Keeping the Sabbath on Super Bowl Sunday

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blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
[b:37563f059c]John wrote:[/b:37563f059c]
Considering how many of these guys are supposedly Christian, the owners would waste no time in changing the schedule if these players held to principle!

That's a good point.

[b:37563f059c]Historical trivia questions[/b:37563f059c]
Did they always have professional football games on Sunday? I'm wondering because there use to be a time (from what I've heard) that Sunday was once more highly regarded by society than it is today (with the Blue Laws, etc). Why did they decide to play on Sundays rather than on Saturdays?

Just wondering,
Bob
 

heartoflesh

Puritan Board Junior
[quote:fdccddea85]Why did they decide to play on Sundays rather than on Saturdays? [/quote:fdccddea85]

So as not to compete with college football, which at one time was more popular than professional, and still is in many parts.
 

jfschultz

Puritan Board Junior
This is a bit off topic, but speaks volumes.

There is an AP story in today's paper about churches in Frederick, MD objecting to the Frederick Marathon planned for a Sunday in May. Their complaint is that last year, with the first running of the Marathon, street blockages cut attendance 25%! Nothing is said about any principle being involved, just a pragmatic complaint that it cut attendance. :(
 

MayGodBeGlorified

Inactive User
Keeping the Sabbath

Keeping the Sabbath involves sanctifying it, keeping it holy. It is "The Lord's Day." That name in itself speaks volumes as to how it should be spent. In general, activities that promote meditating on God are to be engaged in. Devotions, meditation, and outreach are all very important. On Sundays our church has a jail ministry and Sunday School outreach for neighborhood children, especially those that come from underprivileged families. It is clear from Scripture that we should not work on the Sabbath, which includes being involved in activities which support others working (unless they are acts of necessity). Regarding travel... it is possible to be very God-centered on a car ride, but don't you have to stop for gas? Sanctifying the Sabbath involves setting it apart specifically for the worship of God, not involving ourselves in self-gratifying entertainment. After all... the world and everything in it and every day belong to God... He only commands that we set one day a week apart! And what a blessing it is, a wonderful gift from God, a day where we do not need to be concerned about earthly matters/problems/issues, but where we rest in Him in a special way! Of course everyone draws their lines differently as to what to do or not to do, but generally, the aura of the entire day should be worship of God. I am thankful to have been raised in a home where this was practiced, because it's much harder to start good habits later on!
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
[b:d869c38d1b]Scott wrote:[/b:d869c38d1b]
In regards to Super Bowl: Since the athlete's "work" on the Lords day, do you feel as if you indulge this type of sin in watching it.
and...
Phillip,
Things of neccesity are allowed. It is not necessary to watch secular men _work_ on the Lords day. Should the people of God set a standard for the unbeliving world or should we indulge their carnality?

I was just wondering if those who felt it wrong to watch secular men play football on the Lord's day would (those who enjoy watching football) still tape the game and watch them play the next day, or whenever?

[Edited on 1-26-2004 by blhowes]
 

jfschultz

Puritan Board Junior
[quote:6cd4d4f776][i:6cd4d4f776]Originally posted by blhowes[/i:6cd4d4f776]
I was just wondering if those who felt it wrong to watch secular men play football on the Lord's day would (those who enjoy watching football) still tape the game and watch them play the next day, or whenever?[/quote:6cd4d4f776]

I realize that is not a direct answer to your question, in that I wouldn't watch the football game anyway.

When I came under conviction concerning the proper use of the Lord's Day, one of my first responses was to stop watching the Sunday programming on TV. This was because watching this would require somebody (even if just a few in control rooms) to engage in a work not of necessity or mercy on the Sabbath (Ex 20:10b). For the same reason, I would not record the programming just so I could watch it some other day.
 

twogunfighter

Puritan Board Freshman
Why is partaking of a football game played on sunday somehow more wrong than buying a manufactured good which has a lower price because someone had to work on sunday? Should we not buy groceries at the advertised price Monday through Friday since that price is made possible because the store benefits from staying open on sunday? Did the Corinthian Christian refuse to buy an apple to munch on his way home from church because his idolatrous neighbors felt that Sunday was just another day? Where logically does our Sabbath keeping for others end? If a Pro-Bowl Philistine wants to play football for millions of dollars and I find it relaxing to watch, I am not causing a brother to stumble, I am not working, how can one say that I break the law? What constitutes a worldly recreation event that should not be watched/participated in, assuming that one is meeting his obligations to forsake not the assembling with other Christians? Is one only allowed to do recreation that is somehow "Christian" related? I think that maybe I won't watch college football on Saturday because the opposing team's coach might have directed his players to do a light workout on Sunday to stretch out after the game, and I certainly don't want to condone that.

