Seventh-day Adventist Rules: My Perspective

Categories: Religion

September 25, 2010

Today, I was reading on the Web some questions people had about Seventh-day Adventist "rules".  Some of the answers, I thought, were ridiculous.  One person wrote that Adventists can't celebrate a child's birthday on the sabbath.  Another wrote that Adventists aren't allowed to follow professional sports.  Another said that Adventists he knew had to program their lights to turn on and off on Friday night and Saturday because they weren't allowed to use such technological devices on the sabbath.  Unbelievable!

I'm a rookie Adventist, but let me see if I can shed some of my humble light on this subject.

God gave everyone, including Seventh-day Adventists, the free will to think for themselves.  We are all allowed to make our own decisions.  Even though God gave us Ten Commandments, no one is "required" to obey any of them.  We have the free will to choose, to believe what we want, to do what we want.  Whether we make it into "the kingdom" is an entirely different matter.  That will not be based on our good deeds, but is to be granted by the grace of God.

The fourth commandment tells us to "Remember the sabbath day by keeping it holy" (Exodus 20:8).  This is the factor that, more than any other, seems to separate Adventists from other Christians.  For whatever reason, you may believe we are no longer obligated to follow that particular commandment.  Seventh-day Adventists believe we are for two basic reasons: 1) It is one of God's Ten Commandments (as Leo Schreven says, they aren't the ten suggestions, or the ten recommendations, or the ten good ideas; they are the Ten Commandments), and 2) the commandment is simple and crystal clear, i.e., it requires virtually no interpretation.

Seventh-day Adventists (and virtually everyone on the planet, for that matter) choose to follow certain commandments, rules, guidelines, principles, etc.  If a Seventh-day Adventist chooses to spend his/her sabbath doing certain things that most people don't do (e.g., worshipping, fellowshipping), and/or not doing certain things that most people do (shopping), that is the decision of that individual based on his/her belief.  The Bible doesn't specifically say we can't shop on the sabbath, for example.  But most Adventists plan their weekend so that they don't have to shop on the sabbath.  Shopping is simply not an Adventist's way of remembering and observing the sabbath.  Whatever an Adventist does on the sabbath, he/she will typically consider carefully whether that activity is a part of honoring God.  If it isn't, the Adventist will probably decline to participate in that activity.

Not long ago, I was invited to lunch at one of my favorite restaurants to celebrate my best friend's birthday.  The invitation came from another close friend, and involved about a dozen people, all from the same Adventist church.  The invitation was extended on the sabbath morning, and the lunch was to be that afternoon, on the sabbath.  The Bible says "On [the sabbath,] 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" (Exodus 20:10).  I felt uncomfortable going to a restaurant on the sabbath since it would require others to work.  But I accepted, and we all had a nice lunch and birthday celebration.  Will God frown on us, a group of Christians, for having lunch together on the sabbath at a restaurant?  Even if we celebrated this birthday with God at the forefront of the celebration, the "violation", if there was one, would be that we asked others to work for us on the sabbath.  Were we wrong?

A few years ago, my daughter was preparing for the upcoming school year and needed to buy new clothes.  J.C. Penney, one of our favorite stores, was having a huge sale, and we desperately needed to save money wherever we could.  Unfortunately, it was a "One Day Only" sale, and that one day was, you guessed it, a Saturday.  I would have preferred to pay more and shop the following Sunday, Monday, or any other day of the week.  But my daughter, who was raised in the Orthodox church, felt that the best selections would be gone by the end of the sale day.  Rather than refuse to bend, I gave my daughter money and dropped her off at the mall, angry that she was forcing me to violate one of God's commandments (that was my feeling at the time, although I recognize that she doesn't "force" me to do anything; I make, and am responsible for, my own decisions).  After the agreed upon time had passed, I went back and picked her up.  That was a dilemma I struggle with to this day.  I can't force my beliefs on others, but I am expected to raise my family with Christian values and beliefs, including the Ten Commandments and, specifically, the fourth commandment.

The point is this: The first commandment is translated as "You shall..." (Exodus 20:3).  Seven other commandments begin with "You shall not..." (Exodus 20:4, Deuteronomy 5:8; Exodus 20:7, Deuteronomy 5:11; Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17; Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 5:18; Exodus 20:15, Deuteronomy 5:19; Exodus 20:16, Deuteronomy 5:20; Exodus 20:17, Deuteronomy 5:21).  Despite the language used, God gave us the freedom to choose which commandment(s), if any, we obey.  It would have been too easy for God to make it impossible for us to murder, impossible to take His name in vain, impossible to steal, impossible to commit adultery, etc.  He gave us the commandments, and then stepped back allowing us to make our own decisions.

The fourth commandment reminds us to "remember" (Exodus 20:8) and "observe" (Deuteronomy 5:12) the sabbath, and keep it holy.  Exactly how we do that, as individuals, remains open to some interpretation.  But it is not fair to say that an Adventist cannot go shopping on the sabbath.  We can.  We just choose not to.  Some Adventists may choose not to celebrate birthdays on the sabbath.  Some may choose not to follow professional sports.  Others may choose not to take advantage of certain technologies (although I personally believe that would be extremely rare).

As Adventists, our choices on the sabbath are to try to honor and respect God as much as we can.  To us, that's what remembering and observing the sabbath means.  Sadly, that's a strange concept for most Christians, simply because it has become our society's tradition to do whatever we want whenever we want.

Obeying all the commandments will not guarantee a ticket to the ultimate party.  God will issue those VIP passes at His discretion.  But obeying all the commandments, at least as much as we humanly can, is a way for Adventists to acknowledge that we are nothing without God, and that we are willing to do the things He has instructed us to do simply because it was He that instructed us to do them.

Finally, maybe I should respond specifically to the first paragraph.

  1. I believe God would be stoked if we celebrate birthdays on the sabbath, as long as He is invited and we recognize that He is responsible for the birth and the day of celebration.  But that doesn't open the door for an "anything goes" type of celebration.
  2. Adventists can certainly follow professional sports.  Does that mean we should actually attend sporting events on the sabbath?  Since a professional sporting event probably involves commerce and would clearly involve lots of work (players, concessioners, ushers, attendants, cleaning crew, etc.), I don't believe it would be an appropriate way to observe the sabbath.  If you are focused on the game, you cannot be focused on God.  I would like to know how many Adventists sit at home on Saturdays and watch sports on television.  Probably more than we are willing to admit.
  3. I'm confident we can turn lights on and off any day of the week.  Did Jesus ever light a candle or a lamp on the sabbath?  Probably.  Hopefully as Christians, and especially on the sabbath, we'll shed the most light on the word of God.

Your life is your choice.  But the consequences are not yours to choose.  Believe what you want.  Do what you want.  I believe in the Bible and in the commandments of God, and I'll do whatever I can to honor and obey them.

All Bible verses are New International Version (NIV).


