Yesterday morning [Pg 5. Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:39 AM] I posted the following comment:
Neto wrote:… I'll read back over this thread to see how you understand the benefits of not meeting on the Sabbath.
So now I have read back through all of your posts, to try to understand what you think are the reasons why the early Church did not practice the Sabbath. I would just first comment that I think that there is a good deal of difference between meeting as the local manifestation of the Body of Christ on the Sabbath, and practicing the Sabbath. For one thing, there are questions regarding whose definition is being used for “practicing the Sabbath”, because it is very obvious that Jesus did not define it in the same way that the Jewish leaders of his day did.
So let’s work through these quotations that I picked up on as possible expressions of why the early Church did not choose to meet on the Sabbath. (I’m still not convinced that they didn’t, but that is a separate issue.)
I actually wrote this last night, but out of concern that what I had written might come across as an attack, I edited & shortened it. People say that the way to be sure you are understanding another person is to say back to them what you think they are saying. So I have taken out my responses to what I THINK you are saying, and I will wait until I know if I am understanding correctly to respond further.
Pg. 1, Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:45 AM
Bootstrap wrote: Like the Lord's Supper, the Lord's Day implies a day that belongs to the Lord, holy to the Lord.
I understand this to be saying that gathering on the day when Jesus was resurrected puts the focus on him.
Pg 2 Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:01 AM
Bootstrap wrote:… Sabbath and the Lord's Day are distinct. ….
I don't think New Testament Gentiles were ever told to observe the Sabbath. Acts 15 lists the things that Gentiles are to do, and this is not mentioned there. I don't think the early church's writings say that Gentiles observed the Sabbath.
I see no justification in Scripture or the writings of the earliest church for requiring Gentile Christians to observe the Jewish Sabbath.
….Taking a day for rest and focusing on God and family is wise, and doing that on Sunday makes sense if we celebrate the Lord's Day. ….
What I hear: The day we choose to gather should reflect a focus on the resurrection of Jesus. There also seems to be an underlying expectation that the NT should prescribe when worship ought to be done.
Pg 3 Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:40 AM
Bootstrap wrote: … Ignatius [draws] a clear distinction between Christians and Jews based on Sabbath worship versus the Lord's Day [and] associates this with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our worship on the Lord's Day is our identification with Jesus. The resurrection is the basis for the Lord's Day.
Again, the idea here is that the focus of Sunday worship/gathering is squarely on the resurrection of Jesus.
Pg 4 Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:25 PM
Bootstrap wrote:…. I think the teachings of Jesus represent a New Covenant. What Jesus said and did is centrally important for all Christians. And the parts of the Old Covenant that matter for us are the ones that Jesus, Paul, and others affirmed in the New Covenant. ….
Again, I sense a seeming expectation that the NT is prescribing what we should do, much as the Law did for the OT era, that we should only do the parts of the OT teachings that were restated in the NT.
Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:59 AM
Neto wrote:I found this reference while waiting for services to start tonight. Acts 18:7, the account of Paul in Corinth. But actually in some places it says that they met daily. That's a model we could think about following more.
To me, this does not say much about when Christians should meet to worship....
Again, the word ‘should’ appears here, as though the NT is expected to prescribe what we are to be doing in respect to which should be the primary day of gathering & worship.
I did respond to this earlier, so I will just add one comment of my own - that I don’t approach the question of Christian worship from the standpoint of “when should”; I think of the NT as more of “how should”.