The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

That Sunday feeling

with 6 comments

J. C. Ryle, in his straightforward style:

Let us never forget that our feelings about Sundays are sure tests of the state of our souls. The person who can find no pleasure in giving God one day in the week, is manifestly unfit for heaven. Heaven itself is nothing but an eternal Sabbath. If we cannot enjoy a few hours in God’s service once a week in this world, it is plain that we could not enjoy an eternity in His service in the world to come. Happy are those who walk in the steps of her of whom we read today! They shall find Christ and a blessing while they live, and Christ and glory when they die.

Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke, 2:120 (comments on Luke 13:10-17)

Written by Jeremy Walker

Wednesday 2 February 2011 at 11:51

Posted in Christian living

Tagged with , ,

6 Responses

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  1. Yes, but this kind of reasoning, while valid, can be terribly distressing to those whose Sunday experience is miserable due to sin in the church.

    Jonathan Hunt

    Wednesday 2 February 2011 at 11:55

    • I accept that, but he’s not addressing that. I think we can assume that he means, “Under normal circumstances, in a healthy church . . .”

      We don’t qualify every such statement in our preaching, I think, and it’s probably fair to say that he is describing a righteous appetite, even though our experience – even in the most earnest churches under the most faithful ministries enjoying genuine blessings from God – often falls short of the ideal.

      Jeremy Walker

      Wednesday 2 February 2011 at 12:07

  2. Just reading the first two sentences of the above paragraph makes my stomach turn. Maybe I need to read the entire book to get some context, but reading this section all by itself would lead me to believe the author to be the typical “Sunday Best” type christian who wears a suit on Sunday and sees sunday as being the most holy day of the week. That in itself is not an issue, as the bible certainly allows for that personal preference in Romans 14. The issue is when we judge one another because we have differing personal opinions on the matter.

    While it is traditional in western christianity to set aside Sunday as special, it is not scriptural to demand it of others just because we may think of Sunday as more holy. My personal belief is that ALL days of the week are holy, not just one. Now, if I were to judge those who differ and remove myself from their assemblies, I would be losing dear friends and fellowship simply because we disagree on a non-essential. However, the Sunday Best types (typically) take this even further and judge those who disagree with them to the extent of berating them and forcing them out of their congregations, whether by their words, actions, attitudes, or all three.

    Just because a particular opinion is popular, doesn’t make it law. In fact, those who are weak are typically the ones who live in a legalistic church culture, with ceremonial laws, traditions, and rules by which to live and judge others. This is sad in my view, but I do not pass judgement on them and divide over these non-essentials. If the mature all separated from the immature and the strong the weak, where would we be?

    I love your blog and enjoy it even in disagreement. Take care and God bless!

    Josh

    Josh Duke

    Wednesday 2 February 2011 at 12:29

    • Hello, Josh – I am not ignoring your comment. Intending neither to confirm nor deny your suspicions, I post the whole section of Ryle’s comment. I hope that this gives you his context (whether or not you agree with it) and therefore gives a little more light in any further exchanges:

      “We see in these verses a striking example of diligence in the use of means of grace. We are told of a “woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could not straiten up.” We know not who this woman was. Our Lord’s saying that she was “a daughter of Abraham,” would lead us to infer that she was a true believer. But her name and history are hidden from us. This only we know, that when Jesus was “teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath,” this woman was there. Sickness was no excuse with her for tarrying from God’s house. In spite of suffering and infirmity, she found her way to the place where the day and the word of God were honored, and where the people of God met together. And truly she was blessed in her deed! She found a rich reward for all her pains. She came sorrowing, and went home rejoicing.

      The conduct of this suffering Jewess may well put to shame many a strong and healthy professing Christian. How many in the full enjoyment of bodily vigor, allow the most frivolous excuses to keep them away from the house of God! How many are constantly spending the whole Sunday in idleness, pleasure-seeking, or business, and scoffing and sneering at those who “keep the Sabbath holy!” How many think it a great matter if they attend the public worship of God once on Sunday, and regard a second attendance as a needless excess of zeal akin to fanaticism! How many find religious services a weariness while they attend them, and feel relieved when they are over! How few know anything of David’s spirit, when he said, “I was glad when they said to me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” “How lovely are your tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts!” (Psalm 122:1; Psalm 84:1.)

      Now what is the explanation of all this? What is the reason why so few are like the woman of whom we read this day? The answer to these questions is short and simple. The most have no heart for God’s service. They have no delight in God’s presence or God’s day. “The carnal mind is enmity against God.” The moment a man’s heart is converted, these pretended difficulties about attending public worship vanish away. The new heart finds no trouble in keeping the Sabbath holy. Where there is a will there is always a way.

      Let us never forget that our feelings about Sundays are sure tests of the state of our souls. The man who can find no pleasure in giving God one day in the week, is manifestly unfit for heaven. Heaven itself is nothing but an eternal Sabbath. If we cannot enjoy a few hours in God’s service once a week in this world, it is plain that we could not enjoy an eternity in His service in the world to come. Happy are those who walk in the steps of her of whom we read today! They shall find Christ and a blessing while they live, and Christ and glory when they die.”

      Jeremy Walker

      Wednesday 2 February 2011 at 16:33

      • Jeremy,

        Thanks for responding and giving a little more context. I understand better now what the author was getting at. I think that my view of the Sunday tradition in western christianity is so very different from the author’s that it may not do anyone any good for me to express what my personal beliefs are. I suppose I can only state again that we can have differing opinions on which days we elevate above others (or not) without being disagreeable and divisive about it. However, I will wholeheartedly oppose and rebuke anyone who will demand their personal preference be the de facto standard in the body of Christ.

        There is a rabbit hole that I am not inclined to go down when it comes to the differing opinions of the idea of Sunday Worship. I suppose I will leave it at that and continue to enjoy the content of your blog and not cause problems with petty differences.

        God bless and thank you for what you do.

        Josh

        Josh Duke

        Wednesday 2 February 2011 at 17:15

  3. [...] That Sunday feeling (eardstapa.wordpress.com) [...]


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