Eating out on the Lord's Day

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Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Westminster Confession of Faith

Chapter XXI
Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day

....

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 worldly employments and recreations,[38] 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.[39]

Scripture proofs

[38] EXO 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. EXO 16:23 And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. 25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the Lord: to day ye shall not find it in the field. 26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. 29 See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. 30 So the people rested on the seventh day. EXO 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. ISA 58:13 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. NEH 13:15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. 16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? 18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. 19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. 21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath. 22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.

[39] ISA 58:13 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.

The London Baptist Confession summarizes the doctrine of Scripture almost identically.

As for the analogy used (related to hiring a "hit man"), that's probably not an analogy to use for several reasons.

Remember, God's fourth commandment requires a pattern of work six days, rest one day in order to prioritize the worship of God that day.

By eating out in restaurants you create demand to work for your convenience on the Lord's Day. You also hinder the employees, and even indirectly the shareholders of the business, from worshipping that whole day. For the person eating out, it tends to hinder them from worship because they are in a commerce or entertainment atmosphere with all the distractions of that kind of transaction.

While we do not want to base obedience based on our perceived practicality, breaking the pattern of unending work and play helps us "remember," as the Westminster Larger Catechism summarizes, helps us to obey the other nine commandments better.

This all comports with the "holiness" (set aside nature of the day).

Westminster Larger Catechism
[emphasis added]

Q. 121. Why is the word Remember set in the beginning of the fourth commandment?

A. The word Remember is set in the beginning of the fourth commandment,[637] partly, because of the great benefit of remembering it, we being thereby helped in our preparation to keep it,[638] and, in keeping it, better to keep all the rest of the commandments,[639] and to continue a thankful remembrance of the two great benefits of creation and redemption, which contain a short abridgment of religion;[640] and partly, because we are very ready to forget it,[641] for that there is less light of nature for it,[642] and yet it restraineth our natural liberty in things at other times lawful;[643] that it cometh but once in seven days, and many worldly businesses come between, and too often take off our minds from thinking of it, either to prepare for it, or to sanctify it;[644] and that Satan with his instruments labours much to blot out the glory, and even the memory of it, to bring in all irreligion and impiety.[645]

Advance preparation so that one might keep the sabbath without undue hindrance removes the need to eat meals out in restaurants in all but the most exceptional situations.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
In that sense, I think electricity production is just as much as necessity as medical care (which, incidentally, also depends upon electricity to keep ventilators and other medical equipment going). No one dies from eating at home instead of at Cracker Barrel on Sunday.

I would agree. Hospitals, nursing homes, and such I would think would be a necessity or at least a great act of mercy. As for electricity to homes, for example in 1935 less than one percent of Mississippi’s farms and rural residents had electric power, so to say that it is a necessity would be somewhat a new concept (though I greatly appreciate it during our summers!). So to say that an operator at a plant has to work and miss church to keep the electricity coming to our homes for our comfort is a necessity is not quite correct. It is a modern convenience, and in the history of the world a somewhat new convenience. I know that you cannot leave a nuclear reactor unattended, and I am not necessarily advocating we all become Amish. Just flushing out a thought.

Eric,

This is a topic and line of reasoning that has been discussed at length in previous threads, you may find helpful the "advanced search" feature (upper right).

And they are good initial questions, but only preliminary and incomplete ones.

Consider that in the hospital, many workers still try to get weekends off. Elective surgery doesn't happen much because doctors want Saturday and Sunday off. So even "working at a hospital," does not mean the work there itself is necessary to be done at that time (Sunday), which is the test for "necessity" related to the fourth commandment.

