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I'm an Adventist, I have a fellow SDA friend who was invited to attend a wedding on Sabbath. What's the biblical stand on this?

Please note:

-- There's missing church services to attend a friend's wedding.

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In the past many Adventists got married on the Sabbath.They stood up in church and asked the pastor to marry them. In times past in the US you could have gotten away with that. Now One has to have a blood test and to have preapplied and have the marriage license in hand. Many wedding receptions are very costly and a just married couple have other priorities, so most adventists get married on other days of the week as to not loose the focus of Sabbath. Many worldly wedding receptions are very costly and they are a drunk fest. A friend of mine got married in 1991 and it cost the father of the bride $40,000 american dollars.As a an Adventist we should be careful to still honor the Sabbath even if we do go to a worldly wedding on the Sabbath. I believe it is fine to honor a person you know by attending the wedding, but if you know the reception is going to include only foods and drinks that don't honor God we should politely refrain from going to the reception. Or if that is the case, ask the friend if there can be an accomidation so that you may eat.One should also politely leave before the heavy drinking starts.

Earlier this year, a close young friend of mine was married on the Sabbath. While not a practicing Adventist, he grew up in a nominal Adventist home and knows about the claims of the Sabbath, at least in the rudiments, and what I will and will not do on the Sabbath. So, while the wedding itself was held, late on Sabbath afternoon, which I was invited to have a part in, the festivities of the reception were not held until after sundown. I had no qalms in attending and I appreciated the consideration of the Sabbath in their plans.

It was one of those VERY expensive displays, which I do not feel is necessary, but the two families did and they had the money to do it, or at least they felt they did. It was held at one of the more expensive resort hotels in Pheonix and I saw more posh then I think I have ever seen in my life. And I have been in some very swank places for corporate banquets etc. None were more ostentatious then this location.

However, at no time did I feel that God could not have been placing His blessing on the procedures because of what was happening on the Sabbath. Now, what happened after the Sabbath, I think that the angels departed when I did. G But, that is another issue.

I cannot find anything that prohibits a properly conducted wedding on the Sabbath hours. I see it as just as much of a religious exercise as a church service should be. In fact, I have seen some services on the Sabbath hours in the church that I have no doubt incurred more of God's displeasure then any wedding I have ever seen. The festivities of the above referenced wedding would have been much more acceptable to God then what I have seen put on in church on the Sabbath.

Maranatha :)
When I got married its was on a Sunday. The wedding was on a nice October day and a good crowd of people came. The service was simple with a few musical numbers and the reception was snack sandwiches, punch, a wedding cake, and some cookies. Not the healthiest meal but the church put it on for us so we were very pleased. The total amount did not exceed $500.00. But now folks would be horrified if they don't hire a band or a hall to hold the wedding. It is a special day but one does not have to break the budget to be special. They money saved on wedding expense should be used to put the new house hold on a firmer financial setting.
what does Isaiah 58:13,14 states? these pleasures are among. its a day of solemnly rest

You nor I know how often this passage has been misrepresented. In fact, it was to correct the misconceptions that this passage had been twisted to mean that Jesus made some of His most straight comments about. First, let's look at Isaiah 58.

"And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
[13] If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: [14] Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Isaiah 58:12-14 (KJV)

Now, the same passage in a more modern translation.

And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.
[13] "If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;
[14] then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken." Isaiah 58:12-14 (ESV)

First, let's just take it as it apparently reads. If I do not make the Sabbath a miserable day, not having any fun because God is so jealous that He can't stand my looking at anything else on the Sabbath. If I suffer enough through those 24 hours, then God will bless me.

OK, maybe most would not put it in that stark of terms, but the general idea is the same. You don't like that rendition? Neither do I. So, let's take another look at it. The key is in verse 13, so le't focus on that.

1. If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
2. from doing your pleasure on my holy day,
3. and call the Sabbath a delight and
4. the holy day of the Lord honorable;
5. if you honor it,
6. not going your own ways,
7. or seeking your own pleasure,
8. or talking idly;

These are the points God makes, and they are the ones we need to listen to, what God is saying. First, let's visit Jesus and His disciples as they walk through a grain field on the Sabbath.