User Comments:
GA  - Sep 30, 2010 12:01:01 — Would love to see more people realize the each of us are RESPONSIBLE for OUR OWN CHOICES and that there are CONSEQUENCES of those choices!!!! Also liked your statement that no one "forced" you to drive to the mall that day. You made your choice even though you were unhappy with it. You did not blame others. Having lots of issues with my patients that cannot seem to grasp these concepts! Want to deny all accountability, responsibilty, and totally blame others for their terrible life choices. I'll get off my soapbox before I fall off! LOL Again love your insights!
Jonas - Sep 30, 2010 12:31:01 — Thanks for your feedback, GA!
constance - Jan 17, 2011 03:58:13 — THANKS FOR THE ADVICE,BUT I MAY NEEDSOME CLARIFICATIONS ON THAT.IF I AM NOT SABBATH, THEN I WORK IN ORGANISATION WHERE ITS MISSION AND SABBATH,THE MANAGEMENT FORCES ME NOT TO USE JEWELLERY ESP EARRINGS BUT I PREFER EARRINGS, WHAT CAN I DO?
Jonas - Jan 17, 2011 05:56:09 — Hi Constance, and thanks for visiting my site.

I'm probably the last person you should be seeking advice from.  But since you asked, here I go: I spent the first 50 years of my life asking the same question as you have asked.  Not specifically about earrings, but similar.  My thinking was 'This is what I want.  How can I get it?'  I only learned recently that I should always be asking 'What do others need?  And how can I help them get it?'

Constance, ask yourself this question: Which is truly more important - your earrings, or the work you're doing for the organization (or even better, the work the organization is doing for others)?  You know the right answer.  If the earrings are that important to you, then you need to take a stand.  Tell your supervisor that it is more important for you to wear earrings than it is for you to help the organization.  Either the organization accepts you and your earrings, or they will need to get along without you.  But if you do that, Constance, I think you know that you will be making the 'wrong' decision.  I'm not a diplomat, Constance, so I'll be blunt: It isn't about you.  The world will not be a better place because you choose to wear earrings.  It will be a better place if you choose to think about how you can help the others in your organization.

One of the things I thank God most for is His decision to allow us to make our own decisions.  Your decision will tell you and others more about who you really are at this point in your life.  You may make a bad choice today, but you will still have the opportunity to make better choices in the future.  Or will you?  What happens if you wait for the future to start making the right decisions, and suddenly, your life ends?  It will be too late then.  Your chance to start making the right decision, the best decisions for others, and not necessarily for yourself, is now.

If you're young, as I suspect you are, there's nothing to worry about.  You probably have time to fall, get up, fall again, get up again, and so on.  The time will come when you won't need to ask this question.  Be patient, keep your mind open, and listen to your heart.

jeffrey joslin - Feb 13, 2011 08:39:07 —  my wife likes her ear rings and the few rings she has, but the sda church we go to don't, is it ok for her to just were them when not in church
Jonas - Feb 13, 2011 10:13:46 — One of the many great things about God is that he gives us the freedom to make our own decisions.  So when we do the right thing, it is because we choose to, not because we are forced to, at least not by God.

1 Peter 3:3-4 says specifically about wives, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in Gods sight."

Be careful: The Bible doesn't say you can't wear jewelry; it says, in short, "...beauty should not come from...jewelry."

Here's an excerpt from the Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Beliefs that may help clarify the church's offical position:

"While recognizing cultural differences, our dress is to be simple, modest, and neat, befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment but in the imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit."

In this example, as in many others, the Seventh-day Adventist Church's beliefs are based on the Bible.

I believe jewelry, including earrings, can be simple, modest, and neat.  In your case, can it also be "befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment but in the imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit."  In other words, how would others, including God, sum up your wife's Christian life?  Does she contribute to the church and society in a way that would make Jesus proud?  Is she at that highly advanced point where she needs to fine-tune her life in order to be as close to perfect as possible?  Or is she a sinner like the rest of us with more important issues to focus on?  Where is her true beauty - in her actions, or in her adornments?  As her husband, you probably know the answers to those questions better than anyone.

To me, what's more important than whether she wears the earrings is simply that you are asking the question.  Conflict is often pointless, but sometimes, as in this case, it shows that we're striving to better ourselves.  It would seem to me that you and your wife are facing the right direction, and have a true desire to move, or continue moving, in the right direction.  I believe God would be very happy with that.

So here's the big question: Who does your wife want to please most?  Herself?  You?  God?  The congregation?

1 John 2:6 says "Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did."  This means that if we are to be Christians, we must sacrifice those things that are not truly important.  (I believe this is where most "Christians" fail - they tend to pick and choose the parts of the Bible they want to comply with.  Is that what Jesus did?)

So is it more important to wear the earrings, or is it more important to "live as Jesus did." 

Now that I've boxed you in a corner, here's my honest, from-the-heart opinion: I believe the issue of the earrings is rather insignificant.  If that's the biggest issue in your lives right now, I'd say you are doing exceptionally well!  But I would encourage you to continue asking questions, and do your best to make the decisions you believe are the right decisions based on the teachings of the Bible, not on culture, tradition, popular opinion, politics, etc.

Thanks, Jeffrey, for visiting, and God bless you and your family!

tommy - Apr 9, 2011 02:35:26 — I certainly agree with your conclusions. I'd like to add that the fourth commandment enjoins us to keep it holy. Secular activities are not holy, and cannot contribute to a closer walk with God. I believe that Sabbath ought to be regarded as a pre-arranged meeting with the Ruler of the Universe. He generously offers to spend time teaching,comforting,strengthening me, but I say no, I have to...... Surely this is a no brainer. If God was sitting in your living room, I bet there'd be no television on. And just remember, Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So He is always with us.
Jonas - Apr 10, 2011 01:26:48 — Sadly, the human race has ignored the scriptural "no-brainers" over and over again for thousands of years.  It's just not convenient.  When will we learn?

Thanks for visiting, and for your contribution!

