Happy Sabbath

It is unfortunate that we have largely lost the original meaning of the word Sabbath. While it is true that we understand it actually means rest, yet both in ancient Israel and for us as well, it becomes the name of a day, rather than a description of one’s behavior. Perhaps if we translated the 4th commandment to read, “Remember the rest day and set it apart from the other six days in which you do your usual things” we would break free from all the excess baggage we carry with the word Sabbath.

It is in recent years that I have heard the simple greeting “Happy Sabbath” being used in our churches. It is difficult to put an exact time frame on it, but I believe I heard it first as “Feliz Sabado” in Hispanic congregations around the early 1990s. And then is seemed to spread rapidly into North American English speaking churches as well as “Happy Sabbath.” But maybe it goes way beyond that, even to Hebrew heritage in the phrase “Sabbat Shalom.” But regardless of its origin, it is a concept which stands in contrast to much of the way we have thought about and related to the Sabbath – think rest day – in the past.

Due in part to a change in our understanding of the word “pleasure” since the days of the translation of the KJV which states “not doing your own pleasure,” we have come up with the idea that if anything is fun, it is forbidden on the Sabbath. What we fail to understand is that the Old English usage of the word was choice, not enjoyment or fun. The NIV helps us a bit in its presentation of the Sabbath promise given in Isaiah 58:13-14:

If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.

Here it is. The rest day is to be not only a change from the humdrum routine of the work-a-day world, it is to be what is called a “delight.” In it we are to find “joy” in serving and remembering the Lord. And while it is easy for us to deride and sneer at much of the baggage the Jews in Jesus’ day had attached to it – making it an unbearable burden – if we are honest, in many ways we have done the same thing.

In my early days, it was forbidden to ride a bicycle on Sabbath – too much fun. And although it was considered to be proper, and even wholesome, to go on a hike in the mountains, it was not ok to go swimming in one of the beautiful lakes you might come across. Who was it that decided these things, and on what basis? In my days of attending Auburn Adventist Academy in the mid-1990s the hour bell rang across campus sixty minutes before sundown. You had better have taken your shower before that time, because shortly thereafter the shower doors were closed and locked to prevent any miscreant from violating the Sabbath by taking a shower – a concept that seems beyond strange in today’s world where a daily shower is often considered a regular part of morning hygiene in preparation for the day ahead.

Several years ago, I was invited to speak at the 100th anniversary celebration of a church established near Battle Creek, Michigan in the late 1800s. Those were the “good old days” we were celebrating, and as we searched the church records of those early believers, we found an interesting discussion regarding proper Sabbath keeping. The issue centered on whether it was a violation of the Sabbath to let the horses run while pulling the carriages on the way to church. Now Michigan has some very cold days in winter, and a running horse was known to be warmer than one merely walking. So, it was agreed that it would not be a violation to allow horses to run on very cold winter days. But on other warmer days it was not proper.

While this might well be a valid discussion in the context of animal kindness, to make it a Sabbath keeping matter seems to stretch credulity. Yet this example of our bent to establish rigid behavioral rules for Sabbath observance seems to reflect the same misguided attempts employed by the Sanhedrin in biblical times.

As much as I favor the idea of church community and corporate worship, it is significant to note that nothing in the fourth commandment refers to going to church on the Sabbath. Rather it is about a change of pace and activities in which we are regularly engaged during the week, thus giving us time for family and community to celebrate the creativity and salvation afforded us by a loving and delivering God. Such activity should lead to what Isaiah says about calling the Sabbath a delight.

How does that play out? Actually, quite differently in various locations, cultures, families, and ages. In a work environment calling for hard physical labor, lower impact activity may serve well as the “rest” called for on Sabbath. But for one whose work is desk-oriented or mentally demanding, the Sabbath “rest” may call for outdoor activity that restores the body both physically and mentally.

