Post Number: 85
|Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 9:11 am: || |
I'm confused. In studying the New Testement and reading the book of Acts, it seemed that the Apostles Peter and Paul also visited and preached at synagogs on "Sabbath" where a lot of Jews were converted to the "Good News" of our savior Jesus Christ. The Apostles also converted many Gentiles to this same message. Did the Jewish converts continue to worship on the "Sabbath" (7th day)and did the Gentile converts worship on the first day of the week (The Living Bible calls the 1st day of the week "The Lord's Day") or did it matter which day (did God give everyone a choice as stated in Romans 14It seems that it would have been a bit confusing to have the non-Jewish converts worship on the same day as the converted Jews because how could people be able to tell the difference between the converted Jews and the non-converted Jews. Also, I heard that most Gentile converts started worshiping on the 1st day of the week in order not to be confused with the Jews who did not believe. Is anyone familiar enough with this bit of biblical history to explain who worshiped on which day and why?
Post Number: 592
|Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 9:45 am: || |
Valerie, here's what I understand from Acts mostly and some tradition. Paul went to the synagogue in each town he traveled to teach about Christ (to the Jews first, then the gentiles...). He was not merely keeping the Sabbath. After a few weeks, he was usually kicked out, and at that point he would meet everyday with the gentiles and others who were interested in hearing him. It is my understanding at one point he rented a hall and carried on teaching there daily. Acts does speak of early Christians gathering on the first day of the week and "breaking bread"...there is argument among some whether that was communion or a meal, but either way, they were gathered together. We have an example of Paul preaching well into the night on one "first day of the week", we have instructions that they should take up their collections on the first day of the week so they wouldn't have to worry about it when he came. That passage gets lots of editorializing by SDAs who try to say this was something they did in their homes. That doesn't make sense to me. Paul was wanting to avoid having to go around and gather his support after he got there, so it seems more logical to me that they were already gathering regularly on the first day, so take the collection when they were already all together to save him from having to go multiplie places after he got there. No SDA I've ever asked to consider that possibility has ever found it remotely possible. Tradition writings (those not from scripture) as early as 110 AD indicate meeting on Sundays was already "norm". They called it Lord's day and there are some references to it being "resurrection day". I have also been told that the early church in Jerusalem, being mostly Jews, did continue to gather on Saturday, but also began to gather on Sunday. I don't think there were any "commands" on which day was the "correct" day to worship, and if we take anything as indisputable fact from Acts it is the statements made that early Christians gathered together EVERYDAY. It is certainly consistent with teachings in Romans 14, Col 2, Gal 3 and Hebr 3-4...which plainly states God has spoken again of another day, and he's called it TODAY.
If you think of the start of any "new" religion, the early years are usually a mix as people try to define norms and "right/wrong" positions. You see that in denominations too. It doesn't surprise me that coming out of the Old Covenant that Jewish Christians didn't comprehend everything that meant. Neither do I think continuing those traditions is wrong ... but for those who were never under those traditions, there were some conflicts on what "laws" they were now under. They weren't to drink blood in church, avoid sexual immorality, and I think one more thing, but it escapes me at the moment. If you read the letters, you realize these are churches struggling with the exact types of questions we find here on this forum...how now shall we live?? B has said it was so obvious to worship on Saturday that none of the early churches questioned it. I think that's a huge leap. There were plants in areas that were not jewish in nature and there were questions about circumcision, so it doesn't seem to be too great of a stretch to think they were pretty clueless about jewish laws and traditions. Besides, they talk about not murdering, which seems far more obvious to me than there being a 'correct' day to worship. I think that reasoning is smoke and mirrors myself to get around scripture's supposed silence in the NT about holy days.
That's a short version. I hope that helps, and others can chime in if I've mispoken anything or left some gaps.
Post Number: 24
|Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 9:53 am: || |
I'm sure others will elaborate further but here's what I've read on the subject.
The New Testament never states that the apostles worshiped on Saturday. They went to the synagogue to convert Jews.
The bible states only once that the Christians met to break bread on Sunday.
The bible uses the word "Lord's Day" once (in Revelation).
The bible is very clear on the fact that the day of worship is not important for Christians. Christ fulfilled the law, including the Sabbath, on the cross. Christ is our Sabbath and by living in Christ we are living in the Sabbath at all times(See pastor Greg Taylor's book on the new covenant. It's the best one I've read so far).
By AD 100, it is clear that Christians were worshiping on Sunday.
There are no records of discussion or controversy about the Sabbath. In fact, the ante-Nicene fathers tell us that Christians do not have a Sabbath day.
The term Lordís Day is used frequently by the ante-Nicene fathers and it always refers to Sunday. The wording, in Greek, is the same as that used in Revelation; so we know that John was writing about Sunday in revelation.
