Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Resolution on the Lord's Day...from 1891


When the Baptist Faith and Message Study Committee recommended their changes to the 2000 Southern Baptist Convention, included was a change in article 8 that effectively reduced confessional commitments to the Lord's Day. They made this change without any stated reasons. Even when asked, committee members did not give any rationale for the change. No one was debating this issue prior to that. Their proposed change came out of the blue. When I wrote an article expressing disagreement with this move I was roundly criticized by one stronghold of the conservative resurgence as being in cahoots with the CBF. I have been accused of many things in my life, but that is the only time I have been lumped with the CBFers. I took it as an (unsuccessful) attempt to silence dissent.

In the article, I made the following observations about the change:


[It] represents a definite break with our theological heritage as Southern Baptists. John Broadus, James Boyce, John Dagg, B. H. Carroll, Williams Rutherford, E. C. Dargan, and many other early Southern Baptist statesmen, in addition to numerous confessions of faith, can all be cited in support of regarding the Lord's Day as a special day to be set apart by Christians in order to take a break from typical, daily responsibilities, and to give oneself to concentrated efforts in worship, devotion and spiritual service. There are differences as to whether or not this day should be called the Christian Sabbath, but there is great consensus regarding the sanctity of the day itself.

Why the study committee deemed it wise to break with our heritage at this point, as it was adequately expressed in the 1963 statement, remains a mystery. Committee members have left this question unanswered. If it is because the committee believes our forefathers misunderstood the Bible at this point, then this should have been expressly stated in the presentation of their report. No one else in our Southern Baptist family, prior to the publication of the committee's proposed changes, has made this issue a matter of debate.


My recent reading through some old SBC resolutions further confirmed that the BFM 2000 departed from Southern Baptist heritage in its revision of article 8. Consider the following simple, unequivocal statement that was adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1891.


WHEREAS, Great pressure is being brought to bear on the management of the World's Fair to openly and officially desecrate the Lord's day in full view of the whole world; therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, That the Southern Baptists, in convention assembled, representing a constituency of 1,235,765 Baptists, respectfully petition to the World's Fair management to close its gates on Sunday, thus giving due respect to the God of nations and to that Christian sentiment that underlies our civilization.

RESOLVED FURTHER, That a copy of this preamble and resolutions be cordially forwarded from this Convention to the managers of the World's Fair.

From the annual meeting of the SBC in 1891, which met in Birmingham, Alabama.


Southern Baptists took a step away from Scripture and our heritage and toward confessional conformity to our post-Christian culture by the revision of article 8 of the BF&M. It is unfortunate that there was no discussion of this issue before and there has been no explanation of it since. Healthy denominational life would allow not only for such dialogue but also for friendly dissent.

50 comments:

Sojourner said...

Odd, isn't it? I am currently working through the London Baptist Confession of 1689 where it deals with the "Christian Sabbath." What has astounded me more than anything else is the immediate accusal that keeping the Lord's Day equals legalism. How can we admire, champion, and appeal to our "Baptist Heritage" and slight their teaching on such an important point? We should at least give them the benefit of the doubt and work through the theology. If the writers of the LBC 1689 are correct about the Lord's Day, then it is no more legalistic to appeal to it as a standard than it is to decry fornication.

Tim said...

Tom,

I tend to agree with you on this one. However, there will be a cry concerning such passages as Col. 2:16-17 Rom. 14:5-6, etc. How would you respond to such people, rather than simply citing a confession, or fathers of the SBC. What would be your Scriptural exegesis on this matter. BTW, I do attempt to set apart the day:)

Tom said...

Tim:
I think that consideration of the setting and context of the Colossians passage diminishes its attraction to those who use it against advocates of observance of the Lord's Day. The Judaistic/ascetic-gnoticism that Paul is combatting included an adherence to OT forms and ceremonies, thus his language in the last half of v. 2:16--"festival, new moon or sabbaths." These 3 terms are found together in various places in the OT to designate ceremonial days that old covenant believers were to keep (2 Chronicles 31:3; Leviticus 23; Nehemiah 10:32-33).
It was on these ceremonial observances that the errorists were insisting in their efforts to hijack the Colossian believers. Paul refutes them by showing that Christ has brought all this to an end (v. 14), ushering in the era of the new covenant when such ceremonial observances are no longer obligatory. They were shadows that reflected the reality that is Christ who has now come (v. 17). In short, these verses are warning us not to let anyone judge us for not keeping old covenant ceremonial requirements about food, drink or days. This passage then sheds light on Romans 14.
The positive instructions regarding the keeping of a day, stemming from the 10 Commandments and the indications we have from Apostolic example of honoring the first day of the week comprise the material for constructing a Christian or new covenant view of the Lord's Day.

J.D. Rector said...

Tom: I find it rather absurd that you were accused of being a "CBFer". I was told recently that I was being a "CBFer" for disagreeing with the new policies of the IMB. So Tom... welcome to the club!! Mind you... I am not a "CBFer" in practice or belief and I know you are not as well.

I am very concerned that there is an undercurrent within our denomination to quelch anyone who disagrees with the status quo and the leadership.

In prayer for my SBC denomination,
J.D. Rector

sclarke said...

This is a sad departure from the Biblical mandate to remember the Lord's Day. I think that most Christians are aware of the teaching in earlier confessional statements but are unsure how to practice this observance or are confused by the scripture cited by Tim and the understanding that Christ is the new sabbath rest for CHristians. I am grateful for Founders to point this out and to correct Dr. York's teaching in this area, since the Abstracts of Principle seems to recognize the idea of a Lord's Day to be observed.

GeneMBridges said...

Tom,

I will write your detractors that accused you of being a CBF man immediately. Everybody knows your loyalities are really with the Alliance of Baptists.

;)

Hey, a little humor never hurts, okay...

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Dr. A,

There is no explicit teaching in the Bible to refrain from work or entertainment on Sunday. Neither is it strongly implied. The idea of treating Sunday as if it were the Sabbath is a very weak position biblically.

I do agree that article 8 should not have been changed without good reason, but I do not equate the change with an unfaithfulness to scriptures, only an unfaithfulness to Baptist tradition.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

Darel said...

I agree with Jeff.

But I see Tom's point that there was no discussion at all, and that it should at least have been allowed without name-calling.

Here is my advice when dealing with this issue, a quote:

"One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord."

Tom said...

