Post Number: 238
|Posted on Saturday, May 30, 2020 - 9:11 pm: || |
This message board has been quiet for a couple of months, most of us have been rather isolated from our regular families and Christian communities due to the current epidemic.
I'm going to interrupt the silence by sharing an article I wrote some 7 years ago. It is hard to believe that nearly a decade has passed since we left our sabbatarian belief system. The Lord knows what intense struggles we faced back then, but by His grace, we have grown as a family as plants in His garden these last years.
Our nine children (the oldest is 22) are following in the truth of the gospel. The younger ones don't even remember the former ways, they have the blessing of being raised in an evangelical church, hearing the gospel preached each week.
Back in 2013 we were still making some transitions … but going back and reading this article was helpful for me to see where we came from, and the issues that were pressing for us at that time. I will share some of it here, and put a link for those who may wish to read the full text. Feel free to disagree - I would probably write it differently, or at least with different emphasis, seven years on. Blessings to all.
---Beginning of Article---
For thirty years I was a Christian who was of the persuasion that the Sabbath commandment was a universal and perpetual obligation. I believed that the Sabbath was a moral imperative, even for Gentile Christians today, which required cessation from labour and secular pursuits on the seventh day of each week (Saturday). Business transactions, swimming, popping corn, riding bicycles and discussing “worldly” topics were seen as being displeasing to God on this day.
… in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed. Exodus 31:17 (NKJV) …
There is a beauty in the rest that the Sabbath embodies and represents. In a world where we are worn out by stress, continually pressured to make more money, and when important relationships are compromised to fulfil this never-ending quest, there is wisdom in setting apart one day in seven.
In this context the Sabbath serves man by breaking the cycle of slavery to a materialistic and consumption-driven world, giving us time to cherish God and those who he has put around us. It affords a time of healing and an opportunity for us to reset our priorities by offering a break from the treadmill of everyday life, placing a pause in our daily grind.
Our family continues to set aside each Saturday as a day of refreshment [this has changed somewhat]; it provides us with a weekly time-out. We are able to spend time together doing things that we would be otherwise unable to. These activities may include preparation for Bible class (my wife and I both teach Sunday School in an evangelical church), worship and singing, fellowship with friends, hiking in nature, solving a jigsaw puzzle, or reading together.
How could any fault be found with such a good thing? Can a blessing become a curse?
Though Sabbath is a potential blessing for those who take time out once a week, it is devoid of redemptive power, as is circumcision or the Passover. There was a time that I viewed the Sabbath as one of many necessary items to gain or maintain God’s favour; indeed most Sabbatarians feel deep down that their Sabbath keeping is a “means of grace”; failure to “keep” it results in a person falling from favour with God.
Sabbatarian”ism” takes a gift that God has given, and crafts it into a system of bondage. The Sabbath’s original purpose of breaking slavery is turned inside out when it is made into its own taskmaster and form of slavery.
Sabbatarian”ism” forms it into the core of a belief system and it becomes a spiritual identity, often prominently expressed in the names of Sabbatarian organizations and groups. Everything in life, whether practical or theological, spins on the centre of this one ceremonial command.
The primary mandate of Sabbatarians is to convince those who already trust in Christ that they are incomplete without this “truth”. In their missionary efforts, new believers stumble and reject the gospel, because they become confused or are unwilling to bear this yoke of bondage. The Sabbath is placed before them as an unavoidable gate of entrance into Christ and his body…
Ecclesiastical institutions control their members with the Sabbath. Using it as a tool to keep their people away from “apostate” Protestant “Sunday churches” gives the clergy job security, as well as dominion over their member’s spiritual lives. It offers them the opportunity to omit essential parts of the gospel of Jesus Christ in their teaching, without any challenge from outside sources...
So then, is the Sabbath a blessing, or a curse? That will entirely depend how you approach it.
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” Galatians 3:10 (NKJV)
The Sabbath principle is certainly valid, and a benefit to mankind. Resting one day in seven has many positives, and is a practice which too few enjoy. Yet, once it is placed in the context of meriting God’s favour, and when what was intended as a ceremonial observance for a particular people is turned into an oppressive universal decree from which nobody can escape, it becomes a yoke of bondage. The day becomes filled with sunset calendars, a mental checklist of dos and dont’s, and the underlying sense that no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to measure up to the lofty standards of not doing your pleasure or speaking your own words on this day.
My desire is that Sabbatarians would recognize what their salvation is founded on in the gospel. It doesn’t depend on your fulfillment of, but Christ’s fulfillment of, old covenant ceremonial observances. It is found in the rest that is only discovered in trusting the completed work of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Complete article here: https://youarecompleteinhim.com/2013/11/15/sabbath-a-blessing-or-curse/
(Message edited by leifl on May 30, 2020)
(Message edited by leifl on May 30, 2020)
Post Number: 458
|Posted on Friday, June 05, 2020 - 5:22 am: || |
yeah, same for tithe, diet, dress, worship styles, evangelical models, church buildings and programs, on and on ad infinitim. Everything under the sun is a "blessing or curse" depending on our relationship to it. Anytime I make a move to gain God's acceptance or approval by doing or not doing anything, I am engaging in my ego-centric consciousness. In otherwords, I am telling Jesus Christ that He didn't do enough for me. Allowing the Holy Spirit to determine my value system requires that I begin and end all ideas and attachments by allowing His access to my heart and mind. Of course, this is much more difficult than latching onto an idea or doctrine of my own making.
Post Number: 3567
|Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 3:00 pm: || |
The Sabbath was a curse to me when I was an Adventist, though I would have strongly denied that it was! It was a boring, lonely day dedicated to NOT doing stuff; not even thinking of what I wanted to do after it ended. That's because SDAs, including me back then, are usually focused on what they can DO or NOT DO and the fact that most of them aren't saved because they aren't depending ONLY on Jesus for salvation! They are focused on the do's and don'ts instead!
Post Number: 239
|Posted on Friday, June 12, 2020 - 7:44 am: || |
I should clarify that we attend a Baptist church regularly (except lately of course) and our family is very active there. Our point of view has changed, mostly because this was a big issue for us back then - there's no longer any issue or struggle for us with the Sabbath. It was made for the Jewish people, but it is not wrong to rest on that day. However, it is very wrong to attach any any redemptive value to doing so.
We live with parents who are SDA so we take the day easy, can't say I mind that anyway.
(Message edited by leifl on June 12, 2020)
Post Number: 40
|Posted on Sunday, February 21, 2021 - 7:31 pm: || |
God bless you Leif. It is interesting that something can be either a blessing or a curse. Here's my summary.
The Sabbath as a blessing to the Jews if obeyed by faith.
The Sabbath as a curse to the Jews if ignored or obeyed without faith.
The Sabbath as a satisfying epiphany to the church if understood to be a fulfilled ceremonial law.
The Sabbath as a stumbling block to the church if understood to be a moral law.