On June 21, I posted a TW about the Sabbath. Dan made some great comments in the following few days, eventually prompting me to ask if Bob Gorelik would add his thoughts. Since I was very late posting Bob’s reply, most of the community had long forgotten the thread from that discussion. So, I sent Bob’s reply directly to Dan and others who commented. I received a very nice email from Dan about the discussion, expressing his concern that at times I seem to dismiss or ignore the work of other notable believers. I apologize to you all. That is never my intent. I want to grapple with the truth and be open to all points of view until we can find our way through them. And if we can’t, unity in the Spirit and love for each other still comes FIRST!
So, here’s my response to Dan, posted for the community as a way of saying, “Please accept my apology if I seemed too curt.” All dialogue given in love is good dialogue.
Thanks for the sharing the personal background. It helps me understand your concern.
As you know, Bob was a student of Flusser and knows Bilzzard. I have read them all and very much appreciate their work. By the way, Flusser never became a believer in Yeshua as the Messiah, but that does not diminish his insights in my opinion.
My comments about breaking the Sabbath are simply reflections of the Scriptural consequences. Since the Sabbath is God’s sanctification of time, established by God, part of Torah, etc. it is pretty serious. And the biblical statements about ignoring it are also pretty serious – being cut off, death, etc.
However, Bob and I have ahd several conversations about what do we do now, in this culture. While we both agree that honoring the Sabbath is the goal, he and I both travel when required on the Sabbath. As Bob said to me, “If God has equipped you to teach, and you fulfill His will by teaching, then you need to get on the plane on Friday.” The Sabbath was made for Man, right? So, I am quite sure that God allows those who are following His purposes to fulfill them regardless of the day. That is not the same as saying that any day can be the Sabbath or that the Sabbath doesn’t really count anymore. All I know is that God intends His creation to rest in Him on a regular cycle for the benefit of all.
Flusser, Young and Bilzzard may certainly hold different views. And they are respected scholars for sure. But I doubt that any of them would dismiss the importance of Sabbath or the intent of Sabbath. Certainly not Flusser, who was orthodox. I don’t want to dismiss or ignore Sabbath either, but I will tell you straight up that I struggle with keeping it, especially with my work and travel schedule. But God is gracious. He knows I struggle.
The last thing I would ever want is for a member of the community to think that I am entrenched, myopic and without compassion for the struggles of others. Far be it from me! I am a sinner, man! I am in the fight too. My wife reminds me that I have a hard time living what I write. Unity is more important than theological bickering, so I apologize if I seemed to cut you off. That was not the intention at all. I want dialogue that leads to truth, but I know that rabbis have argued over some Scriptures of centuries without consensus and they are quite at home with the tension.
By the way, you would probably enjoy Mark Buchanan’s The Rest of God.