Jeff (and Darel, though my comments are in response to Jeff's):

Obviously, I disagree. Your sweeping, unqualified denial of the existence of even strong implication that work or entertainment is to be avoided indicates that this is an area that awaits your further study. The entertainment question is more difficult due largely to issues of definition but the work question (works of "piety, charity and neccessity being excepted") is not so easily dismissed. Let me give you just 2 lines of biblical thought that merit consideration.

1. Are the 10 Commandments still authoritative for today? Do they have the force of moral law for creatures living on this side of Calvary? If not, then would you argue that it is wrong to regard them as God's law and to warn men of the danger of living in violation of them? Assuming that to be the case, then to what do you appeal for such warnings and admonitions? Further, from the curse of what law are we rescued by the death of Christ? In front of what law are we justified, if not the law inscribed by the finger of God on tablets of stone? The implications of rejecting any binding authority for the 4th commandment far exceed whether or not a person can watch football on Sunday.

2. On what day did God rest from His creative work? The seventh day of creation...which was Adam's and Eve's first day of existence. Is the 7 day week simply a social convention shaped by an outdated Jewish calendar? Would you say that there is no requirement to rest one day in seven, so that a man could work 60 10-hour days straight washing cars to the glory of God?

I grant that mere tradition holds no authority for us in faith or conduct, but it should give us pause if we find ourselves taking a position that is diametrically opposed to teachers in the church of Christ throughout history who are regarded as serious students and lovers of the Bible. This becomes doubly significant when such teachers are found from various streams of evangelical, orthodox thought (ie. Lutheran, Calvinist, Arminian, Free, etc.) as well as from the other major streams of historic Christianity--Romanism and Eastern Orthodox. Jeff, the position you have articulated does just that.

I have not asked these questions expecting you to supply answers here, but simply to point out that the issue is not as easily dismissed as you suggest. They are the kinds of questions that should be considered as one searches for truth from God's Word on this issue.

Blessings,
tom

Tom said...

Jeff:
Here is a helpful article on this from Mark Devine at MWBTS: http://www.founders.org/FJ24/article3.html

Tim said...

Tom,

Thanks for your answers. I am in agreement with you, yet I have not heard able men today within the SBC actually defend the Lord's Day issue publicly. In all honesty, I do think there are good questions raised though concerning the moral implications of the Sabbath or fourth commandment issue. As far as we can tell the Scriptures don't say one way or the other whether those before the institution of the fourth commandment observed a Sabbath. Was this a moral issue for Abraham? Noah? Isaac?

I think the other side makes a point when they say and would agree with your assessment concerning your explanation of the Colossians and Romans passages. However, they would also point to the fact that those were shadows, and now the reality of those shadows has come. This would inevitably lead to the questions concerning sacrifices, the Temple, and all sorts of types and shadows, which are fulfilled in Christ.

Therefore, in my humble opinion, I think it would be a very good thing to have a good public debate to hear the issues and responses to them with lots of interaction. For if this is truly a moral issue, then the least of our worries is what the BFM2000 actually says. The issue is the God is clear in His commands and that a violation of those commands is sin and thus we should not look to form a committee over this but rather call people to repentance.

However, I have noticed that many who would hold, even such as you and I do, in setting the day apart, that they then go out to eat and indulge in other daily activities which support others working. Isn't that hypocritical? Once again, thanks for your response.

Tim said...

BTW I am going to check out the article you posted. Thanks

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Dr. A,

Wow! You took the very narrow statement I made and made it very broad indeed. You have me throwing out the 10 commandments and working my employees 7 days a week.

I did not say there is not a clear command to refrain from work on SATURDAY. Neither did I say it is healthy for a man to work 7-days-a-week, in violation of God's plan for 1 day of rest in seven. I simply stated that there is no explicit teaching in the Bible to refrain from work on SUNDAY.

Yes, there is wide and deep traditional Christian teaching that Sunday should be a day of worship and rest, in which Christians should not join in the world's entertainments. I don't argue for a minute that there is not, nor that such a position is not the best one for the Christian to take. I respect and often consult our Christian ancestors to learn their interpretations, as a check against my own lack of understanding.

Please take my narrow statement only as I intended it:

There is no clear biblical command for Christians to refrain from work or entertaiment on SUNDAY, nor is it strongly implied. That is, there is no record in Acts or command in the epistles about church members not going to work on Sunday.

If there is much Christian history of taking Sunday as a day of rest, but it is not clearly taught in the Bible, then perhaps it should not be dogmatically expressed in our statement of faith.

Thank you for the opportunity to learn from you on this subject.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

ScriptureSearcher2 said...

Beloved Brother, as an aside, you mention the "false accusation" and your correct assessment of it ~

A failed attempt to silence
friendly opposition and
intimidate any and all who
offer honest objections.


It is the same old song and
dance routine that the "distinguished elders"
have used through the years!


And when I was much, much younger and less acquainted with how the denominational machinery (politics on both the state and national levels) functioned, I was victimized and hushed into
silence!



"Don't rock the boat" is a warning I heard often from certain individuals, many of whom are now dead, 20 years prior to the start of the conservative revival and reformation that began in Houston in 1979.


Persevere! You young men are not any braver but far more informed of the various "power plays" used to browbeat and intimidate!

Persevere! Press on! Don't bend and don't bow without a
decent opportunity to speak and be heard.

Tom said...

Jeff:

I did not mean to accuse you of the things addressed in my questions. What I was trying to do is to show that this is a subject that is indeed much broader than the statement that you made. The biblical-theological concerns behind those questions inform the statement that you made.

What I sometimes see happening is this: people take the difficult issues surrounding the 4th commandment and use them as a theological justification for removing that commandment--and sometimes the 10 commandments as a whole--from the position of moral authority for new covenant believers. I find that unhelpful and ultimately to undermine vital elements of our faith.

Again, I am not accusing you of such, but taking your statement as an indicator of the need to see this one issue (Sunday, Lord's Day, Sabbath) in its broader biblical context.

Blessings,
tom

Darel said...

Snap.

Even though I agreed with Tom's complaint in the post I got side-swipped. I feel... strangely awesome.

Anyway, my concern was that we ought not to make our judgements based on which day of the week a man chooses to join with others in worship, or whether he does so every day. That concern is expressed by Scripture. So I feel confident that is a justifiable concern.

We ought not to be argumentative over such a thing, according to the explicit command of Scripture.

That was my only point. "To his own master he stands or falls."

