Comment on Christians and the Sabbath by Ken Christman.
Thank you for your admission that you indeed did alter the record. But, as we both know, these were not mere typos, but rather, clear changes in content. The usual method of altering content is to issue an erratum or addendum, as you must certainly be aware. This is accomplished by simply creating another post! Intellectual integrity is important. Please continue to focus your energy on Creationism, but let us all resolve to keep Creationism above reproach.
Ken Christman Also Commented
Christians and the Sabbath
For some inexplicable reason, you seem to be intent on continuing this Sabbath discussion. For me, however, I conclude that I have labored for you in vain, and not only is this discussion nonproductive, but there is no indication that it ever will be in the future. There seems to be absolutely no desire to accurately interpret Scripture on the basis of common dictionaries, which, I must admit can be restrictive to over-active imaginations. You have severely misquoted even my own posts. You have even altered your own posts! I know because I copied your last post last night, and then, when I read it again on your website, there were additions! Whether or not you have altered my previous posts, I do not know. At this point, I must conclude that this type of intellectual integrity does not lend itself to a rational discussion of things of eternal value. Your sole purpose seems to be winning an argument, while my sole purpose is to understand God’s will for my life.
Your constantly shifting positions on the Sabbath and salvation are sufficient for me to understand that there is great confusion. I am saddened that your definition of Sabbath keeping differs from God’s definition. If, as you maintain, the Roman Catholic Church altered the time definition of Sabbath keeping and you yourself obviously altered God’s definition of the manner of Sabbath keeping, are you any different? You invalidate your arguments by being selective in following the clear commands of both God and Ellen White. These arguments are even more problematic because you claim that those who know the truth about Sabbath observance but reject them are in “open rebellion against God”? Perhaps it is because you forget your own words that you find it necessary to go back and “doctor” your previous posts.
At any rate, I wish you the best, and must leave you to your own devices. While I applaud your efforts in teaching and preaching God’s Creationism in 6 literal days, I hope your style is not a distraction, especially when you claim that something can be both “lawful” and “unlawful” simultaneously.
May God bless you.
Christians and the Sabbath
Your continued insistence that a commandment (law) “can be lawfully broken” is indeed extraordinary. If you are unable to grasp how you cannot be lawful and unlawful simultaneously, I’m not sure I can be of much more help to you. The statement that “Jesus only ‘broke the Sabbath’ in order to relieve suffering is absolutely false. In Mark 2, his disciples were gathering corn on the Sabbath and there was no suffering. This was contrary to the commandment which prohibited gathering food on Sabbath. In John 5, Jesus healed a paralytic on Sabbath then told him to take up his bed and walk–on the Sabbath, and this was completely contrary to carrying a burden o Sabbath. While he did indeed heal, the Jews were indignant about the carrying the bed on Sabbath.
You fabricate a statement that I supposedly made, “You cite a single Saturday night prayer meeting as evidence that they didn’t continue to observe the Sabbath. . . ” when I ABSOLUTELY MADE NO SUCH STATEMENT. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT, AS MOST OF US UNDERSTAND THAT WHAT HAPPENS ON SATURDAY NIGHT AFTER SUNDOWN DOES NOT CONSTITUTE SABBATH OBSERVANCE. I DO NOT KNOW WHY YOU FABRICATE AND TWIST MY STATEMENTS. ARE YOU SURE YOU EVEN READ WHAT I WRITE?
You continue to focus on the shadow of Colossians 2. Hebrews 10:1 also refers to a shadow–“For the law having a shadow of good things to come. . . ” which simply means that the law was a shadow, and the real substance is Christ which replaces the law.
For some inexplicable reason, you continue to maintain that the Sabbath is for all mankind, and claim this is what “anthropos” means. Seriously, we MUST get back to the dictionaries again, as you are violating the Greek dictionary now. Get yourself a good Greek dictionary and look it up. You will find that “anthropos” does NOT mean mankind, and certainly does NOT mean ALL MANKIND. The definition is: THE COUNTENANCE, MAN-FACED, i.e. A HUMAN BEING. This is singular, and not plural. Wikipedia says it is Greek for HUMAN. Matthew 19:5, Matthew 19:10 and I Corinthians 7:1 all use the word “anthropos”, and in each case it is singular.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE respect the dictionaries, whether they be English, Greek, or any other. You do great violence to my the Bible, the words of Jesus, the English and Greek dictionaries, and even what I write.
