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Christian Worldview Integration

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Christian Worldview Integration

PCA: "Observing the Sabbath"

Read the following case study and answer the first two questions.

Case Study: "Aaron and the Job Search"

Aaron is a senior graphic design student. After months of applications, interviews, and not hearing back from most of the companies he's applied to, Aaron finally has a job offer from Apple to work under one of their top designers... and it pays well! There is just one problem: Aaron would have to work both Saturday and Sunday with his only days off on Tuesday and Wednesday. Yes, a very odd schedule, but at Apple, they "think different."

Aaron's parents have a very strict view of observing the Sabbath in which you do no work throughout the day. Aaron is not sure he agrees with his parents on this, yet he cannot seem to shake the feeling that he should observe the Sabbath in some way.

Confused as to how to respond to this once-in-a-lifetime job offer, Aaron asks a variety of people for advice. His parents, as he expected, told him to reject the job offer. His accountability partner told him that it doesn't matter what day of the week he observes the Sabbath; in fact, the Sabbath is really just a time to take a break from business. After all, "the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27). Aaron also asked his roommate for advice, but his roommate doesn't observe the Sabbath and can't understand the dilemma. "Dude, take the job! That commandment doesn't apply anymore." Understandably, Aaron is still conflicted: should he take the job, or should he reject the offer? What does the Sabbath require of him?

Answer these questions BEFORE reading any of the articles:

1. Aaron asks your advice. Based on your own reasoning, what advice would you give him? Explain your reasons.

I would advise Aaron that the Sabbath is something that Christians should partake in. God took a day of rest once he finished creating the world, and He set that as precedence for humanity. The Sabbath was originally set aside as a day of no work to focus on God. Today, Christians typically observe the Sabbath on Sunday by going to church (focusing on God) and not working that day (resting). If Aaron wants to take the job, he should be certain that he could recognize the Sabbath on either Tuesday or Wednesday. That is, if he is not going to attend church on Sunday, he should find a church that has a Tuesday or Wednesday evening service. He should also take time to rest on whichever day he attends church and have that day solely devoted to the Lord.

2. How do you observe the Sabbath? Why?

I observe the Sabbath by going to church on Sunday, usually relaxing Sunday afternoon, then going to small group Sunday evening to spend time fellowshipping with other believers and focusing on the Lord. For me, Sunday is a day of rest, relaxation, and extra renewal of the mind with scripture. I observe the Sabbath because I believe God set the precedence at the very beginning of creation to take a day of rest. I need that day to reflect on who the Lord is more than I normally do during a busy school week. Also, I never have volleyball on Sunday, which gives my body a day of rest as well. I am convinced that if I did not have a day off during the week, I would eventually go crazy. In thinking on the Sabbath, I have realized that sometimes I do homework on Sunday. While I do not technically work, I would consider my current occupation to be a student. After thinking back on some Sundays this past semester, I see that some weeks, I still "work" on Sundays. I am now questioning whether this is the right course of action.

Read the following articles.

● Justin Taylor: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2010/10/14/schreiner-qa-is-the-sabbath-still-required-for-christians/

● Andrew Webb: http://www.providencepca.com/sermons/sabbath.html

● Dorothy Bass (read only the section "Sabbath for the God of All"): (PDF attached to email)

● Bryn MacPhail: http://www.reformedtheology.ca/mark2b.htm

Answer the following study questions.

3. Now that you have a better understanding of the Sabbath, what advice would you give Aaron from the case study? Explain using at least one Bible verse or passage.

After reading the articles, I would give Aaron slightly different advice than before. I would tell him that he should take a day of rest in which he worships the Lord and does not work. Genesis 2:2 says, "And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation." This passage shows God establishing a pattern for man's work cycle. If God has ordained that man should take a break from work to worship the Lord and rest, it is in a Christian's best interest to do so. I would also tell Aaron that God wants Christians to have a day of rest out of love for Him; it is not to be a legalistic, burdensome action. In Mark 2:27 Jesus told the crowd he was speaking to that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. This statement reiterates that the Sabbath is not supposed to be a day of rule following. While I do not think following the Sabbath, which was part of the Mosaic Covenant, is required by Christians today, I do think it is good for believers to have a day of rest and worship. The teaching in Mark 2 can be applied to this day. It should be out of love for the Lord, not a legalistic action. One thing I would tell Aaron that is different from my original advice is that he should take his day of rest on Sunday. Therefore, he should not take the job. Acts 20:7 talks about the church gathering to worship on the first day. The first day, is also known as the day of Christ's resurrection. The early Christian church established gathering for church on Sunday to recognize Christ rising from the dead, which is why Christians worship on Sunday today. Aaron should attend church and not work on Sundays because he is recognizing with the body of believers that the Lord rose from the dead and saved him. He should also take Sundays

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