struggling with the issue of whether or not the WCF is "legalistic" on the issue:

Personally, I would rather a person err on the side of understanding
that God justifies the un-Godly than to fully appreciate how
sanctification works itself out and err on the side of
self-sanctification so I'm happy when I hear folks struggle with the
Law while maintaining the amazing grace of God. Paul, in Galatians,
fundamentally addresses a common error of the "Gospel" where
sanctification is confused as a path to acceptance ot God or
completing the work in the flesh what Christ begins in the Spirit.
Thus, many Christians' wheels fall off in sanctification and even the
"Colossian Heresy" appears to have grown out over a desire to control
sensuality.

The real question in all of this might be simply put: Is the Law holy
and good? I think Paul answers that question (and even Christ) in the
affirmative. The issue isn't the goodness of the Law but our sin.

I also think that these things are sometimes difficult to hold
together and to appreciate how Christ intercedes for our
sanctification but that this sanctification takes place in very
ordinary ways and is even sometimes lived out in what we might call
"rules".

I do hope that when you tell your kids to obey you that you would
never buy an answer from them: "But I'm under grace now Dad and if
you require obedience to my bedtime then you are a "legalist.""

The Ten Commandments are actually summarized by Christ in Two
Commandments: Love of God and Neighbor. Why didn't God give us two
then? Why state these *positive* commandments in 8 negative
commandments and 2 positive commandments? Why did He further inspire
portions of Exodus through Deuteronomy where "case law" was given?
Why did He inspire Proverbs where concrete examples of wisdom were
lived out?

Don't give me examples Lord, I've got it. I'll just love You and my
neighbor. Check.

The heart is deceitfully wicked above all things. Who can know it?

I think we need to remember that we can do something wicked even if
our "heart" excuses us and lets us believe that this is the thing that
God commanded. Our hearts are not the normative standard for God's
Law. The Law not only restrains evil in this world and reveals our
sin to us but it also ought to serve as a mirror (of sorts) of God's
holy character. It causes fear and loathing for the unregenerate man
but for the regenerate man it ought to remind him of the character of
a God that the redeemed man loves. We do not apprehend God in the
abstract, apart from Revelation, but through His Word. It is tempting
to see all the "case law", examples, and Proverbial wisdom and chalk
that up to a bygone era of Israel but we really ought to be able to
sing with David: "O, how I love your Law, it is my meditation day and
night." "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."

I know I'm in danger of being misconstrued but I simply ask your
indulgence out of brotherly kindness for me and to interpret my
remarks in the warmest and most loving light assuming that I care
deeply for you.

Let us remember that the 4th Commandment is a Commandment. Wherever
we fall down on what the Commandment requires and forbids, let us not
make the error that the Law is somehow fairly easily "contained" and
achievable. Let us not deceive ourselves that our "hearts" will tell
us how we might keep the Sabbath holy and that there are no examples
or other instructions in the Scriptures that might be a "check" to our
hearts. As we would instruct our own children in the things that
please God out of love for them, let us consider ourselves children
that need the discipline of the Word to check some of our own "gut"
reactions to what is/isn't pleasing to God.

Now, I'm really hesitant to share this with you but I will anyway but
here is Durham on the 4th Commandment and if you want to know how the
Puritans (who penned the Confession) formulated these things here it
is: The Fourth Commandment | Naphtali Press

I have Durham on the Ten Commandments if anyone would like to borrow it as well.

I urge you to consider, before you jump to quick conclusions, that our
minds are all still battling indwelling Sin. I don't agree with all
the exegetical conclusions that the Puritans made but I respect the
way they arrived at them and they cannot ever be accused of "putting a
fence around the Law" if you understand their methodology. I also
hold out the possibility that the reason I don't see certain things in
the Word is not their fault but may be my own spiritual dullness. You
may not agree with their exegetical labors but these men pored over
the Scriptures in a way none of us have. Nearly everyone of them knew
the stench of burning flesh of a brother or sister who was burned at
the stake for daring to read the Scriptures in their native tongue.
Many of them died or were exiled for standing for the Word against
Popes and Kings who were preventing it and, most importantly,
preventing the True Gospel of Grace from going forward.

I believe we at least owe them the respect of how they came to certain
conclusions before we interpret their exegetical efforts as parroting
the Rabbinical tradition of Christ's day. They were well aware of the
Regula Fide (Rule of Faith) of the Roman Catholic Church and
*Protested* against the formation of doctrines that were simply the
consensus of the Church. The standard for doctrine is clearly set
forward in the first Chapter of the Confession:

[BEGIN QUOTE]
IV. The authority of the holy Scripture, for which it ought to be
believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or
Church, but wholly upon God (who is truth itself), the Author thereof;
and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.

