As I mentioned in my previous post, there is an on-going online debate on the age-old issue on the Sabbath. Participants are ROBIDOS, an Adventist-friend of mine whom I also engaged in an online debate a few years back, and SOLAGRATIA, a Baptist from Cebu.
SOLAGRATIA is an acquaintance through several online Christian forums. We met months ago here in Manila. What’s so special about the two of us is our connection with the Adventist church. I, being a 3rd generation Adventist and him, having married to an Adventist. For the past month, he has been researching about the Sabbath. So, since it’s also a personal interest of mine, I’ve been helping him since with my previous archives of materials and reading documents.
Going back to the debate, in his first negative, he opted to what his counter-part, ROBIDOS, call the “argument of silence”. He said, since the New Testament is silent about the Sabbath, therefore, the Sabbath wasn’t really taught by the apostles to be a valid command for Christians. I should say, from an spectator’s point of view, he was beaten black-and-blue by ROBIDOS in his 1st rebuttal because of that. I wasn’t sure if he can really recover from that — until he posted his own 1st rebuttal.
In this post, he defended his “argument of silence” approach. This is how he puts it:
In the Old Testament, God over and over again reprimanded the Israelites for breaking the Sabbath law (Exodus 16, Leviticus 26, Nehemiah 13, Isaiah 56, 58:13-14 and so on). It must have been really hard to obey it — they keep breaking it! In fact, Sam Bachiocchi — an Adventist theologian and the Adventist church itself provided and exhaustive guideline on how to observe the Sabbath. This is a clear evidence that observing the Sabbath isn’t easy at it seems.
In the new testament, on the other hand, Jesus and the apostles listed sins and rebuked the Christians correspondingly for committing those.
- In Mark 7:21-22, 13 sins are listed.
- In Romans 1:29-32, 20 sins are listed.
- In Galatians 5:19-21, a list of 15 sins are mentioned.
- In 2 Timothy 3:1-4, 18 sins are listed.
“Wow! They participated in pagan idol feasts, got drunk at the Lord’s Table, sued each other, lied, grumbled, had illicit relationships, but they NEVER broke the Sabbath?”
Outstanding feat for the early Christian church! (Which is by the way composed also of Gentiles who have never knew how to keep the Sabbath)
And so, here’s how the “argument of silence” speaks louder than words: “is it possible that the reason why the Christians in the New Testament never broke the Sabbath was because it was not commanded to them in the first place?”
I learned something today from my student. :D