A review of some answers to “Questions for Sunday Keepers”
Alan Lisemba, the author of these question states:
The ONLY way the bible can work is if we allow it to speak to us and not try to ram ideas into it. I simply ask these questions in response to everyone, sincere or not. Many of these are long standing and haven’t been addressed with biblicly sound answers. I believe it’s because they cannot be refuted.
In my opinion, the responses by ACC1971 has made confirm his above statement. A lot of his answers as you’ll see aren’t biblicaly solid at all, and he commits a lot of logical fallacies in attempting to answer. He builds a lot of “Straw Men”, a logical fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. You’ll see that he’ll attack the verse by using an argument which is totally unrelated to the verse at hand, and then tries to prove that if his diverted argument is right, then the original argument must be false.
But before we see his answers, lets review some fundamental principles for interpreting scripture, as our friend ACC1971 is not aware of. Here they are:
- Since Jesus spoke and the Bible writers wrote primarily for the people of their day, always consider the historical, geographical, and cultural setting of the passage you are studying.
- Always consider the context of the unit, chapter, and book when interpreting a text. The meaning of each verse must agree with the theme of the unit, chapter, and book, as well as the overall teaching of the Bible.
- When interpreting a passage or verse, make sure to study each sentence grammatically to get the correct meaning. Pay special attention to the verbs as they deal with actions.
- Make sure to get the meaning of each text as intended by the Bible writer or inspired speaker before making application. This is called bridge-building and is important in giving Bible studies.
- Difficult texts must be interpreted in the light of the clear teachings of the whole Bible. Therefore, study all that Scripture teaches on a given subject before coming to a conclusion on any single verse.
- The New Testament must be interpreted in the light of the Old Testament and vice versa. The Old Testament is promise and the New Testament is fulfillment. Both complement each other.
- For accuracy, use the best translations and, if at all possible, compare with the original text.
Here is his response. His comments are bolded, my review will be in red. (I was only able to review the first 7 due to time, but you can see the trend here, he’s failing so far in this quiz.)
“1. If the Sabbath is “against us and contrary to us” as they claim Colossians 2:14 states, why does the Lord himself (in Isaiah 58:13-14) say we should consider it “a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable”?”
I always get a kick out of SDA folk who assume that Isaiah 58:1-14 is for them. The entire book of Isaiah was written as prophecies for ancient Israel. (Strawman, no where did that question imply in any way that SDA claims this text only for themselves) So does this mean the author of this question series assumes he or she is going to replace the Jewish portion of the Church?
If we study the Ten Commandments who were they given to Gentiles or the Jews? Obviously the Jews not the Gentile so why are the SDA so keen on trying to put that burden upon themselves? Were the people of Sodom or Gomorrah Jews? Why did God punish them? What laws were continually broken if God had to punish them?
I noticed that they skipped a considerable amount of Scripture when they used Colossians 2. They neglected to mention Col 2:8-15…
If he actually studied that verse, he’d know it doesn’t talk about the 10 commandments, but the mosaic law. Please read this study: Study of Colossians 2
I don’t think he even answered the question, just more attacks that have nothing to do with the verse on hand. X for this one.
“2. The words of Jesus in Mark 12:29-31 (“thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” and the second Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself “) have been so-called “the laws of Christ” and have supposedly usurped the Ten Commandments. However, these same words are found in Deuteronomy 6:4, 5 and Leviticus 19:18 so why did we need the Ten Commandments if we already had these so-called “laws of Christ” already spoken?”
Jesus was asked by a Scribe of which the most important of the Ten Commandments were. Jesus answered him in Mark 12:28-34. Jesus knowing the Tanakh simply told this Jewish man what were the most important of the Commandments that our Father in Heaven wanted him and us to know. This trumps any claims by EG White and company.
He forgot the fact that these 2 commandments sum up the 10. Love the Lord (1st 4 commandments) and Love fellow man (Next 6 commandments)
Matthew 22:40 confirms it as “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Which Law? the 10 commandments.
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[d] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[e] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Again, he doesn’t even answer the questions “why did we need the Ten Commandments if we already had these so-called “laws of Christ” already spoken?” and just puts forth another straw man.
“3. Sunday keepers always want hard facts from Sabbath keepers by asking us questions like “Why was the Sabbath not mentioned after Genesis 2:2-3 until Exodus 16?” and “Why was the Sabbath command not repeated in the New Testament?” but if you ask in return for a hard fact about where is the commandment for Sunday anywhere in the bible all you get is bewildered looks.”
