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question about the ten commandments

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
anyone may answer of course, but i'm especially wondering for christians, what does this mean to you?

8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 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 manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
(exodus 20:8-11 and i believe that's niv, sorry i didn't check)

how do you put this into practice? i ask as someone who grew up seventh-day adventist, which is a christian religion that teaches that we should still keep this commandment by not working from sunset friday to sunset saturday, and ideally not causing others to work (so not shopping, not going out to eat). most adventists also don't do homework on sabbath, don't watch television or listen to secular music, many don't play sports although other outdoor activities (like a walk/hike, picnic, going to a park or lake or the woods) are encouraged.

we really didn't keep sabbath this way at home, but i lived in a dorm in high school and it was strictly enforced - and i loved it. it was something to look forward to all week. we had friday night vespers (and then i spent an hour or two alone in my room before going to bed, which was the best part), then sabbath school and church in the morning, a yummy lunch and most people took a nap after that, and then an afternoon meeting. i usually went to lunch at a friend's house in town and got excused from the afternoon meeting, but her parents were strict so we'd usually take our nap and then play a game with her mom and sisters or play outside, or drive around and honk at boys. or i'd go to another friend's house, and her dad would take us to an art museum or we'd work on our own art or sewing projects. i no longer consider myself seventh-day adventist but i really miss all of this. just wondering what sabbath means to other christians. (or anyone!)
post #2 of 54
We do it by taking the day off. Not that we don't do what needs to be done, we eat, I cook, we wash dishes, we go to church, sometimes we have guests or go visiting.

But it is our *down* day. Dh doesn't work. We rest, spend time as a family, do things that are relaxing and refreshing, etc. And part of that is spending a few hours at church. Sunday is our Sabbath and it definately has a different feel than the other days of the week--quiet, not rushed, relaxed, enjoyable, etc.

I love it. And I do believe that part of the reason God commanded it is because taking a Sabbath regularly is good for us, for our health and for our relationship with Him. In the same way he commanded that fields be left to rest for a year. One of the reasons the Amish are such darn good farmers is that they follow that and give their fields a "Sabbath", alternating fields every year so the land can rest. There's a piece of trivia for ya'.
post #3 of 54
My church considers Saturday to be the Sabbath, just like always. Like a lot of OT law, the observation of the Sabbath as work free, etc. has been suspended. However, we still commemorate the Sabbath in an honorary way, by relaxing fasting rules on Saturday, having special readings if a service is held on Saturday, and so forth. The OT practice is not so much eliminated as retired, you might say, sort of like a retired army general who no longer functions but who is still addressed as "General" and is entitled to attend ceremonial occasions in uniform.
We do not consider Sunday the Sabbath, but it is traditionally a special day for Christians, commemorating the Resurrection, and we maintain that practice and hold Liturgy on Sundays. I know some Christian denominations consider the Sabbath to have transferred from Saturday to Sunday, but that is not our understanding.
post #4 of 54
we celebrate Sabbath on Sunday. do I wish it was Saturday? yeah... but for functionality reasons and because we dont attend a 7th day style church we go with the others.

anyhow we stay away from working, spending money or causing others to work as much as possible. it's hard sometimes, esp if you forget to get gas for church before Sunday or if say you forget to pick up that essential item for lunch from the grocery. or a child gets sick and you need to run out for some meds etc... but we do our best to avoid those circumstances as much as possible.
I have never been a part of a church that did this. at our old church everyone went out to eat after church. usually followed by a grocery shopping trip ect.

We just moved to a new state and don't have a churhc yet so while i usually look fwd to sunday's quite family time, right now I'm struggling. I'm bored to death all week being at home so instead of refreshing it feels maddening! hah. but all in all we usually look fwd to ths time of the week very very much. it's wonderful knowing that if ispend extra time on Friday and Saturday I can keep a relatively clean home, and well stocked fridge for Sunday so we have minimal work on Sunday. hen in the evening on Sunday we all come together as a family and cleanup for Monday. dishes, throw in some laundry and straighten up the days messes... and go to bed. it's very relaxing! make you realize your priorities and really shows that no matter how busy you are, it's a choice to make and worth making. my family was always "too busy" to rest on saturday. and you know what? no matter how busy they were or were not... they made sure they were too busy. it was a choice they made. oh well...
post #5 of 54
My perspective is that Christians are not bound by OT law, but by conscience. My church celebrates the Sabbath on Sunday, and my family's personal convictions on the matter include not working, going to church and spending time with the family. (We also have pizza on Sunday night, but I wouldn't call that a conviction per se).

