“The Sabbath”

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No word provokes emotion for a former or current XCG member. It is a word that pinches the nerves of everybody. It is so explosive, one has to handle that word with care. There are very strong opinions for it and equally strong opinions against it.  I have yet so between former and current XCG members on message boards is to come up with some kind of mediating position. I believe cool and calm heads must prevail on a subject like this. With the hustle and bustle of the 21st century, isn’t it a wise idea for a pause for peace in the midst of it? I have had arrows pointed at me from seventh day sabbatarians and some new covenant theology proponents—so let me make this purely and crystal clear.  I am not advocating (or better put re-hashing)  a strict sabbatarian manifesto, neither I am proposing an agenda that any kind of sabbath keeping is bad and needs to be aggressively crusaded against. With this 24/7 society in the 21st century, we need to admit our health has suffered, we have been more consumerist and materialistic in our approach to living and that has unmistakably seeped in our view of spirituality. I think it is “right” for anyone to have a “faith-leave day” to refresh themselves in a holistic fashion—I mean physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being.  I am not talking about only going to church one day and simply being idle. I think a “faith-leave day”  can be used as a good spiritual discipline, just as one voluntarily who gives money to support their congregation or prayer—all in moderation. Again, my real reason for this post is direct you to an episode from TVOntario’s current affairs program The Agenda which discusses such a subject. Go to this page of The Agenda at

http://www.tvo.org/cfmx/tvoorg/theagenda/index.cfm?page_id=7&bpn=779087&ts=2007-12-18%2020:00:15.0 , click on Watch Video and enjoy the program!

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5 thoughts on ““The Sabbath”

  1. Linky no worky.

    I actually haven’t used “that word”, since I left WCG in ’94, other than my recent forays into the Shadows forum (and even then it is always used purely tongue-in-cheek).

    I can sort of see the position of both sides, though; on the one hand, as an ex-member, being nonproductive from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday took up forty thousand hours of my life, which was for no good purpose whatsoever, and which I’m never, ever going to get back. Like I said on the board, I do regret that.

    I don’t think it’s so much the Sabbath-keeping that strikes a nerve, as it is the sunset-to-sunset rule that doesn’t work, in today’s society, and that so many ex-members have a hard time with; after all, there are countless “good” (I strongly hesitate to use the word christian here) things that could have been done with the time we wasted, doing “nothing”.

    (Or, if we were studying the Bible on the “Sabbath”, it was from the perspective of making it say what the religion told us to make it say.)

    I lean towards that viewpoint myself, that there were many many many many other things I could have been doing that would have been more meaningful, productive, and generally contributory to society in a positive manner, than all those years I “faithfully” (hah) “kept the Sabbath” from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.

    Off the top of my head, we could have been:

    Feeding the homeless, working for charity, visiting the elderly and shut-in, visiting friends, volunteering somewhere, running errands for those who couldn’t, even good things we could have done for ourselves, reading a (non-church) book, exercising, or even going out to eat, going to a movie, going out of doors!

    We are, by and large, mostly-evolved mammals. Our primitive ancestors rested whenever they got the chance, which was usually in between fighting for food, eating the food they fought for, trying to stay off of the food chain themselves, and whatever time was left over, they slept and procreated.

    Biologically, we are not configured, after millions of years of evolution, to sit idle and do nothing, not for ANY lengthy period of time, let alone twenty-four hours at a time (as that would have rendered our earliest ancestors very dead, very quickly).

    The other side of the coin though, which a lot of people miss (and which I think is what you’re saying here), is that if one wants to make a personal choice to take one day “off” per week, whether that “day” is four hours long or twenty-four hours long, whether it falls on a Friday, Saturday, or Tuesday, then we should be free to do that.

    Unfortunately, since corporate religion rules most of the anti-discrimination legislation, unless you belong to a brand-name religion, you’re not going to be able to take six hours from work on a Tuesday afternoon for “faith-leave”. Even sabbatarians who belong to fairly “major” 7th-day religions, have difficulty finding employment, in today’s society, that allows them to not ever work any Saturday, or Friday night after sunset.

  2. My bad. I hope that my revision on the post will lead you to the link that I want you to go, Thanks for your thoughts Aggie!

  3. I never understood why the Sabbath was so controversial. Most of Christianity has historically considered Sunday to be the Sabbath. The 4th commandment itself was not controversial. It’s only been in the last 100-150 years that this has become an issue. And the objections are often ridiculous – to the point of throwing out the 10 Commandments in order to be rid of that pesky 4th one.

    I am not currently one who keeps the Sabbath, but I do understand why it is important to the Christian walk. As you say, a “faith leave day” is good spiritual discipline. I think most practicing Christians would agree with that, even if they couldn’t agree on which day it should be.

    Amongst COG’ers, the Sabbath is a defining issue – it sets them apart from other Churches. This isn’t wrong in itself – in fact it can be a good thing. Where it jumps the track is when it becomes either a burdensome, heavy load, a source of spiritual pride, or a club with which to beat others over the head. The more self righteous types amongst the COG’s tend to do this without realizing it… and then cry “persecution” if anyone points it out.

    Been there, done that, got the T shirt, ain’t goin’ back.

  4. ((Been there, done that, got the T shirt, ain’t goin’ back.))

    Just like the song from Fleetwood Mac, “Never going back there again.”

  5. it is just a wrong to call Sunday the sabbath as it is Saturday..these are shadows..allegories.. to point us to the reality of our rest in Christ

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