During the summer of 1968, I was leading a group of 37 young people from the northwestern United States on a three-week tour of Europe in connection with the World Youth Congress in Zurich. Our first Sabbath on tour took us to Denmark where we worshiped with the church on the campus of Skodsborg Hospital and school. It was a delightful experience and we were treated royally. But in the announcements at the end of the church service, the Principal of the school shocked all of our group as he invited us to a croquet tournament on the front lawn after lunch.

Coming as we did from an area where such game type activities were forbidden as Sabbath behavior, we were astonished. Who it is that decides these differing standards, I do not know. But it was a good lesson in avoiding a judgmental attitude as we observed a different culture and location behaving in a manner strange to us.

In the context of calling the Sabbath – read “rest day” – a delight, we need to take a serious look at how we are doing this, particularly with our children and young people. In an era when we frequently decry the loss of a new generation, rather than looking for what is wrong with them, perhaps we need to look at what we are doing or not doing that causes them to lose interest in the church and Sabbath. It is time to be done with the notion that if it is fun, it is forbidden. It is time for open discussion and exploration as to how we can follow the biblical instruction to call the rest day a delight and a joy. And then we need to set about diligently to make it happen in our homes and in our churches.

On a beautiful early spring day in 1980, I was serving as pastor of the Walla Walla University Church. We were engaged in a series of sermons based on the Seven Last Words of Christ on the cross. I had invited a guest speaker for the Sabbath of March 22, Dr. John Killinger, widely known author of many books on preaching and worship, who also had served as my major professor in my doctoral study program at Vanderbilt University. His topic was “The Voice of Human Need – I Thirst.” Well known in Protestant circles, his appointment with us attracted many pastors and members of other churches in the area, and following the worship service the church hosted a dinner for Dr. Killinger and our many guests, allowing time for them to engage in personal dialogue with him and with one another.

Later that afternoon my wife and I took him on a tour of the Walla Walla Valley countryside. Productive semi-arid climate that it is, the fields were lush green in spring with miles upon miles of winter wheat fields. The orchards were in full bloom. The vineyards were showing the first sprouts with promise of sweet grapes. The famous Walla Walla Sweet Summer Onions were standing stately in their perfect rows. The Asparagus was thrusting its boney fingers out of the ground, and the fresh, cool, dry air of spring blew through the open windows of the car as we drove along the country roads.

And as we did so, we passed by many students and members of the church out for a walk, or a bike ride. Some were pushing strollers with the children on board. Others were slow cruising even as we were doing. Recognizing who it was, they would wave and stop to talk, greeting one another with love and friendship and calling out “Hello Pastor. Thank you for the wonderful worship service today.” Given that this was not an unusual occurrence on a Sabbath afternoon, I did not think too much about it until the following day.

During his visit to the Valley, Dr. Killinger had also been invited to speak at the leading Protestant church in the city. The pastor had invited him, prior to the service, to address the governing board of the church, following which he entered into dialogue with them regarding their interests and concerns. One of the members addressed the matter of how fellowship in the church could be enhanced, particularly in the context of attracting young people.

I was unprepared for what happened next. Dr. Killinger offered some suggestions as to how a church needs to move with the times and address the interests and concerns of its youth. But what he then said astonished me. He told of the beauty of our drive through the countryside the day before, and then said, “Maybe you should ask Dr. Patterson about his Sabbath tradition. That seems to be the secret of reaching the community.” While I was pleased with this recognition of what the Sabbath can mean for us, I only wished that it were as true as he thought it was. “Happy Sabbath”? Would to God that we could make every Sabbath that kind of an appealing “Rest Day.”

In 2005, it was my privilege to serve as Interim Senior Pastor of the Southern Adventist University Church in Tennessee during their search for a new Senior Pastor. Lodging arrangements were made for us in University condo housing up on a hill just a block or two from the church. It was my custom to walk down to the church in the early morning prior to the first service at 8:30. It was on one of these fresh fall mornings that as I walked, the words of a new Sabbath hymn flooded my mind, reflecting the beauty of this rest day:

Sabbath Morning May be sung to “Oasis” #460 in the SDA Hymnal

When dawns the glorious morning of Sabbath reverie, The hand of the Creator reveals His love to me. The sunshine, and showers, refreshing earth and sea, Display in power, this Holy hour, creation’s memory.