This is another typical argument made by the SDA followers. “Sunday isn’t even in the Holy Bible.” Quite true. But can any member of the SDA church or sect come up with a commandment from Jesus that the Gentile was to keep Sabbath or the Ten Commandments? (He’s just re-asking the question)
No of course not. I suggest the author of these questions look at Acts 15:1-31 and note that the Disciples of Christ allowed the Gentiles to ignore perhaps avoid the Ten. Sunday typically known as ‘the first day of the week’ was used by those believers to worship Christ in house churches. After all the Jews considered the early Christian church to be a bunch of blasphemers so it is only natural they would change their day of worship.
And he doesn’t back up his statements with scripture, or historical evidence. Here’s one passage: (Acts 13:42-44):
42 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.
Do actions speak louder than words? Of course they do. Doesn’t it make sense that writers wouldn’t need to reiterate Sabbath keeping because it was considered the NORM? See this study on early church history:
Another X. 0 for 3 so far.
“4. Exodus 20:2 reads “I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” The dispensationalist often refers to the Ten Commandments as “bondage”. So are they going to have me believe God brought them out of bondage just to place them under more bondage? Huh?”
Since the Ten commandments were a series of commandments for the Jew I cannot make any statement if the are bondage or not. I can again claim however that if Exodus 20:10-17 were not made for the gentile.
Was Abraham a Jew? Joseph a Jew? They kept God’s commandments. Gen 26:5
5 because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” Abraham wasn’t an Israelite or Jew. God’s commandments are for EVERYONE.
“5. The children of Israel were commanded some 613 laws between God and Moses Doesn’t the very fact that they’re called the TEN Commandments tell anyone that they are a separate code of laws from the rest? Why say ten if they are “the same as the others”? See Deuteronomy 4:13, 14; 2 Kings 21:8; 2 Chronicles 33:8?”
The Ten Commandments for the Jew were the old moral laws. The other 603 seem to come from Moses.
X. See above. Notice how there is no backing up of statements.
“6. Dispensationalist will tell you that the Ten Commandments were the old covenant but in the book of Hebrews (9:7) we find that the old covenant needed replacing for being faulty (the fault spoken of was found with the people and not the law vs. 8). Are dispensationalist prepared to argue that God wrote and spoke something faulty? (HINT: Don’t go there.)”
What kind of foolishness is this? When we read Hebrews 9:1-28 It explains that 9:1-10 How the Old Covenant was used for those in ancient Israel. Then as Jesus became our New Covenant with we Gentiles how we as his people no longer needed animal sacrifices and the like because Jesus was our sacrifice. In other words there are two covenants one for Jew one for the Gentile. Remember after the Resurrection of Christ there were to parts to the same Church. Jew and Gentile.
He didn’t even address the “faulty” issues. And then goes on to make some statements without proving it with Scripture.
The covenants have nothing to do with the 10 commandments. The ordinances in Hebrews 9 dealt with the ceremonial aspects, and those were done away with in the new covenant. We don’t sacrifice lambs anymore, but we still have to keep the moral law.
“7. “Christians” have ALWAYS worshipped on Sunday and NEVER on the Sabbath? Someone was taking a nap in religious history class! History of Sabbath.”
The early church did indeed keep Sabbath.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabbath_in_Christianity (My university professor’s won’t even accept Wiki as a source. Got to come up with more credible resources, such as noted church historians) See here for some credible facts:
However it seems that God allowed changes to be made. This started in Acts 15 and continued till Ignatius’ Epistle to the Magnesians. Otherwise it should be obvious that God would have destroyed the Early church for not following his will through the Ten Commandments and the varied Jewish laws that were once originally kept.
So he’s going to believe 2nd and 3rd century writers over those who lived with Christ. I’ll trust in scriptures and God.
First of all, the Bible says God does NOT change: Malachi 3:6 says
6For I am the LORD, I change not;
How about the law changing? Let’s look at Luke 16:17 –
17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.
“8. John 17:4 says: “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” Could Jesus make this statement if he still had to “teach” Sunday observance by rising on that day? Is he a liar? (Again, don’t go there.)”
Is Jesus a liar? Obviously not but EG White could lie. More to the point…
(Another straw man, what does EG White have to do with the questions?!?)
“4God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”
Did Jesus teach about Sunday? Obviously not.
Yet if the Sabbath is so important why did Jesus tell us which of the Ten Commandments were the most important to him?
This means that if these two commandments are the most important.
“35Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38This is the first and great commandment.
39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Then why worry about Sabbath? After all this means that EG White and company are following after human teaching not Gods.
