Church attendance and the Super Bowl: two questions

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Every year during the Super Bowl the question of church attendance arises. Should a person skip church for the Super Bowl? If he/she skips their regular Sunday evening church service are they sinning?

There seem to be two main positions on this. Those who are more sabbatarian minded fall along the lines of a person is sinning if they skip their church service for the Super Bowl. Those who skip church service may be charged with antinomianism. Corporate worship is a Christian duty that should have priority of all other activities. It should not matter that it is the Super Bowl.

Those on the other side of the argument may skip church service for the Super Bowl claiming they are free in Christ to do so. The sabbath for them is an Old Testament Law and is not specifically for the church. Some on this side may even claim that a Super Bowl party is a great time to share the gospel. Isn’t this true for any such event?

I can’t help but wonder if there is just a slight bit of guilt in some who comment about sharing the gospel. There is a little guilt sometimes when people add qualifiers in explaining their agenda. However, there are also those who will zealously take a Super Bowl party as an opportunity to share the gospel. I haven’t yet heard of how sharing the gospel at a Super Bowl party was received. Those are the stories I’d love to hear and learn from!

People skip church service for other events too, not just the Super Bowl. There does not seem to be as big of a deal made of these other events. Atleast, not publicly. There is also something that drives people and they must watch the Super Bowl. Other events that people skip church for do not seem to get the same rise of excitement. For example, many do not seem to run around telling people how they will not be at church, but will be at their kids make-up game instead.

Well, I’m curious. Without debating whether or not there is a Christian sabbath, I’d love to hear the answers to the two questions below.

For those skipping regular church service for the Super Bowl.

1.   Why is the Super Bowl such a big deal that you must skip church service?

For those attending regular church service and are bothered by others skipping.

2.   People skip church service for other activities, why is it a big deal to skip for the Super Bowl?

P.s. I’ve changed the word “miss(ing)” to “skip(ping)” thanks to Nathan pointing out the difference. My original connotation of missing was skipping, but this will be clearer.

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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nathan White February 8, 2010 at 10:26 am

Mark-
It would be nice to box up the issue of sin into little compartments so they can be nicely organized and avoided, but unfortunately things aren’t quite that simple. Regarding this issue, one may sin by attending church during the Super Bowl (maybe for the wrong reasons, or with their heart somewhere else, or out of hypocrisy to condemn others, etc.), just as much as the one who skips church because he places a higher value on personal pleasure/entertainment than he does the Law of God.

To answer your questions:

1. The ‘big deal’ is what they are missing church for. When Jesus taught us proper Sabbath obedience, he justified those who ‘broke’ the letter of the Law for things such as mercy, love, justice, etc. When one forsakes the assembly of God’s people, where the Word will be expounded and the bread of life dispensed, for the god of entertainment, pleasure, materialism, and sex, the affections of the heart are exposed. It is the state of their heart we should be concerned about; not whether or not they broke a command or not.

2. ‘Missing’ church and skipping church are two different things. We are to call people to make every effort to attend unless providentially hindered –not to make legal rules and bind up burdens hard to bear, but because we love them and care for their souls. All the private worship in the world doesn’t edify the soul as much as even one corporate gathering.

We are not under the exact same strictness of the OT Law regarding the 4th commandment, but clearly it demands *something* from us, and clearly it directs us into proper Christian obedience somehow. One clear application is that we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, which happens every Lord’s Day, the first day of the week, the Christian Sabbath. When one wants to trade Manna from Heaven for Doritos, the water of life for Coke and Beer, the image of Christ in His word and on His people for the image of empty entertainment and materialism embedded into the very form and atmosphere of the event, we have every reason to concerned for the state of their soul.

Indeed, as the scripture below clearly says, it is to the good of our souls to forsake our own pleasures on the Lord’s Day and rest satisfied in Him:

Is 58:13-14

“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

2 brianvoiceofthesheep February 8, 2010 at 10:45 am

Why is the Super Bowl such a big deal that you must miss church service?

Well, since this is not an issue for me (we do not meet on Sunday evenings), I’ll just have to wait until the topic of whether or not Sunday is the Sabbath is raised.

People miss church service for other activities, why is it a big deal to miss for the Super Bowl?

It’s a big deal for the simple fact that a Christian should submit to his/her local body with respect to when that body has chosen to meet. It’s a matter of submitting to the authority God has placed over you. It is my position that, if the church a Christian is a member of has regularly scheduled meetings on Sunday evenings, then that person should be there, or else they are in violation of the command to NOT forsake the assembling together. If my church had regular Sunday evening meetings, then that’s there we would have been last night.

But this does not address the real issue that many have with the Super Bowl (or Sunday sports in general, or any kind of entertainment on Sunday). There are many who believe that, in and of itself, it is a violation of the 4th Commandment to watch ANY kind of football game or other sporting even on a Sunday. They see the Sabbath law as still being in effect, but having shifted from Saturday to Sunday (this is exactly what the LBC 1689 teaches). But that’s another topic for another post. 🙂

ps. One of our church members has been in Miami since Thursday, witnessing to those who were in town for the big game. Obviously, he missed Sunday worship because of the Super Bowl. Was he in sin by being down there?

3 Mark Lamprecht February 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Good comments, guys. Nathan, my intent was not to make simple packages of apparent sin. I was trying to be general without a gross amount of detail to get some feedback. My favorite line of yours is “When one wants to trade Manna from Heaven for Doritos, the water of life for Coke and Beer…” Thanks for giving me the word “skip” which I actually meant instead of “miss”.

Brian, isn’t there a large gathering just about every weekend where your church member could go witness to folks? Why not do this every Sunday? 😉

Ray Ortlund has some interesting thoughts on why last night’s game for him was – My last Super Bowl. How many other cultural activities/staples/idols could be inserted into Mr. Ortlund’s post?

4 Nathan White February 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Mark-
I was simply clarifying the broad scope of the ‘sin’ issue involved here; I certainly wasn’t accusing you of trying to make it something other than a heart issue.

Listen, as you know, I hold to the 1689/LBC/perpetuity of the Sabbath as much as anyone, but I recognize there are differences in application. Is watching football on Sunday a sin? I certainly won’t say that, but it can easily become a sin, much more easily than it can on another day of the week (and this is true whether you hold to the Sabbath or not).

Many Reformed Christians, like RC Sproul, see recreation as perfectly legitimate on the Sabbath (Sproul of course loves to watch his Steelers). But I’d bet he’d be the first to say that it would be a violation of the commandment to skip church to watch them.

So the issue is much bigger and deeper than just the Sabbath, but I do believe we must start with the 4th commandment, what is means, how it is applied, if we’re ever going to properly answer this question.

5 brianvoiceofthesheep February 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Hi Mark,

This particular person at church actually does do it every week. He and some others decided to take the opportunity of such a large gathering of people (Super Bowl) and witness to them. They did not attend the game, by the way, though I don’t know that that has any significance. The real issue here, that will eventually have to be addressed, is the underlying presupposition concerning what people believe about the Sabbath, and how (if at all) it relates to Sunday.

6 brianvoiceofthesheep February 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm

And, to use the new (and ever increasing in popularity) word, shouldn’t what my friend did in Miami be considered “missional”? I don’t know…something to think about, though.

7 brianvoiceofthesheep February 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm

One thing I notice from many is that they call Sunday “the Sabbath”, when it is not. It is not even the “Christian Sabbath”, as that is not a biblical concept (nowhere do we see the NT writers referring to Sunday as the Sabbath). I too hold to the LBC 1689, but I do not agree that the Sabbath switched days, as the Confession states. This view is what results in many churches developing a “do/do not” list of what can and cannot be done on a Sunday. I heard one local church say they would never make a list, yet in a recorded class I heard the elders affirm that going out to eat on a Sunday results in causing the waiter/waitress to sin. Yet they gave certain occupations a free pass on that day. Where is the line? Who is to draw it? This is, in my opinion, a clear case of going beyond what is written, and you may even agree with me on that. But if you believe the Sabbath law is still in effect and switched days, then you must also agree to some degree with this church I have referenced. Is our Sabbath rest now not in Christ? And don’t we meet on Sunday, not because the Sabbath law changed from one day to another, but rather because our Savior rose from the dead on that day?

I’ll be honest with you…the thought of the Sabbath law NEVER enters my mind when I gather to worship on Sunday. I am gathering with my church on that first day of the week because that is the day my Savior conquered death, not because of a command regarding the last day of the week.

8 Nathan White February 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Brian said:
“I too hold to the LBC 1689, but I do not agree that the Sabbath switched days, as the Confession states.”

Then you disagree with the 1689 at a very fundamental level of it’s understanding of Law/Gospel, which goes much deeper than the Sabbath.

Brian said:
“nowhere do we see the NT writers referring to Sunday as the Sabbath”

Where is the doctrine of the trinity referred to? Where is Limited Atonement explicitly stated? Where is it that babies are not to be baptized, or that women are allowed to participate in the Lord’s Supper? To demand that the NT explicit Sunday as the Sabbath is unreasonable and inconsistent, IMO. Neverthless, I have written extensively on the evidence in the NT that Sunday is the Christian Sabbath. Our Reformed history is filled to the brim with some of our fellow heroes of the faith expounding the same thing. Regardless, to give one simple example, Jesus calls Himself “the Lord of the Sabbath”, and John makes the statement that he was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day”. One Day was owned by the Lord (just as one Table is owned by the Lord); that’s where we start.

