Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Part 3 of - Why Do Those Seventh Day Adventists Constantly Blabber About The Sabbath?

This Could Just As Easily Be Called; The Empire Strikes Back !

or Bible Texts That Declare Sunday The Day of Worship ?

One of the wonderful things I've learned about the SDA church, and this is contrary to what you read about it on the web, the church really wants you to test everything they say with your bible. This is so different from my lifetime's experience in searching for a decent Christian church. Most churches don't want questions.
My wife, the Tigress, and I used to attend an Episcopal church. The Priest was a wonderfully intelligent older man who would joke that Episcopalians made more sense because they could "drink" and other denominations couldn't! : )
I asked him a question one day when we were not in mixed company. I wanted to hear his reaction to the traditional question of why he was called "Father" when the Bible said clearly (to me) NOT to do this.

Matthew 23
Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees

1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. 4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. 6 They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ 8 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
To my dismay the old gentleman became quiet and mumbled something about man's tradition, giving no real answer at all. In a few short months he had retired from the Priesthood, agonized over the direction his beloved Episcopal church had taken. IMO, it's safe to say that the American offshoot of the Church of England, the Episcopal Church, is right now in a desperate state of apostasy.
OK! What about that biblical proof for Sunday worship?
What I'm going to use is what the naysayers say concerning Sabbath worship and the verses they use for their argument.
Verse 1

Acts 20:7

Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.

... There ya go, the critics say! They came together on a Sunday and broke bread! The implication being that a "communion" service was being held on a Sunday! The reality is that the early Christian disciples "broke bread" every day. The "breaking of bread" does not mean a communion service is taking place; it means they're having a meal! In fact, the context used throughout Acts is clearly shown in Acts 2:46 :

Acts 2:46
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

The reason they assembled together on the first day is stated in the "controversial" verse, Acts 20:7; Paul was going to depart the following day! Paul sometimes stayed in a given location for months, sometimes a day, and anything in between. Did you notice he spoke until midnight?

Here's another couple of thoughts the Sabbath critics overlook; nothing in the Bible states that communion was to occur weekly, the implication being that they were having a well-defined weekly communion. Also, the meeting could have just as easily been taking place Saturday night! After 6:00pm on Saturday is actually Sunday. The whole purpose of the paragraph beginning with Acts 20:7 is to tell the story of young Eutychus who went to sleep and fell out the window, because it was late! Here's the verse in context :

Acts 20
7 Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together. 9 And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, “Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.” 11 Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed. 12 And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted.

Now, does anyone believe that this most important of all verses claimed by some to reestablish (change) the most Holy Day of Worship, the Sabbath TO Sunday, would instead emphasize the story of the young man? It simply doesn't make sense.

Verse 2

1 Corinthians 16
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. 3 And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem. 4 But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.

This one is so obvious it's painful to even bring it up - but the critics do, so I will.

The believers in Jerusalem were hurting, oppressed as they were by the Jews and the Romans. This is all happening before 70 A.D., when Titus destroyed the temple, BTW. So, orders were given to store up provisions to give to the folks in Jerusalem and they were told to do this on a Sunday. If the text suggests anything at all it's that they were celebrating the worship on some other day besides Sunday because you wouldn't be doing all that work on the "Sabbath" would you?

Verse 3

Revelation 1:10
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,

This one suggests to the critics that John was "in the Spirit" on the Lord's Day! Well, the Lord's Day is Sunday isn't it? This one's a classic demonstration of applying modern man-made doctrine to try to undo historical fact. Man calls Sunday the "Lord's Day", not the Bible! In John's time the Lord's Day, the Lord of the Sabbath, was Saturday.

Verse 4

Colossians 2
16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. 20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations

Again, if this is all the critics can come up with ... Bible scholars know that here in Colossians all of this is referring to the written codes and regulations that the Pharisees and others (Moses included) had ordained. The food and drink was a concern because these early Christians were still somewhat pagan and their "friends" would offer them food and drink that had been declared in sacrifice to pagan idols. Paul is telling them not to be concerned because God knows they're not worshipping pagan idols. The festivals, new moons and sabbaths (lower case) describe the annually occurring man-created sabbath worship days within Levitican "law" that no longer applies to Christians and that these things were simply "shadows" of the real thing, Jesus Christ. The Saturday Sabbath (Upper case) was still the day of the Lord and the day for weekly worship. In fact, the Saturday Sabbath did not originate with the Levitican Code. Even Noah kept the Sabbath!

I think that's enough. If anyone has another "proof" please feel free to share it. Biblical text is there for the purpose of reproof. I don't have all the answers, but together, in loving argument we can find out!
The Observer

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