larry - Jul 20, 2011 09:00:36 — Thank God for His Love and all that He is.
Jonas - Jul 21, 2011 12:21:19 — Amen!!  (Thanks for visiting!)
Nathan - Aug 20, 2011 09:43:30 — Greetings brothers and sisters! The Sabbath means different things to different people because we interpret Scripture differently. Unfortunately, we often and selfishly think that the Sabbath is a day that we can spend any way that we want. I call this thinking selfish, because the Sabbath should not be about us and what we want. The fact that it is a 'holy' day says that everything I do on the day, should be focused on God. I should put everything aside that does not bring glory to God. I believe God is fair in giving us six days for all those things, like sport and parties, and that we can at least spend the Sabbath day focussed on Him only. The Sabbath is one of the doctrines that led to me become a Seventh-day Adventist at the age of 27. I encourage everyone to prayerfully do an in-depth Bible study on the Sabbath day, and then decide what God wants us to do with this day.
Jonas - Aug 20, 2011 10:47:10 — Thanks, Nathan!  Let's hope more people take your advice.
gobsmacked - Jul 31, 2012 03:10:58 — get a life you silly people...
Jonas - Jul 31, 2012 03:15:11 — Thanks for sharing a sliver of yours!
Meg - Aug 27, 2012 06:52:54 — I was raised in a non Adventist church. I had gone to church on Sunday all my life. I began Bible studies with the Seventh Day Adventist Church at age 21. Some of it was easy for me to accept and follow. But the issue of the "Seventh Day" worship was just a bit much for me. I mean....when was I going to do my shopping, get my hair done and all the other fun stuff I was used to ??!!? Then I attended a Revelation Seminar at the Seventh Day Adventist Church and as I walked in, there was a huge banner across the front of the sanctuary. It read: "IT IS BETTER TO SHATTER A DREAM THAN TO CONCEAL THE TRUTH." I knew that was there for me to SEE. I believe Jesus wants us to walk in the LIGHT we are shown. The goal is not to point the finger of blame or judgement or critisism..... but instead that we might be a witness all be with the Lord.
Jonas - Aug 28, 2012 12:20:31 — Amen! Thanks, Meg, for visiting my site, and taking the time to share!
Franz - Sep 17, 2012 02:44:25 — I respectfully disagree with your conclusions expressed near the beginning of your blog. You state "God gave everyone, including Seventh-day Adventists, the free will to think for themselves. We are all allowed to make our own decisions. Even though God gave us Ten Commandments, no one is "required" to obey any of them. We have the free will to choose, to believe what we want, to do what we want. Whether we make it into "the kingdom" is an entirely different matter. That will not be based on our good deeds, but is to be granted by the grace of God." Contrary to your conclusion, obedience is not an entirely different matter from "making it into the kingdom" by the grace of God. Instead, obedience is an integral part of whether we make it into the kingdom of God. The Bible makes it clear that Adam and Eve lost their "saved" condition because they disobeyed God's clear instructions. Fortunately, because of God's great mercy and love He provided a way for Adam and Eve to be returned to their "saved" condition of being savable (though having to temporarily suffer the physical consequences of their disobedience by losing their earthly garden of Eden home) by providing a plan whereby His only Son Jesus Christ would accept the punishement for their disobedience and restore within their hearts the seed of the spiritual nature they had lost when they disobeyed - all if they would only accept the conditions of repenting of their sins and choosing to again live by God's indwelling power in a trusting obedient relationship with God. Since Adam and Eve's time, all of us were born into a condition where we are doomed to eternal death unless we accept God's salvation plan. Biblically, the relationship between obedience and being granted the privilege of making it into God's kingdom has never changed from the time of Adam and Eve even befroe their fall. Only the obedient ones will make it into God's kingdom. Obedience is not an option which we can accept or reject and still feel confident we have eternal life through God's grace independent of obedience. God's grace includes the condition of repentance and devotion to Him as demonstrated by a life of loving heartfelt obedience to His revealed will. Because of what You did for me Jesus, I choose to live my life in accordance with Your revealed will - to be obedient to all that You have told me in Your Holy Word - understood by relying on Your Holy spirit's covicting power in my heart as He reveals things that for me may not be obviously clear and simple to understand.
Jonas - Sep 17, 2012 05:23:39 — I don't think we disagree, Franz. My point is that we DO have a choice. We can either be obedient, thereby increasing our chances of eternal life, or we can be disobedient and jeopardize our chances. But I'm not convinced that we can behave a certain way and be absolutely 100% guaranteed a place on God's team. Only God knows who will be chosen. For example, most Christians have forgotten (or simply ignore) the fourth commandment. Will none of them enter the kingdom? While I believe the fourth commandment is crystal clear, written in stone, and can never be changed, I know a lot of good people who are not sabbath-keepers, and it's difficult for me to believe they would not make the cut. It's entirely God's decision, and I don't believe it's based on what we do or don't do on this earth, although obedience certainly helps. I could be wrong. Thanks for the comments!
DeblovesTheLord - Mar 4, 2013 04:16:04 — Thank you for this information. It is very helpful. I have been reading up on sda and watching videos on bible prophecy. I was raised Baptist. My mother was a Methodist, now Lutheran, and in my adult life I've spent most of my time visiting non-denominational churches. I think I never knew the doctrine of sda before and now that I do, I must say that I believe that is what I am (sda). It goes with everything I believe and makes me feel more confident and assured of my salvation than I have ever felt before. It's like the bible has opened up to me now in a language I understand, if that makes sense. My mother asked me if they are the ones who handle snakes?? Uum, I hope not. I told her if they are then those particular ones have gone rogue... Hope I was right! I know they believe in gifts of healing and prophecy and stuff but handling deadly snakes to me would be "challenging" God and that's not biblical. Saying and hearing the term "Happy Sabbath" will be hard to get used to also. But otherwise, there is no difference from the way I have "practiced religion" up to now, except deeper and more spiritually rewarding now.
Jonas - Mar 4, 2013 11:51:42 — Thanks for writing, DeblovesTheLord!  "It's like the bible has opened up to me now in a language I understand, if that makes sense."  Yes, it makes total sense.  We hear that a lot.  I feel the same way.  And you'll be happy to learn that, no, we don't play with snakes.  We have more in common with any other Christian denomination than you could imagine.  We just worship on Saturday instead of Sunday.  (Sometimes, we worship on Sunday, too, but we always worship on Saturday, the Sabbath.)  As far as "Happy Sabbath", our church has actually discouraged that phrase since it seems to alienate those who are not Adventist.  But we still hear it a lot.  My wife, who is not Adventist, says it to me every Saturday morning!  Finally, you will find that, just as many Baptist churches are different from each other, many Adventist churches also vary.  If you attend one Adventist church and don't feel comfortable there, try another.  What's important are the teachings - the fact that the church follows the Bible as closely as possible.  I believe that's exactly what the Adventist Church does, and they back everything up with verse after verse after verse after verse, in context, not just a verse or two taken out of context like so many other denominations.  In any case, I'm sure God will lead you down the path He has chosen for you.  Thanks again, and God bless you!
jean - Mar 25, 2013 01:57:45 — Question: What day is the Bible Sabbath, and who made it? The Bible says: "On the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it" (Genesis 2:2, 3). "The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God" (Exodus 20:10). The Bible Sabbath is actually the seventh day (Saturday) of the week  and not the first (Sunday), as many believe. After making the world, God rested on the seventh day and sanctified it for humanity to keep forever. God blessed the Sabbath, and when God blesses something, it is blessed forever (1 Chronicles 17:27) and no man can "reverse it" (Numbers 23:20). Question: Why did God make the Sabbath; why should we keep it? The Bible says: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. & For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:8, 11). "Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10). "Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps" (1 Peter 2:21). God gave the Sabbath as a sign that He created the world in six 24-hour days and of His power to redeem and sanctify mankind. In Isaiah 58:13, 14, God says all who would be blessed must first get their feet off His Sabbath. Moreover, the deliberate breaking of any one of the Ten Commandments is a sin. Christians should gladly follow Christ's example of Sabbath-keeping. Jesus custom was to worship on Sabbath, as well as His apostles. See Luke 4:16. Question: Does Sabbath-keeping really affect me personally? The Bible says: "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). "To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life (Revelation 22:14). Yes! The Sabbath is your Sabbath. God made it for you to rest and to draw closer to Him. The Scriptures also teach that we will continue to keep the Sabbath in the new earth (Isaiah 66:23)! So why not make the decision now to receive the blessings of the Sabbath and choose to obey Him? Sabbath is a special day that we must spend only for our Creator. We have 6 days to prepare all our needs including shopping.
Jonas - Mar 25, 2013 11:02:46 — When I receive that email notifying me that there's a new comment on my site, my first thought is, "Great...who's out to cut my throat today, and why?"  It's such a relief to find such a supportive message.  Thank you so much, Jean, and God bless you!  Let's pray you reach some visitors.
Bob - Apr 30, 2013 04:23:50 — The Sabbath is only a shadow of what was to come

Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
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:
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. hat was to come and that is Jesus.

