Monthly Archives: December 2017

Why I am now a Sabbatarian, part 1

A couple years ago I wrote a series of posts called “It is a sin to not gather on the Lord’s Day.” I have not changed my view on that. But I have changed how I get there biblically. In that series I started off by saying I was not a Sabbatarian. Then about a year ago, I became 50/50 on the issue. Now, though I may always have the attitude of “I could be wrong here,” I am now a Sabbatarian.

I think this is a good thing for me to write about because most of my close theological friends are not Sabbatarians. I graduated from Southern Seminary in 2008, and most (if not all) of my professors are not Sabbatarians– guys like Bruce Ware, Tom Schreiner, Steve Wellum, and Don Whitney. Heck, I have heard Al Mohler is not a Sabbatarian.

Virtual mentors of mine like Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman are not Sabbatarians. My elders at my old church are pretty much all not Sabbatarians as far as I know, including Ryan Fullerton, my favorite preacher in the world. Am I crazy?

My aim in this series is to challenge all of my closest friends to re-think this issue and to challenge current Sabbatarians to think more deeply about application. One of my biggest obstacles to becoming Sabbatarian was that I looked more Sabbatarian in practice than a lot of Sabbatarians I knew personally.

So let me begin with a definition by grabbing from what I said as a non-Sabbatarian a couple years ago:

First, I am not a Sabbatarian, meaning I do not believe the Sabbath Law from the Old Covenant carries over into the New Covenant. If I were, then I would simply say the Fourth Commandment is where God commands us to gather on one day out of the week for worship, and that we can infer from the early church and from the resurrection that the Sabbath has moved from Saturday to Sunday. But as I said, I am not a Sabbatarian.”

Hopefully in obedience to God, today I am a Sabbatarian, meaning I do believe the Sabbath Law from the Old Covenant carries over into the New Covenant. Therefore, I would say the Fourth Commandment is where God commands us to gather on one day out of the week for worship, and we can infer from the early church and from the resurrection that the Sabbath has moved from Saturday to Sunday.

I used to object, “but we are not under the Law of Moses! We are under the Law of Christ!” Obviously, that held a lot of weight for me for a long time. So let’s think about that a little next post.

 

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Let’s get past the technicalities

Imagine two church members have a conflict (imagine that!), and they both sin against each other, and never reconcile over the conflict. And now imagine that you get wind of this from one of the parties. I would exhort you with Ephesians 4.1-3: “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Let that be your guide, among many other big NT ideas, to help you wade through this situation to bring about a stronger unity in the Body of Christ.

No need to worry about:

  • Is this gossip? Gossip is 99% of the time in the heart of the speaker, that is between them and God.
  • Should I be hearing this? It doesn’t matter; you just heard it.
  • Should I tell them they need to go back to that person one one one in order to follow Matthew 18? Once there is a two-way conflict, it is no longer a true Matthew 18 situation. Matthew 18 is a situation that envisions one person has sinned against another, not a situation in which both have sinned.

Let’s just get past all the technicalities and help each other for Heaven’s sake! Let big, clear principles of love, faith, and unity of the Spirit be your guide and simply help people work through these things. Do not leave it up to somebody else. In God’s providence, if you have heard about the situation, it is YOUR responsibility to walk in a manner worthy of our high calling.

And then if you need help thinking through it still, ask one of your elders for wisdom. And no, you’re not gossiping if you do that!