The United Church of Soccer

I’ll probably get some stern looks and cold shoulders for posting this, but, hey, I just calls it likes I sees it, even though I didn’t write it. But I should have.

Pardon me while I go check to see if I have any guts…

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“THE NEW FAMILY TRUMP CARD” (Family Time v Church Time)
by Albert Mohler (www.albertmohler.com)

kids-soccer.jpg

Is “family time” encroaching on “church time?” Leadership, a publication in the Christianity Today family of magazines, surveyed 490 pastors last year, asking them about church life and family. A major theme — parents are taking their kids to soccer games rather than to church.

The soccer games are only an illustration, of course, but team sports loom larger and larger in the lives of many kids and families, often leaving little time for anything else.

From the Leadership report:

The phenomenon of overprogrammed kids in the last decade or so is well documented–to the point of satire. (A recent sitcom showed an alien begging off an invasion of Earth because his kid had “a thing.”) What isn’t so well documented is the effect this legion of extracurricular activities has on church life.

The pastors we surveyed report the overall busyness of families is keeping families away from church. Asked whether people are spending more discretionary time on family activities or church commitments, 76 percent said the scale tipped toward family activities. This contrasts with the perception of 62 percent of respondents that a generation ago, free time was more likely spent on church commitments. The balance has shifted.

(Read more)

32 thoughts on “The United Church of Soccer

  1. pbandj says:

    scott

    i am not sure that being away from “church” is such a bad thing. i think sometimes we mistake organized events at church as somehow MORE important than soccer or art or music or whatever. but ultimately i think francis schaeffer made a lotta sense a few yrs back when he reemphasized that we are to live all of our lives under Christ’s lordship.

    so soccer can and should glorify God as much as going to “church”

    peter

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  2. Mic says:

    Peter,
    I agree! Bringing church with us to the soccer game is glorifying to God. But truth be told, we tend to lose our focus on God as soon as we walk out through the door of the sanctuary. The heart of the matter is the American church goer leaves their Bible on the night stand and the Lion of Judah in their rocking chair while they go watch NASCAR and have a few beers. “Wait right here, I’ll be back soon”

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  3. Cupid says:

    Can anyone say Valentines Day?

    Like

  4. J.Thomas says:

    I dunno…
    I get what Peter is saying here.
    Also…, too many false dichotomies presented in the article.

    There seems to be the assumption that church is something you do rather than someone you are.

    Sure. I understand that the word ecclesia can mean “gathering” but it can also mean “the called OUT”.

    I don’t really want to get into eccliesiology (or whatever it’s called), but “church” is so much more than what we tend to think.

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  5. pasturescott says:

    Great comments, you guys!

    To Peter and J. Thomas: I am no more interested in Church-In-Quotes than you are (re: religion, legalism, solely a physical place, etc.), but the debate the article calls for is not so much in church-as-a-place-you-go-to (which you both are right-on to call that out) but rather have we fallen under the spell of the age to forsake our gathering and choose other things instead (something the underground church in China would arch a collective brow over)…no doubt, there are issues that Church-In-Quotes must begin to address–and I believe that is growing in intensity, if not from church leaders certainly at the grass roots level, and praise God for it! But we need to open ourselves to the dialogue of the Spirit in terms of this “spell” the western church slumbers beneath…’called out’ yes, but the meaning is more “in the world but not of it”. Relevance taken to extremes begins to look like compromise.

    Hey, I have an idea that can solve all this: maybe Congress should entertain legislation for the separation of church and soccer!
    🙂

    To Cupid: I said ‘Valentine’s Day’ but nothing happened…does that make me bad?

    God bless you all for reading and encouraging me with your input. It is all welcome and I have MUCH to learn from all of you (except Cupid…just kidding!)

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  6. Marie says:

    If the body of Christ is to function as one – how would that be possible if the leg is constantly going off to enjoy some extra-curricular activity and not devoting significant amounts of time to the body to ensure its own health as well as the health of the rest of the body??? I need the connection, not the soccer…

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  7. pasturescott says:

    Sweet, mild-mannered, adorable Marie—with the roar of a lion! You go, girl!

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  8. J.Thomas says:

    Scott,
    Thank you for making me feel welcome. I truly appreciate your open heart.

    Marie,
    I totally agree that the “leg” has much to offer the “rest of the body”, but in what way does this manifest itself during a typical sunday morning service?