If you chose Saturday as a Day of worship, good for you keep it, the same is true if you choose any other day, keep it. But the day of worship can not save you, nor can the ten commandments that Adventist hold so dear...only Christ and His marvelous Grace and Mercy can save to the utter most! God gave us the ten commandments to show us that we had and continue to have a sin problem. The true message of the Law was be ye holy be ye perfect for i am ....However, there were no provisions within the commandments for this to happen, because they were not given to us to be binding forever...God's holiness and perfection can not be achieved by man's performance alone, it takes the supernatural power of Christ. There is no other name or device by which we can be saved! By the way, if all it took was to adherence to the Law, then Christ suffered and died for nothing. By faith through Grace we are saved,i.e., faith in Jesus. Paul writes:

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Gal 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Gal 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

More to follow if you wish. I was a practicing SDA for 9 years before I discovered the truth EGW and the Sabbath.
Jonas - May 2, 2013 02:51:59 — "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:" - Col 2:16

Of the five elements in this particular verse - meat, drink, holyday, new moon, sabbath days - which are included among the Ten Commandments?

The answer is none of them.  The subject here, including "the sabbath days" (plural), is clearly not the seventh-day Sabbath.  This verse is referring to ceremonial law, not the Ten Commandments.  Here's the indesputable proof:

"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us..." - Col 2:14

Were the Ten Commandments ever "ordinances"?  No.  Were the Ten Commandments ever "against us"?  No.  Were the Ten Commandments ever "contrary to us"?  No.

Clearly, these passages are speaking about human laws, not God's Laws.

Your argument simply doesn't make sense.

Why would God write the Ten Commandments with His own finger in stone so that they could never be changed, in crystal clear, easy-to-understand language; tell us over and over and over throughout the Bible that his Commandments are lasting and never-changing; then, as you and countless others seem to suggest, suddenly change the Fourth Commandment with ambiguous wording in only one place in the Bible and not a single reference any where else?

It simply didn't happen.

The Ten Commandments are what they are.  You can argue any position you want for the sake of convenience to modern tradition.  I'll stick with God's Commandments, thank you.
Joanna Jankowski - Jul 6, 2013 08:39:08 — Well said thank you
Tim - Sep 3, 2013 08:49:05 — There is a text in the Bible that basically goes like this,"every man was doing right in his own eyes". This seems to be the general conclusion in your article on Sabbath-keeping. The story behind that verse I just gave was that men had become so polluted that righteousness was based on how the individual felt about it. As we know our righteousness is as filthy rags. Why? We have to accept that we are polluted by sin and the only way we can be saved is to accept the righteousness of Christ. Question is are you seeking to do God's will...what is right in His eyes...or are you still convinced that God has left it in your hands to determine what is pleasing in His eyes? The Bible reveals God's will as to what he wants our activities to be on the Sabbath. You mentioned feeling guilty a few times about the activities you were about to engage in. My friend, that guilt was the voice of God gently calling you away from that activity. And on this note your right, he left the decision up to you whether you would heed His still small voice or listen to your own rationalizations which we know are the suggestions from another spirit. There is a battle going on inside of you and its your choice as to which voice you will surrender to, eternal life or eternal death.
Anna.K - Aug 4, 2014 06:45:56 — celebrating parties are against God, even though you remember God gave ur life u will be violating the sabbath coz on Sabbath, we should attend church services.... and we should not eat the service time for any other worldly things other than it is an unavoidable, urgent and very very important thing compared to the sabbath day service...eg.may be one of ur family member may need to go to hsptl in an emergency or some other help such as helping a man from accident etc. we can analyse that what work should we do and what we shouldn't, coz God has given us that power of choice....as there is an issue of b'day celebration i suggest that being in reverence and thank God for he had added one more year in ur life and get his blessing will be well and gud...by inviting your friends for b'day parties you are making them to break the sabbath law......so be cautious and get blessings......
Jonas - Aug 4, 2014 12:00:34 — Thanks, Anna.K.  "celebrating parties are against God"  Can you share the Bible verses with us?  "by inviting your friends for b'day parties you are making them to break the sabbath law."  Verses?  What happened to fellowship?
Jonas - Aug 4, 2014 12:17:01 — "So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the Lord for seven days; the first day is a day of sabbath rest, and the eighth day also is a day of sabbath rest." —Leviticus 23:39.

So according to this one verse, it should not be "against God" to celebrate on the sabbath since He specifically instructed the Israelites to do so.  The question now is whether it is wrong to celebrate a birthday, as opposed to the "Festival of Tebernacles".  I'll keep digging, Anna.K, and I would ask that you do the same.  Let us know what you find.  Thanks again!
Anna.K - Aug 4, 2014 02:11:10 — celebrating b'day party is extremely different from the festival what you have mentioned above.....coz festival of tabernacle is towards God whereas b'day celebration is towards worldly things...as u hv gone to ur friends party u might hv done many worldly act such as cutting cakes, singing b'day songs, presenting gifts and most important u might hv eaten the freshly cooked food which we should not on sabbath... u urged someone to cook for you in the restaurant, group of people involved in cooking the stuff buyer,the picker, your table cleaner and so on...your friend must pay for it where the money transactions occur....travelling for some other reason rather than going to church....fellowship with friends, you can do it on normal days also...why can't you advice your friend to skip her celebration to the next day instead of confusing these stuffs.... if someone's b'day falls on sabbath just wish and bless them in the name of God and give them more blessings by taking them to the church,it will be the best gift given by you for your friend who is entering into a new year of her life... Pls excuse me this is not an argument,thousands of people will read our conversation so we must give our best answers to lead them in a good way to eternal life....Thank you so much Jonas for your reply...keep digging:-):-):-)may be our ideas will be someone's question...I hope that God will give us light through this to all of us Jonas....
Jonas - Aug 4, 2014 11:35:00 — You're right!  This is not an argument.  It's an opportunity for both of us!

"celebrating b'day party is extremely different..."

