Break-Dancers Perform For The Pope, Get His Blessing
Pope John Paul (news - web sites) II looks at a performance of Polish break-dancers at the Clementine Hall at the Vatican (news - web sites), in this photo taken by the Vatican's Osservatore Romano, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2004 . (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano,
VATICAN CITY - In an unusual spectacle at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II presided Sunday over a performance of break-dancers who leaped, flipped and spun their bodies to beats from a tinny boom box.
The 83-year-old pontiff seemed to approve, waving his hand after each dancer completed a move, then applauding for the entire group. He watched the performance from a raised throne.
"Work on Sunday is OK as long as it is unremunerated!"
There is necessary work on Sunday, like brushing your teeth and taking a bath, there is necessary work on Sunday like fixing a flat and fixing your dinner. But working for a wage doesn't have to be necesary and if it is absolutely necessary then I believe Jesus would allow it. Y'all state the same arguments that the Pharisee's used on Jesus and the Apostles for doing chores that the Pharisee objected to. "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath".
"I come now to our doctrine. Many people condemn it out of prejudice, without hearing or exploring it. They are too occupied with some opinion or other that totally dulls the sharp edge of their minds. I am not going to mention the insults and even criminal acts that are imputed to us in an effort to keep everyone from tasting our doctrine. Only one thing can be charged against us, that we strive to call back to their own banner (namely, the Word of God) all those who are counted as belonging to Christ but have been wandering about wretchedly."
John Calvin, _Calvin's Ecclesiastical Advice_, p. 55
Although true believers be not under the law as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned; ***yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life***, informing them of the will of God and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts, and lives; so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin; together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of his obedience. It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin, and the threatenings of it serve to show what even their sins deserve, and what afflictions in this life they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law. The promises of it, in like manner, show them God's approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof; although not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works: so as a man's doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one, and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law, and not under grace (WCF,19:5).
The Westminster Confession of Faith, 19:5, states:
The ***moral law doth forever bind all, as well justified persons as others***, to the obedience thereof; and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator who gave it. Neither doth Christ in the gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen, this obligation (WCF, 19:5, emphasis added).
Thus, every man at all times, whether believer or unbeliever, is absolutely bound by all the precepts of God's holy law, and God will require an accounting for its observance upon the day of judgment. While no man can attain to a perfect observance of the law of God (except the God man Lord Jesus), we must endeavour to keep these precepts in all sincerity. Though our meagre efforts to keep the law cannot save us, we still must recognize them as a morally binding rule for our conduct upon the earth.
Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant (Exod.31:16).
I see this as a healthy discussion over our finer duties on the Lord's Day Sabbath.
Lance outlines a tradition that Roman Catholics have enjoyed for many years by attending mass for an hour on "Saturday night" or Sunday morning, and then having the rest of the Sabbath day for whatever one feels they would like to do, except unnecessary servile work.
Rome is not opposed to things like football (e.g., soccer in Europe), or any other sports, gambling (e.g., bingo), entertainment, etc. on the Sabbath.
Re: money. The article does not say, but the Vatican does *daily* charge everyone who enters the Vatican at the door before entering, even on the Sattath. In my early research, I have paid on the Sabbath to enter the Vatican.
Further, every possible religious thing you can imagine is available to purchase at the Vatican on the Sabbath. Video's, books, tapes, pictures, icons, statutes, etc. all change hands on the Sabbath. I bought those things and still have many of the books and videos.
It is very likely that everyone had to pay to enter Vatican Hall to watch the Pope and the dancers perform their entertainment on the Sabbath.
Most of the restaurants, bars and nightclubs in Rome are thriving on the Sabbath, similar to what has happened in America over the years.
You make your own Catechism of no effect by such rationalizations. Work on Sunday is OK as long as it is unremunerated! All labor is refreshing afterwards, but I still see no exemption for that in any catechism I've seen, aside from "necessity and mercy," which no one has tried to demonstrate here. No Scriptural arguments have yet been offered. This says much. BTW, Calvinist-bashing proves nothing but spite.
I JPII hired some fellas to lay concrete or build a house, I would say that you're right. No money changed hands that I know of. I'm sure those dancers will be talking about their performance to their grand kids.
Were they paid for their dancing, or was it fun and relaxing for them? You must not dance, because most people find it enjoyable and relaxing. Here is the typical problem with most Calvinists, they don't wish to dance on Sunday because they believe it to be a sin, therefore, everyone must not dance on Sunday regardless of whether the dancer feels its a sin or not. If God thinks it's a sin, he will convict the errant dancer in his conscience.
Walt (or Calvin) didn't say he was against all entertainment, any more than I am against all art. How do strict Sabbatarians misuse Scripture in support of their position? If Scripture has any authority, that is the question. But since DM & Lance care not for Reformed confessions, I submit for them this from the Catholic Catechism, Q2172. Note that it appeals to Scripture: "God's action is the model for human action. If God "rested and was refreshed" on the seventh day, man too ought to "rest" and should let others, especially the poor, "be refreshed." The sabbath brings everyday work to a halt and provides a respite. It is a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money."
Now, are those poor Polish breakdancers being rested & refreshed? Dancing is pretty exhausting. JP2 should, in his supposed teaching authority, be reminding them of their Sabbath obligations.
I don't know Walt, helping you to understand when your mind is closed is a big order. You left out at least one possible motive, "duty". As Christ's representative on earth, the Pope stands in (figuratively only) for Jesus. People desire to give back their talents to please God and the leader of his Church on earth. Perhaps it's a mixture of necessity and mercy. I am totally at odds with Calvin's notion that fun is a mockery of God (per Lance's post). My impression of Calvinists is that if there is a person in the world enjoying himself, they would put a stop to it, pronto! Sometimes watching folk dancers or community dances, I feel God's pleasure in his childrens delight.
Neil: I am not offended, but I wish to make Protestants aware of the impact of the names they use. I agree that Michelangelo was probably using Zeus or Jupiter as an image, much of the Middle Ages was affected by the pagan Greeks and Romans. The histories of those years were re-discoved during the Crusades. Christians do come to the Chapel to worship, but they come for Jesus not Michelangelo's picture of God.
I too would like to apologize to Walt (with tongue firmly in cheek). I forgot about what Jesus said, "Thou shalt not dance (for free) in front of an audience on Sunday", or the condemnatory, "Thou shalt not watch a demostratation (unpaid) of Culture (or lack of) on the Lord's day. Think of all the silly fools who went to hell for dancing at festivals on the Sabbath. And what about those poor guys who watched? Who among us (Walt I know you travel the World) hasn't had to catch a plane, take a taxi, fix a flat, do chores, whatever, on the Sabbath. Someone should tell the Pope not to answer the "call of nature" on Sunday. That might be classified as work!