    Honestly curious,
    ~J

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  9. KaKa says:

    J. Thomas,
    As for the the “leg on a typical Sunday morning”, supppose the “leg” is my nursery worker or children’s chruch teacher, what if they are not there for their time of service. They miss out on the blessing of being with the kids, the kids miss out because they are counting on them to be there and someone else has to take up the slack. The body of Christ needs each other to work together if the “leg” is always gone the “rest of the body” will suffer.

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  10. Marie says:

    J,
    I must admit…there is NOTHING typical about the Sunday morning service at New River Community Church in Douglasville. Before I came to this fellowship I would have felt much the same as you.
    The focus here is totally on the LORD and nothing else. The body of Christ at this fellowship care about each other and lift each other up in prayer and offer much-needed encouragement to those in need (which is just about everybody!).
    Our beloved Pastor Scott listens to the LORD’s leading and will stop the service if he senses the LORD would have him to…sometimes “lay hands” on a brother or sister to pray for an urgent need (and I mean the whole congregation lays hands on – not just a few…or sometimes the LORD leads Pastor Scott to change the direction of the service…it’s ALL about the LORD and what He desires.
    I cannot tell you enough how important it has become to me NOT to miss a single Sunday. There is much-needed fellowship before and after the service. I desperately need the Christ in my brothers and sisters.
    Oh, and I’m very sorry if I made you feel unwelcome. Come on over to New River sometime and experience a true love and adoration of our King Jesus Christ. You are always welcome to partake of our LORD with us as we exalt His Glorious Name!

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  11. J.Thomas says:

    I understand what you are saying, but I guess my point is that not everyone “works” at the church do they?

    How does the other 95% of the body function during a typical sunday morning service…how do they “contribute”?

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  12. Byron says:

    At our new re-plant, a county over from my old friend Scott in West Cobb, we’re wrestling with the same question, J. Right now, we’re “pre-launch”, meaning we’re holding what we call “core group meetings”, on Sunday mornings. We are meeting around tables, and incorporating face-to-face time right in the middle of our meetings, with the thought that we want this to be part of what we do even once we launch “regular worship services” (whatever THAT means). We might continue to meet around tables instead of in pews; that’s a very viable possibility. I hear what you’re saying, man; my contention is that in many (most?) churches, the people seated around you are only incidental to your entire experience, instead of being integral. We sit in pews and “do our thing with God”, and maybe shake hands with and smile at the guy next to us—who’s also “doing HIS thing with God.” Somehow, it’s tough for me to see this as being what happened in the early church…

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  13. Mic says:

    Can anyone say “stick in the mud”? Because I’m right over here! The white elephant in this conversation is this: We Christians in America have substituted the “world” in our gatherings for the Holy Spirit for a long time. We are constantly devising new ways to bring the world in to entertain people so they keep coming back and we cannot compete with the world at its own game. (We don’t really think an Easter egg hunt is outreach, do we?)I read of a Sunday night service that was posting the super bowl scores on the big screen so nobody would miss out! It seems the lost have a choice to make: Entertainment and tithe or better entertainment (like soccer games). Hmmmmm Bottom line; if the Spirit is there, they will come! As Marie said, and I am with her on this, I come because I don’t want to miss out on anything the Lord may have for me or the fellowship I’m in. I come to connect with the rest of the body. Our culture in the U.S. is one of division and self. Forsaking the fellowship of the brethren is the slippery slope to “all I need is me and Jesus”. If one has a choice and chooses soccer over his brethren…well…how do I say this in love? I think they are wrong! But come to our egg hunt and we can pray about it.

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  14. Mic says:

    Dear Byron,
    I believe that idea to be Divinely inspired and would like to correspond with you about it! Please drop me a note michuth@newrivercc.com

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  15. Marie says:

    As simple as it may sound, to me the contribution is in the “being there”, the caring, the love poured out, the praying, the welcoming of guests, the encouraging word that makes a difference to one who may be “in the pit”, the very partaking of our LORD that builds us into the temple He can inhabit.
    I can only speak from my own experience. I have attended a large congregation where everything was scripted and I never felt “connected”. The LORD was lifted up but something huge was missing – the fellowship, the oneness, the unity that the Spirit of God manifests in us when we have abundant love for the “brethren”. The second great commandment gets left out much of the time because we love ourselves too much and have nothing left to share.
    J, I pray the LORD will manifest Himself to you in a new way that will lift you to new heights in Him – and that this manifestation will come through a “brother”.

