A t one point in his essay, Mr. Pack offers a series of hypothetical situations in an attempt to prove that God's prohibition against acquiring your Sabbath meals on holy time is no longer in effect. When doing so he portrays the authors of A Sabbath Test as hypocrites who are brutally heartless and totally insensitive to the needs of the less fortunate. As you read each story remember this:—he is offering them in an attempt to prove that God's people may now seek out unbelievers on the Sabbath and pay them to prepare and serve their Sabbath meals. This despite the fact that God specifically prohibited such behavior just weeks before giving the Ten Commandments (Ex. 16).
David C. Pack:
By David C Pack
"Consider the following analogy: Suppose that, while driving your car on the Sabbath, you approach a highway construction site en route to services. As you draw near, a flagman waves for you to stop. Then, a few minutes later, he waves you on through the construction zone and back into free-flowing traffic. By driving through the work zone, you caused extra labor for the flagman.
Though it might not be proportionate to the work that restaurant employees do in accommodating an additional customer, the fact remains that (in this analogy) you caused the flagman an extra measure of work—thus making you cause him to break the Sabbath. Work is work. This analogy cannot be dismissed.
Those who oppose dining out on the Sabbath yet would drive through a highway work zone on that same day would be guilty of utter hypocrisy! If one truly opposed eating out on the Sabbath on the grounds that extra labor might be produced, then he would be obliged to bypass all construction zones during Sabbath time."
Here Mr. Pack claims that because a flagman labors to direct you as a motorist, God now permits His people to consciously seek out unbelievers who labor in restaurants, and actually pay them to prepare your meals. Through this blast of “intellectual wisdom,” Mr. Pack has discovered the perfect loophole. Because it would be impossible to not cause someone, someplace to labor in some form on the Sabbath, Mr. Pack believes he may now go out and hire people to work on his behalf. What a deal!
Well here is a hypothetical for Mr. Pack. “You are an Israelite wandering in the Sinai desert. While there, God Almighty informs you that you are not to go out and find food on His Sabbath. He then informs you that you are to prepare all your Sabbath meals the day before—not on the Sabbath. Finally, He informs you that on the Sabbath you are to stay within the camp of His people. He then explains that this command will stand as a test to prove whether you will “walk in His law or not” (Ex. 16:4). On the following Sabbath you ask Moses if he has seen your son. Moses points you in your son’s direction. Here is our question. Because you caused God's faithful servant to work by lifting his arm, may you now go outside the camp and hire an unbeliever to gather and prepare your Sabbath manna?”
Mr. Pack knows full well that his hypothetical is totally contrived. He offers it in an attempt to blur the lines between something that we NEVER orchestrated (the flagman) and something that he totally orchestrates (the restaurant worker).
On the other hand our scenario perfectly reflects God’s instructions to His people nearly thirty-five hundred years ago. Furthermore, there isn’t a hint in the scriptures that He has ever changed His mind on this. When this prominent COG leader teaches people that they can go outside the community of faith on God’s Sabbath and patronize businesses engaged in the desecration of that Sabbath, it is he who is the hypocrite. His “what if?” scenario is a cynical attempt to justify his own lawlessness. Furthermore, it employs the same arguments Protestants use when rejecting the Sabbath altogether. They reason that because it is impossible not to cause labor in some fashion on the Sabbath, you may now cause labor in any fashion on that day. In truth, Mr. Pack's argument holds about as much moral weight as suggesting that because a person's vital organs (lungs, heart, kidneys etc.) work on the Sabbath, it must be okay for God's people to do so as well.
David C. Pack continued:
“The Real World”
By David C Pack
"In many of the world’s larger cities, such as London and New York, brethren must ride metro trains to get to services. This sometimes means having to invest hours traveling to and from services, and riding two or more separate trains. And of course, none of this is free! Sometimes, multiple cash transactions must take place. Early in his ministry, Mr. Armstrong rode streetcars—exchanging money—to get to Sabbath services.