And I apologize if some of my stuff splashed needlessly on Jeff by proximity of posted comments.

Rick Thompson said...

I always thought we didn't work on Saturday because that's when the Sooners play.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Dr. A,

You are absolutely right that the Christian observance of the Sabbath or the Lord's Day or no day at all is definitely an area that awaits my further study. Actually, I believe that every subject in the Bible awaits further study on the part of every believer.

Thank you for the link to Dr. Devine's article on the Sabbath. With all due respect to both your and Dr. Devine's study on this subject, I find part of the argument he makes weak. I am open to additional information on this point.

You both state that the Sabbath was mankind's first day. Do you mean this was mankind's first FULL day? Saying it was Adam's and Eve's "first day" seems like a weak premise from which to start a line of reasoning. Adam experienced too much on the sixth day, including his work of naming all the animals, for you to say that the sabbath was his "first day." If you are willing to restate it as mankind's "first full day," I'm willing to go along from there.

But the next step in Dr. Devine's logic is that the Sabbath was originally the last day of God's week but the first day of man's. Why, then, does the Old Testament still refer to the Sabbath as the sixth day, and the New Testament still refer to the day after the Sabbath as the first day? According to the scriptures, Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, by both Eastern and Western, by both ancient and modern reckoning. The scriptures clearly place the first day of the week one day after the Sabbath. To say somehow that the first day of the week is really the sabbath just doesn't seem to agree with the Old Testament or New Testament language on this subject.

You raised the point that people often throw out the authority of the 4th or even all 10 Commandments for the Christian based on difficulties surrounding the Sabbath/Sunday/Lord's Day issue. I really need to understand this issue better, especially in light of James's ruling in the Acts 15 controversy. He said that Gentile Christians were not required to be circumcised and to obey the law of Moses. How do this ruling and the 10 Commandments work, taken together?

My preacher once said . . . (Yes, I hate hearing those words, also!) . . . that all of the 10 Commandments except the 4th are restated in the New Testament, but the 4th is not. Is this true, and if so, does it bear on this question?

Dr. A, I say this with great Christian love for you and all the respect you deserve as a long-serving Christian teacher: Every time that I have discussed this issue with good Christians who strongly hold to abstaining from work on Sunday, they seem to jettison their normal standards for biblical proof, and will take any hint, implication, or vaguely related teaching to support their ideas on the Lord's Day. Are you and Dr. Devine doing the same? Where in the epistles is the teaching, "Keep the first day of the week as the Sabbath"? It isn't there. Where is the record in Acts of the disciples refraining from work on Sunday or referring to the Lord's Day as a sabbath? It isn't there.

I've already learned from this exchange, and I'm ready to learn all I can from you on this subject. I'm even ready completely to change my present, tentative position, but only as a result of a convincing argument from the scriptures, which I don't believe I have yet seen.

Thank you for your patience with me.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

Sojourner said...

Pastor Tom,

As I mentioned earlier, I am having this discussion over at my place, and what you mentioned in Point #1 in your reply to Jeff is exactly what I am experiencing. I am being told that if I (or the LBC 1689's) insist that there is a Lord's Day that we must observe, then I have to keep all the law, dietary ones included. The answer, apparently, to number one for this is that the Ten Commandments have no more jurisdiction over the believer.

Sojourner said...

Ummm...jurisdiction is a loaded word. Let's say that others report that the Ten Commandments have no further usefulness to the believer.

Tom said...

Jeff:

I learned years ago that I am not able to helpfully discuss the Sabbath/Lord's Day issue outside of the larger issue of law and gospel. The questions I posted earlier arise out of that understanding. If you are asking me for one verse that proves Sunday in the Christian Sabbath or that Christians should not work on the Lord's Day, I readily admit, I will not be able to give you one. That does not mean that the Bible leaves the issue unaddressed however, as the doctrine of the Trinity would illustrate (no one verse conclusively teaches it, but it is the necessary conclusion of what many verses do teach).
I believe that Jesus affirms the Sabbath when He declares that He is "Lord of the Sabbath" (Mark 2:28) and in the verse before states that the Sabbath was made for man, not merely for Jews. A converted man is still a man. By asking for a verse exclusively out of the NT epistles or Acts, are you suggesting that if something is not taught or commanded there then it is not authoritative for us now? Along these same lines I think I would ask your preacher if Christians are only obligated to believe and do what is explicitly taught in the New Testament. Would he--or you--answer that question in the affirmative?
I think you mispoke when you said that James "said that Gentile Christians were not required to be circumcised and to obey the law of Moses" in Acts 15. The letter specifically mentions things in "the law of Moses" that Gentiles are to obey. The real difficulty is understanding why those particular 4 things are mentioned and what "sexual immorality" (porneia) means there. That difficulty, however, is not precisely germane to our discussion because it is quite clear that the Jerusalem Council recognized and publicized that a Gentile need not become a Jew in order to be a Christian and that it did so without suggesting declaring that the 10 Commandments no longer obtain for new covenant believers.
Blessings,
tom

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Dr. A,

I think I understand what you wrote about needing to grasp the relationship between the law and the gospel in order to understand the Lord's Day (and several other things). I definitely need to understand this relationship better, and am very open to learning about it.

I did not misspeak (mistype) in regards to the Acts 15 passage. I was careful to quote it precisely (NIV).
-----
(Acts 15:5-6) Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses." (6) The apostles and elders met to consider this question.
-----
Wasn't the conclusion of James that only certain items in the law, which were of special significance (why is debatable, I understand) needed to be obeyed? If the question of having to obey the law of Moses was answered in the negative, except for these certain exceptions, then how did the 10 Commandments get excepted, too? (Please understand that I am ready to believe that the 10 Commandments are still authoritative for us. I am open to being convinced/taught/helped.)

Certainly we are not limited to believing or obeying only what is expressed verbatim in the New Testament. (Again I feel you are putting words in my mouth.) But when we make a substantial move such as, "The Sabbath is now the first day of the week rather than the sixth," shouldn't we only do so on very clear biblical instruction? I might instruct women to wear hats or men to cut their hair short on the basis of biblical material that is debatable or merely implied. These are very small matters. But changing the meaning of the 4th commandment is a weighty matter, and not to be done except on compelling biblical teaching.

The starting point of this discussion was the question of whether or not the Lord's Day as a day of rest from work should be included as a point in our statemnent of faith. I still look for biblical evidence clear enough for us to stand on.

Thank you very much for working with me on this.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

Ben Hedrick said...