My :wr50:

Chuck

[Edited on 1-27-2004 by twogunfighter]
 

MayGodBeGlorified

Inactive User
Defending the Sabbath

Here are some verses on the Sabbath:

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Ex. 20:8

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: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Ex. 20:10-11

Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ex. 35:2

Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. Lev. 23:3

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD. Lev. 25:2

Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee. Deut. 5:12

Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
Is. 56:2

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: Is. 58:13

And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
Mark 15:42-43


Notice in these verses not only the emphasis on not working on the Sabbath, but on setting it apart as a holy day, sanctifying it to God. Isaiah 58:13 is an especially convicting verse that clearly states it is not enough to simply go to church, but the whole day is holy! The Sabbath was a special gift from God to His people. We are not to abuse it by doing earthly, selfish things. Keeping the Sabbath also includes a time of preparation. Practically I think that means that we don't stay out late on Saturday night, go to bed at 2:00 a.m., wake up at the last minute and drag ourselves into church. We must "dress our souls" with more care than we give to our bodies. And again, the whole day is to be set apart as God's.
 

FrozenChosen

Puritan Board Freshman
Would you pump gas on Sunday out of necessity?

You're driving to or from church and your gas light comes on and you can't make it home from church. Are you going to just drive your car into a ditch because pumping gas would require you to promote someone working on the Sabbath? Even if you use a credit card, you're using a card by a company that's at work, making sure everything gets done.

Make sure you turn out your lights, because people are working at the power plant on Sunday, so you can have electricity.

In fact, should you even drive your car to get to church? After all, your use of the product with it's symbols and advertisements promote the maker, doesn't it?

Would you drive on part of a road if it's being repaved on Sunday morning?

I've prayed about it and I cannot get over this great opportunity of evangelism that has been afforded me...I cannot say that individuals working on Sunday should prevent me from doing everything I can to reflect the blessings I've been given.

If I choose to focus on God and meditate on him, is that hampered if I seek to fulfill the Great Commission in a great opportunity to do so?
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Just like the other 9 commandments, the 4th commandment cannot become a easy list of do's and don't's. There are answers to your questions, but let me ask you a few other questions:

have you ever been able to go an entire day (or even an hour) without losing your temper? having a lustful thought? not wasting your time? have you always in every fashion honored your parents?

If you are honest (and you really understand the spiritual nature of the law), your answer will be "NO"

So since you are completely incapable of keeping the 6th commandment for even a short period of time, should you just "give up" and not worry about murder? How about robbing banks because you cannot avoid stealing time and breaking the 8th? I guess the fact that since you (perhaps like me) cannot go for even a short period of time with perfect purity of thought, you think it no big deal to commit fornication?

I hope you can see the ludicrous nature of your questions when they are simply applied to the other commandments.
 

FrozenChosen

Puritan Board Freshman
Your statements almost fit the pattern of my questions, and you do have good points, but I'll focus on the electricity question...

Will you turn out your lights and turn off the a/c? This should not be something that represents much of a struggle...lustful thoughts will always be an uphill battle, but a mere flick of a switch is not. It is a one time action, on one day of the week.

With this fact brought to your attention, will you do it? Will you encourage that electric organ in your church to go silent?

It is something that can be easily taken care of, but I bet none of us in here do it. Yet it promotes and pays and encourages work on the Sabbath does it not?

And if you have answers to these questions, will you provide them?

The fact that you call my seeking questions "ludicrous" initially makes me want to ignore you because I feel slighted, not because you deserve it (I highly doubt that you do) but because it's a divisive word. But whatever, people write differently in MS than FL.

Peace!
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:fca7e253c3][i:fca7e253c3]Originally posted by FrozenChosen[/i:fca7e253c3]
Your statements almost fit the pattern of my questions, and you do have good points, but I'll focus on the electricity question...

Will you turn out your lights and turn off the a/c? This should not be something that represents much of a struggle...lustful thoughts will always be an uphill battle, but a mere flick of a switch is not. It is a one time action, on one day of the week.

