Monday, March 28, 2011

Saturday or Sunday Sabbath? A Response To Christopher of Conservative Perspective

Christopher, at Conservative Perspective has a post where he shows why he thinks that Saturday should be considered the Sabbath Day.   While he emphasized that he doesn’t want me to use the "man’s word", in his post he himself relies on man’s word (he calls it "actual and verifiable history").    I will point out to you both Biblical and historical evidence to that proves that Sunday is indeed the true Sabbath Day.  In fairness I will only use a small sample of biblical and historical texts from long before the time of Constantine, on whom Christopher seems content to hang the "blame" for changing the Sabbath.

First, a very important piece of scriptural evidence.   There are many passages in the Old Testament that prophesy the end of the exclusive covenant between God and the  children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to be replaced with a new and everlasting covenant between God and the whole world, Jews and Gentiles alike.  Many of them describe the new worship in prophetic terms.  In one particular passage it is specifically stated that the old sabbaths would be brought to an end.

"And I will cause all her mirth to cease, her solemnities, her new moons, her sabbaths, and all her festival times. " (Hosea 2:11, Douay Rheims Bible, referred to hereafter as DRB).

For a New Testament passage that fulfills this prophecy, we have Colossians 2:16-17 -

[16] Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of a festival day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbaths, [17] Which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ.  [DRB]

Here is the same passage in a popular Protestant version:

Colossians 2:16 
16 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. 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
[New International Version (NIV)] 

Here is a passage from Acts that shows the day they came together to "do this (the Eucharistic sacrifice) in memory of me" as he commanded [Luke 22:19; 1st Corinthians 11:24]:

Acts 20:7
[7] And on the first day of the week, when we were assembled to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, being to depart on the morrow: and he continued his speech until midnight.
[DRB ]

7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

The first say of the week was known also as the eighth day, the 1st day of the New Creation.  It was also commonly known as "The Lord's Day", and in the Book of Revelation we see it referred to as that:

"On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,"
(Revelation 1:10 NIV)

In the Old Testament the Old Covenant was instituted when God gave a covenant through Moses to the Jews.  The Old Covenant was abolished at the cross.   Below are some more Biblical passages that talk about the superiority of the New Covenant and our freedom under it from the requirements of the Old Covenant.

Hebrews 8:6-7
6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

 7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.

Freedom in Christ - Galations 5:1-6

 1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
 2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Here are quotations of Early Christians, showing that the tradition of Sunday worship goes back to the time of the apostles and their immediate successors.

90AD DIDACHE: "Christian Assembly on the Lord's Day: 1. But every Lord's day do ye gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. 2. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. 3. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, saith the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations." (Didache: The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, Chapter XIV)

100 AD BARNABAS "We keep the eighth day [Sunday] with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead" (The Epistle of Barnabas, 100 AD 15:6-8).

100 AD BARNABAS: Moreover God says to the Jews, 'Your new moons and Sabbaths 1 cannot endure.' You see how he says, 'The present Sabbaths are not acceptable to me, but the Sabbath which I have made in which, when I have rested [heaven: Heb 4] from all things, I will make the beginning of the eighth day which is the beginning of another world.' Wherefore we Christians keep the eighth day for joy, on which also Jesus arose from the dead and when he appeared ascen+ded into heaven. (15:8f, The Epistle of Barnabas, 100 AD, Ante-Nicene Fathers , vol. 1, pg. 147) ,-

150AD JUSTIN: "He then speaks of those Gentiles, namely us, who in every place offer sacrifices to Him, i.e., the bread of the Eucharist, and also the cup of the Eucharist, affirming both that we glorify His name, and that you profane [it]. The command of circumcision, again, bidding [them] always circumcise the children on the eighth day, was a type of the true circumcision, by which we are circumcised from deceit and iniquity through Him who rose from the dead on the first day after the Sabbath, [namely through] our Lord Jesus Christ. For the first day after the Sabbath, remaining the first of all the days, is called, however, the eighth, according to the number of all the days of the cycle, and [yet] remains the first.". (Justin, Dialogue 41:4)

How we answer to the question of whether the true Sabbath is Saturday or Sunday depends on how we treat the tradition and authority of the Church Christ founded.  Some people believe that they can divorce the authority of scripture from the authority of the Church.  That is not only inconsistent (because the Church, by her divinely given authority, chose the canon of scripture, distinguishing divinely inspired books from those that lack divine inspiration), it is also unbiblical.  According to scripture, the pillar and foundation of truth is not scripture itself, but the Church:

1 Timothy 3:15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. (NIV)

When Christ came He did not form a publishing house.  He did not write a book, and he did not command that books should be written.  He founded a Church.  The writing of books of scripture was part of the larger general command to teach and make disciples of all nations, to pass on the traditions that He taught his disciples.  That passing on of sacred tradition has always been and always will be through two channels of transmission - word of mouth and epistle, i.e. oral and written tradition:

2Thessalonians 2:15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. (NIV)

2Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.(DRB) 

The authority of scripture is the divine authority God gave to the Church.  It is incoherent to reject the latter in the name of the former.  It is a misuse of the Bible to lump sacred apostolic tradition in with the merely human tradition rightly condemned in scripture (Mark 7:8 and Colossians 2:8).  The same Bible that commands us to reject human tradition that denies the word of God tells us that the word of God will be given to us through sacred tradition.  The distinction between sacred apostolic tradition which we are commanded to keep and human tradition which we are commanded to reject is a scriptural distinction and absolutely necessary.