Yet those brethren who pay these transactions—in order to obey God’s Sabbath command and attend His service—are condemned by critics who forbid dining out on the Sabbath. In their minds, no exceptions are allowed."
Once again Dave Pack perverts the truth. His claim is designed to persuade God's people to believe that the authors of A Sabbath Test are cruel hearted men obsessed with condemning those whom God has called. However, he doesn't provide one ounce of proof that supports such a claim. Why?—because there is no such proof. Mr. Pack simply makes it up. Fortunately, there is evidence that proves the very opposite. Here is what Mr. Pack thought you shouldn't know. It comes straight from a letter that appears at the beginning of A Sabbath Test. As you read it you decide if the authors are condemning anybody.
A Sabbath Test
"As you proceed through each point, it is important to understand that the authors are not trying to judge God’s people. This booklet is not an attempt to condemn the wonderful community of believers who are called according to His purpose. Instead, it is written with the profound hope that these believers will carefully examine their approach to a day God Himself calls “HOLY.” It is intended to challenge you to consider your attitude as well as your behavior concerning the fourth commandment."
Furthermore, Mr. Pack's assertion that the authors of A Sabbath Test are opposed to ALL buying on holy time is simply NOT TRUE. These men are acutely aware that there are circumstances that may require money to be exchanged on the Sabbath and holy days.
They even provide examples (see: Argument XVIII, “An Ox in a Ditch”). However, dining out at commercial restaurants does not fall into that category. Mr. Pack engages in this practice because of convenience, not because of necessity.
David C. Pack continued
“The Toll Booth”
By David C Pack
"Suppose a Sabbath service was being held in the downtown area of a large U.S. city, such as New York City, Chicago or Los Angeles (which was done in Mr. Armstrong’s day), and you decided to drive your car. Where would you park? Most, if not all, major American cities are notorious for their lack of parking space. More than likely, in order to park in a safe and convenient location, you will have to use a parking lot or a parking garage. This means having to pay a parking attendant, which is condemned in the eyes of those who oppose dining out on the Sabbath.
Driving your car to services could also involve using toll bridges and taking toll roads. For those who use them, traffic tolls are mandatory business transactions. Sometimes toll areas can be avoided. However, in many cases, detouring around them could amount to extra travel time, as well as additional fuel consumption.
Do you begin to see a trend here? For many brethren, there are legitimate expenses that must be paid in order to attend God’s commanded assembly—and these have nothing to do with fulfilling personal pleasure or profaning the Sabbath.
Ask yourself: Would Christ understand the necessity of having to pay traffic tolls, parking fees, and transportation expenses for trains, buses or taxis? Would He understand His brothers and sisters paying for food and drink as they travel to Sabbath services? Is Christ scrutinizing whether a transaction becomes one too many, immediately condemning that person for profaning the Sabbath? Does He eagerly stand ready to enforce “yardstick Christianity” and punish us for such “oversights” or “infractions” (particularly, in this case, when it was He who commands Sabbath fellowship and assembly – Mark 2:28; Heb. 10:23-26)? Or, does Christ measure our intent in context with the spirit of the Law?
Man is not to be deprived of attending to his physical needs, such as hunger, finding warmth from the freezing cold, or even being denied the opportunity to assemble on the Sabbath because it might involve exchanging money when traveling.
The Pharisees of today see only two alternatives: Keep the “letter of the law” or abandon it. They mistakenly view “the spirit of the law” as a Protestant platitude translated “the law is done away.”
