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Sunday: The Apostle Paul’s Letter — 10 Comments

  1. By the time Paul was writing to the Romans, he had not yet been there but the church had been started by Jews who had come to faith during Pentecost.The Jews were the ones who had spread the gospel on their return to Rome.He sent this letter to introduce himself and to make a clear declaration of the faith.
    At the end of the lesson we should examine ourselves the commitment to Christ and our relationships with other Christians.

  2. Our mission as church militant we are to strictly impose the standard of dressing for women base upon the writing of sister White.No wearing of pants in public second the keeping of Sabbath no cooking even if we are now in high tech things we will strictl y follow the Bible and SOP as our guide in oreparing ourselves for the coming of our Lord of all lords.

    • Conchita, I am not really sure what strictly imposing standards such as these would achieve. Do you think we are more likely to be saved as a result?

      I know what you are referring to but we need to focus on the principles rather than the detail. Did you know that Ellen White was quite a reformer when it came to women's clothes. She thought that the then current fashion of long dresses were unhealthy and proposed what would now be called a pants-suit. I doubt that it would be popular today but when I look at what modern women wear today that often comprise of trousers or slacks, I find that they embody the two principle of modesty and health, that concerned Ellen White.

      I am old enough to remember the cooking process when I was a kid. Stoking up the fire in the old wood-burning stove. Cooking days were hot in the kitchen and quite frankly a lot of hard work. Food preparation took a lot of effort and to prepare food on Sabbath, someone would have to spend long hours in the kitchen. The idea behind not cooking on the Sabbath was simply to free up time for doing "Sabbath things" on Sabbath. Now-a-days I make soup of Friday. It is put in the fridge and on Sabbath it is heated for about 2 minutes in the microwave oven. In fact when I go to pot-luck lunches and people are preparing their pre-cooked food for the table, often the discussion that takes place is centered on the worship them of the day, and on the needs of other people in the church. Such "social interaction" is entirely appropriate on Sabbath and is one of the reasons that we call such meals "fellowship" lunches. It brings people together on Sabbath.

      Ellen White was a very practical lady and I am sure that if she was alive today, some of the detail of her advice would be different, but the principles would remain the same. Neither the Bible nor Ellen White have anything to say about TV, computers, the Internet, cell telephones, radio, motorcars, or airplane travel. But that does not mean we can do anything we like with these things. Both sources have given us broad principles that go beyond culture and time to determine how we use these things.

      As another example of changing times, Ellen White was quite critical about bicycles mainly on the basis of their being a fad and expensive. Today we regard bicycles as both healthy and an economic means of transport. I am sure that Ellen White would adapt her thinking to what is currently appropriate because the principles remain the same.

      Strict obedience to perceived interpretation of the "law" does not save us; we are, as always, saved by grace. If we concentrate on detail like this, we are doing the same as the Judaizers who insisted the circumcision was a strict standard that Christians must adhere to.

    • Conchita, do you know what you are proposing?

      If we are to "strictly impose" Bible standards of dress, then both men and women would be wearing dresses (called "robes" in earlier times) with borders of blue and fringes of blue. See Numbers 15:38. Yes, both men and women wore essentially the same garments - dresses! But I'm sure there were details to tell them apart, just as there are details in men's and women's pants to tell them apart.

      The biblical command against wearing clothes pertaining to the other sex was in opposition to cross-dressing, in which a person of one sex deliberately presents him/herself as a member of the opposite sex. Have you seen that in a church anywhere near you?

      I don't know who told you that Ellen White said that women were not to wear pants, but I'm pretty sure she didn't, unless you can show me otherwise. As Maurice pointed out, the "reform dress" she suggested at one point in time consisted of a relatively short skirt worn with pants underneath for modesty. Later, when fashions had changed to something more practical, she said the "reform dress" was no longer required, also saying that when the world adopts a style of dress that is practical and modest, God's people should not be afraid to adopt it.

      As for cooking on Sabbath, Maurice pretty well covered it.

      We should keep in mind that the Lord looks at the heart, rather than just the external actions. His desire is for us to be happy, healthy and holy, and all His instructions are in harmony with this desire. He does not impose arbitrary rules that do not benefit us but make life harder for us. (For instance, not using modern means to heat food on Sabbath would actually make life harder, not easier. Slow cookers are a wonderful convenience, technically "cooking" on the Sabbath, but leaving cooks free to worship and otherwise serve God.)

      When we plan on how to keep the Sabbath, we should ask ourselves, What will draw us and our families closer to God and to each other? What kind of activity will rightly represent the loving God we server? Sometimes the answer will cut across accepted customs in our church. But God designed the Sabbath for the very purpose of drawing close to Him and to each other.

  3. Righteousness by works= working from the outside in. That never changes the heart at all. It is by faith on what Jesus did and has done for us that changes the heart. Jesus never made issues of diet, dress or adornment. We should follow Jesus on these issues too and never make them issues either.

  4. Please consider the following as a way to address the “argument” about “church standards”. The church is one thing. Our denominational ORGANIZATION is another thing. A person is a member of the true church who is learning to trust the Lord--entirely apart from whether he subscribes to the religious practices and religious prohibitions I do and entirely apart from what his denominational affiliation is. At the same time, it IS appropriate for our denomination (or any other) to have behavior standards for voting membership. It may even be appropriate to have higher standards for certain kinds of leadership within the denomination. It is important to say often and clearly that behavior standards--even if they are biblical--are not the basis of our salvation. We are not forgiven on the basis of what we do or refrain from doing. We are not sanctified by what we do or refrain from doing. (Changes in behavior are the RESULT of sanctification.) And we will not “qualify” for translation when Jesus returns on the basis of what we are doing or not doing. Christian fellowship should be based on mutual respect, even for people who understand the Bible differently than we do, not on the basis of decisions about what to wear or what, exactly, constitutes “cooking” or “baking” on the sabbath day.

    Some people take Paul’s words to mean that Christians shouldn’t be physically circumcised. I don’t understand his instruction that way. What it does mean (I think we can all agree) is that no one should be circumcised in order to be saved. In my opinion, neither being circumcised or not being circumcised should be a requisite for Christian fellowship OR for denominational membership.

    Roger Metzger


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