Olli Dürr

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EV church expert declares Sabbath and Sunday non-binding



In fact, people with a Christian background always ask what the “one holiday to be sanctified” is all about. However, the focus is on Sunday. Just like you’re “used to”. Unfortunately, people’s trust in official bodies is still so great that people actually ask questions about Sunday and Sabbath. The answer is correspondingly devastating.

How to “Holy Sunday”

In the churches, despite something that seems self-evident, a question keeps coming up. Less from the “trained theologians” in the house than from interested believers who would like to have a situation explained. Once again, an interested party asked a completely legitimate question in the question-and-answer section of the online portal of the Evangelical Churches in Germany (EKD).

What does it actually mean to sanctify the holiday? The questioner is a member of a home group and there is always a discussion about whether the entire Sunday actually has to be filled with “church service and spiritual things” or whether God calls on us to spend time with him regularly in order to be with him in one to stay in a relationship (Source). The big question was how to properly sanctify Sunday.

“Expert” points out Sabbath commandments

Sabbath commandment
Sabbath commandment is actually not up for debate
The answer from the “EKD experts” even contains some surprising aspects. A simple answer is not sufficient and must therefore be more detailed. Basically, Christianity deals with the “biblical holiday commandment in a special way,” according to the “expert’s” introduction.

The “expert” consistently uses the term “Shabbat” in his answer, although the (German) term “Sabbath” is the usual one in the current translations of the Bible into German. Presumably the intention here is to use the Hebrew-sounding word “Shabbat” to create an artificially exclusive proximity to Judaism in order to suggest a resulting non-binding nature for Christianity.

According to the “expert”, there are two indications in the Bible in the Bible that no work should be done on the Sabbath. Once in the Ten Commandments according to Exodus, in which it is said that one must rest on the Sabbath because God rested at the end of creation (Exodus 20:8-11) and once in Deuteronomy, in which the Ten Commandments be listed repeatedly.

There is another aspect to this. The commandment of the Sabbath therefore does not apply exclusively to the believing Israelites, but to all people who live in the country. Even strangers, slaves and animals should rest on this day. Israel should remember that they were once slaves in Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:12-15). That’s why the Sabbath rest also has a social component, according to the “expert”.

Jesus habe ebenfalls in dieser Tradition gestanden. Er habe, so der “Experte”, den “anderen Theologen” erklärt, dass es ihm darum ginge, das Sabbat-Gebot nicht “um seiner selbst willen und gegen eine eventuelle akute Not durchzusetzen”. Jesus betonte, der Sabbat sei für den Menschen geschaffen worden.

Just a fictitious difference

In fact, when He formulated the Sabbath commandment in Exodus 20, God emphasized the six days of creation and the seventh day as a day of rest. However, the emphasis that “other” people also have to keep the Sabbath in Deuteronomy 5 is not a novelty. This is already clearly emphasized in Exodus 20:10:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

In Deuteronomy 5:14 it is written:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.

What is the difference here, or what should be different in Deuteronomy 5 in relation to the “non-believing Israelite”? Nothing. How the “EKD expert” wants to make the difference remains his secret. In fact, the “great difference” can be seen in relation to creation (Exodus 20) and the bringing out of the people of Israel from Egypt (Deuteronomy 5). But not in the difference between Israelite and non-Israelite.

Jesus Christ observed the Sabbath

Jesus Christ did not want to enforce the Sabbath commandment for “his own sake” and can only be left as it is to a limited extent. It is one of the Ten Commandments, specifically the Fourth Commandment. By the way, the institutional churches formulate the Third Commandment here because the Roman Catholic Church deleted the Second Commandment and the once Protestant churches simply adopted it (Info).

In this sense, Jesus Christ never violated, broke or abolished the commandment of the Sabbath. His “misdeed” was merely ignoring one of the Pharisees’ countless special rules (Info).

Sabbath is not Sunday

The difference is well known

The EKD’s “media expert” emphasized, somewhat surprisingly, that Sunday is not the Sabbath. Sunday was the day after the Sabbath. This is the day of Jesus’ resurrection and that is why Christianity celebrates this day. Initially, according to the “expert”, there was no rest that day. They met to celebrate the last supper or the communion. This only changed through a government decision made around 300 years later. “The Roman Emperor Constantine combined Sunday worship with a general day of rest.” This is the reason why, within the world dominated by Christianity, the day of rest moved from the Sabbath to Sunday.

State and “Roman” instruction

The “expert” may be referring to “Sunday communion” as “breaking bread.” An expression that is used in many ways as supposed evidence that the apostles celebrated worship. But the expression “breaking bread” can also be found in other passages in the Bible and simply expresses the act of eating a meal together.
In fact, it was the case that Constantine established Sunday by law. However, a few more details are necessary here to clarify the nature of the shift from Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday.

Emperor Constantine ended the devastating persecution of Christians by the Romans between 303 and 313 with the “Edict of Milan”. However, what was implemented by Emperor Constantine by decree in 321 was not done from the perspective of Christianity. It was a relocation of the feast “in honor of the Day of the Sun”. According to the Roman self-image, Emperor Constantine was “sol invictus”, i.e. the “invincible sun”. Depicted with an “X”, which today, in conjunction with an “Alpha and an Omega”, is (erroneously) referred to as “Pax Christi”. Together with the Bishop of Rome there was a mixing of Christianity and Mithraism.

