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Yesterday, after potluck about 20 of our teens decided to go sleding on the church grounds (we have 11 acres). They found some cardboard an old tyre from the tractor shed and other stuff and had a crazy old time. We've had about 4 inches of snow that has turned to solid ice.

I was wondering the halls of the church chasing my 2 year old. We ended up by a window watching the kids with some of the kids parents. I simply said "that looks like fun" and walked away with my son. I had a meeting to get to so I was going to deposit my son with my wife.

One of our Elders lost it!!! He called all the kids inside because they were breaking the Sabbath. He and the youth leader had an impromptu meeting with the kids to let em have it. Some of the parents were there.

It was said in the meeting that I (the pastor) had said it was ok. I guess saying "that looks like fun" is the same as saying its ok.

I guess I'm just too liberal and I'm not sure what all the fuss is about!....kind of! Well I suppose I do.

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.


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Laz ... It sounds to me like good old fashioned judging.

Some members see themselves as God's messenger to tell others how they should run their spiritual lives.

This is actually a very common affliction among Adventists. I am glad that you have not had to have much exposure to it so far in your life.

But ... GET USED TO IT.!!!

May we be one so that the world may be won.
Christian from the cradle to the grave
I believe in Hematology.

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If the parents were not there, what could be done? Apparently it didn't bother them...

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

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Having an Elder go ballistic would be minor compared to my Mom's reaction if she had caught me doing it, especially if I was in my "Sabbath best" clothes!

Lazarus - your comment wasn't saying you agreed with the activity, but not stopping it was saying you were in agreement with what the kids were doing.

What if one of the kids got hurt? Then you've got another Sabbath activity on your hands, and an expensive one on top of it!

Halfstep Denise

"If you're all God has, is God in trouble?

-- Dr. Frederick K.C. Price

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Don't get me started... I am sure this made a marked impression on the minds of that bunch of teens. I wonder how many of them went away from that little meeting with a greater appreciation of the Sabbath. I also wonder how many of them will look forward to coming to church next week, and the week after that and next month, next year or...

"Absurdity reigns and confusion makes it look good."

"Sinless perfection is such a shallow goal."

"I love God only as much as the person I love the least."

*Forgiveness is always good news. And that is the gospel truth.

(And finally, the ideas expressed above are solely my person views and not that of any organization with which I am associated.)

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and thank God for the snow, to boot!

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

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Not to say that there wasn't a better answer, but perhaps a a more winsome way of delivering the message

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

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That's a hard one to answer. Its one of those situations where half the adventists would condem and the other half have no problem with it. I quess it comes down to how you feel about it, and how you plan to deal with it or even want to deal with it. I personally have no problem with that. But I think each one of us is in a different place in our christianity or should I say our relationship with God. So than the question would be did the elder deal with the situation correctly by losing it and probably yelling at these kids. Just my 2 cents worth.



By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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Laz, the problem wasn't all of what you said but that you included the word "FUN". We all know that we musn't have "FUN" on the Sabbath. Anything "FUN" is breaking the Sabbath big time.

<p><span style="color:#0000FF;"><span style="font-weight:bold;"><span style="font-style:italic;">"Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you."</span></span> Eph 4:29</span><br><br><img src="http://banners.wunderground.com/weathersticker/gizmotimetemp_both/US/OR/Fairview.gif" alt="Fairview.gif"> Fairview Or</p>

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The Sabbath should be a delight. Now maybe that isn't exactly "fun" but it is close.

May we be one so that the world may be won.
Christian from the cradle to the grave
I believe in Hematology.

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I apologize if this is bad form, but I couldn't resist. This is a topic about which I feel very passionate. And since I have set down my position in print,I thought I'd share it.

Come Join the Celebration!

by Ed Dickerson

originally appeared in Signs, October 2002*

I love parties. Celebrating good times and accomplishments with people I cherish gives me great pleasure. Weddings, births, graduations, anniversaries– each significant occasion merits a party. All who want to share the joy are welcome. That’s why I want to share with you the biggest, most frequently held party, in the Universe!

