A Day Set Apart: Revisiting the “No Recreation” Clause of WCF 21.8, Part 3

Questions will immediately arise because we naturally desire a list of acceptable Sabbath Day activities as a measure of the veracity of our subscription to the Standards. Can one truly adopt WCF 21.8 but also enjoy walking in the park with his wife or playing outside with his children without being out of accord with the system of doctrine? The answer lies in the fact that a) full subscription is not tied to a literal adoption of every word and phrase, and b) our often-spontaneous Sunday recreations are unique to the Sabbath and beneficial to our rest.

Please take note that I am not asserting that one is free to do whatever he wants on Sunday. The entire point regarding confessional subscription as an act of personal adoption of the doctrines of the Standards is to understand that making the Sabbath a delight by setting aside the things that please us will take effort. Certain activities “should” be excluded, but how we approach the question and examine our weekly routine matters greatly. Do we maintain our current Sabbath practice out of a desire to “go our own way,” or can we recognize that some physical activities are both pleasing to the Lord and distinct from our normal weekly activity? The Sabbath should be filled with rest, worship, feasting, and mercy. If we fill our day with those things, we may find that we have pushed out the desires of own heart and replaced them with that which delights our Savior.

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