continental and puritan views of sabbath

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by Myshkin, Apr 13, 2005.

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  1. Myshkin

    Myshkin Puritan Board Freshman

    I don't remember typing "birthdays"...I'm not sure how it got in there either; honest mistake.

    I know you said you would defer to others on this, but this is something I'd eventually like to find out considering that there have been two interpretations (CV and PV) over this verse. The original languages would help. I'll probably go to the library and search it out.

    Agree 100%. :handshake:

    I have a couple more questions though, if you don't feel comfortable answering them, no problem.

    You have consistently referred to celebrating christmas, et. al. as idolatry. Very strong language, and at the same time I do not intend nor desire to break God's commands against idolatry. By implication I am an idolater unless I hold the PV of the 4th commandment. I think this is harsh and inaccurate obviously, but it doesn't bother me because I could just as easily say that the PV view is idolatry because it worships God with Jewish ceremony rather than NT principle. This is not what I think, but I could just as easily say it. My saying it proves nothing though, nor does your saying it prove anything. Its just an assertion I think used to put force behind the position.

    If the CV view of holidays is idolatry, then you have condemned many people, and all we can hope for is that their hearts are better than their heads. I am willing to say that either the CV or the PV is wrong, but I am not willing to say that either side is commiting idolatry. Why? Because both views are seeking to honor the fourth commandment. It isn't a question of should we(?), but how? Antinomians do not even ask how, and so make up their own ways. The CV does not make up their own ways, but deduces it from biblical teaching. But I respect your strong conviction on this.

    So my questions are this:
    If I agreed with everything in the WCF exactly as your denomination (or you) interprets the confession and the bible, except for celebrating christmas in my own home with my family and friends (christmas being defined for me as- no tree, no presents, a focus on Christ, a reading of the prophecy and advent of Christ, a meal, singing hymns, prayer), would I be allowed to join even as a layman? In other words, if I agreed with all the essential creedal historical doctrines, and all the distinctives of the WCF except for this issue of the proper view of the 4th commandment, would I be allowed for membership? I only ask this because idolatry has strong implications.

    Thanks Andrew.:)
  2. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    I don't recall using the word idolatry in this thread, but I may have. By definition, violations against the Second Commandment are sins of idolatry. Corruption of worship, intrusion of the traditions of men, will worship, all of these are terms that describe departures from the ordinances of God in worship. Idolatry and such related terms are Biblical descriptions of the breaking of the Second Commandment's Regulative Principle.

    I have always strived in my discussions on this commandment to not "condemn" anyone. Before condemning someone for violations pertaining to the Second or Fourth Commandments, I would first condemn myself. I do not worship God in my heart as I ought at all times nor do I keep the Lord's Day holy as I should each week though I strive to keep his ordinances pure and abstain from unlawful activities on the Christian Sabbath. In discussing what is required by the Second and Fourth Commandments, I am declaring what I believe the Scriptures and the Westminster Standards teach. I believe departures from the standard of God's Word to be sin regardless of the sincerity of the person departing from God's standards. My discussion is not meant to critique you personally or anyone else personally but rather demonstrate what the Scriptures hold and the Puritans believed.

    I do not speak for the Presbyterian Reformed Church, but I am certain that if you sought membership in my denomination and your situation was as you describe you would not be denied membership.

    There are men in my denomination who celebrate Christmas in various ways in their homes. The church does not observe the holiday, but some individuals do as families. I myself do not. I believe the regulative principles applies to private and family worship too, although specific applications of the principles vary from public to family to private worship (ie., for example, I do believe that headcoverings are required for women in public worship, but not in private or family worship). So to answer your question I am certain that private celebration of Christmas would not bar you from membership in my church.

    God bless, brother.
  3. Myshkin

    Myshkin Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks Andrew, I enjoyed the fruitful discussion. Maybe we could do this again over a different topic someday. Ashame we couldn't have done this over a pint of Guinness down at the pub;). God bless you also, my fellow :pilgrim:
  4. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

  5. Myshkin

    Myshkin Puritan Board Freshman

    If anyone would be so kind, could you please give an example of what a typical Lord's day observance looks like in your life? I am hoping for responses from both Reformed views.

    [Edited on 6-29-2005 by RAS]
  6. rmwilliamsjr

    rmwilliamsjr Puritan Board Freshman

    Could i go back to the OP for a moment and look at something?

    when did the general evangelical churches in America cease talking about the Sabbath requirement? on other boards no one even knows what i am talking about with the term sabbatarian, confusing it with the SDA Saturday worship.

    all of the answers i get are:
    we are under grace not law.
    the Sabbath is jewish not either a moral law nor a creation mandate (actually i get creation mandate-what's that?)
    as the common one liners answers. to be this united on an issue the general evangelical community must be getting this answer from somewhere. where does it derived from?

  7. Myshkin

    Myshkin Puritan Board Freshman


    Could you restate your question(s)?