Created in God’s image, His children long to be Restored again to goodness, to life and liberty. Through gracious forgiveness, He recreates in me, New life within, to save from sin, redemption full and free.

Restore these holy hours the joy of Sabbath rest; A refuge in the journey of life where sin has stressed. A type of eternal rest from sin and woe. With thankfulness, Your name we bless this boundless grace to know.

RESPONSIVE READING

LEADER: Lead me Lord to know your love, not selfishly in hording greed.

CONGREGATION: Show me someone I can cheer, Not just in word but generous deed.

LEADER: Lead me Lord, lead me Lord, lead me in Your love.

CONGREGATION: Lead me by Your gentle hand, to Your throne above.

Gary Patterson has served the church for over 50 years as a pastor, evangelist, youth leader, and administrator. His ministry included two university churches, president of two conferences, North American Division administration, and general field secretary of the General Conference. In retirement, he has served as a vice president in the Home Care division of Adventist Health System and as interim senior pastor of twelve congregations.

This paper was originally presented at the 2017 Unity Conference in London, England, June 15-17, 2017. The latest issue of Spectrum features all of the Unity Conference papers. If you are not yet a subscriber to Spectrum, click here to find out how you can become one today.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/8238
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Thank you for this call to enter in to the delight of the Sabbath. I have a deep concern that our imperfect grasp of the character of the Sabbath will result in our losing it altogether. I have, with no discernible success, attempted to focus attention on the character of this gift as opposed to the manner of my receiving it. In addition to the almost comical restrictions that we have placed on behavior (and it is helpful to remember that Massachusetts once had a law prohibiting a man from kissing his wife on “the Sabbath”) there is our failure to experience the Sabbath as holy. We fail to experience the Sabbath by making it burdensome and we fail to experience it by being oblivious to its holiness.

It has been illuminating for me to ask what makes something holy. The appearance of God to Moses at the burning bush holds a vital clue. The ground where Moses stood was holy because God was manifest there. I think it of first importance to recognize that the Sabbath is holy because of what God does every Sabbath, namely give himself to us. What I do or do not do does not make the Sabbath what it is. God gives himself to us in the hours of the Sabbath making them holy. In this apparently god-forsaken world that supplies the possibility of incomparable joy. Our behavior will be ordered to open our souls to the divine and avoid anything that deadens them to his beauty.

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Who is we?
How did this happen?
Why did it happen?
Can this loss be connected to pastors or leadership?

“Happy Sabbath” has helped in ruining people skills. Adventists greet with it instead of saying , “Good morning John” or “Good morning Mary”

Adventists have ruined Sabbath by emphasizing the “Don’t do” over the “Do”…

The only thing permissible is to do nature walks, visit brain dead people at old folks facilities and knock on doors like Jehovah Witnesses.
Churches are like TV>>> promote the spectator mindset instead of the participant approach. results in antisocial, exclusive mode instead of the altruistic compassionate attitude like Jesus.

Why this comment? Is it because many/most do not find it a delight?
And why so? Is it because the church experience is such a superficial , lip service waste of time in which one reflects on how carnal the previous week’s experience was and that they just got chewed out and had more guilt trips added?

So it was culture that led to this activity?

No one thought of this before? The youth have been leaving the church for decades.

Did you do a survey of the audience to see how relevant that was for them?
What was the essence of the dialog with Dr. Killinger?

Were they reaching the community or doing “nature exercises”?