Christians started worshiping on Sunday as a celebration of our Lord's resurrection. SDAs claim that Christians were afraid of being persecuted when the Jews fell out of favor with the roman empire so that's why they changed the day of worship. This is not only a bold-faced lie but it goes against everything in the New Testament as well as the writings of the early church fathers. Remember that all but one of the apostles died for their faith. Remember also that, after the time of the apostles, countless numbers of Christians died because they would not renounce their faith. SDAs try to bring down the Christian church in order to prop up their non-biblical beliefs. It is very sad. The truth is that the early church was quite devoted to Jesus Christ. They did NOT compromise their faith to please the Roman empire; as the SDAs claim.
Post Number: 25
|Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 10:34 am: || |
A little more about Sunday.
What Sunday is NOT:
-a special day of worship
-a special day of rest
-We worship our Lord at all times in everything we do. We rest in him always. He is our sabbath.
-It is important that we meet together as the unified body of Christ. Any day of the week would work just as well but the early Chriatians chose Sunday to meet together and celebrate Christ's resurection. It is a day of unity and celebration in Christ Jesus. It helps us to function as a whole body instead of individual parts(the apostle Paul makes this necessity very clear).
Is there anything wrong with Saturday then?
-No, of course not. But in order to function as members of the body of Christ we should not intentionaly separate ourselves from the rest of the body. If SDAs realized that meeting on Saturday is a choice rather than a commandment, and if they made an effort to stay in contact with the rest of Christiandom, than there would be nothing wrong with Saturday. But the SDA church, in it's current state, is more like a disfunctional arm that decided it did not need the rest of the body, and now that it is no longer part of that body, refuses to aknowledge the truth; that it cannot function without the body.
Post Number: 26
|Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 10:37 am: || |
A little more about Sunday.
What Sunday is NOT:
-a special day of worship
-a special day of rest
-We worship our Lord at all times in everything we do. We rest in him always. He is our Sabbath.
-It is important that we meet together as the unified body of Christ. Any day of the week would work just as well but the early Christians chose Sunday to meet together and celebrate Christ's resurrection. It is a day of unity and celebration in Christ Jesus. It helps us to function as a whole body instead of individual parts (the apostle Paul makes this necessity very clear).
Is there anything wrong with Saturday then?
-No, of course not. But in order to function as members of the body of Christ we should not intentionally separate ourselves from the rest of the body. If SDAs realized that meeting on Saturday is a choice rather than a commandment, and if they made an effort to stay in contact with the rest of Christendom, than there would be nothing wrong with Saturday. But the SDA church, in it's current state, is more like a dysfunctional arm that decided it did not need the rest of the body, and now that it is no longer part of that body, refuses to acknowledge the truth; that it cannot function without the body.
Post Number: 125
|Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 11:51 am: || |
Welcome to our Fourum. You are 100% right in all you say above. You're speaking my language. May I ask you something? Have you been in touch with the Orthodox? Not many people who are not Orthodox study the Ante-Nicene Fathers!:-)
I'm asking because I recently converted to them after leaving the SDA's. My church name is Nikolai, (You may call me Kolya)known in the world as Loren. I see you used the name Vlad. Any significance?
Post Number: 74
|Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 1:22 pm: || |
I started reading the "Fathers" years ago as part of my search for a better understanding of early church development. I agree with you Loren, that not many outside the Orthodox read them. That's a tradegey because those writings contain a wealth of info. I think that there is a slow growth in that direction among some Protestants due to the cross-denominational study that is taking place. For example, one of my favortie authors is Peter Kreeft, a Roman Catholic philosopher. He often discusses the Fathers.
What I see among Protestants in general is a gross ignorance of church history. To the average Christian, church history concerns the New Testament, and then everything since the Reformation. Everything in between is looked at as relatively unimportant.
Post Number: 27
|Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 2:39 pm: || |
I grew up in Romania (until the age of 10) so I have had contact with a lot of Orthodox people. Unfortunately, growing up SDA, I knew only that their religion was bad and from the devil; especially since they ate pork and they didn't believe in the Sabbath or "soul sleep." I was taught that they were communicating with evil sprits. I know I don't agree with some Catholic doctrine but I definitely need do learn more about the Orthodox Church. Iíve never sat down and studied their beliefs so at some point Iím going to have to give both the Catholic and the Orthodox doctrines a more thorough review. Right now I'm attending Calvary Chapel and really enjoy it.
I started reading through the ante-Nicene fathers because Adventist pastors kept lying to me and telling me that Constantine changed the Sabbath to Sunday. I found some information online contradicting the SDA claim and it pointed me back to several people such as Ignatius and Justin Martyr. That's when I found this site:
I'm still just touching the surface of the ante-Nicene fathers. I'm thinking of buying the whole set hardbound, which can be had on ebay for around $130 I think.
