Should Christians Keep the Sabbath?

220px-AugsburgConfessionArticle7OftheChurchThere are many things about Puritan/Reformed theology I whole-heartedly agree with, but keeping the Sabbath is not one of them. This is a good article to explain my position on this issue.

In Colossians 2:16-17, the apostle Paul declares, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Similarly, Romans 14:5 states, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” These Scriptures make it clear that, for the Christian, Sabbath-keeping is a matter of spiritual freedom, not a command from God. Sabbath-keeping is an issue on which God’s Word instructs us not to judge each other. Sabbath-keeping is a matter about which each Christian needs to be fully convinced in his/her own mind.
In the early chapters of the book of Acts, the first Christians were predominantly Jews. When Gentiles began to receive the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, the Jewish Christians had a dilemma. What aspects of the Mosaic Law and Jewish tradition should Gentile Christians be instructed to obey? The apostles met and discussed the issue in the Jerusalem council (Acts 15). The decision was, “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood” (Acts 15:19-20). Sabbath-keeping was not one of the commands the apostles felt was necessary to force on Gentile believers. It is inconceivable that the apostles would neglect to include Sabbath-keeping if it was God’s command for Christians to observe the Sabbath day.

A common error in the Sabbath-keeping debate is the concept that the Sabbath was the day of worship. Groups such as the Seventh Day Adventists hold that God requires the church service to be held on Saturday, the Sabbath day. That is not what the Sabbath command was. The Sabbath command was to do no work on the Sabbath day (Exodus 20:8-11). Nowhere in Scripture is the Sabbath day commanded to be the day of worship. Yes, Jews in Old Testament, New Testament, and modern times use Saturday as the day of worship, but that is not the essence of the Sabbath command. In the book of Acts, whenever a meeting is said to be on the Sabbath, it is a meeting of Jews and/or Gentile converts to Judaism, not Christians.

When did the early Christians meet? Acts 2:46-47 gives us the answer, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” If there was a day that Christians met regularly, it was the first day of the week (our Sunday), not the Sabbath day (our Saturday) (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2). In honor of Christ’s resurrection on Sunday, the early Christians observed Sunday not as the “Christian Sabbath” but as a day to especially worship Jesus Christ.

Is there anything wrong with worshipping on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath? Absolutely not! We should worship God every day, not just on Saturday or Sunday! Many churches today have both Saturday and Sunday services. There is freedom in Christ (Romans 8:21; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:1). Should a Christian practice Sabbath-keeping, that is, not working on Saturdays? If a Christian feels led to do so, absolutely, yes (Romans 14:5). However, those who choose to practice Sabbath-keeping should not judge those who do not keep the Sabbath (Colossians 2:16). Further, those who do not keep the Sabbath should avoid being a stumbling block (1 Corinthians 8:9) to those who do keep the Sabbath. Galatians 5:13-15 sums up the whole issue: “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

http://www.gotquestions.org/Sabbath-keeping.html

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12 Comments

  1. Obviously, I find the arguments in this article to be problematic since I hold to the Reformed/Puritan/Paleo-Protestant teaching on this subject, although I didn’t always :-),

    The main issue seems to be this statement: “Should a Christian practice Sabbath-keeping, that is, not working on Saturdays?” I know of no Christian who teaches that and that is certainly not the Puritan/Reformed position. When we speak of the “Christian Sabbath,” we are not at all speaking of not working on Saturdays or anything like that.

    Here is a good brief video that outlines the Reformed position on the Sabbath and why it was changed to Sunday: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=412092341181 (Why did the Sabbath Day change to the first day? by Dr. Alan Cairns). The video doesn’t address all of the arguments the above article makes but it does give a good outline of some of the issues.

    The Colossians/Romans passages have always been understood by the Reformed/Puritans, as far as I know, as addressing the keeping of the Old Testament Sabbaths and feast days because it was hard for those who had come out of Judaism to just give them up and there was a sort of grace period, so to speak, while Christianity got going and until AD 70 when the Temple was destroyed. This is in contrast to the Sabbath that remains, as discussed in Hebrew 4 (exegeted in the above-cited video), and which is not a matter of Christian liberty.