Brian said:
“Where is the line? Who is to draw it? This is, in my opinion, a clear case of going beyond what is written, and you may even agree with me on that.”

Read the 4th commandment in it’s entirety, and then read other statements in scripture about what is permissible on the Sabbath, including the very teaching of our Lord, who instructed us on it’s proper use, and you’ll find pretty clear answers to this question. And yes, unnecessarily causing others to labor on the Sabbath robs them of God’s gift of man, prohibits them from giving Him His due worship, etc. This obviously does not apply for labor of necessity, as our Lord taught us.

Brian said:
“Is our Sabbath rest now not in Christ?”

The scriptures say “there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God”. Are not ‘the people of God’ descriptive of those who are already ‘in Christ’? Then why would the Spirit say ‘there remains’ if our current standing was it’s fulfillment?

Brian said:
“And don’t we meet on Sunday, not because the Sabbath law changed from one day to another, but rather because our Savior rose from the dead on that day?”

Both and, of course.

Brian said:
“I’ll be honest with you…the thought of the Sabbath law NEVER enters my mind when I gather to worship on Sunday. I am gathering with my church on that first day of the week because that is the day my Savior conquered death, not because of a command regarding the last day of the week.”

I’m very sorry to hear that. The Sabbath finding root in my heart two years ago was the biggest (positive) change in my life since I became a Calvinist. It takes worship, God’s will, God’s grace, and the work of Christ to entirely new levels.

9 Mark Lamprecht February 8, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Quickly…there must be an assembling of the believers for worship. Merely going out and witnessing cannot make up for this. I’m not sure what your friend did would be called missional. Missional is about everyday living and intentionally being involved in peoples’ lives for the Gospel. Though I could be wrong since there is not one settle definition. 🙂

I’m speaking above about people witnessing in lieu of corporate worship. If this is done, how would the person witnessing bring a converted person into the church?

10 klockheed February 8, 2010 at 3:44 pm

@Nathan “The scriptures say “there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God”. Are not ‘the people of God’ descriptive of those who are already ‘in Christ’? Then why would the Spirit say ‘there remains’ if our current standing was it’s fulfillment?”

Yes, but that very passage that says “there remains…” states what that rest is – “we who have believed enter that rest” and again, “for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” It is simply irresponsible to attempt to use Hebrews 4 to argue that Christians should celebrate the sabbath in the Old Testament tradition.

Did you carry ANYTHING on the ‘sabbath’? Anything whatsoever? “But if you do not obey me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying any load…” and “This is what the LORD says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath day…” (Jer 17)

Those who want to argue for a Sunday sabbath have to explain why the inconsistency in their claims and practice. If the Bible tells us that there is an ongoing sabbath in the New Covenant era in which we cannot eat at a restaurant or pump our own gas (examples from personal experience), then should not the rest of the laws relating to the sabbath apply?

Jesus did not excuse partial sabbath observance, and wasn’t allowing certain activities on the sabbath, but was instead exposing the true meaning of the sabbath to those Pharisees who had corrupted it. That said, there is no Biblical evidence for a shift of the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.

Yes, Christians worshiped on the Lord’s Day, however, we still see the Apostles attending sabbath services in the synagogue and there is no indication in Scripture that Gentiles were forced to obey the sabbath laws on Sunday in order to be considered “true” Christians.

If you want to argue that someone should attend Sunday services, there are plenty of passages extolling that notion, partially attaching Jewish Sabbath laws to Sunday observance is akin to demanding circumcision.

11 Nathan White February 8, 2010 at 4:09 pm

klockheed wrote,
“Yes, but that very passage that says “there remains…” states what that rest is – “we who have believed enter that rest” and again, “for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” It is simply irresponsible to attempt to use Hebrews 4 to argue that Christians should celebrate the sabbath in the Old Testament tradition.”

Then John Owen was an irresponsible theologian too, and thus I am in great company. I’d recommend a close reading of his exegeis of this chapter; the greek construction here reveals things that are so apparent in our translation.

Nevertheless, klockheed is saying that ‘there DOES NOT remain a Sabbath rest for the people of God (who have believed). I will instead go with what the text says.

There is a present and future fulfillment of the Sabbath rest. It has been inaugurated in Christ by faith, but awaits consummation, as Rev 14:13 alludes to: “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” This life we strive, fight, and persevere by faith; our Sabbath rest remains as our reward. The Sabbath in the garden symbolized rest and full communion with our God; this has been won for us in Christ, but the final consummation still remains, which is why the sign still remains, to remind us of our great rest that awaits us.

klockheed wrote,
“Did you carry ANYTHING on the ‘sabbath’? Anything whatsoever? “But if you do not obey me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying any load…” and “This is what the LORD says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath day…” (Jer 17) Those who want to argue for a Sunday sabbath have to explain why the inconsistency in their claims and practice. If the Bible tells us that there is an ongoing sabbath in the New Covenant era in which we cannot eat at a restaurant or pump our own gas (examples from personal experience), then should not the rest of the laws relating to the sabbath apply?”

I would recommend that you familiarize yourself with the writings of the puritans, reformers, and baptist of past generations, who explain in detail that the Christian Sabbath is very different than the Jewish Sabbath. I’m not trying to pass the buck, but this space does not allow for me to fully deal with these questions. And these men are not infallible, but they will help you understand the position I am advocating. The Christian Sabbath is represented in the creation ordinance, the perpetuity of the ten commandments, and the NT instruction on worship, but not in Jewish ceremonies found in the law of moses (which have passed away, as Col 2 and other passages indicate).

klockheed wrote,
Jesus did not excuse partial sabbath observance, and wasn’t allowing certain activities on the sabbath, but was instead exposing the true meaning of the sabbath to those Pharisees who had corrupted it.

Jesus never abrogated the Sabbath, but instead freed it from legalistic interpretations. Those who say the NT never instructs on the command neglect the words of our Lord, whose words become meaningless to us if the entire commandment has been abolished.

klockheed wrote,
That said, there is no Biblical evidence for a shift of the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. Yes, Christians worshiped on the Lord’s Day, however, we still see the Apostles attending sabbath services in the synagogue and there is no indication in Scripture that Gentiles were forced to obey the sabbath laws on Sunday in order to be considered “true” Christians.

Nobody is ‘forced’; Jesus says that the Sabbath was made for man. It is a gift from God to man. God knows what is best for us, He wrote it into the Law of creation, and it is not best for man to work 7 days a week (or 365 days a year). Thus in His law of creation, contained again in the 10 Commandments, and written on the heart of the believer in the New Covenant, He gives man one day in seven to rest. Throwing out the command runs directly contrary to the purposes of God in creation, and is akin to saying that the laws of marriage, another creation ordinance, are likewise unrelated to the creation instruction (contrary to, again, the words of our Lord).

klockheed wrote,
If you want to argue that someone should attend Sunday services, there are plenty of passages extolling that notion, partially attaching Jewish Sabbath laws to Sunday observance is akin to demanding circumcision.

Reformed theology teaches sola scriptura, including that worship is regulated by the sufficiency and totality of God’s word. In the commandments, we see 1-4: the proper object of worship (no other Gods before Me), the proper form of worship, the proper manner/attitude of worship, and the proper season for worship (the Sabbath). God is to be worshiped corporately, one day out of seven. Anything less is disobedience. Anything more is legalism. To demand that people attend church based upon one obscure passage of ‘do not forsake the assembly’ is to base a law upon ambiguity and personal preference. Who decides whether ‘do not forsake’ is attending once a week or once a month? Furthermore, if churches only hold services once a month, or heck, even once a quarter, what in God’s word will prohibit them? The order and form of worship is given to us in the Law of God.

I take it, klockheed, that you reject Reformed Theology?

12 brianvoiceofthesheep February 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Nathan, are you a credo or paedo baptist? Trust me…it’s relevant.

13 brianvoiceofthesheep February 8, 2010 at 4:21 pm

BTW, we can all name solid theologians and church reformers on our respective sides. My side just happens to have Luther, Calvin, and Turretin! 🙂

Turretin:

we do not think that in this cessation believers are bound to judaical precision which some (more scrupulous than is just) maintain was not revoked, so that it is lawful neither to kindle a fire, nor to cook food, nor to take up arms against an enemy, nor to prosecute a journey begun by land or sea, nor to refresh themselves with innocent relaxation of the mind and body, provided they are done out of the hours appointed for divine worship, nor to have any diversion, however slight, to any things belonging to the advantages or emoluments of this life. For although this opinion bears on its face a beautiful appearance of piety (and undoubtedly with good intention is proposed by pious men to procure the better sanctification of this day, usually so basely profaned), still it labors under grievous disadvantages; nor can it be retained without in this way bringing back into the church and imposing anew upon the shoulders of Christians an unbearable yoke (abastakton), repugnant to Christian liberty and the gentleness of Christ and opposed to the sweetness of the covenant of grace by agitating and tormenting the consciences of men through infinite scruples and inextricable difficulties (nearly driving to desperation).

Luther

This commandment, therefore, according to its gross sense, does not concern us Christians; for it is altogether an external matter, like other ordinances of the Old Testament, which were attached to particular customs, persons, times, and places, and now have been made free through Christ.

