Eating out on the Lord's Day

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Tyrese

Puritan Board Sophomore
@ Nicnap. I agree that its not a confessional position, but you failed to show me how it's unbiblical. I spent a year going back and forth on this issue and to this day I still havnt found the Christian sabbath in the Bible. I see the Lords day, and I see principle as to what we should be doing on the Lords day. But with respect, no Christian sabbath. My church holds the sabbatarian view and I completly respect their position. Perhaps In the future I will better understand the sabbath. As of right now I think Tim Conway has given the most consistent explanation using the New Testament.
 

Martin

Puritan Board Freshman
Eating at a restaurant or using the internet on Sunday no matter how small still requires electricity, which requires someone at the plant to monitor the generators which makes him/her a Sabbath breaker. I think the only way to be consistent is on the Lord's day: no phones, no lights, no motor cars, not a single luxury. ;) :D
 

Tyrese

Puritan Board Sophomore
@ Eric. Yeah that's another point where I get hung up. Suddenly some things are ok and others are not. I'm trying to figure out who is setting the standard being that there's so many different sabbatarians who hold to different convictions. But yet somehow it's all Biblical because it's done in the name of neccesity. Maybe someone can help me here??? I know what the 1689 says but my conscience is not bound by my confession. I also don't judge those who keep the sabbath as the Bible says people can do so if they so choose.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
***Moderating***
Tyrese,
Please come no closer to advocating for a non-Confessional position.

Eric,
Please refrain from words that come closer to mocking the Confession's position, intended to help people make their way in conformity to God's will, in a world that is no help to them. Scripture allows Sabbath-works of necessity, and though men will debate what is truly necessary, at least the argument for using electricity attempts to find room for it within the parameters of a Scripturally defined principle.
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
Rom, I have never and would never say that if we can't be perfect we should just give up. That never crossed my mind in this discussion. How 'bout this: people differ some in their application of the 4th commandment, so the best we can strive for is to be consistent with our own principles. And even then, sometimes our application of consistency looks inconsistent to others. I could say more, but I don't think that it would be entirely helpful at this point. Just be aware that my posts were a mixture of playing Devil's advocate and seeking to raise legitimate questions. I don't draw as hard of a line on eating out as some others do, but I also seek to be consistent in my understanding of the Word as I'm sure you do as well.
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
Eating at a restaurant or using the internet on Sunday no matter how small still requires electricity, which requires someone at the plant to monitor the generators which makes him/her a Sabbath breaker. I think the only way to be consistent is on the Lord's day: no phones, no lights, no motor cars, not a single luxury. ;) :D

And the only way to stop sinning is to stop breathing. So why bother?

But really, we'll start worrying about tithing our dill and cumin instead of trying to bring our lives and hearts in conformance to God's Law? So because we struggle with the "what about electricity?" question we are willing to just completely disregard the command in a blatant way?

Let's take some steps toward obeying, and then trust that God will continue to guide us in these more difficult matters that require wisdom.
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
Rom, I have never and would never say that if we can't be perfect we should just give up. That never crossed my mind in this discussion. How 'bout this: people differ some in their application of the 4th commandment, so the best we can strive for is to be consistent with our own principles. And even then, sometimes our application of consistency looks inconsistent to others. I could say more, but I don't think that it would be entirely helpful at this point. Just be aware that my posts were a mixture of playing Devil's advocate and seeking to raise legitimate questions. I don't draw as hard of a line on eating out as some others do, but I also seek to be consistent in my understanding of the Word as I'm sure you do as well.

Thank you for the clarification, brother :handshake:
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
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.

Should we answer the phone on Sunday?
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
Let's take some steps toward obeying, and then trust that God will continue to guide us in these more difficult matters that require wisdom.

Wise words, Rom. Thanks. Let us start with what is obvious - and then work from there. It seems like so many "oppositions" to the Sabbath issue question take this form:

1. "I know that me doing [insert a situation easily addressed] is contrary to the apparent reading of the 4th Commandment"

2. "but what about [insert a situation that is more extraordinary]?"

3. "and if we are to be entirely consistent, then we would have to [insert ludicrous suggestion]"

4. "since we can't be consistent..."

5. [implied conclusion] "let's not even try, then"

I am not pointing at anyone in this thread in particular, as I have seen this sort of reasoning used many times in many places. For example, by Gary North (who is very good on some of the other Commandments) when speaking of other aspects of work on the Sabbath.
 

Tyrese

Puritan Board Sophomore
@ Tim. Lol I really like your response. # 3 is really funny. I will have to use this elsewhere.
 

JoannaV

Puritan Board Sophomore
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.

Should we answer the phone on Sunday?