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[quote="spectrumbot, post:1, topic:14267"
It is unfortunate that we have largely lost the original meaning of the word Sabbath. While it is true that we understand it actually means rest, yet both in ancient Israel and for us as well, it becomes the name of a day, rather than a description of one’s behavior. Perhaps if we translated the 4th commandment to read, “Remember the rest day and set it apart from the other six days in which you do your usual things” we would break free from all the excess baggage we carry with the word Sabbath.
[/quote]

Once we get over the idea that the Sabbath is to be used simply as a marker for religious group, but actually means “rest”, we can perhaps start thinking rationally about what the Bible tells us about “rest”. It was indeed “good news” for the Israelites that God, not only removed them from slavery, but mandated a day of rest - something they hadn’t experienced under Pharaoh. In fact, for them, the Sabbath was to be an eternal reminder of their redemption from slavery as stated in Deuteronomy.

**You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.**

This was to bring joy to a people that had been slaves, but now were free - thanks be to God because they could never have gained their freedom on their own. Even though the Israelites celebrated their freedom and obeyed the sabbath command, they were denied entry into the “rest” - because of a lack of faith. If our main concern about our young people is their lack of interest in the church and its sabbath proclamation, perhaps the solution isn’t more “fun and games” as an attraction. Maybe they (the young) see, with unfiltered eyes, the lack of faith that undergirds the “happy Sabbath” greetings. You know you can’t fool the kids with smiles.

The meaning of “rest” changed dramatically after the tomb was found to be empty. While the sabbath was good news for the Israelites, it was replaced by the gospel for us. Jesus said to come to Him if we’re burdened and tired, and He will give us “rest”; and Hebrews tells us that even the Israelites didn’t take part in the true sabbath. For the Christian, every day is a delight and a rest from trying to measure up - to work for our salvation, even as we “rest” on the sabbath. It’s difficult to place the emphasis on the gospel while we are working so hard to qualify for salvation through our sabbath keeping - even if it is a delight.

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During my academy years, chapel was a must. one chapel was given to senior male students. The subject was–Was it proper to shave on the Sabbath-The question was address by a male student who could shave on Thursday and be clean shaven on the Sabbath. The wei

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Tom –
YES! We begin VERY EARLY in the life of a child in indoctrinating them in the SDA RULES for Sabbath Keeping. Especially ALL the Do NOTs on Sabbath.
Then when they get to Academy they are indoctrinated with a LOT more SDA RULES for Sabbath Keeping and ALL the Do NOTs on Sabbath.
Then they get to College and nothing is the same. It all ends up in confusion in their late Adolescent minds. IS what they have been told since Childhood, Academy REALLY TRUE??? IF NOT, WHAT do I do NOW?? WHAT IS Real Sabbath Keeping??
No One can tell them.

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It seems that if one wants to find out how to keep the Sabbath, they should read the instructions in the OT, since it was given to Israel as a sign of the Covenant that God made with them. They should also figure out how the Sabbath was reckoned…it was done by the lunar cycle, the count began after the New Moon. Not Saturday on the Gregorian calendar.

There certainly seems to be a severe lack of instruction (none) given to the new Gentile converts who were under the New Covenant.

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Has the author forgotten that many our Sabbath rules were set by EGW, not the Bible. I wonder if some are embarrassed over some of the things EGW has written and would like to change the rules. Even while they hold on to the full inspiration of EGW. Can we have a true prophet while we ignore their teachings?

She was influenced by her culture, as we are by ours. Look at our drive for diversity which was inconceivable in her century, pre and post Civil War. As in everything human, inspiration is often flawed from the long view of time. Don’t we look at the laws of Moses as incompatible for our century? We do!

“Parents, above everything take care of your children upon the Sabbath. Do not suffer them to violate God’s holy day by playing in the house or out-of-doors. You may just as well break the Sabbath yourselves as to let your children do it, and when you suffer your children to wander about and suffer them to play upon the Sabbath, God looks upon you as Sabbathbreakers.” The Review and Herald, September 19, 1854.