But to grasp a Christian meaning for the simple as to what God requires in this commandment, note that we keep holy days not for the sake of intelligent and learned Christians (for they have no need of it [holy days]), but first of all for bodily causes and necessities, which nature teaches and requires; for the common people, man-servants and maid-servants, who have been attending to their work and trade the whole week, that for a day they may retire in order to rest and be refreshed.

Secondly, and most especially, that on such day of rest (since we can get no other opportunity) freedom and time be taken to attend divine service, so that we come together to hear and treat of God’s and then to praise God, to sing and pray.

However, this, I say, is not so restricted to any time, as with the Jews, that it must be just on this or that day; for in itself no one day is better than another; but this should indeed be done daily; however, since the masses cannot give such attendance, there must be at least one day in the week set apart. But since from of old Sunday [the Lord’s Day] has been appointed for this purpose, we also should continue the same, in order that everything be done in harmonious order, and no one create disorder by unnecessary innovation.

Calvin

As to the first reason, there is no doubt that it [fourth commandment] ceased in Christ; because he is the truth by the presence of which all images vanish. He is the reality at whose advent all shadows are abandoned. Hence St. Paul (Colossians 2:17) affirms that the Sabbath has been a shadow of a reality yet to be. And he declares else-where its truth when in the letter to the Romans, chapter 6:8, he teaches us that we are buried with Christ in order that by his death we may die to the corruption of our flesh. And this is not done in one day, but during all the course of our life, until altogether dead in our own selves, we may be filled with the life of God. Hence, superstitious observance of days must remain far from Christians.

14 Nathan White February 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Brian-
You know I am a credo; Reformed theology encompasses the basis Law-Gospel premise that seemed to be affronted by claiming Sabbath-keeping is akin to circumcision.

And regarding your quotes: you are uninformed on Calvin if you think you hold to the same position that he did. (I say this because of your prior statements on the issue). It’s easy to proof-text him, but the full range of his writings reveal a very complex few of the Sabbath that is far from being anti-Sabbatarrian. I’d prefer not to quote them all here and explain his position, but I’d be glad to if you demand it.

Regarding Luther, I’m tempted to say you also aren’t accurately representing his view because of what I’ve previously read from him on the subject, but I don’t have sources in front of me, so maybe I am mistaken.

Regarding Turretin, that surprises me; though I’m not as familiar with his writings as I’d like to be.

That being said, yes, a few men of Reformed history rejected the Sabbath as a perpetual command to be obeyed. Of course, I would argue that they are inconsistent with some basic fundamentals of Reformed theology and how we understand Law Gospel (just as paedobaptism is inconsistent with the Regulative Principle of Worship, another Reformed doctrine). As a fan of James White, I know you value consistency.

And no, I don’t think you are a heretic or anything! Many brothers in Christ do not agree with my position. I will say, however, that not ‘holding’ to the Sabbath and not obeying the Sabbath are two different things. I rejoice to see that God’s truly regenerate, one way or another, obey the Sabbath at least in part by faithful attendance and worship on the Lord’s Day. Most Christians know that consistently working or doing other things on Sunday that take away from corporate worship is wrong. None of us are perfect; I break all the commandments, just about every day, and am thankful that the blood of Christ cleanes us all and gives us perfect Sabbath keeping in Him by faith. So though one may deny it with their lips, I am thankful that you and others still obey it with their lives (for the most part).

15 Jae February 8, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Hello Mark,

I don’t know the reason why do you delete and block my comments eventhough to the best of my knowledge I’m very respectful to your point of view and others and to have a brotherly dialogue and exchange of ideas between followers of Christ. If you see otherwise and have every right to do so because you’re the owner of this blog, then I wish you well.

However, if you write something critical about the Catholic Church or try to make a mockery of our Church and her Teachings, please play fair and let somebody try to explain our side base on the Scripture and logic.

That’s all I ask in Christ;s Name,

Jae

16 brianvoiceofthesheep February 8, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Nathan…I was pretty sure, but just wanted to hear you say you were credo before I made a particular comment. One of your reasons for a perpetual Sabbath law is that it was never abrogated in the NT (though I believe it was, in Christ). My point is that our paedo brothers use the exact same reason for why they say the baptism of infants is valid. They say that giving the sign of the covenant to children was never abrogated in the NT. I just wanted to point out that you are using the same line of argument that our paedo friends use for their baptism view.

By the way…I am NOT anti-sabbatarian…far from it (depending on what you mean by that, and by what you think Calvin means by his comments on the subject). Sunday is a VERY special and important day to me and my church.

Finally, it’s kind of hard to “proof-text” someone when you quote whole paragraphs like I have. All the men I quoted surely view Sunday as an extremely important day of the week for the life of the believer and the church…but they do not ground that important in the seventh-day sabbath law. They ground it in the finished work of Christ and the significance of what he did on the first day of the week.

Another question for you: Do you work six days a week at your job, or only five?

17 Nathan White February 8, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Hey Brian-
Am I the only one who finds it funny that in one post you ask if I’m credo or paedo, and then in the next you cite three paedos who support your position? 🙂 Just for kicks: can you name a baptist theologian (Calvinistic of course) from more than say, 75 years ago, who supports your view? Obviously, you can scratch Spurgeon from that list! Same with the founders of the SBC (which the Baptist Faith and Message still bears witness to).

No, I don’t think the Sabbath is perpetual because it is never abrogated in the NT. It is perpetual because it is not rooted in the law of Moses, but in creation, to which Moses, Jesus, and the writer of Hebrews specifically state. The NT words about abrogation deal with the ceremonial laws of Moses, specific to the nation of Israel! But also because it is highly inconsistent, via exegesis, to say the 3rd commandment is perpetual, and the 5th commandment is perpetual, but the 4th somehow find its way in there as a temporary ceremony. Just like you’d never tell a brother in Christ that he has the ‘freedom’ to commit adultery; I’d never tell a brother in Christ that he has the ‘freedom’ to annul the commandment two verses prior. They stand or fall as a unit!

But I’m glad Sunday is a special day for you. It is special to me to, because God gave it to me as a gift and has attached His promises to them upon my obedience. There is no greater joy for me than delighting in His precious gifts, even when I don’t always understand their importance or significance.

And yes, you’re wrong on Calvin. I’d recommend you check out Gaffin’s treatise on what Calvin taught. The short answer is that he seemed to make some contradictory statements (the one you quoted obviously supports your position), which must be understood in light of the fact that his theology developed over time. Here is a link to Gaffin’s book:

http://www.amazon.com/Calvin-Sabbath-Controversy-Applying-Commandment/dp/1857923766/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265677600&sr=8-1

Lastly, yes, I do not ‘rest’ on Saturday, but am busy doing things around the house and such that don’t get done during the week. ‘Rest’, nevertheless, doesn’t necessarily mean physical inactivity, as the writer of Hebrews wrote; it has a particular regard to worship and our resting in Christ and in His ordinances (dispensed by the church during the corporate gathering).

Grace and peace my friend; good discussion.

18 Mark Lamprecht February 8, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Jae, I deleted your comment today, but I have never blocked you. The reason is that this thread is not about Seventh Day Adventists. When I wrote about sabbatarian minded people, I was referring to Protestants who hold to the Lord’s Day.

19 klockheed February 9, 2010 at 12:14 am

“Then John Owen was an irresponsible theologian too, and thus I am in great company. I’d recommend a close reading of his exegeis of this chapter; the greek construction here reveals things that are so apparent in our translation.”

Owen was a man, prone to error as we all are. The fact of the matter is that a Sunday sabbath is neither spoken of nor referred to in this passage.

“Nevertheless, klockheed is saying that ‘there DOES NOT remain a Sabbath rest for the people of God (who have believed). I will instead go with what the text says.”

But you haven’t offered any exegesis to show that the passage states what you intend, only alluded to John Owen. There are plenty of authors who deny your claim as well.

“…but the final consummation still remains, which is why the sign still remains, to remind us of our great rest that awaits.”

I bet that’s the same argument the Judaizers made to the Galatians when they foisted circumcision on them.

“Jesus never abrogated the Sabbath, but instead freed it from legalistic interpretations. Those who say the NT never instructs on the command neglect the words of our Lord, whose words become meaningless to us if the entire commandment has been abolished.”

I ask again, did you carry any load on Sunday then? On what basis do you keep the commandment in one respect but break it in others?

“Nobody is ‘forced’; Jesus says that the Sabbath was made for man. It is a gift from God to man. God knows what is best for us, He wrote it into the Law of creation, and it is not best for man to work 7 days a week (or 365 days a year).”

This is simply untrue, many denominations require “sabbath” observance and preach it strenuously. I again point out that Scripture demands a much higher standard for the sabbath observance than any Reformed ‘sabbatarian’ obeys.

“Reformed theology teaches sola scriptura, including that worship is regulated by the sufficiency and totality of God’s word. In the commandments, we see 1-4: the proper object of worship (no other Gods before Me), the proper form of worship, the proper manner/attitude of worship, and the proper season for worship (the Sabbath).”

And yet Calvin, while noting that the sabbath commands did indeed allude to the Lord’s day worship, denied that they were equated. So don’t pull this “you reject Reformed theology” on me. I can quote Reformed writers too, the issue is, what does Scripture teach? And you have yet to show where Scripture actually teaches a Sunday Sabbath, and I dare say, you cannot.

20 klockheed February 9, 2010 at 12:18 am

“And yes, you’re wrong on Calvin.”

