Sabbath breaking occupations

Discussion in 'The Lord's Day or Christian Sabbath' started by steadfast7, Aug 4, 2011.

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  1. BertMulder

    BertMulder Puritan Board Junior

    That is a failing of the church in those cases, and again, lack of our love to God, and our neighbor to ignore His command to care for the poor through the diaconate. God does not require sacrifice, or labour. God requires from us obedience. And see, as we read in Malachi, if He will not fill our barns with plenty, so that they cannot even contain it...
  2. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Simply put, I think my way is just as possible, as Harley pointed out, because Christ is highlighting the inconsistency of the Pharisees. And I think that fits better with the overall conflict with them. And secondly, from a broader dogmatic perspective, it eliminates the implication contained in your view that at times the laws of God can be in conflict.
  3. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    In some parts of the world there is no diaconate because there is no church.
  4. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm old enough to remember when gas stations were closed on Sunday (1970s gas rationing). And when I was even younger, grocery stores, as well. Retail sales on Sunday are a convenience, not a necessity. If they didn't sell gas on the Lord's Day, you'd discover that you really didn't NEED to drive cross country that day. You'd make other arrangements.

    The case for lodging accommodations is a bit better. On a cross country trip, you'll need a place to stay if you can only drive one tank's worth (400 miles?) on the Lord's Day.
  5. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Pergamum - can you agree that part of discipleship is teaching people to observe the 4th Commandment? And part of the impact that the Church should have on society is making it increasingly possible for believers to turn away from doing their own pleasure and considering it the holy of the Lord?
    Discipleship is always a gradual process; but even though we don't reach the goal we need to be clear about what it is, and the fact that it is the direction we are heading.
  6. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    If we are to define "necessity" as a genuine emergency as Scott1 desires to, then you can just sleep in your car and fast for 24 hours.

    ---------- Post added at 03:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:04 PM ----------

    Part of discipleship is also obeying the Scriptures without over-burdening souls with grievous loads that need not be there in the first place. We don't want disciples who slavishly obey the letter and leave their cows to die and fault men for trying to feed their families in a bad economy when jobs are scarce as hen's teeth.

    I believe the law applies to the 21st-Century and not merely to agrarian societies where the only sabbath exceptions are for picking grain, pulling oxes out of ditches and eating shewbread.....surely we can apply these case laws to modern equivalent situations.
  7. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    The Fourth Commandment requires all to:

    1) Do ordinary labor and recreation the six days
    2) Prepare in advance for sabbath
    3) Abstain from labor
    4) Abstain from recreation, entertainment

    Exceptions for "necessity" (emergency) and "mercy" are established in the Command.

    To remember the Sabbath by "ceasing" from those ordinary labors and making "holy" the day by setting it apart for the worship of God, all the day:

    1) individually
    2) in family
    3) corporately

    Keeping it checks tendency toward idolatry, stealing, violence, burn out...
    It helps us keep all the other Commandments.

    It is a great benefit, and a delight.

    ---------- Post added at 12:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:06 PM ----------

  8. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Keeping reasonable and warranted exceptions to the Sabbath in mind does not mean we don't want to honor the Sabbath.
  9. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    This is an interesting discussion and I fully admit I don't have all the answers. However, it seems like we are missing a larger issue here and that is the heart issue. For example, are we to say that a man who refrains from work, TV, and recreation on the Lord' Day but wishes he were doing these things and grumbles about not doing them is really honoring the Lord's Day properly? On the flipside, would we say the man who sincerely loves Christ and desires to honor the Lord's Day but yet goes out to work a few hours before church because he needs to feed his family is completely in rebellion to God? One important thing to remember is that no one except our Lord has ever properly kept the 4th commandment. We all fall short and must put on the righteousness found in Christ if we will be found acceptable to God on the Lord's Day or any day.
  10. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

  11. E Nomine

    E Nomine Puritan Board Freshman

    The Pharisees were great at defining hard and fast rules for the Sabbath. I'm opposed to so doing. Every case is different and should be decided by the Christian himself with the direction of his church leadership as necessary.

    For every good argument we can make allowing certain work on the Sabbath, an equally strong argument can be made that we are being hypocritical and legalistic. I don't see God getting much glory when a bunch of guys on the Internet make blanket assertions about right and wrong.

    In every case, the individuals involved should consider all the facts, search the scriptures and pray.
  12. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    We are to assume that Jesus delighted in the Sabbath, but his example seems to show that (1) being hungry is an excuse for breaking the Sabbath, and also that (2) doing good, even when it is not a life-threatening necessity and could wait, is permitted.

    Jesus COULD have been a lot stricter in his Sabbath-keeping.

    Also why was Jesus unprepared and caught without food on the Sabbath such that he picked grain? Did he not prepare his heart and mind adequately for this day?

