Tuesday, November 29, 2005

If the Bible is our sole authority…

…then why aren’t we observing the Sabbath?
Furthermore, why are we observing our “religious day” on Sunday?


I’ve become very interested in this topic and have been doing a bit of research. I’ve used mostly Messianic Jewish sites for reference, and of course, the Bible, ultimately. Here’s what I’ve noted:

Which day is the traditional Sabbath?
Observant Jews, historically and today, observe Sabbath starting Friday evening at sun-down through Saturday morning. (Coming from the seventh day of creation – a day would be the evening and the morning, rather than the morning and evening. Example: Genesis 1:5 - God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.


Why change the holy day to Sunday?
John 20:19 – So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you."

We see the early followers of Jesus gathered together on the first day of the week, ie. Sunday, or rather Saturday night, actually, come to think of it (as Saturday evening is the evening of the first day, Sunday morning being the rest of the first day). However, it seems clear from the text that they were gathering out of fear, not for a religious observance. So I’ll move on to the next mention of the first day.

Acts 20:7-8, 11-13 - On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered together… When he had gone back up and had broken the bread and eaten, he talked with them a long while until daybreak, and then left. They took away the boy [who fell off the roof] alive, and were greatly comforted. But we, going ahead to the ship, set sail for Assos, intending from there to take Paul on board; for so he had arranged it, intending himself to go by land.

This one is a bit more convincing, unless you look at it more closely. I’m not about to get all confusing on purpose – we have to remember that to the readers of the time, this made perfect sense and probably would not have been questioned at all.

It was the first day of the week, and it was evening because the lamps were lit and Paul spoke until midnight. So it is actually Saturday night. But no matter about that. He clearly is teaching and holding a religious service. However, was it a Sabbath? I think we can safely assume he was not administering a Sabbath service because if the Sabbath were changed to Sunday, Paul would not have sailed for Assos that morning (still being a Jewish Sunday) as that would be to break the Sabbath. So either Paul broke the Sunday Sabbath or observed the Saturday Sabbath. Since we know that Paul at least continued to preach in the synagogue every Sabbath (see book of Acts), and it is generally accepted by many that Paul still observed the Sabbath, he most likely would not have broken it. You remember how much Jesus (who kept the Sabbath, too,) got flack for “breaking the Sabbath” (even though what he did was lawful, only breaking the Pharisees’ Sabbatical laws)? Paul, who was everything to everyone would not likely break the Sabbath. Remember – keeping the Sabbath day holy was a law from God, it was one of the Ten Commandments. Jews took this law very seriously, unlike modern day Christians. Paul would’ve taken it seriously unless Jesus had abolished it, which we have no evidence to support.

This may not convince you, but at any rate, it’s the only Scripture I’ve found so far that actually seems to have any credit for a Sunday Sabbath, and I don’t find it too convincing. But onwards.

1 Corinthians 16:1-4 - Now about the collection for God's people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem.

Some may interpret this as a weekly collection like a church offering passing-the-plate sort of thing we do today. However, there is no mention here that everyone is gathering together to do this. They are just told to set aside money on the first day of the week, assumably to keep from spending it, just as we are told to give of the first fruits, not the leftovers. There is no reason to believe they are joined together as a group on the first day. (My first thought was that people did give money on the Sabbath because of the widow’s coins story (Luke 21), but not so. Apparently money matters weren’t handled on the Sabbath.)

There are a few verses in the Gospels that talk of the disciples meeting on Sunday, but let us remember that was Resurrection morning – not your typical Sunday morning service! I did a search for other occurrences at Bible Gateway of meeting together on the first day of the week, but I couldn’t find any others.


What does it matter which day we celebrate on?
Immediately, the verse about regarding one day over another comes to mind. Romans 14:5-6 - One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. This is interesting to me. I’ve always taken it to mean the same thing – like a person may or may not celebrate Christmas, big deal, or they may celebrate the holy day on Saturday or Sunday, big deal. But actually, this whole chapter is talking about food and what people feel like they can eat. So is it really talking about all days, including the Sabbath? Reading it in context, I’m not so sure.This gives an interesting option: “Some people interpret this passage as allowing Christians to either recognize or ignore the Sabbath, - or perhaps to select any day as the Sabbath. But others suggest from a reading of the subsequent verses that Paul is discussing fasting here, not religious observance. They would suggest that verse 1 of this chapter indicates that the passage relates to "disputable" matters (such as when or if to fast); the day of the Sabbath was not a disputable matter; it was a commandment from God. The phrase "considering every day alike" might means that every day from Sunday to Friday were treated the same, as in the passage describing the collection of manna in Exodus 16:4.” Me not being Jewish, I wouldn’t have thought of that. But it’s an interesting thought.