"At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. [2] But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, "Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath." [3] He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: [4] how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? [5] Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? [6] I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. [7] And if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless. [8] For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath."
[9] He went on from there and entered their synagogue. [10] And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"— so that they might accuse him. [11] He said to them, "Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? [12] Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." [13] Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. [14] But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him." Matthew 12:1-14 (ESV)

Here the pharisees cornered Jesus, with the motive of discrediting Him through what His disciples were doing. They said that what His disciples were doing was not lawful to do on the Sabbath. Whose law? Not God's law. Show me where anywhere God said it was a breaking of the Sabbath to engage in a common custom for one walking through a field of grain? It can't be found. Jesus attempted to teach them a lesson about Sabbath keeping by reminding them of when David was hungry and went into the tabernacle and ate the shew bread, which was only for the priest to eat, yet without sin.

Then He hit them close to home, by adding: "Don't you know that the priest work the hardest on the Sabbath day?" Ouch, that got rather close. But, Jesus wasn't done with them yet. He added: "And if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless."

God is not looking for pentence, He is seeking people who have partaken of His characteristic of Mercy. Just what is "Mercy?" Webster defines it as:
"compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one's power; compassion, pity, or benevolence."

God is seeking those who have compassion. If you look at how Jesus described those who would be saved, it is those who have compassion. Those who seek to help the other person. Those who want to make the other person happy. Even if it is on the Sabbath day. Or should I say, especially on the Sabbath day.

But, lets move on to the next story.

Jesus went from there and entered into a synagogue. There was a man with a withered hand. Now they wanted to bait Jesus and they asked Him if it were proper to heal on the Sabbath? Again, they wanted to attempt to label Him as a Sabbath breaker, in order to discredit Him before the people. They just never learned, did they?

Well, Jesus asked them if it were right to pull an animal out of the ditch? Of course, that was OK, for it would mean a profit or loss to them, if it was not taken care of. Then Jesus asked: "How much more valuable is a man?"

Then Jesus estabished a most important principle.

"So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."

Now, lets return to our first passage in Isaiah, looking at it against this background. Here are the 8 points God made in Isaiah 587.

1. If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
2. from doing your pleasure on my holy day,
3. and call the Sabbath a delight and
4. the holy day of the Lord honorable;
5. if you honor it,
6. not going your own ways,
7. or seeking your own pleasure,
8. or talking idly;

1. "If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath," What did the concept of placing one's foot on something? This was the utmost discrace. It still is among easterners today. They do all they can to not point the sole of their foot towards a friend. That is an insult to the friend. This is much the same as what Isaiah is saying here. When you stop insulting the Sabbath. Then God can bless you. There is more, but I'll move on.

2. "from doing your pleasure on my holy day," Notice that it does not say, doing pleasurable things on the Sabbath. But doing your own pleasure on the Sabbath. Even this is not correctly understood. I use to ask various ones who brought this up: "Is it not to be our highest pleasure to do God's will? Then does this mean that we are not to do God's will on the Sabbath?"

Yes, I am the first to admit that that argument is ridiculous, that is why I used it. It helps to point out just how inaccurate such an application is to this verse. What God is saying is that we have turned from doing things our way. We have turned away from controlling our lives and have turned the control of our life over to Him. This is the first thing we must do before we can keep the Sabbath, no matter how solemn we may be during those hours.

3. "and call the Sabbath a delight" The Sabbath is a date with God. The more we look at it in that way, the closer we will come to really "keeping the Sabbath." When I had a date with a sweet young thing, I would wash my car, vacumn it out, fill the gas tank, after all, I wouldn't want to run our of gas, now would I? G I would take a bath, put on clean, appropriate clothes and even maybe dash of "Old Spice." For I wanted to make the very best impression on her. A date with her was a delight, something I looked forward to, dreamed about, couldn't wait until it came. And of course, I would be on time, or even a little early. If one applies these things to the Sabbath, you will in fact be keeping it, however, ONLY if it is done because you have that level or higher of love for God.