    The Acts 15 argument conveniently leaves out verse 21: “For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.” The expectation, again as I understand it, was that new believers would visit the synagogues on the sabbath to learn more about what God had to say (early Christianity was mingled with Judaism for a time until the persecutions started). But not every aspect of the Old Testament law was to still apply to Christians, including the Jewish sabbaths.

    Matthew Henry’s commentary gives a good explanation as to why certain things were explicitly mentioned to the Gentile Christian converts (v. 19):

    “But the Jews, who were willing to think the worst of those they did not like, suggested that these were things in which the Gentiles, even after conversion, allowed themselves, and the apostle of the Gentiles connived at it. Now, to obviate this suggestion, and to leave no room for this calumny, James advises that, besides the private admonitions which were given them by their ministers, they should be publicly warned to abstain from pollutions of idols and from fornication – that herein they should be very circumspect, and should avoid all appearances of these two evils, which would be in so particular a manner offensive to the Jews. [2.] From things strangled, and from blood, which, though not evil in themselves, as the other two, nor designed to be always abstained fRom. as those were, had been forbidden by the precepts of Noah (Gen_9:4.), before the giving of the law of Moses; and the Jews had a great dislike to them, and to all those that took a liberty to use them; and therefore, to avoid giving offence, let the Gentile converts abridge themselves of their liberty herein, 1Co_8:9, 1Co_8:13. Thus we must become all things to all men.

    6. He gives a reason for his advice – that great respect ought to be shown to the Jews for they have been so long accustomed to the solemn injunctions of the ceremonial law that they must be borne with, if they cannot presently come off from them (Act_15:21): For Moses hath of old those that preach him in every city, his writings (a considerable part of which is the ceremonial law) being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. “You cannot blame them if they have a great veneration for the law of Moses; for besides that they are very sure God spoke to Moses,”… “This had been done in every city, wherever there are any Jews, so that none of them can be ignorant what stress that law laid upon these things: and therefore, though the gospel has set us free from these things, yet they cannot be blamed if they are loth to part with them, and cannot of a sudden be persuaded to look upon those things as needless and indifferent which they, and their fathers before them, had been so long taught, and taught of God too, to place religion in. We must therefore give them time, must meet them half-way; they must be borne with awhile, and brought on gradually, and we must comply with them as far as we can without betraying our gospel liberty.” Thus does this apostle show the spirit of a moderator, that is, a spirit of moderation, being careful to give no offence either to Jew or Gentile, and contriving, as much as may be, to please both sides and provoke neither. Note, We are not to think it strange if people be wedded to customs which they have had transmitted to them from their fathers, and which they have been educated in an opinion of as sacred; and therefore allowances must be made in such cases, and not rigour used.”

    Well, I hope what I’ve written somewhat helps to explain the Reformed/Puritan position on this issue. Again, no one from this camp, so to speak, is advocating keeping Saturdays free from work or for observing any type of Jewish sabbath. We celebrate Christ’s finished redemptive work on Sundays — the day He gave us as a day of celebration and worship.

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    1. Hi Meg,

      Can I ask you why you think it is biblical to keep the sabbath? If not to abstain from work, then for what purpose? I do worship on Sunday as a habit, but I also worship God throughout the week. Some worship on Saturday, but really, does it matter? What if the gov’t imposed a law that no one was allowed to worship at all on Saturday? Then what? Can someone such as yourself worship God in a church building on Sunday without feeling guilty? I ask this tongue in cheek, of course.

      Remember when Jesus and His disciples were walking through a corn-field, picking ears of corn to eat and the Pharisees rebuked Him for “doing work” on the Sabbath? What was His response?

      But Jesus replied, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? 26 During the high priesthood of Abiathar, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which was lawful only for the priests. And he gave some to his companions as well.”

      27 Then Jesus told them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

      Mark 2

      Jesus in fact told the Pharisees that He was more powerful and had more authority than the Law, and was quite capable of doing whatever He felt like, if He deemed it justified.