Yes, I agree.  But that reference does strike down your claim that "celebrating parties are against God".  Celebrating on the sabbath is clearly acceptable; what we celebrate on the sabbath may be an issue (although I've found nothing in the Bible so far one way or the other).

You are also right that some of the things that had taken place at the birthday lunch celebration - cooking, cleaning, etc. - are clearly work, and we are commanded not to work, or ask anyone to work for us, on the sabbath.  The conflict I experienced was what motivated me to write "my perspective".  Although I had accepted the lunch invitation then, I would not accept today.  I had originally asked, "Were we wrong?"  I'm now convinced that we were - not by celebrating, but by going to the restaurant.

The commandment starts out "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy..." (Exodus 20:8 (NIV)) and "Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy..." (Deuteronomy 5:12 (NIV)).  Both include the phrase "by keeping it holy".  From that, the commandment continues by defining how to keep it holy, e.g., we shall not do any work.  There is nothing added to that.

As long as we don't violate the terms of the fourth commandment, I don't think we're prohibited from celebrating a birthday on the sabbath.  If we are, I'm begging for Biblical evidence, and not simply interpretation.  We're counting on you, Anna.K, to provide it.
dave - Aug 16, 2014 12:35:19 — I want to be baptised and am trying to find a church to join Jonas. As you're a recent 7th day Adventist, maybe you can help me with my 2 problems in joining them. Perhaps you shared them too. 1) I don't think Ellen White was a prophet. 2) I want to follow my conscience and not be bullied by church doctrine. Can I join this church with those 2 issues, in your experience?
Jonas - Aug 16, 2014 03:11:35 — Yes, you can join that church!

But I think you might want a more expanded answer.

First of all, I am a Christian, in that I follow the teachings of Christ.  But I am not a very good Christian, and I'm probably the last person who should be giving advice.  But since you asked...

Let's start with issue number two.  You want to follow your conscience.  What is your conscience based on?  Probably the Bible, when you break it all down.  Even if you were not raised in a Christian family, you've almost certainly been exposed to Christianity enough to know some of the basic principles of love, obedience to God, respect for others, etc.  This is what has shaped your conscience.  So when you say you want to follow your conscience, I hear you saying you want to follow the one man who was sent to earth to teach us how we should follow God.

No one should be bullied by church doctrine.

I believe that we, as individuals, should follow the Bible, not the church.

The church, on the other hand, is comprised of individuals who, theoretically, follow the Bible.  The church then is established when a group of individuals who share the same Biblical interpretations gather to worship.

So don't worry about following the church.  Study the Bible, follow God's lead, and you will find there is only one church that is comprised of members who truly follow the teachings of Jesus, and who obey all ten Commandments, not just those that are most convenient.

I'm not suggesting that those who are not members of that church are not good Christians.  Many of them are.  Many simply have not yet learned some of the things others have learned.  Sadly, many others simply won't change because of tradition.

To join any church can be a tough decision to make.  To live a truly Christian life requires discipline, and sacrifice that few are willing to make.

One of the things I like about the Adventist church is that they believe, and I agree, that no one should be baptized without fully understanding the commitment.  That means that infants and young children cannot be baptized.  They are not capable of comprehending what it means.

It also means that the church must find a way to ensure that adults who are new to the church understand the core beliefs.  For me, it was a series of classes.  So if you take that route, you will know a great deal about the church and its members before you make the commitment to join.

Here's the best thing: Just because you join a church doesn't mean you have to live your life according to the members' beliefs.  What matters is that you follow the Bible.  Which brings us to the first issue - Ellen White.

I'm an Adventist, but I've never been convinced that White was a prophet.  I've been told countless times to read this book and and read that book about White and her life.  But I have yet to find any mention of Ellen White in the Bible.

I'm not saying that White is not a prophet.  I'm just saying I haven't seen enough evidence yet to agree with that claim.

When the subject of Ellen White comes up in church or among other Adventist members, I keep my mouth closed and my mind open.  I would hope to learn more, because I do know she was an exceptional woman.

I didn't let my opinion stop me from being baptized.  I don't thing the senior pastor of my church would have either.

The Bible is full of seeming contradictions and conflicts.  For me, it has never been easy to read or understand.  I believe it was written that way for a reason.  Imagine if it was so simple, we could read it once, put it down, and never read it again.  That's not what God wanted.  So I believe it was cleverly designed so that we would be forced to continue picking it up, opening it, searching through it, reading, studying, analyzing, etc.

The Bible is the key.  Nothing else.  Study the Bible.  Live according to the teachings of the Bible.  But you can't do it alone.  That's why God developed the concept of "fellowship", a key part of Christianity.

One final note about baptism.  I can't quote the verses, but I was taught that baptism by immersion was the way to go.  I know it may seem like an insignificant thing, but Jesus was baptized by immersion.  If it was good enough for Him...

IMHO
dave - Aug 16, 2014 04:41:20 — Thanks for taking the time for such a comprehensive answer Jonas. Incidentally, I have an interest in a deeper understanding of the bible, but following the spirit is my goal. That's what I meant by conscience.
Jan - Sep 5, 2014 11:33:59 — Is it ok to play computer games on Saturday?I want to but my parents don't allow me because they said we need to rest because it is God's day.
Jonas - Sep 6, 2014 01:25:31 — Hey, Jan.  Thanks for asking.

I think one of the greatest decisions God ever made (as if some are good and others are not so good) is to allow us to make choices for ourselves.  He could have easily "programmed" us to follow His commandments, but He didn't.  He lets us decide for ourselves, and make our own decisions and our own mistakes.

Parents, on the other hand, aren't always so lenient.  And for good reason.  I know it's tough to swallow right now, but it's the parents obligation and responsibility to make certain choices for their children.  The vast majority of the population supports the parents role, so you can't take that away from them (not even with my support!).  Right or wrong, when you disagree, you have no choice but to accept their decision, or present a valid argument to convince them otherwise.

So in this case, what valid argument could you present?  "I want to play video games"?  That doesn't cut it.  Can you convince your parents that you can place God in the forefront of your mind and activities while you're playing video games on the sabbath?  No one will believe that.  I could be wrong, but I don't think there is a valid argument.  Sorry.

It's okay to feel a little anxious during those times when you're itching to play, or even to be just a little bit angry at your parents for being so stubborn.  But you must recognize the fact that you are incredibly blessed to have parents that care enough to enforce God's rules.  Don't take them for granted, Jan.  If your parents didn't care about you, they would let you do whatever you wanted to do.  But they do (care) so they don't (let you do whatever you want).

Your parents recognize the importance of the fourth commandment, and they want to instill that importance in you now so that it will be easier to accept and voluntarily comply with in the future.  That's a tough job for parents 'cause you don't always recognize when they're right.  They get the blame even when they're making the wisest decision.

Think about it from God's perspective.  "Six days shall you work..."  How many days each week do you work?  Or do you get to play video games those six days while your parents work on your behalf?

All the things you have are all made possible by God.  He doesn't ask much in return - only that you devote one day of the week to Him.  You can have the other six to do whatever you want or need (with your parents permission, of course).