Human teachings? Let me quote a previous answers of his “However it seems that God allowed changes to be made. This started in Acts 15 and continued till Ignatius’ Epistle to the Magnesians“ So what is it, Ignatius is human and reported the supposed change to Sunday, yet he doesn’t have a problem with following his human teaching. ACC1971 is starting to contradict himself.
“9. The gospel commission in Matthew contains this…”Teaching them all that I have commanded” and Jesus commanded the Ten Commandments (Matthew 5:19, 19:17-19. Did Jesus command Sunday?”
In Matthew 4:25 and moving on through Matthew 5:1-48 It is obvious Jesus was talking to his disciples and the Jewish community at large in regards to the Ten Commandments.
Later in Matthew 19:16-22 Jesus was talking with a wealthy Jewish man. After all everyone knows Jesus first appeared to the Jews and then once his message was rejected he found the Gentiles were responding to his message.
Did Jesus command Sunday observance. No again… but at the same time WHERE is the commandments of Jesus for Gentiles to keep Saturday Sabbath according to Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. There is none.
X. We just have to follow the example set by Jesus, and the disciples. They kept the Sabbath because it was the custom at the time. Luke 4
16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.
Jesus > Ignatius. I’ll follow His example.
“10. The gospel writers penned their books decades (most scholars say 70 AD or later) after the cross but none of them felt compelled to tell us about a new day of worship? Strange indeed.”
This is more of a comment not a question. Yet again since Christians follow Jesus not EG White (STRAW MAN) WHERE are his commands that the Gentile were to follow Sabbath in the same way Moses did? Since no one can provide proof it is little wonder the Gentile church chose a different day of worship then their Jewish cousins.
(Contradicting himself again. “are following after human teaching not Gods.) So what is it. You going to follow 3rd century gentiles example???
The change of worship days changed after the death of John. This happened as a result of the varied leaders within the Christian church.
ACC1971 says”After all this means that EG White and company are following after human teaching not Gods.”
So those supposed ‘varied leaders’ aren’t human, or is it only select human’s that we should follow? Because from the above statement, he seem’s to be following the example of HUMAN teachings because it was man that changed the day.
“11. Again, Luke (23:56) writes about the”…Sabbath according to the commandment” but why say this decades later if the Sabbath is no longer a commandment?”
Luke 23:1-56 deals with the death of Christ. Luke 24 deals with Jesus resurrection. Why did his disciples rest on the Sabbath? DUH they were Jews. Not Gentiles. So this means that they were still under the old Commandments not Jesus commandments.
Good excuse, however the more obvious reason was that it was the Sabbath, as they continued to meet on Sabbaths after Jesus’ death.
“12. If the Ten Commandments are the old covenant then how do they explain away Exodus 19:3-8 which is a covenant made and agreed to a full three days before they (the law) are even given by God?”
Exodus 19:1-25 was about WHO? The Jews. The people of Moses. WHY does this have anything to do with Christians or Christianity at all?
“13. If there was no law before Mount Sinai, why does God say in Genesis 26:5 “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws”? In the book ok Genesis both moral (6th 4:8-15; 1st 35:2-4; 7th 39:7-9; 10th 25:29-34…and more) and ceremonial (4:4; 22:8-10, 31:54; 46:1) laws are mentioned.”
Why are you going back into the OT? This has nothing to do with Jesus.
REALLY?!?!?!, the 1st half of the Bible has nothing to do with JESUS? Isn’t Jesus God? Isn’t Jesus the one that created the universe? Doesn’t the OT prophesy about his coming to SAVE us? So how does the OT not have to do with Jesus? From this answer one can immediately tell that he’s grasping at straws now.
More to the point if the Ten Commandments exsisted before Exodus 20 then they should have been listed before hand in the Tanakh and Genesis. When reading Genesis maybe your assumption is that seeing all the horrors that humanity can do to itself God used the examples you provided to create the Ten Commandments for the people of Moses which of course became the people of Israel or Jews.
“14. If there is no law before Sinai, doesn’t God have a lot of apologizing to do to Adam & Eve, Cain, the whole world (flood), Sodom and Gomorrah, and even SATAN HIMSELF (cast out of heaven. Why?)? Weren’t they sinners? What is sin? (1 John 3:4, see also Romans 4:15)”
And that proves what exactly?
This question proves exactly the why the law also applies to Gentiles. Were the people of Sodom and Gomorrah Jews? Yet they were punished. How about the people of the flood. There were no Jews at the time? They were punished as well. What law applied???? Obviously God’s moral law, which not only applies to the Jews as he claims. After this I think I’ll rest my case. Sorry to say, but he has yet to answer any question with any SOLID Biblical backing.