In order to obey our holy God, our analysis does not stop there. How can a believer worship all day if they are working. Not only are they not "sabbathing" (ceasing from ordinary work and play), but they are not "making holy" (setting apart) the day for worshipping corporately, in family or individually because they have to work. Yes, it's theoretically possible they could try to worship on their other day off, e.g. Wednesday but one of the reason God commanded sabbath was for a common time for His people, worldwide, to worship Him, and that all day.:)
 

Galatians220

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Thank you, Sarah. Yes, I'm speaking of a really Reformed church at which eating out on Sunday is very much frowned upon. People have said to us, "Please let us know when you're next coming here so we can have you over for lunch." However, my mother left a very strong impression on me: "You don't invite yourself to people's homes!" I do not like to impose on people (my husband has a bit less of an aversion to that than I do). Sometimes, due to health issues, I've gone to the distant church dead tired and all I'd like to do is sleep in the car between services. Whatever. When the weather is bad and no one has invited us to their home between services, we have occasionally gone to an omelet restaurant where at least we can sit for an hour or so. As we go to this church more often, though, I'm finding that people recognize us and - as happened yesterday - we have our pick among three or four families who invite us for lunch. I've hit also on the idea of bringing along a hostess gift of an addition to a meal, which makes me feel less like a shnorrer (Yiddish; "artful beggar"). This was the right thing to do yesterday, as we had lunch with a lovely family. If we don't get invited somewhere, I can just take the hostess gift to work, where my co-workers will "take care of it..." :D

Although we had the "hospitality thing down" at our own home when we had our church plant effort for three years, it's difficult to be on the receiving end when you know there's little chance that you'll be able to reciprocate the kindnesses of absolutely everyone who hosts you.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
People have said to us, "Please let us know when you're next coming here so we can have you over for lunch." However, my mother left a very strong impression on me: "You don't invite yourself to people's homes!" I do not like to impose on people

I don't see this is an imposition at all. I think you are being invited!
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
Depends on your view of the Sabbath. Since not all Christians (even among the Reformed) are not convinced that Sunday is to be treated as the Sabbath (like me-see Colossians 2:16, among other Scriptural reason), we believe that it isn't a sin.

Not according to our Confessions, brother :)

I will say this for my family: bringing our lives here into conformance with the Divinely Mandated (4th commandment, it's part of the Moral Law) dictate to Rest and keep the day Holy has brought such tremendous blessings into our lives. While there was hesitance at first in the household to take such a firm stance (and by no means are we perfect in our application) it has been a huge blessing to us.

It really has become a foretaste of the sweet communion we will have with other believers and with our Lord on that day when He takes us to our eternal rest. More and more it has become a tangible picture of how glorious our rest will be with our Lord. I cannot go back!
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
I think that it is extremely naive to assume that people who work on Sunday want to work on Sunday, especially low-income people. I had one job when I was a teen that I specifically asked for Sunday off, and they gave it to me.... for two months, and then they told me I had to start working Sundays or lose my job. My husband used to work for the restaurant business, and that restaurant wouldn't even hire someone who said they wouldn't work Sundays.

We could take this reasoning and apply it to other forms of disobedience to God. E.g. Most people who steal candy don't want to do that at the candy store, but they are hungry, etc.

But for God's people, the question is obedience and faith.

Are we willing to suffer inconvenience to obey our Holy God? Might we even lose a job because of it? Or is the Christian life about pre-eminence of avoiding difficulty at all times?

And remember the element of faith.

God has not promised us ease or lives without difficulty. That certainly was not the pattern of the prophets or apostles, or our Lord. He has not promised us material prosperity,
but He has promised to provide for our basic needs.

We need to seek to obey and trust Him for that, including on Sundays when we set apart the time for common worship, all day, to the end of His Honor and His Glory.:)


This reasoning is in line with the biblical principle, creating demand for our convenience:
I'd just say that it is best not to be part of the problem. If it were not for the big after-church crowds, restaurants would be a lot more flexible about letting waiters and waitresses take Sunday off.
 

Constantlyreforming

Puritan Board Sophomore
The closest thing to "fast food" in scripture that we have an example of, in my opinion, is when God provided manna to the Israelites. What was his command to the Israelites on Saturday, in preparation for Sunday?
 