No, he’s not, he quoted Calvin directly. The problem comes when guys (like Gaffin) find quotes of Calvin and others that indicate something ~slightly different~ and then attempt to attribute to Calvin their systems.

Calvin was by no means uniform on this issue, however, while noting that “there is no doubt that it [fourth commandment] ceased in Christ; because he is the truth by the presence of which all images vanish”, Calvin also noted that the Sunday observance was a New Covenant type of Sabbath and what the 4th commandment applied to in our era, but that it did not hold the same pattern exactly as the 4th commandment.

Thus for Calvin, a Christian should attend services on Sunday as obedience to God, but not in “keeping the sabbath”.

21 Nathan White February 9, 2010 at 12:31 am

Klockheed said:
“he quoted Calvin directly.”

OK, then let me do as well:

“We must refrain from our own business which might hinder us from the mining of God’s works, and we must call upon His name and exercise our selves in His word. If we spend the Lord’s Day in making good cheer, and in playing and gaming, is that a good honoring of God? Nay, it is not a mockery, yea a very unhallowing of His name? Yes. But when the Shop-windows are shut in on the Lord’s Day, and men travel not as they do on other days, it is to the end [that] we should have the more leisure and liberty, to intend to the things that God commandeth… Yet notwithstanding it is so common a thing, as is pity to see (i.e. that people refuse to come to the sermon, conduct their own affairs, indulge in gluttony and withdraw into their homes away from the church on the Lord’s Day), and would God that [these] examples were more rare and further off to be found. But the world sees how all things are unhallowed, insomuch that most folk have no regard at all of the using of that Day, which was ordained to withdraw us from all earthly cares and affairs that we might give ourselves wholly unto God. But if the Lord’s Day be spent not only in games and pastimes fully contrary to God, so as men think they have not kept holy the Lord His Day, except God be offended divers ways; if the holy order which God ordained to bring us to Him be broken after that fashion, is it any wonder though men play the beasts all the week after?”

Sermon 34 on Deuteronomy, in The Sermons of John Calvin upon the Fifth Book of Moses Called Deuteronomy, translated by Arthur Golding, London, 1583, page 204. Also translated in John Calvin’s Sermons on the Ten Commandments, Benjamin W. Farley, 1980.

22 reformedfundy February 9, 2010 at 12:31 am

1. Why is the Super Bowl such a big deal that you must skip church service?
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Good question. No idea. I find, that for me, to skip a service for something as trite as a football game, is to treat lightly my relationship with God and to spurn meeting with the Bride of Christ.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
2. People skip church service for other activities, why is it a big deal to skip for the Super Bowl?
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Just because somebody skips church to golf, it doesn't mean that another person is right to skip church for the Super Bowl. Of course, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's wrong. If you can, in good conscience after studying the Word and prayer, skip church services for secular activities, then by all means do so. If you feel the slightest conviction however, it's probably best that you attend church.

23 brianvoiceofthesheep February 9, 2010 at 12:36 am

Tell you what, Nathan…let’s stop appealing to history and tradition, and let’s appeal to Scripture. So far, the Roman Catholic could use every type of argument you have made for his traditional position in Rome. And my citation of the paedo/credo issue was to point out how one of your main arguments (that Jesus never abrogated the 4th commandment) is EXACTLY the same argument that paedos make in favor of baptizing infants (they say Jesus never abrogated the giving of the covenant sign to children).

Show me where the NT writers made a connection with the 4th commandment shifting from the last day of the week to the first day of the week. If it’s so clear and plain, it should be quite easy to demonstrate from the NT that the Sabbath law was still considered in effect, but had changed from one day to the next.

Thanks.

24 Nathan White February 9, 2010 at 12:40 am

Here is a summary I wrote elsewhere after reading Calvin’s Institutes. As you’ll see, Calvin is far, far from anti-Sabbatarrian. He is simply a practical Sabbatarrian:

From reading his institutes, here is what I deduce:

-Calvin, like the Puritans, recognized the true nature of the 4th commandment, that it was never *just* about physical rest.

-He also recognizes, as I do, that Christians in the New Covenant have a responsibility to obey the 4th commandment, and that it can be broken. II.8.28: “The early fathers customarily called this commandment a foreshadowing because it contains the outward keeping of a day which, upon Christ’s coming, was abolished; but they touch upon only half the matter. Hence, we must go deeper in our exposition, and ponder three conditions in which, it seems to me, the *keeping of this commandment* consists.

Thus, unlike your position, as I understand it, and the position of most anti-sabbatarians today, Calvin didn’t see ‘resting in Christ by faith’ as the sole thing needed to obey the 4th commandment. He actually applied 3 areas where our obedience consists. All of which I would agree with.

-Next, I love how he says “the heavenly Lawgiver meant to represent to the people of Israel spiritual rest, in which believers ought to lay aside their own works to allow God to work in them.” This is the essence of my theology. God has given us a Day in which HE works in us; not that we focus on ‘obeying’ this day by following rituals, abstaining from all work, etc. “Ezekiel expresses it that the Sabbath is a sign whereby Israel may recognize that God is their sanctifier.” EXCELLENT!

-Next, Calvin affirms that the “ceremonial part” of the commandment was abolished (but not the moral). Thus, he still sees a practical part, moral that is, to be obeyed by us. He is clear though, in that “Christians ought therefore to shun completely the superstitious observance of days.” –In other words, the Sabbath remains, but it is not any specific day in the New Covenant.

-Next, Calvin takes the instruction in the Law to the Jews on the Sabbath, and he applies them to us and says “Who can deny that these two things apply as much to us as the Jews?” -indicating that our rest, our servants rest, and the need for a weekly day of spiritual refreshment is needed, just as this was the essence of what the Jews needed.

-What should guide our worship? “Meetings of the church are enjoined upon us by God’s word; and from our everyday experience we well know how we need them. But how can such meetings be held unless they have been established and have their stated days?” Here he states that the order of corporate worship has been established.

And then he goes on to say “if we are subject to the same necessity as that to alleviate which the Lord established the Sabbath for the Jews, let no one allege that this has nothing to do with us” –again affirming that the 4th commandment has principles which dictate our worship in this day.

He goes from there to clearly affirm that we should “obey the order we see laid upon us by God’s will”, in that weekly worship is demanded by the 4th commandment.

-I also love how he exposes the Jewish Sabbath for turning away from Christ, and how the passages of the NT confirm that the Jewish Sabbath has been abolished. I’d disagree with him on some of these passages, but I couldn’t agree more in that we do NOT need a return to a dead Day of religious superstition, but that we need to fix our eyes on Christ on His Holy Day.

-Calvin also, very confusingly, calls Sunday the Sabbath: “in the churches founded by him [Paul], the Sabbath was retained for this purpose [Christian fellowship]. For he prescribes *that day* to the Corinthians for gathering contributions; 1 Cor 16:2.” –I couldn’t agree more.

He then says: “because it was expedient to overthrow superstition, the day sacred to the Jews was set aside; because it was necessary to maintain decorum, order, and peace in the church, another was appointed for that purpose.” That is, another Sabbath, was *appointed*, per 1 Cor 16. Seems inconsistent because he clearly denies and special significance to Sunday. He seems to make a distinction between what the Apostles did and what we are required to do (a very fine distinction, it seems).

He also affirms, in II.8.34: “the ancients did not substitute the Lord’s Day (as we call it) for the Sabbath without careful discrimination. The purpose and fulfillment of that true rest, represented by the ancient Sabbath, lies in the Lord’s resurrection.”

-And lastly, under his summation, he says “we should all observe together the lawful order set by the church for the hearing of the Word, the administration of the sacraments, and for public prayers.”

Thus, my conclusion upon reading this: he and I end up at the very same place practically speaking. The end of our doctrine is almost identical, but how we get there is different. I see the Sabbath continued as the Lord’s Day, Sunday. He does not. I see God ordering the day; he sees God giving the principles through the 4th, but the church ordering the day. I agree with him completely that God lays down principles in the 4th that we are bound to obey (and can disobey), but on the basis of the creation ordinance, I see the day, not just the weekly pattern, as commanded by God.

So, in opposition to Calvin, I don’t believe in a complete spiritualizing of the 4th commandment. He is very pragmatic, and in doing so, imposes rules upon Sunday that end up being legalistic if not backed by God’s law. Of course, I believe anyone who expects people to attend public worship with any frequency, but does not ground this in God’s word, is also a step towards legalism and “taking away a commandment of God to establish a tradition.”

Some anti-Sabbatarrian Calvin was, huh?

25 Nathan White February 9, 2010 at 12:50 am

Brian-
First, as I explained above, I am not even coming close to using paedo argumentation. That has nothing to do with it. Exegesis does.

Secondly, however, I certainly do not accept your presupposition that something must be explicitly repeated in the NT for it to be binding upon us.

Thirdly, I’m not appealing to tradition for the authority of my argument, but simply noting the fact that every generation is subject to it’s own ignorant traditions. Often we must take a step outside of our culture to see things we’ve overlooked.

Lastly, I’ve written extensively on this change of day and Sabbath issue, and now extensively on this blog (sorry, Mark!); I don’t wish to re-post everything here. Please see these two posts and email me if you’d like further clarification:

http://shepherdtheflock.com/2009/01/17/the-eighth-day-sabbath-is-the-lords-day/

http://shepherdtheflock.com/2009/01/31/sunday-as-the-christian-sabbath/

There you will find how I get there exegetically.