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  16. pasturescott says:

    Okay, I’m really enjoying this…no, no, carry on…please! The dialogue of the saints: this is what we need!

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  17. Evelyn says:

    This is just input that has come through a very recent experience and being allowed to hear-through a man of God who ministered to my Uncle and his family (for over a week) before my uncle died last month. To avoid getting to distracted if I go into details let’s just say that my uncle called a minister to come and talk to him about that which he didn’t understand but somehow knew he had to know and believe. The confession that came forth from my uncle about “church” was-that when he was younger he did attend church with my grandparents until boy-scouting events conflicted with being there all the time. A courtesy dropping by of the pastor at their home one evening (my uncle is about 10) and a remark that followed-actually impacted my uncle in such a way that he literally shut-down concerning “church”. Apparently-the pastor after asking my uncle where he is when he isn’t in church and my uncle responding-at boy-scouts-illicit- ed this remark from the pastor to my grandmother (my uncle in ear-shot)-“that is one that will grow up to be a juvenile delinquent”. The facts are-my uncle as I have heard about him and had the privilege to know are- he loved his father and mother deeply and so much so that he never moved too far from them. He married young and gave himself to the raising up of a wife and four kids and he didn’t enter that lifestyle of delinquency. Hard-working man who loved his family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Oh what tears of joy came when this man of God said that my uncle did except the Lord as His personal Lord and Savior as did my aunt and how this man of God (a Kingdom-minded minister) remarked with sober like assurance that he was touched deeply by my uncles confession during the time he was given to bring the Light where darkness had reigned.
    In short, (haha)-I ponder this with the thought that there is much that the Lord would have me to learn from this and I know that He is faithful to bring that revelation in time and for His glorious purposes.
    Come Lord Jesus Come…………………..

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  18. J.Thomas says:

    Marie,
    No worries, dear sister, you haven’t made me uncomfortable at all. I’m rather pleased to hear what you have to say. Truly.

    I must confess that I am a bit sensitive when it comes to the Lord and His people.
    I’ve spent the last five years wrestling with this “church” issue…have done lots of digging, both internally and externally and, although I have no hard and fast conclusions, there are some things that the Lord has shown me and guided me through.
    My family and I are still “journeying” and all along the way catching glimps after glimpse of our Lord, the All in All.

    I am sure that Scott is a wonderful brother with much to offer the body of Christ and I am personaaly grateful for his existence.

    That being said, as Scott pointed out, dialog amongst the saints is a good thing, and although I wish not to stumble anyone with my comments, I still must share whats on my heart.

    I apologize if my disposition comes across the wrong way,
    I always seem to be teetering somewhere between unfailing patience and turning over tables…I just can’t find that happy medium!😉

    I like what you said about “Just being there” for one another. That has always carried alot of weight in my book as well.

    Maybe theres a way that “there” could mean “anywhere”.

    Do you know how many saints live in my neighborhood that I don’t even know by name?
    Strange phenomenon!

    Byron, Scott,
    This website has some incredible articles written about Christ and the Church:
    http://www.ptmin.org

    I can’t say that I agree with everything he has to say…but, in general, this brother seems to be pretty much on mark (in my infallable opinion😉.

    Mic,
    I’m interested.
    I realize that this is a very broad question, but I’m curious as to where you draw your lines between the “world” and …well… whatever the other things are (spiritual things?).

    To you, What is Spiritual and What is Not?

    The best answer that I have for this is that only Christ is spiritual.
    What do you think?

    Scott,
    Feel free to kick me out anytime you want (not that you need my permission!!!)

    I assure you I’m not trying to cause trouble…
    I’m just interested in real conversation and your blog seems to be a good place for it!

    All peace and love to you (us) all through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    ~J

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  19. Marie says:

    J,
    I pray that whatever group you fellowship with-at whatever time of the week, doing whatever you are doing in the LORD’s name-will appreciate the Christ in you-the part of Him that only you hold-the part of Him that the rest of us need. I pray the LORD will impress upon you the utter need to connect with others who are inhabited with His very Spirit.
    As I have exerienced at New River, once you taste the oneness, the connection with those who are inhabited by the Godhead (see John 14:23) you will never want to be without it…

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  20. J.Thomas says:

    I’m sorry, Marie,…I never meant to give the impression that I was “out of fellowship”..or anything of that effect.

