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Featured What happened to the Christian Sabbath?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Shaul, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. Shaul

    Shaul Well-Known Member

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    There was a time, not too long ago, when Christians kept a Sabbath. As recently as a generation ago there was a strong Christian Sabbath. Then it would have been scandalous for a Christian to work on their Sabbath. Indeed in many nominally Christian countries, such as the U.S., there were blue laws which enforced their Sabbath. These have gone away.

    Nowadays Christians treat their Sabbath as a day for all manner of frivolity. Church attendance drops as time goes on. The Christian Sabbath becomes more and more secularized.

    Christians purport to follow their scriptures. Even the most cursory reading of their Old Testament shows that keeping the Sabbath is extremely important. Yet I have even encountered some Christians now that say keeping the Sabbath was abolished. Such a position and teaching would have been unthinkable in the near past.

    I am NOT asking why Chrsitians identify their Sabbath as Sunday and not Saturday. That is a separate topic. What I would like to ask is why Christians are abandoning their Sabbath? What are the causes?
     
  2. roger1440

    roger1440 I do stuff

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    "Most blue laws have been repealed in the United States, although many states still ban the sale of alcoholic beverages or cars on Sundays. Bergen County, New Jersey is notable for their blue laws banning the sale of clothing, shoes, furniture, home supplies and appliances on Sundays kept through county-wide referendum.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_law

    I'm from Bergen County
     
  3. Orbit

    Orbit I'm a planet

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    Blue laws still exist forbidding the sale of alcohol. I think in general economic necessity trumped religious sentiment. If you need to work on Sunday to eat, you work.
     
  4. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    I think also the labor movement had something to do with changing observation of the Sabbath, and the fact that big businesses find it difficult (financially and/or administratively) to shut operations completely for any length of time.
    I think a lot of people now recognize that such limitations on commerce, etc., are the imposition of religion on the non-religious, and therefore isn't appropriate in a modern diverse society.
     
  5. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    A reminder that "Shabbat" is a day of the week that runs from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. The Christian observance is more correctly called "the Lord's Day", whereas "Lord" in this case refers to Jesus.

    Since the early church gradually walked away from most of the Law (613 of them), they gradually abandoned the Sabbath observance and transferred the day of rest to Sunday sometime during in the 2nd century. In the "Didache", a late 1st century document that directed how to act in the diasporah, there's a precedent for this as they used to meet on Sunday to observe the "agape meal".
     
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  6. roger1440

    roger1440 I do stuff

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    The short answer is the changing demographics and economy of the United States. In other words the United States as a whole is evolving. Whether or not it’s for the better or worse, the jury is still out on that one, LOL.

     
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  7. Musing Bassist

    Musing Bassist Ash nazg durbatulûk

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    Christians are obligated to follow the moral law, not the externals of Jewish ceremonial law, which have been made obsolete by the terms of the new covenant under Christ. Christians never observed the Sabbath in the Jewish sense. Christians do (or should) however observe their weekly obligation to attend the liturgy on Sunday, which consequently should also be a day of rest, family and prayer.

    In Catholicism the Sunday obligation has not been abolished.

    2185 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord's Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body.123 Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health.

    To address your question, it's not so much that Christian teaching has changed but that we are living in increasingly irreligious times. Christian observance is becoming more and more nominal (if undertaken at all) and few would actually have a real clue just what their religious obligations were anyway.
     
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  8. The Emperor of Mankind

    The Emperor of Mankind Currently the galaxy's spookiest paraplegic

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    Could you explain what you mean by "in the Jewish sense" please? Were the earliest Christians not practising Jews?
     
  9. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    "Blue laws" were never about Christians keeping the Sabbath. You don't need any laws to refrain from buying liquor or whatnot on a particular day. Blue laws are about imposing the Sabbath on people who don't want to keep it.
     
  10. Musing Bassist

    Musing Bassist Ash nazg durbatulûk

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    The earliest Christians were Jews, but the Christian revelation was not under the terms of Jewish ceremonial law. (Which in the Christian view, only existed to foreshadow Christ). The question to what extent Christians were to observe Mosaic Law was the whole point of contention in the early controversies addressed in the New Testament. Just as baptism replaces circumcision, the Lord's Day replaces the Jewish Sabbath.
     
