Includes Resurrection Day

 

WCG splinter groups and Adventism seek to “poison the well” when it comes to the birth of Christ and the resurrection by making pagan associations with both events.

Both Events Are Important

Both events are of paramount importance to all mankind.

Jesus’ birth was heralded by angels. The Saviour of mankind arrived in the flesh. The event was prophesied, down to the location of Jesus’ birth, but not the day or even the month. Hence, Herod proceeded to put to death all male children of the area up to two years old, thereby fulfilling another prophesy in Scripture (Matthew 2:16-18).

The argument is put forth that: 1) We don’t know the date of Jesus’ birth, and: 2) That December 25th was a day used for pagan worship, or that particular time of year was celebrated by pagans in relation to the winter solstice.

In regards to the resurrection, once more the modern day Sabbatarians fall back on the claim regarding pagan associations regarding the day of the resurrection, being the first day of the week, now known in the Gregorian calendar as “Sunday” with its present association with the day of the sun. In like manner, gatherings on this first day of the week, “Sunday” according to some calendars, has this association with pagan sun worship and the claim (accusation) that “Christians” gathering on this day for corporate worship are in “fact” worshiping the sun god of the ancient pagan sun worshipers.

Conditioned to Abandon Critical Thinking

One of the more unfortunate things that happens to people who end up in false, deceptive churches is that they are conditioned to abandon or lose their critical thinking skills. They will, in turn, agree with just about any rationalization given them. So we will start there.

To begin with, at what point in time did pagans manage to steal a day from God, in this case the first day of the week, aka “Sunday” according to our western civilization’s embrace of the Gregorian calendar? Was God sleeping? Was He unaware a day of the week being commandeered by pagans for their pagan sun worship, thereby forever spoiling that day for any Godly purpose?

“Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” – John 7:22-24

What are Sabbatarians doing in relation to judgment with those who are going about worshiping God on a Sunday? What does it mean to judge righteous judgment by NOT judging according to appearance, which would mean judging others according to appearance would constitute unrighteous judgment?

Your friendly, local, neighborhood Sabbatarians are judging and condemning people who happen to gather for corporate worship and prayer on a Sunday (a title for the day that did not exist when Christians began this practice) which is blatantly unrighteous judgment. Adventists go one step further and claim those who dare worship on Sundays receive the mark of the beast1 of the book of Revelation as a result; the same book that prescribes a severe penalty for anyone who would dare add to, or take away from the words of that book!

Straw Man Argument

What the rank and file Adventists overlook in this regard is that they claim “Sunday” is not found in the Bible, but Sunday worshipers receive the mark of the beast… Do you see the logical disjoint?

All Sabbatarians however use this argument in order to create and proffer a straw man argument, and quite an elaborate one at that.

The worship of God in a corporate setting on Sundays is contrasted to the weekly Sabbath they claim is Saturday; the last day of the week based on the same Gregorian calendar you find Sundays being the first day of the week. (The actual biblical Sabbath was determined with a different calendar)

Sunday is given the pagan association of being an historically used day for sun worship, along with the accusation couched in the claim that anyone trying to worship God on that day is in fact worshiping the pagan sun god: This is, according to Jesus, unrighteous judgment.

Righteous judgment looks to the heart and intent of heart, and not according to appearance. Yet this whole argument used by Sabbatarians is based solely upon judging according to appearance. You are worshiping on the wrong day, ergo you are wrong and sinning by doing so. But, is there truly a wrong day to worship God? Are we only permitted to worship God in a corporate setting one day a week, that day being a Saturday-Sabbath?

Part of this elaborate straw man argument is to blur the distinctions between “rest” and “worship”. The Sabbath law as found in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 speaks solely about resting from one’s routine labor carried out the previous six days. Nothing is said about worship. Yet they claim the day was set aside for worship, and that rest is a part of worship, all this in relation to the Sabbath “law” that they also claim remains inviolate down to “jots and tittles” citing Matthew 5:17-18.

I have shown how some Sabbatarians added to the book of Revelation, and here they add to the law they claim cannot be altered in similar fashion.

The Boogeyman Pagan Day of Sun Worship

In this straw man argument, Sunday is the boogeyman pagan day of sun worship, it being defined as a pagan day which trumps all arguments in favor of Christians gathering together to worship God on that day; the day Christ rose from the grave, having now proven He had conquered death.

Instead of glorifying God and His Christ over this momentous occasion, the day is vilified as pagan. But the early Christians were much more informed regarding what Scripture says than Sabbatarians know Scripture and history:

“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” – Malachi 4:2

What did God create on the first day of Creation Week?

Light.

Christ is the Light of the World

And what is Christ personified as?

The light of the world.