    Thus travels for doing good, and eating and filling up with gas or other necessities for those travels for good purposes, is permitted on the Sabbath. Thus, a travelling minister could eat out at a restaurant while on the road if his calling requires him to drive far on the Sabbath. Just as Jesus COULD have packed a lunch but did not, we need not pack lunches for Sundays necessarily when travelling all day nor haul all of our extra gas on the roof of our vehicles (leading livestock out to water was even done on the Sabbath, by the pharisees, too, and Americna cars or often thirstier than oxen).

    Also, if hunger is a sufficient reason to work on the Sabbath, then a father who must feed his children can work on the Sabbath if another job in unavailable. We shouldn't think of him as a second-tier Christian and should help him find a better job so that he is able to celebrate the Sabbath, though immediate quitting or long periods of unemployment and hardship on the part of his family do not seem required, even though these times of hardship may not constitute an immediate threat to life, health, limb or eyesight.

    Also, Jesus healed several people with long-standing chronic illnesses (years and years) on the Sabbath...what would one more day of waiting meant? Why couldn't Jesus wait one more day so as not to offend the religious sensibilities of the people?

    A general observation:
    I find that it is difficult to talk about the Sabbath with some folks because, when speaking of exceptions or needful things arising, they respond that we should call the Sabbath a delight, as if those who are responding to necessities or doing good things on Sunday are not. The underlying assumption seems to be that if these people were REALLY holy or scrupulous enough, they would have found some other way around in order not to take advantage of these permitted exceptions.

    But I believe that we should judge generously those situations which may count as exceptions because of the example of Jesus. Especially so in our present economic climate and in a world that suffers intense poverty in many areas.

    In my circles, New Covenant Theology is taking hold in many churches and I believe much of this anti-sabbatarianism is because the views of many on the Sabbath make it a very burdensome and rule-oriented thing which weighs the believer down. I believe we often make the Sabbath look ugly and are overly-strict in our application of what is required.

    ---------- Post added at 04:56 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:53 PM ----------

    Scott1 wrote:

    This seems a stretch to place this blanket rule on all our conversations. There are many god-honoring things which are related to work about which we can lawfully talk.
  13. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    So let's be clear. Are you arguing for charity in cases of duress or are you advocating for an overturning of the Confessional position on the Sabbath? Because the one I am on board with, but the other is over the line.

    But many people find it difficult to talk about the Sabbath with you because the underlying assumption seems to be that anyone who is seriously committed to imitating the rest of God on this day is judgemental, unrealistic, and Pharisaical. Now I know you well enough to know that this is not the case, but it does seem like you let what you perceive as the excessive strictness of some turn into a chip on your shoulder in the way you interact with others about the matter.

    We should indeed point to the example of the Lord of the Sabbath to alleviate the consciences of those who are afflicted because they made their bed on Sunday, or provided for food; but it seems unlikely that the most pressing sabbatarian problem in our time is that the church as a whole is so dedicated to keeping it with Pharisaical rigor that it has become an oppression of the poor. When I see that problem, as in the earlier instance where Scott didn't want anyone to milk their cows, I will oppose that; but I'd feel better if I had you opposing the near-total neglect of the 4th Commandment by the American church alongside me.
  14. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    Often, when other Sabbatarians (yes, I are one, too) advocate a greater leniency than others, those others (who believe themselves to be truly upholding the biblical view of the Sabbath because of their strictness) often mistake my ilk for not being Sabbatarian at all. Then, they send me either rebukes or advise me that I should learn to call the Sabbath a delight. It is like, "You must believe in my particular application of the Sabbath, or else you are not truly believing in the Sabbath at all."

    I believe some portions of the Reformed world make the Sabbath an odious and ugly thing. Some even say that I cannot jog, hike or play familial games or have god-glorifying recreation with my family on the Sabbath and deny that one can travel more than a tank of gas or must pack all their food or some equally strict addition to the Bible that I simply do not see as requisite on Christians.

    I believe there is an eternal Sabbath, and that Sunday is that Sabbath. I believe that we are to abstain from normal labors (unless it is a work of mercy or a necessity) and to worship God on that day and set it aside for God glorifying activities.

    What I am objecting against is not the Sabbath itself, but the application of the Sabbath by many who, I believe are too strict. I believe a judgment of charity and a certain leniency ought to be shown for those in dire work straits or who have fallen on bad economic times. I believe that there are many more exceptions than some would be willing to admit. The example of Jesus, I believe, shows that we can broadly interpret "works of necessity" or "works of mercy" to include more than life-threatening situations, for even the well-being of beasts is permitted.
  15. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Good! I think it would help with many if you would make your love for and commitment to the Sabbath as clear as you make your opposition to the imposition of oppressive legislation. And it wouldn't hurt to make sure to be charitable to those with stricter convictions as well.
  16. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    Vigorous banter is not uncharitable. There is healthy respect for all involved.

