The Joy of the Sabbath

The other day I was talking to a friend about the joy that the Sabbath brings. I do not have to work on that day. I can set aside cares and responsibilities that living in our contemporary world brings. I can take a nap in the middle of the day, I can reunite with members of my faith community, I can call friends, I can take a walk with my family.

I can do some missionary work. The Sabbath is a day that I can set aside worldly cares and be unencumbered in my kingdom living, however with a young child, I am beginning to wonder how to talk of and pass on the love for the Sabbath.

Many of us as children longed for the sun to go down on Sabbath because we didn’t have the cares of the week. We didn’t have the responsibililties waiting around the corner. We didn’t have the daily grind seeking to call us back. And so we don’t see that aspect of the Sabbath as welcome relief.

In addition, many middle class American children are shielded from the great pain and heartache arond the world. The Sabbath as a pointed to the coming kingdom is not as important when your present kingdom doesn’t seem so bad.

But these things perhaps pushes me to realize that undestanding the Sabbath is my point. It is on me to pass on this important ideal. I pray that God will give me the patience and love to pass on this blessing. as children, we are shielded from the blessing that the Sabbath points to. There are

Powerful Testimony or Celebration of Sin?

Carl McRoy has written an article entitled Testipohnies. You can find the article at this link. In the article, McRoy chronicles the common occurrence of a preacher talking about his or her life of sin before coming to Jesus. We all have heard these stories. We listen intently as the preacher found his or herself in a tight situations. They have smoked cigarettes and done drugs, drank everything but Drano, stolen from the big pimp boss man, and some even killed other people. But GAAAWWWD brought them out of all that and here they are right now to tell you about it.

Glorifying Sin

McRoy makes a very startling point. Often in these “testimony” sermons the preacher only talks about the pleasurable things. They tell you about all the women they have slept with, but none of the diseases or the painful waiting for that Venereal Disease test to come back. They talk about the alcohol, but not the hangovers. They talk about the glamor of sin and not the underside of it. Certainly there are exceptions, but in many cases this is what you find.

Belittling Those Without These Experiences

But more than this, and I have experienced some of this, we have people who will actually belittle those who have not engaged in some of these practices. The preacher will take on a pious or sanctimonious tone and mock those who have attempted live a whole life in line with Christian principles.

Encouraging to Put Off Coming to Jesus

Finally, and McRoy brings this important point out, these stories can promote living a lifestyle that is not in line with Chrsitian principles, becuase ultimately you will have a later chance to come back to God. While it is true God will forgive, it is also true that sometimes we face the hard issue that we often do reap the harvest that we have sown. Testimonies are important and should be given, but we must never either glorify sin, belittle those who have not had the experiences of these sins, nor should we make people think that they can put off till tomorrow coming to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

There are More Questions!

One of the major impediments to a deeper understanding of the Sanctuary and the Sabbath message is the tendency to only ask one type of question of our doctrines.

The Only Question Some Ask

Some of us only have one question that we ask of theological doctrines. That question is “How am I saved as an individual?” That question overrides all other concerns. No doubt this is a very important question, but even those who think it is the primary question do ask other questions. Such questions as “How am I to live?” or “What is the ultimate destiny of the earth?” Both are questions that are important for us to ask. If we are to gain all the benefit from our doctrines, we must ask more questions and be open to the light that these doctrines will lead us into.

Progressive Adventism is asking different questions and finding importance in the doctrines that we have been called to give and live in the world. I would encourage you to visit the site and think about living the Advent message in the contemporary world.

Begin Asking Other Questions

Here is a piece of the article. Agree or disagree, at least begin asking different questions of your doctrine than just the one, “What does this have to do with my Individual Salvation.”

Being a community of the sanctuary means we seek to extend wholeness and justice to every member of society. It means to speak truth to power – not out of self-righteousness or vain heroism, but because that’s what priestly advocacy and intercession require.

Being a people of the Sanctuary means to extend the Sabbath experience to society in real practical ways: to all of creation – land and all of creation; the animal kingdom – the livestock were to rest; foreigners – strangers within your gates; the working class – servants; and children. Being a people of the Sanctuary and the Sabbath means to be real advocates for all of these in society. If we are indeed God’s remnant, we ought to be at the forefront of the advocacy for the environment, animal welfare, immigrant rights (even that of illegals), human trafficking, poverty, healthcare access, education, living wage, and children. There’s a fierce urgency of the now to each of these issues. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were the last generation that experienced problems in these areas? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were the last generation suffering from the horrible malaise of human suffering? Indeed, the Sanctuary and Sabbath message of Adventism offers us a compelling vision to be the final generation that knows evil in the great social arenas. It compels us – those who claim to be remnant – to live a life of real, meaningful, radical intercession and healing for the world.