26 brianvoiceofthesheep February 9, 2010 at 12:58 am

Well, now I’m confused, Nathan. Do you agree with Calvin’s view, or with the LBC 1689 position? Because they are NOT the same! “Practically” speaking, even you and I end up in the same place. But that was not the issue. The issue was how we get there, and Calvin does not get there using the same road you do…even you admit that.

27 brianvoiceofthesheep February 9, 2010 at 1:11 am

I don’t understand. Something as important to the NT Christian as the Sabbath law shifting from one day to the next, and you can’t provide some simple NT passages to support it? I’m not looking for an all-out exposition of your position…just some NT references that show how the Sabbath law switched from one day to another. It is quite interesting that this is basically the same reaction I got when debating some of my paedo brothers a couple of years ago on the subject of infant baptism.

I know you want to build a huge case starting with the OT…the problem is that the whole argument is contained in the OT…just like the paedo argument. That’s what I trying to point out. If this is so clear, and it should be on something this important for the church, then you should be able to point us to clear NT passages that explain your position.

By the way, believe it or not, I hold Sunday up with just as much reverence and esteem as you do…just not for the same reasons. So, I would appreciate it if you did not try to label me with the anti-sabbatarian name, which is only meant to denigrate. I agree with Luther, Calvin and Turretin and their views of this subject, so please understand that. As you yourself said of you and Calvin, so it is true with you and I, “The end of our doctrine is almost identical, but how we get there is different.”

Thanks.

28 Nathan White February 9, 2010 at 10:33 am

Hey Brian-

You said:
“Something as important to the NT Christian as the Sabbath law shifting from one day to the next…”

No, the importance of the Sabbath law is found in its morality, not in it’s ceremonial application. The specific day one observes is the ceremonial portion of the law. That is, there isn’t some magical 24hour period that God sees as ‘holy’. That’s why I see it as unimportant to the apostles which specific day it was observed (particularly because of the transition period, there were probably those who continued to observe Saturday, to which freedom of conscience should be given).

Brian said:
“and you can’t provide some simple NT passages to support it?”

Of course I can and I did, but as I stated, you and I have different presuppositions regarding what NT texts ‘support it’.

Brian:
“It is quite interesting that this is basically the same reaction I got when debating some of my paedo brothers a couple of years ago on the subject of infant baptism.”

You keep bringing this up, and you miss the fact that it’s a total red herring. Let me explain how and why, and answer your question in the process:

-There is no statement in the NT regarding children of believers being a part of the new covenant. However, there is a statement in the NT that an Apostle called one day ‘the Lord’s Day’.

-There is no example of infant baptism in the NT. However, there is the example of the apostles obeying Sabbath duties on the first day of the week.

-There is no command in the NT to baptize infants. However, there is a command by Paul that duties pertaining to Sabbath obedience be performed on the first day of the week (1 Cor 16:1-2: Paul gives specific instruction).

-There is no indication that the promises to the infant ‘seed’ carries over from the Abrahamic to the new covenant. However, there is clear indication that the 10 commandments, as a unit and as a whole, carry over into the new covenant, albeit they are written on the heart rather than on the tablets of stone (2 Cor 3, James 2, Rom 13, Eph 6, etc.)

So just as you would like me to refrain from labeling you anti-sabbatarrian (did I do that?), I’d like you to please refrain from the guilt-by-association argument that my position is akin to paedobaptism. Honestly, I don’t understand your position. Do you believe that the morality of the 4th commandment carries over, but just that the specific day isn’t specified? That would be Calvin’s and Luther’s position, which I would disagree with, but would indicate that we’re really not very far apart at all.

To summarize my position: Sabbath duties (the morality found in creation and in the 4th commandment) require that all Christians observe the same day (“It shall be a day of holy convocation.”). In the new testament, Paul and the apostles were sympathetic to those who observed on Sunday, but by their *example*, a binding example, and by the fact that Christ rose on Sunday (the new Day of our Lord), I believe the Spirit has not left us to decide for ourselves which day to observe, but has left us a sufficient guide to determine that Sunday is the Lord’s Day. This and the fact that every church, everywhere, from the time of the Apostles until now, has met on the Lord’s Day to perform duties that conincide with Sabbath obedience.

29 Nathan White February 9, 2010 at 10:37 am

Correction of this statement: “Paul and the apostles were sympathetic to those who observed on Sunday” should read: “Paul and the apostles were sympathetic to those who observed on SATURDAY”.

In other words, during the transition period between covenants, I believe the Apostles allowed freedom of conscience to dictate whether one observes the Sabbath on Saturday of Sunday, but that as the NT church was formed and established, it moved to Sunday, as is evidenced that even to this day it remains that the church gathers to perform Sabbath duties on Sunday.

30 Nathan White February 9, 2010 at 10:39 am

No- I hold the the 1689. Calvin is legalistic, IMO, adding to the law of God without sufficient warrant.

31 brianvoiceofthesheep February 9, 2010 at 11:13 am

Nathan, you’ve got pick one position and stick with it, brother. Now you sound like Calvin or Luther or Turretin re: the Sabbath. 🙂

You say that there is not a specific day that has been appointed (or even considered as THE day by the Apostles), then you cite John’s reference to a specific day being called the “Lord’s Day”. Which is it? Also, why would none of the Apostles make the connection for us of the Sabbath law moving to another day if it were so? Yes, an argument from silence…but a deafening silence!

Your position now does not line up with the LBC 1689, which specifically states that the Sabbath changed from the last day of the week to the first day of week (and did so change from the resurrection of Christ, with no transition period). And it does not ground its position only in the moral aspects of the Sabbath, but also in many aspects of the ceremonial (restriction of certain activities).

Your position also does not line up with the Baptist Faith and Message (which you cited earlier), which states that, “Activities on the Lord’s Day should be commensurate with the Christian’s conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.” The BF&M and the LBC 1689 are at odds on this point, and I thought that you were agreeing earlier with the 1689, but your most recent comments throw that into doubt.

My point is this – you were all up in arms about people watching a football game on Sunday, and you originally cited the LBC 1689 as to why you were against recreation on Sundays. That reasoning I can understand, because the Confession explicitly states that not only should no recreation be engaged in, but not even any THOUGHTS about it should occur. The Confession states that a Christian should cease on Sunday from, “their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations”

But now you seem to be appealing just to the moral aspect of the Sabbath law. So I am trying to get a handle on what exactly it is that you believe concerning the Sabbath law and Sunday worship. If only the moral aspect of the law has remained, then there is nothing for you to get upset about concerning someone else who’s conscience is not bound concerning watching football on a Sunday (even if your conscience IS bound not to watch it). Do you see the difference? When you try to impose upon others something like what the LBC 1689 states concerning Sunday activities, you are attempting to bind their conscience with something you believe is a universal law that applies to everyone (and that in fact may be what you believe). Your inconsistency is revealed, though, when you begin to say things like their is no specific day, and that it is purely moral now, with no ceremonial requirements. The LBC 1689 retains some ceremonial requirements to its view of Sunday. The BF&M does not. It states that activities on that day should be guided by the conscience. If you have a conviction about things you shouldn’t do on Sunday…great! Follow that. But do not try to impose your conscience onto another to bind theirs.

I believe, as you do, that formal corporate worship should on Sunday (as I have already stated, I agree with Calvin, Luther and Turretin). What I do NOT agree with is the LBC 1689’s grounding that worship in OT ceremonial restrictions concerning what can and cannot be done on that day, which in earlier remarks you seemed to agree with the LBC on those points. Has that changed? Do you line up with the LBC or the BF&M? Binding law, or guided by conscience?

BTW, my reference to some of the paedo position and how they reach that position was not to make you guilty by association. It was to show the similarity in some of the argumentation with respect to something being explicitly abrogated or not.

32 brianvoiceofthesheep February 9, 2010 at 11:17 am

To try and simplify – WHY were you upset that people watched a football game on Sunday? What is the basis for your objection to watching that game on that day? If they missed church to watch it, then I would say they were wrong. If their church has regular gatherings on Sunday evenings, then that’s where they should have been. But I do not believe they should not have watched the game because of what the LBC 1689 states concerning what it believes to be still-binding ceremonial aspects of the Sabbath law. You?

Thanks.

33 Nathan White February 9, 2010 at 11:56 am

Brian-

I’m finding it more and more difficult to have a discussion with you’re not reading my comments carefully. You don’t understand my position and are seemingly having a good time burning strawmen. It’s so funny to me that you are the one telling me whether I agree with the 1689 or not!

Let me clarify a few things:

-I agree with the 1689.

-The specific day has been appointed by the example of the apostles, including by many other inferences in scripture where Sabbath duties are performed on Sunday by either example or Paul’s instruction (1 Cor 16).

-I state that it was not *explicitly* appointed in the NT because of several reasons, the offending of Jews in the beginning, the full development of doctrine that came over time, and the fact that the morality of the command is not found in observing a specific 24hour period. Thus, the change in the day is not a huge issue because the gospel was to be taken to all the world. All the world encompasses many different timezones. For the apostles to explicitly say “Sunday” I think it would’ve confused the gentiles, many of whom operated on a different weekly calendar, and it would’ve confused those living in other nations when their “Sunday” would take place at a different time than Israel’s Sunday. You overlook basic issues such as these, which are as obvious from the light of nature. Our Sunday here in GA is not the same moment in time as Sundays across the world! The specific moment in time, 24yr period, is unimportant. What IS important is that it is the 1st day of the week –whatever week it is you are in.