Like many parties, this one celebrates both an occasion and an achievement. The Bible tells us God created the earth in seven days. Talk about a big accomplishment! He fashioned towering mountains, serene rivers, and bountiful plains. At His word, flowers and trees blanketed the earth, the seas teemed with life, birds soared in the crystal skies, jeweled reptiles and furry mammals patrolled the forests and plains. To cap it all off, God made man and woman, and placed them in a beautiful garden. So pleased with His work was God that he “Blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.” He designated one whole day to party, in commemoration of the Creation, and made it a permanent part of the week.

The text says God “blessed” the Sabbath day, and he “sanctified” it. To “sanctify” means to “set apart” for sacred use, and to “make holy.” God set the Sabbath apart, designating its hours for fellowship and celebration.

It is always God’s presence that makes things holy. His presence in the burning bush made it and its immediate vicinity holy. His visible presence, the Shekinah, made the Tabernacle in the wilderness holy. And so, too, the Sabbath. God’s special presence on the Sabbath blesses it, sets it apart, and makes it holy.

You may be surprised that I call the Sabbath a party. Observe how God describes the party at Creation: “When I laid the foundation of the earth . . . . the morning stars sang together, And all the angels shouted for joy?” Morning stars sang together! All the angels shouted for joy! Now there’s a party of cosmic proportions!

In spite of all this, some spoilsports resist the Sabbath. They claim that the fourth commandment, part of the law, only had meaning for the Jews. The same law prohibits murder and theft. By this reasoning, only Jews must refrain from killing or stealing.

Of the ten commandments, only the fourth and fifth specify positive actions. All the others are phrased negatively– “Thou shalt not.” But the fifth begins with “Honor,” and the fourth, the Sabbath commandment, says “Remember!” Remember what? Remember Creation! Remember God created the whole human family, not just the Jews. “Remember” reminds us that God welcomes all his children to celebrate their creation on the Sabbath, and did so long before the Jews existed..

Others protest that Jesus’ death did away with the Law, and with it, the Sabbath. Once again, no one suggests Christians should be free to kill or steal. Somehow, they single out the Sabbath for elimination. One woman told me that by observing the Sabbath, I was trusting in dead works, as that was the only whole day that Jesus lay in the tomb. She’s correct about it being the only full day Jesus remained in the tomb, but got the significance exactly backwards.

It’s much easier building new from scratch, than trying to remedy all the problems of an existing structure. Older houses deteriorate, sag, and settle out of square, making it difficult to measure, cut, and fit materials. In the same way, redemption represents a greater accomplishment than creation. In creation, God started creation with a blank slate– an earth without form, with virgin clay which he could sculpt into his own image. In redemption, Christ entered a world twisted by evil, to restore God’s image in children disfigured by sin.

That fateful Friday on the cross, Jesus declared Redemption completed.”It is finished!” he cried in triumph. Christ died on Friday afternoon, before sunset, and rose again early Sunday morning, making Sabbath the only full day he spent in the tomb. Christ thus celebrated His completed work of Redemption the same way God celebrated completed Creation. He rested. On the Sabbath.

Rather than doing away with the Sabbath, Jesus’ rest in the tomb acknowledged the Sabbath and magnified its significance. God alone created us, and Christ alone redeemed us. No action of mine can add to or subtract from His completed work of redemption. I don’t observe the Sabbath “in order to be saved.” On the contrary, every time I put my labors aside to observe the Sabbath, I symbolically abandon all efforts to save myself.

The author of Hebrews tells us, “For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” Far from being an effort to save oneself by our works, observing the Sabbath recognizes we have been saved from our works. Every time I truly enter into Sabbath rest, I accept anew His completed work of redemption instead of my own futile efforts at righteousness. Now there’s another reason to celebrate!

Others object that the Sabbath is arbitrary, that there’s no reason for it. “We can see that the other commandments are necessary for any orderly society,” they argue, “but not the Sabbath.” Or, more narrowly: “God wants us to rest, but it doesn’t matter which day we choose.” There are two major flaws with this reasoning.

