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Joshua Supit
Mr. Cosmin
English IV
3 February 2014
Sabbath Observance
A group of friends one summer decided that they wanted to
go to an amusement park before school started. The group decided
that they would go the following Saturday. However, a young man
in the same group said that he wasnt going to be able to make
it if they were set on going on a Saturday. Why not? they
asked. He calmly replied that hes a Seventh-day Adventist, and
thats the day that he go to churchhis Sabbath. Perplexed by
his answer, they proceeded to ask him if he was able to go after
his service was over, but again, he had to kindly turn down the
offer. This raised the question Why arent Adventists able to
have fun on Saturdays? To someone who does not know much about
Adventism, this would be a common question. Seventh-Day
Adventists do not believe that they are not permitted to engage
in fun activities on their Sabbath, but rather choose to
participate in that which will draw them closer to God within
those hours.
Many of the doctrines that Seventh-Day Adventists believe
in are held in common with most other Christian denominations.
Adventists believe that the Bible is the written word of God and
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that it should be the basis of all principles and beliefs. It is
the foundation of their religion, and the truths that it holds
are to be the guidelines for life. Other topics held in common
with most other Christian denominations is the literal six day
creation, Christs second coming, and salvation by grace through
faith. However, one topic that stands out in Adventist theology
is the topic of the Sabbath. In order to understand exactly what
this Sabbath means, a look would need to be taken at its history
and original purpose.
Seventh-Day Adventists hold the seventh day, Saturday, as
the day of rest, as recorded in the Bible. This day of rest can
be first found in the book of Genesis. It was a whole day
evening to eveningset apart by God in which He rested from all
His work of creating. God blessed the seventh day, and
sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his
work which God created and made (The King James Version, Gen
2.3). The word sanctified here means to make holy or to set
apart (Webster). In this day, the Creator was able to commune
with the created by abiding in rest and worship. This weekly
reminder was carried through the ages as a commemoration of
creation and delightful taste of the future life in Gods
kingdom. This was to be observed according to the fourth
commandment Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days
shalt thou labor . . . but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the
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Lord thy God (Exodus 20.8-10). Although being in effect for
over six-thousand years, Adventists believe that this has not
changed.
Adventists choose to follow the guidelines that were
originally given to man concerning what they do on the Sabbath
to keep it holy. It was against the whole purpose of the Sabbath
to engage in regular secular labor for worldly pleasure or
profit because we were to rest. The fourth commandment says,
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt
thou labour and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the
Sabbath of the Lord they God: In it thou shalt not do any
work . . . For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth .
. . and rested the seventh day: Wherefore the Lord blessed
the Sabbath day, and hallowed it (Exodus 20.8-11).
However, nowhere does this does not support total inactivity or
abstinence from pleasure on that day. Adventists are in
agreement that it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath (Matthew
12.12). Even for Jesus, if there was someone in need of help on
the Sabbath day, He would have helped them. The distinction is
made in analyzing the motives behind the action. Counsel is
given in Isaiah that If thou turn away thy foot from the
Sabbath . . . not doing thine own ways nor finding thine own
pleasure . . . then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord
(Isaiah 58.13-14). The Sabbath is supposed to be a delight that
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is kept holy, not a burden. This is why Adventists carefully
choose what they do on that dayan effort to put God first.
Although certain activities may be different, Seventh-Day
Adventists are able to take part in various enjoyments on the
Sabbath as long as they coincide with the will of God. In the
case of the young man and his peers, it wasnt necessarily that
the amusement park was morally wrong per s, but rather that he
chose to keep that day sanctified for God and go another day if
possible. As far as what Adventist do on Saturdays, following
the church service, they generally gather for lunch and
fellowship with each other. Afternoon activities may include
things such as a leisurely hike, visiting those in need, singing
and fellowshipping with one another, or spending time in His
word. To an Adventist, that is considered fun! The question that
they keep in mind is Does this activity cause me to understand
better the true nature and sacredness of the Sabbath? (The
Seventh Day Adventist Church). If God is able to remain as the
main focus while they have fun, great; if God is not able to,
they would rather put it off until later in order to keep the
Sabbath holy.
This misconception is one that is understandable
considering the fact that the majority of the world worships on
Sunday rather than Saturday. Also, because they believe Sabbath
lasts from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, the choice of
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activities during that time may appear quite different than what
they would do on an ordinary day. These activities would include
Bible study, various forms of outreach, getting in nature, or
just resting to recharge for the upcoming week. In doing so they
are following Gods fourth commandment Remember the Sabbath
day, to keep it holy (Exodus 20.8). Although this may come
across as not fun, it is choice they make out of love to spend
time with their Creator and contemplate on Him. To a Seventh-day
Adventist, it is not that fun is prohibited on the Sabbath, but
instead its about doing that which will draw them closer to God
and strengthen their relationship with Him.

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Works Cited

"Sanctify." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 04 Feb.
2014.

"Seventh-Day Adventist Church." Sabbath Observance Article: The
Official Site of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014.