-That being said, I agree with the 1689 because scripture and reason make it clear that Sabbath duties can only be performed when the entire church is in unison on the day. Thus, by positive apostolic example, the testimony of history and the unity of the church on the day for the last 2 thousand years, and inference of precept from the scriptures, the Sabbath has changed to the first day of the week.

-Yes, it did change with the resurrection of Christ, but just as Paul was sympathetic to Jews, for a time allowing them to continue their ceremonial traditions without forcing the Law upon others, I see the apostles doing likewise with the Sabbath, and this could potentially be a reason why it isn’t *explicitly* changed, as if we needed it to be anyway. Nevertheless, see my comments above about ‘time and space’, the weekly calendar, etc.

-I never said the BF&M supported my position; of course it doesn’t. I’m not a Southern Baptist. I said it still bears the resemblance of the Baptist forefathers who wrote it, who were sabbatarrian. We want to get back to the ‘Founders’, right? But IMO, the BF&M is legalistic because it commands something that is not rooted in the Law of God.

-Do you understand what I mean by ‘moral’? Doesn’t seem like it to me. The moral is what is commanded for us to do; the ceremonial is the arena, or time/place in which we do it. Sunday is the ceremonial portion of the command, just as Saturday was in the OC; our duties are the moral portion, to be performed on the ceremonial day. What I am saying is that the ceremonial aspects of the command have changed from OC to NC, but that the moral substance has remained the same since creation. Add to this my comments above (again) about time, space, timezones, calendars, cultures, etc. The Apostles were not explicit because the people of God were moving out of a nation state located in a specific part of the world and operating on a specific calendar, to “all the world”, which encompasses many nations and timezones and calendars. But this does not mean that the 1st day of OUR week, just as they did in their time, is not the Christian Sabbath.

Now Brian, I have answered all of your questions. Hopefully you understand my position now, and I am content with that. I could likewise ask you a series of questions, point out your inconsistencies, but I am at little weary of this discussion. I would simply just ask that you read more of the puritans, historic baptists, and reformers on this issue so that maybe you’ll see that Sunday-Sabbath doesn’t get created out of thin air.

34 Nathan White February 9, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Brian asked:
WHY were you upset that people watched a football game on Sunday? What is the basis for your objection to watching that game on that day? If they missed church to watch it, then I would say they were wrong. If their church has regular gatherings on Sunday evenings, then that’s where they should have been. But I do not believe they should not have watched the game because of what the LBC 1689 states concerning what it believes to be still-binding ceremonial aspects of the Sabbath law. You?

The 1689 rightly breaks down the duties of Sabbath obedience, best contained in scripture, IMO.

However, I do recognize some freedom in conscience. The day is to be set aside as holy to the Lord. In other words, we are to set aside a special time to ‘delight’ in the Lord, serve others, worship with others, and obtain some physical rest. Application of these things can be tough at times, and we should allow some freedom of conscience.

I am not upset just because people watch football on the Lord’s Day. I’m concerned about their heart if they skip church, neglect other Sabbath duties, or fail to conscencrate their day as holy to the Lord. In reality, one ‘application’ of physical rest could be watching a football game, and I have no problem with that provided that other Sabbath duties were obeyed. Yes, it does seem to violate the instruction out of Is 58 which says we are to turn our foot away from our own pleasures (which entertainment is certainly one application), and yes it does seem to support those working on the Sabbath (contrary to the 4th commandment), but ultimately I am concerned that we can talk about football on Sunday without ever referecing the fact that the Sabbath command has something to do with this.

In this culture, which has almost completely rejected the 4th commandment because of the ease of lifestyle and entertainment that goes to the very core of what we live for here in America, I am content with getting people to realize that the 4th commandment has something to do with them. I am convinced that if we just get people to understand that the 4th commandment instructs us into practical obedience somehow, some way, then the Spirit will ultimatley guide them into proper obedience. The last thing we need to do is to set rules…and hopefully I have not given you the opinion that I am setting a rule of ‘absolutley no football’ on Sundays.

35 Nathan White February 9, 2010 at 12:24 pm

One more example of what I’m saying, Brian:

During the French Revolution, one philosopher/dictator attempted to move the nation to a 10 day work week, according to him, to defeat Christianity. Voltair even said: “I can never hope to destroy Christianity until I first destroy the Christian Sabbath.”

As a believer living during this time, what are you to do? If the Apostles had demanded Sunday as the Christian Sabbath, then the 6 days labor and 1 day rest, ordained from creation, would be compromised. But because the people of God are not located in one region anymore, nor in one nation-state observing one calendar, the apostles are content with leaving the ‘6 days labor and 1 day rest’ pattern from creation, while positively identifying the 1st day of the week for obeying Sabbath duties by leaving their example.

36 brianvoiceofthesheep February 9, 2010 at 12:35 pm

“hopefully I have not given you the opinion that I am setting a rule of ‘absolutley[sic] no football’ on Sundays.”

No, but the 1689 does set that rule. And you said you agreed with it. Therein lies the confusion of your position.

37 Nathan White February 9, 2010 at 12:47 pm

I sure am troubled by your arrogance, not only in continually telling me what I believe, but in informing me what the confession teaches as if you’re the expert. The questions you have asked reveal that you’re not familiar with some of the very basic teachings on the Sabbath as taught for centuries by Reformers and Puritans, and yet I’m supposed to believe that you know what the writers of the 1689 meant when they detailed the commandment? And yet you are the one to inform me whether or not there is any liberty in the exact words of the confession for specific application?

No wonder this discussion has gone nowhere.

38 brianvoiceofthesheep February 9, 2010 at 1:17 pm

My apologies. I did not mean to appear arrogant. I am just reacting to your own words. You said you agreed with the Confession. The Confession does not allow for things like football on Sundays. Yet you said you do not hold to “absolutely no football on Sundays”. A comparison of your words to the Confession reveals a disconnect between the two.

“observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations”

Does this mean what it says, or is there a way in which to affirm this while not really agreeing with what it says, but rather holding to the spirit of it and not the actual statement? If that is the case, then you need to be clearer in the future about what you really affirm re: the Confession. One can interpret the Confession’s words at this point in a way that actually affirms being guided by conscience and good judgment, or one can affirm what the Confession actually states (the words are pretty clear – rest all day from works, words and thoughts, about worldly employment and recreations). Many groups take these words on their face, such as ARBCA, and teach that nothing relating to recreation is permissible on that day. Others hold a much looser interpretation, in essence not really affirming what the Confession states at this point.

There is a wide gap between those two ways of affirming the Confession. I was under the impression that you affirmed it on its face. I apologize if that is not the case. Are you saying you affirm the spirit, but not the letter, of the Confession at this point?

My apologies for misrepresenting you if that is the case.

39 Nathan White February 9, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Brian-
Thank you for your kindness and your apology. I would HATE for this issue to become between you and me, as we share so many other things in common. We are in the same foxhole, my friend! Asking me to clarify is definitely better than telling me that I’m inconsistent; apology accepted.

There are many ways I could approach your question. The first is that clearly, even ‘full subscription’ to the 1689 doesn’t mean strict in the sense that every jot and tittle is taken as gospel. Nobody, and I mean nobody, agrees to every setting of words and statements in the confession. That’s because it isn’t an infallible document.

I agree with what the confession states, but also believe that there is some application specifics that we have some freedom in, application that does not violate the wording of the confession.

For example, you stated where it said “observe an holy rest all day”. Well, what does ‘all day’ mean? Daylight only? 12 to 12, a full 24hours –and if so, am I being ‘obedient’ while sleeping some of that time during the night? Does it mean sundown to sundown, as in the OT? Etc. Many different ‘applications’ can be deduced here.

Say, for example, one man began his Sabbath on Saturday night, preparing for worship and following in the tradition of OT Sabbath observance. Then, on Sunday morning, he was at church, taught his family at home during the day, went and served some elderly folks at the nursing home, helped a neighbor repair a flat so he could drive to work the next day, went back to evening worship, had a time of prayer and singing with his family before putting them to bed, and then, about 9pm, a football game is on. Or, he had set his DVR and recorded a football game from earlier in the day. Is he still within the bounds of the confession and of God’s word if he sits down and watches the game? Especially since he’s already been observing for 24hours? I say absolutely, and do not see that as in conflict with the confession.

That is just one example, of many IMO, where application of the command differs slightly. And so I am not comfortable with setting specific rules beyond the general thrust of what scripture commands (which the confession states very well).

And I am a member of ARBCA, and do not agree with your statement that we hold to a strict interpretation so that nothing else is allowed on the day. The body of Christ within ARBCA, from my experience, has generally been very charitable towards others regarding some specific matters of application. Where the desire of the heart is obvious (like skipping church to watch football), then no, we are pretty strict; but in matters of conscience, there is more freedom than you’re probably aware of.

40 brianvoiceofthesheep February 9, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Not to get into a discussion about ARBCA, but I am much more familiar with it than you might realize, and I know first hand what the elders at two of the major ARBCA churches here in GA really hold to. Their view is consistent with ARBCA’s stated level of affirmation of the Confession. But that is not worth getting into here and now.

