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I know we are supposed to keep the Sabbath day holy by not purchasing goods in a store on Sunday, but what about purchasing a soft drink from vending machine on the Sabbath? Is this considered breaking the Sabbath day?





Dear Gordon,

I think that we will not find a specific list of “do’s” and “don’ts” for the observance of the Sabbath Day. The Jews at the time of Christ were trying to work their way into heaven by obeying the ten commandments-and the hundred and ten other commandments that they had manufactured out of them. They were attempting to live by the letter of the law. But Paul advises us that the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life (2 Corinthians 3:6). The Pharisees accused the Savior and his disciples of breaking the Sabbath because, as they walked through the fields and were an hungered, they picked ears of corn and began to eat.

The important thing is not the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law. We will be judged by what is in the heart, not by what is on the lips. We each have been blessed with a conscience that we might know right from wrong. If I felt uncomfortable about purchasing a soft drink from a vending machine on the Sabbath Day, I probably would not do it. However, if I were thirsty and passed a drinking fountain, I would not hesitate to take a drink, if I were not fasting.

One of the concerns of purchasing goods in a store on the Sabbath is that by so doing we require those who operate the store to work on Sunday, which is certainly against the Sabbath. If enough people obeyed the Sabbath to keep it holy, attending to their Church and family duties, and stayed away from commercial businesses, there would be no reason for them to stay open on Sunday and they would close. What reason would we legitimately have for being around a vending machine on Sunday in the first place? I think the crux of the question lies there rather then in satisfying our thirst from a vending machine.






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