The Sabbath—oh! make it the sweetest, the most blessed day of the whole week. Parents should not allow their children to be out with others in play or amusement.… The Review and Herald April 14, 1885

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Frank by quoting that alone it causes people to see a different picture to what Ellen White was dealing with. The Sabbath had very little to do with what she wrote. She was dealing with parents neglecting their children. Read the whole thing here:

https://text.egwwritings.org/publication.php?pubtype=Periodical&bookCode=RH&lang=en&year=1854&month=September&day=19

Edit:

Frank: I read the EGW article. I can’t draw but one conclusion–EGW believed that when parents allow their children to pay “in the house or out of the house,” they are Sabbath breakers. The whole article does not change this at all. Sorry,

I never ignored that part. But what I did do was to read the whole thing, rather than to strip away one little piece and make it say more than the author intended to. And then we need to also ask, What does she mean by “play” exactly?

A question to the White Estate concerning children playing on the Sabbath:

I hate to base my theology on any single text or statement, but with the limited resources I have, I have not been able to find any other statements on the subject. Has anyone ever done a study of Mrs. White’s position on children playing on the Sabbath. Playing could mean anything from a 3 year playing on a swing when the family goes to a park to a 12 year old participating in an organized game of football. Without any other passages or historical insight into EGW’s actual practices, the above passage seems to prohibit all forms of playing by children of any age.

Thank-you for any insight that you can provide.

I think this section in the reply says it well:

Prevalent Disregard for the Sabbath.–I have been shown that very many of the parents who profess to believe the solemn message for this time have not trained their children for God. They have not restrained themselves and have been irritated with anyone who attempted to restrain them. They have not by living faith daily bound their children upon the altar of the Lord. Many of these youth have been allowed to transgress the Fourth Commandment, by seeking their own pleasure upon God’s holy day. They have felt no compunctions of conscience in going about the streets on the Sabbath for their own amusement. Many go where they please, and do what they please; and their parents are so fearful of displeasing them that, imitating the management of Eli, they lay no commands upon them. {CG 527.1} These youth finally lose all respect for the Sabbath and have no relish for religious meetings or for sacred and eternal things. {CG 527.2}

Read it in full here: http://ellenwhite.org/content/file/children-playing-sabbath-0?numFound=12618&collection=true&curr=11321&sqid=1739997808&f[0]=bundle%3Afiles#document

Frank when I come across such things as this, I am reminded of those Christians I’ve come across (having been among them myself especially in my earlier Christian days - and always comes from conservatives) who wont allow Muslims to interpret their own scriptures. Any attempt by the Muslim to see it in a more fuller, and well balanced light will be met with quick quotes from the Quran and Hadith to stamp out any interpretation which may be more grace-filled. Just so long as the Muslim religion is made to look harsh. I see you (and others at times) do that very thing with the writings of Ellen White: Just so long as she’s made to look harsh and rigid - this is the main goal. Context and a better, more balanced understanding is rejected.

What we see here in Ellen White’s counsel, I believe, is not some New England puritan value as you put it, or some OT value for that matter. It is a good principle to abide by: “Don’t seek your own pleasure on Gods day.” Now I’m sure some people have abused this to not even allow a child to sit on a swing, while in a park, but let us not throw out the baby with the bath water, as they say.

Indeed it can. I often have to remind myself of this, and still fall short at times.

Thanks Frank.

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I read the EGW article. I can’t draw but one conclusion–EGW believed that when parents allow their children to play “in the house or out of the house,” they are Sabbath breakers. The whole article does not change this at all. Sorry,

TonyR: “I see you (and others at times) do that very thing with the writings of Ellen White: Just so long as she’s made to look harsh and rigid - this is the main goal. Context and a better, more balanced…”

Thank you for your dialog and comments. It is oh so easy to take an unbalanced view of almost any subject. I agree with you.

Yet I realize that EGW was a conservative. Very conservative. Her views on education was away from long courses and degrees; Health with the sinfulness of tea, spices and coffee and demanding of the ideal Eden diet; Dress with the short lived angel directed about 9 inches from the floor and without any frills; Child Guidance in which my wife could not read for it created way too much guilt and angst; Perfectionism in her consistent affirmations that we can overcome sin by the grace of God as Jesus did in his human nature…

Not to mention that the church has long discarded her inspired counsels on how colleges (free from the study of fiction & Agriculture as the ABC’s), hospitals (no meat served, natural remedies instead of drugs), Sanitariums, and pastors should function. We make no bones about it, we reject all these counsels.