      We also read in Hebrews 4 that God has given us a better rest in which we can enter through obedience. This rest is not from keeping a day or a ritual, but through the completed work of Christ Jesus. A day does nothing for us in terms of rest. How many times have you had to fix something or rush to the store for an emergency? Now to those who hold to keeping the “Christian Sabbath” and going to church on Saturday, this also is a form of legalism that acts as bondage to those who put their faith and trust in it. I have been criticized by others for not holding up this so called commandment when Paul says in Colossians not to allow anyone to judge you on whether you keep this day or that day, this feast day or that feast day…etc. You see, it has become a point of stumbling for you.

      Aside from Henry or any other Puritan teacher, there is no Scripture that commands us to uphold a Sabbath (scripture in the New Covenant, that is).

      It’s like when someone rebukes me for not tithing. I ask them to show me New Testament Scripture where I am commanded to tithe, and every time, they cite Malachi. The Old Testament Law is not for us. The Mosaic Law was written to show man he cannot succeed in being holy and righteous on his own. It points sinful man to the cross. James also tells us that in keeping portions of the law, we subject ourselves to the entire law. If we fail in one part of the law, we fail in all parts.

      I’m sorry Meg, but any scriptural basis for Sabbath-keeping lacks foundation unless of course, you take someone to the Mosaic Law, which Paul warns against. I see little difference in Christians pointing someone toward Sabbath-keeping and where the Judaizers pointed new converts toward circumcision.

      We are free from the law of Moses when Christ gave us two new commandments. Those two commandments summed up the law and did away with the futile attempts of man trying to make himself acceptable in God’s eyes.

      Do you, in keeping with some of the law (such as graven images and pictures and Sabbath keeping), think in doing so, it will make you holier? Or do you do it out of a feeling of obligation?

      Just curious…this is my stance according to God’s word.

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      1. I am confused by your comment as it doesn’t seem like you understand the Reformed/Puritan position on Christian worship. That is probably my fault and I will have to work on explaining things better.

        You stated, “Can I ask you why you think it is biblical to keep the sabbath? If not to abstain from work, then for what purpose? I do worship on Sunday as a habit, but I also worship God throughout the week. Some worship on Saturday, but really, does it matter? What if the gov’t imposed a law that no one was allowed to worship at all on Saturday? Then what? Can someone such as yourself worship God in a church building on Sunday without feeling guilty? I ask this tongue in cheek, of course.”

        I apologize if my above comment wasn’t clear. I worship in church every Sunday as do all other Christians that I know. What is this fixation with Saturday that you have? 🙂 There is NO Reformed teaching that has anything to do with a Saturday or Jewish Sabbath. Why would I feel guilty worshiping God on a Sunday when that is the day He has appointed for us to worship him on? I think you might be confusing the Reformed/Puritan position with Seventh Day Adventist arguments.

        The point of Jesus’ teaching on the Sabbath is that works of necessity and mercy are permitted on the Sabbath, as the Reformers taught (there are online sources that give the
        Scriptural references for the Reformed position such as in the Westminster Standards). But the real issues are whether Christians should meet together for worship on Sundays and whether Christians should observe Sunday as a day of rest from worldly pursuits (the latter does somewhat follow from the former, though). I can state that my favorite day is Sunday. My family attends church twice (morning and evening). In between, we eat, rest, read, listen to sermons, have conversations, visit with other believers, etc. The peace of the day would be ruined if everyone was running off to work or going to a movie, etc, which would also require some church services to be missed as well as obligating others to work for us, preventing them from having the opportunity of going to church. I have no desire to make Sunday into a busy day for myself or anyone else and do what I can to not do so. By the way, this was the norm in Ontario until the 1980’s. Even the non-Christians I know remember it as a nice family day.

        There is NO Saturday “Christian Sabbath,” as you keep calling it. The “Christian Sabbath” is on SUNDAY. It is a day of worship and rest from wordly pursuits so that we can focus on God and recharge our spiritual batteries, so to speak. Please listen to the video that I linked that exegetes the Scriptures on this and on why we worship on Sundays and NOT Saturdays. You are assuming that “Sabbath”= Saturday but that is not what the Reformed/Puritans believe or practice.

        Your understanding of Colossians is at odds with historic Protestant teaching on this issue and I would encourage you to dig deeper in this area. Again, it is talking about Jewish holy days and not Sunday worship for Christians. The issue was the transition from Old Testament Judaism to New Testament Christianity and how Jewish converts were handling it. I see that in every commentary I consult. The video that I originally linked explains the New Testament Sabbath as instituted by Jesus according to the Scriptures (both explicitly and by apostolic example) and why there remains yet a Sabbath for the people of God.