Jeff,
Thanks for your candid and honest discussion! In thinking through this issue myself, I found Pastor Sam Waldron's writings very helpful (http://www.samwaldron.us/Papers.html the Lord's Day issue is found in parts 2,3,4 of his "A Critical Introduction to New Covenant Theology"). He pointed out the Lord's Day theology of John. John does not just coin the term "Lord's Day" in reference to the first day of the week in Revelation, he explicitly records Jesus' post-resurrection appearances as occuring on the first day of the week. Of special note to Waldron is the mention of "eight days later" in John 20:26, which as a Jew counts, would be the next Lord's Day (the NIV translates "one week later". Waldron ultimately concludes that John takes special care to notice Jesus' appearances on the first day of the week because he understands Jesus, as the Lord of the Sabbath, to be changing the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day.

Also worthy of consideration is the Bibilcal Theological theme of creation and new creation as it relates to the Sabbath. The pre-resurrection Sabbath was a memorial to creation, while the Lord's Day Sabbath can be understood within those categories as a memorial and an anticipation of the New Creation which was inaugurated by Christ and will be fulfilled at his return.

These things have helped me greatly and I highly recommend Pastor Waldron's writings in this regard. He doesn't go into the creation/new creation theme, but his discussion John's Lord's Day theology is very helpful.

By Grace through Faith,
Ben

Greg Welty said...

*A Primer on the Sabbatarian Controversy*

The basic Sabbatarian argument is fairly simple:

[1] Non-Sabbatarians already accept the principle that moral obligations can be grounded in the normativity of the creation week itself (Mt 19:3-6, 1Ti 2:12-13, 1Co 11:8-10, Eph 5:31).

[2] Ex 20:8-11 teaches, among other things, that the Sabbath is grounded in the normativity of the creation week itself.

[3] Therefore, non-Sabbatarians should become Sabbatarians.

Now, the inevitable objections ensue. For instance, should Col 2:16-17 be interpreted in light of Ex 20:8-11, or is it the other way around, and if so, what are the consequences? That's why the discussion gets complicated. But I think this can be said for just about any biblical doctrine under the sun. We believe that the biblical basis for justification by faith alone, and the deity of Christ, is fairly simple. But once you start interacting with classic objections to those doctrines, the matter becomes very complex indeed. And yet I am sure that we teach both of those doctrines to our congregations, along with many others.

The "simple non-Sabbatarian position" says that Col 2:16-17 is abolishing all Sabbath observance whatsoever.

The "complex Sabbatarian position" says that Col 2:16-17 is only forbidding judging others with respect their keeping of the *seventh day*. This position is of course drawing a distinction not found in the text itself. But it appears compatible with the text. More than that, it preserves a vital principle found in Ex 20:11 (the normativity of the creation week for grounding culturally and covenantally transcendent moral obligations), a principle the non-Sabbatarian already accepts with respect to Mt 19:3-6, 1Ti 2:12-13, 1Co 11:8-10 and Eph 5:31.

So the Sabbatarian tries to argue his position from Ex 20:8-11. If you're convinced, on the basis of that argument, that the *fundamental* Sabbath obligation is grounded in the normativity of the creation week, and therefore in realities which transcend the Mosaic Covenant itself, then you must interpret Col 2:16-17 accordingly. That passage can't be abolishing the *fundamental* Sabbath obligation, but only one aspect of it.

We make this hermeneutical move all the time, BTW. Texts that appear to teach that Jesus was not a real man, are interpreted in light of other texts. Texts that appear to teach that God has a body, are interpreted in light of other texts. Texts that appear to teach that God repents, are interpreted in light of other texts. Texts that appear to teach that we are justified at least partly on the basis of our own works, are interpreted in light of other texts. Thus, the Sabbatarian isn't making some scandalous move here that contravenes sola scriptura or something. It's an ordinary, garden variety, hermeneutical maneuver.

Three objections. First, one may object that Dt 5 does not give the 'creation' reason for the Sabbath command, but it gives the 'redemption' reason. God has delivered Israel, and so they are to deliver others, i.e. give them rest. This is entirely correct. But this data does not pre-empt the creation reason in Exodus. Indeed, perhaps it strengthens it. If the reception of a gracious but outward and national redemption was a good reason to observe a Sabbath rest unto God, how much more is the reception of a gracious but inward and individual redemption a better reason to observe a Sabbath rest unto God?

Second, one may object that Christ has fulfilled the Sabbath, in that the Sabbath points to Christ as our Sabbath rest. Therefore, the Sabbath is abolished completely in light of Christ. But the assumption inherent in this objection -- that redemptive-historical fulfillment is antithetical to continuing moral obligation -- is specious. For instance, Paul is clear that marriage is a type of the relationship between Christ and the church, and yet there is no thought that this redemptive-historical fulfillment is at odds with the continuing sanctity of the marriage bond, and the moral obligation to preserve it.

Third, one may object that the Sabbatarian command was a ceremonial command and not a moral command. In reply, Sabbatarians take it as partly ceremonial (this is what gets abolished in Col 2:16-17) and partly moral (this is what is revealed in Ex 20:8-11). The question is whether the non-Sabbatarian characterization of the Sabbath as *wholly ceremonial* comports with its being grounded in the normativity of the creation week. Sabbatarians will say no.

Tim said...

Greg,

Nice analysis. I am curious though. Again, if the issue is truly a moral one, then why is it an issue of just what is in a doctrinal statement. Why is there not simply a call to repentance. Again, we would not argue about forming a resolution against adultery. It's a simple issue of morality. I do believe the Lord's Day issue is not as simple as has been pointed out. Yet if it is a moral issue, then truly I would think it would require a much more bold cry for repentance first and then a setting of the record straight.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Dr. Welty,

Thank you for helping in this. You seem to be demonstrating the case for the Christian keeping the SABBATH. But that is not the issue Dr. A raised. He raised keeping The Lord's Day, SUNDAY, as if it is the Sabbath. That is the move I'm talking about, the moving of the Sabbath from the 7th day to the 1st day.

Dear Ben,

Thank you for the link to that resource. I'll go read it right after this.

John did not use Jewish, but Roman time markers in his account of the trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. Either way, how can you be talking about Sunday evening (Jewish Monday), then say "meta octo hemera" and have it to be the next Sunday?

Love in Christ,

Jeff

Disciple said...