Then there is Colossians 2:16-17 - Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day--things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. Again, we are not familiar with Jewish customs or festivals and holidays. Again, the same site points out this possibility: “Some people interpret the reference to ‘Sabbath’ in this passage as authorizing Christians to celebrate (or not celebrate) the weekly Sabbath in any way that they wish. Others suggest that the ‘Sabbath’ in this passage apparently refers to the Ceremonial Sabbaths, not the Weekly Sabbaths. The verse in Colossians duplicates the text of Ezekiel 45:17 which reads: ‘...at the festivals, the New Moons and the Sabbaths - at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel.’”
So again, does it matter? Well, considering that there are no real mandates to change the Biblical Sabbath and only dubious loopholes for changing the Sabbath, we don’t see any real Biblical reason for it. And I won’t go into all the pagan history of worship on Sundays, as we’ve all heard it before, but it was Constantine, not Jesus, Paul or the early Church, who officialised Sunday as the day of rest, and Constantine was in quite a crap position when it came to Christianising his empire, with all the pagans he had to keep happy, and it also ought to be noted that the anti-Judaism attitude that the Gentile believers adopted encouraged new Christians to separate themselves completely from all things Jewish (early Replacement Theology, which clearly did not grasp Ephesians or Romans 11). But more interestingly, and maybe more importantly, is this question – what is the Sabbath anyway? Is it just a day to come together and rest from a week’s work, or is there more to it? The Sabbath represented the seventh day of Creation when God rested. This website states about the purpose of Sabbath:
“Many people today do not believe in G~d or creation, choosing instead theories of evolution. Such wrong beliefs would disappear if people remembered the Sabbath. The Sabbath continually focuses our attention back to our Creator and his re-creative power in our lives. In the tempestuous turmoil of our lives, the Sabbath is a refuge where man may enter. The Sabbath is a time of detachment from the world and an attachment to the Spirit of G~d.
“The Sabbath is the catalyst that keeps mankind’s relationship with the Creator a priority. All the frustrations of this present world would be dispelled if man would find fellowship with the G~d of the Sabbath, who made the Sabbath for man’s spiritual renewal.3 It is a time for communion between the Creator and his creation.”
As were all parts of the law, the Sabbath was implemented for the good of the people. "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27) The law required that the Sabbath was kept holy by resting. Take a look at this passage from Isaiah (58:13-14) –

”If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure and speaking your own word, then you will take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

In fact, lest we forget, it was one of the Ten Commandments. Any reason we religiously (no pun) follow the other nine but toss out number four as archaic? This isn’t a rhetorical question. I really don’t know where we got the idea that the Sabbath is dead. And it leads to my last question…


Why don’t we keep the Sabbath day holy?
Even if it doesn’t matter whether we celebrate on Saturday or Sunday (we are mostly Gentiles so some may argue the Torah, ie. the Law, wasn’t written for us, though I find that highly disputable), shouldn’t we still be keeping whichever day holy? As in, not work? It used to be common amongst Christians to not go to our work places to work on a Sunday, but even then, meals were prepared, the house was cleaned, travelling took place, all things that most certainly did not make the day restful. And now, why Sunday is just another day. Why aren’t we keeping the Sabbath? Jesus apparently expected us to, for while talking about the end times he says, "But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. (Matthew 24:20). Why? Because on a Sabbath, even in the end times, we ought to be resting.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

How do you cut through a fossil?

With a dino-saw!


And now, for the moment you've all been waiting for........

THE KITTENS!





^Remedios has the brown streak face and ^Clementine has the whitey splotchy face.

^They were in that position naturally when I came home today. ^Scott and I are proud parents.


Futhermore there are a few things you missed (that are very important to us) while we were sans camera. Here they are.



^Our one year anniversary! One year is paper, so I made Scott a monopoly board. He bought me a diamond pendant necklace. How he got diamond out of paper, I don't know, but I ain't complaining!

^I painted Bobo's portrait. ^There's Bobo so you can see the resemblance.