You want God our Father to apologize for the poor choices of his creation? It isn’t Gods fault we sin. It is our own.
Why did you skip the entirety of 1 John 3:1-24?
“15. Why do Sunday advocates insist Jesus broke the Sabbath to diminish it’s importance when Jesus himself states in John 15:10 “….even as I have kept my Father’s commandments.”? Is Jesus a bald-face liar? (once again, don’t go there)”
WHO in the so called ‘Sunday Advocates’ think that Jesus broke the Sabbath? Your not providing any evidence. In fact shouldn’t you have considered that John 15:11-16 asks his followers to ‘love one another’.
“16. In the gospels & Acts the Sabbath and the synagogue are synonymous with each other 11 times and yet the “2 proof texts” given in the new testament say nothing of a place of worship, why’s that?”
Early Christians were put out of the synagogues. They ended up gathering in each others houses. Or did you forget that.
17. With the practice of circumcision being very important to Jews, it is refuted over 40 times in the New Testament but not the Sabbath day meetings held all through the books of acts. We remember how rabidly the Pharisees attacked Jesus over the issue of the Sabbath. So why does Paul NOT ONCE chide them on the Sabbath issue and where is their anger over it in the New Testament writings?
Interestingly enough you neglect Acts 15 yet again. And yes I recognize I am repeating this scripture over and over. The early church was unified with its beliefs in Jesus and the use of Sabbath since Early Christianity was once essentially Jewish in its ritual and theology. At the time the disciples of Christ followed after the old Jewish ways of worship and so forth. Yet they changed the dynamic of Worship by not forcing the commandments of Moses on the new Gentile believers. If Sabbath was so important you would think that the Disciples would have a word from God for the Gentiles to keep it and the rest of the Ten.
See Romans 3:28-31.
“18. If early Christians were already worshipping on Sundays then why didn’t the Jews raise a commotion about that like circumcision? Again, Paul never rebukes anyone for keeping the “old Jewish Sabbath”
Neither did any of the Disciples write a epistle preaching to anyone that the First day of the week was a wrong day to worship Christ on. In other words for the gentile the Jewish Saturday Sabbath was a non issue.
19. Why don’t ANY New Testament writers denounce the Sabbath? Don’t they know there’s a “new day of worship”?
Duh they were Jews… NEXT!
The Disciples allowed for the Church to pick a day of worship. And so far as long as Jesus is preached to the world it has been working fine.
Neither did the disciples give commandments for the gentile church to keep the Ten Commandments including Saturday Sabbath.
20. If the Sabbath is Jewish, why does God (through Isaiah in the 56th chapter) encourage “the sons of the stranger”, meaning gentiles, to keep it? (See also Exodus 20:8-11 for the same “stranger” reference)
The terminology ‘sons of the stranger’ mean those non Jews who lived under a Jewish Theocracy. This type of theocracy was started by Moses in Exodus 20. This includes Saturday Sabbath keeping. Since many of us in Christianity live in places like America, Canada, Europe etc live under secular laws and therefore aren’t required to keep the Sabbath.
21. If the Sabbath is Jewish only then why does Luke (the gentile doctor) refer to “nation of the Jews,” “the people of the Jews,” “the land of the Jews,” and the “synagogue of the Jews.” (Acts 10:22; 12:11; 10:39; 14:1) and never “sabbath of the Jews”?
Isn’t it obvious? The first followers of Christ and the disciples were Jewish. Luke referred to everything outside of his sphere of influence as Jewish this & that.
22. Since God is all powerful (Job 42:2) and all knowing (1 John 3:20), why didn’t God change the law and prevent sin so Christ wouldn’t have to die?
That is a question you should be asking God. Because few if any people know why. I can make a guess that the many animal sacrifices for the Jewish nation did not cover the growing sinfulness of that people. And this includes we the Gentiles of the Twenty first century had we still been sacrificing various animals at the Jewish Temple.
23. If the Sabbath no longer exists because no one is stoned for breaking it, what about some of the other commandments that the Lord prescribed a death penalty for like the third (Leviticus 24:16), fifth (Exodus 21:17), sixth (Numbers 35:16), seventh (Leviticus 20:10)? Will we throw these out, too?
More use of the OT huh?
Leviticus 24:10-16 Dealt with blasphemy.
Leviticus 24:17-23 Dealt with retaliation.