4. "and the holy day of the Lord honorable;" If we think: "Oh how I wish this day would pass." We are not honoring it. If we consdier how much money we could make by working, we are not honoring it. This day must be more important to us then anything else. Back to the example of a date. The story is told of a young man who told his girlfriend that he would climb the highest moutain for her, swim the deepest sea for her and cross the hottest desert for her. And if it wasn't raining, he would walk over to her house to see her the next evening. Of course, we never say anything like that to God, or do we?

5. "if you honor it," Or if we make it the most important thing in our life.

6. "not going your own ways," Here again, God is asking us to give up on our ways, and do things His way. The example Jesus set for us is that He did nothing on His own initiative, He only did what His Father told Him to do. That must be our approach to the Sabbath also.

7. "or seeking your own pleasure," This does not say that we are not to do anything that pleases us. The issue is far greater then that. If we stop at that level, we have not even started to "keep the Sabbath Holy." The point here is what we are seeking. What is important to us, doing things our way or God's way.

In the issue of the wedding. Frankly, I hate weddings. For me, going to a wedding is anything but doing my own pleasure. I would rather be anywhere, almost, then at a wedding. The stories I could tell about how I have tried to avoid being involved in weddings, except my own, of course, G would fill a book. They are about my least favorite thing to go to. However, since hingsight is better then foresight, my friend asked another good Adventist to also come to their wedding. However, they declined "becasue it was on the Sabbath," their words, not mine.

They told me about that and the dissapointment in their voice was not misunderstood. In contrast, a few months later, they brought two of their close friends up and asked me questions for several hours. Then then called me and asked what set of Bible Studies to use in studying their Bible. Which was the better response to their request to be at the most important day of their lives?

8. "or talking idly;" This one I'll just let speak for itself. It doesn't need any elaboration.

See, the "Ten Commandments" are:

"The Ten Commandments, Thou shalt, and Thou shalt not, are ten promises, assured to us if we render obedience to the law governing the universe. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15. {FLB 86.6}

Since I have entered into that New Covenant relationship with God. I can ask Him to fulfill the promise He made that He will cause me to want to keep the Sabbath in the way He wants me to keep it. Exodus 31:13; Ezekiel 20:12, 20

On Sabbath, I have rebuit a carborator, in my suit after preaching the Sabbath morning sermon, in order to get a stranded family back on the road, so they could go to his mother's funeral.

I have fought a forrest fire, after church on Sabbath, that was threatening the homes of my neighbors. Who is my neighbor?

I have pulled people out of the ditch, milked cows, fixed things that broke so people could be comfortable on the Sabbath and the list goes on. I did these things, not for personal profit, but because I believe that is the "ox in the ditch" principle. The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. The Sabbath is made so we can be free to do those things God wants us to do and we do not have to be encombered with the normal activities of our life. How we relate to this principle demonstrates if God is leading us in those ways, or if we are using it as an excuse to do what we want to do. Yes, people will misuse this, but they will misuse everything.

There is much much more that I could share on this subject. However, let me end with these thoughts.

