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CARM is still wrong

January 31, 2010

This is a post in response to a partial response concerning my original post on CARM using misleading ‘proof’ texts.  I want to re-emphasize my initial purpose of writing that post is that I feel CARM used irresponsible interpretation of the texts they put forward.  Whether it be honest ignorance  or willful misrepresentation of the texts, only CARM knows.  The fact remains that they are still wrong for using those texts to prove Sunday worship.  So I was a bit surprised to see someone respond as the evidence I put forward is very solid.  Anyway, I’ll use the rest of this post to refute the critic’s claim that I’m now wrong.

Daniel’s 1st objection (passages he quotes I’ll mark red):

Daniel says:

Your response links to another post on your site where you make the claim that the “Bible mentions Sabbath observance as the norm, for instance see Acts 13:42-44.” However, if one reads the context (so important) then one can clearly understand what was written. The passage reads:

“As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.”

This passage begs the question “Who are ‘the people’ that were begging?” Well, if we just take a look back at Acts 13:13 we read:

Now, I’m not sure what version he’s quoting, but to answer his question, he needs to look no further than a different translation.  Daniel, I’d like to take this opportunity to point you to some simple fundamental rules of interpretation. It’s funny, because in my post I quoted the same passage, but from a different translation than Daniel uses.  I don’t know how Daniel missed it, maybe trying to pull a CARM?  But here it is again:

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. (NKJV)

So who are the people that were begging.  THE GENTILES.  How do we know?  Lets look at the next few verses:

45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles47 For so the Lord has commanded us:
‘ I have set you as a light to the Gentiles,
That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’[k]
48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

If Paul were speaking ONLY to the Jews on the Sabbath, then why does verse 45 take about the “multitudes”? Why were the Jews jealous? Obviously, there were a lot more Gentiles then Jews in the crowd, why, because verse 44 says “almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.”  So clearly, the Gentiles were the “people” who begged Paul to speak to them the next week, and Paul did just that.

For Daniel to go all the way and try to use Verse 13, when the answer is in the following passages reeks of eisegesis, or putting your own interpretation/views into the passage.  So his whole argument just went out the window.

Daniel’s 2nd objection

You also attempt to prove your point by noting that the “pagan Romans” also worshiped on Saturday as if that carries any weight. The “pagan Romans” also worshiped a plethora of gods, does that mean that the early church did as well? Of course not. This is a classic example of a non sequitur.

If he read that entire post, he’d get what I was trying to illustrate. My point was to show that Sabbath was the defacto day off in that time.  Everyone including the Romans took the Sabbath off. This is what I meant by “Pagan Romans too”:

The Jewish Sabbath became so popular among the Romans that eventually it influenced them to adopt the seven-day week instead of their own eight-day week (nundinum). When this adoption took place just before the Christian era, the Romans made Saturday the first and most important day of the week for resting and banqueting.

Did the Pagan Romans worship on Sabbath, probably not, but they weren’t working or doing commerce on that day.  He’s twisting my argument here.  Of course he ignores the rest of that post, trying to attack a Straw Man. He then claims non sequitur; the irony.  Keep trying.

Daniel’s 3rd objection

You continue by writing:

And worship on Sunday to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection is just silly and another excuse to ignore the God given command to keep the Sabbath holy. In fact, they forgot to mention Ignatius’ first reason they keep Sunday is because it’s “a memorial of the creation, and the latter of the resurrection”. So what is it? Is Sunday a memorial of creation, or to celebrate the resurrection?

I’m very disappointed that you consider celebrating Jesus’ resurrection is “silly.”

What I consider “silly” is the fact that Christians willfully ignore the 4th commandment and put up the excuse “We worship on Sunday to celebrate his resurrection”  when there is no such command/instruction in all of Scripture to do that.  God commanded to keep the Sabbath holy.  Jesus kept it all his life, even in death.  What better way to honor and celebrate his resurrection than to honor his commandments.

Do you not rejoice in his propitiation of the elect’s sins? Are you not overjoyed by the fact that the elect is saved? You would have all of that to be “silly,” though. For shame.

Now that’s non-sequitur.

Daniel’s 4th objection

Furthermore, you state that “Ignatius’ first reason they keep Sunday is because it’s ‘a memorial of the creation, and the latter of the resurrection.’” Barring your lack of citation, are you unable to grasp this concept? Is it just too complex? It is a memorial of creation because God instituted it, at creation, for man to rest on. And it is a celebration of the resurrection because, obviously, that’s the day that Christ rose from the grave. Not too difficult to understand, I hope.

Yes I understand the Sabbath was created as a memorial for creation.  It’s still valid.  As for the resurrection, its irrelevant as a reason to forgo Sabbath observance.  There is no Biblical basis or support to use his resurrection as a reason for 1st day observance.

Daniel is right about the quote though, it’s not Ignatius (Ignatius was the first name on the top of the linked page), but from the Apostolic Constitution. Thanks for catching it:

This is the passage taken from the list of Sunday quotes at http://www.bible.ca/7-sunday-weekly-memorial-of-resurrection.htm

Notice how the above link only uses 2 texts from Scripture to back their point.  That’s why I said:

Scripture>later writings (Scripture is greater than later writings)

Sola Scriptura my friends. Sola Scriptura.

Daniel’s closing remarks

As all can now see, your handling of Scripture leaves much to be desired.Therefore, your boast is just nonsense. Sunday observation has both biblical and extra-biblical support. Should we not trust anything the ECFs wrote because they wrote “centuries later?” Per you, yes. We cannot trust anything they have written. Or do you just believe that they were wrong about this only? You’re position is inconsistent, at best.

“Your handling of Scripture leaves much to be desired”  Had to laugh at that.  It’s like the pot calling the kettle black.   Big talk from someone who just got his argument dismantled.  I’d be careful next time before you put those words to print again.  I suggest next time you pray and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance before you study Scriptures.  That way you won’t jump to the wrong conclusions again.

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