Pastor wrong in criticizing those Christians who honor the Lord’s day

Tue, 05/08/2007 - 3:36pm
By: The Citizen

With all due respect, I found Pastor Parker’s letter from a weeks ago to be a little unsound theologically as well as guilty of the same critical attitude which he himself was criticizing.

Pastor Parker wrote: “Nowhere in the Bible did Jesus ever say, ‘Come to church and be blessed.’ Jesus’ words were always, ‘Go into all the world and be a blessing!’”

He did essentially say the latter, but he didn’t disavow the former, either. If you remember, Jesus often went to synagogue to both participate in worship as well as to instruct. He also said that he had come to “fulfill the law, not abolish it.” The very core of the law is the 10 Commandments, and one of those commandments is to keep the Sabbath holy.

For about 2,000 years, all of Christian civilization understood that commandment to mean that Sunday was to be set aside for the Lord, for worshipping him and devoting one’s thoughts and efforts that day to his purposes alone. That day was considered the Lord’s day, not merely another one of our days. No work was to be done, and competitive sports were to be set aside.

So, when people voice that same sentiment and seek to uphold the holiness and specialness of Sunday, I don’t think they deserve to be criticized for that position, especially by a pastor.

I for one applaud them because I am guilty of often and in many ways violating the spirit of the Sabbath. I need to be reminded that satisfying my needs and wants every moment of every day is not in keeping with my obligations as a Christian.

And, yes, there are obligations we have as Christians, much contrary to Pastor Parker’s message. Christ wants, above all things, for us to love him. Loving him means being obedient to his word, and being obedient means we will inevitably have to do things we do not want to do or which run contrary to some aspect of our personality.

Just read the Beatitudes. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are those who mourn. Blessed are those are persecuted in my name. These are not comfortable, easy platitudes about being comfortable or “true to ourselves.” They are counter-intuitive zingers showing us that the way to God’s peace, and the path of Christ, is not an easy one, but one full of suffering and self-denial.

Surely, those who call for a little self-denial on Sundays are therefore not to be chastised by a man of the cloth for their position.

Trey Hoffman

Peachtree City, Ga.

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