Interestingly, Commissioner Shaw Clifton made a statement at officers councils which sort of fits in with where I was coming from re Sabbath.
He spoke of how when you go on holiday, you are faced with the option:
‘Now, on Sunday do I go to the Army, do I go to church, or do I go to the beach…..and if the beach wins (which it often does), am I allowed to buy an ice cream on a Sunday? Yes, I think I am, but only one because otherwise that would be gluttony. Cheif Secretary…I think we should send out an official minute on this.’
So there we have it, I present to you and almost exact quote from the official mouth of the official Territorial Commander of the United Kingdom Territory. I await the Official Minute. :))
Its a heart matter. If our heart is the Lords then we will make sure that we have opportunity to meet together with the Lords people. We must of course take all scripture together. There is value in meeting, there is a need to be nurtured in faith and to worship God with his people.
But no amount of legalism will produce that desire. Not buying or selling on a Sunday, not going to a restaurant or a petrol station to fill your car as an expression of sabbath may well be a biblical principle, but is it Scriptural? Judas went and hung himself…its in the bible, its biblical, but is suicide Scriptural? There is a difference between biblical and Scriptural. We must take scripture together, and in the light of New Testament teaching, we discover that the sabbath is made for man, not the other way around.
The point I am making, is that we must not use legalism to produce faith. The experience of the Pharisees have shown us that it couldn’t happen…it doesn’t work. The Army have used legalism to encourage faithfulness for years and is it surprising that people rebel against it? Legalism is a bigger stumbling block to a young person or new Christian than me buying an ice cream or selling a Christian book. No doubt this will come around again as we make CDs and biscuits available for purchase at the Somerset Hall Carol Service. Tsk tsk…naughty.