O n July 31, 2005 Blow the Trumpet published a comparison of the arguments presented by the Restored Church of God in favor of dining out on the Sabbath to those presented by A Sabbath Test which opposes this practice. It is very telling.

 

"Comparing the Arguments"

  
 

     In the summer of 2005, David C. Pack, who serves as the director of the Restored Church of God released a scathing indictment of a book entitled A Sabbath Test, which is showcased in our library. His purpose was to offer “Biblical facts” proving that dining out on the Sabbath was an appropriate practice in God’s eyes. However, instead of a biblical argument, Mr. Pack offered a plethora of theories that amounted to nothing more than wishful thinking. For example: he contends that restaurant personnel who serve God's people perform the role of levites and are thus held blameless for their Sabbath labor. He also claims that in the millennium, dining facilities will operate in the temple every week and will prepare and serve God's people sabbath meals. He actually claimed that this was done in the Old Testament. This however, NEVER took place and both God's word as well as the historical record bear this out.

    Mr. Pack also contends Jesus AND his disciples picked grain on the Sabbath and concludes that the act was not unlike what happens when he (Mr. Pack) dines out at a fine restaurant on holy time. What he neglects to say is that the scriptures record that ONLY the disciples picked and ate the grain--NOT Jesus. Furthermore, Mr. Pack neglected to admit that Jesus actually implied that what the disciples did was "unlawful."

    Despite this and a host of distortiond offered up by this COG leader he had the nerve to accused the authors of A Sabbath Test of using human reasoning when presenting their case against dining out on the Sabbath.

 

                                     An Opposing View

    After carefully studying Mr. Pack's paper, we at Blow the Trumpet are convinced, more than ever that A Sabbath Test presents an overwhelming case for God's people to immediately terminate the practice of seeking out unbelievers and purchasing their Sabbath labor--which is exactly what takes place when dining out on the Sabbath. Furthermore, A Sabbath Test presents compelling Biblical arguments that can not be refuted without making stratospheric leaps in logic. Its case is straightforward and appeals to God’s people to trust His word on this issue.

 

    Below we have broken down the two views to their most basic components. We then placed the core reason for the entire debate at the end of each component. The results are very telling. They are so staggering that some will think we have distorted this picture. WE HAVEN”T!

 

    As you read each position ask yourself which one would carry the most weight if presented before God Almighty? After all, He will be the final arbiter in this matter. It is He Who will judge.

 

                             The RCG Position:

 

"Restaurant personnel are not our servants and the commandment only mentions your servants. Therefore we can seek out unbelievers on the Sabbath and purchase their labor."

 

"Jesus disciples dined out on the Sabbath--they picked grain on the Sabbath. This is no different than going to a restaurant. Therefore we can pay others to prepare our Sabbath meals and be just like the disciples."

 

"The authors of A Sabbath Test are self-appointed critics. Therefore we can dine out on the Sabbath."

 

"The authors of A Sabbath Test are gnats and ankle biters. Therefore we can dine out on the Sabbath."

 

"Mr. Armstrong never said it was wrong. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath."

 

"The authors of A Sabbath Test are just in this for the money and the power. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath."

 

"Jesus said that the Levites who serve God’s people are held guiltless for working on the Sabbath. Therefore, because restaurant workers are also serving God’s people they are held guiltless as well. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath".

 

"During the millennium God’s people will eat at the temple on the Sabbath. That means the temple is a type of “dining facility”, and is like a restaurant in this respect. Thus, in a way there will be restaurants open on the Sabbath even though A Sabbath Test says otherwise. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath."

 

"If the authors of A Sabbath Test can flush their toilets on the Sabbath then we can go to restaurant on this day. They both cause people somewhere to work. Except in the case of restaurants where our workers are Levites. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath."

 

"Dining out on the Sabbath is a tradition. The Bible says God’s leaders can set traditions. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath."

 

"If we don’t occasionally take our families to a restaurant on the Sabbath our wives and daughters will be forced to labor on that day. It is better that the unbeliever work than the believer. Therefore, we can dine on the Sabbath."

 

"The authors of A Sabbath Test are highly flawed men. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath."

 

"People in third world countries are forced by their circumstances to spend money in order to attend church services. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath and spend our money too."

 

"Eating food on the Sabbath is not a pleasure or luxury, it is a necessity. Restaurants serve food and we need food to survive. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath."

 

Dining out on the Sabbath can actually enhance this day. It is a pleasure God permits because it promotes fellowship and pictures the Millennium. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath.