Grace and peace to you, my friend.

41 Nathan White February 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm

That’s great; I know all the ARBCA pastors here in Georgia.

42 Mark Freer February 9, 2010 at 3:38 pm

A couple of questions. First where in scripture are Sunday night services? Second if Sunday is the N.T. sabbath shouldn’t it be observed like the O.T. sabbath, sundown to sundown? Starting Saturday sundown and ending Sunday sundown. Just asking.

43 klockheed February 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm

No one denies Calvin viewed ‘the Lord’s day’ as an important one, however, that’s not the criteria. Calvin did not believe the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day were synonymous. Also, your quote simply notes the fickle nature of these quote-war-type discussions. Hence I ask you for a single verse in Scripture which states that the Sabbath is now Sunday.

44 klockheed February 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm

No only that Mark, but shouldn’t ALL the laws relating to the Sabbath apply unless specifically abrogated in Scripture?

45 Brent Hobbs February 10, 2010 at 5:35 pm

I don’t mind people skipping a church meeting occasionally for something else they enjoy doing.

46 Nathan White February 10, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Klockheed-
Calvin’s comments above came from his sermons on the 10 commandments. Sure, they may not be ‘synonymous’; in fact, the confessions (and myself) make it clear that they are certainly not ‘synonymous’. But there is a direct connection, which Calvin obviously saw, and this connection teaches us the essence of proper Sabbath obedience.

47 klockheed February 10, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Wonderful, but Calvin doesn’t apply the same view to Hebrews 4 that you do.

“But I doubt not but that the Apostle designedly alluded to the Sabbath in order to reclaim the Jews from its external observances; for in no other way could its abrogation be understood, except by the knowledge of its spiritual design. He then treats of two things together; for by extolling the excellency of grace, he stimulates us to receive it by faith, and in the meantime he shows us in passing what is the true design of the Sabbath, lest the Jews should be foolishly attached to the outward rite.”

Again, Calvin’s does not support the Sunday-is-the-Sabbath view you’re promoting but he DOES certainly support the idea that Sunday should be used as a day of worship and therefore a fulfilling type of the Sabbath.

In his commentary on Col 2:16, Calvin writes:

“What he had previously said of circumcision he now extends to the difference of meats and days. For circumcision was the first introduction to the observance of the law, other things followed afterwards. To judge means here, to hold one to be guilty of a crime, or to impose a scruple of conscience, so that we are no longer free. He says, therefore, that it is not in the power of men to make us subject to the observance of rites which Christ has by his death abolished, and exempts us from their yoke, that we may not allow ourselves to be fettered by the laws which they have imposed. He tacitly, however, places Christ in contrast with all mankind, lest any one should extol himself so daringly as to attempt to take away what he has given him.”

What was are these “other things” in the Law that followed circumcision but the keeping of feast days and sabbaths (as Paul states in the verse.) I realize many have attempted to argue this usage away from the passage, but it cannot be granted when Paul’s whole point is that Christians are free in regard to the Law-demanded feasts and the requirements of the Sabbaths just as they are free from the legal requirement of circumcision.

Again, in his commentaries, this time in the Harmony of the Law, Exo. 31:12-17

“If the Jews cry out that what is perpetual, and what is temporary, are contraries to each other, we must deny it in various respects, since assuredly what was peculiar to the Law could not continue to exist beyond the day of Jesus Christ. Besides, the Sabbath, although its external observation is not now in use, still remains eternal in its reality, like circumcision. Thus the stability of both was best confirmed by their abrogation; since, if God now required the same of Christians, it would be putting a veil over the death and resurrection of His Son; and hence the more carefully the Jews persevere in the keeping the festival, the more do they derogate from its sanctity. But they calumniate us falsely, as if we disregarded the Sabbath; because there is nothing which more completely confirms its reality and substance than the abolition of its external use.”

Read that? “If God now required the same of Christians, it would be putting a veil over the death and resurrection of His Son.” So now, taken in conjunction with Calvin said elsewhere (specifically his sermon on Deut 34) a clearer picture of his entire view comes into focus. As I stated before, Calvin did not see Sunday as a simple sabbath replacement as so many Reformed want to make it to be, applying their own man-made rules and regulations to it, rather he states:

“Thus we see what is the regulation for keeping this Day. It is not to keep the ceremonies as strictly as under the Jewish legal bondage, for we do not have the figure or shadow any longer. But rather, the Day serves as a means of calling us together so that we may learn, to the extent we are able, to apply ourselves more fully to serving God. We are to dedicate the day entirely to him, so that we may completely withdraw from the world and, as I said before, so that we may have a good start for the remainder of the week.”

I would argue that Calvin’s entire position is that Sunday, the Lord’s Day is to be spent in honor and worship of God as much as possible.

As Reformed Christians, understanding the doctrines of vocation and service, we cannot limit service to God solely to one day a week, or one location. While the believer is certainly bound by conscience to attend the gathering of the people, the Law no longer binds them from leisure, even if that includes watching a football game, so long as it does not prevent them from proper honor and worship of God with the rest of the saints (not Saints 😉 ).

I believe that Calvin, like many other Reformed authors, wavers between the freedom of the believer and the believer’s duty to God in regards to the nature of rest on the Lord’s Day.

I again ask, if Sunday has truly become the “Christian Sabbath”, where then are the clear written requirements found in Scripture? Where is the clear transference wherein we might find one of the Apostles stating for us that such is the case? Why must those who hold to the Sunday-Sabbath view browbeat others publicly when a supposed infraction against their view is committed? (I’ve seen this happen in a church foyer as a new believer mentioned his need to fulfill his promise to his wife by mowing his lawn upon returning home from church!)

48 Nathan White February 10, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Klockheed said: “Calvin did not see Sunday as a simple sabbath replacement as so many Reformed want to make it to be, applying their own man-made rules and regulations to it…I would argue that Calvin’s entire position is that Sunday, the Lord’s Day is to be spent in honor and worship of God as much as possible.”

I see a contradiction here. Those who argue that God’s moral law found in the 10commandments are perpetual are accused of setting “man-made rules”, and yet Calvin (and you it seems) turn around and say “the Lord’s Day is to be spent in honor and worship of God as much as possible.” On what authority do you make such a statement? Furthermore, as I quoted Calvin above, he goes far beyond just saying that the Lord’s Day “should” be spent in worship; he is very clear that certain things should not be done on that day, and that men are guilty of sin when they make it a “mockery.”

If you’re not convinced on the perpetuity of the 10 commandments then that’s fine; I’m not going to sit here and argue about it. Many great and godly brother and church history fathers disagree. But to say that my conduct is bound in any way whatsoever on the Lord’s Day is just plain legalism. If I want to come to church once a month, then I have that freedom. If my church elders want to hold corporate worship once a month, then they have that freedom. If I want to work, play, relax, etc., on Sunday as much as I please, then I have that freedom. Saying that ‘it is best’, or ‘it is preferred’, ‘it is expected’ (which is often an unspoken expectation in our church culture, or even ‘it is to your good’ that I alter my behavior in any way whatsoever on the Lord’s Day is legalism and is worse than being under the law. Give me some clear instruction from God what this ‘Lord’s Day’ is, if not the Sabbath, or never mention it again less you hold me to unbiblical expectations.

49 klockheed February 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm

“Give me some clear instruction from God what this ‘Lord’s Day’ is, if not the Sabbath, or never mention it again less you hold me to unbiblical expectations.”

Doesn’t Hebrews 10 already give you that?

50 Nathan White February 10, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Klockheed said above (sorry, the specific thread where he said this doesn’t have a ‘reply’ button):
“Doesn’t Hebrews 10 already give you that?”

I’ve been in churches where if you don’t come to Wednesday prayer, or Tuesday visitation, or Friday night bible study, then you’re looked down upon as not serious, not dedicated, etc. What if church leaders, using Heb 10, say that attendance 3 nights a week is necessary for one to obey the command “do not forsake the assembly”? Some churches I know won’t put a member under discipline (or better yet, take them off the role) unless they come less than once every 6 months. Some churches I know hold worship services on Saturday night. Some churches I’ve heard of hold services every other week.

My point is simply that Calvin’s teaching on the Lord’s Day are legalistic if they’re not rooted in the 4th commandment. But you see, he does root them in the 4th commandment, otherwise he’d never come up with those things; he just doesn’t admit such. And most Christians, I have found almost without exception, set expectations around corporate worship that lack biblical foundation if the Sabbath commandment means nothing anymore.

You see, God call us to worship Him one full day out of every 7. He doesn’t demand that we ‘read our bible and pray’ every day (‘quiet time’ is not a biblical term), even though that may be good. He doesn’t command us to attend Wednesday prayer. The bible presupposes that we will be 100% busy 6 days a week with work and family, but that we give God one Day for our spiritual and physical good. But in our culture, we have loads of free time, unlike any previous society. And so it is natural to us to expect more from others than God actually calls for.

Anyway, I said all that to say that I am content with the pattern of worship God has setup, but that I’m weary of Christians setting ‘Lord’s Day’ rules and patterns that are not rooted in any clear teaching. No law on worship, an ambiguous law on worship, or an unspoken law that ‘reveals our affections’ is worse than being under the strictness of the Old Covenant.