^This is Sir Quackenbush IV. Scott and I made him at the Bear Factory. He has a real heart which we had to rub and kiss to start beating, and he quacks.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

100 Things I Love About My Husband: 51-60

51. His smile makes me smile.
52. He is completely different than me. And we love it that way.
53. He plays with my hair when we are laying together talking or thinking.
54. He is following his dreams and going back to school.
55. He thinks he’s shy, but when he gets in a group, he’s a total charmer.
56. He says good-night to both me and Sir Quackenbush IV when we go to bed at night.
57. His accent when he’s talking to his family (relaxed, and not enunciated for my benefit) is still really fascinating to me.
58. He gets sweeter and handsomer every day.
59. First thing he does in the morning when I wake him up is pucker his lips for a kiss.
60. He has a soft enough heart to understand why I couldn’t separate the two kitties.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

|< I 7 7 3 N 5

Well, I see no reason to let Lori hog all the limelight with this piece of news, so I'm breaking it first.

We're getting kittens. Plural. Lori went to visit them today on her lunch, they're twin sisters and she didn't want to seperate them, so we're going to have both of them. They should arrive in the McFarlane household on Saturday.

Here's where the fun, interactive, you-do-the-work part comes in. We're calling one of them Remedios (as in 100 Years of Solitude), suggest names for the others!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Zombie and Friends




I've spent the last two days watching Season One of The O.C., thanks to Cheryl who lent them to me. I feel like it's been an incredibly eventful two days, but it's just been The O.C. But I mean, in a way, two people have "tried" to kill themselves, one couple got divorced, and like six or seven break ups have occurred. And a trip to Tijuana, Palm Springs and Vegas. A Christmakkuh. I mean, it's been a busy couple of days.

And speaking of Cheryl, I have, like, seventeen friends! I counted. Seventeen! That's a ton! And if you count Anna, Seth, Ryan, Marissa, Summer and, ah why not, Luke, that's, like, twenty-three!

Ok, that last bit was a joke, but really, seventeen non-related-except-for-Scott friends is totally freaking cool. I feel good. Oh, and that doesn't even count my Edinburgh friends - that seventeen is strictly people in the Greenock/Glasgow area.

Right, well anyway, Oliver is about to almost shoot Marissa so I need to get back to what I was doing. Mmm, I can't wait to see Season Two.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Missin' Arkansas

Part I
Yesterday began as any typical winter day in Scotland - cold, wet, you know the routine. Off I went to work, havin' an all right time, readin' my book on the train. I get to work, go about my business. Stop working at 10:30 to attend a Remembrance Day service in the Assembly Hall. (Stop the story for a moment and let me say it was horrible walking across the stage with all the teachers to our seats facing the children, with all those itty bitty kid eyes looking at me. "Don't smile, don't smile" I kept repeating to myself.) Day goes on. I find out that tickets to the USA/Scotland game our on sale for only £12. But unfortunately, we're so broke we can't afford £24 for a game. It starts raining like Monsoon Season in Pakistan. My pal Jamie and I decide to go to the little cafe nearby for lunch. I pull out my umbrella and step outside. The wind is a maniac. My brolly flew inside out. It wouldn't remain concave for anything. I put it away and proceeded to get soaked. Soaked. We got to the cafe, only to find out it was full. So we headed back down the street to another cafe about six blocks away, me grumbling like the Israelites on the way to the Promise Land. By the time we reached the other cafe, I was wet from head to toe, windblown and teary-eyed from the elements.

The day went bad.

All I could think all through lunch was how the forecast in Fayetteville, Arkansas for the day was a high of 71 and sunny. I couldn't hate Scotland anymore during that lunch hour. Lesley who met us in the cafe asked if I was okay.

Girls, how many of you know what a complete No-No that is when you see someone on the brink of tears?

I burst into tears and begged them not to ask me that. I spent the rest of lunch in silence (as I'd spent the first half). I was the crankiest Lori in existence.

I later called Jamie to apologise for my frightful behaviour. I was forgiven, thankfully.

I just really miss Arkansas. I miss my parents. I miss my friends. I miss that big yellow thing in the sky... what's it called again? The thing that makes everything warm and dry? Uh, well whatever it is, I miss it.

Part II
I got the early train home. When I was almost at my stop, I got a text. It was Cheryl, from church, inviting Scott and I over for dinner on Saturday. I was estatic! Someone likes me! I got home and waited for Scott at the train station. When he pulled up, my face brightened even more. There's my husband! I got in the car and hugged him tightly and kissed his face. He's a good thing. I love him. This guy is worth living in Scotland for.

We got home and had a wonderful evening, just the two of us. We ended the night with watching a film I'd borrowed from my friend. The Butterfly Effect. What a perfect way to end the day. Scott and I have never laughed so much at such a serious film in our lives. Every single scene, every facial expression, every line brought gut-clenching guffaws. It was such a great time and such a horrible film! Oh, I had such a good time watching it...

Conclusion
So I'm all right.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Fitba

Answers to the quiz are here.