Depends on the purpose of the phone call ;)


Returning to the analogy, I do think the hit-man is not as helpful as it could be because the people you would be addressing have decided to take a pragmatic approach so they would likely take the analogy and interpret it pragmatically: there aren't many people considering avoiding restaurants on Sunday so it wouldn't change anything, whereas hit-man services are less in demand and so there probably would actually be one less murder if I didn't hire one. I think you need some kind of analogy that shows ones responsibility even when the outcome is unchanged.
 

davenporter

Puritan Board Freshman
Let's just ignore that the Sabbath is a creation ordinance, and let's neglect all the history of our brothers in the Reformation fighting to preserve the sanctification of the Lord's Day against the tide of those promoting sports and recreations as a valid use of the Sabbath, not to mention work -- or even worse, forcing your employees to work. Perhaps some of us are a little ignorant of the Covenant theology to which we claim to subscribe if we suggest that there is no Biblical warrant for the Sabbath any longer. Perhaps some of us aren't convinced, perhaps some of us haven't taken the time to study the issue, and perhaps some of us are simply unwilling to give up our own pleasures in order to sanctify a day to the Lord.

As I have found as I recently came to the Sabbatarian position, God doesn't lie. His promises still stand. The Sabbath is a blessing.

“If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
14 Then you will take delight in the Lord,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 58:13-14

As our Lord said in Mark 2:27, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath."

This is true, and it is a blessing and a gift. I would admonish those of you who seem to mock those who would delight in the Lord with 1/7th of their time (6 days of work, 1 day of rest IN THE LORD) to taste and see that the Lord is good, and blessed is he who takes refuge in Him. What a gift it is to take up the full time of one day a week to celebrate and anticipate the eternal rest that the Lord will give us.

If we won't enter into the Lord's EARTHY, TEMPORAL rest that He gives us, then what are we saying about His HEAVENLY, ESCHATALOGICAL rest that He promises to us His people? Do we not anticipate eagerly entering into that rest where we will be forever with the Lord? (Hebrews 4:9-11). He has given us physical and spiritual rest in the Sabbath, He has blessed us with a covenant of grace that we may rest from our works and need not vainly strive to reach salvation by our own efforts, and He promises an eternal rest.

We have duties on the Sabbath. The English Puritans understood this:

"The duties of piety are... divided into three classes: public, private and secret. Public duties are to be performed by church members and by the minister. The minister is to read and preach the Word of God, pray to and praise God, administer the sacraments and bless the people. The people in turn are to attend the hearing and preaching of the Word of God, assent to the prayers and praise of God, partake of the sacraments and say "Amen" to the benediction. Private duties are those conducted in the family circle and consist in: reading God's Word; praying to and praising God; catechizing; repeating the sermon; conferring about the things of God; and singing Psalms. Secret duties are conducted by each person alone and consist in: reading Scripture; praying to and praising God; meditation; and self-examination.

"Duties of mercy consist in those which concern man's soul and those which concern man's body. Ministering to the soul includes: instructing the ignorant; establishing those who are weak in the faith; resolving doubts of the downcast; comforting the troubled; informing those in error; reproving the sinner; and building one another up in the Lord. Ministering to the body includes: visiting the sick and imprisoned; relieving the needy; rescuing those in danger; and giving all other succor necessary." (Dennison, Market Day of the Soul, 135-136).

These duties are ultimately NOT burdensome! Matthew 11:28-30, “ Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” That's not to say that you won't get tired on Sunday, it can be exhausting, but I end the day refreshed in the Lord and I love almost every minute of it. Catechism memory may be an exception, but the Lord is working on me! :)

Oh, dear brothers and sisters, it is my prayer that we would learn to DELIGHT in the Lord's Day, to DELIGHT in His rest, to DELIGHT in the things of God, to enter into His rest, not only from our works, but to His works, which are means by which we abide in Him and are refreshed in Him. It is not a BURDEN -- it is a DELIGHT! And what a pity that I did not see it sooner, did not delight in the Lord's Day sooner, but listened to the Americanized Christianity that sees the Sabbath as a burden rather than a delight and blessing.

I suppose I post this simply to suggest that we ought not to lose the bigger picture of why we keep the Sabbath.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Westminster Larger Catechism

Question 117: How is the sabbath or the Lord's day to be sanctified?

Answer: 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 betaken 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.

Also, remember the application to those who work under your charge:

Exodus 20

10 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 manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
 

Tyrese

Puritan Board Sophomore
@ Benjamin. I really would like to respond to you but I was told not to. Maybe we can talk another way as I am willing to discuss this topic?
 

Martin

Puritan Board Freshman
Eric,
Please refrain from words that come closer to mocking the Confession's position, intended to help people make their way in conformity to God's will, in a world that is no help to them. Scripture allows Sabbath-works of necessity, and though men will debate what is truly necessary, at least the argument for using electricity attempts to find room for it within the parameters of a Scripturally defined principle.

Unintended. Sincere apologies to anyone that was offended by my carelessness.

On a side note, please allow me to clarify some remarks. My position on the Lord's Day, is that I do eat out occasionally (usually on Sunday night) and when I do, I do feel convicted about doing so. I have tried to observe the Lord's day without watching television, eating out, restricting the computer use to spiritual purposes only. I have failed at all these miserably, though I believe that we should observe the Lord's Day as described in the confessions. I would like to move to a more Biblical position and to follow this command of our Lord. My whole argument about electricity is to point out this: To us who do not have a firm grasp on the subject and who are looking in from the outside, the question is where do we draw the line? Even on the PB there is not a consensuses on the matter: if it should be observed, what is allowed, when does it even start and end. Arguing that it is not okay to eat out because it forces one to work, but that it is okay to do something else because it is already in use only confuses us more. None of my argument were intended to mock the Lord's Day but for edifying interaction, though my last post with reference to Gilligan was in jest.
 