In Scripture, God often makes requests which appear arbitrary at the time. Abraham was told to sacrifice his son. When giving Moses the Law, God declared Mt. Every time I truly enter into Sabbath rest, I accept anew His completed work of redemption instead of my own futile efforts at righteousness. Now there’s another reason to celebrate!Sinai off limits to the Israelites, on pain of death. Uzzah died for attempting to steady the Ark of the Covenant. We don’t always understand why God asks what he does. Does that mean we can ignore it?

Ask Adam and Eve. As near as we can tell, God selected the Tree of Knowledge arbitrarily. Scripture gives no indication that it differed from the other trees of the Garden, except that God said, “Don’t eat from that tree.” Arbitrary or not, our first parents ignored it at great cost to us all.

Labeling a choice arbitrary only means we don’t understand the reasons for the choice. Our lack of understanding provides us an opportunity to exercise faith, not an excuse to disobey. In this way, the Sabbath’s very arbitrariness heightens the opportunity to trust and obey. Obeying because it makes sense requires no faith, only common sense. “Where can you taste the joy of obedience,” C.S. Lewis asked, “unless he bids you do something for which his bidding is the only reason?”

Still others say, “I worship God every day. Won’t God honor our worship whenever it happens?” Suppose a man and wife set up a special “date night.” The husband prepares her favorite meal, sets the table for two with the finest china, lights candles, and plays beautiful music. The evening comes, the hours pass, but the wife never appears, bypassing the special occasion. Every day she smiles, she speaks warmly. This pleases the husband, yet week after week, she misses their special night together. What could be so important that it takes precedence over affirming her relationship with her husband?

The Bible calls us Christ’s “bride.” Jesus said the Sabbath was “made for [us].” Week after week God sets the table and waits for us. Yet many who claim to be his, slight that special time called the Sabbath. What could be so important that it takes precedence over affirming our relationship with our Creator and Redeemer?

We can all find good reasons not to attend the party. The demands of business, or the regard of friends, or an aversion to “legalism” may keep you away. On the other hand, we can realize that we’re only cheating ourselves. If you’ve never experienced the joy of sharing creation and redemption with the Creator and Redeemer, if you’ve never sung with the morning stars, or shouted for joy with the sons of God, it’s your loss. You’ve missed a lot of good times.

If you want to experience fellowship with God and with fellow believers as you never have before, you need wait no longer than six days. The evening and the morning make up the days in God’s calendar. So, when the sun sets next Friday, the Sabbath begins. The entire Universe gathers for a Sabbath celebration. The Morning Stars will be there! The sons of God will gather. The whole family in heaven and earth assembles. God has set the time aside just for you, and He honors it with His presence. Come join the celebration!

© 2002, 2007 by Ed Dickerson, all rights reserved.

Also appeared in FOCUS and El Centinela.

“the slovenliness of our language makes it easier to have foolish thoughts.” George Orwell

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Congratulations on your article, Ed. Sometimes, wish I could write but my talents are lesser.

Sabbath never seemed much like a party when I was a kid. (More like a funeral viewing.) Laz, take your sled to church next Sabbath and have some fun!!

Just one quibble: I've been to real parties. No law was required for my attendance.


O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

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No law was required for my attendance.

All laws exist because relationships break down. If the relationship remained intact, no one would seek legal remedy.

The 10 commandments are more like "laws of health" or "laws of relationships." They give us guidance in how to avoid death, disease, and unhappiness.

That's one reason the Psalmist could call the law a delight. He understood it as protection, not compulsion--which it is not in any case.

“the slovenliness of our language makes it easier to have foolish thoughts.” George Orwell

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Two issues to deal with.

1) Was sledding a sin.

2) Even if it was a sin (or perceived sin) was the elder's reaction appropriate.

1) My opinion is that such activities on the Sabbath are a personal decision. It is appropriate to discuss such things in AY meetings.

2) The elder was out of line and the pastor and another elder should talk to him. If he is unwilling to repent of his reaction, the church should not nominate him for the position when it comes up again. Even if it was sin, that is not how we are going to endear our youth to the Lord.