I'm boring and lame so I'm just gonna do this:

1. If you are interested in alternative birthing options, click here, here or here.

2. After another ridiculous numerical hiccup (I was calling it a far harsher word early this morning in self-degredation) discovered in the magazine that now exists in thousands of copies, I looked into a possibility of there being such a thing as numerical dyslexia. No, I was being serious. Turns out, there is. Dyscalculia. No, it's not another excuse for hating math. But it really, truly (I'm not being a learning disorder hypochondriac) explains a LOT about myself.

Since only a tiny fraction of you will actually follow the link, let me just quickly say this: For someone who has difficulty telling her left from her right, reading the hands on a clock, memorizing phone numbers, performing basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and heaven forbid division (thus necessitating counting fingers), making monetary change, performing even the simplist calculations in her head, and figuring out how to drive from point A to point B in a town she's lived in for years, BUT is generally rather intelligent, can write well, read well, understand science and generally make smashing grades.....GASP... this has completely helped me to understand myself.

Most of you will probably laugh at me and say, "Ah, we're all like that!" It doesn't really matter to me if you laugh. The main thing is, the fact that this may explain why I can feel so smart most of the time, but then feel like the world's biggest fool because I have to put my hand over my heart to figure out which is my right hand, really helps me. I was in tears to learn that I had completely miscopied a phone number in a PAID AD that was put in the magazine (and subsequently printed), considering the fact that after copying the number over, I TRIPLE-checked it and STILL didn't see the numbers copied down incorrectly. (The other mistake that has been found in the magazine was also a number issue - this time just two numbers, which I completely didn't write correctly AT ALL.) So laugh all you want, call me an LD hypochondriac, but my lifetime suspicions of having some kind of dyslexia with numbers (which I have always had a problem with, as long as I can remember) finally make sense to me and I can go (just a bit) easier on myself when I find my stupid mistakes everywhere. It will also cause me to ask for someone else's eyes to double check my numbers next time, because it's clear my dumb self can't do it. (This girl made me feel better, too. I'm so with her on the transposing, reversing or completely omitting numbers bit.

3. Wow, that was a big rant I didn't mean to go on.

4. I subscribed to the Oxford American, a magazine dedicated to the South (of the US), which has its headquarters in Conway, Arkansas, by the way. I bought the Southern Food Issue when I was in America, and I just got my first subscription issue in the mail, the summer issue - the Southern Music Issue. It came with a CD and I suppose the most interesting thing about it is The Pilgrim Travelers song, "Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb". Anyone, anyone? Ding ding! Yes, that was the name of the second-to-last Tripping Daisy album. I remember how Tim DeLaughter told me and the old Oswald's Pool gang that he got the name from an old gospel record, and for some crazy reason I've never thought to look it up. Now it's playing on my stereo. I wish I'd looked that up for my Tripping Daisy essay I wrote in my Folk/Music Traditions class at University. Particularly since I mention this song but didn't say who the original band was, and I can almost guarantee that good ole Robert Cochran knew it was The Pilgrim Travelers.

5. Rangers lost to Celtic. What utter crap.

6. I'm attempting to read Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh for the third time. This time, I've actually made it past page three. I get it now. I know what "wisnae" and "ootay" mean, and I know who Hibs and Hearts are, and I know Edinburgh (a bit). The book is far richer with meaning now than it ever could've been when I lived in America, so I'm glad it's just now that I'm actually reading the thing.

7. Speaking of Scottish words, and football for that matter, Scotland is playing America on Saturday. Ah'm sae intae the fitba, ah'm tellin ye man.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

That Poor Kid!

I fancy a game – nay, a quiz. Yes, a quiz! And you get to take it! Aren’t you excited?

INSTRUCTIONS:
Below, match the poor, innocent child with his/her (you may not be able to tell the difference) ridiculous celebrity parent(s). NOTE: Parent(s) may have more than one child.

Click here.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I Got My Digital Camera Back!

Ahh, what fun it is to take pictures again. Thanks, Amanda!

Last night I went out with some of my workmates (the secret is out, ya'll!), and I dragged my darling, acquiescent husband along so he could meet my friends. He was a very good sport, even though he was incredibly bored everytime we started talking shop. At any rate, I liked having him there. He's the other half of me, so I feel good when he's around. (He also acted as the voice of reason when it was time to go catch the last train home. I could've stayed all night, but then I would've been bunking with the Glasgow hobos on Sauchiehall Street, and that would've been unpleasant.)

So now that I have my camera back, I finally get to include all of you in my night o' fun! (And Scott's night o' charity.)

(I love you, Scott!)