Caroline

Puritan Board Sophomore
Scott, my entire point was that people ARE forcing others to work on Sunday by going out to eat on Sunday, and that they should not do that. Restaurants are jobs for low-income people who are not in much position to say what days they work, and it is improper to put them in a position of being forced to work Sundays. As for whether it is an 'inconvenience' to lose a job when you are very poor, I'm not sure I should say too much lest my wrath overflow. I DID lose that job after a few weeks because buses didn't run on Sunday, and I could not get to work and had trouble finding a ride. I ended up as a seventeen-year-old homeless and extremely vulnerable. When you have not eaten for three days, believe me, you will work on Sunday if you can.

I believe in honoring the Sabbath, but I also believe in compassion. Platitudes about how "God will provide" when someone is extremely poor are the equivalent of saying to someone that they should go in peace and keep warm and well fed, while doing nothing practical to help them. And, in fact, the entire reason that I believe people should NOT go out to eat on Sunday is that, by their actions, they are forcing poor people to work on Sunday. There would not be the pressure from employers for people to work Sundays in order to remain employed if not for the wealthier people (who mostly already have jobs that allow them weekends off) demanding to be fed at a restaurant after church on Sunday. I believe it is an abuse of wealth and privilege to go out to restaurants on Sunday. I can say for certain that any of those days that I worked on Sunday as a homeless teen, I would have been at church if I hadn't been forced to work in order to keep my job. And eventually, I lost my job (and so also my apartment) when I couldn't work on Sunday, which led to far bigger problems.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
I believe in honoring the Sabbath, but I also believe in compassion.
God has not set these two in opposition to one another.

It's not a choice of honoring the sabbath verses being compassionate.

That's not the question.

In the past generation, businesses of all sorts routinely closed on the Lord's Day.

Somehow, people of all means got by.

They got by in Israel, too, even when they could not grow any crops while wandering in the desert, etc.

God's people live by faith.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
Amen, Caroline! Let's be sure to place the blame where it properly lies. The 4th Commandment tells US that our manservant should not do any work; while the manservant certainly has responsibility for the worshipful frame of his own heart, the Bible understands that the servants of men are not always at liberty.
 

Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
We have a family that travels about ninety minutes to worship with us, and they have four kids (including an infant). They were packing sandwiches and eating on the way home, so now we have a few families who stay after church and eat together. We still have monthly fellowship dinners where we fix big meals, but the other weeks we just hang out and have a simple meal together and let the kids run around together while we fellowship. We realized that it's actually less trouble than going home separately and many of us actually eat earlier this way (good for the little ones).
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
"Depends on your view of the Sabbath."

For certain. What I find odd are the folks who say ''no eating out'', but will watch TV on the Sabbath. Surely partaking of TV causes many more people to work than stopping by a diner for lunch after services. :2cents:

Or will use the internet. :)
 

Galatians220

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Often we use the internet on the Sabbath to watch one or more of the three services at the distant church as it/they occur, especially if there's only one service being held locally, or if there's a huge ice or snowstorm going on... :think: When the minister prays for "those who are viewing us online," we are cheered because we know they know that we're probably among them.
 

davenporter

Puritan Board Freshman
I think the use of the internet should follow the "acts of mercy / necessity" exception.

By using the internet on a Sunday, you're not causing anyone to work who wouldn't be otherwise... all the servers are going to be on anyway. I think it depends on what you're doing on the internet on a Sunday.

As for me, on a Sabbath, I stay off of Facebook and I keep my regular computers off because for me that's a distraction from the Lord, but I often use my phone to look things up on dictionary.com or Logos or an online bible if I need to access a passage quickly. I see nothing wrong with that, as it helps me to focus on the Lord and understand the sermon or study of His Word better. I think the internet argument is very similar to the electricity argument. Watching a sermon online would, I think, be in the spirit of the Sabbath, and (I believe) not force anyone to work unnecessarily -- at least not any more than electricity.

