Birthday Vs. Lord's Day

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by Bondman, Jan 9, 2007.

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  1. jaybird0827

    jaybird0827 PuritanBoard Honor Roll


    I think this articulates the most or all of the issues that must be considered.
  2. Calvibaptist

    Calvibaptist Dallas Cowboys' #1 Fan

    So, here is the problem:

    1) We have quoted the Scripture

    Exodus 20:8-11 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

    2) Although we forgot Jesus' comments on the Sabbath

    Matthew 12:12 "Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."

    Mark 2:27-28 And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 "Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath."

    3) We have quoted the WCF (or LBC) on the Sabbath

    VIII. This Sabbath is to be 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 wordly employments and recreations,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.

    4) Not one of these mentions a birthday party. Although some might argue that "worldly employments and recreations" would include a birthday party, I could also argue that driving a car, taking a shower, eating a meal, watching tv, listening to the radio while driving a car, and any other thing that one might do any other day of the week would also fall in that very general category.

    What is the answer? Neither legalism (making a new law that you can't go to the birthday party) nor antinomianism (saying that it doesn't matter what you do on Sunday). Rather we should all take the instruction of Paul from Romans 14:

    Romans 14:4-6 Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. 5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.
  3. gwine

    gwine Puritan Board Sophomore

    I agree with your reasoning concerning NFL games, assuming you are referring only to those games that are held on Sunday.
  4. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior


    Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right (Ephesians 6:1).

    Would you honor your dad if he asked you to skip church for a football game or to give false testimony, or steal, or to worship a false god?
  5. gwine

    gwine Puritan Board Sophomore

    I never suggested that. Please don't read so much into what I wrote or quoted from Scripture. My calling the second table of the law of lesser importance than the first is what Christ did, unless I misunderstand Matthew 22.
  6. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    I know you do not think this, but having two different tables does not mean we can violate one command in order to obey another. You said “how you treat your family does have its consequences.” So what does that mean? You should violate the fourth commandment for the sake of the fifth? I don’t think you would be saying this, but I don’t know what else you could be saying.
  7. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    I'd say "good post" but I would be guilty of a form of nepotism seeing that you are the pastor of my church.

  8. gwine

    gwine Puritan Board Sophomore

    Right. However, since our duty to God overrides our duty to man, the first table is elevated above the second. I really don't think that in obeying the first table we would ever have to disobey the second. God did not give us commandments that contradict each other.
    It means exactly what I say it means. If you don't take care of your family and you don't honor your father and your mother, you will incur the judgment of God. For example:
    No where did I suggest that you would need to disobey God in order to keep another one of his commands.
  9. gwine

    gwine Puritan Board Sophomore

    Only if you are related to him.
  10. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    I guess I am just not seeing how the fifth commandment is directly relevant to Matthew's question.
  11. Bondman

    Bondman Puritan Board Freshman

    I wouldn't say that I take exception to the confessions; at present, I don't understand it to, without a doubt, say what you believe it says. I looked at the passages referenced in the WCF and I still don't know.

    For the record, apart from anything else, I don't even want to go to this party. I just got A.W. Pinks Sovereignty of God and can't wait to pick it up. It is of course a question of what God wants his servant to do.
  12. gwine

    gwine Puritan Board Sophomore

    Can't help you there, my brother. I frequently find myself at a loss about many issues discussed here on the PB. I merely offer Scripture that I believe is pertinent to the thread and see what comes of it. Some don't think it is relevant and others do. It is definitely not worth 2 cents.

    Let us :handshake: and I will go back to :book2:. At least we will all be in :agree: the other side of paradise.
  13. Bondman

    Bondman Puritan Board Freshman

    My family operates a bit differently. Discussions of religion and politics abound. A good deal of Christian witness could indeed actually occur. This is perhaps beside the point, but I still wanted to mention it.
  14. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    And so that hissing sound you hear is the air going out of this thread. Interesting how a thread dies. You can almost feel it.
  15. Bondman

    Bondman Puritan Board Freshman

    I love this idea. I would like to see it spelled out in the Bible. Can anybody present passages of Scripture with which one could reasonably infer that the New Covenant believer is actually prohibited from these sorts of things?

    I would have no problem telling my parents this if I were to be convinced of it and could even show them Scripture that backs up the position.
  16. Bondman

    Bondman Puritan Board Freshman

    This is obvious, but I have yet to be convinced that attending a family gathering on the Sabbath violates the commandment. How do we get there?
  17. Calvibaptist

    Calvibaptist Dallas Cowboys' #1 Fan

    Of course, if you were asked to skip church to go to a family gathering, that would be different!
  18. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    The birthday celebration is the intentional elevating of a person based upon a birthdate. The lit candles and the following making of a wish are totally pagan. No one should be elevated on the Lords day other than Christ.

    1 Corinthians 10:20-21 20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.

    I demand a pie on my birthday; blueberry to be accurate! No candles.
  19. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    I don't think 'gathering' violates the Sabbath; it's what one does on the day.....
  20. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    I will add: If it means dishonoring parent for the sake of honoring God, so be it.
  21. Arch2k

    Arch2k Puritan Board Graduate

    It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. This is what the Westminster Divines saw as acts of necessity and mercy. Is celebrating a birthday either of these?

    Again, some of these are acts of necessity and/or mercy. If they are one of these, they are lawful. If not, they are not lawful.