    I actually do get together with saints during the week for mutual edification. Christ is expressed!

    Praise the Lord!!!

    My concern is that in most “churches”, 95% of the members only sit and recieve.
    I certainly should not prejudge and assume that this is the way your fellowship is…it’s just that, generally speaking, in most churches (tired of using quotation marks…looks like I traded them for parenthesis…🙂
    …where there is a clergymen/laymen distinction, there is also the sad reality that the laymen basically become addicted to recieving ministry rather than exercising their God given right AND RESPONSABILITY to function DURING the meeting.

    Again, Ishould not assume that this is the way “New River” is..and I whole heartedly turn from that assumption.

    Take a close look at I Corinthians 14, and you’ll see what kind of meetings Paul, through the Spirit estabished for the church.

    I must say, that I do truly appreciate your comment above and THANK YOU, there is nothing sweeter than the oneness that we possess in Christ Jesus…Amen again and again, sister!

    Your prayer is still quite timely considering some things going on in my life right now…
    thank you…

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  21. Mic says:

    J,
    A broad question indeed. If I keep in mind that we are accountable for not only our actions (or inactions) but also our intent, determining what falls under the sway of the “spirit of the age” is fairly straight forward. On this hypethetical Sunday morning, I would rather go to a soccer game than to fellowship, I see that as a personal preference and my personal preference needs to die with the old man. If I am considering everyone else greater than me as Christ calls me to, I can have no personal preferences. Can soccer glorify God? Yes, I believe it can when it is put into proper context i.e. it does not become a passion or a consuming preoccupation taking precedence over God. I think God put many things on the earth for us to enjoy, like sports, hunting etc. but too often we allow them to consume us and we are giving God courtesy prayers and worship to check the block. Sorry, He knows the difference! The bottom line: Establish a close and intimate relationship with God through prayer and worship and He will guide you on this oh so narrow path. TTL, Mic

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  22. J.Thomas says:

    Arrrgghhh….MOST IMPORTANTLY!!!!

    SCOTT….

    As I’ve already mentioned to Marie, I apologize for assuming anything about your church meetings.
    I should never judge anything like that, especially since I’ve never been there!!
    ~J

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  23. Mic says:

    Lest I mislead any of you, I’m sure I’ve played soccer (or worse!) on Sunday. Mic

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  24. J.Thomas says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head with:

    “The bottom line: Establish a close and intimate relationship with God through prayer and worship and He will guide you on this oh so narrow path…”

    That’s exactly where I’m at, and believe it or not, I keep finding more liberty in Christ than you might think possible.

    My advice to brothers and sisters abroad:

    If your conscience doesn’t condemn you for going out for soccer (or whatever) (regardless of what day it is), enjoy it in the Lord.

    Don’t forget about your brothers and sisters…you need one another…, you love one another.
    I’m talking about outside of the church building.

    Sure, some wonderful things happen there, and I would never want to take away from that, but you really need brothers and sisters.

    If your conscience is condemning someone else for going to soccer…
    Take it to the cross.

    If you believe that you are being judged for your liberty and freedom in Christ, have patience knowing that your Lord knew that path very well.

    Do not fight.

    Don’t be a hot head (like myself).

    True freedom is a very precious thing and each of us can only walk in the faith that we have.

    I believe in having strong convictions, but I also believe in not imposing them on anyone else (not saying that you or anyone else is…)

    BUT the fact is that, that is EXACTLY what too many brothers and sisters think this Life is all about!!!

    WE ARE NOT CALLED TO LIVING A LIFE TIP TOEING ON EGGSHELLS!!!

    WE ARE IN CHRIST!!!!!!!!!!!!
    PRAISE THE LORD!!

    AND WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS, THERE IS FREEDOM!!!!!!!!

    WE HAVE BEEN SET FREE FOR FREEDOMS SAKE!!!!!!
    AND THANKS BE TO GOD THAT THERE IS NOW NO CONDEMNATION FOR US, BROTHERS AND SISTERS!

    JESUS CHRIST!!
    JESUS CHRIST!!

