Friday, September 26, 2014

How Former Adventists Hear Current Adventists on the Sabbath Issue

Former Adventists and current Adventists talk past each other. 

I have been pondering a way to help Adventists
understand our position on why we no longer feel it is necessary to keep Saturday as the Sabbath. There are many biblical and historical reasons to no longer keep a Saturday Sabbath. But one conversation that keeps repeating itself needs to be better dealt with.

Adventist will ask us if in the New Covenant we can murder or steal or covet? If we still have to keep those, why don't we have to keep Sabbath?

That's really the wrong question to ask us for it creates more mud than clarity. Instead of a long explanation, I have come up with a different conversation in which the Adventist is confronted by a Messianic Jewish Christian. If an Adventists can understand why they no longer keep the Passover or the Day of Atonement or the Feast of the Tabernacles then they can get a glimpse of why we don't keep the Sabbath anymore.

I don't know if this will help but it's worth a try.

Let's reverse the roles a bit here so that my SDA family and friends can understand how we hear them when they try and convince us that the Sabbath is still in effect for Christians.

The following conversation takes place between an Atonement-day Christian (AC) and any Jane Doe Christian apologist (JDC). We jump in the middle of their conversation:
AC: So you don't keep the day of atonement? (AC then lists all the Old Testament passages where it records the atonement is an eternal covenant with God's people.) 

JDC: The Day of Atonement pointed forward to the cross and was fulfilled in Christ. He is our atonement.

AC: So now rape is okay? Incest is okay?…. We don't have to love the Lord with all our hearts anymore? There is no more Torah? We are just lawless in the New Covenant?

JDC: No. Absolutely not. We just have a NEW Commandment, a new law for a new Covenant.

AC: But the Bible says that God is the same yesterday and today. He doesn't change!

JDC: Right! We agree. God's plans, His goals and ends never changed and never will. All those things, like the Day of Atonement were shadows that pointed to the reality in Christ. Their purpose is finished. Now we are in the New Covenant.

AC: You are rejecting the plain reading of scripture. It says the Day of Atonement is eternal.
JDC: And it is. It is eternally fulfilled in the Cross. We no longer have a yearly day because we have He who IS the atonement living within us.  He is our atonement. 

You get the drift. All you have to do is insert the Sabbath in place of the Day of Atonement and you can see the former SDA's dilemma. We are trying to show that just because you have entered the New Covenant you are not lawless, but have new commandments and a new law! All the moral laws are still in the New Covenant. We don't steal or commit adultery or overlook incest. But when we are giving the New Covenant law, we don't go back to the Torah, but to the very words of Christ. HE tells us that we are not only to never commit adultery but never even to lust. We go, not to Moses for our law, but to Christ Himself the very source of all law. 

Jesus became our Sabbath when He said, "Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." 

Now our rest is spiritually fulfilled in Christ. There are many lists of sins in the New Covenant.... but nowhere is sabbath-breaking
listed as a sin after Christ's death. But adultery is, coveting is, incest is, divorce is.... Jesus gave us a New Commandment on the Mount of Blessings. That is the New Covenant.