The Sabbath and Social Activism

The Sabbath is sign for existential arrival and social survival. Read Exodus 20:8-11 and Deuteronomy 5:12-15. The latter makes present living as important as historical reflection.

Have you considered that life involves participating in meaningful group, organizational, and institutional activities that build productive relationships and structures? What is your legacy in the social sphere? Will your community miss you if you where gone?

14 thoughts on “The Sabbath and Social Activism”

  1. What I look forward to in Sabbath observance is worshiping with family, friends and with people who share like views on pleasing God and discussion in church. classes on topics that generally make improvements in community and social lifestyles.

  2. A very interesting post. I agree with you to refer to the Sabbath commandment. Although I disagree with the SDA interpretation, I have never stopped observing the 7th day Sabbath, refraining from eating “unclean” foods, etc., because that’s what I grew up with. However I am convinced that anyone whose spirituality is based on love for God and fellow human beings is on the right path. After all, Jesus came to teach and show us that love is the foundation of the law, and anything we do in His name that is not founded on love is absolutely meaningless.
    Regarding participation in community activities, etc., my main outreach at present is limited to working with those who are neglected or forgotten by relatives, friends, church, community, and community workers. None of these people have anything with which to repay me and are not in a position to give me accolades or anything tangible. That’s the role that God has chosen for me at this time and it keeps me very busy and very tight-budgeted. I am not knocking on any doors looking for other opportunities, but I’m willing to accept anything God calls me to do. If my work receives a “Well done” from Him, my life will have been well spent.

  3. Thanks for responding. The thrust of my topic and commentary is what do you believe and practice? Do you believe they should be separate or how can they be observe together. Keep serving according to your skill and vision.

  4. Thanks for responding. My topic seeks feedback of whomever about whether Sabbath and Social Action go together. Stay in touch or expand your ideas on this topic.

  5. Sabbath keepers are not at all first and foremost among social activists who were, or are willing to, be imprisoned and even martyred for their fight against injustice and inequality. Indeed SDAs fall far behind people of other persuasions in this field. Sabbath keeping can be used to promote pride e.g. “I am better, or more holy, than you because I keep the Sabbath. I am on my way to Paradise but you Sunday-keeper are on the way to hell.” While social activism such as identifying with, and giving your life in service to, the poor, sick, despised, ill-treated, and most vulnerable is doing exactly what Jesus and His apostles taught and fulfills the the sentiments expressed in the Beatitudes. Therefore Sabbath keeping and Social Action do not go hand-in-hand.

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  7. Sabbath afternoons can be well spent engaging in holistic outreach ministries that combine spiritual and social endeavors, or in group gathering to make plans for spiritually-based social activism.

  8. Agreed. What other days for ministry? Your comments come from a Sabbatarian’s practice of using Sabbath hours for such. That’s OK. However, beside being appropriate Sabbath activity, does Sabbath have a spirit/cultural meaning for everyday applications?

  9. Aren’t those things that can be done any day? I agree that Sabbath can include those things and more. What about the mindset of Sabbath that fosters social activism that is limited to Sabbath hours?

  10. You speak about proactive and egocentric Sabbath-keeping. The former says Sabbath or any day is proper for social actions. The latter concerns self promotion and superiority distinction. These two create tension and struggle within the enterprise of church. Matthew 16:24 helps weed out those who’ll be in the former grouping while the others will hear God say, “I never knew you” (aka Matthew 25).

  11. I do not suggest that such activities be “limited” to Sabbath hours but that Sabbath afternoons (especially during long summer days) can be profitably used in such a manner.

  12. Pls. do not post my previous comment. I write from the “top of my head” because I’m usually engaged in a number of things at once and don’t take the time to read and process previous comments, etc. So do not post. Thanks!

  13. Relax, my long time friend. This not an grammar or syntactical text. I want your candid and organic responses. You can preview and edit as you feel, but I encourage honest convicted responses. You are welcome.

  14. you speak to administration timing for individual and group activities. My original post if there is any relationship between Sabbath and social activities. It was prompted by my observation of some Sabbatarians pitting sacred v. secular stuff and side-stepping social justice involvement.

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