Their biblical arguments are sound (on the surface) and so I find myself having a very hard time arguing with their stated idea which is (as I see it) stated succinctly as follows:
This seemed to fall on deaf ears to this crowed.
I was feeling guilty because I first went to the local Pizza parlor to buy something to eat for lunch before arriving to meet them. Although I took care not to have pork on the pizza I forgot that in these people's minds, buying anything on Sabbath was not good.
So naturally I brought up the question "Is trading not allowed on Sabbath?"
The answer came rather quickly pointing out that the Manna in the desert was not given on Sabbath and so we were not to cook on the Sabbath. Then the point was brought up from Nehimiah:
16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?
18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.
19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.
20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.
21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.
22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.
This really ticked me off and my voice clearly became charged with emotion and of course people started saying I was getting angry over the issue.
What got me angry was this condescending attitude these people have towards anyone that doesn't see the Bible in the same way they do.
There we were in a park with another church doing an outreach concert on Saturday! One might think that such an activity was more honoring of the Sabbath than most churches might do and thus would be seen in a positive light by these people. No. In fact it seemed to irk them all the more. Just as the Jews in Acts refused to consort with Gentiles, so these people just couldn't stand to be near Christians that didn't honor the whole law.
Now to the point
Sabbath keeping, in my mind, is one of those laws that is impossible to keep. (well for degenerate man, they all are.)
This is because the definition of "work" in the biblical law simply is not clearly defined.
We know this includes gathering sticks (Num 15:32-36) and we know it includes gathering food (Ex 16:26) and we know it includes your employees and household and animals (Ex 20:10) and we know it includes lighting a fire (Ex 35:3) but that's about it.
The Pharisees tried very hard to define it clearly but Jesus purposely violated these extra laws because they violated the law itself (Deut 12:32) and Jesus condemned these guys severely. (Mat 23:13)
Modern Jews have taken this to the extent that they have elevators that don't require the pushing of a button on the Sabbath and they have homes with light switches that don't "light a fire" in their homes.
Now all of these people, including myself, drove a car to get to the park. It was many miles from all our homes. This required the kindling of a fire in the engine.
If you want to look at honoring Sabbath with a microscope, we were all guilty of profaning it by rabbinical standards.
The only sure way to honor the Sabbath technically is to not get out of bed all day. Even then, every cell in our body works 24/7. There is no way to cease all physical work.
26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?
27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
This creates a terrible conundrum.
There is such a slippery slope when trying to honor God via the written law. It seems to bring one to guilt, pride, hypocrisy, and division - all very dishonoring of God, much deeper so, I think, than following the letter to the best of your ability.
Paul would say these people are spiritually weak. They have lost the point of freedom Christ gives us by his atonement.
But it's not that simple. The Church has historically inherited pagan practices that have us now celebrating holidays that have nothing to do with the Bible and introduce traditions that blatantly dishonor the law - like the serving of pork on Easter. Lew White wrote a great book on all these pagan sources that most Christians are simply completely unaware of. Once you know this history, it makes it just very hard to celebrate these pagan practices in the context of Church.
What kills me is that I am the one responsible for bringing my good friends into this thinking. I was the one that pointed out that the Sabbath is not on Sunday but on Saturday and that the Catholic Church was the one that set Sunday as their Sabbath which is nowhere in the scriptures. I brought them to this point and now I can't seem to pull them back to a place that makes more sense to me. It feels like I took them from one ditch to the other.