With this fact brought to your attention, will you do it? Will you encourage that electric organ in your church to go silent?

It is something that can be easily taken care of, but I bet none of us in here do it. Yet it promotes and pays and encourages work on the Sabbath does it not?

And if you have answers to these questions, will you provide them?

The fact that you call my seeking questions "ludicrous" initially makes me want to ignore you because I feel slighted, not because you deserve it (I highly doubt that you do) but because it's a divisive word. But whatever, people write differently in MS than FL.

Peace! [/quote:fca7e253c3]

The point that I was trying to make, and I think you have proven the validity of, is that no good comes from straining at gnats. You can easily come up with other activities that would violate the 4th commandment and yet do not. In doing so, the weightier matters of the law are left undone.

Would you turn on the electricty to examine a wounded man? How about an animal? Should we abandon evening worship on the Lord's Day because we cannot put on lights and cannot then see our Bibles? Are microphones verboten?

It really appears that your intent here is not to deal with a case of conscience, but rather use the exception or minutiae of the commandment to undo the commandment itself. That is what I meant by ludicrous - it elicited laughter from me. If it did not, I would be offended by the flippancy with which you treat the Law of God.
 

jfschultz

Puritan Board Junior
[quote:55ee5c15eb][i:55ee5c15eb]Originally posted by FrozenChosen[/i:55ee5c15eb]
Would you pump gas on Sunday out of necessity?

You're driving to or from church and your gas light comes on and you can't make it home from church.[/quote:55ee5c15eb]

This would be a matter of due preparation the day before. As a practical matter in today's pluralistic society operating a gas station or resturant on Sunday can be a work of necessity. Even a strict sabbatarian can get a call Sunday morning of a family emergency to which he must drive beyond the car's (or stomach's) range and stop for gas (or food).

[quote:55ee5c15eb]Make sure you turn out your lights, because people are working at the power plant on Sunday, so you can have electricity.[/quote:55ee5c15eb]

Is electrcity a necessity? (consider Klatu's demonstration in "The Day the Earth Stood Still.")

Getting back to the origin of this thread. Is the SuperBowl a necessity? What about entertainment TV?
 

FrozenChosen

Puritan Board Freshman
TV on the whole is unecessary. There are hardly any shows that can qualify as decent when it comes to the acting, and every news station is horribly biased and you'd be better off reading your news online or in the paper.

I watch very little TV as a result...I consider it a general waste of time no matter the day.

I am aware of the importance of the law.

"All Scripture is breathed out by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3.16-17 ESV

...and...

"For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass away from the law until all is accomplished." Matthew 5:18 ESV

But how do you approach:

[Paul just finished speaking on how a woman may remarry after her husband dies and she is freed from the law that binds them as one]

"Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that we may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in orer that we may be fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. Bu now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit." Romans 7:4-6 ESV

Do we honor the Sabbath out of obligation to the law or love of God?

Consider the same question...

"Would you turn on the electricty to examine a wounded man?"

I most certainly would. And I would watch the Super Bowl with sinners to evangelize. Their wounds run much deeper.

I do not think I shall post much more here, I don't think anyone is being edified.

[Edited on 1-30-2004 by FrozenChosen]
 

Jie-Huli

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:100a527975]
Do we honor the Sabbath out of obligation to the law or love of God?
[/quote:100a527975]

We honour it of course out of love to God; that is the basis for any true obedience to any of His laws. Certainly the positive duties of the day, worshipping and glorifying God, are of much greater import than the negative prohibitions of what we may not do on the Sabbath. But in order for the positives to truly be accomplished, it is still very necessary for us to first take seriously the negatives. God's commands for us to refrain from unnecessary work and from worldly leisures (despite the fact that work and leisure often involve interaction with others which could theoretically be used for evangelism) are wise and gracious, as they help us to truly reap the spiritual blessings of the day and to focus fully on His glory.

[quote:100a527975]
Consider the same question...

"Would you turn on the electricty to examine a wounded man?"

I most certainly would. And I would watch the Super Bowl with sinners to evangelize. Their wounds run much deeper.
[/quote:100a527975]

There is a great difference between these 2 situations, and I would humbly urge you to consider more carefully the important distinction between works truly necessary and those not.

Light is obviously necessary to examine an injured man's wounds and treat him, and so electricity and the work necessary to produce it are necessities.

