Example: Paying a caterer in the middle of the week to serve your entire COG group a large meal on a high holy day (Ex: 8th day of the FOT). Would this caterer and their staff, no doubt be working around the clock to provide a meal for such a large number of people? Work that would no doubt be completed on the holy day, or at least partially so? Would that work no doubt be condemned by God? Yes
“But, as long as we don’t exchange payment on the Sabbath for their labor, it is ok right?”
How many times has this occurred and the church has asked the members not to tip the catering staff? How many of us would feel comfortable tipping the catering staff, and then getting up to go find our seats for the afternoon service? How is that any different than tipping a server in a restaurant?
“How about your hotel at the Feast? You pay the owner and their staff to take care of your room during your entire stay? This would have to include labor on the Sabbath and High days!”
Again, what is in your DIRECT influence of control? Are you able to put a “Do not Disturb” placard on your doorknob, so at the very least the maid does not need to labor on your room that day? Do you have to order room service on a high day? Does the teenager at Starbucks have to make you a latte on a High day? Can you not plan ahead for meals by buying a sandwich and sides the day before, so that you have a prepared meal ready for between services? Is it absolutely necessary (as in, no possible alternative) to pay your final bill on the High day or Sabbath?
Can you not try to exchange payment sometime before the holy day begins? These things are in your DIRECT influence of control.
“What about renting a car during the feast? You are using it on the Sabbath and High days, and you are paying for it’s entire use over the 8 days, thus aren’t you paying for goods on the Sabbath?” No, because I will not make payment for that car on the Sabbath or the High day. This is within my DIRECT influence of control. Does my driving the rental car cause any DIRECT labor to be done on my behalf? Someone may be able to split hairs fine enough to find a way to say that I am, and I would only reply “it is outside of my DIRECT sphere of influence.”
If we were to follow this flawed logic to the extreme, then no one could ever purchase anything, at any time, because of the possibility labor could have occurred on the Sabbath during its making. This would be Pharisaical, and completely unreasonable. Remember, this argument is against eating in a restaurant on the Sabbath.
We understand that this is not God’s world. It is Satan’s. There is no way we can ever be completely untouched by someone who broke the Sabbath to labor upon it. Sin is everywhere, and we cannot escape its sphere of influence completely. But, there are many, many things that are DIRECTLY under our control. And that which we can control, we should! God WILL hold us accountable for the things we can DIRECTLY control. He will not hold us accountable for the things out of our direct control.