The OT is not considered a guide for modern Christian living? Why, nobody can live according the hundreds of laws of Moses. They are dated by time and culture. But the NT is least dated by culture, while EGW is rooted in 19th century New England puritan values. Much of which we have already moved past. I don’t think there is any more than a small number of churches that would come together to read the 9 volumes of the Testimonies! I don’t believe anybody my local SDA congregations that has even read them.

Now on the other side there is a lot of loveliness in her writings. Memorial statements, encouragement in walking the Christian path that makes her a charismatic Christian author. I think this is how in the coming decades she will be seen.

menssana: [quote=“menssana, post:11, topic:14267”]
Morality doesn’t change because people and culture change.
[/quote]

Oh my! Our moral values today are far from the celebrated values of the OT. For example, the Passover we would never celebrate. The killing of the first born from the newborn to the aged, human and animal. We would not even cook the Passover Lamb which was roasted whole with the entrails. We would not even think of strapping on our swords (guns) and killing our family or neighbors who were in rebellion, as Moses ordered. We would not honor KIng David today for his scorched earth practices which left no witness. And the list goes on and on…

Our moral values are NT based, reorganized from the OT by Jesus and Paul. This informs us that not all Biblical values are absolute.

How many SDA would be willing to make this confession?

“Spoke Sabbath, Feb. 24 (1883), in regard to keeping the Sabbath according to the commandment. Many confessions were made in the social meeting in regard to their being remiss in keeping the Sabbath according to the commandment, many saying that they had not seen it in this light before. They would from that time regard the Sabbath with greater sacredness. They had blacked their boots on Sabbath, done unnecessary cooking on Sabbath. They would take a different course.”

I don’t think Jesus affirms this moral law: “If a man who has married a slave wife takes another wife for himself, he must not neglect the rights of the first wife to food, clothing, and sexual intimacy." Ex 21:10

Or this OT law: “If a man beats his male or female slave with a club and the slave dies as a result, the owner must be punished. But if the slave recovers within a day or two, then the owner shall not be punished, since the slave is his property."

Or this OT Law: "If a man’s testicles are crushed or his penis is cut off, he may not be admitted to the assembly of the LORD.

It is evident that Jesus discarded large portions of the OT laws.

Not so fast. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant” Ex 20. According to the 4th Commandment we have permission to own “male and female” slaves. The Hebrew word of “servant” is used 25 times for slave’s (1), slave (4), slavery (11), slaves (19), slaves (8).

Also note other cultural inferences in the 4th commandments. It assumes that nobody works at all on your property. Today the utilities workers work to provide us services. There are many services that require someone to work on the Sabbath–cell phones, internet, gas, water, sanitation, heat and A/C. The 4th commandment was designed for a quieter agrarian society where everything could come to a stop. It does not take into consideration stocks we own in Sabbath working business, rental home that we own and the many other modern day services. Today SDA Sabbath keepers work in medical work (for good pay), fire and police departments, Post Offices and fighting fires in California.

How can one say the 10 commandments is above time and culture? The 4th commandment is bound tight with the old slave culture. Slavery is not discouraged or forbidden in the 4th commandment, instead it is assumed you will own slave. You can be a good Sabbath-keeper and own slaves. Not today. But in Moses time it was assumed you would own slaves.

Amazing in the 10th commandment is culture bound: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Look at this once again, here the 10th commandment is bound to the culture of the times of Moses. Not only can we own slaves, but all our neighbors can own a slave or two.

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Sabbath was never meant to be “fun” or “entertaining”. It should be a delight in the sense that worshiping God and a time dedicated to spiritual things should become a delight and a joy for us, NOT in the sense that we should do things that produces us joy and delight. Sabbath was never meant to be a time when we should do the things that we don’t want to do in the other days, because we don’t want to waste our money making time.