The bottom line is that you are focused on what seems to be important to you right now, at your age, rather than what will be infinitely more important to you in the long run.  You're thinking about what you want; they're thinking about what God wants.  Which is really more important?
Anna.K - Sep 13, 2014 04:26:25 — sorry for delay...actually i wasn't said that we should not celebrate parties on sabbath i just insisted that you have gone to a restaurant to celebrate that's the issue i felt that thing is wrong whereas you too accepted it thats enough.... celebration is not a matter but how do we celebrate is important. we people are celebrating i insist again we are celebrating the Sabbath every week but this celebration makes our creator happy but other celebrations are not. you asked for verses right? the 4th commandment is the verse. what ever we do on that day it must praise God though we celebrate or mourn praising and pleasing God should be our motive... on sabbath we should attend the church services and hv fellowship for Jesus himself had done this on every sabbath this is my view...sorry if i m mistaken...
Anna.K - Sep 13, 2014 04:49:03 — earlier i said celebrating parties on sabbath are against God...yes i agree but i gave it in the sense that if it is party celebration it includes fun like chats, cracking jokes, food, drinks, show off, and some other stuffs that's the thing i mentioned before, it is quiet correct coz now a days celebration are as like i 've told you it's full of worldly enjoyment so i used that sentence "celebrating parties on sabbath are against God" we should be thankful to God for adding one more year in our life and we should praise him with great happiness that is the celebration,we are celebrating the Sabbath every week then what is going to be special on that Sabbath when our birthday falls just one thankful prayer and request to see many birthday is going to be added that's all nah...am i clear now.
Anna.K - Sep 13, 2014 04:51:50 — Jonas can you please tell me how you got converted into seventhday...just this is for friendly reason...if u can only...
Jonas - Sep 13, 2014 01:01:45 — So, Anna.K, our disagreement has come down to what is actually done during a birthday celebration on the sabbath.  I'll stick to my original position: "...as long as He is invited and we recognize that He is responsible for the birth and the day of celebration.  But that doesn't open the door for an 'anything goes' type of celebration."

Somewhere in this page, I believe I confessed that I would not accept another invitation such as the birthday lunch example in the original article.  I like Tim's response above (Tim - Sep 3, 2013 08:49:05).  I think he's right - God has been telling me to think carefully about what I do and don't do on the sabbath.  The bottom line is that the sabbath is a special day to me (despite my consistent inconsistencies).

I think God might be pleased that we're having this discussion.  He knows our hearts are in the right place, even though we may not fully understand His desires.  He knows we are pupils; we are constantly learning, and repeatedly being tested.

I found the Adventist Church in 2005 through the 30-day All Power seminar by the late Leo Schreven.

I had been born and raised in the Methodist Church, but what they were teaching just didn't make sense.  There were too many unaswered questions.

I had been told before the seminar that Leo would answer all my questions.  I can tell you that Leo was so effective, by the end, I didn't have any questions.  He had already answered them during his presentation.  Of course, there are always new questions, but as I ask them of my pastors, friends, and even here, we find the answers in the Bible.  The verses just need to be clarified sometimes.

The clincher for me were the prophecies.  I'm very analytical, so when I learned about the statistical odds of even of few of the prophecies being fulfilled the way they were, God got my attention.  As I studied the prophecies more, I realized that they all point to one man.  That cannot possibly be coincidence, nor could it have been conspired.  I had read somewhere that even the largest computers in one university study could not calculate the odds of all the prophecies being fulfilled the way they were because those odds are so astronomical the computers just can't handle them.

If there's any part of the seminar I wish I could recall most, it's Leo's answer to the question, "If Jesus were alive today, what church would he attend?"  Leo presented verse after verse detailing what a church should be, and there was only one modern church that met all the requirements that were outlined in the Bible.  That was the Adventist Church.

But the one thing that really motivated me want to become a part of the Adventist Church - the people.  As a group, they truly live the lives they preach, and that Jesus preached, more than any other.  The sabbath is only one example, but there are many others.  Their diet, for example (I fail miserably in that category).  The fact that they are active in more countries around the world than any other denomination except the Catholic Church is yet another example.

I don't want to imply that I believe Adventists are "better" than others.  But I do believe that Adventists follow the teachings of Christ more consistently than those of other denominations.  I'm not saying that members of other denominations are not good people, or that they won't be admitted into the kingdom of God.  But I am convinced that for here and now, following the Adventist Church is the closest I can get to following Jesus Himself.  That's where I want to be.
Anna.K - Sep 14, 2014 07:54:34 — oh it sounds so good Jonas...yes actually as you said fellowship and love is more important for the church, as Jesus said "Those who accept you, will accept me" if we show love they'll accept us then only we can putforth our ideas about our beliefs and then they'll accept the truth...thank you
Anna.K - Sep 14, 2014 07:59:52 — Thank you that you had responded for me by sharing about you Jonas...
Robin - Nov 24, 2014 09:18:11 — Hi, thanks so much for your post about the Sabbath. I'm having a really hard time accepting my sister who has just converted. We have a chance to spend thanksgiving with family (a 4 hour drive on Thursday) but she does not want to go because she will be with family and will not observe the Sabbath as she would at home. She is thus removing relatives from her life (our gathering is the first in 5 years). This doesn't seem right to me and it is pulling me away from having a life with her and removes the joy of being around her. This seems too strict. Any ideas of how to deal with this? Thank you!
Jonas - Nov 24, 2014 12:23:02 — I've been in your sister's shoes.  I chose to visit my family, and I went to church, alone, on the sabbath morning.  I then went back to spend the day with my family.

Your sister may be interpreting Colossians 1:18 more strictly than she should (notice I wrote "may be", not "is").

"And [H]e is the head of the body, the church; [H]e is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything [H]e might have the supremacy." (NIV)

Christ should be placed first.  But many people do so by ignoring all else.  The challenge, as a good Christian, is to put Christ first, and include all else that is good.

Fellowship is an important part of Christianity.  Fellowship, from the Greek koinonia (communion or common), generally refers to individual Christians who are in Christian communion with each other.

Of the Adventist's 28 fundamental beliefs (www.adventist.org/fileadmin/adventist.org/files/articles/official-statements/28Beliefs-Web.pdf), number 12, "Church", reads, in part, "...we join together for worship, for fellowship..."

There are countless examples in the Bible of Jesus and the disciples observing the Sabbath through fellowship, and not in the structure many consider "church".  The worship and fellowship was the church.  Fellowship with family is also important, I believe.

On the other hand, if you and your family are not Christians, that may play a part in your sister's decision.

