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Easter Debate: Saturday or Sunday?

Is the True Sabbath Saturday or Sunday?

This Easter, billions of Christians will celebrate resurrection Sunday. But is Sunday the true Sabbath as set forth in the bible?

Jews celebrate Saturday as the Sabbath. So do 7th-Day Adventist Christians.

An excellent article on this topic was published in WorldNetDaily, written by executive news editor, Joe Kovacs, posted March 16, 2008, titled, "“‘Deception’: Christians war over worship day. Centuries-old clash continues over disputed commandment.”"

The article presents a lively discussion of the theological dispute over the Christian day of worship, representing the major themes of both sides in the debate. (See article below.)

Conducting interviews on this the topic of what is the true Sabbath day is Seventh-day Adventist Church spokesman Alan Reinach.

During your interview with Alan, he will share how the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the largest organized Christian group adhering to the Seventh-day Sabbath, and encourages people everywhere to honor the day of rest and worship established by the Creator.

He discusses seven key points central to the view of the Sabbath:

1. It is commonly agreed that the biblical Sabbath is the seventh day, Saturday, and that the Bible identifies Sunday as the first day of the week.

2. It was Jesus’ custom to worship on the Saturday Sabbath, Luke 4:16, not on Sunday, so those who observe the Sabbath follow the example of Christ.

3. Christians who worship on Sunday do so in honor of the resurrection.

4. The Bible does not conclusively state whether Jesus rose on Sunday. All it says is that when the women came to the tomb before dawn on Sunday morning, Jesus had already been resurrected. Luke 24:5 -6. Therefore, he may have arisen before or after midnight. We just don’t know.

5. The New Testament does not clearly command any change in the day of worship.

6. Anti-Judaism is a key historical reason the Christian church abandoned the Sabbath.

7. On both sides of the question, pastors and scholar agree on the need to return to the experience of Sabbath rest.

According to Alan, after decades of neglecting the law of God, and teaching that God’s law was nailed to the cross, churches are rediscovering the Ten Commandments, including the Fourth Commandment.

Said Reinach: "“Great emphasis has been placed on efforts to display the commandments in public places, and many lawsuits have been filed. Yet, in the ‘new covenant’ of the Bible, the law of God is to be written on the human heart. It was in the ‘old covenant’ that the law of God was written on stone tablets, yet today, there is considerable enthusiasm for erecting public displays on stone monuments and pictures of stone.”"

Reinach adds that in light of the considerable moral decline of our society, and the growing permissiveness, it would appear that Americans desperately need to invite God to write His law on the human heart. But when He does so, what will Christians do in obeying the Sabbath commandment? No doubt, what godly people have been doing since the origins of human history - worshipping on the seventh day.

*

ABOUT ALAN REINACH
Alan J. Reinach is an attorney, a Seventh-day Adventist minister, and serves as president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church State Council, the oldest public interest organization in the western United States devoted exclusively to issues of religious freedom.

Reinach's law practice emphasizes religious liberty issues in the state and federal courts in addition to employment related religious accommodation cases. He has authored two law review articles: "Why We Need State RFRA Bills";” 32 U.C. Davis Law Review, No. 3 (1999); and “"Religious Accommodation in Post 9/11 America",” Employee Rights Quarterly, Volume 2, No. 4 (Spring 2002). Reinach is a nationally recognized expert in the field of religious discrimination in employment, and has lectured on this topic at national legal conferences.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church State Council has provided counsel to thousands of individuals on issues like: religious accommodation in the workplace; exemption from labor union membership on religious grounds; religious land use disputes; and prisoner’s access to religious services.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church State Council also monitors state legislation in a five state western region, including California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Hawaii, insuring that legislation does not interfere with the rights of conscience and of religious institutions to carry out their religious mission.

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Posted on March 21, 2008


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