In his defense of God's people seeking out unbelievers on the Sabbath and purchasing the fruit of their labor, Mr. Pack argues that if it is permissible with God to use electricity in your home on the Sabbath then it must also be permissible to seek the services of a restaurants on that day. After all, both require unbelievers to labor.
Here is how he expresses it.
David C. Pack:
"By their standard, should a Christian not refrain from turning on his lights or air conditioning (electricity) because someone at the power plant must be on the job for this to be possible?
Similarly, what about gas heat in winter? Should not a kerosene space heater—or heating by wood—be used instead? Then, should a Christian refrain from turning on the water, including showering, on the Sabbath so that others are not further burdened (the water is heated by supplied energy)? What about not flushing the toilet, and using a bucket instead, to eliminate any kind of additional work at the sewage treatment plant?
These examples are all under our control. Utility workers must be there to make available the services you are taking advantage of. In doing this, why are you not, therefore, “a partaker in other men’s sins”?
It is amazing to see the lengths some people will go to when justifying themselves. In the case of Dave Pack, he attempts to blur the lines between acceptable Sabbath behavior and his sin. He does so because he desperately wants to believe that the Lord of the Sabbath respects the fact that he teaches God's people that they may go out into spiritual Egypt, on a day consecrated by the Almighty, and purchase the fruit of its sin. Remember, when one dines out on the Sabbath, he or she must consciously seek out unbelievers and pay them for their Sabbath labor. This is done despite the fact that God specifically prohibited His people from soliciting Sabbath labor from anyone (Ex. 20:10). Additionally, the Almighty also prohibited His people from acquiring their meals on the Sabbath, preparing their meals on the Sabbath, and going outside their place (community of faith) on the Sabbath (see Ex. 16). He also prohibited them from buying any food on the Sabbath (Neh. 10:31).
The Real Truth
While Mr. Pack insists that there is no difference between using energy for one's home on the Sabbath and going to a restaurant on God's day, this is simply NOT TRUE. Consider the obvious differences. First, God's people do not, or at least they should not, seek out utility companies on the Sabbath. In other words, they should not subscribe to utility services on that day. However, when it comes to dining out on the Sabbath, that is exactly what must take place. Those who engage in this practice must willfully seek out, on holy time, unbelievers who are profaning the fourth commandment and place an order for the fruit of this sacrilege. We think this represents a HUGE difference in these two behaviors.
Secondly, God's people do not, or at least they should not, pay their utility bills on the Sabbath. However, when it comes to dining out on this day that is exactly what they do. They are purchasing a specific service that was provided for them, at their request, on a specific day—GOD'S DAY! We think this also represents a HUGE difference in these two behaviors.
Thirdly, when God's people subscribe to a utility service, they are not requiring that labor be performed for them on the Sabbath. That is not how utilities work. It is not as if someone at a power plant must crank a generator so that your home receives its power on God's day. As a matter of fact, power generated by utility companies can be sustained for considerable periods of time without the aid of any manpower. When one subscribes to receive energy, his home, which is already connected to a power source, is simply allowed access to that source.
The bottom line is this—when it comes to utilities, God’s people do not require Sabbath labor any more than they need their bank to be open on Saturdays for their checking account to work. However, when it comes to dining out on the Sabbath, the opposite is true. Manpower is absolutely essential. Those who engage in this practice depend on that labor—without it they don't eat.
Finally, we at Blow the Trumpet believe it can reasonably be argued that utilities are a necessary part of the operation of a modern home. However, no such argument can be made about restaurants. Furthermore, although the Bible is silent on the issue of using utilities on the Sabbath, it speaks with great force regarding Mr. Pack's Sabbath meals. God's word specifically states that food is not to be acquired on the Sabbath, prepared on the Sabbath and that God's people are not to go outside their community of faith to procure it on the Sabbath (Ex. 16). However, instead of heeding the scriptures, David C. Pack cites the "utility defense" to justify his defiance of God’s command.
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