Thank you so much for your comments on this important matter. It seems to me that the revision of the article on the Sabbath is a caving in to our society's secularization of Sunday and is consistent with the Seeker Sensitive philosophy of removing offensive elements of the gospel so that we can attract unbelievers. I remember reading long ago a sermon by B. H. Carroll, for many years Pastor of First Baptist Church, Waco, Texas, and founder of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in which he urged the members of his church not to attend the State Fair of Texas at all since it was open on Sundays.
The leaders of our convention said that we were making changes in the Statement of Faith in 2000 to make it clear that we are not succumbing to cultural and secular influences in areas regarding marriage, homosexuality, and other issues. So in light of those changes and comments, it was amazing to me that they would then dilute the article on the Sabbath, which seems to me to be an alarming capitulation to the forces of secularization and worldliness.
Thanks again for your considered and courageous stand on this issue.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Friends,

I've been reading up on this subject today and yesterday, and I feel like I'm drinking from a fire hose. Here's the thing that resounded with me the strongest so far:

The Lord's Day is mentioned in the New Testament, but exactly how we celebrate it is not specified. Therefore we look to the Old Testament to understand how one celebrate's the Lord's Day, and we find the instructions in the Sabbath commandment. I'm not completely sold on this yet, but at least it makes sense to me.

Thanks to everyone for helping me along.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

Greg Welty said...

Tim,

I guess I'm not following your reasoning here. Who is saying it is "an issue of *just* what is in a doctrinal statement" (emphasis mine)? Perhaps it's many issues at once. Perhaps what's needed is doctrinal persuasion on the issue *and* a call to repentance. Indeed, it's difficult to issue a call to repentance if others are sincerely convinced that the Bible doesn't teach the duty in question. Far better to use available means to first persuade others of the rightness of the position in question, so that the call to repentance has some intelligent foundation. An analogy: when missionaries go to a culture in which polygamy is deeply imbedded, they don't just go around telling people to repent. There is a commitment to teaching the biblical view of the matter, so that the call to repentance can be heard with clarity.

You ask, "Why is there not simply a call to repentance"? But couldn't the same question be asked with respect to clarifying the issues with respect to male/female roles? These are moral duties as well, and they were addressed in the BFM 2000. But not with "simply a call to repentance". So I'm wondering why you're holding the Sabbath issue to a different standard. But perhaps I've misread your reasoning here.

Jeff,

Yes, the move from Saturday to Sunday is also part of the question. But it can't be meaningfully addressed unless the moral nature of the one-day-in-seven principle is defended. Then, once it's clear that the seventh day *has* been rescinded in the NT, we can cast about for a suitable replacement day on which the abiding moral duty terminates, and Sunday looks more plausible than any other candidate :-) But there's no point in casting about for a replacement day in the first place, if the fundamental Sabbath command is regarded as ceremonial rather than moral. So I think there's a proper order to these things.

Tim said...

Greg,

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to imply that each one was not in favor of that, but honestly, until I had actually studied the issue of the Sabbath, the fourth commandment and the Lord's Day, I had never ever heard one positive thing about the Sabbath in any sermon. Yet, that's all that I saw from the Scripture. Point is, it seems the conditioning in regards to a day of rest is that it is just like what was pointed out previously: that it somehow imposes itself on our personal liberty. The point I meant to convey was that I have not heard anything in the SBC (I'm sure someone has spoken of it recently), but as far as the convention itself I don't recall it being brought up. After all, was there no serious discussion of the issue during the committee who revised the BFM2000? Does that help make my point clear? It's not that I don't believe in instruction, I do, but I'm wondering about the changes coming from men who are teachers. I realize we all can err, but I am interested in finding out what exactly provoked them to change such a stand.

Greg Welty said...

Hi Tim,

OK. Then I guess you have many of the same concerns that Tom expressed in his original post, with respect to the process behind the BFM revision. I think these are good concerns, but -- being a philosopher -- I'm fairly historically challenged, and so I'm as clueless on this issue as anyone else :-)

DOGpreacher said...

Would some one please tell me why Paul had not been clued in (concerning the "Lord's Day")when the gentiles asked him to come preach to them the "next sabbath" in Acts 13:42-44 ?

Wouldn't this have been the perfect time to teach them that they were now to 'keep' the "Lord's Day", and they did not need to continue Judaizing by keeping the Sabbath? NO,...(v.44)..."And the next sabbath came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God."

To sclarke: Anyone can make unsubstantiated claims, and you made that evident in the first sentence of your comment. There is NO "scriptural mandate" for 'keeping' the first day of the week. There are only eight mentions of the "first day" of the week in the New Testament, and NONE of those "mandate" a 'keeping' of the day.

We are sounding on this subject like a bunch of arminians would when discussing election. Let's not be afraid to be as exegetically sound on this tradition...uh..I mean..subject as we are on the Doctrines of Grace!

Try holding your presuppositional position on this subject up for close examination by the word of God alone. It is a hard thing to do, but oh so rewarding. When one does this, you never lose. If my position is right, then it is an exercise that provides solid affirmation, and all glory to God. IF I am wrong, then this exercise will be a reproof & rebuke to my sincerely (yet, wrong) held beliefs, and exhortation unto correct doctrine and practice. And THAT...ALL to the glory of God.

grateful for grace...

I write this with no disrespect intended to any who may differ, but from a sincere heart regarding God's word.

Tom said...

DOGpreacher:

Your comments made me go back and read several of those that have been left previously. I surely don't read the dialogue here the way you do. You said, "We are sounding on this subject like a bunch of arminians would when discussing election. Let's not be afraid to be as exegetically sound on this tradition...uh..I mean..subject as we are on the Doctrines of Grace!"
I rather think the conversation has sounded more like trinitarians discussing what the Bible says about the being of God. Such a dialog necessarily requires that we engage in the work of biblical and systematic theology. I have had Jehovah's Witnesses repeatedly use this kind of argument regarding the Trinity of God: "The word 'trinity' is not even in the Bible. it's just a tradition." When one tries patiently to show that what the Bible does specifically say at various points forces us to the conclusion of the triunity of God, they ridicule the effort and repeat the mantra that if we would just read the Bible without the presuppositions of our traditions, we would never come up with such an idea.
Your comments illustrate why I find that discussing the Sabbath/Lord's Day issue is rarely fruitful apart from the larger discussion of law/gospel. Greg gave an excellent, brief explanation of the abiding significance of the sabbath principle from within the law/gospel framework. I certainly could not improve on it. The fact that in the NT we do not have a *simple* declaration of a doctrine or a duty that we can point to does not mean that no such doctrine or duty exists. To claim otherwise is to put one's self in an untenable position.
Brother, you refer to your position but do not spell it out. Would you mind doing so? It could be helpful in the ongoing dialogue.
Thanks,
tom

Greg Welty said...