Your reference to the lake drowning and saying to the rescuer to “get lost” is completely apocryphal. Please restrain yourself from misquoting me.
I explained to you that the Sabbath carried a capital punishment ant that at least one man in the Old Testament was stoned to death for violating the Sabbath commandment. It therefore follows that those who obeyed and did NOT violate the commandment during that time period avoided death and lived. This is a simple concept, yet you disagreed and said “No, that’s not right”. I’m not sure I can be of much more help to you if you cannot grasp simple inverse relationships. Perhaps I’ll make one final attempt. If Adam and Even had NOT eaten the forbidden fruit, would they have died? They ate it, then died as God told them. On the contrary, if they had not eaten, are you claiming that they would not have lived? If you truly are not able to follow this very simple logic, continue violating Scripture, dictionaries, etc., I suppose I’ll have to leave you where you are, hoping that you will someday appreciate Biblical truths for what God is actually trying to tell us.
This has been an interesting excursion, and I’ve been dragged all over the landscape. First, you claimed that Sabbath observance never saved anyone. Then, you claimed that it saved some, but not others. Some “ignorant” souls could be saved while other “ignorant” souls presumably not saved. Then, you maintained that those who knew the “Sabbath truth” but ignored you were in open rebellion against God and could not be saved. Now, you seem to have made a full circle, and your last post said “Keeping the commandments of God aren’t what saves a person.”
Jesus spelled out the process of salvation in John 3. Please read His words closely. He is my Mediator, and He should know.
Christians and the Sabbath
Yes, you are absolutely right in saying that “Sabbath observance isn’t complicated or mysterious”. It is a simple matter of reading the Bible, understanding what God commanded, and either following it or not following it. You have complicated the matter by making a variety of different and fluctuating claims regarding the importance of Sabbath observance relative to salvation and an absolute resistance to spelling out what the definition of Sabbath observance is–until now, where you finally serve up your concept of what it means to be in compliance with God’s 4th commandment of the Decalogue. According to you, it is 1. Spending time with and thinking about God as the Creator and Redeemer. 2. Doing the works of God which include relieving the suffering of fellow human beings and even animals. 3. Resting from one’s own secular activities and a way to recharge one’s spiritual batteries.
Sadly, you have significantly altered the Sabbath commandment as given by God on Mt. Sinai and as reiterated by Ellen White. I spend time thinking about God as Creator on every day of the week, INCLUDING the Sabbath. I also attempt to relieve human suffering and animal suffering on every day of the week, INCLUDING the Sabbath. As for the “works of God”, this is a very general term which lacks specificity, and that is probably your goal–to lack specificity. As for avoiding “secular activities”, this is even more vague, and so totally nonspecific that it totally alters the Sabbath commandment. Recharging one’s spiritual batteries is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible, so that function in Sabbath keeping is way outside the Sabbath commandment.
As for what God commanded regarding Sabbath observance, He clearly indicated total rest along with strict prohibitions: 1. No work, not even those in the household, servants, etc. 2. No kindling fires. 3. No baking or cooking. 4. No boiling. 5. No buying or selling. 6. No carrying burdens into or out of houses or into and out of Jerusalem. 7. No gathering of food and no harvesting. 8. Not doing thine own ways. 9 Not finding thine own pleasure. 10. Restrictions on how far one could walk on Sabbath.
