I have studied the issue of the sabbath and its place in Christian life quite alot, and I’ve struggled with it. I consider myself to be reformed, meaning that I hold to covenantal, calvinistic, and confessional christianity. I subscribe to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of faith, and I believe it is a very good confession.
But, I don’t fully subscribe to it (though I used to), because of its stance on the sabbath day. I find no convincing reason to believe that the sabbath command given in the Old Testament is still binding on Christians today. In fact, I see much evidence to the contrary! As I’ve studied this issue, I’ve wondered what presuppositions have to be in place in order to not see the New Testaments plain teaching on the sabbath as just that – plain teaching.
Ultimately, it comes down to a belief that the 10 Commandments are a summary of the moral law, and so each of them must be at least partially moral.
People will say that with the sabbath specifically, it has to do with the fact that sabbath keeping was prescribed in Genesis 2:2-3, but in order to see that, you must already have a presupposition regarding the nature of the 10 Commandments.So that’s really where the disagreement resides.
So, I’ve put together 11 questions (with some sub-questions) that I would give to sabbatarians and would want their understanding of them.
- Where does the NT explicitly endorse the 10C’s as the summary of the moral law?
- If it doesn’t explicitly do that, then where does it implicitly do that?
- And if it does in fact implicitly do that, then why does the supposed implicit override the explicit passages that refer to the Sabbath (Col 2 and Rom 14)?
- If the explicit passages don’t in fact refer to the Sabbath, what is the exegetical basis for believing that?
- (do the implicit passages in the NT that endorse the 10C’s thereby make the explicit passages not refer to the Sabbath?)
- What is the exegetical basis for saying that Genesis 2:2-3 establishes a moral law?
- What is the exegetical basis for saying that the 10C’s are intended to be the summary of the moral law?
- What is the exegetical basis for saying that the Sabbath wasn’t given specifically for Israel?
- If the 4th Commandment is part ceremonial, part moral, and the part that’s ceremonial is the specific day (the part that’s moral being the command to work 6 and rest/worship 1), then what is the exegetical basis for saying that the reason annexed to the ceremonial aspect of the 4th Commandment shows the establishment of the moral aspect of the 4th Commandment?
- What is the exegetical basis for saying that the sign of the MC belongs to all people?
- What is the exegetical basis for saying that the Sabbath is a moral law when it was also a created law (moral laws reflect God’s ethical character, and are not created – the Sabbath was “made for man”).
- Why is the Lord’s Day called the “Christian Sabbath” if it is a moral law for all people, not just Christians?
- How does a lost person keep the Sabbath? Must they attend church? If the moral aspect of the Sabbath is simply to work 6 rest 1, then would they have to rest/worship on Sunday, the Christian Sabbath?
- No one denies a change in the day that the people of God worship, but why, if the day was changed, thereby showing that the day was ceremonial, do you assume that the change in day teaches that only part of the command was ceremonial, instead of all of it being ceremonial?