Post Number: 2159
|Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 8:03 pm: || |
I believe that Former SDAs have allowed the interesting idea of the Lunar Sabbath to distract them. The reasons for this may be as varied as the people discussing the topic:
1) It is a fascinating possibility, with interesting historical roots, that makes a great deal of rational sense
2) SDAs don't (and can't) have any canned proof texts that address the issue
3) the Lunar Sabbath is far easier to explain the trying to explain the fulfillment of the Sabbath in Christ
However, just as the Lunar Sabbath can not be disproven from Scripture it can also not be emphatically proven from Scripture alone. There are passages that support the idea, but the Lunar Sabbath is not the "only" or the "clearly, most obvious" understanding of those passages.
But even this discussion is illustrating what I believe is the real problem with the entire Lunar Sabbath issue, it is a distraction from the most important aspects of the Sabbath discussion.
The Sabbath command was a shadow of Christ and the reconciliation that occurs through Christ.
This is affirmed in Col 2:16-17 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
The yearly, monthly, and weekly Sabbath foretold Christ, they were a shadow of the real meaning, just as sacrifices, priests, and the temple services were a shadow of the real meaning. Now that the Light of the World has arrived, we no longer live in these shadows.
It doesn't matter whether that day occurred in a repeating 7 day fashion, or whether the 7 day cycles were tied to the cycles of the moon! Either way, the Sabbath command was a shadow that pointed to Christ which has been fulfilled in Him. The Sabbath rest that remains is a superior rest in every way, it is not a rest that we partake in once per week, it is a rest that we enter into once and remain eternally.
It is this message of an ongoing, eternal rest in Christ that we can enter into now (and know that we securely remain) that should be the focus of our message about Sabbath.
The truth about the fulfillment of the Sabbath is the core of the Gospel. Christ has completed the work for us, now we can enter into His rest. His rest is perpetual because the work of righteousness has been done by Him. We don't need worry about doing enough righteous works, because we don't have to work. We have entered His rest. We enter the rest now, knowing that it is an ongoing, perpetual rest because we have the assurance of salvation based on His promises to all who believe in Him. So we aren't waiting for heaven to enter His eternal life and His eternal rest, we enter that when we believe.
When we have to explain what the fulfillment of the Sabbath really means, we have to explain the true Gospel. When we limit ourselves to esoteric debates about the weekly vs lunar cycle Sabbath, we may be losing this opportunity. We may be distracted from this higher purpose.
Post Number: 368
|Posted on Friday, November 14, 2014 - 7:21 am: || |
I agree with the basics of your argument. The only validity to the Lunar Sabbath argument is that it exposes the horrific hypocrisy and willful dishonesty of the entire SDA Sabbath doctrine. They don't even TRY to keep it like the Bible requires. Somehow, via the artifice of the Roman Pagan calendar adopted in the 300s; "Saturn's-Day" is superior to "The Day of the Sun." According to Adventists, "The Day of the Sun" is "Pagan." Yet "Saturn's Day" is not. It is just foolishness emanating from a truly dishonest Idiot Culture.
The real Sabbath Keepers (including Jesus) kept the Lunar Sabbath. That much is very very clear from the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds. I grant that the Bible is not so clear on the issue, but the extrinsic evidence for the Lunar Sabbath in the actual written traditions that governed Second Temple ordinances is overwhelming. So it is purely out of hypocritical convenience that Adventists insist on the superiority of "Saturn's Day." They want their cake and to eat it, too. The Lunar Sabbath deftly punctures their gloating and preening self-righteousness and their imagined superiority over mere "Sunday Keeping" Christians.
Worst of all, it is just obvious that the Apostles at the AD 50 Council of Jerusalem realized that Pagan/Gentile converts could never REMOTELY observe the Mosaic Law. You can almost FEEL them throwing up their hands in despair. Had the Apostles followed the truly-bizarre and blatantly dishonest Adventist interpretation of Acts 15, Christianity would have fizzled into an insignificant sub-sect of Judaism, battling for mindspace with three or other Jewish cults that took root about the same time.
Post Number: 45
|Posted on Friday, November 14, 2014 - 11:43 am: || |
I would like to read more about the Lunar Sabbaths. Are there any good websites about it?
Post Number: 14977
|Posted on Friday, November 14, 2014 - 1:42 pm: || |
Rick, I have also had the same reaction you expressed above. The real issue is what Jesus has done. That has to be the focus. In fact, if we don't address the gospel issue of Sabbath with Adventists, they'll just fiddle with the calendar issues and either find new excuses or become more rigid in attempting to "do it right".
