Is the Sabbath moving from Saturday to being observed on Sunday valid and with what proof is that even possible?
For a bit of a different perspective check out: Andrew C. Search “sabbath” above for more discussions on the topics that interest you. Hope this reference helps your query. God bless you and may God grant you peace and understanding.
Hi, @pinkfl0yd! (Having seen your username, I now have ALL the Pink Floyd songs buzzing around in my head. )
I’m curious about your question being one of validity and possibility…
I mean, it is possible for Sabbath to be taken on any day one chooses. Jews (and others) traditionally have taken Saturday (the 7th day), whereas Christians at some point (way before Constantine) began worshipping on Sunday (the 1st day of the week).
As far as validity is concerned, are you wondering if God sees worship on a Sunday as less valid than worship on a Saturday…or even not valid at all?
But I suppose my follow-on question to all is, what is the point of the Sabbath? Has man been created for the Sabbath or the Sabbath for man?
I’m not at all convinced that God is concerned with a specific day of the week, but I am convinced that He is concerned with the heart behind our taking a ‘sabbath’ or not.
What do you think the point of Sabbath observance is?
We are under grace of the Jewish Messiah. Serving the LORD by the Spirit. Yet relying upon the Lamb’s pure blood for Atonement. The Lamb of God. The 12 Commandments are still valid. But we are not saved by the law and obeying the Sabbath as a Judaic Fundamentalist. By no works of the Law are we made righteous. But even Jesus said that if we love him we will make his commandments. We have to choose. Messianic congregations have services Friday and Saturday. 7th Day Adventist on the Jewish Sabbath. Rest of Christian Denominations have it on Sunday. God has to be glorified every day of the week in Jesus. So I think under the LORD, we have the freedom to choose.
I appreciate your question. I contemplated a response during my hike today as there is a lot involved with any answer concerning the Sabbath (Saturday) and Sunday Worship. Before diving deeper, a question I would ask in return, is it important ‘how’ we disagree as Christ followers?
A 2-part answer begins with a key point made in the Day of Discovery’s video series, “The Jewish Roots of Christianity” (https://ourdailybreadpublishing.org/dv759.html ). Mart De Haan discusses with 3-gentleman how early Jewish believers came to follow Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. One of these gentlemen, Avner Boskey, describes the challenges early Jewish followers of Christ had with the influx of a great number of gentile Believers into the church. Avner asks in the video, ‘How does a bunny and a bear dance?’ Answer, ‘Very carefully.’ Avner relates the difficulty a person brought up in Jewish tradition (bunny) would have going to worship with gentile Believers (bear) into an early Third or Fourth Century ‘Church’ that was just converted from a pagan temple. How do we navigate traditions, rules, and laws among Christ followers from different backgrounds? My first answer, as with any dance is, very carefully and with respect.
The second part keeping with the ‘dance’ theme is, be prepared to be stepped on. A favorite Monty Python skit encapsulates this response, “How Not to Be Seen” (easily searched/found on YouTube). Like ‘Mr. Bradshaw’, when we stand up, i.e. standing for a truth we believe in, it can result in ‘slings and arrows’. I’ve been called a lot of unkind things in Christian gatherings and online forums for being a Christ Follower that ‘keeps’ the Sabbath day of worship on Saturday. Bottomline, when we disagree, let us do so carefully and with respect. Considering the multitude of backgrounds in the Christian community, getting stepped on from time to time, is bound to happen.
A lengthy intro to the core part of your question, is the Sabbath (day of worship) moving from Saturday to Sunday valid, and if so, what are the proofs? Stating an opinion on ‘when’ someone should worship, let alone how, and including proof texts is among the biggest and most sensitive religious topics. Endeavoring to be careful and respectful, here are the key points I use on the subject.
Beginning with Jesus’ life, His teachings, along with the law and the prophets, we have much information in support for worshiping on the Sabbath. Jesus was a Jewish man, with Jewish parents, and grew up in a Jewish village. While being the Son of God at the same time, He participated synagogue/community worship on Sabbath, healed/did miracles on the Sabbath, and taught the importance to help others on the Sabbath. Jesus taught with authority against the religious leaders’ contemporary ideas that weighed down the Sabbath with ‘do’s and don’ts’, i.e. making the Sabbath a burden. Ultimately, Jesus taught that not one part of the law should pass away until ‘all is fulfilled’. I understand this to be His Second Coming and our time in heaven with Him. Secondly, we have the 10-Commandment laws given by God to Moses along with specific Sabbath teachings in the first Bible 5-books (the Torah). Additionally, we have Old Testament prophets like Isaiah emphasizing to refrain doing your own ‘thing’ on the Sabbath. I did not include text reference on the above out of brevity. Like the Bereans, it’s good for you to search them out.
