From the Pastor
The fourth commandment is “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Is this a law we should obey? And if so why?
You may answer yes, because God said so. It is wrong to disobey God. Or maybe yes, because God asks us to. We want to live a life of gratitude that pleases God. Or yes, because it is a wise life. It avoids burnout, it allows us to refresh ourselves.
None of us intuitively thinks that if average Joe obeys the fourth commandment, he will have earned salvation or avoided hell. The law is about more than just obedience, it is also God’s wise advice for a healthy life.
Healthy for whom? Just Christians? Or everyone? My view: society would be better off if we returned to having a day of rest. The growing levels of anxiety and restlessness are, in part, a product of our 24/7 culture. Yet I don’t think anyone will be saved by abstaining or damned if they work 7 days. But, I also know our culture will not accept this advice.
Abortion, euthanasia, SSM (Same Sex Marriage) and other topics are more intense debates that have the same contours. Christianity has never thought that one offence damns you and avoidance saves you. Rather being pro-life or pro-monogamous marriage is a society-wide civil application of God’s law. Christianity believes societies are more civil when they follow God’s law. It is best for everyone, be they Christian or not.
What happens when a society decides it no longer sees God’s words as wise advice for how to order a culture? Are Christians wise to continue to press for standards that reflect biblical wisdom? What if we are heard to be legalists in so doing?