Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by Ivan, Jan 17, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    What constitues breaking the sabbath?

    1. Going out to eat after church?
    2. Going to a movie on Sunday?
    3. Doing work around the house on Sunday?
    4. Cooking at home on Sunday?
    5. Participating in games and sports on Sunday?
    6. Watching sports or about anything on TV on Sunday?

    I remember a recent discussion about professional athletes playing on Sunday and the shining example of Eric Liddel. However, is our viewing of these same athletes on a Sunday as wrong as their playing on Sunday?

  2. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor


    VIII. This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest, all the day, from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations,(o) but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of His worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.(p)

    My impression: Those things which are 'common" or typical for you should be put aside.
  3. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    Yes, I happened to have read that last night. Of course, not very specific and when the WCF was written the kinds of things that "broke" the Sabbath were a bit different.

    So, because it's not typical to watch professional sports during the week (although there is Monday Night Football and some games on Thursday and Saturday), then it's alright for us to watch a football game, even though the Christian players are breaking the Sabbath?

    It's okay to eat out, shop, whatever on Sunday?
  4. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    Its a shame that threads like this can't be discussed AFTER the Super Bowl is over (jk)
  5. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    I don't want to rain on anyone's parade! I WANT to watch the Super Bowl too!! Although I haven't watch much football, especially recently.

    Our church is doing a silly thing, at least I think it is. We are canceling our evening service and having a Souper Bowl. The men make soup and watch the Super Bowl together. Ladies are invited too.

    I think that's breaking the Sabbath. I doubt that I will participate in the Souper Bowl, but I do want to watch the Super Bowl!
  6. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    No; things that you would do on other days of the week you should rest from on the sabbath, i.e. if watching sports is a form of entertainment for you; working out, watching sports on tv, shopping (unless needful), eating in restaurants, should be avoided on the Lords day. Cease from those things which are typical or ordinary for you. In other words, those things which you normally do, cease from it for a day.

    *Note of interest: Josephus reports that the Essenes would not even move their bowels on the sabbath.

    As far as go out to eat; are you encouraging people to break the sabbath by your partaking of that which they offer on the sabbath day?
  7. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    Yikes! That could make for an interesting Sunday Morning Worship!!

    Well, I think so. When we go out to eat we are causing people to work on the Sabbath.
  8. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian


    You might find this article by the Webmaster profitable:

    It has a good bibliography on the subject of Sabbath-keeping and links to several excellent articles. In particular, I would recommend Joey Pipa's The Lord's Day and Walter Chantry's Call the Sabbath a Delight.

    I would also recommend study of the Westminster Larger Catechism questions 115-121. It is a very thorough Biblical exposition of the Fourth Commandment. Westminster Confession of Faith chap. XXI is also very good:

    The main thing to remember is that 1) the Fourth Commandment is still binding; and 2) the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Hence, we ought to endeavor to keep the Lord's Day holy, yet remember mercy and necessity, find physical and spiritual rest, and engage in worship and fellowship. In so doing, who can have time for going out to restaurants or watching pro football? Let us be about our Father's business on this day and experience a taste of heaven! :pray2:
  9. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    Just an additional note here, it is better to look at the Sabbath from a more positive light than a list of do'd and don'ts. It's a special day of communing, resting, and delighting in our God apart from our normal worldly concerns, and He has specifically provided the day for that purpose . Therefore, have nothing to do, as much as can be managed, with those things which interupt your special communion with God on His special day with us. When you look at it from that angle, it will put things in perspective a little better.
  10. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Excellent point Patrick!!
  11. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    Is it wrong to tape the Super Bowl and watch it on Monday?
  12. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    Intresting! I believe most here will say you are still supporting those athletes working on the Sabbath.
  13. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    Is it that hard to give up the habit?
  14. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    Because I can't resist and I must speak up....

    You guys can always come back to the biblical 7th day sabbath. The Super Bowl is never played on a Saturday.

    (Writing for the minority)
  15. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    No, for me its not really a habit watching any of the sports. I typically let the teams battle it out during their respective seasons, maybe catch a game or two here and there, and focus in on the World Series, Super Bowl, etc., at the end of the season.
  16. cupotea

    cupotea Puritan Board Junior

    What a shock, I disagree with you guys ;)

    I really think we ought to look to Scripture for the answer to this question. And not just the Commandments. Jesus said that the Sabbath is for our benefit (Mk 2:27). I always sort of took that to mean, "Don't overwork yourself. Take a day off. Even God took a day off." So, relax, but at the same time, you really shouldn't inconvenience yourself.

    In my opinion, watching a game is relaxing. So what's wrong with that? The Sabbath is for our benefit. We shouldn't break our backs over it! It seems that Andrew might just possibly agree with me on that one, and he can probably put it more eloquently.

    Obviously, I'm not trying to give the final word here. If you guys have a different interpretation of Jesus' teaching, as I'm sure you do, please tell me!

    [Edited on 17-1-2005 by Cottonball]
  17. ANT

    ANT Puritan Board Junior

    And .....

    This goes for almost any TV show or movie you see @ the theatres if we want to get really picky. Some of the best days for opportunities to shoot the movies and shows are on the weekends. Therefore, we need to understand, when we watch television shows and movies, the people who made these shows possible for our enjoyment probably did a good part of their work on Sundays (and Saturdays - (or the minority.)

    We could go on forever excluding the things we ought not be doing. For if we look deep enough, we will find reason to leave things alone.

    Ex. - What about different book publishing companies. Who's to say that the book you are reading at the present time wasn't printed under a deadline they had to meet say ... Sunday night, so it would be ready to be shipped to the stores on Moday morning.

