Sabbath and Sabbath-Keeping– Today

Speaker: Categories: Nov 13, 1999


[1hr, 17min, 9sec / 59min, 16sec]


Eating out, wading at the beach, hiking in the mountains (with backpack), watching TV news, driving far enough to require refueling the car . . . . Which of these might be consideredproperSabbath activities now, but not in the days of your youth? Why/Why not? Does theiroptionalnature influence the decision?

Milking cows, feeding livestock (or pets), washing dishes, cooking vegetables, baking a casserole, ironing a dress which became wrinkled in the closet but which is needed to complete the Sabbath wardrobe of choice ... Which of these might have been OK several decades ago -- as well as today?

Mike Scofield, moderator of the November panel discussion, states:“The Sabbath, and its observance is an essential, non-negotiable, defining doctrine central to the identity of Adventism. In addition to proper Sabbath-keeping, many Adventist thought-leaders see the Sabbath as having both a symbolic  value in memorializing creation and also a value as a test of loyalty."

He notes further:"24-by-7is an expression describing a service which is provided twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, such as critical-care nursing, police patrol, and also, more and more, non-essential commercial and hospitality services. In stark contrast to most commercial retail services fifty years ago, consumers today expect services to be available every day, and for longer hours. Very few retail establishments now can afford to be closed on weekends. For Adventist laborers, particularly in the blue collar areas, avoiding Sabbath work has become more difficult. What concessions might the church at large give to these members?"

“The Adventist institutional church also is a provider of services in this24/7genre,"observes Mike Scofield,"particularly in health-care, elder-care, and institutional food-service. Sabbath work for SDAs there employed is generally viewed as permissible (at least by Adventist church leaders), while sometimes doing the exact same job on Sabbath in a non-Adventist setting is not. Is the message to members about Sabbath-keeping colored by the role of management?"

"This panel,"assures the moderator,"will address a variety of specific Sabbath questions regarding work (labor), engaging in commerce, as well as non-work (recreational) activities. Rather than rigid and categorical rules, the panel will seek to explore formulae which might guide our decision-making about Sabbath and Sabbath-keeping."


Judy Myers Lauewas born in Chicago into the Adventism of the 50's. She attended Adventist schools primarily, including four years at an Adventist boarding academy and four years at Andrews University with a year off as a student missionary. She received her doctorate in English from the University of Southern California in 1988 and has for the last nineteen years been a California Adventist. She has taught English at USC and Occidental College, as well as Southwestern Adventist University and La Sierra University. She has two sons, aged 10 and 7, in whom she is trying to inculcate the pleasure of Sabbath-keeping. She is moving back to Texas next year where she expects to find some differences in how the Sabbath is observed.

Gary McCaryis proud to be both a lifelong Seventh-day Adventist and lifelong Southern Californian. A native of Needles, California, he graduated from San Pasqual Academy in 1970, and received his B.A. in Religion from La Sierra University in 1975. After a year as Assistant Pastor at the Garden Grove Adventist church, he studied at Andrews University, receiving his Master of Divinity degree in 1978. Following a year as Assistant Pastor at San Bernardino's Mountain View Adventist church, he pastored the Ramona Adventist church for 3 years, the Point Loma Adventist church for 9 years, and for the past 8 years has been Senior Pastor of the Tierrasanta Adventist church. His greatest love is his wife Diane and children Scott, David, Molly and Sarah. His vices usually involve professional sports, most notably the San Diego Padres and Chargers.

Michael Scofieldis Director of Data Quality for a large credit reporting company. Prior to this position, he was Vice President and Manager of Information Quality for one of the largest banks in California. He is a 6th generation Adventist, and served for seven years on the Association of Adventist Forums board. He also served on the Pacific Union Conference Church Structure Committee. Besides his articles inSpectrumandAdventist Today, he has published articles in numerous professional journals in the field of information architecture, and was one of five American speakers at the European Meta-Data Conference in London this past March.

Reared in New Mexico,Rudy Torreshas been in the Adventist ministry over 30 years. After his education at La Sierra, he served several congregations including Green Lake (Seattle), Glendale (CA), and twice at Sligo SDA Church in Takoma Park (once as associate pastor, and 20 years later as senior pastor). He currently is senior pastor at the Garden Grove, California, SDA Church.

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