    (How does one shout from the rooftop on a blogspot!?!?)

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  25. Marie says:

    J,
    I may be stirring up another pot…but, just out of curiosity, what day is your Sabbath unto the LORD?

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  26. pasturescott says:

    J-
    I read in your words a man who is passionately on journey with Christ! And I am delighted to have you here. Not just blowing smoke, but it is a privilege. Of all the places you could go, you’re giving time for us. Please stay! Your insights are refreshing. This little blog has never had such dialogue and fiery repartee, and this has been a perfect illustration of our needing each other. I hear your words of humility, but I also assure you, you’ve been hearing from some of the “cream of the crop” I get to rub shoulders with day to day! They love the Christ of our fellowship and they also know how IMperfect we are: I loved your 1 Cor 14 example because we have some bench-warmers as well. I will check out the website you suggested and know already there will be found some needful encouragement for us to find true community.

    The chain is only as strong as its weakest link and if I cannot bring myself to laying down my life for my friends, or, as Mic said, put others’ needs before my own; if I will not groan and strain for unity and COMMunity, it will always remain illusive. If I stiff-arm, koinonia is lost and we all lose. (Oh, you gotta see William Hurt in “The Doctor”–there is a great illustration of this toward the end) A bit out of context, but also with application, if I am weak, then the BODY is weak!

    What I just said are SOME of the things the Lord is bringing to death in me. A harrowing process, but I’ll keep you posted–anyway, thanks for this. It’s been a Body-Life kind of thing, except for the fact that cyberspace gives too much space and not near enough face to face!

    Blessings, brother!
    Scott

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  27. Mic says:

    J,
    A word of caution on the freedom text; spiritual freedom does not necessarily correlate with freedom in the physical. Remember, if you are in Christ, you are a bondservant (or slave) to righteousness and have forfeited the right to call the shots. If you call Him Lord, He is making the decisions. To do otherwise is to “go a-whoring” on our bridegroom king. C.T. Studd was like a world class cricket player and he gave it up because Christ called him to. Francine Rivers quit writing, the love of her life, for 3 years before she took up writing what He told her to. The main issue I have with your statement is this: If one ignores the Spirit, His voice gets more quiet until we can’t hear the adminition about the soccer game any longer and our hardened concience is then “clear”.

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  28. Mic says:

    A quote to help illustrate this:
    I tell you that western, American Christianity is not separate from the sway of the spirit of the age. So what we have is this; the spirit of the age painted with the name of Christ and we call that Christianity and I tell you it is a completely divergent path from the value system of the kingdom of God which we find in the Sermon on the Mount. – Billy Humphrey

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  29. J.Thomas says:

    Brother Mic,

    I appreciate your warning.

    I, too, have some warnings to share sometime, but this is not the tiome or place. My Lord wishes it not to be so.
    May the Lord Jesus Christ give us all a deeper revelation of HIMSELF.

    Marie,
    Youcan stir up as many pots as you’d like, but only if I can open up cans of worms!!

    Answering your question, Christ is my sabbath.

    Scott,
    Thanks again brother…
    This is starting to look more like a “forum” than a comments section!

    Feel free to harass me at my blog too!!

    Maybe we could all meet sometime for coffee or something for more “real” conversation.

    I don’t think I shuld keep coming back to this particular post…but feel free to email me if you want to continue this conversation (anyone):
    injesuschrist@gmail.com

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  30. D. Spann says:

    I can understand the metaphor of “Christ is my Sabbath” and how Believers “rest daily in Christ” and it’s a good one. As Creator, Christ was the original Lord of the Sabbath (John 1:3; Heb. 1:10). In Matthew 11:28: Jesus said, “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. In this passage “You who labor and are heavy laden” describes the Jews as suffering under a load of religious responsibilities laid on them by priests, rabbis, scribes, and Pharisees (Matt. 23:4; Acts 15:10). “Rest” is relief from this burden (Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary) and that sweet meaning of rest from our burdens is metaphorically transferred to Believers in their daily walk.