As far as my nickname, Vlad, it was given to me by some of my co-workers. I'm in the US Air Force and we like to give each other nicknames. The reason they chose Vlad is because, when they found out I was Romanian, the only thing they could associate with Romania was the legend of Dracula. The legend is a very very embellished version of a real story and the real Dracula's name was Vlad Tepes. Apparently, one of my co-workers watches too many vampire movies; because he was aware of that name. Anyway, they gave me that nickname and it stuck. Since there is already an Adrian on this board, I figured I would put my nickname in parentheses after each post to make it easier to distinguish.
Post Number: 778
|Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 6:56 pm: || |
You are in the Air Force?? So is my son. He is stationed at Dyess AFB in Abilene, TX and is a navigator in a C130 Hercules. Our servicemen and women are very precious to me and I pray for them every day.
God Bless you as you do your job in protecting our country and our freedoms.
Post Number: 223
|Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 8:41 pm: || |
There are several references to Paul saying he was taking the message of Christ to the Jews first. Where better place could he go to find a group of Jews gathered together than at "church" on Sabbath? Later, during his first missionary trip to Pisidian Antioch, when the Jews were filled with jealousy and began contradicting Paul and Barnabas, they told the Jewish and Gentile crowd they were "turning to the Gentiles" since the Jews judged themselves "unworthy of eternal life".
Before Jesus' assension, He instructed His disciples to be "witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth" once they had received the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). It was not until after the violent death of Stephen that they we forced to follow Jesus' direct command. I imagine it felt so much safer to them to stay within their comfort zone. Without the persecution in Jerusalem, the good news of the gospel might not have spread (something I, as a former SDA, find inspirational - the persecution I endure at the hands of my family and friends will actually be used by God to further the good news of Jesus' New Covenant).
Peter was the first disciple to break into the Gentile world following a direct revelation from God that he was to enter the "unclean" world and mingle among non-Jews (Acts 10). The funny thing about Peter is that he slipped backed into his old wishy-washy ways (trying to look "cool" and not standing up for what he truly believed in his heart - just like he did when he denied Christ) and Paul had to set him straight (Gal. 2:11-14).
Valerie, read Galatians after Paul's first missionary trip (Acts 13 and 14) and following the Council Meeting in Jerusalem (Acts 15: 1-35). Paul wrote Galatians to the churches of Iconium, Lystra, Pisidian Antioch and Derbe (the churches he started on his and Barnabas' first missionary trip). "Judaizers" were teaching Paul's new converts that salvation in Christ alone was not enough. They were saying a person also must be circumsised and keep the ceremonial and traditional laws. Paul is saying the bottom line is that it is about Christ living in us NOT the law.
In answer to your question...in a nutshell Paul describes the New Covenant in Galatians 2:20...He is so direct and clear..."I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God..." Paul was a guy who laid it all out straight. If "the day" was to switch to the 1st day of the week, I think he would have said it straight up. If "the day" was to stay on the 7th day, he would have done the same. He did not mince words.
Though it is interesting to know what they actually did, I personally don't care. Apparently the new Jewish converts cared as they made quite a stink about it and we know for a fact that the devil still uses the same issue to drive people away from Jesus today.
I wonder if you are on to something about the Gentiles changing their day of worship from the Jewish Christians (from Jewish Sabbath to the Lord's Day) in order to set themselves apart and as a way to stand up for the New Covenant - much like us former SDAs distancing ourselves from our SDA Sabbath worshipping past? M-m-m-m
Isn't Acts a wonderful book?
Post Number: 28
|Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 9:04 pm: || |
Thank you Diana,
I have been in the AF for about 2 years now. I am a 2nd Lt (about to become 1st). I am stationed in Albuquerque, NM (Kirtland AFB) and work at the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center. I have not been deplyed, but I too am very proud of our men and women serving in Iraq and Afganistan (and very worried for them too). I will keep your son in my prayers as well.
Post Number: 126
|Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 9:47 pm: || |
Hi Dane and 4drian,
I'm so glad that Christians are finaly finding their roots in the Ante-Nicene and Post-Nicene
Fathers. They have a wealth of important information for the Church today.
I found http://www.ccel.org/ a few months ago, and it IS a goldmine.
I bet you're surprised that a Former SDA (I was a cradle SDA till 48, and both my dad & grandads were pastors)could become one of the 'Devil's Followers' in the Orthodox church (LOL)
The fact is just, I found Jesus there, and they do worship Him in Spirit and in Truth with Reverence.
I'm glad you found a spiritual home at Calvary Chapel. I checked out the link you gave. They look really committed.
I'm praying for you and you wife, that the Holy Spirit will guide you with love, and that it won't affect your family life.