        On the Ten Commandments, I am baffled as to why you think God’s moral law no longer stands. NO ONE keeps the moral law to be holier, as I have written before (unless by “holier” you mean the process of sanctification?). We keep God’s moral law because He commands us to, and because we love Him. See 1 John, for example. Do you seriously mean to argue that a Christian can now lie, steal, cheat, and murder because he is no longer “under the law?” The two commandments you are referring to should point you back to the Ten: Love the Lord your God… (the first 4 commandments), and love your neighbour (the last 6 commandments). Or do you take the position that unless a command is expressly repeated in the New Testament, we can ignore it (cf the commands against bestiality)? Perhaps that is where the confusion is coming in: The Reformed see that there is one Covenant of Grace administered in different ways at different times, but that God’s covenant and covenant community continue from the Old Testament into the New.

        Or perhaps the issue is that the Reformed distinguish amongst the civil, ceremonial, and moral commandments of God. Do you view all Old Testament laws as being of one and only one kind? The Reformed do not see it that way. While the civil and ceremonial laws have passed away, the moral law still stands, although the way it is administered differs in these times from Old Testament Israel. So stealing is still wrong, although a nation need not punish stealing in the exact same way it was punished in ancient Israel (I am not a theonomist). The same goes for any other moral commands. The Ten Commandments differ from the rest of the “law of Moses.” They were carved in stone by the finger of God and are the moral law. Do you not obey any command given in the Scriptures? Or do you just obey what you find in the New Testament? I find that this has been a growing trend amongst modern Christians. There is much confusion nowadays on so many things that were once clear to Christians.

        In any case, I want to encourage you to keep digging into the matters of the moral law, Sunday worship, ie. Christian Sunday Sabbath/no images. I think you will find that Henry/The Puritans, etc. did not just make something up out of whole cloth but extensively quoted scripture to support their positions. The Christian church held to this for centuries and it is only in the last that all of this has been cast aside. Please let that give you pause since the abandoning of historic Christian beliefs and practices has accompanied the decline and possible fall of the West. The Catholic church was the first to compromise on images (see the Iconoclasm controversy) but maintained Sunday worship. Now the Protestant churches are doing away with a day of worship. I had one minister tell a congregation that he didn’t expect to see everyone in church on Sundays because he knows that people have lives and are too busy to come on the Lord’s Day. That should make us sad, not make us celebrate. There is a reason Christians have historically gathered for worship on Sundays, and a reason why they have historically not required others to work for them on that day. But now that you have raised, questions, I also will endeavour to look into this some more so I can post more clearly on this topic!

        Anyway, I hope I was able to clear up any confusion. I grew up going to restaurants on Sundays where the waitresses worked 8-hour shifts and had no opportunity to attend church if they wanted to. Far be it from me to require that of anyone if I can help it. In my city, one gas station and one fast food restaurant remained open on Sundays for emergencies but they all took turns so that no one was forced to miss church every week. I look forward to a time when people like my son’s girlfriend again have the opportunity to worship with other believers instead of working all day on Sunday (she does not work in a place of necessity like a hospital, fire department, etc.). But again, on Saturdays we will work/play as much as we want to because God has given us that day on which to do so.

        May God bless you as you continue to seek Him and His truth. And glad to see you back blogging since it took me a while to find you again!

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      2. I think personally we need to agree to disagree. This is one of those things that God needs to work on one of us with. If it’s me, then in time, I will understand, but if it’s with you then I hope you can say the same. Blessings in Christ’s name.

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      3. OK. If you want to end the conversation that’s okay, no worries :-). I don’t want to get into a big argument or anything :-). I’m more interested at this point making sure we are talking about the same thing because Reformed people do not attend worship services on Saturday or observe a Saturday/Jewish Sabbath :-).

        Obviously, I’d change my position if I found out I was wrong. I already changed it once: I used to just go to church on Sunday and do whatever I wanted the rest of the day, including shopping, going to restaurants, etc. That’s what I was taught. I don’t condemn anyone who feels that way but I have come around to believing the original Protestant position on this (now called Reformed/Presbyterian). But if further study proves it wrong, I’d be glad to change positions again!

