The Sabbath should penetrate other days, not other days the Sabbath (Herman Bavinck)

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Religion ... is not a piece of life, but life itself. Our entire life must be serving God. But from this it follows that although the Sabbath can and should penetrate the other days, the other days must never penetrate the Sabbath. ... The Sabbath may not be pulled down to the level of the other days, but rather the other days should be elevated to the height of the Sabbath. In this dispensation, however, the Sabbath remains and should remain alongside the other days and exert an influence upon them without swallowing them up.

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Ethics, 1: 74-75.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
This is a little hard to understand. If we elevate other days to the height of Sabbath, is the Sabbath any longer special? What if we add Sabbaths throughout the week to which the real Sabbath "remains alongside"? Don't we open the door to discipline against those who will not have their consciences bound to things God has not required? I'm forever feuding against my elders as they try to insist on mid-week and other non-Sabbath meetings as Christian duties. Why try and make any other day something that God has not made it? Isn't one day in seven enough if He has ordained it?
Maybe I missed the point of the quote....
 

Grant

Puritan Board Senior
This is a little hard to understand. If we elevate other days to the height of Sabbath, is the Sabbath any longer special? What if we add Sabbaths throughout the week to which the real Sabbath "remains alongside"? Don't we open the door to discipline against those who will not have their consciences bound to things God has not required? I'm forever feuding against my elders as they try to insist on mid-week and other non-Sabbath meetings as Christian duties. Why try and make any other day something that God has not made it? Isn't one day in seven enough if He has ordained it?
Maybe I missed the point of the quote....
I think the Elders have authority to call other meetings and our membership vows would require us (a duty) to support those meetings to the best of our ability, so long as said meetings do not violate the law of God. :2cents:

Ex. A Mid-Week Prayer Meetings vs. A Special X-Mass Service where candle lighting is being done as worship.

PCA Membership Vows:
  • Do you acknowledge yourselves to be sinners in the sight of God, justly deserving His displeasure, and without hope save [except] in His sovereign mercy?
  • Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and rest upon Him alone for salvation as He is offered in the Gospel?
  • Do you now resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you will endeavor to live as becomes the followers of Christ?
  • Do you promise to support the church in its worship and work to the best of your ability?
  • Do you submit yourselves to the government and discipline of the church, and promise to study its purity and peace?
Ben, I am assuming you took similar membership vows at your congregation, but I am not certain since you are in a RB Church so please correct me here if needed..
 
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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
This is a little hard to understand. If we elevate other days to the height of Sabbath, is the Sabbath any longer special? What if we add Sabbaths throughout the week to which the real Sabbath "remains alongside"? Don't we open the door to discipline against those who will not have their consciences bound to things God has not required? I'm forever feuding against my elders as they try to insist on mid-week and other non-Sabbath meetings as Christian duties. Why try and make any other day something that God has not made it? Isn't one day in seven enough if He has ordained it?
Maybe I missed the point of the quote....

I think what Herman Bavinck means is that the Sabbath is the Queen of Days and that it should primarily influence how we live the rest of the week, rather than vice-versa. In other words, observing the Sabbath helps us to be holy in all our conduct while remaining the only holy day. I agree with you about meetings outside of the Lord's Day; only attendance at the Sabbath services ought to be mandatory even if holding some other gatherings is expedient and edifying.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
I have not read this gentleman's work extensively, but this may likely be the import of what he's saying: We cannot just wake up Sunday morning and generate a heart to worship God. Our private worship and family worship throughout the week flows into the Sabbath day worship which in turn, generates the following week's devotion to God.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think what Herman Bavinck means is that the Sabbath is the Queen of Days and that it should primarily influence how we live the rest of the week, rather than vice-versa. In other words, observing the Sabbath helps us to be holy in all our conduct while remaining the only holy day. I agree with you about meetings outside of the Lord's Day; only attendance at the Sabbath services ought to be mandatory even if holding some other gatherings is expedient and edifying.
Ah, I can get behind that. Thanks
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think the Elders have authority to call other meetings and our membership vows would require us (a duty) to support those meetings to the best of our ability, so long as said meetings do not violate the law of God. :2cents:

Ex. A Mid-Week Prayer Meetings vs. A Special X-Mass Service where candle lighting is being done as worship.

PCA Membership Vows:

Ben, I am assuming you took similar membership vows at your congregation, but I am not certain since you are in a RB Church so please correct me here if needed..
I took vows to attend stated meetings, but before taking them, made sure that by stated meetings they meant "regulated Lord's Day worship meetings," which I understand to be both the morning and evening meetings, and Lord's Day prayer meetings. If we allow any other unregulated meeting to be considered a duty, we risk the accretions of the church of Rome from which our forefathers escaped.
 
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