Conversely, we have the ‘fulfilment’ of the law teaching in regards to Christ’s life and the ‘abrogation’ (my words) teaching from Paul in Romans 14:5 and Colossians 2:16-17. In reviewing the writer’s points in “Is the Sabbath Still Required for Christians?” (https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/schreiner-qa-is-the-sabbath-still-required-for-christians/ ), he stipulates that Jesus does not clearly abolish the Sabbath. However, he points to Jesus’ life and the New Covenant demonstrate a superiority to the Sabbath, and that the Sabbath is not in force forever. Additionally, the writer discusses Paul’s teaching in Colossians and emphasizes that many Christians discuss Paul’s placement of the Sabbath along with dietary laws and feast days, stating that these are a shadow (Greek - skia) of good things to come. As most see dietary rules non-binding on Christians, and that we do not perform animal sacrifices (Christ is our paschel Lamb), the reasoning follows, that the Sabbath is no longer required. Additionally, the writer points to Paul’s teaching in Romans 14 that, ‘each should be convinced in his own mind’. The writer here relates that Paul does not quarrel with those that set aside the Sabbath as a special day. Instead, he argues that Paul states the Sabbath should not be required for salvation, nor held against groups that either keep or abstain from the Sabbath.
Your question asks for validity and ‘proof’ towards the issue of Sabbath/Saturday versus Sunday. My understanding is to lean upon Jesus’ example and the ‘Thus saith the Lord’ emphasis in the Old Testament as related by Moses and the prophets. I don’t wish to go farther or take a stand on a particular ‘proof’ text in order to ‘dance carefully’. I left out the entire discussion of how the early First and Second Century church began worshiping on Sunday rather than Sabbath/Saturday. I would recommend a careful reading of Mr. Taylor’s, “Is the Sabbath Still Required …” article. I did summarize much of his arguments. Most importantly, you should read all of Scripture in all of the above while asking for guidance from the Holy Spirit.
In any event, as a fellow Believer in Christ, I will always refer to you as ‘brother’. No matter which day you decide to worship - :). All the Best - Ken
@Ronin47 very well said. The greatest risk of this discussion is the revelation of sin. The history of our Christian church forefathers is the removal of possible imagination that the sabbath even exists. The Word of God is so revered in so many applicable ways today. However, the ordinance “Remember the Sabbath” is banished from imagination that we could even do such a righteous thing. Most disturbingly, our weakness in imitating Christ on this point has opened the door to acceptance of evolution, acceptance of abortion, and accommodating general moral relativism within Christian practice. As a prolife community organizer, I discovered strong prolife commitment to the sanctity of life among thousands of men, women and children. How could the world not see that it is a wicked thing to dismember a baby in the womb? I find it incredibly vexing to see the similar failure of sight in our perspective of a King and Creator who could change his mind.
Aloha and Shalom Brian,
I love hearing the ‘Shalom’ greeting and good bye salutation. We took a trip to Israel earlier this year, hearing Shalom brings back good memories.
Appreciate your email, you put a lot to dwell upon in a short paragraph. I agree, there are big picture things as ‘humans’ we should agree upon. As well, certain truths as Christians, we should be able to agree upon. Imperceptible changes, hardly noticed in the present, lead to profound changes overtime.
In regards to the Law, I want to share some encouragement with you. Ben Shapiro’s interview of Ravi was very profound, full of rich truths, and many things to ‘think about’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_EpoJAcOOs). Ravi’s discussion about the law, seems to be lost on many Christians. The dissonance many Christians seemingly have, IMHO, needs to be address. Yet as we discussed in previous posts, treading on these beliefs must be done very carefully. One of my fav Ravi saying is quoted from his Mom, ‘Do not cut off someone’s nose and then offer them a flower’.
Interested in your thoughts after watching the interview. I’ve watched it twice, and want to watch it a third time while taking notes.
God Bless and Shalom,
Hi, @Brian10c! Hope you are well. I’m curious for a bit of clarification…
Which forefathers are you speaking of? Do you have a specific movement in mind. I am unaware of any church fathers through the centuries who threw that commandment (‘Remember the Sabbath…’) away. But I’m open to being schooled!
I’m curious what you mean by the phrase that I bolded above? What did Christ do re. the Sabbath that we fail to imitate? What does not remembering the Sabbath look like to you?
IMHO - what is the Sabbath for?
Is it meant for us to spend quality time with God? Which may include singing, or meditating upon His word,or praying, or dancing in His very presence. A time to refresh my soul and my commitment to God? Which I believe I can do on my own, or in the company of other believers.
A day when my focus is on being in God’s presence?
My personal challenge is making the time to do just that every week; but I’m working on that.
My tuppence worth.
I am so highly excited and also restrained at the information I’ve been rereading and preparing, Between painting a house and wordsmithing and citing correct sources, I’d much rather put down the paint brush, but I will complete my answer in short time.
