Post Number: 91
|Posted on Monday, May 22, 2017 - 10:52 pm: || |
As a Former, I found this YouTube clip with John Piper to be incredibly fascinating. He talks about the sabbath from a New Testament perspective and gives what I think is a very balanced view. Of course, we know that the sabbath was a shadow pointing to Christ and that we who have believed enter into that permanent rest. However, what is the function of the Lord's Day from a New Covenant perspective? How do you guys "keep" this day? I am wary of anyone equating Sunday with the Old Covenant sabbath, however, perhaps some of us go too far in trying to not make the Lord's day a special day in one way or another (besides the fact that it is the day we gather together to worship).
Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1upfCmBy-kA
Post Number: 26
|Posted on Saturday, May 27, 2017 - 3:55 pm: || |
I watched the link you provided. I think Piper confuses matters, because he’s attempting to find a “balance” between opposing views. He retains concepts of Reformed Sunday Sabbatarianism such as holy days and distinction of days, physical rest and recuperation as outcomes of sabbatism, and the force of a creation ordinance. He seemed comfortable with the term “Christian Sabbath,” which is a near approximation of the Lord’s Day with the Sabbath. On the other hand, he courts the libertarian view that the church could very well meet Saturday night and that what we do should be a matter of personal conscience (not that there are no guidelines). His question, “What is God’s will for Sunday?” is a good question, but he answers it with Roman 14 which he acknowledges does not explicitly address the Sabbath. Activities and conduct on the Lord’s Day when Christians assemble together are described in passages such as: Acts 2:41-42; 20:7; 1 Cor 11:17-34; 16:1-2; 1 Tim 2; 5:16-20; 2 Tim 4:1-2. The NT teaching about the relationship of the believer to the Sabbath is described in Col 2:14-17 and Heb 3:7-4:16. In another video by Piper (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnPkttwueVw), he is more perspicacious about the Sabbath, and declares that there is no rest anywhere but in Christ! Now that’s the truth. This is why the Lord’s Day and the Sabbath cannot be equated. Christians do not “keep” the Lord’s Day, because the Lord’s Day is not a command and it is not a holy day. We are commanded to gather together (Heb 10:19-25), and when we do, we are simply obeying the Lord in faith (Heb 10:38-39). You have to stop doing something in order to assemble with like-minded believers, and when you are finished ministering and being ministered to (Gal 6:1-10), you may go back to the life of liberty that Christ has given you (Gal 5:1; Rom 13:14). This is not to say that our time in church is not special. Our attitude should be similar to Jesus when he said to his disciples, “with desire I have desired to eat… with you” (Lk 22:15).
Post Number: 92
|Posted on Monday, May 29, 2017 - 8:18 am: || |
Wow, thanks for a very thorough and thoughtful response! I agree with everything you said. The only question then, would be, the NT use of the term Lord's Day raises questions in my mind about why an entire day is given such a name. Obviously, on the other hand, Christ rose on a particular day, and so a day must be given a designation. It's just that on the face of it, the Lord's Day sounds like an entire day that is special and different for believers than any other day. But I suppose that the special aspect for believers is right there...gathering together, not forsaking the assembly of the saints. Sorry for my stream-of-consciousness ramblings!
Post Number: 59
|Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 8:54 pm: || |
Theologian Jack Cottrell has a unique, thought-provoking take on the subject. http://jackcottrell.com/notes/sunday-the-churchs-special-day/
Post Number: 15500
|Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 10:30 pm: || |
Kaspars, I don't see the "Lord's Day" designation as setting apart a holy day. I remember someone saying once (I wish I could remember who) that John definitely knew the seventh day was the Sabbath, and his specifically saying he was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day was a clear statement that he was not in the Spirit the Sabbath. He was saying, indirectly, that he had shifted his worship to the day the Lord Jesus rose from the dead...a shift that was hugely significant for a Jew! It was not a holy day...just a commemoration day, like Christmas is for us.
In fact, many of the very first Christians also called it the "eighth day". That designation is written about in some of the early church fathers' works.
Terry, thank you for your post above. There are some ways in which John Piper leans toward spiritual disciplines and practices in a way that I find slightly "off", especially coming from the place we have come with the HUGE specter of the law and its misuse driving us to study the new covenant with a depth and thoroughness many people never do.
Terry, I am grateful to you for your deep new covenant study as a way of answering covenant theology and Sunday-sabbatarianism.
Post Number: 792
|Posted on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 1:20 pm: || |
Irina has written a provocative-preview of her chapter that she is presently-writing for the 12th Edition of "Lying for God," on John's use of the Greek word ("KYRIAKE") behind the "Lord's Day" phrase, in Revelation 1:10. We are thrilled to have Irina on board as the newest member of the "Lying for God" team. Elce Thunder Lauriston has also written a new chapter for the 12th Edition. And last but not least, I have written an analysis of the Fiscus Judaicus tax on the universal "Sabbath Abandonment" by Christians in about AD 72, for the 12th Edition of "Lying for God:"
I got to introduce new "Lying for God" team-members Irina (from Serbia) to Elce (from Jamaica) on Facebook. How often does an 'murican cowboy get to do something like that?
