Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Sabbath Debate: Review Part V


(This is posted to show the Catholic view of the Sabbath by EWTN's foremost apologist, Jimmy Akin.)

In this review I am going to focus on the arguments Pastor Batchelor presented for Christians being obligated to keep Sabbath from the time of the Apostles till today. The last post review will deal with Sabbaths and the future.

One thing I want to begin with is that many people have gotten the impression that I dislike Pastor Batchelor. On the contrary, I really appreciate him. I was a big fan when I was a Seventh-day Adventist. My post isn't personal. Pastor Batchelor is simply defending the orthodox SDA position and since he is an orthodox SDA pastor I would expect that of him. There is no emotions in my commentary at all. I hope you will take that into consideration as you read the rest of the post.


Pastor Batchelor pointed out that in 105 languages, the seventh day of the week is called Sabbath. He supposes that this should awaken Christians to the fact that the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath and not the first. What Doug Batchelor should know is that in most of those languages the first day of the week is named, "the Lord's Day." So while these nations understood that Sabbath was the seventh day of the week, they also accepted that the first day of the week was a day of Christians commemorating Christ's resurrection.

Mr. Batchelor does not understand the vast majority of Christians do not see the first day of the week as the sabbath. The ubiquitous idea of Sunday being a Christian Sabbath was made popular by the Calvinist Puritans who came to the shore of the New World in the 17th century. This is not a Catholic or Orthodox position. The reason why we have a weekend today is because the Eastern half of the early church in the often rested on the Sabbath (seventh day) and celebrated the Lord's Day, first day of the week. This posed no problem for the church for St. Paul told Christians that it was a matter of conscience as to whether they keep a day holy or not.
Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Romans 14: 5 


Adventists teach that the Sabbath day mandatory rest was instituted before sin and Pastor Batchelor brought up this point. While we at this blog have written numerous times proving this is simply not the case, I would like to bring up one point. The Sabbath Commandment says:
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.
Sabbath means ceasing labor. The Sabbath commandment is all about physically resting from six days of work. If a rest from labor was required each seventh day at creation before sin what was man needing to rest from? Adam's punishment for sin was to labor! Before sin, man did not need to labor and would not need a rest from labor. So Pastor Batchelor is in error. Ceasing from labor could only happen only after labor was instituted. Therefore Adam and Eve would not need a weekly Sabbath until after sin.


Please go to minutes 28: Pastor Batchelor claims the Ten Commandments are the law of both the Old and New Covenant. He said that the issue with the New Covenant is that it is made on better promises and it is written on a different substance. "The Old Covenant is written on stone; the New Covenant is written on the heart. They're both the law of God. The fault with the Old Covenant—God said finding fault with them—in Hebrews chapter eight—the them is Israel." So the difference for the believer is all about sincerity—not an actual change of laws. And he also said that God is basing this New Covenant on "better promises." "It's a promise of God." 

What? Is the pastor saying that the Old Covenant was not based God's promise? I think the pastor could be buried in scriptural texts where God talks about His promises to Israel in the Old Covenant. However the greater point the pastor was trying to make is that the problem was with Israel not the Old Covenant. However, scripture disagrees with Pastor Batchelor. Look at Jeremiah. 31: 31-33 which states that the New Covenant is NOT LIKE the on given at Mt. Sinai. Also St. Paul explicitly tells us that, yes, Israel was unfaithful but  the Old Covenant with the Ten Commandments itself was faulty:
But Jesus has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one. God finds fault with them when he says: "The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt…In speaking of "a new covenant," He has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear. Hebrews 8:6-13
The Old Covenant with the Sabbath regulations was replaced by a better covenant and the Old Covenant (Ten Commandments) is obsolete.

Steve Gregg pointed out that in the early church (as it is for most Christians today) did not keep one day. In fact they worshipped daily. He showed the viewers Romans 14: 5, "One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind." He pointed out that Doug Batchelor was wrong, that St. Paul was indeed speaking about the weekly Sabbaths here. All days would mean all days—each day of the week—was alike. If all days had equal holiness that would be the very antithesis of a requirement to keep Sabbaths.