After reading much of a scholarly work published in 1952 titled: The Persecution of the Jews in the Roman Empire (300-428) by James Everett Seaver by University of Kansas Press, and several Catholic resources in New Advent. org web Church History, Book 1, I find numerous evidences of the birth of anti-Semitism among the writers of Church history. I will discard the layers of paragraphs I had hand written to build up to the Council of Laodicia where Canon 29 states:
" Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ."
The dynamics of dysfunction and grim rebirth of anti-Semitic forces grew from several decades of stress between powerless God Fearers (non-Jewish Christians), Messianic Jews and unbelieving orthodox Jews with their diverse religious powers. The capsizing of Judaism with a sect of believers holding faith in the risen Jesus the Messiah has great bearing of history and sociology that Jews had within the Roman Empire before and after the earthly life of Jesus Christ. Caesar and following emperors did not find it necessary to enforce Roman deity worship upon the Jews. They had experienced marginal exemptions from performing any task that violated their religious convictions. “From the end of the Great Revolt in Palestine 135 to the time of Constantine about 313, most emperors and the Roman governments they represented were indifferent to the nature of Judaism.” from J.E. Seaver. (forgive the lame footnotes). “When Christianity was legalized in 313 and became the close ally of the Roman emperor, this indifference quickly became a thing of the past. Thus in 321, Constantine promogulated the earliest law recorded in the Theodosian Code dealing with the Jews. it begins the process of reducing their privileges and immunities. … Already in this first law there is evidence of that hatred which would change the role of the Jew in a little over 100 years from one of privileged citizenship in the Roman Empire to that of outcast.” (Sever page 5). This background is essential to the groundswell of edicts, canons and the fast turning of the tables upon Jews and their practices, especially Sabbath.
Roman citizens were not free to be atheists nor agnostics. Only allegiance to the Emperor and the Roman deities were required. However, the occupying Romans as evidenced in the Gospel stories, allowed the Jews to guard the Temple with Jewish soldiers and guards. They had the Jewish King Herod operating a kingdom and the Jewish legal system generally unencumbered by Rome. If a non-Jew became a believer in the Jewish Messiah, he and his family were not exempt from state religious obligations. The Jews who were part of a congregation and paid the tax to Rome and on the rolls of such Jewish groups didn’t have to worry. The uncircumcised believers had much to worry. The work of God in bringing believers to accept the revelation and teachings of the Jewish Messiah left them vulnerable to persecution and garish sport and destruction in the Coliseum. The commonly called Christians were the outcasts suffering death by the hands of Rome, not always the Jews. Paul did suffer persecution as a former leader of the persecution against Jews who announced trust in Jesus. The Jews did bring persecution upon themselves from Rome in the Great Revolt and the destruction of the Second Temple. (This is another story)
Once becoming a Christian was OK, the Jews became the targets from their status that allowed them to be protected citizens. Revenge was possible and practical. The rest of the book written by Seaver is full of history where that revenge was exacted.
The observation of the Sabbath by Jesus is completely confirmed in the Gospels. He debated obligations with the Jewish leaders, because that was what Jews did then and Jews do today. Claiming himself to be “Lord of the Sabbath” has nothing to do with erasing it. Lord of the Sabbath means he is in charge and leading the Sabbath. The teachings of Jesus that were held in the area synagogues happened on the Sabbath. Jesus taught in the Temple courts on many days of the week. The envy of his Jewish enemies was the large following he had and the possible danger it presented to agitating the Roman governors. Nowhere in the teachings of the Gospels did Jesus turn off Sabbath observance. We fail to imitate any semblance of the Jesus Sabbath. If we hold our Trinitarian position on the unchanging nature of God in three persons, Jesus was present in the creation of the world, the giving of the 10 Commandments and the instructions the Lord gave to Moses and all the words spoken by God.
Knowing Jesus better is a pursuit of all honest disciples. Worshiping the One God of the First Testament was confirmed by Jesus in the Second Testament. The covenant promises of the New Testament are located in the Old Testament. There is not a chopping off of Judaism after the last book of the first half. The convergence of Jewish thought and practice are carried over into Christian practice today: baptism, offerings, venerating the Bible, discipling are all modern Christian vocabulary that the practices originated in Judaism to whom we owe our origins of faith.
Jesus called all the Jews to repentance, of high and low stature. Jesus is also calling us all to repentance. It is a difficult call that Jesus has called us to be his disciples. I find great conflict in my discoveries of the modern church practices and original teachings. I have no pride of heart. I don’t know what will happen, except that people may not understand the paradox of our faith. I think the challenge Jesus gave to the rich, righteous man to sell all the possessions would be easier.
I can’t help it but the first thing that came to my mind was Set the controls for the Heart of the Sun from the Ummagumma album.
But then maybe we do need to Set the controls for the heart of the Son to fully understand the Sabbath.