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Church, Culture, God

Freedom from rest?

I receive a weekly email from LivingWaters.com. Generally speaking they are ok. Not heavy on theology but good when it comes to evangelism and evangelism resources. This week’s email was titled, “Freedom from Sabbath Keeping.”   Now for full disclosure, I am a Sabbath keeping Christian. This email promised to be interesting to me. In actuality though, the email was mostly the same arguments that I’ve heard before. They are no more convincing today than they were 20 years ago when I first heard them. So I decided I would go through the email a bit and answer some of the objections they have to keeping the Sabbath. I won’t reproduce all of the article but here it is in case you want to read it in it’s entirety.

“First, nowhere does the Fourth Commandment say that Christians are to worship on the Sabbath. It commands that we rest on that day:”

So I would ask this person if that is indeed what he or she does. If the 4th commandment says we should rest, do they? If not, why not? What do they believe they should do on that day? Also I’d like to point out that Leviticus 23 calls the Sabbath a “holy convocation” meaning people should gather together. In Luke 4:16 it says that Jesus gathered with others on Sabbath for services in synagogues. And Hebrews 10:25 says we should not neglect gathering together.

“Sabbath-keepers worship on Saturday. However, the word “Satur-day” comes from the Latin for “Saturn’s day,” a pagan day of worship of the planet Saturn (astrology). “

This is actually a good example of how most Christians misunderstand Sabbath. In the Bible days do not start at midnight but at sundown (Lev. 23:32, Deut. 16:6). So people who keep Sabbath (like Jewish people) keep Friday at sundown to Saturday at Sundown. True some of that time overlaps what the calendar calls Saturday but that is merely coincidence.

“If a Christian’s salvation depends upon his keeping a certain day, surely God would have told us.”

That has never been the argument. This is what is called a straw man argument. Sounds similar but much easier to knock down.

“At one point, the apostles gathered specifically to discuss the relationship of believers to the Law of Moses. Acts 15:5–11, 24–29 was God’s opportunity to make His will clear to His children. All He had to do to save millions from damnation was say, “Remember to keep the Sabbath holy,” and millions of Christ-centered, God-loving, Bible-believing Christians would have gladly kept it. “

There is a couple things about this. First the author rightly states they came to discuss the Law of Moses. The problem is the Sabbath isn’t part of the Law of Moses. It’s part of the 10 commandments. The people at Living Waters know this in that they use the 4th commandment in their evangelism tools but have modified its meaning to “the things of God” a phrase not found in the commandment. Why do they do that? I wonder.

“There isn’t even one command in the New Testament for Christians to keep the Sabbath holy.”

This betrays a misunderstanding of how the New Testament treats the 10 commandments. When Jesus says that looking at lust is the same as adultery he’s clarifying the law. Making the correct interpretation of it clear. When Jesus talks about the Sabbath he does the same thing. The Jews had built up many regulations around the Sabbath that were not true to its meaning (for example when they picked and ate corn on Sabbath the Pharisees felt that was breaking the Sabbath). He corrected their wrong beliefs about how Sabbath was to be kept (for example it is ok to heal on Sabbath).

‘In fact, we are told not to let others judge us regarding Sabbaths (Colossian 2:16)”

Again, if people were being given false rules about how to keep Sabbath it makes sense to not let anyone judge based on those rules.

“that man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man (Mark 2:27).”

That’s true too. Sabbath was made for man. Not for Jews, or Israelites, or Hebrews, but it was made for mankind. That’s us too.

“The apostles came together on the first day of the week to break bread (Acts 20:7).”

The Bible says that the apostles “broke bread daily” Acts 2:46. So clearly breaking bread does not make a day the day of worship.

“The collection was taken on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:2).”

That verse says nothing about a collection being taken. Here’s what it says:

“On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.”

What is says is that each person was to lay aside money on the first day of the week so Paul wouldn’t have to wait for people to figure out what to give when he came for it. This isn’t about taking up a collection but about budgeting out what the person can give. And budgeting doesn’t sound like something you’d do in church.

“They tell us that the Roman Catholic church changed their day of worship from Saturday to Sunday, but what has that got to do with the disciples keeping the first day of the week? “

As I’ve shown, the NT never says the disciples kept the first day of the week.

Anyway, that’s my short rebuttal to their post. Don’t get me wrong, I think the guys at Living Waters do a great work. They are just misled on this point.

If you’d like more information on the Sabbath you can visit SabbathTruth.com

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