Res, I do agree that the issue of the Jewish calendar is like the icing on the cake. Not only do Adventists refuse to deal with what Scripture clearly says about shadows, days, months, and years being made obsolete in Jesus' finished work, but they have created an idol of the seventh day as they know it. Their argument that Sabbath was instituted at creation ends up being just so much argument.
The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes; it is the gospel that truly sets people free from the Sabbath. But the lunar calendar is a really interesting insight that further reveals the craziness of the philosophical Sabbath arguments Adventists use. It won't convince anyone to trust Jesus, but once people see what Jesus has done and who He is...it's fascinating affirmation that no created day is sacred.
Time is a creation. Only God is Holy.
Post Number: 3105
|Posted on Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 6:54 am: || |
I am with Rick concerning the lunar Sabbath concept.
The biblical argument in support it, in my mind, is rather obscure and doesn’t seem to be supported by the historical record. Biblically, you could take either side of the issue and not really come to a firm decision. Since the original biblical system for establishing the beginning of the Jewish New Year clearly establishes when to observe all the other Hebrew festival days on a yearly cycle I see no imperative need to argue that the Weekly Sabbath was also adjusted since it is a weekly cycle known without the need to conform it to the start of the yearly cycle.
We have plenty of biblical reasons why New Covenant believers need not observe the sign of the Old Covenant. I see no reason to include a concept that so debatable. Jesus is our Sabbath Rest and the sign of the New Covenant is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Post Number: 1794
|Posted on Friday, November 21, 2014 - 2:17 pm: || |
Yeah, it's really not a winning (nor particularly relevant argument). Let's face it, the websites promoting the lunar Sabbath theory are run by uber-legalists who also generally promote observing monthly and annual sabbaths. Mainstream SDAs roll their eyes at these people. Mainstream SDAs don't see themselves as legalists, but they they sure see these people as extreme legalists. Mainstream SDAs our proud that they're not so legalistic as to be all worried about monthly sabbaths, annual sabbaths, and Jewish calendars.
Mainstream SDAs already believe that they observe a kinder-gentler, modified type of Sabbath day. They know that they no longer have to offer Sabbath sacrifices or stone people caught in Sabbath infractions. They already accept that various modifications to when Sabbath is observed are made based on both geographic latitude (far north climes) and longitude (dateline).
Hitting them with arguments about how the ancient Jews may or may not have calculated Sabbaths really has little effect. It's really important to understand that at the end of the day, Adventists aren't all that concerned with observing the Old Testament Sabbath! They're really not. Think about it. They're really concerned with observing the Adventist Sabbath as interpreted by "The Church" and the prophetess. Sure, they believe that in observing the Adventist Sabbath there is a certain continuity with the Jews and a continuity that goes all the way back to the Garden, but they also already understand that there are certain discontinuities. In their minds, it isn't keeping the Old Covenant Sabbath that will save them, but keeping the Adventist Sabbath, along with embracing other Adventist distinctives, that will save them. In short, they don't care about the Jewish Sabbath, per se. They really care about the Adventist Sabbath as they were taught it.
All of that is just to say why this isn't a winning argument. Others above have said well why it's not a relevant argument. Ultimately, the beautiful shadow of the Sabbath is beautifully fulfilled in Christ. That's the Good News. It's the Gospel that every lost person really needs to hear (SDA or otherwise). Gospel first, Gospel last, Gospel always. The Gospel is the message. Let's keep the main thing the main thing.
Post Number: 14
|Posted on Friday, November 21, 2014 - 10:02 pm: || |
Interesting post. I had to read it several times and look online to see what the “lunar Sabbath” was all about and to get a better understanding of the lead post. Correct me if I am misunderstanding the significance of the post.
It appears that there is a controversy within the SDA church about the type of calendar used to determine significant dates for SDA chronology, theology, and practice. The common understanding of the SDA Church about the date of the crucifixion, the heavenly cleansing (atonement of 1844) and the correct day of the week for the Sabbath become suspect or questionable if a “lunar Sabbath” calendar is used. This particular challenge is potentially upsetting to the SDA Church whose leaders have responded by distance, disinterest, or disfellowship. My references came from World’s Last Chance website and 4 Angels Publications website.