    However, “Christ is my Sabbath” can be morphed into “have my Sabbath on the baseball field or in our family fishing boat” which is the point of Albert Mohler’s article, “‘The New Family Trump Card’ — Family Time vs. Church Time” referenced in Pastor Scott’s blog and the comments by Marie and Mic. In Exodus 20:11 it is clear that the Sabbath is a literal “day” to be kept Holy. We go to Church to gather as a body, to worship and learn, to comfort and love each other, to bear one another’s burdens. The world is watching “The Church of Soccer”, and the kids are learning, devalued Christianity. The Great Command to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” and the “second like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Deut 6:5; Lev 19:18) is repeated in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It must be important. Does the “world” know where we stand and what we value? That we stand fast for Jesus Christ? Do our kids understand what “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” means? Will this understanding be gained at “Junior’s Little League playoff game”?

    The Hebrew root for Sabbath means ‘to cease’, ‘to desist’. In the Bible the principle is laid down that one day in seven is to be observed as a day holy to God. From the reason given for keeping the Sabbath day in the Ten Commandments we learn that the example for the Sabbath rest had been set by God himself in the creation. The Sabbath therefore is a creation ordinance. (Ex. 20:8–11). (Wood, D. R. W. (1996, c1982, c1962). New Bible Dictionary (1032). Intervarsity Press.) We can “have church” anywhere, but “having church” is worship and praise for the Name Above All Names, reading the Word, teaching the Word, teaching our children, SHOWING them (and the world) what is to be valued above all else.

    This is serious business. When we Christians follow the “Old Paths” (before TV, soccer, NASCAR, NCAA this-and-that), we transfer THAT meaning (i.e., a day holy to God) into the activities of our families with gatherings to glorify Jesus Christ individually and corporately, including mid-week services: inviting un-churched neighbors into our homes and literally “walk the talk the talk we talk”. Of course we should teach our children “sportsmanship”. On the other hand, if we teach the two Great Commands, God honoring ethical and moral behavior will be the outcome. Despite “Christ is my Sabbath”, I view Exodus 20:8 as a COMMAND: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” The Sabbath is a “day”. He didn’t stutter when He said, “keep it holy”, notwithstanding “if your son falls into a well” (Luke 14.5).

    “I am more and more sure by experience that the reason for the observance of the Sabbath lies deep in the everlasting necessities of human nature, and that as long as man is man the blessedness of keeping it, not as a day of rest only, but as a day of spiritual rest, will never be annulled. I certainly do feel by experience the eternal obligation, because of the eternal necessity, of the Sabbath. The soul withers without it. It thrives in proportion to its observance. The Sabbath was made for man. God made it for men in a certain spiritual state because they needed it. The need, therefore, is deeply hidden in human nature. He who can dispense with it must be holy and spiritual indeed! And he who, still unholy and unspiritual, would yet dispense with it is a man that would fain be wiser than his Maker” (F. W. Robertson, 1816-1853).

    Don S.

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  31. J.Thomas says:

    Oh goodness. It’s been a while since I’ve visited this conversation.

    Sorry, Don, for such a late reply, one which I’m going to keep short and simple.

    I don’t agree with you at all.

    Praise the Lord, brother.
    ~j

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  32. J.Thomas says:

    Alright.

    I’ve just got to unpack my last comment a bit, AND THEN, I’m not going to comment on this post anymore.

    For real.

    I’m going to address his comments point for point, but I’ve got to re-post his comments with mine added in…

    You’ll see what I mean:

    I can understand the metaphor of “Christ is my Sabbath” and how Believers “rest daily in Christ” and it’s a good one. As Creator, Christ was the original Lord of the Sabbath (John 1:3; Heb. 1:10). In Matthew 11:28: Jesus said, “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. In this passage “You who labor and are heavy laden” describes the Jews as suffering under a load of religious responsibilities laid on them by priests, rabbis, scribes, and Pharisees (Matt. 23:4; Acts 15:10). “Rest” is relief from this burden (Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary) and that sweet meaning of rest from our burdens is metaphorically transferred to Believers in their daily walk.

    However, “Christ is my Sabbath” can be morphed into “have my Sabbath on the baseball field or in our family fishing boat” which is the point of Albert Mohler’s article, “‘The New Family Trump Card’ — Family Time vs. Church Time” referenced in Pastor Scott’s blog and the comments by Marie and Mic.

    ///Ah yes, the blessed “H” word.

    “However”

    How it wreaks of spiritual wisdom and biblical insight.
    It is almost as hallowed as the word “But”.///

    In Exodus 20:11 it is clear that the Sabbath is a literal “day” to be kept Holy.

