Okey, let me say something on this "He will also give us a crown of Gold with stars in it for the ones you brought to Him." Let me just recall what I've learned for being an Adventist for 9 years now. As far as what I have known, the crown you are referring is not the ring per se. But rather, it is the grace of God that He will be giving us to reach that Heaven we are longing for...", What do you think?
I am glad that you have been an Adventist for nine years, but being one for 44 years and an ordained elder for 36years and going through the Bible with the best of the Old school Pastors and Bible teachers have taught me that there are a lot of things that people will elaborate on that has nothing to do with there soul salvation. Think about it for a minute, is the ring as important as doing the will of God. David wore a ring and he was a man after God's own heart. Saul wore a ring, do you think that God held that against him? Stop taking things to the extreme and do whatthe Lord say do. We are not to try to make going to heaven a thing about works, because it is grace that will get us into heaven and yes before you even say it, Faith without works is dead. No need to be Scribes and Pharisees all over again. That is what is being done about the ring.
This parable of the prodigal son is not a license to wear rings. This is all symbolic. A robe represents something... that was given to the son. Shoes were put on his feet, this meant something too... I gotta check some things, and the ring... back in those times rings were used to sign off on things as the authority figure. This son was restored fully. The ring meant he was restored even in all things the father had. The father loved him that much, and was that happy.. to give him all that he could. The only reason a ring is even used in this parable is cuz it was how important documents and things were sealed as well. Again, people will try to use this story to defend wearing rings, and completely miss the point of the parable. :/ Not suggesting you are one of them lol.. but I've seen this parable used more than once now to defend rings in this thread.
I'll look into the Job story when I get a chance :) And yeah, I'll probably be back to elaborate more on the prodigal son parable. I was reading this book by Joe Crews, and it def sheds some light on some tough to understand verses... as its title implies. I def recommend the book for ppl on either side of various topics to these threads. Its def helped me understand a bit more here n there :)
PS... on this thread there is enough texts that seem they would not encourage the use or rings, but the opposite. You'll find them ;)
When Jesus taught it was more than just a metaphor, allegory, or some quaint way to get people to follow Him. he was giving life lessons, this particular parable was one that was fresh on the minds of the people because it had not long happened. It was a life expereince that he was using this time. Thirty-two years of preaching the word of God all over this world has taught me that you must take God's word literaly. When we stop becoming modern day Scribes and Pharisee's we can move foward in the love of God and stop making it a burden to one another. Come on Family let's help and not hinder or hurt one another.
So, do you believe this parable makes it ok and Christian to wear rings?
I respectfully disagree, you can see my obvious reasons why.
Now, this does not mean I'm trying to put down those who do wear rings. Thats their choice and who am I to tell them to stop? Or to make them feel bad about it.. however.... the use of rings... I don't see it supported anywhere in the Bible, but well, the opposite. I can refer you to another post of mine w/ enough evidence if you like.
The wedding ring is also symbolic, its a symbol that one is married, its a starting point. Just like a human being with trousers a jacket a shirt and a tie with flat shoes and a beard is a symbol to society that the human one is looking at is a man and not a woman. ;o)
This is where we get to the pagan issue. Once a pagan declares something.... Do Christians forevermore abide by that? What matters NOW is what the symbol means NOW. I suppose if one was a pagan ... he might be independent enough to make it mean what HE wants. But many Christians want to go back and back in history to find a pagan ownership of most everything and then pay homage to that 'ownership' .
This time all I wanted to say was that a ring was also used (in the form of authority) to sign and seal documents and things of that nature. I don't know if thats "pagan", but, also has nothing to do w/ marriage.
What does wearing a ring have to do with being pure in heart? The Bible also says that we strain an a gnat and swallow a camel, that is just what is going on here.Look at the weighter matters and not something that will not keep you out of the Kingdom of God.
Ermmm...Jesus wears a Golden Band..what says you...
and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. Revelation 1:13 (New King James Version)
What about Daniel, he didn't refuse...
Then at Belshazzar's command, Daniel was clothed in purple, a gold chain was placed around his neck, and he was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom. Daniel 5:29 (New International Version)
And also this...
I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist.
Daniel 10:5 (New International Version)