The central issue is in the opposite ways Christopher and I treat the teaching authority of the Church Christ founded.   He thinks he can disregard the authority of the Church while claiming to believe the Bible.  Scripture does not support his error.

Matthew 16:18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (DRB) 

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17-19 NIV)

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV)

And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. [19] Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. [20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. (Matthew 28:18-20) DRB) 

"He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." Luke 10:16 (NIV) 


Opus #6 said...

I have had questions about this for a long time and you have explained the Christian tradition quite well.

Teresa said...

Thank you, Opie. Have a great night! God Bless.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

I read every word (as I have many times before) and yet still no, repeat no, specific or definitive rebuttal to my assertion as I have always maintained there is none in the Holy Bible.

You have laid out a wonderful post with a wealth of information and on that I congratulate you and I mean it Teresa, but it lacks the evidence that you purport as "refuting my assertion".

People are obviously free to worship God on any given day, I am simply going for accuracy on what day is actually the Sabbath. There are many "writing's" outside of Holy Scripture to back your claim but none within.

If Holy Scripture is to be the final say as I believe it is, then the day has not been changed by God, but by man.

Teresa said...


These are taken from the bible so you are thus rejecting God's Word. Your the one who is relying on man's word but you are so determined that you are right even when evidence mounts that you are wrong because no matter what Catholicism has to be wrong in your book. I feel sorry for you because you refuse to see the facts.

Teresa said...

"These" Meant to say many of these

Kevin T. Rice said...

The post above makes a thorough case. The fact that Christopher affirms that he has read the whole post makes his failure to offer a refutation of any of its points all the more telling. The criticism that the works quoted are not in scripture is odd (and renders doubtful the claim that he read every word), considering that the first several quotes are all from scripture. The Hosea quote foretells the end of the Old Covenant Sabbaths with no qualification, and the quote fom Colossians has the New Testament fulfillment of that prophecy. Teresa is just following Paul's advice - Let no one judge you with regard to Sabbaths. Christopher insists on judging, but he won't deal with case laid out before him.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Here you go. You wish to use Scripture to find what is not there, well I use Scripture to DEFINE what is there.

You say I say I listen man is absurd for if I did I would observe the Sabbath on Sunday.

Watch both and pay attention as Scripture is cited constantly and this is all I have to say on the matter.

Well one more thing, Teresa you insinuated on my blog that I follow Satan and that is uncalled for and am highly offended and disappointed in you. You mentioned a certain and rather personal, domestic situation which has nothing to do with me or my post, period. Do not project what is happening in you personal life onto me.

I have been nothing short of Faithful to God and Jesus Christ my ENTIRE life and continue to be so, to say otherwise is not an affront to me but rather to Them.

Choose your word's carefully as emotion's cloud judgment.

Teresa said...


"You mentioned a certain and rather personal, domestic situation which has nothing to do with me or my post, period. Do not project what is happening in you personal life onto me."

What??? You are absurd. You have never revealed the reason why you left Christ's Church. It is a fact that you left the Church that Christ founded. The faith didn't leave you. Your accusation is absurd and I am close to... If you don't think that Satan is attacking the Church and that you are buying into the anti-Catholic culture of Today then you are highly deluding yourself.

That was an argument? Debate please.

Teresa said...

It is a totally different situation for those who never grew up with Catholicism.

Teresa said...

What I meant by the above comment is this - if someone was not raised in the Church, never taught to honor her and does not understand her, that person is not as culpable as one who was raised in the faith but for some personal reason chose to reject it. The latter may not have understood what he was rejecting, but he ought to have, and he is more culpable. We are commanded to KEEP the faith. You can't keep what you never had, but if you had it but didn't keep it, you are not what theologians call "invincibly ignorant". You have some responsibility for losing what God gave you.

Kevin T. Rice said...

I watched both videos. Forerunner is a talented speaker, and his scripturally rich presentation is well-argued. Since that is all Christopher has to say on the subject, presumably he will have no reply to these responses -

1. In Colossians, Paul did not qualify his statement about sabbaths, specifying only sabbaths from the ceremonial law of Moses. There was also no qualification in the prophetic text in Hosea Teresa cited.

2. The Church began observing the 1st day of the week as their new day of sacrifice (breaking bread) right from the beginning, as the Book of Acts shows. They also ceased to offer the sacrifices of the Old Covenant on Saturday from that very beginning. This had nothing to do with Constantine who would not show up until centuries later. The new sacrifice was on the first day of the week, the Lord's Day, as John calls it in the Book of Revelation.

3. Our Lord Jesus promised to be with us always, so that whoever would hear the Church would hear Him, and that to reject the Church's teaching would be the same as rejecting Him and the Father who sent Him. He promised that the gates of hell would not overcome the Church. If the Church had arbitrarily changed the Sabbath against the divine will, that would be just the sort of falling away into universal apostasy that our Lord promised He would never let happen. So it comes down to this - either you believe that our Lord Jesus kept His promise, or you believe that His dropped the ball and ignored his promise for 1,800 years until Ellen Gould White came along and spontaneously understood something that none of the other brilliant and holy people in the interim noticed.