Nu că m-aș grăbi să-l critic, dar preoții din VT se retrăgau pe la 50 de ani …
by Jack Minor —
Christian leader and author Dr. George Sweeting, 87, is challenging baby boomers to not retire the date their AARP card arrives in the mail.
Sweeting, along with his son Dr. Donald Sweeting, has written “How to Finish the Christian Life: Following Jesus in the Second Half.” The book calls for a radical change in how Americans perceive retirement.
The authors explain that the current model of retiring at 65 is unsustainable, pointing to the recent volatility of the stock market and decreasing home values.
They said that with Americans living longer, people may outlive their money. It is currently estimated that baby boomers born in 1955 are expected to live to 79.
The father-son team is challenging boomers to become “retirement rebels.” ‘Think of Billy Graham, serving Christ into his 90s and even then saying he has still not preached his last sermon,’ the Sweetings say.
Their statements are biblical. The apostle Paul said to Timothy “I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”
Historically many of the great evangelists of previous generations such as D.L. Moody, George Whitfield, Sam Jones and Billy Sunday continued serving God until their death. The authors say that Christians have unwittingly bought into the worldly mindset that retirement is a right.
They point out the Bible doesn’t conceive of a retirement dream consisting of a person spending their final years doing yard work and tinkering with the car. ‘Second-halfers don’t retire from serving the Lord; they expire while serving the Lord.”
Dr. Jack Hyles, who pastored the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana had the “world’s largest Sunday School.” Hyles pastored until the day of his death; despite the advice from some that he retire. He often said, “I’d rather burn out than rust out.”
Christian musician Rudy Atwood died at his piano. He had just finished playing “When they Ring Those Golden Bells” at the Country Church of Hollywood where he began playing in 1933 when he was called Home to be with his Lord and Savior.
The authors concede that the idea of retirement makes perfect sense for nonbelievers. “When there is no vision of eternal life as we see in the Bible then this life is all there is. But we have Heaven. Is that not a whole lot better than the retirement dream?”
Additionally, if a Christian truly believes there is a hell where lost people go to spend all eternity, why would we dream of retiring from warning people about the danger?
Question: “Why did God restrict the age that a priest could serve (Numbers 8:24–26)?”
Answer: Numbers 8:24–26 commands, “This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the tent of meeting, but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer. They may assist their brothers in performing their duties at the tent of meeting, but they themselves must not do the work. This, then, is how you are to assign the responsibilities of the Levites.” God regulated the priestly office and limited the age of priests to 25 to 50 years. Anyone younger or older was not eligible to serve.
The Bible gives no specific purpose of this age limit. However, since Hebrew men were eligible for military involvement at the age of 20 (Numbers 1:1–3), it should be expected that the age of eligibility for priests would be at least that old. In fact, King David later reduced the age for entering priestly service from 25 to 20 in 1 Chronicles 23:27.
At the other end of the spectrum, ending service at 50 years was probably intended to limit priestly service to those with the physical strength to serve. In addition to needing stamina for an all-day job, Jewish priests would often need the strength to help move large livestock (sheep, goats, cattle) as part of their involvement in the tabernacle. Factoring in the shorter lifespan of men of that time, the age of 50 was probably a reasonable limit for full-time service in a job that required significant physical labor.
Verse 26 does not completely forbid the service of men 50 and over. Rather, God said that “they may assist,” as long as they were not doing the work themselves. Those over 50 could serve as assistants or in advisory roles.
The rules limiting priestly service to ages 25—50 were likely designed to ensure the men were old enough to have a certain level of maturity and strong and healthy enough to perform the necessary physical labor. Priests 50 and over were not excluded completely from service but were limited to less physically demanding tasks.