You can readily see that your definition of Sabbath observance is radically different from God’s definition and the activities to be prohibited. You do not follow all God’s specific prohibitions and neither do other SDA Sabbatarians. You have altered His commandment, even though it was written by His own finger in stone, which you indicate is permanent. Yet, you have radically altered it, in spite of EGW’s directive that God has not changed and that the 4th commandment MUST be observed in exactly the same way that God mandated from Mt. Sinai. Otherwise, she says it is a transgression against God. Nevertheless, you have boldly come forth and changed the commandment to suit your own purposes so that you can continue observing it any old way that pleases you. This is not acceptable to God or EGW, but you seem selective in following some things but not all things. Even though you are extremely critically of the Roman Catholic Church for changing the Sabbath to Sunday, you have done the same by changing the definition of Sabbath keeping to whatever suits your desires. If, according to God and EGW, and even yourself, nothing has changed from the Sabbath observance requirements from Sinai to the present day, you are in deep trouble, because you know the truth, and yet are refusing to follow it. By your own definition, you are in “open rebellion against God” and not savable. Jesus declared that He was Lord of the Sabbath, indicating that He could change it. Now you have the audacity to change the Sabbath requirements, indicating that you too must think you are Lord of the Sabbath. Otherwise, you would subscribe to God’s definition of Sabbath keeping as is clearly stated in the Bible. If you are presuming to be capable of altering this commandment, are you not being an impostor, or a type of anti-Christ? Altering God’s clear definition of Sabbath keeping is serious stuff, and you are openly violating EGW’s confirmation of it as well.
As for your continued insistence on the Sabbath being made for the Jews, you obviously could not accept the SDA Bible Commentary, so let’s go back to the Bible, where in Ezekiel 20:18-20, God said, “But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols: I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, d keep my judgments, and do them; An hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between ME and YOU, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God”. Here God is clearly indicating that this is a sign between HIM and ISRAEL. If it included everybody else, He would have said so. Hopefully, you can accept the Bible as convincing evidence of this.
I am glad you recognize that the Talmud does NOT teach that the Sabbath command started in the Garden of Eden. Neither the Torah nor the Medrash. Thank you. As for any continued evidence from non-Christians regarding the merits of Sabbath keeping, please bear in mind that these teachings stem from those who do NOT accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, and obviously will not be granted eternal life. Their opinions should not be listened to, and you would do well to completely ignore them. Many of them are mystics, occultists, etc. Many are Kaballistic Jews whose perspectives involve the New Age, sorcery, occultism, even those like Abraham Heschel and others you quoted from.
Regarding Jesus “breaking the Sabbath”, as is recorded in John 5:18, you now state that “He broke the Sabbath as anyone else could break it–lawfully”. Do you not realize how absurd this statement really is? Do you realize how contradictory and how impossible such a sentence is? How in the world does one break a law lawfully. The very definition of unlawful is to “break the law”!!
In spite of the fact that we have previously invoked the dictionary, it does not surprise me that you would continue altering dictionary definitions. While I recognize that dispensing with dictionaries can be helpful in propagating whatever wild speculations an over-imaginative mind can conjure up, dictionaries are absolutely essential to the rational exchange of thoughts and ideas. Let’s see what Webster’s dictionary says about LAWFUL: being in harmony with the law. UNLAWFUL: not lawful! Can you not see how it is IMPOSSIBLE to be in harmony with a law and NOT in harmony with the law simultaneously? We must return to the Bible and return to the dictionary. Sadly, other Sabbatarian defenders of EGW have previously attempted to pull off these tricks. First, they distort the Bible. Then, they distort the dictionary. Then, they distort my own words. Finally, when all else fails, they bring forth their own Bible, something they call the Clear Word, which is actually published by the Review and Herald. It not only distorts the Bible, but actually has additions and subtractions, especially in Daniel and Revelation, in spite of the clear warnings in Revelation about people who add and subtract from that book. Such a publication is abominable, and I mention in only in the hopes of perhaps being able to avoid this final and deadly step. I have seen SDA’s violate not only the English dictionary, but also the Greek dictionary, and these practices should be condemned by all seekers of truth. I did watch the video from the Andrews University seminary professors you provided, and while I recognize that you derived many of your concepts from them, please be aware that their reasoning is consistently faulty. Do NOT depend on them for any definitive truth, even though they sound very erudite. For instance, they claimed that there are something like 86 instances where early Christians kept the Sabbath!. Interestingly, the account for 78 of those as being when Paul was in Corinth for one and a half years and was visiting the synagogue on Sabbaths trying to teach them! Well, the Biblical passage indicates that Paul stopped going to the synagogue WHEN THE JEWS REJECTED HIS MESSAGE, which of course, always centered upon the divinity of Jesus. Thus, even though Paul might have been in Corinth for roughly 78 Sabbaths, he did not even attend the synagogue for all of them. My guess is that the Jews rejected him pretty quickly, but we don’t know. What we do know is that it was not 78. We also know that Paul urged people to not be judged by how they kept the Sabbath. We also know that just because Paul attended the synagogue does NOT mean that he kept all the Sinaitic commands regarding Sabbath observance, because he spoke against them! Oh, well, can you blame Sabbatarians for a little creative accounting?