DOGpreacher (Gregg Hall),

Thanks for the interaction. You appear to give an argument from silence, based on Paul's failure to teach the people at the Pisidian Antioch synagogue that the Sabbath has been replaced by the Lord's Day. On your view, since Paul failed to teach this replacement, it is unlikely that there was a replacement.

Now, arguments from silence are not always fallacious, but if they work they only work in specific contexts. As D. A. Carson puts it, "Scholars usually recognize that arguments from silence are weak; but they are stronger if a case can be made that in any particular context we might have expected further comment from the speaker or narrator" (_Exegetical Fallacies_, 2nd. ed., pp. 138-139).

Notice that, in this particular context, your argument from silence proves too much. Paul clearly believed -- at the very least -- that the Jewish Sabbath had been rescinded (Col 2:16-17). Does his failure to remind the synagogue members of *that* particular fact in Ac 13 mean that he "had not been clued in" concerning his own doctrine? :-) So we see that it doesn't follow from the fact that Paul failed to mention something, that therefore he didn't believe in it. Your argument from silence would militate against the teaching of Col 2:16-17, which is as good an argument as any that the argument is a weak one.

By all appearances, Paul is doing Jewish evangelism in his preaching at the synagogue, and wants to focus on the gospel first. There would be plenty of time, after that foundation was laid, to address these particular matters. So I don't see anything in this passage militating against a Lord's Day view. If Paul's silence on Sabbath issues doesn't imply that the Jewish Sabbath hasn't been rescinded, neither does it imply that the Lord's Day isn't the replacement. Paul's silence doesn't imply much of anything at all.

Interestingly enough, notice throughout Acts that Luke uses the term "Sabbath" to refer to the seventh day (1:12, 13:14, 13:42, 13:44, 16:13, 18:4). But Acts was written in a post-ascension context, and Luke was a traveling companion of Paul. He was surely aware of the rescinding of the Jewish Sabbath. So why does he continue to use that word in his narrative? Perhaps it is simply a shorthand reference to "the seventh day," without any heavy theological implications. This would also help to explain why a great issue isn't made of it in Ac 13.

deusvult2 said...

Man, what an accusation from many SB's on the Lord's Day. It's legalistic? How hypocritical, this is coming from the same people who condemn drinking and smoking on not entirely Biblical grounds. I guess they like picking and choosing their legalsims...

Darel said...

Greg W,

I appreciate your deeper explanations of this subject.

However, I'm having a hard time understanding the dismissal of the "one-two" argument made by Paul.

A) Paul specifically says that observance of any particular day is a matter of freedom for the Christian.

B) He neither enforces, corrects, rebukes or attacks anyone or any group on the basis of whether they meet on the Sabbath or on Sunday, or any other particular day.

It is not merely an "argument from silence". It is the combination of both express freedom on this particular issue, and lack of rebuke.

We might make a weaker argument from the fact that the Law no longer holds us, from Galatians (and other passages), and argue well and soundly on this issue. Yet, we find that argument unneccessary, since we have explicit instructions (Rom 14) and a lack of explicit rebuke. Not only a lack of rebuke, but instructions that we should not rebuke others on this issue.

As such, I think this entire topic boils down to this: As Baptists, are we comfortable in requiring agreement on this topic, on which we have been explicitly commanded to give freedom to the individual Christian?

Greg Welty said...

Hi Darel,

I noticed you declined to interact with my argument from Ex 20:8-11. I also noticed you declined to interact with Tom's argument re: Col 2:16-17, which -- as he pointed out -- sheds light on Ro 14. I submit that if you take both of these arguments seriously, it's quite easy to reconcile the Christian Sabbatarian position with Ro 14. It's talking about special Sabbaths prescribed throughout the year in the OT, rather than the weekly Sabbath.

By way of contrast, I find the anti-Christian Sabbatarian position -- ostensibly grounded in Ro 14 -- to be at odds with how Jesus, Paul, and Moses appealed to the events of the creation week in order to ground culturally transcendent moral obligations. So I think these larger arguments need to be engaged if we're going to arrive at an integrated, defensible position.

Indeed, as far as I can tell, the comments I made on Col 2:16-17 in my posted "Primer on the Sabbatarian Controversy" can be made just as easily about Ro 14. The "simple non-Sabbatarian position" says that Ro 14 (like Col 2:16-17) is abolishing all Sabbath observance whatsoever. I present a positive alternative in that post above, which I call "the complex Sabbatarian position." I regard it as the more exegetically responsible position, all things considered.

Finally, my charge of an 'argument from silence' was fairly specific: it was directed at a particular exegesis of Ac 13. I'm not 'dismissing' some "argument made by Paul". Indeed, some of my positive argument for the Sabbath has been grounded in things which Paul says about the creation week.

Greg Welty said...

Darel,

BTW, interestingly enough, even the paragraph on the Lord's Day in the BFM 2000 (to which I fully subscribe) is at odds with the view that in Ro 14 Paul is talking about all days whatsoever. After all, VIII says that "The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance." In addition, it "should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private." Thus, we are not to regard *every day whatsoever* as alike. To be sure, we are free to worship God publicly and privately on any day we please. But if we do not gather for worship *on the Lord's Day*, we have failed to honor special obligations pertaining to the observance of that day.

So FWIW, it looks like contemporary Southern Baptists are committed to rejecting the fairly broad application of Ro 14 that you are apparently endorsing. I could be mistaken about this, and so I invite commentary.

Darel said...

Greg W,
I apologize. I'm not dismissing your argument, or trying to dissuade you at all.

For myself, and I imagine for you as well, it would be a sin not to set aside Sunday for worship.

What I am defending is this very basic, historical Baptist opinion on matters of religious observance: "Forbid him not" (Lk 9:50)

You are making your case that we "ought" to do some thing (or to not do, depending on how you view this topic). And while I agree, I must also point out that we have freedom here.

Tom's example from the passage of the kinds of things Paul is saying they are free from.... I don't know what to say that doesn't sound derogatory, so I will refrain. Let your own conscience guide you in your actions "being fully convinced in [your] own mind". And be accomodating of him whose faith is weak.