So you want to use the same to those who harm you? How ‘Christian’…
With Exodus 21:12-36 deals with more retaliation and fighting. Jesus spoke on this subject here: Matthew 5:38-41. Apparently you doubt Jesus teaching.
Numbers 35:9-34 Dealt with murder and citys of refuge. So does this author suggest we in the Twenty first century revert to this state? Murderers who are serving time in prisions will eventually die either by getting too old or by execution.
Leviticus 20:1-27 Gives us a list of sins and punishments. Adultery being Lev 20:10. So under this persons opinion we should kill all adulterers? Under secular laws adulterers are divorced and not killed.
Unless the foolish author of these questions is desiring to use similar laws like Sharia to punish the various persons who are divorced by adultery, the sexually immoral etc.
24. If the meaning of “fulfilled” in Matthew 5:17 means do away with the law, what about Matthew 3:15 that states Jesus must be baptized in order “for us to fulfill all righteousness”. The Greek word “plēroō” (play-ro’-o) is the same word in both texts translated “fulfill”. So are we “doing away with” righteousness and baptism?
Another foolish opinion. If Jesus had not died for us both for the Gentiles and Jew how much of our personal ‘righteousness’ would make God happy?
Obviously personal righteousness and Baptism are still used so what is the point of this foolishness?
25. If Luke 16:16 tells us the “law and the prophets” were meant to be of no more value when John the Baptist came along, why is it read from in Acts 13:15, and declared as Paul’s rule of faith and practice in Acts 24:14?
When we look at each Scripture here that this SDA author references simply by each context we see the following.
Luke 16:13-17 Is Jesus teaching about Money.
Acts 13:1-52 Is the story of Paul’s first missionary journey outside of Israel. In Acts 13:15 Paul is preaching to the Jews.
Acts 24:1-27 Paul is defending himself against his Jewish accusers.
When shown in context they refute the authors ideas.
26. If Psalm 118:22-24 is supposed to be a messianic prophecy predicting Sunday sacredness because of the resurrection of Christ then why does the New Testament never mention Sunday as a sacred day in connection with Christ’s resurrection?
Does Psalm 118 mean anything to do with Sunday or Saturday? No of course not it is a song of Praise to God. Psalm 118:22-23 is about Jesus.
It seems to me that both Saturday and Sunday keepers can use this song to Thank God fo their particular day of worship.
27. It says in 1 Chronicles 17:27 that once the Lord blesses something it stays blessed “forever” so doesn’t that mean the Sabbath remains blessed today? Where’s the text showing God un-blessing the Sabbath.
1 Chronicles 17:16-27 is a prayer of King David. In using only the end of the prayer the author of these question attempts to altar the context. But they fail if you read the content.
Israel is blessed forever not merely those who keep Sabbath in the Gentile Church.
28. If the Ten Commandments were abolished by Christ then why does Isaiah 42:21 (a messianic prophecy) state “….he will magnify the law and make it honorable”? Shouldn’t it say he’ll take them out of the way?
As usual the SDA tactic of falling back to Isaiah. Reading the content of Isaiah 42:1-25 we find a prophecy again about the people of Israel.
Interestingly I see a few paragraphs that seem to indicate that they were about Jesus. See Isaiah 42:6-7.
As we have seen through these varied questions this debate over Sabbath will likely continue till Jesus returns. However we should remember WHO is our Savior… Jesus not EG White, Israel Hammon or others who followed her.
My main issue with SDA followers is about the writings of EG White. Her theology would include segregating Sunday keepers, Assuming that keeping the Saturday Sabbath had something to do with their salvation.
Her followers use her writings to distance themselves from fellow Christians and the SDA doctrines they preach are contrary to the Bible. Many of those in the SDA organization, sect, church will call me names and claim I am following the Catholic Church or some sort of foolishness.
Yet are these same SDA followers following Christ or EG White and company?
As I read more of their religious philosophy online I am convinced EG White and others like her have deceived good people who are dying to follow the law and neglecting the sacrifice Christ made for them.
I am sure that more questions will follow made up by SDA authors to reject Christ and to accept EG White and company as a new god, prophetess, teacher etc. But as shown with other false teachers EG White can’t save the ‘Judaizers’ souls.
If SDA folk are going to play the ‘blame’ game why current Christianity doesn’t believe in their claims and their philosophy of following the Ten Commandments and their use of Sabbath keeping. They might as well start with Jesus, the Disciples and then move on thru 2000-3000 years of Christian history.
Then their authority, their perspectives are on EG White and not on Jesus.