    Are you asking both: 'why there is such widespread antinomianism regarding the 4th commandment?', and 'where is this attitude coming from?'
  8. rmwilliamsjr

    rmwilliamsjr Puritan Board Freshman

    i guess the first question is why such ignorance on the issue in the general evangelical took several days and finally a PCA church member to actually look at the issue properly. Everyone else thought Sabbatarianism was identical with SDA 7th day worship.

    but the ignorance must stem from something. as in when did the general evangelicalism cease talking about the Sabbath? The discussion about how to honor the Sabbath was still going on in the mid 19thC. in the general culture.

    what happened historically?

  9. Michael Butterfield

    Michael Butterfield Puritan Board Freshman

  10. Michael Butterfield

    Michael Butterfield Puritan Board Freshman

  11. Myshkin

    Myshkin Puritan Board Freshman

    No takers?
  12. Myshkin

    Myshkin Puritan Board Freshman

    Good questions. My guess would be that this coincided with the rise of dispensational theology, an increasing neglect in theological education, and the church's flirtation with secular philosophies (e.g. situation ethics, relativism).
  13. doulosChristou

    doulosChristou Puritan Board Freshman

    I take the Calvinist (non-Puritan) view. I doubt my Sunday's are much different from most Sabbatarians. I assemble corporately with the church twice on that day. I rest from my labors. Since I do not engage in worldy entertainment during the week (no TV, sports, etc.), the same holds true for Sundays. Sometimes, we take my pastor out to eat on Sunday and other times my wife cooks on Sunday. This is perhaps the one area in which my Sunday would differ from those who strictly observe Sunday as if it were the OT Sabbath.
  14. Michael Butterfield

    Michael Butterfield Puritan Board Freshman

    First, to add my :2cents: worth it seems we it would be best to dispense with the whole idea that there was/is any appreciable difference between a continental view and a puritan/Presbyterian view. If you were in Knox´s Scotland on one Sunday and Calvin´s Geneva on the next you would notice no appreciable difference between the two. There may have been some difference between the actual day, but not the practice. So, it was a difference of orthopraxy not orthodoxy. Calvin, as I understand him, had the idea of a one in seven principle with little regard for the actual day, i.e., the first day of the week. Nevertheless, it must be a day. Puritan/Presbyterian is certainly more regulated by the practice of the Apostles and their change of the day, but I think most people have been over this territory already.

    Second, I would say that the Dutch brothers with whom I worshipped and worked for in Grand Rapids, MI were far more strict than most Presbyterians than I have ever met. In fact, before I became a Sabbatarian I was a "œyouth pastor/assistant to the pastor" of a CRC church. At that time my wife was working at McDonalds and would have to work on Sunday. Without going into all the details, the elders came to me and told me that my wife would either have to quit working or I would be fired. Not have the convictions that I presently have, they fired me! They were very loving and understanding, but they did not believe they could keep me on if she was going to keep working. I have since matured both in my understanding of the Sabbath and in my submission to the eldership. But I always find it interesting to note that they would do so with a so called "œcontinental" view. At that time it was even difficult to get gas on Sunday.

    Finally, as our practice, it always includes morning and evening worship and includes SS. It generally includes getting up earlier than on other days of the week to read and pray. Then, as often as possible, it includes inviting new members, visitors, or friends over for lunch with fellowship around our dinner table and hopefully, some family worship together during the afternoon. If there is no company, we do sleep. It may also include the reading of a good Christian book and/or the scriptures.
  15. Myshkin

    Myshkin Puritan Board Freshman

    Mr. Butterfield,
    Thanks for your 2 cents worth. If you read through the thread, what you stated above becomes very evident as it progresses. The only real differences in the views, historically and properly understood, are as you mentioned:
    1. the rationale for the day (1 in seven principle or because of Apostolic practice)
    but also:
    2. recreation
    3. works of mercy

    As the thread moved on it also became evident that there is a difference of opinion among Puritan view adherents over the works of mercy clause in the WCF (are they required in the sense of being sought out? or are they required in the sense that they are allowed when duty necessitates them?) If one takes the latter view of works of mercy, then the CV and PV have no difference here either, leaving recreation as the only real dividing line. Whereas neither view requires recreation, the CV allows for it and the PV does not allow it. But even here, the historical practice really is no different, as your next paragraph states:

    Earlier in the thread I mentioned something I read that was meant to be a joke, I think: "those who hold the CV don't believe in the sabbath but follow it, while those who hold to the PV do believe in the sabbath but don't follow it". Of course this is referring to the modern day versions, and not the historical intention or practice. Your paragraph above explains the joke to me now. I guess there is some irony in it.

    BTW, welcome to the PB. I am relatively new here myself.

    [Edited on 6-30-2005 by RAS]
  16. Michael Butterfield

    Michael Butterfield Puritan Board Freshman

    :bigsmile: Actually, I did get the joke and it was all the more funny to me in the light of my previous experience. So, it was ironic.

    Thank you for the welcome. It has been a good thread, but more could be said, I think. I long for a more consistent practice in our own communion.:pray2:
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