I was recently in a discussion about shabbat. My friend presented me with two articles and asked for my thoughts. Here is the first one. Did Constantine change the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday?
Here is my response. It is fairly “brief” due to the format we are using to communicate. I welcome the thoughts of others. I tried respond to what I saw in the article from start to finish so they could be put side by side. Here it is:
I have read much on this subject from all different angles. And one thing I have seen is that we tend to hold onto what we have been taught is correct very tightly, especially if it means going against the major flow. It is important to realize that the Got site…like almost any site…has certain biases.
Briefly, regarding the first article, there are some correct facts and some incorrect assumptions. The RCC openly claims to have changed the day of the sabbath, regardless of what Constantine instituted. So, using Constantine is a straw man argument.
Second, although the believers had met on the first day of the week, that does not establish that this was a common practice or that it subsituted for the Saturday sabbath keeping.
Historical docs show us that the early church met on the sabbath and then after sundown, which was the first day of the week, the believers…members of The Way sect…met for a love feast. So, the verse from Acts establishes nothing other than Paul met with them that evening because he was leaving the next day.
The idea that people took up a collection on the first day of the week is also not definitive. Since buying and selling is forbidden on Shabbat, it was not uncommon for even collections (exchanging of money) to be done after shabbat. Again, nothing definitive there about meeting on Sunday INSTEAD of on Saturday. In addition, sure! They met every day of the week! But every day also includes the Sabbath.
Notice the words “probably” and “most likely” being used. There is clear uncertainty here.
Colossians is kind of a red herring because anything we do is to be done out of love for our G-d and obedience to His commands. Our salvation comes by faith. But our works come out of that faith and out of love. See James. He is pretty clear about that. We show our faith by our works. What are works? It is very, very important to understand what was meant by the author and understood by the recipients. In that culture, “works” was obedience to G-d. It was obeying His commands.
What was nailed to the cross was the certificate of debt we owe G-d due to our disobedience. Do we want to make the debt greater by ignoring His commands? Nay! Paul writes about this when he says our salvation by grace is NOT a license to sin! But how do we know what is sin and what is not? The Torah/teachings of G-d. That is the ONLY scriptures they had back then!
We are not to judge one another for our understanding of obedience! We are to love one another and spur one another on to good works. We are to be iron sharpening iron.
As for shadows, yes things are shadows of what is to come. And what is to come is not fully here yet. A person does not replace his/her shadow. Wherever that person is, the shadow is, too. The shadows are still here…for a reason.
I will get to the other article after a bit.