I've missed out on getting a fair few jobs because of not working on Sundays, but meh. I love it--before I got married I lived at home, and Sundays were often the only day our family was all in the same place at the same time! Dad had a 'Sunday lollies' tradition that we all liked, too. I definitely think Sunday should be a joyous, relaxing day, not a legalistic day of not being allowed to do stuff--I knew one family in which the kids weren't allowed to go in their bedrooms on Sunday, but had to sit in the living room and read rather weedy Christian biographies, and I think that's awful!

Now I do some writing and baking from home, and it can be difficult to switch off for Sunday--I'm always wanting to do a bit of research for an article, take down some notes and so on. But I think it's important I keep Sundays free from work, both from a rest and a spiritual perspective.
post #6 of 54
Yes I agree we're not bound but OT law the same way but I still think there is a lot to be aid for adhering to certain commands with the right heart. sometimes I have to make that run to the store or gas station. sometimes we're on vacation and we'll go out to eat. etc etc... I don't think God i angry about it. My heart is to make it a regular day of rest and we do so. I honestly think this "command" is for our own good.
post #7 of 54
Why aren't Christian's bound to the laws of the Old Testament?
post #8 of 54
Originally Posted by Freud View Post
Why aren't Christian's bound to the laws of the Old Testament?
Because they are living under the laws of the New Testament.
post #9 of 54
Yes, I know that. But why? It's all the same Bible.
post #10 of 54
Sure, but the OT laws were given to the Jews. Christ's coming liberated Jewish believers-in-Christ from having to follow the OT laws; and as for Gentile believers, they were never under that law in the first place. It's a covenantal theology thing.
post #11 of 54
We are still to abide by the 10 commandments, as clearly stated by Jesus, "if you love me keep my commandments".
The only laws that are no longer applicable are the ceremonial ones, that were for the Jews only.
I agree with SDA's concerning the Saturday Sabbath, that God instituted at creation, but had issues with them concerning other Biblical topics.

If we study God's word and history of the early Christians, we will see that the Sabbath was kept by the disciples, apostles, and most early Christians up until Constantine decided he had the right to change God's laws.
We read in Revelation that Babylon will think to change times and laws, which she has been successful in doing.

We abstain from work that would normally be done during the work week. Work that provides income and chores. We don't get legalistic about it, but acknowledge it as the Lord's day and try to focus more on Him and not the things of this world.
post #12 of 54
Beakybird: That gets a little problematic when you consider Colossians 2:16. If the Sabbath was instituted normatively at creation, that verse would surely not exist; and if keeping the Sabbath was instituted in Exodus 20, it needs to be shown that it was not part of the civil/ceremonial law, but intended for all people.

I do agree that the 'real' Sabbath is Saturday; Christians are transposing the word when they use it to refer to keeping Sunday special. I don't personally think it matters--Tuesday, Friday, whatever--but my church meets on a Sunday, so that's when we do it.
post #13 of 54
Thread Starter 
aha, colossians 2:16! i ran across that on my own (oddly enough, while pg for the first time and researching whether there was any reason a christian should circumcise). it was never mentioned in my schooling, which i think is odd. for those who are wondering and don't want to look it up, here it is (niv):

16Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

i asked my cousin what she made of it, because it was really startling to me. i felt like this piece of truth had been withheld from us as sda children. she pointed out that it says a sabbath day, not the sabbath. to her, it meant that we shouldn't concern ourselves with other people's opinions when we have one sabbath here and there, like hennypenny pointed out, where we might have a very good reason for doing something that others may look down on. it doesn't mean sabbath isn't important.

