EVANGELICAL ARGUMENTS AGAINST SABBATH
Written by Slawek Gromadzki
The majority of evangelical Christians say today that, yes we should keep the 10 commandments, but except the fourth one. They base their views on the two following key arguments:
- SABBATH IS NOT RESTORED IN THE NEW COVENANT
The first key argument the evangelicals use against the fourth commandment is that unlike all other commandments the Sabbath has not been restored in the New Testament, therefore, it is not part of the New Covenant.
Pastor Jack Sequeira in one of his articles wrote about discussing this issue with a minister from the Church of Christ who used this very argument. So pastor Sequeira asked him to show in the Bible where the all nine commandments are restored in the new covenant beginning with the first one. The minister opened the book of Acts, chapter fourteen, which says that when Paul and Barnabas had performed a miracle in Lystra the people wanted to worship them as Gods. Therefore, Paul and Barnabas immediately said in verse fifteen: “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them” (Acts 14, 15). As soon as he finished reading pastor Sequeira said: “Well, it is very interesting, but what you have just read is the very quotation from the fourth commandment and not from the first!” When the evangelical minister heard that he was horrified. Then, pastor Sequeira turned to Exodus 20:11 and read the following words: “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them and rested the seventh day”. After reading he asked, which commandment was quoted by Paul and Barnabas in the New Testament? “The fourth” was the answer. Therefore, said pastor Sequeira, according to your own argument, the fourth commandment has been restored in the New Covenant. There are more NT verses where the fourth commandment is quoted and therefore restored in the new covenant. One of such texts is found in Revelation chapter fourteen: “And give Him glory who made heaven, and earth and all that in them is”. Here the fourth commandment is restored directly in the context of the everlasting gospel, which happens to be the New Covenant. By the way, it is possible to prove that the Sabbath is the memorial of the gospel and seal of righteousness by faith alone while Sunday keeping represents salvation by works (>). Before the second coming of Christ, breaking the Sabbath will be regarded by God as an outward expression of rejecting His gift of salvation and eternal life by faith in Jesus. Read about Sabbath and the Gospel >
- SABBATH DOES NOT BELONG TO THE NATURAL LAW
The second key argument evangelical Christians use against Sabbath is based on the idea mentioned by Martin Luther. Luther divided commandments into two groups: natural and ceremonial. And addressing another reformer, Karlstadt, who kept the Sabbath, Luther said, that Christians are obliged to keep only those Commandments which belong to the natural law. So, because Sabbath does not belong to the natural but ceremonial law we shouldn’t keep it.
And evangelical Christians use today the same invented by Luther argument. Luther said that the commandments such as: Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, etc., are natural, because by nature and without knowing the law we know we shouldn’t brake them. Therefore, the Sabbath belongs to the ceremonial law because we don’t know by nature we should keep it.
Unfortunately, Luther made a huge mistake here because with this argument he abolished the very foundation of Christian ethics. We human beings look at sin only as an act. God looks at sin as a motive. This is what Jesus brought out in the Sermon on the Mount. The Pharisees said, “We have never committed murder.” And Jesus said, “If you hate anyone without a cause you have already committed murder. Or if you look at a woman and lust after her even though you have not done the act you have committed adultery.”
Keeping this in mind let us now read what Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 7; 7: “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. I had not known sin but by the law for I had not known lust except the law said, Thou shalt not covet.”
Paul is clearly stating here that without reading about it in the Law we don’t know by nature that covetousness is a sin.
So, is the Sabbath commandment the only one we don’t know by nature that we should keep it? No, because the last commandment that forbids us to covet is not natural too!
For instance, if I see a new beautiful car of my neighbour and I covet it, can a policeman arrest me? No, because I haven’t committed the act. However, according in God’s eyes and according to God’s law I have sinned. It is a law that was given by God which hits at the heart of sin.
But, being not yet acquainted with God’s law do I know I am sinning because I am coveting a car which belongs to my neighbour? No, because it is not natural.
Therefore, if the last commandment is not natural then Luther and evangelical Christians should remove it as well, but they don’t. They say only Sabbath commandment should be removed because it is not natural!
IN THE BEGINNING SABBATH KEEPING WAS PART OF A NATURAL INSTINCT
Some time ago back in Poland I had a privilege to translate a series of health lectures by American physician, Dr. San Lee who shared with us a very interesting idea about Sabbath-keeping bees. Later on he repeated the same idea also on 3abn TV. On the basis of his discoveries he postulated that it is very possible that when in the beginning God created perfect Adam and Eve as well as all the animals He also gave them a Sabbath instinct. It means that not only Adam and Eve but also all animals instinctively or naturally rested on each seventh day Sabbath. Therefore, also Sabbath was in the beginning the natural commandment.
Unfortunately, when sin appeared on Earth it introduced death and pain with associated fears and chronic stress, thus leading to a gradual eradication of that natural Sabbath instinct. Nevertheless, Dr. Lee claimed that according to his observations, in some animals especially those that managed to exist in a more peaceful mostly free from dangers and pollution environment this Sabbath instinct was somehow preserved. He said that some time ago (probably in 1980s) he went to Brazil in order to present a series of heath lectures to a group of Adventist pastors. And during one of them, when he spoke about Sabbath instinct idea, one of those Brazilian pastors told him that he knew certain bee-keeper whose bees never worked on Sabbath! When Dr. Lee heard that shocking news he got very excited because although he had suspected that there could be some species still existing that managed to preserve that instinct but he never found any proof for that. So, he was extremely happy and grateful to God that his assumption was correct. CONTINUE READING >