At least you recognize that Jesus did break the Sabbath. On one occasion, the disciples were gathering food, which amounted to picking corn, something forbidden by the Sinaitic commandment. On another occasion, he commanded the healed paralytic to pick up his bed and walk, which was again forbidden by the commandment, as Israelites were NOT to carry burdens on the Sabbath day. These were clear violations. Jesus broke the law. He could not have broken it “lawfully”, because there is no such thing in the English language. He clearly broke it, claiming that He had the authority to do so as Lord of the Sabbath. In other words, He was God. You are likewise breaking the Sabbath and serving up a different definition of Sabbath keeping, and you are not God. You are violating the Sinaitic command knowingly and willfully.
You continue to ignore Colossans 2:16 by introducing the concept that Paul is speaking about “ceremonial Sabbaths and ceremonial observations! Here again you add words to what Paul clearly said. He said nothing about ceremonial things. He simply indicated that we are NOT to be judged on the matter of Sabbath keeping. Period. If you really want to go to judgment, you will go to judgment, but will not fare well at the judgment for violating and changing the 4th commandment as you have done. Please do not introduce words that Paul did not use.
Your defense of using EGW’s terminology that we are “co-workers with Christ in effecting our salvation” is highly troubling. Imagine that I am drowning in a big lake The waves are high and I’m struggling and about to drown. Suddenly, a kind man in a speed boat comes near and offers me his hand. I’m reach out, but am so weak an exhausted that I cannot even pull myself up. He pulls me up and inside the boat, where he dries me off, warms me up, and talks to me gently and kindly. He expresses concern for me, likes me, and even says he loves me. He actually wants me to come live with him in his mansion on the other side of the lake. Pretty generous of him, considering that I live in a ramshackle of a hut on the opposite side of the lake. I then turn to him and thank him for being a co-worker in my rescue operation! He looks at me with a puzzled look, and I wouldn’t blame him if he tossed me back in the lake while uttering a few expletives and admonishing me to see how that “co-worker stuff” works out this time. Oh, well, some of us recognize our deplorable state in which our salvation is based solely on our willingness to accept a perfect sacrifice that is completely out of our control. I am eternally grateful for the undeserved mercy and free gift and will never use such “co-worker” terminology.
Yes, you actually found EGW’s quotations that opposed perfectionism. I knew you would, and it greatly helps to prove my point that she consistently contradicted herself. Yes, she contradicted God and herself. When you put all those quotations together, you can’t but be amazed at how contradictory they are–just like your position on salvation and Sabbatarianism, which shifts with virtually every post.
In the next-to-last paragraph you manage to misquote me by saying, “Your claim that there were those saved by keeping the letter of the Law ‘between Sinai and Jesus’ death is also mistaken” Well, I did not say that, but I am not at all surprised that you would misquote me, as you have already misquoted the Bible, God, Jesus, Paul, the dictionary, and now me. If you will scroll up, you will find that I was trying to agree with your initial proposition that keeping the Sabbath never saved anybody. I said NOTHING about the letter of the law. You seem to be twisting and turning away from that, for some strange reason. Certainly you must recognize that Exodus 31:13 clearly indicates that anybody violating the Sabbath commandment SHALL BE PUT TO DEATH. Certainly you must realize that Numbers 15:32-36 tells that account of a man put to death for gathering sticks on the Sabbath, and that this decree came from God Himself. Well, if people should be put to death for violating the Sabbath commandment, it follows that those who keep it shall LIVE. Right?