Of course, watching the olympics or the superbowl on the internet on Sunday is the same problem as watching TV on Sunday. Not to mention it goes against our Presbyterian Confession. =)
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
I use the internet on the Lord's Day as well. Yesterday I listened to two sermons along with the Whitehorse Inn. I also use the internet to upload our pastor's sermon. Does my using the internet cause people to work? I guess I've never given it much thought, but right now my conscience is clear on the internet issue.
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
By using the internet on a Sunday, you're not causing anyone to work who wouldn't be otherwise... all the servers are going to be on anyway. I think it depends on what you're doing on the internet on a Sunday.

The point in bringing up the internet is that when one says, "you're not causing anyone to work who wouldn't be otherwise," one is using the exact reasoning that folks use when they go out for a meal on Sunday. And I don't say that to bind anyone's conscience on using the internet but rather to point out a subtle double-standard that some people have with regard to proper activities for the Lord's Day. Can't fellowship meals at a restaurant be for spiritual good as well? Can't we talk about the sermon or the good things of the Lord while we eat? Of course we can, much like how you can use the internet in profitable ways on Sunday even though other people must work to maintain servers, provide customer service, etc. for internet users. I appreciate the effort brothers and sisters make to defend the proper use of the Lord's Day, but sometimes it is difficult to take certain hardline standards seriously (e.g., absolutely no eating out on Sunday) when other activities that demand people to work on Sunday are justified (e.g, using the internet); it just doesn't seem consistent to me.
 

Pilgrim72

Puritan Board Junior
I already know where I stand on this issue. Just wondering where some of you do in regard to this situation:

I travel a lot for my job, and am given a per diem that I need to spend daily on food.

So, I would say that I do eat out on Sundays when I am on business travel.
 

davenporter

Puritan Board Freshman
how you can use the internet in profitable ways on Sunday even though other people must work to maintain servers, provide customer service, etc. for internet users.

They don't need to do any of that on Sundays. Obviously, Christians wouldn't call for customer service on a Sabbath for the same reason they wouldn't go out to eat. Server maintenance can be (and probably is) done on other days. All that the servers need to do is be on, so no work is required. If I had my own server at my house hosting a website, I wouldn't need to touch it on Sunday, it would just be "on". I have no requirement to make my computer rest, especially if that server hosts sermons that other Christians could find beneficial on the Sabbath.
 

Dwimble

Puritan Board Freshman
Does visiting a website require someone to work? I am not sure that it does.
Unfortunately, yes. Because inevitably the web server, file server, email server, etc. will have a problem or go down, and when it does then someone has to fix it or get it back up. I have personally had to do this quite a number of times over the years. There are two system admins at our company who get automated text messages whenever there are server problems, regardless of the day or time. If no one used the services on Sunday then these problems would never occur.

To further complicate matters, looking at things from a global perspective (as we have to at our company), all day Saturday it is either Friday or Sunday somewhere else in the world, and on Sunday it is Saturday or Monday elsewhere.
 
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kodos

Puritan Board Junior
how you can use the internet in profitable ways on Sunday even though other people must work to maintain servers, provide customer service, etc. for internet users.

They don't need to do any of that on Sundays. Obviously, Christians wouldn't call for customer service on a Sabbath for the same reason they wouldn't go out to eat. Server maintenance can be (and probably is) done on other days. All that the servers need to do is be on, so no work is required. If I had my own server at my house hosting a website, I wouldn't need to touch it on Sunday, it would just be "on". I have no requirement to make my computer rest, especially if that server hosts sermons that other Christians could find beneficial on the Sabbath.

Exactly. If a website is down or my connection is not working I am not going to be calling up my Internet provider on the Lord's Day. Watching TV for the purposes of recreation is forbidden at our house on Sundays, but using the Internet is for doing spiritual correspondence or doing Biblical research. At the very least we can have a debate about this from the standpoint of the 4th commandment. Only however if we agree that we should not force others to serve us on the Lord's Day. A charge of hypocrisy isn't enough to advocate wholesale violation of our Confessions and God's Law!