        Blessings to you!

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      4. All I want to say on this subject until I get some concrete scriptural evidence is this: If you want to abstain from working, shopping, etc., on Sunday, because you want to spend the day with family, going to church or whatever, then great, but don’t label it as a holy thing. Because if that’s the case, then many will be brought into bondage for extenuating circumstances (ie: broken down car, sickness, emergencies…). I know people, (using tithing as an example), that have been brought into terrible condemnation because they can’t make their 10% every month. If I cannot go to church because I work on Sundays (some people have to), then will I come into judgment with God?

        This should be a matter of choice, rather than being compelled. I don’t judge you for your decision, but I hope that if you couldn’t go to church on Sunday or you needed to work, that your duty won’t put you under condemnation.

        Blessings to you as well.

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      5. “then many will be brought into bondage for extenuating circumstances (ie: broken down car, sickness, emergencies…)” – The historic Protestant position is that works of necessity and mercy are permitted on the Sabbath so it isn’t a total ban on doing anything :-). None of the examples you’ve cited would be a violation of any sort of Sabbath. I once missed church to fix my toilet because I woke up to it flooding my house and I was pregnant and needed a working bathroom!

        “This should be a matter of choice, rather than being compelled.” – Agreed. IF that’s what the Scriptures teach. But if it is a sin to do something, then I reckon I should feel some guilt. So IF the Scriptures require us to observe Sunday as a day of worship (which in that case, it would be a day hallowed by God, not man), then it would not be a matter of choice, because Christian liberty ends where God commands. So I guess that’s where I need to go do some more reading! But as it stands right now, I do not work any job where I am required to work on Sundays (unless in situations of necessity or mercy), and if I was asked to do something that violated one of God’s commands, then I would refuse and let them fire me. But if further research shows this position to be wrong, then I would happily accept work on Sundays and give God my two hours as I can. Since you hold strongly to a differing view, can you point me to any solid theologians before the 1900’s who advocate your position? I would seriously be really interested in reading what they had to say (electronic sources preferred!).

        (As an aside, this was my first ever blog post on the historic Protestant view on this topic: https://paddlingupcreek.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/matthew-henry-on-isaiah-5813-14/. I linked this because I am rereading it now).

        Out of curiosity, suppose one day we find ourselves in a total dictatorship where everyone works 12-hour days, 7 days a week. There would barely be any Christian gatherings then because everyone would be too tired and dealing with other things like sleep and grocery shopping. Would you have any objection to such a state of affairs (meaning no day of worship for Christians to meet on)? In communist countries, citizens have been required to attend meetings on Sundays/the first day of the week to prevent Christians from having an opportunity to worship together. I don’t doubt the same could happen in our time.

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      6. As convincing as both of our arguments are, we still require Scripture to back up everything. It’s nice to have a day off, yes. But let it be know here and now that if it becomes a requirement for holiness or righteousness, then it becomes nothing more than idolatry.

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      7. I apologize if my questions are annoying you and thank you for taking the time to talk with me. A blog comment section is a rather inefficient way to have a conversation! I am truly trying to understand your position. When I didn’t know the historic view of the Sabbath, I still believed Sunday was the given day of Christian worship, so I am trying to wrap my head around your understanding of Scripture.

        I agree on the part about scriptures having to back everything up, although presuppositions are also at play here. I do, however, also want to know what the church has historically taught and I am interested to know if there are any reputable teachers pre-1900 who held the view that there is no Christian day of worship. I have to agree with R.C. Jr’s words here (no endorsement of him as a person): https://paddlingupcreek.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/rc-sproul-jr-on-birth-control/.

        I do not understand this statement you made (I apologize but the philosopher in me has a thing for precision): ” if it becomes a requirement for holiness or righteousness, then it becomes nothing more than idolatry.” I am not sure what you are getting at here. “Holiness” is often tied to the notion of “sanctification” and I am not understanding how growing in sanctification/holiness is idolatry? If I substitute in “telling the truth,” for instance, your statement would read, “if telling the truth becomes a requirement for holiness or righteousness, then it becomes nothing more than idolatry.” Do you see my confusion? How can telling the truth, which God commands, be “nothing more than idolatry?” Or are you referring to a person’s attempt to make himself holy by his own efforts, which no one can do? If so, then I wholeheartedly agree with you.