And all those on the forum with men in the military, I'm praying for you too. It's really NOT a picnic out there.
God bless you all
Post Number: 594
|Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 6:46 am: || |
I guess I don't beat up on churches too much about lack of early church history because it seems enough to try to get the Bible taught (we spent 9 months in Acts last year, next year are going to focus on Ephesians), but I also began reading the early church fathers to discover if what B was telling me about early church history was true or not. I found a CD with all the church father's writings. It can get expensive to try to have all those materials when you're just barely making ends meet, and the CD had hundreds of books relatively inexpensively. But time to sit down and study it all is still an issue. I can hardly keep my laundry done, but I have a number of studies I hope to get through some day.
I have enjoyed studying what I have and since my son likes history thought we might use them as part of our family devotions, but he's just now getting to the age where I think he would appreciate the information. We just have so much information available to use these days....how can we possibly know it all? That's why I like this forum. We get to experience snippits of all sorts of cultures in Christ. We can all learn from each other's experiences.
Post Number: 1137
|Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 8:06 am: || |
Viad, Will yu get transferred to Vandenberg AFB? If so we can get together. For Thanksgivig we will be on a navy base. For all of you who are in other countries tan the United States I want to tell you that over here Thanksgiving is a very importnt day. It is a time to give thanks for all our bounty. It is the time we reflet on the Founding Fathers who risked so much to start, with no idea of what they were getting into, in a new land so far from their people, culture and native foods. It is truly my favorite holiday.
Post Number: 86
|Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 9:47 am: || |
Thats one thing I really love about this forum. I'm always learning something new. And I must say also that leaving the sda church has made me find Christ (Praise the Lord). All through this thread there is talk about the ANTE-NICENE Fathers. I've never heard of them before now. Who are they? What did they do, And how have they contributed to Christianity? And is there a web-site where I can learn more about them?
Post Number: 50
|Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 9:55 am: || |
I found this description:
"The Ante-Nicene Christian Writers were men who lived and wrote on various subjects from about John the Apostle's death around the late 90's AD to 325 AD when the Council of Nicea was constituted. These men represent a great legacy from the 12 Apostles in the First Century and help to show us what the beliefs of the Early Church were."
I won't vouch for the rest of the site, but this is a good description of who the Ante-Nicene Fathers were.
Another way the Ante-Nicene Fathers are referred to is "Early Church Fathers".
Post Number: 127
|Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 11:59 am: || |
I know what you mean. I downloaded two volumes of writings at the office, each of them over 900 pages. Don't know when I'll get to all of them. The irony of this is the technology we have today. I brought all those works home on my 68MB USB Jump-Drive, about the size of a key ring!
Valery, the REAL HEAVY stuff is at:http://www.ccel.org/ It's real scholarly though.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Post Number: 76
|Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 2:22 pm: || |
I second what Loren says about www.ccel.org. It's a great site, not only for the Early Fathers, it also contains a huge amount of classic Christian literature spanning the last 2000 years.
The group known as the Ante-Nicene Fathers were among those who hammered out clear statements on such doctrines as the Trinity and the Deity of Christ.
WARNING!!! Here is where I may offend some of you. We Prostantants have generally derided the Roman Church and also the Orthodox because both hold tradition in high regard. We on the other hand are very proud of "sola scriptura". However, in my studies and contemplations over the past few years, I have become increasingly convinced that Protestants owe a large debt to some of that same "tradition",albeit in a somewhat different way; we are just not recognizing it.
As I said above, the generations of Christian leaders/scholars immediately following the first century gave to all Christians, interpretations of Scripture that have become standard doctrine.
Another group is the Post-Nicene authors, inluding giants like Augustine, and Anselm, who wrote defenses of the faith that are the equal of anything since. Unfortunately, most Protestants (and Catholics for that matter) have never heard of many of these leaders, much less read their writings.
Look at it this way. When a modern Christian studies not only the Bible, but also is familiar with the major Christian thinkers in history, it's like having a conversation that lasts for 20 centuries. It grounds us in the flow of history and gives us a much larger and grander picture of the Church.
Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now. The teacher in me gets loose once in while.
Grace and peace to all,
Post Number: 1143
|Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 4:10 pm: || |
In the Lutheran we practice a lot of the traditionally Christian traditions (Did that make any sense at all?). We follow the Christian calendar. We observe the 40 days of Advent as well as the 40 days of Lent. Frankly, I like the Chistian traditions. The SDA's I know really like to harp on me about attending a church that is so seeped in tradition. Yet, when I look at the SDA I see a church and its people that mostly have a religion of tradition, the SDA traditions and not Christian traditions going back centuries.
Post Number: 130
|Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 10:50 pm: || |
You took the words out of my mouth. I could not have said it better. You're a real defender of the Faith.
Yours in Christ,