Eating out is forcing someone else to directly serve you. And should be avoided except in cases of mercy or real necessity.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Does visiting a website require someone to work? I am not sure that it does.
Unfortunately, yes. Because inevitably the web server, file server, email server, etc. will have a problem or go down, and when it does then someone has to fix it or get it back up. I have personally had to do this quite a number of times over the years. There are two system admins at our company who get automated text messages whenever there are server problems, regardless of the day or time. If no one used the services on Sunday then these problems would never occur.

To further complicate matters, looking at things from a global perspective (as we have to at our company), all day Saturday it is either Friday or Sunday somewhere else in the world, and on Sunday it is Saturday or Monday elsewhere.

However, in my experience in having servers I never had to do anything to them everyday. Servers such as PB or Wordpress etc do not need that type of attention normally and those are the type most of us would visit to "fellowship" with the brethren and read posts concerning the things of God. I'm sure there are other servers such as ones that sell things that need the attention you mentioned, but even B&H Photo (a Jewish camera online store) closes down on Sat and you can't buy or email etc (well you can email but no one is going to email you back till Sun) and they are a very large store.
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
So Rom, the issue is "direct" service? It's true that going to some websites is not directly forcing someone to serve you directly like a waiter might serve you at a restaurant. Nevertheless, the fact remains that people are on shift at your ISP because people are using the internet, whether or not the service is "direct." If the mass of internet users stopped using the internet on Sundays, there may not be (as many) people on shift, just like how if the mass of customers stopped going to a restaurant on Sunday the restaurant would not have (as many) people on shift. Besides, once we enter this direct vs. indirect service talk the door is opened to allow self-service restaurants.
...All I'm saying is, if we are going to say that we should not do X because when people do X people are caused to work, we should at least be conscientious to apply it consistently. I'm not accusing anyone of intentionally applying it inconsistently, though I am comfortable saying that we all unwittingly apply it inconsistently in degree or another.
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I'm not accusing anyone of intentionally applying it inconsistently, though I am comfortable saying that we all unwittingly apply it inconsistently in degree or another.

You are being inconsistent ;)

The main thing is that we prepare ourselves as best as we can in order to honor the day. We can take this to extremes and say don't answer the phone on the Lord's day.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
One point that hasn't been brought out clearly: God's law doesn't become binding when someone is converted. It is binding on all men in all time. It is binding on those who are breaking the sabbath and we should not assist in this by giving them our business.

I realize there are times when someone is pushed into a difficult situation because of his work and those situations should be considered individually and carefully. We have someone in our church who often has to work on Sunday because he lost all his retirement in one of those big dot-com company failures and his parachute was a company that gives no flexibility on Sundays. Like first-century Christians, we live in a society that has no respect for God's law.

can't very well host a family in his college dorm room* so that he can set the example for others.
Actually, I did :D We had a kitchen in the common area downstairs.

The closest thing to "fast food" in scripture that we have an example of, in my opinion, is when God provided manna to the Israelites.
You wanna super-size that manna meal?
 

nicnap

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I think Tim Conway from I'll be honest has some really solid imput on the Sabbath issue. You can watch it here http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=W4p9R-0PPW8.

Tyrese, that is not solid input. It is unbiblical and contra-confessional.

WCF21.7: As it is the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in His Word, by 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: 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, in Scripture, is called the Lord's Day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.

Larger Catechism concerning the fourth commandment:

Q. 115. Which is the fourth commandment?

A. The fourth commandment is, Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 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, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested in the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath-day and hallowed it.

Q. 116. What is required in the fourth commandment?

A. The fourth commandment requireth of all men the sanctifying or keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his Word, expressly one whole day in seven; which was the seventh from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, and the first day of the week ever since, and so to continue to the end of the world; which is the Christian sabbath, and in the New Testament called The Lord’s day.