    ///Yes it was, for a certain people in a certain time.///

    We go to Church to gather as a body, to worship and learn, to comfort and love each other, to bear one another’s burdens.

    ///Sorry brother. We don’t “go to” church. We are the church.
    Huge difference!

    The things which you are reffering to are the attributes of a People, not an event, and are therefore to be exercised as a Way of Life as opposed to a list of “church-time” duties.

    (I should know better than to even be having this conversation! God help me.)///

    The world is watching “The Church of Soccer”, and the kids are learning, devalued Christianity. The Great Command to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” and the “second like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Deut 6:5; Lev 19:18) is repeated in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It must be important.

    ///It certainly is important.

    Where does the Lord live, brother?
    Do our neighbors go to soccer games, or are they only in the steepled house?///

    Does the “world” know where we stand and what we value? That we stand fast for Jesus Christ?

    ///Does the “world” include our neighbors, or is it something altogether different?
    Either way, I suppose the answer to you question depends on how well you know your neighbors (or how well you love them) doesn’t it?///

    Do our kids understand what “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” means?

    ///Mine do. At least they are learning it just as much as I am.///

    Will this understanding be gained at “Junior’s Little League playoff game”?
    ///Probably not, but hopefully, it will be exercised there.///

    The Hebrew root for Sabbath means ‘to cease’, ‘to desist’. In the Bible the principle is laid down that one day in seven is to be observed as a day holy to God.

    ///Yes “in the bible” but more specifically IN THE OLD COVENANT WORLD.///

    From the reason given for keeping the Sabbath day in the Ten Commandments we learn that the example for the Sabbath rest had been set by God himself in the creation. The Sabbath therefore is a creation ordinance. (Ex. 20:8–11). (Wood, D. R. W. (1996, c1982, c1962). New Bible Dictionary (1032). Intervarsity Press.)

    ///Creation Ordinance?
    Hm.
    Never seen anything like that from Pauls hand (or any other New Testament writer). Have you?///

    We can “have church” anywhere, but “having church” is worship and praise for the Name Above All Names, reading the Word, teaching the Word, teaching our children, SHOWING them (and the world) what is to be valued above all else.

    ///I agree (whew!) that these things can be done during “church”, and that “church” meetings can take place anywhere, but I don’t believe that they should be limited to a specific day or time.

    Sorry bro, I regard eveyday as unto the Lord.

    And learning, slowly to regard every moment in the same way.

    Does this look religious?
    Nope, not a bit.
    Isn’t supposed to,…. is it?///

    This is serious business. When we Christians follow the “Old Paths” (before TV, soccer, NASCAR, NCAA this-and-that), we transfer THAT meaning (i.e., a day holy to God) into the activities of our families with gatherings to glorify Jesus Christ individually and corporately, including mid-week services: inviting un-churched neighbors into our homes and literally “walk the talk the talk we talk”. Of course we should teach our children “sportsmanship”. On the other hand, if we teach the two Great Commands, God honoring ethical and moral behavior will be the outcome. Despite “Christ is my Sabbath”, I view Exodus 20:8 as a COMMAND: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” The Sabbath is a “day”. He didn’t stutter when He said, “keep it holy”, notwithstanding “if your son falls into a well” (Luke 14.5).

    ///Again, “SORRY, BRO”.
    You are quite the “Legal Eagle” here.

    Please do not impose the law on your brothers and sisters. Please.
    Ever heard the phrase “Damned to Hell”?
    Paul used it.///

    “I am more and more sure by experience that the reason for the observance of the Sabbath lies deep in the everlasting necessities of human nature, and that as long as man is man the blessedness of keeping it, not as a day of rest only, but as a day of spiritual rest, will never be annulled. I certainly do feel by experience the eternal obligation, because of the eternal necessity, of the Sabbath. The soul withers without it. It thrives in proportion to its observance. The Sabbath was made for man. God made it for men in a certain spiritual state because they needed it. The need, therefore, is deeply hidden in human nature. He who can dispense with it must be holy and spiritual indeed! And he who, still unholy and unspiritual, would yet dispense with it is a man that would fain be wiser than his Maker” (F. W. Robertson, 1816-1853).

    ///Mr. Robertson needs a revelation of Jesus Christ.///

    ///Well. That’s it. No more here.

    I desist.///

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