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Should Christians keep Sabbath like the Orthodox Jews?

Q. Do you believe that the Sabbath should be observed exactly as it is written in the Torah, meaning you could not cook on the Sabbath, travel, carry anything, etc? In other words, do you believe it should be kept in the manner that an Orthodox Jew would keep it?

Well, first of all, keeping the Sabbath exactly as an Orthodox Jew, my answer would be no. To the Orthodox Jew, if you go to Jerusalem, you're not even supposed to punch an elevator button. They'll wait until a Gentile gets on the elevator. I once went to a hotel in Jerusalem that stops on every floor whether there's anyone there or not, it's called a Shabbat elevator. It's designed to stop on every floor, so that the orthodox don't have to push a button. To me, well, that just seems absurd. And the Bible doesn't go there. The principles that you find in the Old Testament of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, still apply to us today, however.

When the Jews were going through the wilderness, they weren't to build any casual fires on the Sabbath. But when they entered the Promised Land, that had a different climate they had to build fires for warmth. They were to prepare their food in advance, like when the bread rained down from heaven. And I believe we are to still practice that. But this doesn't mean you need to eat cold food. My wife Karen usually cooks on Friday, and then we'll nuke it in the microwave or heat it in the oven.

The principle for Sabbath is rest. You want to get as much of your worldly business as you can out of the way so that you have that quality time with the Lord. Did you know that's why Friday, the sixth day, is called the preparation day? That was the principle for God's people in ancient Israel, and it is the same principle for His people today. If you don't make some effort to prepare all these little things will begin to nibble away at your quality time with God.


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