Q. 117. How is the sabbath or the Lord’s day to be sanctified?

A. The sabbath or Lord’s day is to be sanctified by an holy resting all the day,not only from such works as are at all times sinful, but even from such worldly employments and recreations as are on other days lawful; and making it our delight to spend the whole time (except so much of it as is to be taken up in works of necessity and mercy) in the public and private exercises of God’s worship:and, to that end, we are to prepare our hearts, and with such foresight, diligence, and moderation, to dispose and seasonably dispatch our worldly business, that we may be the more free and fit for the duties of that day.

Q. 118. Why is the charge of keeping the sabbath more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors?

A. The charge of keeping the sabbath is more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors, because they are bound not only to keep it themselves, but to see that it be observed by all those that are under their charge; and because they are prone ofttimes to hinder them by employments of their own.

Q. 119. What are the sins forbidden in the fourth commandment?

A. The sins forbidden in the fourth commandment are, all omissions of the duties required, all careless, negligent, and unprofitable performing of them, and being weary of them; all profaning the day by idleness, and doing that which is in itself sinful; and by all needless works, words, and thoughts, about our worldly employments and recreations.

Q. 120. What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it?

A. The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it, are taken from the equity of it, God allowing us six days of seven for our own affairs, and reserving but one for himself in these words, Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: from God’s challenging a special propriety in that day, The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: from the example of God, who in six days made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: and from that blessing which God put upon that day, not only in sanctifying it to be a day for his service, but in ordaining it to be a means of blessing to us in our sanctifying it; Wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Q. 121. Why is the word Remember set in the beginning of the fourth commandment?

A. The word Remember is set in the beginning of the fourth commandment, partly, because of the great benefit of remembering it, we being thereby helped in our preparation to keep it, and, in keeping it, better to keep all the rest of the commandments, and to continue a thankful remembrance of the two great benefits of creation and redemption, which contain a short abridgment of religion; and partly, because we are very ready to forget it, for that there is less light of nature for it, and yet it restraineth our natural liberty in things at other times lawful; that it cometh but once in seven days, and many worldly businesses come between, and too often take off our minds from thinking of it, either to prepare for it, or to sanctify it; and that Satan with his instruments labours much to blot out the glory, and even the memory of it, to bring in all irreligion and impiety.
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
So Rom, the issue is "direct" service? It's true that going to some websites is not directly forcing someone to serve you directly like a waiter might serve you at a restaurant. Nevertheless, the fact remains that people are on shift at your ISP because people are using the internet, whether or not the service is "direct." If the mass of internet users stopped using the internet on Sundays, there may not be (as many) people on shift, just like how if the mass of customers stopped going to a restaurant on Sunday the restaurant would not have (as many) people on shift. Besides, once we enter this direct vs. indirect service talk the door is opened to allow self-service restaurants.
...All I'm saying is, if we are going to say that we should not do X because when people do X people are caused to work, we should at least be conscientious to apply it consistently. I'm not accusing anyone of intentionally applying it inconsistently, though I am comfortable saying that we all unwittingly apply it inconsistently in degree or another.

All I'm saying is this: we can perhaps have this as a discussion of application. I am even willing to consider dropping Internet usage totally - I'll be honest, my traffic is minimal and mostly has to do with Logos usage and occasionally checking the PB. That's it!

The amount of traffic is a mere trickle. In essence, I am probably using a MB or two of traffic compared to the hundreds of MB on other days. If all Christians lowered their internet usage then yes, we would have an impact on ISPs staffing. Same with electricity. If Christians spent most of their day in devotionals and fellowship and not on TV we may even lower our energy usage :)

However, having a waiter and a cook serve you while eating out is a pretty *blatant* violation of the 4th unless it was due to necessity or mercy. I cannot see how we can miss that. Charges of inconsistency or not.

I would challenge ourselves - why not *start* to reform our lives instead of throwing up our hands, and pointing out inconsistencies here and there in others. The Lord knows we cannot be perfect in this life, but why stop trying to reform? :)

It's sort of akin to - well, I'm going to sin anyway, so why stop going to the strip bar - I'll see a copy of Vogue in the supermarket and I'll just have lustful thoughts anyhow.

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