The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy. -LBCF 22.8
A number of months ago there was posted in an online forum an offer for a Kindle version of a book by a Reformed Baptist pastor. This particular book was free. Free book by a Reformed Baptist? It fit my budget and my lifestyle, so I was all ready to sign up. But wait! There’s more! This special price of $0.00 was only available for one day! That day – was a Sunday.
If you are a Reformed Baptist, would you shop on a Sunday? I think that normally falls out of the definition of a work of necessity (although I’m sure there are exceptions). Does it make a difference if you have to drive to the store, or if the store is conveniently located at the intersection of your computer and cyberspace? What if the product was FREE? Are you truly purchasing something if you don’t pay for it?
Pondering these questions also led me to examine my usage of the Internet and social media on Sundays. Should we check Facebook on Sundays? Is posting Scripture for our status a way of publicly exercising our worship? What about blogging? E-mails? Are these works of necessity or mercy?
How does the Internet help you to honor the Sabbath?
How does the Internet hinder you from honoring the Sabbath?