(Minute: 104) Pastor Batchelor must have realized the scantiness of the scriptural evidence for his position so he defaulted to the argument of: what if you stand in front of God and He did want you to keep the Sabbath—so you better keep it just-in-case you are wrong in your assumptions that Christians don't have to keep the seventh day holy. "Where is the danger in keeping the sabbath day, where is the harm?" He asked.

There is danger in adding requirements to God's law.  The early church condemned Judaizing! St. Paul would condemn this just-in-case fallacy.
So don't let anyone judge you because of what you eat or drink. Don't let anyone judge you about holy days. I'm talking about special feasts and New Moons and Sabbath days. Colossians 2: 16
[N]ow that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you. Galatians 4: 9-10

St. Paul would have a few harsh words for Pastor Batchelor I am afraid. The last part of this review will be published soon.


Lee Faber said...

Great series Theresa!

Anonymous said...

Your blog is subtitled "Discussions of a Former Seventh-Day Who Discovered the Truth About Catholicism." However, it should read: "My Anti-Adventist Crusade." You are so obsessed with taking down Adventism, misrepresenting their beliefs, and acting as if you speak for all other forms of Christianity that you can't see the forest for the trees. Your blog wreaks of hatred! Of tearing down others! Of narcissism! Is this what Jesus would do? Let's take this statement: "Mr. Batchelor does not understand the vast majority of Christians do not see the first day of the week as the sabbath." What a false statement! You have show no proof for this, and ask any Christian on the street that is not an Adventist which day is the Sabbath and see what they say. Go on. Do it! I challenge you! Also, you can not speak for what Doug Batchelor understands! I give your writings chance after chance, because I remember you, and I want to believe better of you, but your debates are filled with Ad Hominem fallacies and personal hatred. You say the reason you left Adventism was because of a pro-choice hospital's lack of caring for life, yet there is present talk of members of your own family being elderly Adventists, in failing health...suffering and ignored by you. Is this what Jesus would do? Jesus kept the Sabbath. "The life of Christ established a religion in which there is no caste, a religion by which Jew and Gentile, free and bond, are linked in a common brotherhood, equal before God. No question of policy influenced His movements. He made no difference between neighbors and strangers, friends and enemies. That which appealed to His heart was a soul thirsting for the waters of life." Is spending your time tearing down others how you think God wants you to serve? I wish you well, Tesa, and I hope that your obsessive abhorrence of Adventism subsides and no longer clouds your thoughts and compassion. Blessings.

Teresa Beem said...


If I sound hateful, you should be able to give me an example of this. I can tell you--since I write this blog--that I have no emotions at all about this. This is theology talk, not anything emotional. It does seem like you are emotional. And I am sorry for that. I grew up discussing politics and theology--even vey heatedly--but then walking away friends with everyone even when we disagreed. If you know me, you should know that. This is academic.

When I wrote that the vast majority of Christians do not believe the Sunday is the Sabbath, I am getting my information through Christian stats. Catholic/Orthodox Christians make up 2/3s of Christianity in the world. They do not teach that Sunday is the Sabbath but that the seventh-day is the Sabbath. Many Protestant denominations do not believe Sunday is the Christian Sabbath but that the sabbath was done away with at the Cross. That is where I get my information. America is filled with Calvinist-leaning Protestants who are part of a group that does believe that Sunday is the Christian Sabbath, so it would not surprise me if we DID get that response from Americans. However, I was speaking of the official doctrine worldwide.

So this sounds as if you know me or at least my family. And you heard that I am ignoring family with failing health? Hmmm. I will have to consider that. I know of only one person whose health is failing and we are doing our best at the moment to find the funds to see them. If you know this, then you probably know that I am in the process of planning a wedding and have another family member who is in serious health and we must put this situation even before all others. Perhaps you have been given information that is incorrect. But that is a serious concern of mine if someone in my family believes that we are ignoring that elderly someone. But bringing up my personal failings is what is technically considered an ad hominem attack. My beliefs are up for debate--that is not hatred to hotly disagree with me. That is what is technically okay, but you just did what you said I did to Doug Batchelor. And if you will read above, I have said nothing disparaging of his character, only his teachings.

What I can tell you is my heart, for of humans, I alone know it. I have not one ounce of emotion--not one ounce of emotions about Adventism and its doctrines. This is theological to me, not emotional. Like debating about the best way to prevent cancer. It is important but I respect those who disagree with me. I just am not afraid to discuss even serious topics without getting upset.