-----

You are correct in your assessment of the BFM. I have no argument. However, my disappointments with the SBC are similar to my disappointments with the USA.... while it has flaws, there is no better alternative.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Dr. W,

I am taking seriously the argument you are making, and that others make, about how the Romans passage and the Colossians passages simply don't refer to the regular weekly Sabbath. But over these past few days, I have just not seen it as being strong. We do all practice the grammatical-historical approach to hermeneutics. First, we find what the text actually says. The text in this case is very direct.

(Romans 14:5-6) One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. (6) He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

(Romans 14:22) So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.

(Colossians 2:16) Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

It seems a very weak position to say, "These scriptures just don't apply to this situation," because they sure seem to apply directly.

I think I need more convincing.

Is there more?

Love in Christ,

Jeff

DOGpreacher said...

Tom and Greg W.,

My position is that the Sabbath is fulfilled in Christ. If I did not hold this position I would be forced to hold the position that the seventh day Sabbath is still for today.

If the day was changed, it must be by Biblical authority. If Christians are to find any Biblical authorization whatsoever for observing Sunday as the "Lord's Day" today, then we must find that authority in one of the eight texts where the "first day of the week" is found in the New Testament.

Since the Bible clearly establishes the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath up to the time of the crucifixion, there can be no biblical authority for Sunday observance unless we find it clearly and plainly stated in one of the eight New Testament passages. We should examine these carefully, honestly, prayerfully.

1. Matthew 28:1. Matthew wrote these words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit several years after the New Testament church came into being.
This text tells us plainly that three days and three nights after all that was done away had been securely "nailed to the cross," the Sabbath was still the day prior to the first day of the week - still the seventh day of the week.

2. & 3. Mark 16:2, & Mark 16:9 Nothing here calls the first day of the week the Christian Sabbath, or "the Lord's Day". Nothing here hallows the first day (Sunday), or says God made it holy. No command to observe it. Nothing here sets apart as a memorial of the resurrection, or for any purpose.

4. Luke 24:1 Gd inspired Luke to say that the "rest" these women took on the Sabbath day was "according to the commandment" - a statement that would not be possible had the commandment been abolished. Written approximately thirty years after the establishing of the New Testament church.

5. John 20:1 This was written more than sixty years after the crucifixion. It is John's version, describing the visit to the tomb. It confirms the facts above.

6. John 20:19 The text tells us plainly that they were assembled (hiding) "for fear of the Jews".

7. Acts 20:7 The term "to break bread" meant to eat a meal. They were sitting down to supper after a days work. Paul was preaching a sort of "going away" sermon, because he was leaving the next morning. Verse 8 says there were many lights where they were gathered. So by the time they ate supper and Paul started to preach, it must have been dark. Was it still the first day of the week? Days began at even, so, was paul preaching on the 1st day of the week, or the 2nd ?

8. 1 Cor. 16:2 Some claim this text sets Sunday aside as the time for taking up the collection for doing God's work and paying the ministers and church expenses. It says nothing of the sort!

Verse 1 tells us what kind of collection is being made. This is a collection - not for the preacher, evangelism, or church expenses - but "for the saints." The members of the church in Jerusalem were suffering drought and famine. They needed, not money, but food (grains). They were bringing all their portions together for Paul to take with him when he came by that way. A bag of money would have been easy enough to carry. Paul tells them that whomsoever they approve to send with him to bring their liberality to Jerusalem, he would meet up with on his way back through, and they would then travel to Jerusalem. It took more than one man to carry sacks of grain, and skins full of wine! This was to be done on the first day of the week simply because it was a day in which working was appropriate, and Paul didn't want them procrastinating, so he says the "first day of the week" (as soon as the Sabbath was passed).

Upon honest examination, not one of the texts speaking about "the first day of the week" sets it apart, sanctifies it, makes it holy, calls it a Sabbath, or any other sacred title. In every case, it was simply a common workday.

To me, this subject is similar to arguing that Jesus fulfilled His prophecy in Matthew 12:40, by being entombed just before sundown on "good friday" and rising very early on the first day of the week. Doesn't fit. If it doesn't fit you must aquit, remember? #:)

And yet we continue to cling to that teaching, also.

I have such great admiration for your work, Tom, and I will not persist beyond this comment. My apologies and sincere regrets if I have been offensive in my comments.

Tom said...

Gregg (DOGpreacher):

I certainly have taken no offense to your comments. In fact, I appreciate them. I appreciate being challenged with biblical reasoning. In am not convinced by your arguments (and I know that you are not by mine) but I do genuinely appreciate your obvious desire to believe only what Scripture teaches. That is what I aspire to for myself.
There is no need for me to restate arguments that have been set forth above--especially in Greg Welty's "primer" and followup comments. Let me simply note that, to me, the exegetical weight of the 4th Commandment's appeal to creation cannot be ignored or easily dismissed. Further, if we have no moral obligation to set aside one day in seven for the purpose of special dedication to the Lord, then on what basis can we encourage people that they "ought" to gather with believers for worship on Sunday. To say "ought" when there is no moral authority behind it is to be guilty of legalism.
Thanks again for your contributions. May the Lord guide us both deeper into His truth.

Greg Welty said...

Darel,

There's no need to apologize. I wasn't so much as accusing you of dismissing my arguments, as simply reminding you that they were offered :-) Also, you're perfectly free to try to "dissuade" me; I think sincere, prayerful attempts at rational persuasion should be the norm in Southern Baptist life!

I guess I'm struggling a bit with understanding your position. If "it would be a sin not to set aside Sunday for worship," then what becomes of your earlier statement that "Paul specifically says that observance of any particular day is a matter of freedom for the Christian"? It seems to me that you're saying that we're free to sin, but surely I've misunderstood you. Perhaps you're using the word 'free' in a sense I'm not clear on yet.

Jeff,

Thanks for your interaction. You're quite right that the texts which seem to militate against a Christian Sabbath are "very direct". But I don't think that absolves us of the responsibility to interpret Scripture with Scripture. (I'm not saying you disagree; just pointing this out.) As I said earlier, "the discussion gets complicated," but "this can be said for just about any biblical doctrine under the sun. We believe that the biblical basis for justification by faith alone, and the deity of Christ, is fairly simple. But once you start interacting with classic objections to those doctrines, the matter becomes very complex indeed. And yet I am sure that we teach both of those doctrines to our congregations, along with many others."

