Paul's Passing Thoughts

More Church Folly Exposed by COVID-19: The Recognition of Days

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 15, 2020

ppt-jpeg42As a new Christian in 1983 I did something out of the gates that put me at odds with the church inside of six months: daily Bible reading. I didn’t understand a lot of what I was reading, but on the other hand, a lot of what I was reading was pretty clear and objective. Then, I would go to church and hear one contradiction after another while church claimed the Bible as its authority for truth. I remained faithful to church for many years following, but knew something was fundamentally wrong with the entire concept.

This post is about one example. Really, a major example. One of myriads of inner-church quarrelling is the whole, “Which day should we ‘worship’ on, Saturday or Sunday?” Of course, a single church quarrel is always fraught with false premises to begin with. Worship is not on any given single day, worship is all of life A-Z. And don’t forget this: there is so much debate in church that no reasonable person could believe the church knows anything objectively.

Should we worship on Saturday or Sunday, and should Christians recognize the Sabbath, and is Sunday the church Sabbath under the New Covenant? So, I attempted to do a Bible study and come to a personal conclusion, and with many such debates like this, it was a fools errand. Why? While church disingenuously encourages parishioners to read the Bible for themselves, it has never taught legitimate principles of epistemology. In contrast, it only supplies a foundation of false presuppositions that result in the following: the more people read their Bibles, the more church falsehoods will be reinforced. Church infuses a prism into parishioners which will determine what they see in the Bible.

Regardless, the whole argument bothered me for reasons I couldn’t put my finger on. My daily Bible reading could not recall a biblical emphasis on days of the week or the naming of days of the week; weekdays were always referred to by their order, not a name.

Like many things with church, there are all kinds of suspicions in the background, but you also have life to attend to, so you really don’t pause life to launch an in-depth investigation. But, then the COVID worldwide emergency happened. And, per the usual, with ANY non-business-as-usual event that takes place in the world or local culture, church has a head-on collision with reality. This, throughout history, has caused church to die on hills of no relevance. Church, in regard to true Christianity, is completely irrelevant with trainloads of meaningless controversy following.

So, here we go, “Easter Sunday” and “Good Friday” were cancelled because of a government lockdown, as well as weekly church services. And trust me, God could care less. He could care less because church, that is, its basic principles, are totally invalid. We will be looking at this from a calendar point of view. God chose a particular calendar for His theology to emphasize basic points. One point follows: His ekklesia is not an institution; it’s a literal family functioning as a body. An institution cannot function on a lunar calendar; institutions have to function on a solar calendar because an institution functioning on a lunar calendar would be very difficult if not impossible altogether.

Why is that? First, the first day of the week (according to the Gregorian calendar), viz, Sunday, would not always be on Sunday. A solar calendar makes it possible for specific days to be named and always occurring in the same order (and position) every week. The Jews, for purposes of God’s appointed days, used a lunar calendar. This means, according to one theory, the Sabbath occurred on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of every month. Let’s take May of 2020 for example, all the Sabbaths would be on Friday. In June of 2020, all of the Sabbaths would be on Monday. This would wreak havoc on institutional “worship” for many, many different reasons. However, in a family setting, just like differing birthdays or anything else, not so much.

I am not going to cover everything I have been studying about this for the past week, but suffice to say that the implications for biblical theology are profound, especially in regard to Genesis, chapter one, and the law instituted on Mount Sinai. Following a particular order of time was part and parcel with the commands themselves, and following any biblical command regarding sabbaths apart from a lunar calendar is not a legitimate observance. The fact that a Jewish day started at evening and ended the next evening also causes interpretive confusion.

Furthermore, first and second temple law protocols were intrinsically linked  with Jewish feasts and other holy days, which were all ended with Christ dying on the cross. The ekklesia was free to meet wherever and whenever it wanted to. Set days for anything were nonexistent. In the first century, the Sanhedrin determined when the new moon occurred, which set the precedent for the month. Obviously, with the destruction of the second temple in 70 AD, any authority to determine the Sabbaths on a monthly basis became nonexistent.

Aside from the Sabbath (and calendar?) protocol established with creation, Leviticus chapter 23 expounds on the instructions given to Moses at the beginning of the exodus. Curiously, these instructions occur for when Israel was in their land, but yet, the instructions pertain to individual family dwellings.

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.

Why? Why not the area surrounding the tabernacle or purpose build temples? But curious is how many Bibles translate the same passage:

The Lord said to Moses, Speak to the Israelites and say to them: These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.

There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the Lord.

Note that many translations imply a gathering at a “sacred assembly” wherever the Jews may be established geographically at any given time. No, the focus is clearly private dwellings. You can die on a hill of freedom to congregate for religious purposes if you will; it’s a good American thing, but don’t do it for any biblical reasons because there aren’t any. Just simply do church and Easter (Passover) at home. It was never meant to be a public spectacle, and rarely, if ever, occurred on Sunday. And for that matter, the Sabbath rarely occurred on Saturday which means the first day of the week wasn’t always Sunday either.

According to Leviticus chapter 23, the Sabbath was a “feast,” not a “time of worship.” Passover was on the 14th of Nissan which was the first month of the Jewish year. For some reason, this was a huge point of controversy between the ekklesias and the church established in Rome by the church fathers—Rome wanted the date of Easter recognized for Passover instead. And if my research is any indication, there is defiantly fire where you see smoke. Understanding this issue to a great degree (I have only scratched the surface) would lend gargantuan understanding of your Bible starting with the creation event in Genesis chapter one.

The next day, the 15th day, was a sabbath day and marked the first day of unleavened bread which was a yearly feast that took place with Passover. The seventh day of that feast (the 22nd day) was also a Sabbath. This follows the theory that the Sabbath days were on the 8th, 15th, 22, and 29th of every month. Regardless of what theory you prefer, the following point remains: these days on the present universal calendar would be different days every month. And again, the feasts were always family centered and not institution centered.

Correlating all of this with the death of Jesus would be an insightful study. The Passover was followed by unleavened bread and Pentecost which was about 49 days from unleavened bread. And by the way, the study IS rocket science, but would be well worth the effort.

A biblical day starts at evening and ends the next evening. Darkness came first, or at least was already present. “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” And, God didn’t rest on the seventh day because he was tired. It all means much more than what we realize.

 paul

 

 

2 Responses

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  1. Ken B said, on April 19, 2020 at 7:54 PM

    Well I could quite happily mow the lawn on Easter Sunday with a perfectly clear conscience. All days are alike. I wouldn’t do this because a) there is a local by law preventing this and b) I wouldn’t want to upset needlessly the religious sensitivities of those around me who do regard some days as being especially holy. Weak conscience.

    Better would be to teach them not to be so hung up about certain days or seasons.

    I might add I looked up your Lev 23 verse and the RSV which I still use has ‘dwellings’ rather than ‘assembly’.

    Have you ever done a similar study on tithing? The scope for this to be misused is imo much greater than Saturday v Sunday as a day of gathering for worship.

    Like


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