    And .... How many people enjoy the Sunday paper that someone worked on all the way up until deadline when the delivery man (working) delivered to your house or paper booth Sunday morning.

    These are just some thoughts of mine. I think even while striving to obey the 4th commandment, we still break it without knowing for the simple fact that we are not omniscient. There will probably always be things that we do not know went into the making of them.

    Let us not strive to be legalistic, but to please the Lord with a sincere heart, being faithful with what He has shown and given us.

    Basically what I am saying is relax a little, but still be faithful at the same time.

    [Edited on 1-17-2005 by ANT]
  18. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    Just for the record, :ditto:
  19. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    What do you think?
  20. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Heb 4:9 So, then, there remains a sabbath rest to the people of God.
    Heb 4:10 For he entering into His rest, he himself also rested from his works, as God had rested from His own. LXX-Psa. 95:11; Gen. 2:2
    Heb 4:11 Therefore, let us exert ourselves to enter into that rest, that not anyone fall in the same example of disobedience.
    Heb 4:12 For the Word of God is living, and powerfully working, and sharper than every two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of both soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge of the thoughts and intentions of the heart;

    The sabbath was indeed made for man. God knows what is best for us. The command is to keep the sabbath Holy. This means that there are ways in which one can defile the sabbath. If you have been indeed enlightened to Gods sabbath rest, you will most definately know when you are defiling the day. For instance, grabbing a hammer and some wood to build a fence, no matter how much joy or rest it may bring me (I sit behind a desk all week) would (in my opinion) defile the Lords day. The NFL does not care about God and His commandments. The point is, we are to seek righteousness. Seek after holiness daily. Everyday belongs to the Lord. The Lords day/sabbath has been specifically drawn out in scripture. It stands alone. There is a point to this all. God commands that we rest from the typical and refresh ourselves totally (as best we can in our still defiled state) under the umbrella of the sabbath day.
  21. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    I lean towards believing this myself! But I struggle with it. I love football, always have. I played in high school and could have in college if I hadn't been so stubborn.

    I get alot of enjoyment out of NCAA and NFL games.

    I am having a hard time seeing it as a sin to partake of NFL football even though I see all the points made here. If I am to give it up it is going to have to a work of the Lord within me to do so.
    • Rejoicing Rejoicing x 1
    • List
  22. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. Isaiah 58.13-14
  23. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    The point is, we all defile the Lords day in one way or the other. Our primary goal should be to limit it to the best of our ability. Our meditation on this day should be deepened (not deeper). The concious attempt should be sought. The key is, things that you would typically do on any other day, should be avoided.

    Confession: You all know I love cigars. I look forward to smoking one while I do my afternoon devotional between services. After my devotional, I lie down for a nap. I wake up before the evening service rested and filled......Should I stop smoking my cigars on the Lords day? I have considered it. Not because God commands it or condemns it, but because it is something I do everyday that I don't need to do particularly on the Lords day. Does it draw me away from God; take my attention elsewhere? No, absolutely not. Do football games take your mind off God on the Lords day? Movies? A walk in the park would not. Sitting outside in the cool of the afternoon would not.

    (I bet Paul could ruin this thread in no time; no offense intended Paul)
  24. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    This goes hand-in-hand with what Patrick posted earlier about looking at Sabbath keeping in more of a positive light. It indeed shouldn't be a list of do's and don'ts of things we can and can't do, but looked at as an opportunity to fellowship with God. The obvious question to ponder is, "Why would we rather seek our own pleasure than delighting ourselves in the Lord?"

    Having said that, do you think its wrong to tape the Superbowl and watch it on Monday? Since they're working on Sunday, we could get absurd about what we do or don't do to support what they're doing. If we shouldn't watch the taped show after the fact, how would it be any different (if it is) from visiting their website and reading about the game? Or watching film clips from their site? Or reading the paper on Monday for editorials about the game? Or reading a book down the road about this year's superbowl?
  25. ANT

    ANT Puritan Board Junior

    This is the same thing I was trying to point out in my post above.
  26. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Hold your horses. Can the day be defiled? If it can be defiled than there are things in which we should not do; correct?
  27. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    Yes, the day can be defiled.

  28. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Then how is it possible not to mentally list these items so that one does not add to the already defilement we are doing subconciously? One needs to itemize; as the moments arise. Things need to be weighed.
  29. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    It's not possible in our Sabbath-breaking society to abstain from every thing that others do on the Lord's Day which they shouldn't be doing. Mail travels on the Lord's Day (and in some cases is delivered on the Lord's Day); does that mean one shouldn't read the mail that is delivered on Monday? I know that Stonewall Jackson was very meticulous in this regard, but it is not possible to filter out the sin of others in every respect. We should focus first and foremost on ourselves and whether what it is that we are doing in fact breaks the Lord's Day by intruding our own desires and pleasures upon it.

    I agree that true Sabbath-keeping is not a list of do's and don'ts, but is exemplified in Augustine's famous saying, "Love God as do as thou wilt."

    However, we can summarize the Ten Commandments as "Love God and love your neighbor" and still recognize that it is precisely a list of do's and don'ts. We need to think of God's law on both levels (the practical and the abstract).

    We ought to examine ourselves as to what is so important that it would hinder our communion with the Lord on His holy day. The balance between Pharisaical legalism and antinomian looseness is a fine line to walk, but walk it we must. That is what it means to be holy in a fallen world.

    [Edited on 17-1-2005 by VirginiaHuguenot]
  30. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member


    I remind you that I could make the EXACT same argument about every other commandment. Because we can't prefectly keep the 6th commandment, or because there are many detailed questions of applications for it, does that mean that I may murder?
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page