Post Number: 33
|Posted on Thursday, June 01, 2017 - 3:20 pm: || |
Kyriake hemera is actually the day of the Church. It's not "commanded" to Christians, it's a day on which the Church gathered to take Lord's Supper (Acts 20:7), on which Christ resurrected (all gospels) and on which the Church was born (Acts 2).
It's not commanded, it was so instituted by the apostles and first-century Church. It's a day for the Church, and the Church are the Christians gathered on Sunday to worship God and read the gospels and maybe take the Lord's Supper, when we feel ready for it. That simple.
It was never a day for rest.
Sunday need not be commanded to us. The Church celebrates its birthday every Sunday, and that's it. It has nothing to do with the Sabbath or rest, it is a totally new concept. Most Christians who belong to 2000-year old Christian faith still rest on Saturdays, but not because of the Sabbath, but because it's a weekend! It's also not commanded, it's your free choice if you'll work on Saturdays or rest! No-one in their communities would ever criticize you for resting on Saturdays... As long as you are there to worship God with them on the next day...
Greetings from Serbia,
Post Number: 27
|Posted on Friday, June 16, 2017 - 6:40 am: || |
Sorry for staying away so long. And thank you for the positive replies. Sabbatarians have been trained to keep Sabbath for 24 hours because it is a Sabbath “Day,” and a day is 24 hours. So when we call Sunday the “Lord’s Day,” Sabbatarians automatically project upon it their concept of keeping a day. Since it is the Lord’s Day—and a day is 24 hours—we need to keep it like a Sabbath. This kind of projecting happens in other ways too. I have heard Sunday Sabbatarians argue that if we gather on Sunday, then we are setting the day apart and keeping it special, just like a Sabbath. Therefore, all Christians are “observing” the Lord’s Day, but some are not observing it as they should (i.e., by a 24 hour sabbatism). And since Romans 14 speaks about “days” that a Christian may or may not observe, then Romans 14 cannot be addressing the Christian’s day of worship, otherwise Paul would be intimating that it is a matter of conscience whether or not one meets together on Sunday. That is, through this logic, they automatically exclude “Christian assembly” from Paul’s discussion. As a result of this maneuver, they insulate themselves against the possibility that they are attaching more religious content to the Lord’s Day than intended. This makes it difficult to explain the subtle difference between the internal compulsion of a non-Sabbatarian to assemble together with like-minded believers on the commemorative day of Jesus’ resurrection and the external compulsion of keeping the Lord’s Day by purposely occupying oneself with specific religious exercises for a designated time period. By your response, Lettlander, I can see that you are appreciating that nuance. Christians are not “keeping the Lord’s Day” as a Jew would “keep Sabbath,” by doing or avoiding certain things that were formerly designed to foreshadow Christ. The truth and substance of such external rites are now to be seen in Jesus Christ who embodies all that “rest” was ever meant to be. To repeat these carnal ordinances is to deny that Jesus fulfilled them. Christians should be assembling together weekly on Sunday for worship, mutual edification, instruction, communion, charity, and prayer, as commanded by Christ through the apostles. As a practical matter, they have to decide when and for how long to congregate. They have to organize their time around a specific format called the “order of worship”; and there is much more for the individual church to decide, as long as it is done “decently and in order” (1 Cor 14:40).
Compared to Judaism, the practice of Christianity should be less burdensome. It is true that to observe the Sabbath, one has to avoid labor for 24 hours. Other holy days were given to Israel and observed as Sabbaths as well. These Sabbaths had an additional set of requirements and traditions to observe. Their religious holy days for the most part consumed the whole day in pious affairs. I can understand that someone leaving this kind of system will have difficulty making a paradigm shift to Christianity. This is why there are so many warnings in the NT literature about legalism and Judaizing. In contrast, Christians “come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, who are written in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks of better things than that of Abel (Heb 12:22-24). Whatever the Jews thought they had in all their ceremonies, there is so much more in the simplicity of Christian fellowship.
I am a staunch advocate of Christian assembly. There are far too many professing Christians that won’t “go to church” on Sunday. They sense no guilt in failing to display externally their belief that they are in Christ, by becoming ‘one bread’ through their participation in the body of Christ, which is the church. They don’t think they’re “forsaking the assembly” because they love Christ and are part of Him wherever they are. This is the mental game that non-Sabbatarians play, but they are taking advantage of God’s grace.
Lastly, if I may, here are two blogs of mine specifically on the topic of the Lord’s Day.