now, a new moon celebration? i would love to know what that was all about!
post #14 of 54
Thread Starter 
sabbath is the only one of the ten commandments i ever hear lumped in with (and dismissed as) "ot law". christians generally do claim the ten commandments, right? at least that's what i thought . . .

anyway, jesus said the sabbath was created for man and not man for the sabbath. i do think it's meant as a day of rest, a day to reconnect with ourselves, family, nature and god. not a "legalistic" list of things we may not do.

it's cool to read everyone else's perspectives. thanks everyone for sharing! btw, smokering, i think saturday night pizza is practically sda doctrine, with popcorn-and-icecream as the only acceptable substitute!
post #15 of 54
I personally think that keeping the Sabbath doesn't necessarily refer to Sunday or Saturday. It means a time of rest, a time to sit back and pray and read the Bible and such... things that we might not do enough of during the week with our hectic schedules.

It's nice to think that no one should work on one day out of the week, but then would that mean that Christians are not allowed to be doctors or nurses or work in law enforcement? I would hate to think that I wasn't "allowed" to get hurt or sick on Sundays because there were no medical professionals available to help.

When I worked in a hospital kitchen, I disliked having to work on Sundays because my schedule was such that I couldn't make any church services (hence why I have yet to find a church to attend). Still, just because I would have rather done other things than work on Sunday, the sick people still had to eat. Given that sort of situation, I don't think God mind's too much if I adjust my calendar a bit.
post #16 of 54
post #17 of 54
ok you've hit a debate that has been going on for 2000 years!.... how much fo the OT applies to us as law/command?

you're not going to get a straight answer here from everyone b/c all Christians believe differently about it. we all agree it's applicable to us in some fashion, but to extent and how are the difference.

in our home we firmly believe in the laws of God. HOwever we firmly believe in the Grace of Jesus Christ. which means ceremonial laws (such as how to enter a temple and washing prcedures) don't apply to us. But we believe in the 10 commandments... however we believe that God has given us grace too. The laws were put in place to keep us bound until Jesus came to atone us. (of course you could also argue isn't Jesus timeless and his grace goes backwards and fwds.... and ues it does... but it's a different debate lol so I'll leave it at that) so for instance we adhere to the commands of setting aside fhe sabbath day. But by His grace, I feel no issue running out the store to get a sick kid some meds, for instance.

basically I'm trying to say is that this is a HARD thing to discuss b/c you will get different interpretations and applications. It's something my family has chosen to seek god's leadership as it just isn't 100% clear on which OT things apply to us now as Christians. We don't throw it all out the window and latch on the the idea that Go's grace will get us through and we can do whatever we want - b/c we find that EXTREMELY disrespectful of God's grace. but we also don't leave in fear that god will punish us if we forget and have to get gas on the way to church or something like that.
post #18 of 54
doubledutch: Actually I believe the whole 10 commandments were OT law, in the sense that Christians are not bound by them. Christians are bound by conscience and love, and the 10Cs are a good guide for those things--Jesus both expanded upon them and condensed them during His preaching. But I do think Christians sometimes put too much emphasis on them as a set of rules, or (perhaps unconsciously) use them as an exception to our freedom in Christ; and I think that's a bad thing. We are not saved by obeying the 10 commandments, but by God's grace working through faith.

But as HennyPenny points out, this is a much bigger theological issue than one might suppose, and there are many nuances of interpretation on it.
post #19 of 54
As far as Col. 2:16, we should study the verses around it as well. I take it to mean that no one is to judge me for keeping God's festivals, the sabbath, etc. As the pharisees did/do.

In verse 22 it mentions the commandments and doctrines of men, are we suppose to keep God's commandments and doctrines, or mans?
It does'nt make sense to say we are to keep the 9 commandments and ignore one.

As we see in 2:17 they are a shadow of things to come. Some say it was a shadow of Christ's coming, but He had already come at this point so that would'nt make sense. I believe they are a shadow of the kingdom of heaven, when we will enter eternal rest. There is a spiritual rest now for those that are in Christ, but to me that does not nullify a need for a physical rest and day for God.

Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]: (days here is an added word, not original)

Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ.
post #20 of 54
Does it say somewhere in the NT that the laws of the OT are not to be abided by anymore?
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