Here, Mr. Pack hides behind a host of legitimate reasons that may require money to be spent on the Sabbath and misrepresents the authors of a book that never once hints at what he (Mr. Pack) is suggesting. He knows full well that A Sabbath Test is not about third world countries or situations that are unavoidable. In truth it’s about him (Dave Pack) as a contemporary “noble of Judah.” This “noble” has the gall to suggest that those who honor God’s command to refrain from going to restaurants on His Sabbath actually want God’s people to suffer on this day. He does this to justify himself when making Friday evening reservations at an exclusive bistro and dropping $200 on an exquisite meal. However, being that he brought it up here is Blow the Trumpet’s response:
The Bible doesn’t address tollbooths. It doesn’t address parking lots in modern cities. It doesn’t address electricity, water & power or Mr. Pack’s phone service. The Bible doesn’t address a host of issues that may require money to be spent in our contemporary world. Furthermore, to employ such arguments and represent them as “Biblical facts” is an act of extraordinary cowardice. Additionally, to suggest that the authors of A Sabbath Test want to make the Sabbath a burden is to suggest that this was God’s motivation in the Sinai desert.
However, there is good news. The Bible is not silent on everything pertaining to this issue. For example: IT DOES ADDRESS DINING OUT ON THE SABBATH AND TEACHING OTHERS TO DO THE SAME! Furthermore, the scriptures declare that Mr. Pack’s attempt to dignify this practice is a reproach to both God Almighty and His Sabbath. That Sabbath is SACRED! It is HOLY! And both Dave Pack and others who think they can defend their position by parading a plethora of "Yea buts and what ifs?" would be well advised to take their dirty feet off of it.
In conclusion, here is what God Almighty is telling Dave Pack and anyone else who thinks he can engage in this practice, and teach God’s children to do the same:
David C. Pack, You shall NOT procure food on My Sabbath. If you do, you profane My day and you FAIL my test!
David C. Pack, You shall not prepare food on My Sabbath. If you do, you profane My day and you FAIL My test!
David C. Pack, You shall NOT go into the world to acquire your meals on My Sabbath. If you do, you profane My day and you FAIL My test!
A Final Thought
The Sabbath is God’s day and He doesn’t need Dave Pack or anyone else to improve on it. It is just fine as it is. Furthermore, Mr. Pack should understand that those who refrain from dining out on the Sabbath are not Pharisees. They are people who are honoring God’s word powerfully spoken nearly 3500 years ago and later affirmed by a wonderful servant named Nehemiah. However, the same cannot be said about Mr. Pack. This COG leader makes the law of God of none effect through his tradition. This modern day Pharisee spent his entire essay presenting a collection self-serving arguments intended to justify the sin he so brazenly promotes. Furthermore, although he presents himself as God's end time champion, there was not one thing courageous about his arguments. One the contrary, they exuded fear. Once again, if this COG leader is genuinely confident in his case, we challenge him to step up and prove it. Our offer to debate this critical end time issue still stands. We are prepared to meet him on this anytime and in any place.
In the conclusion of A Sabbath Test, the authors offer a simple tribute to a day all of God’s people share. It is a tribute of hope and inspiration, NOT condemnation. Here are their words.
A Sabbath Test
The Sabbath is a day with profound meaning. It was created by God as evidence that He has an incredible plan for mankind. That plan reflects a great wisdom and an infinite love for His children. God made the Sabbath so that His children could know Him and the hope of His Kingdom. The Sabbath pictures that Kingdom. And those who honor it honor what it pictures.
When God gave the command to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy, He wasn’t simply instructing the children of Israel to be aware of when this day occurs. It is not simply a cognitive test of knowledge. The Sabbath is a test of faith. A test to see if His people will declare their loyalty to Him and His kingdom (Ex. 16:4).
Honoring God’s Sabbath is done by acting out that kingdom every week. In a very real sense, God’s Sabbath is His signature on a great moral code Jesus described in one word: LOVE. Honoring this day as God instructed is the profound responsibility of every true Christian. But there is more. To keep the Sabbath as God commands is also a great privilege—one that is known by so few. God’s people should see it as an honor bestowed upon them by none other than the King of Eternity.
To that, we at Blow the Trumpet say: Amen
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