        Out of curiosity, do you consider it bondage or idolatry for people to take December 25 as a “holy day” and not work on that day?

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      8. Meg, your questions aren’t annoying me, just pricking my curiosity. I asked for scripture and as of yet, you have given me none. I spoke of the finished work of Christ on the cross, and our gift of rest spoken of in Hebrews. I also spoke of the event where Christ mentioned that He was Lord of the Sabbath. If He is Lord of the Sabbath, then why are we sticking with rituals that should have no bearing on us as Christians?

        Do you think that keeping to a Sabbath will help you obtain a level of sanctification that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to reach?

        This is what confuses me. As I said, taking a day off to rest and enjoy family is great, but are you doing it as the basis for making yourself more holier/sanctified?

        I hate to say it Meg, but there seems to be a block here and that’s always evidence of either ignorance or a spiritual wall. Curious and concerned.

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      9. “…are you doing it as the basis for making yourself more holier/sanctified?”

        I obey God because I love Him and want to live a life that is pleasing to Him, as all Christians do. Do you do good to others as a means of becoming holier/more sanctified? Or do you do it simply because it’s the right thing to do and God commands it?

        I have linked and referred to several resources on this subject, which I encourage you to study. Here is an OPC report giving the basic case for the continuing Sabbath: http://www.opc.org/GA/sabbath.html. From a historical standpoint, that is the orthodox, traditional Christian view on this topic whereas Sabbath-denial is the novel view that has arisen during a time of apostasy in the West.

        In short, Exodus 20:8-11 commands us to keep the Sabbath day holy and to rest from our labours. There are numerous other statements on the issue in the Old Testament. That commandment has never been abrogated (though any civil and ceremonial aspects no longer stand). The New Testament clarifies the purpose and extent of the continuing weekly Christian Sabbath, which is on Sunday due to apostolic example, etc. There remains a weekly Sabbath as a type of the eternal rest we will one day enjoy. The OPC report fleshes this out in not too lengthy a manner. Section B summarizes their conclusions. (I am not OPC for the record). It also refutes the understanding of certain passages mentioned above.

        If that doesn’t help, you could peruse:
        http://reformedbaptistmn.org/lordsday.html (a reformed baptist view), or Dabney at http://www.reformed.org/master/index.html?mainframe=/ethics/sabbath/sabbath_Dabney.html, or Jonathan Edwards at http://www.biblebb.com/files/edwards/sabbath.htm

        I find it troubling to dismiss 2,000 years of Christian practice as being based on “ignorance” or a “spiritual wall.” I could post quote after quote after quote of orthodox Christians throughout history talking about the weekly Sabbath and expounding the Scriptures on this, but I’m not sure that won’t just be dismissed. What new piece of Scripture appeared in the 1980’s that made it such that there suddenly was no longer a weekly Sabbath for Christians? Yes, I understand the bulk of Christians nowadays no longer follow this commandment, but that does not change the Scripture’s teachings.

        Here is Barnes on Hebrews 4:9 about how the weekly Sabbath is a type of our future heavenly rest:
        “(3) the Sabbath here should be like heaven. It is designed to be its type and emblem. So far as the circumstances of the case will allow, it should be just like heaven. There should be the same employments; the same joys; the same communion with God. One of the best rules for employing the Sabbath aright is, to think what heaven will be, and then to endeavor to spend it in the same way. One day in seven at least should remind us of what heaven is to be; and that day may be, and should be, the most happy of the seven.”

        Or the above-cited OPC report:
        “The weekly Sabbath given by God at creation, as a sign of the consummation rest awaiting the faithful believer, continues in force until Christ returns to make this consummation rest a reality for believers. As such, the weekly Sabbath is not only a blessing and privilege for those who keep it, but it is a sign and witness of the hope that God’s people have.”