    This is not talking about the christian sabbath. If you study this section, Paul is talking about O.T. (God ordained) holy days. These were part of the ceremonial law, and early N.T. converts were free to observe or not to observe. The christian Sabbath however is part of the moral law, and is not subject to the liberty that Paul grants to the observance of these holy days. The Christian Sabbath is forever binding to Christ's church.
  22. Blueridge Believer

    Blueridge Believer Puritan Board Professor

    I observe the sabbath 24/7:

    Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
    Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
    Heb 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
    Heb 4:4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
    Heb 4:5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
    Heb 4:6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
    Heb 4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
    Heb 4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
    Heb 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
    Heb 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
    Heb 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
  23. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Exactly. This was the very point I was trying to further elaborate above.
  24. Casey

    Casey Puritan Board Junior

    Not going may have the consequences of harming your relationship with your father (I don't know the situation). Depending on how close he lives, you may just go for a half-hour or something, to demonstrate your care and respect for him. This may have two positive results: (1) maintain a good relationship with him, showing your care, and (2) your leaving after only a short time may demonstrate to him your priority of honoring the Lord in sanctifying his holy day.

    Absolutizing a command is just as bad as neglecting it. We live in a messy, sinful world. Simply concluding that it's a sin to visit your father on the Sabbath, it seems to me, is a legalistic application of this particular command. Wisdom is required, not a mere external conformity to the command. Your father isn't asking you to sin.
  25. gwine

    gwine Puritan Board Sophomore

    I always had pie on my birthday when I was growing up. Butterscotch meringue and (to appease the others) apple. My grandfather was the best pie maker.

    And no candles, either.
  26. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    I also have yet to be convinced that attending a family gathering on the Sabbath violates the commandment.
  27. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    This is the reformed position on the 4th commandment. Check out the WCF and the Larger Catechism along with the scripture proofs in context. I have not read any specific books dedicated to this point, but the following are some books that have been recommended on the subject:

    • Call the Sabbath A Delight by Walter Chantry
    • Calvin and the Sabbath by Richard Gaffin
    • Celebrating the Sabbath by Bruce Ray
    • The Lord’s Day by Daniel Wilson
    • The Lord’s Day by Joseph Pipa

    The Reformed view of the Sabbath is not a burden but a delight. “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).

    Grace Brother,
  28. jenney

    jenney Puritan Board Freshman

    Really? I can't believe that your life on Monday is the same as your life on Sunday. You mean your other six days are elevated to the level of the Sabbath? Or do you mean Sunday is brought down to the level of the other six?

    The Lord's Day is the best day of the week! I don't have to cook or clean or teach school, and my husband is with us to take up the discipline that often interrupts my devotions. It isn't great because I don't have to work, though: it is great because the lack of those things (and recreational distractions) means I do have time for the food and drink I need most.

    It is a day when I am sure to be fed on the Word of God and have time in prayer with Him and, unless providentially hindered, be in fellowship with His people hearing the Word preached. It is the market day for the soul and I rely on it for my spiritual health. I can't imagine every day being like that because I do have responsibilities every day that can be put off for 24 hours but not forever (like mopping, laundry, organizing my studio, etc.) It isn't possible for every day to be like that as long as we are in this life.

    I'm not trying to be super-spiritual here, but honestly trying to understand:
    How can every day be the Lord's Day?

    The Hebrews passage isn't talking about getting rid of the Sabbath. It's talking about the "already-not yet" that we live in. We still keep the Sabbath in part as a reminder of what is to come: an eternal Sabbath! That's why I can't fathom how one can have 24/7 Sabbath here. Isn't the Lord's Day a special taste of the life to come? Unless you really mean that you spend every day in fellowship with God and His people the same way you do on Sunday, then I have to guess you don't have the benefit of the Sabbath as we who are Sabbath-keepers experience it. And for that I am saddened and would hope you might reconsider the fourth commandment.

    Sincerely, I don't mean to be offensive. I'm honestly trying to understand if you mean the same thing by "observe". To say "I observe the Sabbath 24/7" is akin to saying "I eat the Lord's supper every meal!" or "Every bath is a baptism." unless we mean different things by observing the day. And we might!

    without wax,
    jenney :)
  29. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    Thank you for posting your thoughts. They did my heart some good in the content and the demeanor. Wish more followed your lead.:)
  30. Blueridge Believer

    Blueridge Believer Puritan Board Professor

    I think you missed it. I believe the OT sabbath was a type of God's rest in Christ. I'm resting in Him from all my labors. He is my Sabbath.

    The Lord Jesus Christ gives rest to every sinner who comes to him by faith (Matt. 11:28). In the mind and purpose of God, the works of redemption and grace were finished before the foundation of the world, but this blessed rest of salvation must be apprehended and entered into by faith and it is written, "That some must enter therein". God has an elect people who must come to Christ by faith and enter into his rest. What is that rest which Christ gives to sinners when they come to him by faith? He gives us the blessed rest of complete pardon (Isa. 43:25; Eph. 1:6), perfect reconciliation (Col. 1:20-21), absolute security (John 10:27-30), and his providential care (Rom. 8:28). Coming to Christ by faith, we find rest. In this way we keep the Sabbath, but our Sabbath of faith is more than a ceasing from our own works and a remembering of our redemption. It also involves, in its essence, the consecration of our lives to God our savior (Matt. 11:29-30). We keep the Sabbath of faith and find rest for our souls when we willfully, deliberately, wholeheartedly surrender to Christ as our Lord. Keeping the Sabbath is more than going to church on Sunday and keeping one day in seven for religious exercises. It is ceasing from our works, trusting Christ alone for acceptance with God, and consecrating ourselves entirely to Him. In doing so, we find rest!
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