Legalistic Sabbath Police

Discussion in 'The Lord's Day or Christian Sabbath' started by BGF, Mar 5, 2016.

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  1. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Even the very best, most joyful activities, become burdensome when there's a fellow hovering over you making sure you always do them just right.
  2. GraceOverwhelmsMe

    GraceOverwhelmsMe Puritan Board Freshman

    lol - This makes me think of somebody just taking their entire Sabbath to drive around to everybody's houses to make sure they're doing Sabbath right.
  3. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    Just remember the simple test, and it becomes easy.

    If you are less diligent than me, you are antinomianist, if you are more diligent than me, you are a legalist.

    It's a test anyone can use, no matter the issue or their views.
  4. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    In response to my desire to permit walking on Sunday and to allow some measure of private conscience in what is necessary on the Sabbath for worship...your telling reply was:

    My only reply would be to take note of your church and stay far away if this is your attitude, "discipline those who disobey..."

    Let me know when your court of inquiry decides how long of a nap is a necessary nap and when that Sunday afternoon nap turns into idle Sabbath-breaking.
  5. jblue88

    jblue88 Puritan Board Freshman

    David cried out "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.'"

    Do we accentuate the positive? Do we display the supreme joy of Sabbath observance?

    What if we spent our time leading our people in all the things they can do on the Sabbath?

    What if we took our members along with us to accomplish works of mercy?
  6. BGF

    BGF Puritan Board Sophomore

    My initial reason for sharing the article and asking the author to clarify was due to the vague accusation. Modern Sabbatarians are often the aim of the lobbed "legalism" grenade. Some of you, by your responses, have proven that it is the case that some with a high view of the Christian Sabbath can be harsh toward others when it comes to perceived violations. But that is not the case for all. In my context there is a decided lack of regard for the Sabbath. My own practice falls far short of my beliefs (I agree with the Westminster summary). I long for elders who will guide me to greater holiness in this, not for shepherds that display a lack of regard for the day, if not by their words, then by their actions.
  7. alexandermsmith

    alexandermsmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    If you're just going to make childish comments why even participate in a discussion? This is the same old ploy of those who would undermine Christian obedience: reductio ad absurdum comments; making jokes at one's opponent's expense; trivialising the whole discussion. These people ask for direction on particulars then accuse their opponents of getting too particular. People who want to break the Sabbath will always seek a way to excuse their actions. When they don't receive the permission of one person, they run to the next and then the next until they find one person who agrees with them, never mind the 99 who don't.
  8. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    My comments are not childish, but rather wise, to stay away from those who would "lord it over you" and to guard yourself against authoritarian leaders seeking to become lords over your conscience. Authoritarianism is common in many churches and, by your responses, you might be prone to it.

    For example, you pass this judgment on those who nap or walk on Sunday:
    You state ultra-strict rules for the Sabbath and then urge that leaders discipline those who disobey. What sort of court of inquiry or examination by the elders will be needed before I feel free to walk on Sunday without incurring ecclesiastical rebuke? Who determines what I "need" on Sunday or how much napping or walking is enough?

    And by your response to my legitimate replies to this thread (accusations of childishness and admonitions to quit the thread) this seems to show you are not amenable to dialogue that contradicts your views. In a church context where a member felt they needed an afternoon nap or a walk, I would not expect you to truly listen to your congregation, but rather, treat them in the same manner. Therefore, if this is the case, folks ought to run the other
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  9. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    and also this source:

    These laws often seemed to go a bit overboard, wouldn't you agree?
  10. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritanboard Amanuensis

    What other commandment would we likewise constantly complain about the strictness of legislation?



  11. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Starting with the 7th commandment....I suppose if the gov't stipulated what sex acts you and your wife could perform in the privacy of your own home, this would prove needlessly intrusive (giving out fines, for example, for any occasion of the seed being spilled not inside the wife).

    All sins should not be legislated or patrolled by the gov't. Or interpreted too strictly by the church.

    I am not sure I welcome the civil government enforcing the First Table of the Law. John Robbins (not a fan, but this is a good quote) says:

    Making it illegal for Catholic churches to have graven images inside of them and fining them civally for breaking the 2nd commandment doesn't even seem helpful, even if we could do it through sheer force of power.
  12. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Since you bring it up, I will say all of the commandments can lead to misuse. The human heart is prone to create rules that have an appearance of godliness but are not actually given by God. Think of some of the diet/exercise crazes that have been aggressively pushed in certain churches under the premise that God commands us to care for our bodies (Sixth Commandment). Or those who maintain believers may only use one certain sexual position (Seventh Commandment). Consider the temperance movement. Or even the person who recently accused me of violating the Third Commandment because I used the word "yucky" when describing my sin.

    These, and some of the Sabbath rules that have been brought up here, are really not about being too strict, since it's impossible to be too diligent in keeping God's law. Rather, they are about usurping God's authority. They are taking man-made rules and claiming these have the force and authority of God-made rules.

    We are imperfect and self-proud; we are bound to get the application of the commandments wrong sometimes. But it is unwise to argue that whomever seems "more strict" must be in the right, or to suggest that those who complain about a rule must be trying to make God's law less strict. They may in fact be trying to prevent God's law from being replaced by human wisdom, and thus robbed of its joy and beauty.
  13. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    Until the 1960s - 70s the states did regulate private relationships. Griswold v. Connecticut 381 U.S. 479 (1965) was the base upon which Roe v. Wade was erected, and it created a right of marital privacy. Griswold specifically addressed contraception, which you use as your 7th Commandment example. And without Griswold, there wouldn't have been a 'Constitutional' right to abortion.

    Pre-Griswold, many states did have laws regulating what a husband and wife could legally do with each other.
  14. RAR

    RAR Puritan Board Freshman

    :applause: Very well put.
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