The superbowl is in no way necessary for evangelism. You might think it a useful bridge to communication with your lost friends, but it is surely not in any way actually connected to the work of evangelism, and surely evangelism can be done without it.

I appreciate your intentions, but even our best intentions must bow before Holy God's commands.

Blessings,
Jie-Huli

[Edited on 1-30-2004 by Jie-Huli]
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
I never watch pro football. So when I watch the Superbowl (more of an opportunity to hang out with friends... which because of my schedule is something else that I rarely get to do...) I will be taking a break from what I normally do.... which is read the Bible and pray all day. Sounds like a Sabbath rest to me!
:shocked2:
 

MayGodBeGlorified

Inactive User
Sabbath Rest

I would humbly remind you of the following verse:

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.
Is. 58:13-14

Our rest is not to be a selfish rest, but a rest in God, delighting and reveling in his glory and majesty. That's what the day is for.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
So, do you cook on the Sabbath? Do you turn on your heater in the winter (the same as "starting a fie in your house")? Do you carry a load on the Sabbath?
Give me a break. Don't try to impress me with an overly simplistic recitation of an OT passage which has the effect of shrowding pharasaical legalism in pious language.

Tell me, teacher of the law, Jesus says that it is ok to "do good" on the Sabbath... How "good" does the action have to be, and how "necessary" does it have to be, for it to be allowable? What if "what I please" is something that is good? Also, the Jews had a walking distance limit they could go on the Sabbath. Tell me, I go to a church that is about a half hour drive from me. No, it isn't the ONLY church I could go to.... But tell me, is that TOO FAR to go to get to church? Or, in characteristically legalistic fashion, would I be permitted to drive as far as I wanted because the actual command pertains to WALKING and not driving? Am I allowed to engage in sexual relations with my wife on the Sabbath? (I could go on and on...)
Give me a break.

The one thing I like about Lutherans is that they have a more rounded view of the Sabbath/ Lord's Day than most reformed folks.

Anyway, as for me... Colossians 2: 16-17.

You can miss the game... That's fine. But as for me I'll be enjoying this one day of the year with my friends... and I'll be thanking God for food, drink, friends, etc.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
I almost forgot, great teachers of the law,
when should I start my Sabbath activitites? At Sundown on Saturday evening? Midnight Saturday night/Sunday morning? Or should it be whenever I wake up on Sunday morning? I would think the latter, but I'm wondering if that allows too much latitude for personal taste and discretion....
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
I almost forgot another question... I have a 3 year old son... Given the nature of my work/school schedule (I do both full time) I don't get as much time to play with him as I want.
Tell me, on the Sabbath can I play with my son? OR is it only permissible if all we talk about is God? Can I answer his questions and have a conversation about him and his experiences or should I be saying, "shut up, kid! don't you know it's the Lord's Day? I'll answer your petty 3 year old questions some other time - I don't know when- but for now, brace your 3 year old self for a day long exposition of the doctrine of providence...." Is that how I should interact with my kid on the Lord's day?
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Sola,
The question I will pose to you and everyone else is, should we keep the Lords dayor not? Is it a special day? Do you see anywhere in scripture where the church did anything other that worship God and fellowship on the day? Granted, things that are necessary, are necessary.

Maybe you should attend school part time?
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
[quote:579b28b97f][i:579b28b97f]Originally posted by Scott Bushey[/i:579b28b97f]
Sola,
Do you see anywhere in scripture where the church did anything other that worship God and fellowship on the day? Granted, things that are necessary, are necessary.

Maybe you should attend school part time? [/quote:579b28b97f]

1. a. We don't see where it says that "all" they did [i:579b28b97f]all day[/i:579b28b97f]- on the Lord's Day- was worship and fellowship...

2. I'd prefer to work parttime and do school full-time (more credits than I currently take). To do that we need to pay off our debt and lower our cost of living. So I'm biting the bullet for this academic year and doing both. I can see light at the end of the tunnel!
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Sola writes:

[quote:f8034b5ee4]1. a. We don't see where it says that "all" they did [i:f8034b5ee4]all day[/i:f8034b5ee4]- on the Lord's Day- was worship and fellowship...

2. I'd prefer to work parttime and do school full-time (more credits than I currently take). To do that we need to pay off our debt and lower our cost of living. So I'm biting the bullet for this academic year and doing both. I can see light at the end of the tunnel! [/quote:f8034b5ee4]

What DO you see scripture stating?
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Let me ask a different question:

How would your family life be if you told your wife you were going to celebrate her birthday - by working all day?