I would strongly urge you to conform your Sabbath keeping understanding to exactly what God’s requirements were. Do not deviate. Do not allow yourself to be swept away by seminarian sophistries. Back to the Bible, Back to the dictionary. May God bless your study of His word. Don’t deviate from it.
Recent Comments by Ken Christman
Most Species the “Same Age” with No “In-Between” Species
Decay is perfectly natural in a sinful world. There was NO decay prior to the Fall. Non-decay does not require active maintenance on the part of God. His creation was perfect and did not require maintenance like human creations require. Model T’s require active maintenance as they are human creations. The human body God created would have lasted an eternity if sin (disobedience) had not interrupted such perfection. That is when decay started. That is when the genomic code started to deteriorate. It ultimately led to disease and death. God cannot be compared to a mechanic in heaven, as His perfect creation does not require repairs. While the price of sin (disobedience) has been fully paid for, the restoration to perfection has not happened yet. Once it occurs (which I believe will be soon), there will be a complete restoration that will not require a “mechanic” for active maintenance, as decay, degeneration, decay, death (all those ugly D’s) will no longer exist.
As for assuming that genetic mutations have occurred at a constant rate since the fall of Adam and Eve, we should consider the fallacies of assuming constant degradation of Carbon-14 and the problems such assumptions have created. As Creationists, we should exercise caution in making assertions we cannot prove.
As for God being bound by His own laws, let us consider Jesus bringing perfect peace and tranquility just by commanding the elements to be still during a raging storm. We cannot understand such divine power over EVERYTHING, including the power to breath life into a lump of clay which was instantly transformed into a perfectly fine human body with over 5 billion base pairs (the human genome) and able to perfectly replicate without decay or deterioration of the system. Satan also has supernatural power, but God’s power is infinitely greater. Whenever there is supernatural activity, it can come from only of two sources. We do know for a fact that postdiluvian human life spans rapidly contracted from ca. 900 years to circa 70 years in just a few generations. I’m sure most Creationists would agree that God had a hand in this, and that this was not “natural”. Whether He did this by altering the mutation rate, we have no way of knowing, as mutation rates were not measured at that time and there is no way for us to reconstruct those past mutation rates.
As for Einstein, Newton, and others, I would exercise restraint in following any of their religious or theological assumptions.
Most Species the “Same Age” with No “In-Between” Species
We may have observed mutation rates in the recent past, but how do we know what mutation rates were 100 years ago, 1,000 years ago, or 6,000 years ago? Prior to roughly 6,000 years ago, we can safely say mutation rates were ZERO, as God’s creation was perfect, and there was no sin, death, or deterioration in the genomic code!
Most Species the “Same Age” with No “In-Between” Species
While data suggesting the hand of the Creator God in the creation of all living things is always welcome, one should exercise great caution in assuming the constancy of mutation rates. After all, God shortened human lifespans from ca. 900 years to ca. 70 years in only a few generations. Do you suppose He might have done that by altering mutation rates? Do you suppose that a powerful God who breathed life into a lump of clay could easily tinker with mutation rates? Furthermore, mutation rates would have highly variable effects on life forms in different species based upon average lifespans. Let us hope and pray that more scientists will be troubled by uncovering data that will lead them to trust the Genesis creation account as the only scientifically logical explanation of how we got here.
The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
Your concern about mysticism within Adventism is well founded. Pastor Bill Loveless identified Ellen White in the pages of the Adventist Review as a “true mystic.” “Mysticism” is defined in the dictionary as a euphemism for the occult. Look it up.
The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
You are right. I am totally confused as to what distinguishes “Historical Old Covenant” from “Old Covenant Thinking”. You and Chris White maintain that Sabbath observance is not necessary for salvation. Ellen White clearly states that it is necessary. Chris and Ellen CANNOT both be correct.