Monday, October 26, 2009

Is it True that it Doesn't Matter what Day of the week you Observe as a Sabbath?

Many of the Scriptures I have used in discussing the Saturday and Sunday arguements (in previous posts) could be used here. But I'll refrain from using most of them as I have presented this argument to some degree in refuting the other 2 arguments. However some will be used.

Exo 20:9-10 "Six days shall you labour, and do all your work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates"

This states that 6 days (it doesn't state which 6 days) you should do any work you need to do. And then on the seventh you should rest from such physical labours and honour as a Sabbath day (again, no mention of it being compulsory to select a specific day of the week to do this on).

Another argument is that if God were fussy about which actual day of the week was to be observed why didn't he make it clear, like all the other commandments. God has gone to great lengths to explain which foods were not to be eaten. He went to great lengths to explain priestly duties. He went into so much detail as to how to treat lepers. The tabernacle specifics go on and on. He has explained the different penalties for murder depending. He has explained in detail who not to marry in the family. And I could go on. So are we to believe that he made such a serious oversight as to not make it plain which day he was insistent that we have our Sabbath on?

Along with this comes the question that if it was a particular day of the week that had to be observed or else, why didn't he make some sign turn up on that day each week so there would be no confusion? That way no one would have an excuse to confuse it. And that way all would know what he wanted them to do. He could have made it that the sky goes purple once a week through some strange phenomenon.

The next point is, did God rest on a Saturday? This would be pure speculation to conclude that we know he did. Our sun (from which we draw our night and day periods) wasn't even created until the fourth day of creation (Genesis 1:16-19). The scriptures tell us that a day with God is as a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8, and this is demonstrated in the days mentioned in some revelations which took that many thousand years to occur). So if this applies here then he rested for a thousand years which included every day of the week.

The next point in this same vein is, "which day was even observed by Israel initially" (when the law was received by Moses)? Again we have no scriptural support for any specific day. But one thing bears keeping in mind if anyone claims they know for sure that it was a specific day; Israel spent many years in captivity through worshipping idols, and left the following of God many times anyway. Are we to believe that on all these occasions they even considered to begin holding their sabbath day on the day of the week they used to observe, when they finally returned to worshipping God? They would naturally work six days and rest on the seventh, as commanded, from that day (whatever day it was).

In Summary

Nowhere in scripture is anyone commanded to observe any specific day of the week. There is no certainty whatsoever as to what day God rested on after creation. There is no certainty what day Moses originally got Isreal to rest on. There is no foundation for a debate on what day of the week God insists on us having as a Sabbath. God has made no such insistence. This is the leaven of the Pharisees Christ warned against: Doctrine invented by man. It is trying to strain at a gnat while swallowing a camel. What matters is how you observe your Sabbath day, not when. Don't get sucked into believing such things to be doctrines of God.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Must a Sabbath be held on Sunday?

This follows on from the last post which was about the Sabbath and Saturday. So you may wish to read that first.

When the church was restored in 1830 it was common practice to hold a Sabbath day on Sunday. Shops closed on Sunday and there was no work available. Consequently it was obvious that Sunday was the perfect day for holding Sabbath meetings and practicing the Sabbath commandment.

Yet some hold that God is insistent on the Sabbath being practiced on this particular day of the week. ie that we couldn't hold it on some other day if we were in a Moslem country (for example).

Let's look at some of the scripture quotes they use to support this idea.

"The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, to the sepulchre, and saw the stone taken away from the sepulchre." & "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and said to them, Peace to you." & "And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood among them, and said, Peace be to you." Jn 20:1&19&26

Here it is proposed that the apostles began to worship on the first day of the week (Sunday) because Christ was resurrected on that day in acceptance of a new sabbath. It appears to be true that Christ was resurrected on a Sunday. But to say that was to show respect to the day would need to be shown in Scripture, not just proposed. It says the apostles were gathered together on Sunday but doesn't present that this was necessarily a religious service (and considering they weren't even aware of his resurrection at this point they couldn't be honouring Sunday because of it). Then it says EIGHT days later they were together again. Some use the twist of concepts used in regard the 3 days and 3 nights Christ was in the earth to say they must have been counting the day they were in and the day they had been in. However this not only has no evidence, but, as I have shown before, is incorrect. As surely as Christ spent 3 days and 3 NIGHTS in the tomb so these occurrences are 8 days apart. So this would make Monday the new day of worship (if we were to believe such).

"And on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them, ready to depart the next day; and continued his speech until midnight." Act 20:7

Clearly here they are together on a Sunday having a service of some sort. But does this mean they hadn't just observed the Jewish Sabbath and Paul done his usual of debating with them out of the Scriputes on Saturday? The next text poses some extra questions in this regard and so I will quote this and discuss them together.

"Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, you do the same. On the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." I Cor 16:1-2

What "gatherings" are referred to here? Obviously he's not saying not to have any church gatherings when he comes. So he is speaking of gathering the collections of whatever for the saints (church members) of things that he doesn't want collected when he gets there. The collections are obviously involved. Could I propose collecting food, clothing, furniture etc would be the things he wouldn't want people involved in when he arrived to preach to them. Is this work the sort of thing for people to be involved in on a Sabbath? I'll leave you to answer that one, but plainly there was a tendency for them to see the first day of the week as a day to attend to things not done while at synagogues preaching on Saturday. But neither of these demonstrate that God insists on Sunday as a new Sabbath. Surely if this were a new day or commandment he would have made it clear?

"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet" Revelation 1:10

Yep, that's right, this was also used by those claiming Saturday is the day God insists on. The Sunday supporters claim this to be a new day Christ was instituting called "the Lord's day" to replace the Sabbath day. This text doesn't say what day this "Lord's day" even is. So the argument has no foundation.

The final argument against Saturday worth mentioning (as stated before statements of darkness being evil etc as a claim for SUNday worship will be ignored as nonsense for the ignorant) is to point out that the Sabbath command is not repeated in the New Testament.

Yet this wouldn't support the idea that Sunday is some new day, even if we were to accept it had some significant message. There is no statement that categorically declares that no one should now live a Sabbath day or that it can't be practiced on a Saturday, if you wish to, and must be practiced on Sunday.

As Sunday is a day that some still close their businesses on it is only logical to continue observing the Sabbath on Sunday. But to make it a commandment that we must make it a Sunday isn't supported in Scripture, in my opinion.