The Sabbath and basketball

Dec 23, 2009 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Dayton Daily News

Top point guard Andrea Hoover is used to shutting down on Saturdays since she's starred at Spring Valley Academy.

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Non-Denomination al

Dayton, OH

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#81
May 20, 2010
 
I have read with interest the postings on this blog, as well as the postings that accompanied the original article on the Dayton Daily News website. I have found them interesting and quite enlightening. My original attraction to this topic was the fact that I attended University of Dayton several years ago and I am a fan of its athletic program. It appears they have recruited a pretty talented player but an even better person. But as a Christian, I found the discussion concerning the Sabbath issue especially interesting and the ensuing debate has confirmed the rightness of my decision to be a non-denominational Christian. I have found that sectarian religion has become quite similar to modern governmentódisconnected from its constituents, focused on maintaining power and control over its parishioners, and, in many cases, hopelessly corrupt. Many of its advocates demonstrate un-Christian behavior through their actions and words, as have some on this blog.
The conversation regarding athletics and, more specifically, playing basketball on the Sabbath, is quite revealing and instructive. The idea that young people should not participate in athletic programs is nothing short of absurd. Extracurricular activities, be they music, art, various clubs, or athletics are a vital part of a young personís development. Athletics in particular help develop qualities such as teamwork, discipline, hard work, trust, and dealing with adversity. Whatís more, they promote a principle on which the Seventh-Day Adventist church places a very high priority: healthy living. Obviously anything taken to extremes can have bad results, but for a religious denomination to single out athletics as a pariah that all of its loyal members must avoid in order to remain within its good graces seems to me to be quite silly and without justification.
The more interesting discussion, however, has been the one on playing basketball on the Sabbath. I have done a little research on the Seventh-Day Adventist church and it is quite evident that the seventh day Sabbath holds a very special place in the fundamental beliefs of the church. I get the impression that the issue is virtually inseparable from oneís salvation. I also get the notion that the controversy of playing basketball on the Sabbath suggests that there are certain activities that are frowned upon during Sabbath hours. But in my research there does not seem to be any standard or specific guidelines on what constitutes proper and improper activities on the Sabbath. With the exception of the Old Testament decrees given to the Children of Israel, the Bible does not provide much guidance on what those acceptable activities may be either. In fact, it actually seems to confuse the issue.(See Jesusís dealings with the Pharisees.) The Old Testament certainly cannot be the source for specific Sabbath practicing dos and doníts for SDAs since they do not follow all of the Jewish Sabbath restrictions. So how is one to determine if he/she is properly observing the Sabbath? On the one hand, the condemnation heaped on the young lady from the DDN article by several bloggers suggests that it is not a personal choice. Otherwise, some may disagree with her decision but there would be no justification for condemning her and, as one blogger suggested, censuring and disfellowshipping her from her church. On the other hand, it appears that the condemnation can be nothing more than the mere opinion of several people since, again, there seems to be no official church principles on acceptable and unacceptable Sabbath activities. They are simply the personal viewpoints of the individuals expressing them. And thus we arrive at the problem with denominational religions: arbitrary dogmatism, some of which has no basis in scripture.
Non-Denomination al

Dayton, OH

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#82
May 20, 2010
 
The Bible was given to us by God so we can know and understand him better. We all have the ability and intelligence to read the Word of God and discover its truths and realize the promises He has given us. If we follow the basic tenets or first principles taught by Jesusólove, kindness, service, and compassion to each otheróand accept the free gift of Godís loving grace, we can be assured of our salvation. Certainly Christian fellowship is vital to these principles, but I believe they can become part of oneís life without the straitjacket of denominational religions. The biblical principles of proper behavior, rather than being the strict and rigid rules and regulations that are the principal means by which religious denominations differentiate themselves and use to judge and condemn transgressors, become, with non-denominationalism, the natural results of a loving personal relationship with Christ. I have confidence that the young lady will have a great career as a Dayton Flyer and, more importantly, will serve as an incredible Christian witness to those with whom she comes in contact.

