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The Sabbath Day

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The Sabbath Day

The Sabbath day is the day of rest and worship for individuals who follow the Christianity, Judaism or Islam faith. Half of the world’s population follows the three Abrahamic religions so the Sabbath day is a day that is highly recognized. Jesus said we are to both obey and teach the law and one cannot sacrifice truth at any cost. The enemy has gone to extreme lengths to make sure the Sabbath truth is not taught or believed and continues to go to extreme lengths and deceptions to keep us ignorant of this truth. But what is the truth behind the Sabbath Day? The actual Sabbath day is highly debated; but Appiah believes what people decide as their Sabbath day depends on what they were grown to know. Appiah pointed out that “a good deal of what we intuitively take to be right, we take to be right just because it is what we are used to” (21). Here Appiah is saying that the activities that we as human beings consider to be orthodox are the activities that we have been accustomed to doing. An example of this that Appiah mentioned is the female genital cutting that takes place in countries such as Africa. To them the removal of the female genital organ is normal while to an outsider it is a very cruel act. It is a very similar scenario with what one believes to be one’s Sabbath Day. If you were born as a Jew then you will be accustomed to knowing Saturday as your Sabbath Day but if you were born a Catholic then you will think of Sunday being the correct Sabbath Day. People of different beliefs will argue about whose belief is the correct one but as Appiah pointed out “if you’ve grown up taking it for granted as the normal thing to do, you will probably respond at first with surprise to someone who thinks it is wrong” (21). For example if a Catholic was to take notice to the fact that Muslims worship on a Friday, he/she would be perturbed because he/she has grown up with different beliefs. There are many forms of “proof” that Saturday is the Sabbath day whilst Sunday is the Sabbath day that the Catholic Church decided upon. This “proof” would be described by Appiah as what we have been used to knowing, therefore it may be proof to a certain set of people but not to different set of people who have become used to one set of ideas. Cafferata (1927) supported that Saturday was the Sabbath by stating “The Sabbath was Saturday, not Sunday. The Church altered the observance of the Sabbath to the observance of Sunday. Protestants must be rather puzzled by the keeping of Sunday when God distinctly said, ‘Keep holy the Sabbath Day.’ The word Sunday does not come anywhere in the Bible, so, without knowing it they are obeying the authority of the Catholic Church” (8). Therefore, according to Cafferata the people who choose Sunday as their day of Sabbath are in fact not obeying the word of God but the word of the Catholic Church which can be considered a sin as it goes against the third/fourth commandment. Those who are brought up with these beliefs will more than likely stick to their beliefs because it is what they have been told; they have been told to believe in the Bible over any other form of opinion. Appiah pointed out that “And when it comes to change, what moves people is often not an argument from a principle, not a long discussion about values, but just a gradually acquired new way of seeing things.” (22). Therefore by the Pope enforcing the day of Sabbath being on Sunday may not be incorrect but is just a new way of seeing things. It can be said that the pope himself has powers beyond that of a human being and he defied the power of the Almighty God and people are following this defiance. But this defiance should not be viewed as a defiance but as a different perspective on the day of Sabbath. John Paul II (1994) stated that “The leader of the Catholic church is defined by the faith as the Vicar of Jesus Christ. The Pope is considered the man on earth who “takes the place” of the Second Person of the omnipotent God of the Trinity.” (3). It is therefore not a mistake to consider the first day of the week the Sabbath but simply a new way of viewing things than to the view that one must abide everything that the Bible states. Appiah urges that “we should learn about other people in other places, take interest in their civilizations, their arguments, their errors, their achievements, not because that will bring us to agreement, but because it will help us get used to one another”. (25). Hence people who don’t believe in Sunday being the Sabbath Day should take time to consider other people’s point of view as there may be good reason to the change of the Sabbath. Chappell (1938) pointed out that “The reason we observe the first day instead of the seventh is based on no positive command. One will search the Scriptures in vain for authority for changing from the seventh day to the first. The early Christians began to worship on the first day of the week because Jesus rose from the dead on that day. By and by, this day of worship was made also a day of rest, a legal holiday. This took place in the year 321” (61). Therefore due to Jesus’ resurrection, worship on a Sunday began which eventually led to people considering that day the day of the Sabbath. The modern Catholics of today may not even know the reasoning behind why they worship on a Sunday; they just “know” it is the correct thing to do. It is natural for people to take on an identity and for someone born into the Catholic faith, part of their identity is to worship on a Sunday despite facts that may or may not go against it. There seems to be mainly Biblical evidence as to why Saturday is the Sabbath day, for example, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:2-3. However support that Sunday is the Sabbath Day is mainly historical evidence. An example of the historical evidence is found in a video posted on www.youtube.com by the user TheForerunner777. The video states that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday by the Roman Empire and was made a law that had to be abided by showing that humans indeed changed the Sabbath to Sunday. It can therefore be said that the day one chooses to call his/her “Sabbath Day” is dependent upon the religion and culture that he/she is born into. As Appiah pointed out “a large part of what we do, we do because it is just what we do.” (21).

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