"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?"
—2 Corinthians 6:14 (NIV)

If your sister is making the wrong decision, the best YOU can do is to make the right decision.  I would suggest that, even if you are not Christians, you and your family offer to attend a local Adventist service on the sabbath with your sister.  Show her that she is that important to you.
Robin - Nov 25, 2014 06:34:33 — Jonas thank you for your help. My family is Catholic and we are strong believers. I offered to drive her to her church on Saturday.
Jessica jimenez - Dec 13, 2014 02:37:40 — I loved this article! It explained so nicely, why many of the practices that we adhere to are a choice. Many people, especially Christians will pick adventists apart piece by piece trying to make us think were all wrong, and this article is being linked straight to a friend of mine who does just that! Adventists doing things "the hard way", or "unnecessary way" is our belief that were doing all we can possibly do to ensure our closeness with The Lord. And it certainly will not guarantee us into heaven, but it certainly can't hurt!! I'm a vegetarian as well as an adventist, and although I've met dozens of vegetarians, as soon as someone realizes I'm both adventist AND vegetarian, it's a downhill conversation from there! "Where does it say not to eat meat", "were allowed to eat whatever we want, Jesus's death ended mosses's law", blah bla bla, and inside, I'm just saying "ITS MY CHOICE TO EAT AS CLEANLY, AND AS HEALTHILY AS I CAN"!! So thank you for this article, I hope it helps others to at least respect what they don't understand...btw... happy sabbath!!!
Jonas - Dec 14, 2014 09:34:02 — Thanks, Jessica!  Happy Sabbath!!
tsitsi - Feb 4, 2015 08:01:55 — thank you Jonas for sharing your experiences with us. this is very much encouraging
Daniel wolfe - Apr 11, 2015 08:20:20 — I just wish every church would worship on the holy day as the word of God says in scripture says. I do not believe in denomination names of churches I just believe in Jesus and he died for all of us and yes Saturday is mans day God set aside to rest and to keep it holy as it reads in scripture. I do not read in scripture about first baptist or southern baptists or luthern or Methodist or
Juddy - May 23, 2015 05:00:16 — If the command is read properly one requirement and one taboo is all thats mentioned. A: Keep it holy. B: No working. So if I go to a shop and do an exchange, just by default I condone the worker and am therefore no different. And like most habits they start small... Ill just pop in for that one day sale grab what I need. But beware my friends this could easily become regular visits to the mall. And your children could get led into indulging the activity. The human race after all got plunged into darkness for what? Two little bites on a piece of fruit.
Mike  - Dec 4, 2015 11:49:57 — The problem with Adventists is the are legalistic. You can worship and remember what god has done for you any and every day of the week. Read the whole bible and wat it says about everything God created is good for consuming. Reference their rules on meat. Jesus came down many times on the Pharisees for their resistance to change religious traditions and practices.
Jonas - Dec 5, 2015 09:10:28 — Yes, you can and should worship any day of the week!  Many times, the Bible tells us that Jesus and/or his followers "gathered" on days other than the sabbath.  But there is no evidence that they ever failed to worship and remember the sabbath, as the fourth commandment tells us to.

But I agree with you on food.

"Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you.  Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything." — Genesis 9:3

On the other hand, Adventists are notoriously healthier and live longer lives than those of other denominations, so it would appear that they are doing something right with their diet.  Nutritionally, I'm the black sheep in my church.  I try to eat healthy foods, but just can't afford it, can't cook, and have no desire to cook.  And, what can I say?  I like red meat!  But, thanks to the church, I am more health-conscious than I was before joining.

But "legalistic"?  Not all all.  In fact, just the opposite.  I've found the Adventist church more flexible, reasonable, and logical than any other I've experienced.  With the exception of one area.

God gave us the Ten Commandments, "not the ten suggestions, or the ten recommendations, or the ten good ideas," as the late Pastor Leo Schreven would have put it.  Adventists believe in obeying all Ten Commandments, which is why we remember and honor the sabbath.

Those commandments were written in stone so they could never be changed.  They were written by "the finger of God" so there would never be any confusion about their significance.

Yes, we may be considered "legalistic" when it comes to the Ten Commandments.  But for good reason.  I believe it's what God wanted.

Thanks for writing, Mike!  Next time you're in Vegas, stop by Mountain View Church on the sabbath.  This one is different from any Adventist church you may have attended!
Nathan Morris - Apr 16, 2016 06:23:06 — I've often heard people who worship on Sunday tell me that the Sabbath was changed from Saturday to sunday, when Jesus rose from the dead on sunday. Personally, I think that if God wanted to change His sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, He would have told us so in the Bible. The scripture also says that all heaven and earth would pass away, rather that a "jot" of the word (Bible) would pass away. For this reason I don't think that God would even change the fourth commandment to begin with, because He promised in his word that it won't be, nothing inew his woRd will every be changed. In terms of keeping the Sabbath holy, I think it is pretty simple. Whatever we do on the Sabbath should to the glory of God. My Family tries to keep the Sabbath as holy as we can. We don't think it would be to God's glory to have a birthday party on sabbath or even go shopping. But it is all up to the conscience of the christian. But just live your life according to the Bible and you can't go wrong no matter what.
Jonas - Apr 17, 2016 11:19:05 — I think you're probably right on every point, Nathan Morris!

The sabbath has never changed.  In many languages around the world, the name for the day we call Saturday is Sabbath.  For example, in Spanish it is Sabado.  The seventh-day sabbath is the seventh day.  That's easy.

The Ten Commandments were written in stone by the finger of God for a reason - so they could never be changed.  If God had wanted to change the sabbath, he would have made it as crystal clear as the Fourth Commandment itself.  He didn't, because the sabbath has never been changed.

Some people and some dictionaries, however, use the word "sabbath" to refer to the day of worship.  In 321 A.D., Constantine changed the day of worship from the sabbath to Sunday.  From what I understand, he did that to avoid conflict between Christians and pagans (sun-worshippers), who closed their shops and worshipped on Sunday.  But Constantine did not change the sabbath day.

Your last point is the trickiest.  We are all sinners, even those that understand and interpret the Bible most accurately and live according to the Bible as best they can.  So, in short, "live your life according to the Bible" is easier said than done.

I believe God intentionally made the Bible difficult to understand.  If it were easy, we would read it, put it down, and never pick it up again.  I believe He made it a challenge so we would be forced to continue studying it.

Because the Bible is so difficult to understand, there are many different interpretations on so many verses.  Can even the most scholarly be correct on every interpretation?  Not likely.  So there will be things that we, as individuals, get wrong.  None of us can live our lives 100% according to the Bible.  We will always sin, and will always be sinners.

So God has a choice to make with each one of us.  There are no levels of sin, so if we are all sinners, we are all equally guilty.  Only God knows who will make it.

So I would just modify your last sentence to read, "[Do your best to] live your life according to the Bible."  But even then, I'm not convinced "you can't go wrong no matter what."

Thanks for your comments!
Caesar Sondakh - Aug 20, 2016 10:00:07 — Hey I just read this but I'm still confused about my own question. My dream is to play professional soccer when I'm older. So if I play pro games on Sabath is that bad? I was thinking of telling them to not pay me during Sabath if I play pro. This is a question that's been in my heart for a long time. I believe that God gave me an incredible talent for soccer pls help...I'm hoping to play for Christ while I play. Can't I give him glory while playing the sport I love?
Jonas - Aug 21, 2016 04:49:25 — Which is more important - soccer or God?