Since: Apr 10

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#84
May 21, 2010
 
Non-Denominational wrote:
The conversation regarding athletics and, more specifically, playing basketball on the Sabbath, is quite revealing and instructive. The idea that young people should not participate in athletic programs is nothing short of absurd. Extracurricular activities, be they music, art, various clubs, or athletics are a vital part of a young personís development. Athletics in particular help develop qualities such as teamwork, discipline, hard work, trust, and dealing with adversity. Whatís more, they promote a principle on which the Seventh-Day Adventist church places a very high priority: healthy living. Obviously anything taken to extremes can have bad results, but for a religious denomination to single out athletics as a pariah that all of its loyal members must avoid in order to remain within its good graces seems to me to be quite silly and without justification.
The more interesting discussion, however, has been the one on playing basketball on the Sabbath. I have done a little research on the Seventh-Day Adventist church and it is quite evident that the seventh day Sabbath holds a very special place in the fundamental beliefs of the church. I get the impression that the issue is virtually inseparable from oneís salvation. I also get the notion that the controversy of playing basketball on the Sabbath suggests that there are certain activities that are frowned upon during Sabbath hours. But in my research there does not seem to be any standard or specific guidelines on what constitutes proper and improper activities on the Sabbath. With the exception of the Old Testament decrees given to the Children of Israel, the Bible does not provide much guidance on what those acceptable activities may be either. In fact, it actually seems to confuse the issue.(See Jesusís dealings with the Pharisees.) The Old Testament certainly cannot be the source for specific Sabbath practicing dos and doníts for SDAs since they do not follow all of the Jewish Sabbath restrictions. So how is one to determine if he/she is properly observing the Sabbath? On the one hand, the condemnation heaped on the young lady from the DDN article by several bloggers suggests that it is not a personal choice. Otherwise, some may disagree with her decision but there would be no justification for condemning her and, as one blogger suggested, censuring and disfellowshipping her from her church. On the other hand, it appears that the condemnation can be nothing more than the mere opinion of several people since, again, there seems to be no official church principles on acceptable and unacceptable Sabbath activities. They are simply the personal viewpoints of the individuals expressing them. And thus we arrive at the problem with denominational religions: arbitrary dogmatism, some of which has no basis in scripture.
The Bible itself does provide some definite guidelines. Principles are stated at the very beginning, Gen. 2:1 - 3. God blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy. To sanctify or make holy means to set aside for holy use, focusing on God. Exodus 16 provides some further detail. Going out and gathering food, and preparing it, was not to be done on the Sabbath. Exodus 20, God's people are commanded not to do any work, but to rest and devote the day to God. Isaiah 58, God says to stop trampling on the Sabbath, stop doing your own things, thinking your own thoughts, saying your own words, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, etc. Jesus worshiped on the Sabbath, and healed people. Etc etc.

Playing basketball is a secular activity, and as well, it certainly is a form of work for the players. It is not God-centered, it is not an act of worshiping God. Beyond that, basketball itself, and other competitive sports, are not part of God's plan for His people.

Since: Apr 10

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#85
May 21, 2010
 

Judged:

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In contrast to Andrea Hoover's decision to break God's Sabbath is the example of another student, in the same geographical area, note this headline from the Dayton Daily News:

"Franklin tennis player disqualified for refusing match on Sabbath
Franklinís Stefan Mangroo, doubles partner may be out of tournament."

In this case, the student refused to break God's Sabbath. It cost him and his team the opportunity to advance to the next level. But he chose to honor God instead of worldly advancement. His faithfulness to the Sabbath is a good witness to the community.
Non-Denomination al

Dayton, OH

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#86
May 22, 2010
 
David Koot wrote:
<quoted text>
The Bible itself does provide some definite guidelines. Principles are stated at the very beginning, Gen. 2:1 - 3. God blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy. To sanctify or make holy means to set aside for holy use, focusing on God. Exodus 16 provides some further detail. Going out and gathering food, and preparing it, was not to be done on the Sabbath. Exodus 20, God's people are commanded not to do any work, but to rest and devote the day to God. Isaiah 58, God says to stop trampling on the Sabbath, stop doing your own things, thinking your own thoughts, saying your own words, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, etc. Jesus worshiped on the Sabbath, and healed people. Etc etc.
Playing basketball is a secular activity, and as well, it certainly is a form of work for the players. It is not God-centered, it is not an act of worshiping God. Beyond that, basketball itself, and other competitive sports, are not part of God's plan for His people.
This is interesting because pretty much all of the Seventh-Day Adventists that I know (There are not a whole lot, be quite a few.) would fail under this definition. Many eat out on Saturday afternoon and engage on other activities that could be considered "secular." This is why I wonder why the church does not construct a list of dos and don'ts, or is it because the church allows that determination to be made between the individual and God.
But I do have one question: If the Old Testament serves as the guideline for proper Sabbath keeping, does the church also subscribe to the Old Testament's recommendation on punishment for breaking the Sabbath? Not in a literal sense of course, but in a spiritual sense. Breaking the Sabbath, as you have described above, would cost an individual their salvation, correct?
Non-Denomination al