"No other institution which was committed to the Jews tended so fully to distinguish them from surrounding nations as did the Sabbath. God designed that its observance should designate them as His worshipers. It was to be a token of their separation from idolatry, and their connection with the true God. But in order to keep the Sabbath holy, men must themselves be holy. Through faith they must become partakers of the righteousness of Christ. When the command was given to Israel, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy," the Lord said also to them, "Ye shall be holy men unto Me." Exodus 20:8; 22:31. Only thus could the Sabbath distinguish Israel as the worshipers of God." {DA 283.3}
"In order to keep the Sabbath holy, it is not necessary that we enclose ourselves in walls, shut away from the beautiful scenes of nature and from the free, invigorating air of heaven. We should in no case allow burdens and business transactions to divert our minds upon the Sabbath of the Lord, which He has sanctified. We should not allow our minds to dwell upon things of a worldly character even. But the mind cannot be refreshed, enlivened, and elevated by being confined nearly all the Sabbath hours within walls, listening to long sermons and tedious, formal prayers. The Sabbath of the Lord is put to a wrong use if thus celebrated. The object for which it was instituted is not attained. The Sabbath was made for man, to be a blessing to him by calling his mind from secular labor to contemplate the goodness and glory of God. It is necessary that the people of God assemble to talk of Him, to interchange thoughts and ideas in regard to the truths contained in His word, and to devote a portion of time to appropriate prayer. But these seasons, even upon the Sabbath, should not be made tedious by their length and lack of interest." {2T 583.1}
"God gave the Sabbath to his people to be a continual sign of his love and mercy and of their obedience. As he rested on this day and was refreshed, so he desired his people to rest and be refreshed. It was to be a constant reminder to them that they were included in his covenant of grace. Throughout your generations, he said, the Sabbath is to be my sign, my pledge, to you that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you, that I have chosen you and set you apart as my peculiar people. And as you keep the Sabbath holy, you will bear testimony to the nations of the earth that you are my chosen people." {RH, October 28, 1902 par. 3}
"Those who wish to be blest and approved of the Lord in this world, and who expect to finally be saved, and have right to the tree of life, must keep the Sabbath holy. They should pray daily for grace and wisdom to keep from polluting it in any way. Isaiah says: "Every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain." Chap. lvi, 6, 7. {YI, February 1, 1853 par. 1}
"By observing the Sabbath day wherein God rested, the knowledge of God would be preserved. It is a "sign between Me and you . . . that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you." Those who keep the Sabbath holy as the Lord has specified, reveal that they are His peculiar people, and that He who made the heavens and the earth is their God." {18MR 32.1}

Maranatha :)
Absolutely great sermon Ray. I learned a lot. Thank you for posting this.

Maranatha right back at you! Andrea
there is a wedding on a sabbath 4 sabbath keepers and there is a wedding on a sabbath 4 un Adventists. 4 the Adventist its just the exchange of the vows and a luncheon prepared on the eve of the Sabbath. but then the other wedding prepared on the principles of those who don't keep the sabbath. is far different from the principles of our faith.
amen Andrew well said!!
Jesus went to a wedding.....He even turned water into wine.....????????? and kept the party going........

We will hear all kinds of things when it comes to justifying why we should, and should not go, to weddings on the Sabbath.

It all has to do with your relationship with God. Are you going to glorify God, or yourself?

I was in a wedding party on the Sabbath and was asked to bless the food. To the glory of God, I did as I was asked, and a lot of people afterwards asked me if I was a Christian, which opened the door for me to witness to them about the Love of God towards mankind.

What is your motive for going?

To God be the glory.
Hi Anthony

Just because God (loving as He is), works with what we give Him, should in no wise be used to state "right" or "wrong".

We are to use Bible principles.

I can (as a man -- human), justify just about anything if left to my own. I would not want to give you the list of the things I have found myself rationalizing as "right".

I think that it is best to think on the Lord's viewpoint, and go with that -- no more, and no less.

Consider that the Book says that every man is "right in his own eyes", and that "there is a way that seemeth right unto a man...".

Take Care

Hi John

I'm not sure I catch your whole meaning, but we must be sure that we are not offensive in that which we allow.

We are in the time of judgement. It is no time to fool around. We are to declare only the positive truth. It matters not what I like. God can change that too.

If we can't prove that we have God's approval for the item, why do it? It is the Sabbath which is pronounced by the Lord God as "holy". We should want to make sure I think.

Reverence says: "Make sure".

Take Care

yes he went to a wedding, but was it on a Sabbath? the argument here is the Sabbath. and what we should do. this is a Holy day. wedding is also Holy but it should be done on plan. we have the day... Sabbath but we don't have a wedding day. we plan but the day cant be holy because of the wedding. so when the Word of God says remember the Sabbath day it should be so. having a wedding on Sabbath can be a blessing. how do we keep this day Holy? that's very important and we should be careful enough to keep Sabbath.


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