Teresa Beem said...

I love Adventists and can't think of even ONE Adventist that I even have hard or harsh or angry feelings about. Our enemy is the devil and so I keep my anger for him. So when you write these things I am astonished.

But let's think about this for a moment. I am going to assume you are Adventist because you give evidence of that in your comment. (If not then, sorry I am mistaken but since you remain anonymous I am left to guess). The official Adventist doctrine is that anyone who goes to church on Sunday will be, in the last days, marked with the number of the beast and will hunt Adventists down and kill them for keeping Sabbath. Can you not see how despicable and unChrist-like that teaching is? It is certainly not based in scripture but in the visions of Ellen White.

For me, as a non-sabbatarian, is it evil or having hatred of you to want to bridge this terrible gulf of wrong theology between us? You are falsely accusing me of obsessive hatred for my reaching out and wanting to be sisters and brothers in Christ? (Even now I am not writing with any emotion at all, please understand that. If you read in emotion, you are reading wrongly. I am curious, not upset.)

Christ said over and over that we are to be one--one Lord, one faith, one baptism. This is my goal. We must FIRST clear up Adventist misunderstandings about Catholics and other Protestants BEFORE they will be willing to join the rest of the family of God. Wrong theology is hurtful--and I don't mean emotionally, I mean spiritually.

Blessings to you in Christ.

SMH said...

Anonymous I am married to an Adventist and am a Catholic. I have seen more hatred for the Catholic Church than I have ever seen from any other Protestant church coming from the Adventist church. From the book the Great Controversy to hearing demeaning false accusations about the Catholic Church in Adventist services to My own husband's venom about it. The lack of truth comes from your own kind. Deny it all you want, but I have witnessed it for myself. There is so much fear in Adventism. The entire philosophy of the Adventist Church centers around fear. I hear it and see if for myself. From Romans 8:14-15, "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship." Catholic philosophy is centered around love for others and the love God has for his creation. We put our faith in Him and know He has already won the battle against any evil. We believe God's grace is for all, not a select few. It is His will that we, Christ's hands and feet in Earth, bring ALL into eternal communion with God, through Christ, and into the fullness of the Kingdom." The mission given to the apostles was to baptize ALL nations, not just a select chosen few. At Paul states in 1 Tim 2 as well, "I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for ALL men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires ALL men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." The condemnation of the Catholic Church does not fit what Paul called on the faithful to do. Adventists do not strive for quiet or peaceful living; are not respectful toward Catholics. They do not believe ALL men will be saved. The Adventist theology causes division and disruption. Teresa is only giving her witness to this fact. She does not deserve your sour grape criticism. As I am a witness to it as well. When you have opened yourself up to the true teachings of 2000 years of Catholic doctrine as Teresa has done, then come back here to criticize. I have given Adventism a chance and it doesn't compare to the deep beauty of the church I am already a member of. Why would I turn to a church that centers all their attention to a day and a beast? It's short of idolatry. I much prefer to stay in a church that centers itself around the love of God the Father, Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit; and our place in that circle. A Church that truly understands the meaning of family. God bless you in peace.

Teresa Beem said...


Thank you for your kind defense of Catholicism and myself! As you are fully aware, to live as a Catholic among Adventists is difficult because they believe they know your religion better than you do. They continually bring up false accusations about what we believe and then turn away and refuse to listen when we simply state the actual Catholic Church's teaching. It seems to be fair game for them to say that Catholics changed the Sabbath to Sunday and they find obscure false evidence--such as quotes individual Catholics that do not have the church's authority to speak for it, evidence from neither history nor official Catholic beliefs. Then when we attempt to clear things up and explain that Catholics did not change the Sabbath to Sunday, Adventists accuse us of hatred. I have never been able to understand why they can't see that they are the ones attacking--not us.Those of us who CARE about Adventists are simply defending ourselves for the purpose of showing them they don't need to worry. The Catholic Church goes to church on Sabbath, we will never force them to break Sabbath. But the very bizarre thing is that they prefer to believe they WILL be persecuted. They WANT to believe the horrible things they hear about Catholics.