Dayton, OH

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#87
May 22, 2010
 
David Koot wrote:
In contrast to Andrea Hoover's decision to break God's Sabbath is the example of another student, in the same geographical area, note this headline from the Dayton Daily News:
"Franklin tennis player disqualified for refusing match on Sabbath
Franklinís Stefan Mangroo, doubles partner may be out of tournament."
In this case, the student refused to break God's Sabbath. It cost him and his team the opportunity to advance to the next level. But he chose to honor God instead of worldly advancement. His faithfulness to the Sabbath is a good witness to the community.
I am familiar with the case of Stefan Mangroo, but only through the newspaper article. I admire the young man for standing up for what he believes is correct. But I wonder if his high school teammates and especially his doubles partner were aware of this issue when he tried out and became a part of the team. It was not only he who was disqualified from advancing, but his doubles partner as well.
My guess is that Andrea made her decision based on her understanding of the Sabbath, which is certainly different from yours and maybe different from a majority of SDAs. But from my perspective, it is a decision between her and God and it will be only God, not any church or individual, who will judge her.
But, I also gather from you comments that you believe that the young man probably should not have been playing tennis on his high school team at all. Is this your opinion, or is this a church doctrine as well?

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#88
May 22, 2010
 
Non-Denominational wrote:
<quoted text>
This is interesting because pretty much all of the Seventh-Day Adventists that I know (There are not a whole lot, be quite a few.) would fail under this definition. Many eat out on Saturday afternoon and engage on other activities that could be considered "secular."
I am sorry to hear about that. It is disappointing--yet to be expected, I suppose. The Bible itself describes the church in these times as worldly--lukewarm.
This is why I wonder why the church does not construct a list of dos and don'ts, or is it because the church allows that determination to be made between the individual and God.
The SDA church sticks with the Scriptures which bear on keeping the Sabbath, I mentioned several of those earlier. In SDA institutions, churches, schools, etc., those Scriptural guidelines are often 'fleshed out,' for example, every SDA school, as far as I know, prohibits playing sports on Sabbath.
But I do have one question: If the Old Testament serves as the guideline for proper Sabbath keeping, does the church also subscribe to the Old Testament's recommendation on punishment for breaking the Sabbath? Not in a literal sense of course, but in a spiritual sense. Breaking the Sabbath, as you have described above, would cost an individual their salvation, correct?
The OT includes both general principles AND other material which is not applicable, for example ritual or ceremonial rites. At the time you are referring to, Israel was under a theocracy, and there was a different set of rules.

As for breaking the Sabbath, I believe it would be the same as for any other of the Ten Commandments. If a person persists in doing so, then there is an issue of where the heart is, and the call for repentance.

Hope that helps.

Since: Apr 10

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#89
May 22, 2010
 
Non-Denominational wrote:
<quoted text>
I am familiar with the case of Stefan Mangroo, but only through the newspaper article. I admire the young man for standing up for what he believes is correct. But I wonder if his high school teammates and especially his doubles partner were aware of this issue when he tried out and became a part of the team. It was not only he who was disqualified from advancing, but his doubles partner as well.
I was wondering the same thing. Certainly he should have made it clear up front. Perhaps he did do so and they all were caught by surprise. Perhaps not. Although it would be surprising if he could make it that far, without the issue coming up.
My guess is that Andrea made her decision based on her understanding of the Sabbath, which is certainly different from yours and maybe different from a majority of SDAs. But from my perspective, it is a decision between her and God and it will be only God, not any church or individual, who will judge her.
In the SDA church, the objective standard is the Bible. The Bible does speak very clearly to the point, and the only way Andrea (and her family who counseled her) could go the direction they did, was to ignore the plain statements of Scripture.
But, I also gather from you comments that you believe that the young man probably should not have been playing tennis on his high school team at all. Is this your opinion, or is this a church doctrine as well?
Therein lies a STRANGE development. The SDA church was founded on the premise of preparing to meet their returning Lord, including a sense of imminence of Christ's return. The Adventist church took a stand against sports such as tennis (by name), football, baseball, etc. with the counsel being to devote the time to missionary work and useful labor. Originally, the SDA schools were set up for the purpose of quickly preparing young people for various lines of missionary work.
All that has now changed. The SDA church professes, in its statement of beliefs, to acknowledge the prophetic gift, in the person of EG White. YET, the church ignores many of the writings and the counsel of EG White, for example in the area of competitive sports. What can I say? I think the SDA church needs to decide which direction it wants to go.
Non-Denomination al