The language of the Fourth Commandment is crystal clear: "You shall not work."  It does not say, "You shall not work unless you give God glory while you work."

If you play professionally, you would be working as you play soccer.  But that doesn't mean you can't play professionally.  It just means that, according to the Fourth Commandment, you shall not work (which would include playing soccer for a living) on the Sabbath.

The mark of a champion is one who finds a way to overcome all obstacles in order to achieve his goals.  You'll just need to practice extra hard so that you'll be good enough to dictate the terms of your contracts.
Sheldon - Feb 3, 2017 10:17:24 — If we spend time with Jesus every day in his word, and ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, we will be find truth. The question is not about do's and don'ts but about our Hearts. If u love me, keep my commandments. If I love it will all come naturally. May God continue to reveal himself in our daily walk with him. Be blessed.
laurah  - Feb 17, 2017 06:43:07 — hey, Am protestant dating an Adventist. Does the Adventist church allow inter-religious marriages?
Jonas - Feb 23, 2017 08:16:35 — Adventists are also Protestants, so I think the answer, in your case, would be yes.
Anna B - Jun 5, 2017 10:57:17 — Ah, Jonas, I was both grateful and saddened, reading you blog. First, I was looking for insight on appropriate Sabbath activities and came across your blog (I believe that I was Spirit led). My Community Services department is becoming more involved in "community" activities on the Sabbath (running clubs, fairs) and justifying it by saying "but we let them know we're from the church and wear our tee shirts". Don'the get me wrong, these are positive activities in support of our community. However, respondents have pointed out that our Sabbath focus should be fully on God. We should not allow ourselves to be distracted from focusing on Him in any manner. He has requested only ONE day, and yet I have seen many justifications, here, for NOT giving it fully to Him. YOU are the head of your household, NOT your daughter. Was it really more important to save a few bucks than give that time to God? We lead by example. The justification for the Sabbath b-day parties was especially disappointing. Really, in a restaurant, surrounded by other diners, CELEBRATING, the birth, your total focus was on your creator and savior? Have you never heard of a belated birthday party? You're right, of course, we make own choice (to attend or not). In addition, I agree with those who pointed out "nor your manservant nor maidservant". I faced the same delima when going out to eat after church one Sabbath. The Holy Spirt had to remind me that while I wasn't doing the cooking, I was causing someone ELSE to work. Satan starts small and soon has us "explaining" more and more our new interpretation of God's directives. Lastly, as to Jeffrey's question about jewelry, you would need to put that in context with the times and the peoples. Peter was promoting MODESTY. Check out some of the watches, hats and suits on our "no jewelry" cohorts and THEN compare that to a pair of studs. Thanks for reading; no offense has been intended.
Jonas - Jun 9, 2017 12:43:26 — Thanks for visiting, Anna B.

Like most dog owners, I love my dog.  Chipper is a smart little guy, and does his very best to please me.  He follows my commands pretty well, sometimes to perfection.  But other times, he gets excited and gets the commands confused.  I tell him to lie down, and he turns around.  I tell him again to lie down, and he moves "out".  I tell him again, and he jumps.  At some point, he gets so frustrated, that he barks, at which point I have to praise him for a "good speak."

We humans are sometimes like dogs.  We want to obey God's commandments, but maybe we're a little (or a lot) confused about exactly what God wants us to do.  Maybe what we want is not what God wants.  But the good news is that, like Chipper, we try to please our master.  Even if we fail, and God knows we often will, we're moving in the right direction.  God certainly gives us credit for our efforts.

As I've pondered this over the years, I've come to one conclusion: As we ask questions and search for answers, we have completed the first half of the commandment - "Remember the sabbath."  The second half - "keeping it holy" - is not so easy.  It's almost impossible for most of us.  But we remember what we're supposed to do, then we try - sometimes half-heartedly - to comply.  As long as we keep trying, and put a sincere effort into making the right choices, I think we're gonna be okay.
Bob - Sep 2, 2017 06:34:57 — Why do Seventh-day Adventists believe the 10 Commandments are part of the new covenant Jesus gave in His body. Luke 22:20 There is a New Covenant that the Christian is saved under. Hebrews 8:13 says the 1st or Old Covenant is obsolete. Some of the behavioral standards given by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5, 6, and 7 , expand on some of the old commandments, but leave out the Sabbath. Why is the Sabbath listed in Lev 23 as the first ceremonial appointed festival?
Wendell - Dec 16, 2017 02:18:55 — By "worship on Sunday instead of Saturday" I assume you're really asking about the Sabbath, and why many Christians practice the Sabbath on Sunday instead of Saturday. While the concept of Sabbath is often associated with God's rest on the seventh day in the beginning of time, the earliest mention and practice of the Sabbath actually came during Moses' time.By "worship on Sunday instead of Saturday" I assume you're really asking about the Sabbath, and why many Christians practice the Sabbath on Sunday instead of Saturday. While the concept of Sabbath is often associated with God's rest on the seventh day in the beginning of time, the earliest mention and practice of the Sabbath actually came during Moses' time.
Jonas - Dec 19, 2017 04:40:39 — Wendell, the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week no matter what day you worship.  It always has been.  In Exodus, Moses repeatedly referred to the seventh day as the Sabbath.  Sunday has never been the Sabbath, although many people, such as yourself, refer to the day of worship as the sabbath.
Maria Carbon - Dec 29, 2017 08:18:58 — I don't see anything wrong with celebrating someone's birthday on Sabbath. After all, birthdays are gifts from God. We have been attending this church for over 7 years and it never fails to amaze me how some people have been so against celebrating huge milestones in their lives on Saturdays while on the contrary, they are okay organizing potluck lunch for someone leaving the church for example. Here, they make funny hilarious videos, deliver speeches, giving parting gifts, giving thanks and honor to the person right inside the church premise. To add to that this 'leaving lunch' requires extra 'work' for some people in the church kitchen and cleaning the place after that. And then, singing happy birthday song on Saturday is frown upon? It does not make sense!
jEANNIE Keil - Aug 4, 2018 08:42:01 — Hi Jonas. That was an interesting article. I may say that I don't know how else to pay back the Lord for all He has done for me but to obey His commandments. What can I give in return...Time? Money? How do you give Someone back the things He has already created? Thank you for listening. j-
Gef - Mar 16, 2019 07:11:08 — Hello, my church had youth day with members who are Seventh Day Adventist went out to Dunkin Donuts and Walmart paying for peoples Foods and groceries. Also placing groceries in cars. Should that be done on a Sabbath? Thanks for your reply.
Gef - Mar 16, 2019 11:01:20 — Hello, my church had youth day with members who are Seventh Day Adventist went out to Dunkin Donuts and Walmart paying for peoples Foods and groceries. Also placing groceries in cars. Should that be done on a Sabbath? Thanks for your reply.

© 2010-2013 Jonas Maxwell. All rights reserved.