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Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Eric,

The Westminster Confession summarizes the doctrine of Scripture on the fourth commandment/sabbath/ Lord's Day.

Chapter XXI
Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day

....

VII. 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:[34] 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,[35] which, in Scripture, is called the Lord's Day,[36] and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.[37]

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]

Basically, it is that we ordinarily "sabbath" (cease) from the ordinary work and play of the other six days of the week and make the day "holy" (set aside) so we can prioritize the worship of God, all the day, corporately (in church), in family and individually.

Three main aspects to it:

1) advance preparation
2) abstain from work
3) abstain from recreation

"Ordinarily" because there are exceptions for "mercy" and "necessity" established as part of the command. (A work is "necessary" if the work must be done at that time, not whether it is generally necessary. A doctor who must operate today is an example of "necessity," selling stereos on the Lord's Day is not. And, yes that means there are some jobs Christians must not take or must quit if it causes them to routinely violate God's command for life.)

While it is necessary we eat on the Lord's Day, it is not necessary we eat in a restaurant out so that someone works for our convenience, thereby hindering them from keeping the sabbath, and hindering us by engaging us in that commerce on the Lord's Day.

Practically, it means getting routine errands out of the way by Saturday night- getting groceries bought, drawing cash from the ATM, having enough gas in the car, etc. It might mean also advance preparation of your Sunday meals, or reasonably so, to prevent distraction from the day).

I used to eat out on the Lord's Day, thinking the point was only trying to keep a spiritual focus while at the restaurant. But, there is duty to God and one's neighbor and the command of God to order life by this commandment (and the others).

Obedience here will open the door to many good things in the Christian life- true rest in mind and body, and inviting people over for fellowship times on the Lord's Day.

Think of it more of a day to worship God relatively unhindered without the distractions of work or amusement rather than as a day of "do nots."

The Christian sabbath is indeed , as Isaiah says, a delight.
 
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Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
What is interesting is that the "hit man" analogy strikes us as overly aggressive, or perhaps too offensive, when, properly considered it is a strike against the image of God (2nd Table) whereas Sabbath-breaking is a strike against God Himself (1st Table).

Part of the difficulty in discussions like this is that our evil hearts and our cultural context are grossly man-centered. This makes man's right to life more significant to us than God's right to entire day set aside for Him.

Note: I'm assuming the 4th Precept requires us to refrain from commerce and causing others to serve us.
 

Organgrinder

Puritan Board Freshman
Here is a downside to eating out on Sundays

I used to think that eating out on Sundays was something I was entitled to. Then we got into credit card debt because we were eating out Sunday evening and Wednesday evening sometimes as well. Now we have to say no when others invite us out for lunch. It is astounding when one realizes how much is spent on eating out. That money could've been used to help others.
 

Constantlyreforming

Puritan Board Sophomore
Maybe I will bring this up again.

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?

My thought is that on Saturday, the Israelites were commanded to bring in twice the amount of manna so that they would not gather and "eat out", no matter how easy it was on Sunday. God lengthened the shelf-life of the manna by a day on the weekend.

Thoughts?
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Maybe I will bring this up again.

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?

My thought is that on Saturday, the Israelites were commanded to bring in twice the amount of manna so that they would not gather and "eat out", no matter how easy it was on Sunday. God lengthened the shelf-life of the manna by a day on the weekend.

Thoughts?

I'm not seeing your point really i guess. :confused:
 

nicnap

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
@ Nicnap. I agree that its not a confessional position, but you failed to show me how it's unbiblical. I spent a year going back and forth on this issue and to this day I still havnt found the Christian sabbath in the Bible. I see the Lords day, and I see principle as to what we should be doing on the Lords day. But with respect, no Christian sabbath. My church holds the sabbatarian view and I completly respect their position. Perhaps In the future I will better understand the sabbath. As of right now I think Tim Conway has given the most consistent explanation using the New Testament.

Did you spend that year reading the proof-texts for the WCF & WLC? Those are enough. Further, you might wish to read: The Change and Perpetuity of the Sabbath, by Jonathan Edwards. Further, there is enough in one search on these threads to give you plenty of reading (These should get you started: http://www.puritanboard.com/f17/objections-sabbath-using-colossians-2-16-a-71565/ ; http://www.puritanboard.com/f45/sabbatarianism-colossians-2-16-a-23966/ -- particularly the notes from Joey Pipa's book). I do not have time to give you a detailed analysis, but this is a good start.
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Maybe I will bring this up again.

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?

My thought is that on Saturday, the Israelites were commanded to bring in twice the amount of manna so that they would not gather and "eat out", no matter how easy it was on Sunday. God lengthened the shelf-life of the manna by a day on the weekend.

Thoughts?

It's all about preparation. Packing a sac lunch would keep you out of the restaurant after Sunday meeting. If you want to cover unexpected guests, pack a little extra.
 
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