The Haters: GotQuestions vs. Sabbatarianism

By S. Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries

Whenever a question starts out with something to the effect of "Why do you forget the one commandment that begins with the word remember?" I know exactly where the conversation is going absolutely nowhere. Sabbatarians are definitely among the most vehement haters of Sabbatarianism is somewhat different from the other "haters" in that it focuses so strongly on one particular issue Sabbath observance.

The most commonly known sabbatarian group is the Seventh Day Adventists. Sadly, though, we are rarely able to determine which sabbatarian group is attacking us because it nearly always becomes a heated conversation very quickly. To many sabbatarians, Sabbath keeping is the most important issue in the Christian faith. I have literally had sabbatarians tell me that I am going to hell for: (1) worshipping/attending church on Sunday, (2) not legalistically observing the Sabbath day according to the precepts of Old Testament Law, (3) not immediately changing my mind after having been exposed to the "irrefutable arguments" of sabbatarianism.

Why are sabbatarians so vehement in their views of the Sabbath? I am not entirely sure, but my educated guess is that it is due to the Sabbath being their soapbox/hobby horse/pet issue. When other Christian groups attack the one issue that distinguishes you, the natural reaction is to strike back violently (at least in words).

So, is there any validity to the arguments sabbatarians make? No, there is not. While God created the Sabbath on the seventh day of creation (Genesis 1-2), the Bible nowhere records anyone observing the Sabbath until God gave the Sabbath command in Exodus chapter 20. The context of Exodus chapter 20 is clearly a covenant between God and the nation of Israel. Outside of His covenant with Israel, God nowhere commands anyone to keep the Sabbath. Once the New Covenant was established at the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the only recorded instances of Sabbath observance was in regards to Christian missionaries visiting Jewish synagogues on the Sabbath day. The Apostles nowhere teach New Covenant believers to observe the Sabbath. In Acts 15, when the Apostles were deciding what requirement should be placed on non-Jewish believers in Christ, the Sabbath conspicuously did not make the list.

What made the difference? Why is the Sabbath day not binding on New Covenant believers? Why are sabbatarians so completely wrong on this issue? Simple: the Sabbath command was part of God's covenant with Israel, and the death of Jesus Christ fulfilled that covenant (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:23-25; Ephesians 2:15). We now have our Sabbath rest in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:9-11). Jesus is our Sabbath! So, sabbatarians, we are not going to allow you to judge us in regards to the Sabbath (Romans 14:5-6; Colossians 2:16). Sorry to burst your bubble, but you are flat out wrong on this issue.

Related article: "What day is the Sabbath, Saturday or Sunday?"


TagsControversial-Issues  | False-Teaching  | Got-Questions?  | Theological-Beliefs

comments powered by Disqus
Published 7-27-11