Re: Sunday observance (was Homosexuality (a condition) and homosexual activities)

From: Todd S. Greene (
Date: Sat Aug 18 2001 - 11:22:46 EDT

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    Hi, Chuck.

    As you intimated, the New Testament does not anywhere talk about
    Christians not working on Sunday, or not going to restaurants or pubs,
    or anything of the sort. Sunday is *not* the Sabbath, and even if it
    was, the Sabbath laws were part of the old law, so why would they have
    any meaning for Christians (unless, of course, you're a Jewish
    Christian)? Such considerations as you are referring to are nothing
    more than *human* traditions, and if a person desires to hold to a
    particular tradition, that is his perogative. It is also his perogative
    to ignore such traditions and do things completely differently. Any way
    he chooses is simply a matter of his personal choice and expedience,
    and has nothing that is necessarily bound up with Christian faith.

         One man considers one day more sacred than another; another
         man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully
         convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as
         special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the
         Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does
         so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

         Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as
         evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and
         drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy
         Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is
         pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make
         every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual
         edification. (Romans 14:5-6, 16-19; NIV)

         But now that you know God--or rather are known by God--how
         is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable
         principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over
         again? You are observing special days and months and seasons
         and years! (Galatians 4:9-10; NIV)

    Again, these are matters of conscience, expedience, and human tradition,
    and not matters of Christian faith. I find it fascinating how much
    humans love to bind up their human concerns, issues, traditions, and
    beliefs as somehow being integral parts of their religious faith. But
    I'll bet if you used a time machine and brought a Christian from the
    first century to a Sunday service in London, Toronto, or Cincinnati, he
    would probably be rather horrified, or at least extremely befuddled, by
    the experience. (Notice I'm not talking about "the rest of society," but
    a church service.)

    Now, regarding homosexuality, I'm not addressing that subject, just
    these other things you had mentioned.

    Todd S. Greene

    ###### Chuck Vandergraaf, 8/17/01 9:18 PM ######

    I feel there has been a gradual eroding of values and standards - we do
    things because the rest of society tells us it's OK. A trivial example;
    since Sunday trading was introduced in Britain, a number of Christians I
    know do go (guiltily) to shops on Sunday. Is this right, or not? The fact
    is that it's convenient. And though I don't as a rule go to shops on
    Sunday, I go to restaurants or pubs on a Sunday. Am I hypocritical to do
    this? I don't know - but it certainly is easy to slip into the habits of
    the rest of society, without considering what is the true Christian
    perspective on this.

    I doubt if anybody can categorically say that Sunday shopping is "right" or
    "wrong" but your statement that you don't tend to shop on Sundays but do go
    to restaurants or pubs is interesting. Why one and not the other, unless
    you don't have cooking facilities at home?

    Certainly there are many instances where "the rest of society" influences
    the behaviour, thoughts, and values of Christians. The recent e-mail
    exchange on homosexuality and the increased number of women in the pulpit
    are just two examples where the "world" is ahead of the church (with "ahead"
    I mean in a temporal sense).


    True, the early Christians may not have Sundays off (I believe that Sunday
    as a day or rest was instituted by one of the Roman emperors) and, as the
    global economy becomes more and more integrated and more and more
    non-Christian immigrate into Canada and the US, Sunday may well become "just
    another day." That does not mean that we should not make a conscious
    decision to observe the Lord's Day the way we feel best. Nobody is (yet)
    forcing us to shop or attend sporting events on Sundays. We may be forced to
    travel on Sundays and some of us may be forced to work on Sundays.

    Chuck Vandergraaf
    Pinawa, MB

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