    #10 Musing Bassist, Jun 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
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  11. The Emperor of Mankind

    The Emperor of Mankind Currently the galaxy's spookiest paraplegic

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    Thanks for clarifying. :)
     
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  12. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I'm not certain what you mean by "ceremonial law", but the entire Law, all 613 of them, are stated in the Torah as coming from God. See: http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm

    The church in its infancy did observe the Sabbath, and it's sometime during the 2nd century whereas the shift was made. However, the transition was so gradual that historians simply cannot agree exactly where the line should be drawn. Also, the transition appears to not have been uniform since most Christians left eretz Israel and settled into other areas, compounded by the fact that local churches had varying degrees of Jews v gentiles.
     
  13. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Let me throw something else in your direction because there's a problem with the above, with the biggest being the fact that the Tanakh makes it clear in numerous areas that any so-called prophet who teaches that the Law should not or need not be fully followed is to be classified as a "false prophet". Instead, there's another way of looking at this, and it comes from the question Jesus is asked about which was the greatest Commandment? In his answer, he narrows it down to two, but then concludes that they intrinsically cover all the 613 Commandments in what came to be known as the "law of love".

    So, here is where the rubber hits the road, imo, namely that Jesus felt that the love of God and the love of humankind was really what the Law was about, and a great many Jewish sages would agree with him, such as Hillel. With this position, Jesus could say that he was fully supporting all of the Law, but one can also see why most Jews would have problems with that when it came to watering-down the Law and eventually abandoning at least the letter of the Law.

    This indeed would explain the conflict between him and the mainline-Jewish leaders, and it also explains why when one looks at the various quotes from the N.T. on the Law, there seems to be an ambivalence and confusion as to where the movement goes next vis-a-vis the Law.
     
  14. roger1440

    roger1440 I do stuff

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    If what you are saying is true how is it the vast majority of Jews don't know this?
     
  15. Musing Bassist

    Musing Bassist Ash nazg durbatulûk

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    That's nonsensical. That's no different to asking how it is that Christians and Jews don't know about the prophet-hood of Muhammad. Obviously somebody is wrong.

    That was never denied. Ceremonial law refers to those commandments which deal with the means and conditions of worship which were given as part of the Old Covenant. Christianity claims that the Old Covenant (Judaism) is obsolete with the advent of Christ. Therefore Jewish worship is no longer valid, hence neither are the laws which regulate it. Circumcision is no longer a condition of ritual cleanliness, neither is kosher, nor is there a requirement for animal sacrifice (since Christ is the sacrifice). Most importantly, the ethnic nature of the Judaism was abolished as the New Covenant is intended to open access to God for all. (Indeed, Christ is the only means to God).

    The laws which strictly deal with morality are still binding. In other words, adultery is still a sin even though the requirement to stone said adulterer is gone.

    Of course there's no doubt that Jewish Christians did not completely abandon their previous practices immediately. But that means very little in regards to the necessity of those practices for the Christian. Those who insisted that Christians practice Judaism were contradicted even in the New Testament.
     
    #15 Musing Bassist, Jun 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
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  16. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    What is "the Lord's Day" in your understanding?
     
  17. Musing Bassist

    Musing Bassist Ash nazg durbatulûk

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    The Lord's Day is the day marked out by the Chruch for obligatory attendance to the Divine Liturgy. (Or Mass as we say in the west). Sunday has been this day since very early on. And the main reason for this being that Christ ascended on Sunday.
     
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  18. roger1440

    roger1440 I do stuff

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    I don't see anywhere in the Gospels that mention Jews are no longer under the Mosaic Law. Can you quote a verse or two?
     
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  19. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Are you saying that Christ ascended on the Sunday after his death? (Acts 1:1-11) And this is why the church changed the Sabbath to Sunday?
     
  20. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    ... despite the impression you'd get from all those Ten Commandments monuments on courthouse and state legislature lawns. :D
     
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