In addition, in early Christianity, even before the massive persecutions by Rome (303 to 313), there was inconsistent observance of the Sabbath commandment. While the vast majority of early Christian communities followed the Fourth Commandment as the observance of the Sabbath, there were only two areas in which preference was given to Sunday even before Constantine. These were the areas of Alexandria and the catchment area of ​​the Bishop of Rome. It was this bishop who, after gaining power and influence, began a real campaign against all Christians who observed the biblical Sabbath (Info). Previously, the “clergy” who traveled back and forth between Rome and Milan had to switch from Sabbath to Sunday observance and vice versa.

Even today, the Roman Catholic Church defends tooth and nail that it is the institution that, based on its “divine authority,” moved the biblical Sabbath to Sunday (Info).

Repose requirement in Germany

In his answer, the “expert” from the EKD magazine also emphasizes that Sunday and rest from work are not inseparably linked in the Christian context. Christianity is more about attending church services on Sundays. This should not be seen as a coercion. The Sunday requirement to rest has its roots in Christianity, but has become “a general cultural asset”.

In Germany, according to the “expert”, the day of rest is enshrined in Article 140 of the Basic Law. Article 140 states that Article 139 of the “Weimar Constitution” also applies to “the Federal Republic of Germany”. Article 139 of the Weimar Constitution states: “Sunday and state-recognized public holidays remain legally protected as days of rest and spiritual upliftment.” The “expert” highlights Article 140 of the Basic Law in brackets.

Therefore, as in Deuteronomy, this law applies to all people living in the country, regardless of whether they are Christians or not. Therefore, compliance is not necessarily a question of faith.

“State-imposed” tradition

Legal texts
Clear definitions are simply twisted for their own purposes

The “cultural asset” has the same character as a “tradition”. Just as the Roman Catholic Church elevates its traditions to at least the same level as the written Word of God, the same applies to “cultural assets”. Is this based on the Word of God or not? Does the “cultural good” differ from the Word of God or not? If so, why do it at all, let alone still practice it?

The existence of Article 140 in the Basic Law also seems interesting. This is: (Source):
“The provisions of Articles 136, 137, 138, 139 and 141 of the German Constitution of August 11, 1919 are part of this Basic Law.”

The “big rest” consists only of footnotes. This means nothing other than that the Basic Law refers to articles from another body of law that, at least according to the saying, no longer has any meaning at all. Instead of adopting the original wording of the “Weimar Constitution”, they decided to refer to it. On something that should no longer be valid? Or is it? But that’s a whole different ball game.

A day to “come down”

At the end of the “expertise”, the EKD theologian emphasizes how good a special day is for society. He himself thinks it’s good that there is one day a week when you don’t do everything you normally do. “In this respect, Sunday is like Shabbat,” says the “expert”. A time to “come down” together. “Shabbat is there for people, not the other way around.” You can also spend Sunday doing other things that have nothing to do with the spiritual. But God wants us to “spend time with him regularly, ideally once a week.”

It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s quieter

The “expert” is therefore in line with the view that “every seventh day” should be a quiet day, but which one is basically irrelevant. Since Sunday is already manifested in this way, according to state regulations and in the churches anyway, this day is an obvious choice. The main thing is that it doesn’t have to be quieter than usual and completely spiritual. So perfect for activities with the whole family, or whatever you feel like.

Tradition and modernity count

The bottom line is that the “expert” knows the following, as he himself states:
– The Sabbath is a commandment from God and is one of the Ten Commandments
– There was no rest “initially” on Sunday (1st day of the week).
– The observance of Sunday came about through legislation (Constantine)
– Observing Sunday instead of Sabbath is a Christian tradition

The obligation to sanctify Sundays will come

In addition, the “specialist” of the Protestant Church does not necessarily attribute a consistently spiritual aspect to the favored Sunday. So simply a quiet day to “come down,” as the “expert” puts it. However, there is no biblical reference to the fact that the Sabbath was ever abolished or postponed.

However, this passage in the Gospel should be formulated just as clearly as God formulated His one, special, beatified and sanctified Sabbath, one of the Ten Commandments. But there is no such notice. And this for one reason only: the Sabbath was never revised by God or Jesus Christ. The Sabbath according to Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 still applies today without restriction (Info). The fact is: it is not state intervention or the traditions of the churches that are relevant if they conflict with God’s statutes, but only God’s law.

All explanations that declare the Sabbath to be abolished or irrelevant for Christians are based on speculation and interpretation. An interpretation according to the logic that this or that “could be meant”. But that’s not the problem.

The “EKD expert” not only says that in principle it doesn’t matter whether it is Saturday or Sunday, but also negates God’s fundamental claim that His day, which He has set, is to be kept holy. But the main thing is to “come down” and that could take place in the municipal swimming park as well as at the fair, at a concert, or while partying in the neighbor’s garden.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Matthew 18:6

Bible verses from King James Version

EV church expert declares Sabbath and Sunday non-binding
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