So, for example, Ro 5:18 is very direct in claiming that "through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men." Therefore, universalism cannot be gainsaid, or so it might seem. James is very direct in his claim that "you see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone" (2:24). Therefore, justification by works is the sober truth of the matter, or so it might seem. Paul is very direct in saying that he was "not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father" (Gal 1:1). Therefore, Jesus Christ was not a man, or so it might seem.

I think I could multiply examples, but I trust the point is clear. And -- just to emphasize -- that point is not that the Scriptures lack clarity, but that that clarity is often found when we let Scripture interpret Scripture. The Barthian universalist, or the Roman Catholic, or the Docetist, might reply to our understanding of the texts just named by saying that we're denying what the texts "seem" to teach. But I wouldn't be persuaded by such an approach.

I still haven't seen anyone address the actual argument I tried to make from Ex 20:8-11. If Moses grounded the Sabbath command in the creation week -- remember the Sabbath day *for* in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth... and rested on the seventh day -- then the abolition of the Mosaic covenant cannot abolish a moral obligation that wasn't grounded in that covenant in the first place! (Another marker for this: the command is not to *begin* observing the Sabbath day, but to *remember* the Sabbath day; it was a pre-existing practice. J. L. Dagg makes this point well.)

Again, I think that evangelical complementarians are quite right to point out that Jesus's and Paul's teaching on marriage and male/female relationships cannot be culturally grounded (as is the command to give one another a holy kiss, for instance), because both Jesus and Paul appeal to the events of creation week to ground contemporary moral duty. Why is this a good argument when made by Jesus and Paul, but a bad argument when made by Moses?

Finally, I regard this as a friendly discussion among brethren. I can totally understand why there are differences of opinion on this much-controverted issue. I have nothing but the highest respect for those who have been arguing the other side. I just wanted to give some of the traditional arguments a bit more of a hearing, that's all.

Greg Welty said...

DOGpreacher (Gregg),

Have you considered the arguments in J. L. Dagg's Manual of Church Order, specifically ch. VII section I on the time of worship? There Dagg makes the argument that the Fourth Commandment doesn't specify the seventh day of the week anyway. It simply specifies one day in seven. His argument starts at about paragraph six or so. It's an interesting discussion, in any event.

DOGpreacher said...

Okay, scratch my last statement about not persisting!#:)

I am not debating the issue of when the sabbath was instituted. I believe one holds an untenable position when they suggest that this was "for the Jews only", or "instituted with the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai". Scripture says otherwise.

Likewise, I believe that the person holding the position that the day of worship was changed after the crucifixion/ressurection has a "tough row to hoe" to prove that point. In fact, obviously, I do not believe they can.

No one has responded to the major point of my last comment. Study the 8 times that the "first day" of the week is mentioned in NT Scripture, NOT to give convincing argument for your position, BUT to see what is actually said (communicated)in each of these texts, without reading in to them what you have been taught (Sunday/Lord's Day...THE day of worship...Christian Sabbath...etc.). It was in the process of doing this, that I realized that NONE of the scriptures in the BFM on this subject were even close to being "mandates" for a Sabbath (7th day) to Sunday (1st day) switch, and thus COULD NOT be "mandates" for a 'keeping' of the 1st day/Lord's day.

The only reason that we today are not required to keep the (7th day) Sabbath, is either that it was fulfilled in Christ (my position), OR that there was an abrogation of that law (and that could only be done by the giver of the law), OR that there was no abrogation, but simply a transfer of the day(your position). I hope I am correct in understanding that your position is the one last stated.

I did not come to my position of understanding on this doctrine to be 'popular', that's for sure! BELIEVE ME, I would be SO receptive to someone showing me where scripture alone shows that this perpetual Sabbath is still the same as it was the 7th day of creation, excepting it's change to the 1st day because Christ arose on the 1st day.

At this point, no one has.

BTW, to hold that the 1st day is the Lord's Day, because He arose on that day, you would have to erase what scripture says in Matthew 28:1 (well...at least in 8 translations that are the last to not have been arbitrarily changed), and you would have to admit that Jesus did not fulfill His prophecy of being in the heart of the earth 3 days & 3 nights...and that IS NOT an option. For study, please consider going to the posts concerning the same at my blog.

Now...who can tell me when the Mohler/Patterson debate is supposed to happen?

I am looking forward to you and James White vs. the Caners, Tom.

DOGpreacher said...

BTW...I have cosidered Dagg, and while I find him wonderful in most areas, I find him very weak in this particular one.

Now...before anyone says "who are you to disagree with the likes of Dagg", I would like to say one thing. I love to listen to R.C. Sproul on topics like "original sin", "federalism", & "election",
I have to say that it boggles my mind that he understands baptism the way that he does!

An old preacher once told me (when being questioned about things like this), "Son, ain't one man knows everything." I try to remember that for my own understanding as well as others.

Darel said...

Greg,

(I'm enjoying this conversation and the other comments immensely)

Here's what I mean in saying "it would be a sin for me":

"Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled."

That is, their attitude about what they are doing makes it a sin for them to eat such food. Paul goes to great lengths to explain that the food itself has nothing to do with the situation. Rather it is the attitude of the one in action.

For myself, if I were to not set aside Sunday as a day for worship, it is so engrained in me that I would be sinning by doing so. It would be sin for me.

I know on a higher level that we are not bound by the Law, and yet it would take rebellion against God in order for me to forsake this day. I *do* consider, in my heart, this day (Sunday) to be more sacred than another.

I also know that God, through Paul, has told us not to judge others on this basis. This is in agreement with Christ's own words.

It also needs to be said that keeping a Sabbath of any kind or some other holy day or festival is *not* legalism. Enforcing it on others *is*.

I don't think, among the Baptists I've been around, that anyone considers keeping the Sabbath as a requirement for salvation. That we would never consider anything beyond faith as the basis for our justification.

Darel said...

Somehow I just noticed your argument about Matt 28:1... what is that about?

Do you mean to say that "th epifwskoush eiv mian sabbatwn" means something other than "the dawn towards the first day of the week"? If you think it means something different, what is it you think it means, and why?

I think I'm just confused there, Mr. Preacher.

Greg Welty said...

Darel,

Thanks for the clarification of your position. It makes sense now!

DOGpreacher said...

Darel,

I mentioned in the previous comment that I have posted concerning Matt. 28:1, on my blog. Simply click on dogpreacher.