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Is Sunday my Sabbath?

As an ex-Seventh-day Adventist I get this question frequently. This fine Sunday morning while I’m playing with my computer, let me answer both yes and no!

There are several ways in which ex-SDAs deal with the Sabbath. The first is to accept the Sunday as the Sabbath in accordance with the letter of the commandment, with the day changed by authority of Jesus or the apostles. I find this change unsubstantiated. The second is to apply the Sabbath command in some other way, but nonetheless explicitly, such as to the command to “rest in Christ.” I take neither of these approaches, though I think the second of them has some merit.

For me, Jesus presented the ideal that all commands were to be taken in spirit and from the heart rather than in terms of simply following the letter. In fact, the letter could get in the way of living right if one didn’t find a way to soften it from time to time. The difference would be between an employer giving one employee a list of work rules, while telling another employee to work as he pleased, but to make sure to get certain tasks done.

Thus for me the fourth commandment simply provides a guideline. That was how sacred time was delineated for a specific time, place, and group of people. I do not live at that time, nor in that place, nor am I part of that group to whom the specific command was specifically addressed. (However you read this, don’t assume I think I’m better than that group of people. Just different.)

So in answer to the immediate follow-up question: Do you discard the rest of the commandments? Yes and no, and in the same sense. The ten commandments were part of Jewish law. They express principles that would be part of any divine law, but they do not apply as letter to all of us.

Sunday is time I set aside to spend with God, along with many other specific times during the week, but it’s not a fulfillment of the letter of the commandment. Rather, it’s the application of the principle of time set aside for God as I believe it applies to my life, my place, and my time.

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  1. The comment that you made regarding commands being followed in spirit rather than to the letter of the law is self serving. Basically what people have done is put themselves first and do what they want to do and then try to rationalize it.
    Jesus was never at a loss for words, He told us what we are expected to do as believers. If He had wanted us to worship on Sunday He would have simply said so.
    All that is asked of us is that we follow 10 basic rules. None of these rules are difficult to keep, none ask us to do the impossible. Many are aimed at our fellow man: do not steal, do not kill, do not lie, do not cheat on your spouse. For most, they are the ones that we tend to pay attention to. The ones that deal with God are the ones that people tend to ignore. Some people pray to saints, who just like you and me, are normal people. It is sad that the only commandment that starts out with the word remember is the one that people forget.

  2. I used to be an adventist back in 1993 but now I’m happy doing my own thing. All churches get it wrong from time to time thats my thinking anyway.

    bye Arran

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