Dayton, OH

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#90
May 24, 2010
 
David Koot wrote:
<quoted text>
Therein lies a STRANGE development. The SDA church was founded on the premise of preparing to meet their returning Lord, including a sense of imminence of Christ's return. The Adventist church took a stand against sports such as tennis (by name), football, baseball, etc. with the counsel being to devote the time to missionary work and useful labor. Originally, the SDA schools were set up for the purpose of quickly preparing young people for various lines of missionary work.
All that has now changed. The SDA church professes, in its statement of beliefs, to acknowledge the prophetic gift, in the person of EG White. YET, the church ignores many of the writings and the counsel of EG White, for example in the area of competitive sports. What can I say? I think the SDA church needs to decide which direction it wants to go.
I guess the question for your church is whether it should be (to use a political term) a "big tent" that accepts individuals who may not subscribe to all of the institutions doctrines, or may on ocassion deviate from strictly conformity; or an exclusive club that tolerates only those who abide by the official doctrines of the church. The problem with the first option is you risk watering down the "spiritual purity" of the church; the problem with the second is it will very likely be a very small organization since it will be obligated to shut out many potential believers if they don't accept the entire package.
My philosophy is you allow the Holy Spirit to guide your heart and mind in matters of spiritual growth. In that process, you gather with people who may not be at the same place spiritually or may have different viewpoints on biblical interpretation, but we all accept the general essentials (I call them non-negotiables.) of the Christian faith: Jesus is our Lord and Savior who humbled himself to come to this earth, live a perfect life, sacrifice that perfect life to save humanity from its corrupt and sinful nature, rose from the dead, and is now in heaven serving as our intermediary. Our only job is to accept the free gift of grace that God has offered us, through Jesus, as our pathway (the only pathway) to salvation. We cannot be saved by keeping the law. If that were the case, we would all fail. It is only through God's grace that we have a chance for salvation.

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#91
May 25, 2010
 
Non-Denominational wrote:
<quoted text>
I guess the question for your church is whether it should be (to use a political term) a "big tent" that accepts individuals who may not subscribe to all of the institutions doctrines, or may on ocassion deviate from strictly conformity; or an exclusive club that tolerates only those who abide by the official doctrines of the church. The problem with the first option is you risk watering down the "spiritual purity" of the church; the problem with the second is it will very likely be a very small organization since it will be obligated to shut out many potential believers if they don't accept the entire package.
My philosophy is you allow the Holy Spirit to guide your heart and mind in matters of spiritual growth. In that process, you gather with people who may not be at the same place spiritually or may have different viewpoints on biblical interpretation, but we all accept the general essentials (I call them non-negotiables.) of the Christian faith: Jesus is our Lord and Savior who humbled himself to come to this earth, live a perfect life, sacrifice that perfect life to save humanity from its corrupt and sinful nature, rose from the dead, and is now in heaven serving as our intermediary. Our only job is to accept the free gift of grace that God has offered us, through Jesus, as our pathway (the only pathway) to salvation. We cannot be saved by keeping the law. If that were the case, we would all fail. It is only through God's grace that we have a chance for salvation.
Interesting question indeed. As the apostle Peter is reported to have said at one point,'Quo vadis, Domine?'(not in Latin, no doubt)

Which approach to follow? Without a doubt, unity on the 'non-negotiables' and beyond the non-negotiables, a big tent.

Problem is, defining what are 'non-negotiables.' Your list is a good one, as far as it goes, there are other points which might be added to it. The SDA understanding of what are 'non-negotiables-, from the Bible, includes more.

At the core of unique identity as a group of believers? The understanding of the heavenly sanctuary, that Christ is now ministering in the final phase of that heavenly sanctuary, the Investigative Judgment, and that God is calling people to prepare to meet their returning Lord. Just as on the Old Testament Day of Atonement, God called the people to humble themselves and repent of their sins in preparation, so today in these last days God is calling people to repent of their sins, to humble themselves and renounce worldliness in preparation to stand in the presence of a holy God.

That understanding guided the marching orders for the SDA church through most of its existence. Now that it has become institutionalized and mainstreamed, so to speak, will the church continue to follow that?

We shall see.
The Investigator

Austin, TX

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#92
Mar 4, 2011
 
Hmm?

Does this person sound familiar to anybody?

Yucaipa resident Warren Stevens

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