VI. The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his
own glory, man's salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set
down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced
from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether
by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men. Nevertheless
we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be
necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed
in the Word; and that there are some circumstances concerning the
worship of God, and the government of the Church, common to human
actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature
and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word,
which are always to be observed.

VII. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor
alike clear unto all; yet those things which are necessary to be
known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly
propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not
only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary
means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.

IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture, is the
Scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the
true and full sense of any scripture (which is not manifold, but one),
it may be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.

X. The Supreme Judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be
determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers,
doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in
whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit
speaking in the Scripture.
[END QUOTE]

In other words, if you and I were writing a document and somebody read
what we wrote in Chapter 1 of our book, I believe that person would
owe us the courtesy of assuming that we're not completely
contradicting ourselves when we get to the issue of the Lord's Day and
suddenly adopted the hermeneutical approach of the Roman Catholic
Church.

In other words, the ministers at Westminster arrived at their
conclusions on the Sabbath by exegesis. Was it incorrect? I don't
consider myself a peer to their collective efforts but do not think
they were infallible (nor did they). Were they "Fencing the Law"? I
don't believe so. Look back again at how doctrines are arrived at:
"...either expressly set down..." (in other words a verse says this)
or *deduced* "...by good and necessary consequence...." Before you
attack the latter method, please remember that the Trinity is one such
doctrine that you won't find a "proof text" for.

I would encourage you to download J.I. Packer's History of the
Puritans at RTS on iTunes U. One of the best summaries of
Puritan approaches to teachinhg is something he says to the effect of:
"When the Puritans teach the Law they teach it with such force that
you are left with the full weight of its Holiness. It is almost as if
there is no Gospel and no hope when you understand the weight of it.
When they teach the Gospel, though, it is with the full weight of
Christ accomplishing all righteousness." It's a short way of saying
that the Puritans understood how weighty the Law was and do please
recall, after all, was that Christ's rebuke of the Pharisees in the
Sermon on the Mount is that they had made the Law too easy. Man-made
additions to be sure but, for the most part, were designed so that a
Law could be checked off by a "righteous man."

Put simply: I've *NEVER* kept the Sabbath because I'm a Law breaker
but, thanks be to God, I'm in Christ. Yet, I do not sin all the more
so that grace may abound.

I hope you know that I love you all. I wish I could have been there
for the discussion but, then again, in God's perfect Providence it
might have been for the best because the discussion I listened to was
very good and I might have been tempted to say too much and not allow
you guys to talk through some of the issues.

I don't think I've arrived at full understanding of all of these
things. One thing that has really struck me in the past few months is
how serious the battle with Indwelling Sin is and it has been
transformative to my thinking. I'm studying the Proverbs right now in
great detail and one of the things that I'm convinced of is that the
pursuit of Lady Wisdom is a lifelong one and it is just that: a
pursuit. I'm convinced that one of the reasons that Parables kept the
blind from seeing what Christ was teaching (and Christ specifically
mentions that He taught in Parables to hide and not to reveal) was
that they are so "earthy" and "contemporary" that they seem easy to
understand. A man hears Christ and walks away convinced he knows what
Christ taught. Those that spent a lot of time with Christ, however,
took the time to ask Him to explain because they knew there was much
more than met the eye - and Christ explained it to them.

I guess what I'm saying is that it's not a bad thing if some of these
things trouble you or maybe even grate against what you might
immediately find intuitive. The Pursuit of Wisdom is hard work and I
can testify to it because I'm in the same race and it's hard for
everybody. It's the people that think this stuff is simple and
straightforward that worry me. For my own part, I'm continually
amazed at the insights that are packed into small sentences in the
Westminster Standards. I might not have seen all of them 10 years ago
but some of them are really profound insights that took some time to
appreciate.

In other words, don't be convinced simply because the Westminster
Ministers wrote it but don't be too quickly dismissive because they
just might prove to have arrived at something you haven't immediately
seen and they still might have something to teach us all. Ephesians 6
testifies that God gave us Pastors and teachers to lead us into the
unity of the faith and I believe that our forebears in the faith stand
in a line of great men at whose feet we ought to take the time to
listen to. We stand on the shoulders of giants who wrestled with
nearly every error we find ourselves continually engaged in and they
still have much to say that gives exegetical explanation to the 4th
Commandment and many other subjects.
 

