I've run into a quandry and want to hear the answers from the EMS side of the coin.  I am a Seventh Day Adventist; we keep the Sabbath from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown.  That means no unnecessary business transactions, family time as well as church, etc. .  It has led to a discussion that I've gotten several different answers on...

 

As an EMS member, I will not hestitate to answer a call no matter what time of day or night...that even means on the Sabbath.  I've gotten grief and "knuck-knucks" from some who tell me I am not honoring the Sabbath, and others who tell me that being involved in emergency health care (volunteer/on call at that)  is doing the right thing.

 

What do you think?

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I had this discussion with the CEO of a north Texas provider who ran into such a quandry one Saturday while at temple on the Sabbath. His rabbi said that any work that he was doing to benefit his fellow human far outweighed and outstripped God's command to keep the Sabbath, for God also commanded us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

Those who cluck their tongues and pass judgment would also do well to remember that in the end, it will be God who judges our actions and what is in our hearts and not mankind. As was revealed to John in Revelation, there will come a time when we shall be made to stand before the Father and answer for our lives and actions. Based on that will be our reward, not some criticism by those who would seek to prove themselves "more worthy" or "more devout" or a "better Christian"...

You are doing God's work... keep it up regardless of the naysayers. I'm with you on this one...
Patrick Nance said:
I had this discussion with the CEO of a north Texas provider who ran into such a quandry one Saturday while at temple on the Sabbath. His rabbi said that any work that he was doing to benefit his fellow human far outweighed and outstripped God's command to keep the Sabbath, for God also commanded us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

Those who cluck their tongues and pass judgment would also do well to remember that in the end, it will be God who judges our actions and what is in our hearts and not mankind. As was revealed to John in Revelation, there will come a time when we shall be made to stand before the Father and answer for our lives and actions. Based on that will be our reward, not some criticism by those who would seek to prove themselves "more worthy" or "more devout" or a "better Christian"...

You are doing God's work... keep it up regardless of the naysayers. I'm with you on this one...

Oh wow...I am seriously in awe of how honest and clear your answer was! That was better than the one my former pastor gave me. Thank you and God bless!
Our Service works with Hatzollah as first responders in a specific suburb that gas a high number of Orthodox Jews. The same question cames rom us to them as we learnt about them.

I don't remember the biblical/ Torah reference, however, the gist was that saving a life comes above all things sacred. That allowed them to respond during the Sabbath.

What would be the response if one of your congregation suffered because of adherence to something like this? Why would God in the first place stop you caring for He created?

God has given you a gift. You are free to use it because He is the judge, not your congregation.
I am really impressed that I got such professional and patient answers :) Thank you so much!
Jesus' response to the Pharisees, who were trying to trip him up on details of keeping the Sabbath:

LUKE 6:9 "Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?"

Jesus followed up later with this comment on the topic:

LUKE 13:14 "Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?"

Most importantly, and this covers more than just rules for Sabbath keeping; "Therefore, whatever you want people to do for you, do the same for them, because this summarizes the Law and the Prophets." MATTHEW 7:12, (NIV)
I believe that everything comes after your health and safety.
I would think that in the eyes of G-d, not going to someone's aid, even on the Sabbath, would be just as wrong a sin as refusing to help them at any other time.

Anyone who tells you that you're committing a sin by serving your fellow man needs to get their priorities straight.
If you are truly religious then serving your fellow man has to be a priority. The world has always needed people to give their time when others were resting, celebrating, or praying. It is a reality that hasn't changed since the dawn of time. Modern times are busier than any time before us, and that means more people needing help. Giving your time to help a stanger is a great sacrifice. Be proud, not ashamed.
I too am a Seventh Day Adventist and have been in EMS since 1975. Your guiding principle should be Matthew 12:12 "How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." Jesus healed many people on the Sabbath who were in no life threatening position. Boston's final quote from above should be highlighted and bolded as it is spot on.
Our Lord tells us to walk in the path of the righteous. Jesus was the healer of men and we ask his guidance in the prayers of the EMT. In the last 30 some years, I have been a soldier, a EMT/Paramedic, a policeman, a firefighter, and a nurse. In each role, we give our time, and sometimes our lives to help others. I remember times growing up when the town siren (before pagers and even before the dreaded Plextron) on top of the fire house would go off on Sunday morning and half the men in the congregation would get up and head out the door and across the street to the fire house. That included the pastor! On returning to the church, they would find a place to clean up, plenty ice tea or coffee to drink, food to eat. and the thanks of a community. We depend on each other in our times of need. While each religion has their own day of worship, there is nothing that tells us to forsake our fellow man for the time of worship. I don't think God keeps us on a time clock. Many of us do this for no pay. Even some of us who get paid, still volunteer. It is part of who we are and we all are blessed to have people like that. Like the Good Samaritan, we do what is not always popular, but the Lord looks over us and blesses us. If we miss some or all of the service today, I don't know about you, but I will spend a little more time thanking God for what I have and guiding my hands in the care of my patients.
Heather: I can't recall the particular biblical cite but it goes something like this: 'the Sabbath was created for man, not man for the Sabbath', the idea being that worship is a wonderful and necessary and fulfilling obligation, but if a person is more focused on the "rules" of worship than the substance - more focused on the duty than the heartfelt desire to worship - then you defeat the entire purpose.
...In other words, Heather. Follow your conscience and trust your decision. I, personally, do not feel you are doing anything wrong, but I do understand your quandry.

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