    And why must I equally balance my comments on the goodness of the Sabbath with my "opposition to oppresive legislation" (not my phraseology by the way)? Some are stressing one side, I am stressing the other. Some will feel the need to stress the side of an issue that is being downplayed/neglected, right? And that is what I am doing here. Even in the exchange about cows, I was respectful (maybe you misread my post for Tim's).

    I see a possible imbalance unless certain actions during hard times are counted as "not necessarily gross Sabbath violations" and so I am stressing these exceptions. One reason is that I see these exceptions more here in a poorer land, and I also anticipate that the US will, too, if the economy continues to tank

    P.s. Yes, Ruben, I am with you on the statement about opposing the near-total neglect of the Sabbath that is happening in the US. But the OP is about occupations on the Sabbath not the near-total neglect of the Sabbath in America.

    Your general characterizations of my perceived pattern of argumentation are not helpful, please keep focused on my responses to this thread. I have argued consistently, and have not argued contrary to the fact of the eternal perpetuity of the Sabbath, and yet all Christians recognize that there are, indeed, exceptions for necessities and works of mercy. And I believe that many occupations fit these categories.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  17. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    I didn't say you had been - I said you need to make sure not to be. It is fatally easy to slip from "I don't like this idea" to "this person must have bad motives for suggesting it."

    I understand the contrarian impulse: but it is often unhelpful to communication, especially with those across from you. We tend to think in binary terms, so that whoever is not with us is against us - with all of the baggage that goes along with being against us. Also, consider that we do understand things best not just by a positive statement but by a contrast with what opposes it. So if you provide me a contrast only on one side (what you do not believe the Sabbath requires) but no contrast on the other (what you do believe it requires) it is difficult to tell where your position ends and that of anti-sabbatarian begins.

    Naturally the same thing goes for others as well; but I doubt it's ever a wise strategy to wait for someone else to be accommodating or mature first.

    I'm glad to have your company. Let's go sign a petition for U.S. mayors to seize some people by their beards for trafficking on Sundays!
  18. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    If you can point me to some peoples and politicans that actually have beards in our hairless Last Days (a sure sign of the Apocalypse), I am with you!

    ---------- Post added at 06:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:35 PM ----------


    Ruben, you wrote:

    I have nothing but respect even for those that I don't see eye-to-eye with on here.

    Scott1 has advocated the position most contrary to mine and, in reality, I believe us to be only a foot or two apart in our beliefs and I owe him a debt of gratitude for his many edifying posts on the PB and I think he is a swell guy who is responding out of a pure motive of love to God and neighhbor and a desire for others to glorify God with all their heart, mind, and soul.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  19. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    That's good to hear - on both counts.
  20. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    These resources may be helpful for those studying to understand the Christian Sabbath, the Lord's Day:

    The Lord's Day,Joseph Pipa
    The Lord's Day: How Are You Spending This Sunday?: Joey Pipa: 9781857922011:

    The Westminster Confession of Faith for study classes, GI Williamson
    The Westminster Confession of Faith: For Study Classes: G.I. Williamson: 9780875525938:

    Lectures on the Sabbath, GI Williamson

    Finally, the Scripture proof texts for the summary of the doctrine of Scripture in Westminster XXI are very helpful in understanding this, as well as the regulative principle:
    Westminster Confession of Faith
  21. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    If I were to email Pippa, do you think he would agree with you about milk animals?
  22. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    And, just to be clear, I apprecaite you and I agree that Sabbath neglect in our day is a big problem, much more than folks striving overly much to keep the Sabbath.
  23. elnwood

    elnwood Puritan Board Junior

    Is there something inherently wrong with saying that certain laws of God take precedence over others?

    If Jesus' point was that the plucking of grain did not actually violate the Mosaic law, I think he would have appealed to the Mosaic law.

    However, he doesn't. He doesn't cite the law at all, except to point to a clear example of the Mosaic law being broken. As far as I know, there is no exception clause in the Mosaic law regarding David being able to eat the bread. Jesus certainly didn't mention it. It was a violation of the law, yet there is no guilt.
  24. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Don, I think that would be a discussion that's off topic for this thread - but feel free to start a new one if you'd like to pursue it.
  25. Micah Everett

    Micah Everett Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm not sure that Pippa has an opinion on this matter.

    View attachment 2258

    However, I'm sure that Pipa does, and it would be interesting to hear.

    View attachment 2259

  26. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    :) Since it looks like he has a milk mustache, I'll have to email him.
  27. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    OT passages on the specifics of Sabbath observation must be interpreted in the light of

    as Christ is there expounding how the Sabbath should always have been kept by the Jews according to God's Word.

    Even Calvin in his views on the Sabbath wrongly believed the Jews were meant to have a stricter Sabbath than the Christians, and that this was part of the ceremonial law which fell away in the New Testament era.
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