        And Jonathan Edwards:
        “Sixth, it is foretold that this command should be observed in gospel-times, as in Isa. 56 at the beginning, where the due observance of the Sabbath is spoken of as a great part of holiness of life, and is placed among moral duties. It is also mentioned as a duty that should be most acceptable to God from his people, even where the prophet is speaking of gospel-times, as in the foregoing chapter, and in the first verse of this chapter. And, in the third and fourth verses, the prophet is speaking of the abolition of the ceremonial law in gospel-times, and particularly of that law, which forbids eunuchs to come into the congregation of the Lord. Yet, here the man is pronounced blessed, who keeps the Sabbath from polluting it, verse 2. And even in the very sentence where the eunuchs are spoken of as being free from the ceremonial law, they are spoken of as being yet under obligation to keep the Sabbath, and actually keeping it, as that which God lays great weight upon: “For thus saith the Lord, unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house, and within my walls, a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.””

        And Edwards again:
        “Seventh, a further argument for the perpetuity of the Sabbath, we have in Mat. 24:20, “Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath-day.” Christ is here speaking of the flight of the apostles and other Christians out of Jerusalem and Judea, just before their final destruction, as is manifest by the whole context, and especially by the 16th verse, “Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains.” But this final destruction of Jerusalem was after the dissolution of the Jewish constitution, and after the Christian dispensation was fully set up. Yet, it is plainly implied in these words of our Lord, that even then Christians were bound to a strict observation of the Sabbath.”

        Or Calvin (who is often cited as a reason not to observe a Sabbath) on Deuteronomy:
        “We must refrain from our own business which might hinder us from the mining of God’s works, and we must call upon His name and exercise our selves in His word. If we spend the Lord’s Day in making good cheer, and in playing and gaming, is that a good honoring of God? Nay, it is not a mockery, yea a very unhallowing of His name? Yes. But when the Shop-windows are shut in on the Lord’s Day, and men travel not as they do on other days, it is to the end [that] we should have the more leisure and liberty, to intend to the things that God commandeth… Yet notwithstanding it is so common a thing, as is pity to see (i.e. that people refuse to come to the sermon, conduct their own affairs, indulge in gluttony and withdraw into their homes away from the church on the Lord’s Day), and would God that [these] examples were more rare and further off to be found. But the world sees how all things are unhallowed, insomuch that most folk have no regard at all of the using of that Day, which was ordained to withdraw us from all earthly cares and affairs that we might give ourselves wholly unto God. But if the Lord’s Day be spent not only in games and pastimes fully contrary to God, so as men think they have not kept holy the Lord His Day, except God be offended divers ways; if the holy order which God ordained to bring us to Him be broken after that fashion, is it any wonder though men play the beasts all the week after?”

        And Jamieson, Fausset and Brown on Hebrews 4:9:
        “This verse indirectly establishes the obligation of the Sabbath still; for the type continues until the antitype supersedes it: so legal sacrifices continued till the great antitypical Sacrifice superseded it, As then the antitypical heavenly Sabbath-rest will not be till Christ, our Gospel Joshua, comes, to usher us into it, the typical earthly Sabbath must continue till then. The Jews call the future rest “the day which is all Sabbath.””

        What I am trying to get across is that maintaining a weekly day of worship and rest IS the historic, orthodox, Bible-believing practice of Christians throughout time. We do it because He has commanded us to remember and keep it. There is no burden or bondage there but liberty. Again, the abandonment of God’s command on this is a recent phenomenon that has accompanied a wider apostasy in the churches. All I can encourage you to do is to read and read and read what solid Christians of times past have said with the goal of thoroughly understanding their position. If you still reject it, there is nothing more I could add to their words that would be more persuasive :-). I hope something I’ve linked helps to clarify things for you. Otherwise, let me know!

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      10. I’m sorry Meg. This is in itself, a wall, and we are not getting anywhere. I live my life as a Christian, and I live my life through the power of the Holy Spirit. These rituals such as Sabbath keeping, forbidding images in my home, tithing…etc., are nothing more than Christians picking and choosing this law and that law that appeals to their fancy.

        I won’t be part of it. I will live my apostate, rebellious life and you and the reformed bunch can live your mixture of New Covenant/ Old Covenant and may God deal with us as He sees fit in the end.

        I won’t discuss this any further, because, frankly, I’m not getting anywhere with you or your Puritan/Reformed/Presbyterian forefathers.

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