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One people principle I have seen is this:

When a person's reaction is greater than the cause, the reaction is usually to something far deeper than the apparent "cause".

Also: "Hurting people at times hurt people"

Is this elder usually this harsh with the kids? Was he already upset with them for something other than the sledding and this simply afforded him the opportunity to "let them have it" in a "righteous way" of course. :) There might be deeper issues going on than what appears to be the issue.

AND I agree with Tom...how many of these kids are going to look forward to next Sabbath? Sometimes being "right" is not nearly as important as "preserving relationships" (I am not saying they were right....just making a statement). But unfortunately more people "die" from hardening of the attitudes than ever die from hardening of the arteries.

A great book that I think churches would do well to go through is "Winning With People" by John C. Maxwell. Maybe, Lazarus, a seminar on this topic wouldn't hurt at your church. It is unfortunate that these situations happen but unfortunately they happen much too often. I don't see that you did anything wrong.

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Should the text about doing your own pleasure on the Sabbath be removed on the next printing of the Bible?

Should we review that..... perhaps we are not reading it the intended way?

Should Children be exempt?

Should Adults be exempt?

What is an example of pleasure on the Sabbath?

There has to be a better response than the silent one stating it was a printing/translation error? Or that it is way outdated?

Just some thoughts to stimulate minds....

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My previous post was more geared towards the reaction of the elder. I was not trying to condone sledding on Sabbath or condem it either. (And I am not offended by your post Stan. I think you ask some very legitimate questions. The Bible is not outdated for sure.)

Your questions bring up another question:

How do we balance the text of "not doing your own pleasure" with "and ye shall make the Sabbath a delight."?

True we could rationalize ANYTHING away if we wanted to and that isn't right either. But where is the balance?

What if "my pleasure" is feeding the homeless on Sabbath? What if "my pleasure" involves giving a Bible study? What if it is delightful to me to go on a hike in the woods.

Or is it understood that "my pleasure" is anything that does not remind us of God and the sacredness of the Sabbath?

Do we provide our kids with adequate activites on the Sabbath that are appropriate so that they will look forward to the Sabbath?

Why hadn't something been prepared for the young people for the afternoon so they didn't have time to be off doing something that someone thought was questionable?

Sorry for so many questions but I think they are issues as well.

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I would have let that elder have it. To many times the graybeards in our church make the sabbath a burden. That is why many young people are leaving the church. They see a lot of hypocrisy in our church.

It is ok to overeat and gossip about other church members at potluck but it is a sin to go sledding in the snow. Shoot I have gone innertubing down a hill on the sabbath and felt no guilt at all. It was great fun.

riverside.gif Riverside CA
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I enjoy socializing on the sabbath and going to potlucks. I enjoy walks and bike rids on the sabbath. Does that fact that I enjoy something make it a sin?

It is ok to walk in nature but not to scuba dive in Gods oceans on the sabbath so some reason.

It is utter nonsence some of the logic people have.

Jesus also said not to make the sabbath a burden as well.

True story

A pastor lived on the other side of a lake that was frozen over. One day a snowstorm blocked all the roads and the only way to church was over the lake. So on a sabbath morning the pastor put on his ice skates and skated to church.

This upset some of the elders. The decided to confront the pastor at the next board meeting. One of the first questions they asked the pastor was....

Did you enjoy ice skating to church?

Get where that was going? It is a sin if the pastor enjoyed ice skating to church but not if he hated it. STUPID LOGIC.

Jesus said "The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath."

riverside.gif Riverside CA
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I'm no scholar, but I've heard that the word translated 'pleasure' is actually closer to 'work' or 'business'. Can someone confirm or deny? maybe all those burdensome Sabbaths can be blamed on an error by the KJV translators?

Truth is important

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I wonder whether how that elder's parents treated him when he was a teenager.

Abuse is often carried from one generation to the next. The history of abuse of authority in the Christian church has gone on for over 1500 years.

It is time to stop it - but how many of the parent's of those teenagers defended them in public - or did they stand by while the elder publically abuse their kids?

There is far too much tolerance for religious intolerance in the SDA and other christian denominations.


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