Argument VII

   hen defending the practice of seeking out unbelievers and purchasing their goods and services on holy time, David C. Pack goes to great lengths in claiming that such an activity is actually beneficial because it relieves women in the church of the burden of Sabbath labor. Under the sub-title: "Should Women Never Get a Break?" Mr. Pack even accuses the authors of A Sabbath Test of being inconsiderate “chauvinists” for failing to appreciate the degree of labor imposed on women every Sabbath. Here is how he advances this argument.


David C. Pack:


"These modern critics seek to make the Sabbath a burden, especially upon the women. They fail to recognize that their misguided zeal in not adding to the burdens of restaurant employees on the Sabbath automatically transfers over to their wives, mothers and daughters—who labor in cooking, re-heating, setting up tableware, etc. Like chauvinists, these critics do not take into consideration the fact that their wives, mothers and daughters would appreciate an opportunity to occasionally have their burdens lightened on the Sabbath. Ironically, the critics give this consideration to the restaurant employees—unbelievers who have no regard for, or understanding of, this holy time!"


Our Response: 


    This might actually be a new record in distorted logic. According to Dave Pack, the issue here is WHO should labor on the Sabbath. His wisdom suggests the burden should go to the unbeliever, because they don’t know about the Sabbath anyway. This “Biblical fact” is offered up by a man who just acknowledged that God's people may burden their women with exhausting labor on the majority of Sabbaths because he only believes it is appropriate to dine out occasionally. Just who is the chauvinist here?


     Although this COG leader may draw consolation from this argument, God Almighty isn’t the slightest bit impressed. The scriptures indicate that God was so opposed to His people engaging in profane labor on the Sabbath that He actually designated the sixth day as a period to prepare for this holy time. Even the Great Creator prepared for His Sabbath. Notice what He did.


Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or not. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily. (Ex. 16:4-5)


     Here, God declares that He rained a double portion of manna on the sixth day with the specific purpose of “proving” the Israelites. In other words, He did this to see if they were truly committed to obeying Him. If they were, they would gather enough food on Friday to satisfy their needs for both that day and the next. They would then cook all of it on the preparation day.


The Importance of Preparation


    Contrary to Mr. Pack’s approach, God never intended for His people to be engaging in the Sabbath labor he (Mr. Pack) described being done by the wives, mothers and daughters he mentions (see: Ex. 16:23). The point this leader apparently fails to grasp is that the Sabbath is to be treated differently. It was, and is HOLY TIME. Furthermore, the scriptures declare that the Almighty would personally make sure His people had a way to keep it HOLY and His remedy did not involve soliciting the labor of unbelievers at restaurants. The authors of A Sabbath Test understand this truth and present what just might be the most insightful observation in their book. They offer an idea regarding the significance of the “preparation day.” Tragically, it seems to be totally lost on Dave Pack.

A Sabbath Test


But what about the Israelites who failed to prepare adequately? What were they to do? Were they to go out and buy food from someone else on the Sabbath? Absolutely not! God did not give them an alternative food source when they failed to prepare on the sixth day. The scriptures state “they found none” (Ex. 16:27).


Is there a lesson for God’s people today in the action He took so very long ago? It would certainly seem so. Based on His clear instructions to the children of Israel, perhaps we should ask ourselves a very important question: Is it right for us to go outside our spiritual camp and buy from others on the Sabbath if we fail to adequately prepare for this day?


Today almost all of God’s people understand the great significance of His Sabbath and holy days. These appointed times declare a great plan that was envisioned by Him before the world was created.


With this in mind, consider what God could be teaching His people with a preparation day. If the Sabbath pictures God’s kingdom (Heb. 4:9-10), could the sixth day reveal that His people must properly prepare themselves in order to enter into that kingdom? In other words, if we do not make ourselves ready for God’s millennial rest, will God allow us to be a part of it? Additionally, will we prepare for that kingdom by following His instructions, or do we think we can forge our own path and do it a different way? (A Sabbath Test)


    It is clear that Mr. Pack places little significance on the day of preparation as evidenced by his admission that the mothers, wives and daughters of his members toil over meals on God’s HOLY Sabbath. However, the authors of A Sabbath Test have a different view. They take this day very seriously. They also offer a warning to Mr. Pack and others like him who place such burdens on their families and teach their members to do the same.

                                     A Sabbath Test


Furthermore, does the convenience of dining out on the Sabbath actually make the preparation day somehow less meaningful to God’s people? After all, today there is no sense of urgency with respect to preparing food for the Sabbath. This is because it is so convenient to gather brethren and head off to a popular restaurant on this day. Furthermore, if God’s people refuse to prepare for His Sabbath, why should He think they would prepare for His Kingdom? These are serious words and should not be taken lightly. (A Sabbath Test)


    It is interesting that Mr. Pack completely ignores one of the primary reasons presented by the authors of A Sabbath Test when explaining why God’s children should refrain from going to restaurants on the Sabbath. According to the authors, God gave a clearly defined command to the Israelites pertaining to the acquisition and preparation of food on this day. Here are their words and the real "scriptural facts" that supports them.

                                    A Sabbath Test


Notice what God said to Israel because of their cavalier attitude regarding His Sabbath and how they prepared for it.


“How long refuse you to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath, therefore He giveth you the sixth day the bread of two days; abide you every man in his place. Let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” (Ex. 16:28)


Here, God is rebuking the children of Israel for their failure to honor His Sabbath. Specifically, He was condemning their lack of preparation. In essence, God was conveying to His people three critical elements concerning eating on the Sabbath. These elements were as follows.


1) Food was not to be acquired on the Sabbath

2) Food was not to be prepared on the Sabbath

3) His people were not to leave “their place” on the Sabbath.


Notice that God said, “let no man go out of his place” on the Sabbath. With these words, He did not mean that individuals could not leave their tent for any reason as evidenced by the fact that they left their tents when Moses assembled them on the Sabbath and holy days. Additionally, Jesus Himself dined at the homes of others on the Sabbath (Lk. 14:1-6).


The point God was making with these instructions was that the Israelites were not to leave the community where God’s people were camped. Furthermore, they had no need to do so. God had already provided food on the sixth day. Now consider this. If God prohibited the Israelites to go outside their camp to acquire food on the Sabbath, why would He permit that practice today? The answer is HE WOULDN’T!


In reality, those who dine out on the Sabbath are breaking every aspect of God’s command with respect to eating. Consider what they do. They acquire food on the Sabbath. They have it prepared for them on the Sabbath. And they go outside the community of faith to procure the food as well as to consume it. Tragically, many of God’s people rationalize every one of these practices. (A Sabbath Test pp 44-45)


    Based on Mr. Pack’s assertion that refraining from going to a restaurant on the Sabbath is not scriptural, we at Blow the Trumpet have a question for him. What did God mean when he gave these three directives as recorded in Exodus 16, and what relevance do they have for God’s people today? It is clear that the authors of A Sabbath Test have an answer. Mr. Pack, do you?



Argument VIII
"I'm Not Responsible"

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