51 klockheed February 10, 2010 at 9:29 pm

“My point is simply that Calvin’s teaching on the Lord’s Day are legalistic if they’re not rooted in the 4th commandment. But you see, he does root them in the 4th commandment, otherwise he’d never come up with those things; he just doesn’t admit such”

Why cannot those church leaders you mention likewise root their claims in the 4th commandment, extending the Sabbath to whatever day they please.

“And most Christians, I have found almost without exception, set expectations around corporate worship that lack biblical foundation if the Sabbath commandment means nothing anymore.”

But one group says that the Sabbath commandment means you cannot eat at a restaurant, or play any sort of games, and the other says you cannot (I recently heard preached) enjoy oneself at all. Scripture however tells us that no work, whatsoever, can be done on the Sabbath, that we can carry no load, etc…

On what Biblical basis can we continue one part of the command while denying the rest?

Christ’s expression of the Sabbath commands to the Pharisees was not a change of the Law, but a clarification of that which they misused.

I really wonder what effect this supposed Sunday-Sabbath had on slaves in Gentile cultures.

52 Nathan White February 10, 2010 at 9:46 pm

“Why cannot those church leaders you mention likewise root their claims in the 4th commandment, extending the Sabbath to whatever day they please.”

Apostolic example is just as binding as apostolic instruction. The New Testament goes out of its way to communicate how Jesus appearing to the disciples, Pentecost, and continued corporate worship always took place on the first day of the week. Furthermore, Paul in 1 Cor 16 instructs to church to gather on the first day of the week, as he had instructed other churches. But this is all moot: only a small, select group of churches in the last 2000 years have gathered to worship on any day other than Sunday, and we’d probably found that most have abandoned the gospel and are gathering such to meet the felt needs of unbelievers who want their Sundays free.

“On what Biblical basis can we continue one part of the command while denying the rest?”

To a large extent, Christian conscience. However, the moral law found in the 10 commandments, in which the 4th is based upon the creation account, should guide our understanding, and not the other distinctly Jewish patterns of the law that have passed away. The Jewish Sabbath system is quite elaborate, and Paul is clear that it passed away in Christ (Col 2). But what is contained in the moral law, the creation account, and apostolic example, continues.

Yes, Christ was clarifying and not changing the Sabbath. But all of His teaching on it is still applicable. Maybe we forget that the gospels were written many decades later, and were written specifically to instruct the NT church. That’s why there are no teachings/regulations in the gospels on the ceremonial aspects of the Law. The Sabbath Day isn’t ceremonial; the Sabbath system was. Only the Decalogue is held up in the NT as perpetual, word for word.

And slaves in gentile cultures: Jesus taught that the Sabbath was “made for man”, and not the other way around. IT is a slave to us; we are not a slave to it. It is a gift, a delight, a privilege, and a joy. If we are providentially hindered from keeping it holy in externals, as slaves would have been, then there is mercy there, and we’ll keep it holy internally. It should never be a burden to us, as none of the law of God is in Christ.

53 klockheed February 10, 2010 at 10:14 pm

“But this is all moot: only a small, select group of churches in the last 2000 years have gathered to worship on any day other than Sunday, and we’d probably found that most have abandoned the gospel and are gathering such to meet the felt needs of unbelievers who want their Sundays free.”

THIS is NOT Apostolic example, but tradition. On this basis one can point to anything that has become the norm over 2000 years and appeal to it as the reason we ~must~ do anything.

“The Jewish Sabbath system is quite elaborate, and Paul is clear that it passed away in Christ (Col 2). But what is contained in the moral law, the creation account, and apostolic example, continues.”

Neither the creation account, nor Apostolic example speak of football or restaurant patronage.

“Yes, Christ was clarifying and not changing the Sabbath. But all of His teaching on it is still applicable.”

Since you agree that Christ did not change the Sabbath, on what basis do you carry any load on the “Sabbath”?

“It is a gift, a delight, a privilege, and a joy. If we are providentially hindered from keeping it holy in externals, as slaves would have been, then there is mercy there, and we’ll keep it holy internally. It should never be a burden to us, as none of the law of God is in Christ.”

AH! FULL AGREEMENT!

54 Nathan White February 10, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Klockheed said:
“THIS is NOT Apostolic example, but tradition. On this basis one can point to anything that has become the norm over 2000 years and appeal to it as the reason we ~must~ do anything.”

I said it was ‘moot’ because churches for 2000years have followed Sunday worship. This establishes that they follow some kind of rule (uniformly); this does not establish the rule. The apostolic example recorded in the New Testament, built on the foundation of the Sabbath, and only properly understood through the Sabbath, establishes the rule.

“Neither the creation account, nor Apostolic example speak of football or restaurant patronage.”

The Decalogue, Exodus 20:11, points to the creation account (as does Hebrews 4). Thus, along with the other 9 commandments, they are to be understood as an explicit revelation of God’s moral law, the law of creation. In that commandment restaurant patronage is prohibited if within our power and not in a situation of emergency/necessity. That’s where I base my view; obviously we disagree here.

“Since you agree that Christ did not change the Sabbath, on what basis do you carry any load on the “Sabbath”?”

Christ, along with other parts of scripture (specifically, IS 58), made it clear that physical activity was not the essence of ‘sabbath keeping’. Love, mercy, justice, and other moral necessities associated with the command, worship –corporate and private–, are the essence.

“AH! FULL AGREEMENT!”

Very good, my brother. Even if we don’t agree on all the specifics, we can agree that Christ is our righteousness, is the end of the Law, and that the Sabbath rest ultimately and finally points to the rest we have in Him, right? Yes, I believe there is a ‘already/not-yet’ aspect, where we still obey the type (the physical day) in anticipation of the full anti-type (the eternal Sabbath), but at the end of the day we’re probably closer to agreement than we realize. Let’s keep Christ center regardless.

55 candle4969 February 5, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I do not think a church should cancel church for a Super Bowl game. First of all football is one of the most violent sport that is out there. They are all violent. Do people realize how some of the football players get hurt over a football game. As a christian how can I sit there and watch someone get hurt and be dragged out on a gurney and have to go to the hospital for months over a injury. Would Christ go to a Super Bowl party and watch such violence? I do not think so and watch grown men and women yell and sceam at the top of there lungs and get into fight over it. No he would not! Our chruch don’t have Sunday night service but the pastor is going to have a super bowl party at his house. Some of the women told me they where going for the fellowship. How is that going to be fellowship in a football game. A doctor that goes to school for years makes less than a football player how is that fair? Why do they make so much more than people who have studied there whole life? As a christian a follower of Christ I refuse to protain in such a sport in church or out of church! I don’t think a church shoulde sponser a Super Bowl game in any shape, form, or fashion. I say this due to the violence of it.

56 candle4969 February 5, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I do not think a church should cancel church for a Super Bowl game. First of all football is one of the most violent sport that is out there. They are all violent. Do people realize how some of the football players get hurt over a football game. As a christian how can I sit there and watch someone get hurt and be dragged out on a gurney and have to go to the hospital for months over a injury. Would Christ go to a Super Bowl party and watch such violence? I do not think so and watch grown men and women yell and sceam at the top of there lungs and get into fight over it. No he would not! Our chruch don’t have Sunday night service but the pastor is going to have a super bowl party at his house. Some of the women told me they where going for the fellowship. How is that going to be fellowship in a football game. A doctor that goes to school for years makes less than a football player how is that fair? Why do they make so much more than people who have studied there whole life? As a christian a follower of Christ I refuse to protain in such a sport in church or out of church! I don’t think a church shoulde sponser a Super Bowl game in any shape, form, or fashion. I say this due to the violence of it.

57 Ryan February 7, 2012 at 2:46 am

To answer your question
Why is the Super Bowl such a big deal that you must skip church service?
It’s a big deal because it’s the championship game for the greatest sport on earth. In all seriousness I don’t see why it’s wrong to skip a Sunday evening service personally I don’t see why it’s necessary to have an evening service at all. At the church I used to attend we had around 500 members and less than 25% actually showed up on a regular basis for evening service.

58 Max Weiland February 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm

I’m headed to the game instead of my primary weekly service. I love football. I watch it every thanksgiving and Super Bowl.
The reason I’m choosing the game over church, is that the game comes once a year. If it was every sunday, or even once a month, I’d never ever pick it over church attendance. But as it stands currently, I’m missing about 4% of the yearly church attendance of my primary service today, and I’d miss 50% of my yearly football if I picked church. Add in that I go to a different service Saturday nights, I listen to two preachers on the radio nearly every weekday evening, get together w a few guys about twice a month to talk about Jesus, read and pray to Him every day, and it’s a real strong brother in the Lord who’s house I’m watching the game at, and I really don’t feel like I’m missing a whole lot by choosing SuperBaal over church today.
May the Lord bless everyone who reads this page this far.
In Him,
Max

59 Max Weiland February 4, 2013 at 12:02 am

You know what I been thinking?
If you gotta go to the Bible to prove freedom, it’s kinda legalism right there.
Was it stated in a comment my eyes blurred over on, or has no one brought up the point that if you think choosing church attendance over the super bowl makes you a better, purer follower of Christ, you got some soul searching to do.
Your heart oughta be able to tell you the answer: Do you feel guilty about missing church to watch a game, or do you know your walk w the Lord is a 24/7 thing that won’t hiccup if you miss a few of a steady stream of assemblages w believers?
And if I’m getting this worked up over the issue, it tells me I got some soul searching of my own to do.
Love you all,
Max

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