So Ric is noting that former SDAs will sometimes bring up this topic, perhaps to discredit foundational and distinctive marks of the SDA Church, i.e., that the calculated date for the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary was incorrect. Because of the nature of the controversy—it is replete with speculation and more importantly, the Bible gives no reason to make this a matter of importance—it is better not to let this topic distract evangelistic efforts.
The Bible frames our understanding about the Sabbath and its annulment at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Therefore, rely on the power and consistency and reliability of God’s word to discuss the Sabbath. To this I say amen.
Yet, when foundational “truths” of the SDA can be thrown into a state of confusion because of their obsession with days, and weeks, and months, and years, perhaps some will see how petty their spiritual focus really is.
Post Number: 371
|Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 2:50 am: || |
Really, there are no serious disputes with the historical veracity of the Talmud and its repeated discussion of the actual procedures used by the Sandhedrin to determine the New Moon.
The same folks that carefully preserved and risked their lives perpetuating the Talmud over the centuries were the same ones that similarly preserved and protected the Old Testament. The same people used precisely the same techniques on both.
To rely on the accounts in the Talmud is not engaging in mere speculation. To do so is analogous to proclaiming that the US Supreme Court may have never heard oral arguments and ruled in the "Hobby Lobby" case. In every sense of the word, the strict and rigorous record-keeping that went into the Talmud was the equal of the record-keeping that goes into US Supreme Court decisions.
In the the realm of academic historians, the veracity of the Talmud and the procedures that were outlined for determining the New Moon are not open to dispute.
(Message edited by Resjudicata on November 22, 2014)
Post Number: 3107
|Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 6:06 am: || |
The bottom line here is that the Talmud, no matter how well documented and logically reasoned out is human commentary.
Scripture, the inspired word of God, can be the only foundation for faith. Christian doctrine must stand on Scripture alone.
Commentary can be useful for understanding the word of God but Scripture must remain our ultimate foundation.
The point is that the 'Sabbath Issue' for Christians can be resolved without resorting to the 'Lunar' Hebrew start of the New Year. When you read the biblical instructions, with no outside commentary, it really isn't totally clear if the weekly Sabbath was to be included. All the other Jewish holy days were keyed to a certain day of a certain month whereas the weekly Sabbath was clearly the seventh day of a weekly cycle. Adjusting it each year isn't a certain thing without resorting to debatable commentary.
One of our strong arguments against SDA theology is that even if you elevate the writings of Ellen White to that of 'good commentary' it is at best only human worldly reasoning. Therefore it is best to avoid other commentary no matter how tempting it may seem to do so.
(Message edited by philharris on November 22, 2014)
Post Number: 372
|Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 7:57 am: || |
I guess one of the glaring problems I am having with this discussion is very simple:
- Jesus predicted the Destruction of the Temple;
- There is no dispute that the Destruction of the Temple was 70 AD;
- Nowhere in the New Testament is the Destruction of the Temple mentioned, in spite of the fact that the Book of Revelation is usually thought to have been written in 95 AD;
- Does this mean the Temple was not destroyed, since this event is never mentioned in the New Testament?
- Adventists, contrary to the above iron-clad historical recitation, insist that Jesus's prophecy was NOT about the Destruction of the Temple. Jesus's prophecy somehow supports their Sanctuary and Investigative Judgment Doctrine instead. They argue that since the Destruction of the Temple was not mentioned in the New Testament, that it cannot possibly be the fulfillment of Christ's Prophecy!
Did the destruction of the Temple happen in AD 70, and was it the fulfillment of Christ's prophecy?
The Adventist line of reasoning of this is obviously utter nonsense and historical conspiracy theory and makes Christ into either a simpleton, a dissembler or a liar. In many ways, their views on this prophecy and its clear historical endorsement support their blatant denigration of Christ's Divinity and the Trinity.
- The Bible clearly states that Jesus celebrated Hanukkah;
- Historically, there is no dispute that Hanukkah celebrates the fulfillment of Daniel 8:14 and the "Cleansing of the Temple" that occurred under Antioch Epiphanes;
- Yet there are no affirmative Biblical Commands to celebrate Hanukkah. Therefore, according to Adventists, Jesus's celebration of Hanukkah is not devastating to their insistence that Daniel 8:14 was not fulfilled until 1844.
The "Great Controversy" by my estimation is made up of at LEAST 80 percent non-Biblical history, and 95 percent of its history is a demonstrably nonsensical fraud. Yet Adventism takes great stock in the GC's non-Biblical recitation of historical events as endorsement of their cultish interpretation of what the Bible means.
(Message edited by Resjudicata on November 22, 2014)