“Open Bible Study”
June 12, 2010
The Sabbath Day?
This present study concerns the subject of “The Sabbath Day.” On June 12, 2010 Mr. Jerry States came to our church building and spoke in defense of his belief that the seventh-day Sabbath of Exodus 20:8 is still binding upon men today. Mr. States is the Pastor of the Seminole, Oklahoma Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Like many others, Mr. States believes the ten commandments of the Old Testament are still in force today. There are at least two important questions posed to Mr. States which were never answered and which others in the audience did not answer. First, where did Jesus or any apostle ever command a Christian to “Keep the Sabbath Day holy”? This challenge was issued early in the evening and no one tried to produce such a passage. It simply is not present in the scriptures. Second, Jesus taught in Mt 15:3-4 that not invoking the death penalty that came with the ten commandments was “transgressing the commandment of God.” How can the command be separated from the penalty which accompanied it (Ex 31:13-15)? This question was never answered the entire evening. The audience learned, not only from what was said, but also from what was not said.
When Mr. States finished, George Battey, the preacher for the Good Hope Rd. Church of Christ, spoke for an equal amount of time defending the idea that the Old Testament law was “nailed to the cross” (Col 2:14) including the weekly Sabbath (Col 2:16-17). George read from 2 Cor 3:6-10 showing the ten commandments were explicitly called “a ministry of death” and “a ministry of condemnation.” The ten commandments “kill” according to 2 Cor 3:6. Furthermore, the apostles were said to be ministers of the New Testament rather than the Old Testament. In other words, the apostles preached from place to place that men should keep the laws of the New Testament, not the ten commandments. No one present challenged this important passage of scripture.
Several present had the idea that if the ten commandments have been “nailed to the cross,” then there would be no law whatsoever for anyone and “anything goes” – so to speak. In other words, they are of the mindset that the ten commandments are the only law God ever gave and to say they have been “taken away” (Heb 8:13) is tantamount to saying there is no law of any kind left. George pointed out that the New Testament is a law (Gal 6:2; Ja 1:25). He pointed out that when the Old Testament law was “taken away” it was replaced with a new law – a changed law (Heb 7:12). Whereas the Old Testament was composed of the ten commandments and other laws, the New Testament has new laws that “exceed in glory” (2 Cor 3:8-10). Furthermore, when the New Testament is compared with the ten commandment law, the ten commandments have no glory whatsoever. (2 Cor 3:8-10).
We are thankful to Mr. Jerry States for his willingness to participate in our “Open Bible Study.” About 80 people from various churches gathered to hear both sides of this topic discussed. The question session was orderly and everyone participating conducted themselves honorably. It was a true joy to have a public study with Mr. States. He truly manifested a kind and gentle spirit.
Some have written anonymous letters to the church of Christ in Seminole suggesting that we are unchristian in our “Open Bible Studies.” They suggest that it is wrong to “fight” and “argue” over Bible topics such as the Sabbath day, baptism and continuous revelation. These letters are from people who obviously do not know what they are writing about. No one, to our knowledge, has ever walked away feeling like they were “trashed” or “insulted” or “abused.” In fact, everyone who has attended agrees that the studies are conducted orderly and that a good spirit prevails. We disagree in an agreeable way. We have come to understand each other’s viewpoints better and have made friends with each other – even though we may still disagree when the study ends.
We hope everyone will enjoy both the speeches and the question sessions which are here posted for consideration. May the Lord bless everyone in the study of His wonderful word. The “churches of Christ” salute you” (Rom 16:16).