Adventists actually seem to prefer Catholics who dismiss them, ignore them because SDA beliefs are seen as so utterly absurd the majority of Catholics don't want to give them any platform. The Catholics that dismiss Adventists' long list of unfounded accusations are preferable because Adventists don't have to be confronted with the truth by then. SDAs can remain in their world of lies and feel comfortable there. I simply cannot understand why their love for truth does not supersede their pride in needing to be the sole remnant. Why their love for the Lord cannot withstand their knowing what is true. Many Adventists who loved being Adventist loved the Lord enough to give up that fear you wrote about. All we can continue to do is love them, and witness for truth and for Our Lord and withstand the continual onslaught of emotions. I will pray that the Holy Spirit will gently unfold the truth to them so that they can be at peace and join the Kingdom of God, right now, and become part of God's family on earth.

To Adventists! We love you. We will never harm you. Let us keep the NEW Covenant commandment of loving one another and being ONE! (That doesn't mean you have to become Catholic. Being ONE means we will love God with one spirit. For eventually, we WILL be all of one faith. All divisions will be gone when Christ returns. Let's begin living that now.)

SMH said...

So totally agree with you, Teresa. My husband does act as if I am purposely trying to destroy him whenever I want to discuss anything about Scripture or new things I read about that seems to go deeper. It hurts me horribly that he thinks these things. Especially since I see marriage being a holy union given to us by God's grace. He actually has accused me of purposely doing things to manipulate him and I constantly have to defend myself. I honestly try not to do anything to sway him. I just want to be myself and give my own witness. He also speaks to me as if I don't understand the Bible, though I've been studying it for years. I love Scripture, been reading from 8 years on, and for me, I've always been a spouse of Jesus, since my Holy Communion at 7. This is what I was taught then and still believe now. You know, I'm so ignorant of how we are looked at as Catholics I didn't even know that Protestants thought we worshiped idols until about 7 years ago. That one really pains me because I've always looked at everything as centered to God and Jesus. I truly do not see how anyone cannot see that all I have is faith to the one God. And that anything outside of that I see as gifts from God to us for guidance and comfort through life. I've had a fairly difficult life and am now 57. And it has been especially through God's gift of Mary that my faith has remained strong for Him, as Trinity. That has always been my focus and understanding. I love God as a woman the way I see how Mary loved God and gave herself to him. See is an example as Christ is. For she agreed to God's will the way Christ did. In fact, we are all supposed to be examples as Christ on Earth. I guess I don't see anything wrong with that kind of influence on me. Especially if it all leads me to the only one God, the creator of everything and the true love of my existence. It is sad to see that others would rather see us burn in a lake of fire than join with us on the road to the New Jerusalem. And how little they see the apostles through the entire New Testament asking for us to remain united. I will continue to pray on all of this. Thanks, Teresa. God bless.

Teresa Beem said...

Oh how sad! I will pray for you. I know only a little of your struggle because at least my husband and I became Catholic together. There is such a dark veil over Adventists' eyes when it comes to Catholicism. I do not understand it. I loved Jesus so much I was willing to go through the horror of finding out that Adventism was wrong. I don't want to judge them and believe they don't love Jesus as much as I do... but it is very confusing. Very confusing indeed. Please vent here at this blog or send a message and tell me it is private and I won't post it anytime you need to talk. Blessings my friend. All I can suggest is receptive suffering and I know you already know all about that. Your glory will be great in heaven for continuing to be faithful to Him.

SMH said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

This non-Adventist is claiming Sunday as the Sabbath contrary to your claims. I posted this on another post, but thought it more appropriate here. https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/10-concise-reasons-to-remember-the-sabbath.html?utm_source=Daily%20Update&utm_campaign=Crosswalk%20Daily%20Update&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=2515344

Teresa Beem said...

Correct Anonymous,

Many Protestants and some Protestant denominations teach that Sunday is Sabbath. I am writing for Catholics, not Protestants.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Catholics, Pope Francis, for whom I have great respect, stated this in his book, Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words: “Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport. But this is being destroyed, in large part, by the elimination of the Sabbath rest day. More and more people work on Sundays as a consequence of the competitiveness imposed by a consumer society.” In such cases, he concludes, “work ends up dehumanizing people.” (Also, I did not send you an email address, so I do not know who sent you a spam-type email. I prefer not to use my name or email. Because of my public position, it is advised by supervisors not to discuss politics or religion online. Sorry.)