You have a strange logic. You say that in the 4th commandment there isn’t anything about going to church, then, in the next phrase, you talk about “change of pace”, “family and community” - BUT THOSE AREN’T IN THE 4TH COMMANDMENT, EITHER.

No. Sabbath rest it’s about taking a rest from the usual, mundane things and rest our spirit in the Lord by letting Him clean our minds and fill them with His Holy Spirit.

God asked Moses to take of his sandals. God’s presence made that place holy, BUT MOSES WAS REQUIRED TO ACT ACCORDINGLY, to honor and respect God and that place. So what I do matters, because it could honor God or dishonor Him. Also my attitude make the holy place/day holy FOR ME, because I acknowledge it as such.

Sabbath was a day of rest given to humanity since Creation, to Adam and Eve. Not just to the Jews. The later analogy with the slavery was just an example given to the ex-slave Jews.

It’s called EDUCATION and it is commanded by God, for example in Deuteronomy 6,6-7:
"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. "

They could try to read the Bible by themselves, for a change. That’s what is expected from college students. To read and form their own beliefs.

It seems you didn’t read Genesis. Sabbath originates from the Creation week. It was given to humanity, there were no Jews at that time. The Sabbath and the Ten Commandments have nothing to do with the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant is related to the ceremonial system that was used to teach about the Plan of Salvation and Jesus’ sacrifice. Since Jesus sacrificed Himself, there is no need for those symbols.

What Ellen White said are just specific examples, according to the Bible. In no culture playing and amusement is compatible with the holy day of the Lord.

If “culture” is our standard, then we are no longer Christians, but “culturalians” - worldly, Godless people. Who shapes the culture?

You don’t need Ellen White’s writings to keep the Sabbath holy, but it helps. There aren’t such things as “conservative” or “liberal” in the Bible. There are just people who obey God and people who don’t. Morality doesn’t change because people and culture change.

You mix things that shouldn’t be mixed. The reason why we don’t celebrate all those things anymore isn’t because the mainstream western culture doesn’t celebrate it. Each has a reason. And remember we are talking about the Ten Commandments here. About moral laws that are independent of time and cultures.

Where in the Bible Jesus said such a thing? There is not such distinction in the Bible (OT and NT). In the NT, “the Scripture” was what we call the OT and Jesus quoted from it every time, because it is His Word. He never said that anything from the Scripture (which was the OT) should be discarded. And Jesus never made OT moral rules more relaxed, but the opposite.

You know you’re playing semantics here. Some sermons could be amusing, but if their purpose is to amuse people, or if your purpose for going to church is to be entertained, that’s absolutely wrong.

Jesus is the Author of many things, but not all are appropriate for Sabbath worship.

To the contrary.

To chase and play with my cats and puppies, chasing them and playing on the hiking trails near my house is delightful and joyous play and amusement.

To play the game Egypt to Canaan is delightful, joyous and provides amusement.

To visit with elderly family provides delightful conversation and playful amusement.

To enjoy our special Sabbath meal provides delightful and playful conversation.

To play with the kids in the backyard with the kitten provides delightful amusement and playful joy.

To drive through the beautiful countryside and by the river provides amusement and playful joy.

To invite visitors for Sabbath dinner is delightful, playful and delicious spiritual uplifting joy.

To stroll along the beach, waterfall, pond, lake, stream provides playful joy and amusement.

To look for wild flowers, moss, trees, animals, clouds, botany, insects, etc. is amusing play.

To fellowship, eat potluck, sing, visit, play instruments, etc. is joyful amusement (what is in this dish?) and playful.

Playing and amusement is completely compatible with the Holy Day of the Lord. Amen. Jesus would have been the center of it all and He is the Author of joy, play, laughter, amusement and delight.[quote=“menssana, post:11, topic:14267”]

if your purpose for going to church is to be entertained, that’s absolutely wrong.
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I’m not sure where you got this from my post???

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