Or would you be married if you spent your first date watching TV and ignoring her?

Maybe for your anniversary you should invite friends over to watch football?

And I'm sure everyone's children would enjoy birthdays in which we all do yard work.

It amazes me how everyone who objects to the 4th commandment makes it COMPLETELY different from the other 9. What would we think of a man who was concerned or obsessed with how he could avoid breaking the 7th commandment only by trying to figure out how close he could get to adultery without committing it? Or who asked how much stuff he could take before violating the 9th? Or how lackluster he could be in worship without violating the 2nd or 3rd? Or maybe how little he could honor God and still keep the 1st?

And yet that is exactly the attitude, frankly, Sola, that you are displaying. I and others (I think for the most part) have not ONCE said there is a list, or you should have a list, of things to not do on Sunday. And yet EVERY one of your questions is asking a wooden, Pharisaical view of the Law of God. Have yo0u ever thought about how you could best honor God? How the day is special - more special than anniversaries, birthdays, YES even CHRISTMAS!! Why aren't you asking - how can the Holy Spirit cause me to think less of myself and more of Christ? Whatever happened to "I must decreased and he must increased" ?

And yet this is typical in our dispensationalist-influenced (i.e. the 9th commandment doesn't count at all), market driven culture. Most of us can't even fathom not having to worry about buying gas on Sunday because the stations would be closed. Or not being tempted to shop at the mall because it was closed.

I'll answer at least one question - I see no problem with playing with your children
on Sunday. I do.

But then again, I guess it is far easier for many of you to "debate" whether we should turn on lights or walk to church than to actually take a hard look at our lives and find out how we can better serve God - who has given TO US completely 6 DAYS and has only kept 1 for Himself. Its not like we have other days for evangelism. I guess we should thank God for giving us the violent, money grubbing, vain entertainment of football so we can "take care of" some evangelism. Funny thing is: I have NEVER heard anyone say, "yes, I'm going to work on Sunday down at the soup kitchen to try and serve and share the gospel."

Sheesh. Super bowl evangelism. Give me a break.

And I thought that other threads had at times tended toward impractical debate for the sakeof debate. This one takes the cake.
 

jfschultz

Puritan Board Junior
[quote:ce1088f5f0][i:ce1088f5f0]Originally posted by fredtgreco[/i:ce1088f5f0]
And I thought that other threads had at times tended toward impractical debate for the sakeof debate. This one takes the cake. [/quote:ce1088f5f0]

Amen! I was getting worried that I was repeating myself. It seemed that some would read a few posts and reply and skip most of the tread.

Just a couple of points

1) The law does not save. Never has, never will.

2) God's grace saves us from the penalty of breaking the law. It does free us from the obligation of the law.

If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Rom 6:1-2
 

jfschultz

Puritan Board Junior
I heard of a church here that cancelled their Sunday evening service in order to show the SuperBowl on their big screens. I don't know if they turned off the half-time show to present the gospel or got a big surprise. But then perhaps in trying to attract the world they got the world!
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
Yeah, a few of my friends' churches had Super Bowl parties.... I haven't heard what the reaction was to the "incident."

We didn't even watch the half time show... we were talking about the military chaplaincy and the various rules and hoops... From what I hear, I didn't miss anything at all.

(As for the game, I thought it was kind of boring until the 4th quarter!)
 

Gregg

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:8e1effe441][i:8e1effe441]Originally posted by fredtgreco[/i:8e1effe441]


Sheesh. Super bowl evangelism. Give me a break.

And I thought that other threads had at times tended toward impractical debate for the sakeof debate. This one takes the cake. [/quote:8e1effe441]

__________________________

Reply...

On another board, I once argued against several posters who were giving the go ahead to a young woman telling her it was ok to take a job that involved serving drinks in order that she could do evangelism to those who patronized the resturant/bar. I remember taking quite a lot of flak for advising her against it and recommending she seek other employment.
 

Gregg

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:3dcff227a8][i:3dcff227a8]Originally posted by SolaScriptura[/i:3dcff227a8]
Yeah, a few of my friends' churches had Super Bowl parties.... I haven't heard what the reaction was to the "incident."

[/quote:3dcff227a8]

Reply...

These churches wouldn't happen to have gymnasiums and bowling alleys in them also would they?:rolleyes:
 
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