Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Seventh Day?

Why do Christians worship on Sunday? What is the history of what happened to the Sabbath?

By de Andréa

During my study of the Biblical Antichrist the origins of Christianity and the subsequent religion of Islam, I stumbled across some interesting questions.

One of the things that Allah used to deceive Mohammad into becoming the prophet of Islam was the corruption of the Jewish and Christian religion. While I knew that even the bible alludes to this corruption of the early church, and that the corruption of Christianity continued right up through the reformation. What I didn’t realize is just how much of that corruption may have continued right on through to today.

If one would look closely at the changes that took place in the Christian church after the reformation one would see just about as many similarities as changes.

Just how much corruption snuck through the reformation unnoticed? Some similarities are quite obvious in certain Protestant denominations, such as orthodox Lutheran for example, the service is difficult to tell in some ways from a Catholic Mass.

But how much non-Biblical, or even pagan practices, slipped through the filter of the new reformed Christian theology?

Likely more than we realize…

Have you ever wondered why one of the Ten Commandments seems to be null and void – notably the one calling on believers to observe the Sabbath as the lord’s day of rest, the seventh day? Not the sixth or the third or the first --- but the seventh day. Maybe I am being too legalistic, I don’t’ want to be put in the bondage of legalism, but then one could say that about any of Gods commandments.

This switch of worship days from the seventh to the first day of the week is not mentioned in the Bible – and the historical fact is that most Christians continued observing the Sabbath on the seventh day for hundreds of years after Jesus rose from the dead.

Some say that the command of the Sabbath was a covenant only with the Jews and was no longer relevant after Christ.

Bear in mind Christianity was never supposed to be a separate religion from Judaism. The Jews were supposed to be Messianic as Christians are today. It was because the Jews gave in to the deception of Satan that Christianity was born.

The classic, scholarly work of the late Samuele Bacchiocchi in "From Sabbath to Sunday", helped to shed some light on this question as well as the general question of Christian corruption.

His studies gave him a unique access to Roman Catholic historical archives that shed much light on the historical transition from Sabbath to Sunday.

The Church of the capital of the empire, whose authority was already felt far and wide in the second century, appears to be the most likely birthplace of Sunday observance.

In one of his last interviews before his death, Bacchiocchi said, "Anti-Judaism caused the abandonment of the Sabbath, and pagan sun worship influenced the adoption of Sunday."

He says evidence of anti-Judaism is found in the writings of Christian leaders such as Ignatius, Barnabus and Justin in the second century. He notes these three "witnessed and participated in the process of separation from Judaism which led the majority of the Christians to abandon the Sabbath and adopt Sunday as the new day of worship."

Bacchiocchi also explains the influence of pagan Sun worship provides a "plausible explanation for the Christian choice of Sunday" over the day of Saturn or Saturday. Its effect wasn't just limitedto Sunday. It apparently led to the placement of Jesus' birth in late December as well.

"The adoption of the 25th of December for the celebration of Christmas is perhaps the most explicit example of sun worship's influence on the Christian liturgical calendar," Bacchiocchi writes. "It is a known fact that the pagan feast of the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti – the birthday of the Invincible Sun, was held on that date."

One of the Roman names for this "Invincible Sun" god in the days of the apostles was Mithra. There are striking similarities between the ancient worship of Mithra and today's Sunday worship of Christianity, leading some to think early Christians adopted Sunday worship from heathen customs.

Is this maybe part of the great separation in the days of eschatology, the separation of the church and the drawing together of true believers and the return to Gods Commands?

There is quite a library on these largely misunderstood spiritual issues. It's a great subject for an in-depth Bible study that you probably won't get in your adult Sunday school class or in a Sunday-worship service or even in a midweek service.

Award-winning actor Hal Holbrook hosts a television documentary that traces the history of the Sabbath through the ages and around the world. This interesting and thoroughly documented series features interviews with over 50 experts. To see a trailer of this DVD video Click Here.

Some of us just take everything as it comes, from wherever source it comes, and then some of us are downright deceived. How do we know what the truth really is unless we prayerfully search for it? Have we angered God for mixing up the days? I don’t think so, but it does give one pause about taking things for granted. We might be better off challenging what we have come to believe to be the truth. If it is correct it will hold up under any scrutiny of church history.

One way we can know the truth, is that it ‘will’ definitely set us free…

de Andréa

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