ColdSilverMoon

Puritan Board Senior
How soon do we get to the old canard of Sabbatarians not being allowed to use electricity on the Lord's Day? That one is always my favorite.
Actually it´s a fairly good point - where exactly do you draw the line as to what is necessary and what is not? I don´t agree with Earl that the Sabbath is a matter of ¨Christian Liberty,¨but I also believe there is a big gray area in terms of what is acceptable necessary work, what is ordinary recreation, etc. When it comes down to it there isn´t much difference between watching the NFL, eating out at a restaurant, and using electricity - both are supporting others´work that isn´t truly necessary on the Lord´s Day.

I think Rich and Bill are pretty much right on when they note that observing the Sabbath is more a matter of a desire to honor God and obey His Law than anything else. If our hearts are right on the matter then appropriate actions will naturally follow...
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
How is electricity not a necessity on the Lord's Day? Do you then support Hospitals using generators on the Lord's Day, shutting down all manufacturing facilities that would take the rest of the week to "warm up"? Electricity is a work of necessity.

A person can reasonably go a day without eating, a person in your hospital hooked up to machines cannot reasonably go a day without electricity.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I think Rich and Bill are pretty much right on when they note that observing the Sabbath is more a matter of a desire to honor God and obey His Law than anything else. If our hearts are right on the matter then appropriate actions will naturally follow...
I'm not sure that's exactly what I said Mason. I don't think we can remove matters of the heart from obedience but how I "experience" the Law is not what is normative. One of the problems I have with perspectivalism is the idea that how I agree with or enjoy the Law is just as important with what the Law actually teaches.

What I was trying to drive at is that I'm still very much sinful and my conscience needs a lot of training. I don't always keep the Law as I ought but realize I am saved by grace. I don't therefore sin all the more so that grace may abound but I pray for a sanctified heart so that I'm not so prone to love my own flesh and to love more the things of God.

My Pastor made a good point recently in a discussion on the 4th Commandment where we'll play "line games" with the Sabbath in ways that we would never abide for other Commandments. We ought to ask ourselves if we could stomach having a discussion about what line am I permitted to cross before I commit adultery as an example. Maybe I just look at lingerie ads. Is that OK? You see what I'm saying? Nobody ever accuses us of "legalism" if we decide that turning our heads from a Victoria Secret's commercial is a way of honoring the 7th Commandment.

I think the legalism charge more naturally sticks in our carnal way of thinking because we don't really think of the 4th Commandment as serious as Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll.

I'm not suggesting that we limit our pursuit of the Law to a checklist nor am I suggesting that the heart is not unimportant but I think we need to be pursuing righteousness in order to get a heart for it. It's easy for me to not watch football on Sunday because I could care less about it. I don't yet love the Sabbath as I ought but it is a pursuit by God's grace just as every other battle with indwelling Sin is a pursuit.

What I'm trying to challenge is the notion that people have that their heart is already in the right place and that the Law has no training function left for them. Every practical way of holiness on the Sabbath is, by definition, "legalism" for some because their heart tells them that they are honoring the Sabbath.

The heart is not normative. God's Law is. Our hearts need to be trained and I am merely suggesting that many do not desire to have trained hearts and I am often the chief of Sinners in that regard.
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
My Pastor made a good point recently in a discussion on the 4th Commandment where we'll play "line games" with the Sabbath in ways that we would never abide for other Commandments. We ought to ask ourselves if we could stomach having a discussion about what line am I permitted to cross before I commit adultery as an example. Maybe I just look at lingerie ads. Is that OK? You see what I'm saying? Nobody ever accuses us of "legalism" if we decide that turning our heads from a Victoria Secret's commercial is a way of honoring the 7th Commandment.
An excellent point. Too often I've heard the complaint lodged at the statements on the 4th commandment in the WLC as being "too strict." But are not the statements on the other 9 commandments just as strict? Perhaps the applications of the 4th commandment in modern society are more difficult than some of the others in some ways. But perhaps it is also the selfish nature of our hearts (putting ourselves first and forgetting to worship God, seeking to be entertained and served by others, etc.) that needs to die all the more, and the commandment strikes directly at that.
 

Osage Bluestem

Puritan Board Junior
Aren't we allowed to play games on Sunday because technically games are leisure activity and are not a real job? We only pay pro players because we want to watch them play because they're good at it. It's not like they're working.

I think sports are allowed on Sunday.
 
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