 

"Nehemiah never specifically mentioned restaurants by name in his indictment of the Jews in Jerusalem. His issue was only over the volume of purchases being made, not that they were buying and selling. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath."

 

"The authors of A Sabbath Test are total unknowns. God would never use such people. He would use famous people in His Church to announce such a message. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath."

 

"The authors of A Sabbath Test are just trying to reprimand Mr. Armstrong with this teaching. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath."

 

"The "Mark of the Beast" has nothing to do with buying and selling. It is forced labor camps and forced Sunday worship. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath."

 

"The issue of going to restaurants on the Sabbath is divisive. God does not want people to speak about things that polarize His children. Jesus never did. Peter and the disciples never did. Paul never did. Elijah certainly never did. Neither did Nehemiah for that matter. Their words were always unifying. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath."

 

"If God permitted the Israelites to sell food that was not appropriately killed to Gentiles, we can go to a restaurant on the Sabbath and buy the goods and services of gentiles. In other words, if He is not causing them to sin then neither are we. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath."

 

"When God commanded the Israelites to not gather their daily meals on the Sabbath, His instructions were only in effect while He was providing them manna. Once the manna stopped the command was no longer in effect. Therefore, they could have gone out and gathered their Sabbath meals after that and we can dine out on the Sabbath."

 

"When God commanded the Israelites to “not go outside the place ” on the Sabbath, His instructions were only in effect while He was providing them manna on their journey to Canaan. Therefore, we can dine out on the Sabbath."

  

 

                         The Position of A Sabbath Test

 

"God ceased from His labor on the seventh day and commanded man to do the same. Restaurant personnel violate that command and thus profane the Sabbath. Therefore, we will not dine out on the Sabbath."

"When giving the fourth commandment God said that his people are not to issue an order to work on His day. Going to a restaurant would require that order. Therefore, we will not dine out on the Sabbath."

"The only work God permits on the Sabbath relates to a Levitical function. Restaurant personnel are not close to Levites and their labor profanes this day. Therefore, we will not dine out on the Sabbath."

"We were once slaves in spiritual Egypt and profaned the Sabbath. Restaurant personnel are still enslaved in that horrible place when they labor on God’s day. Furthermore, God commanded that we not go back to the place of our slavery. Therefore, we will not dine out on the Sabbath."

"The Sabbath pictures God’s millennial Kingdom. At that time there will be no restaurants open on this holy day. Therefore, we will not dine out on the Sabbath."

"The Sabbath pictures a time of great liberty. Labor on this day pictures bondage. Therefore, we will not dine out on the Sabbath."

"We are Ambassadors of the Kingdom of God. We are subject to its laws. God’s law prohibits what is done in restaurants on the Sabbath. Therefore, we will not dine out on the Sabbath."

"Nehemiah specifically commanded God’s people to refrain from buying and selling on His Sabbath and Holy Days. He never hinted that it could be done on a limited basis. Therefore, we will not dine out on the Sabbath."

"God commanded His people to gather their Sabbath meals on the sixth day, not buy it on the seventh. There isn’t a hint in the scriptures that suggests He ever changed this command. Therefore, we will not dine out on the Sabbath."

"God commanded His people to refrain from doing their pleasure on His Sabbath. Although eating food is a necessity, eating it at a restaurant is a pleasure. Therefore, we will not dine out on the Sabbath."

"God commanded His people to prepare their Sabbath meals on the sixth day, not have them prepared for them by Sabbath breakers on the seventh. Therefore, we will not dine out on the Sabbath."

"God commanded His people to not go outside their place on the Sabbath. Restaurants are definitely outside our place. Therefore, we will not dine out on the Sabbath."

"Restaurant personnel are SLAVES to SIN and the great SLAVE MASTER, Satan. We will not support either. Therefore, we will not dine out on the Sabbath."

"In order to dine out on the Sabbath one must find someone who is trampling on this holy time and pay him or her to trample on it for them. Therefore, we will not dine out on the Sabbath."

"God commands His people to come out of Babylon. Restaurants are in Babylon on the Sabbath. Therefore, we will not dine out on the Sabbath."

"Every Sabbath we act out what our King will do when He returns to earth and establishes His Father’s Kingdom. We declare all the slaves FREE. Therefore, we will not dine out on the Sabbath."

 

Timeline of Events

David C. Pack vs A Sabbath Test

Honoring God's Sabbath

  

 

 

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