“The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” – Matthew 4:16

“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” – Matthew 17:1-2

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” – John 1:1-11

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” – John 3:19-21

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” – John 8:12

Is it any wonder that the first day of the week would be associated with the sun and light later in Christian history? Is it any wonder then that in the calendation put forth by Constantine, the first day of the week would be associated with light and the “Sun of righteousness”? For all the days of the week were given names associated with the names given the planets and sun, which too was thought to orbit around the earth. So it is fitting that, in the course of time, it was discovered that all the planets revolved around the sun which is the center of our solar system, even as Christ as the “Sun of righteousness” is at the center of our lives.

No Such Association With Pagan Worship

The early church made no such association of the first day of the week with pagan worship. Even the pagan sun worshipers in the Roman world made no such association, for their worship of the sun took place but once a month, and not every week. I will not even bother to cite any historical references. You accepted the word of others regarding Sundays being pagan and tied to sun worship, so if you want to validate and verify, look it up yourself. A good place to start would be the Encyclopedia Britannica.

By having made the pagan association with Sundays, and claiming Christians have no biblical authority to observe Sundays, their Sabbath “wins by default” by knocking down the Sunday straw man, without ever having to be made to prove their Sabbath binding on Christianity. And people have fallen for this logical fallacy by the millions.

Sunday is irrelevant regarding the veracity of the Sabbath. Either Scripture requires Christians to observe the Sabbath, or it does not. Because there is no credible, biblical evidence to support Sabbath observance in the New Covenant dispensation, advocates of the Sabbath had to look elsewhere, and contrive convincing arguments; rationalizations full of inferences and assumptions in order to make their case. These are but a few of the many methods employed in deceptions and deceptive reasoning. But the fact remains – there is no biblical evidence whatsoever that Christians, who are a party to the NEW COVENANT are required to keep the sign of the old covenant; a covenant no Christian alive today was ever a legal party to, as well as a covenant that God intentionally and purposefully ended, legally. Does God treat people illegally like that, holding them to the conditions of a covenant they are not a legal party, and a covenant that ended?

Why Gather on Sundays?

Why then do Christians gather on Sundays?

First and foremost, because they can. Secondly, because they saw and understood the typology of Scripture regarding the Son of God and the Sun of Righteousness. They saw the typology of the first day of Creation Week when light came forth, and how Jesus, the light of the world, came forth. But most importantly, gathering together for corporate worship has no association with the Sabbath of the old covenant. None whatsoever. Worship is not rest, and rest is not worship. Yet Sabbatarians are so ingrained with the concept and belief regarding their sabbath being associated with worship, contrary to the law, that they at first have trouble separating the two concepts.

Now, in going back to Christmas, the early Christian theologians who came up with December 25th for the birth of Christ, came to that date through the biblical evidence, and not due to some misguided attempt to meld Christianity with paganism. And in the end all this one thing must stand out. It is about celebrating our Saviour’s birth as a human, and not about the specific day. But it does beg again logical,critical thinking questions.

If we did know the actual day of Jesus’ birth, and it did in fact fall on a day pagans used for some pagan celebration, would we pass on celebrating His birth?

If His birth was on the 25th of December, and pagans LATER adopted the same day for a pagan celebration, would Christians in turn abandon the day and celebration of His birth as a result?

Other Arguments of Sabbatarians

Another argument of Sabbatarians is that we have no commandment from God to celebrate the day of Jesus’ birth, or the resurrection.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. – Luke 2:10-14

This too begs the logical, critical thinking question: If the angels of God could praise God (worship) the event of Jesus’ birth, why can’t we?

I would also have you examine and think about one other aspect of all this, regarding Sabbatarians claim we need a commandment from God to validate everything we do or do not do, and that is this:

Their view of things required and permissible is based on a slave mentality, where nothing is permitted unless specifically allowed. Contrast this to a free person’s outlook, in this case a child of God; a son if you will, where everything is allowed and permissible unless specifically prohibited.

Note well now Galatians 4:21 – 5:1 and who is described as being in slavery. It is the children of the law, given at Sinai. I shouldn’t need to remind you what law was given there. And Paul concludes with a warning for Christians not to be brought back under that burden; that yoke of slavery.

Free to Worship God

We are free to worship God at any time, and at any location, for any reason. We are children of God, who are free. What pagans do in celebration of pagan deities is irrelevant to what we do, worshiping and serving the True God, without restrictions of time, location, or event.

Ask yourself another logical, critical thinking question… what being do you suppose would do anything to cause Christians to curtail any worship of God, or try to restrict the worship of God to only one day a week, or according to the law, where worship was according to compulsion and not desire? This is what the Sabbatarian arguments come down to.

The Jews, including the religious Jews of Jesus time, who had the law, abiding by it, were described and defined by Jesus as being children of the devil, doing the will of their father.

A person is either a child of the devil, or a child of God, through the new birth, with the Holy Spirit now residing in them. Their works are, as cited above, “wrought in God” and thus good works. The devil seeks to undo this, and convincing people to refrain from and constrict the worship of God is what you would expect of such a being.

By  William Hohmann, author of “A Critique of Which Day is the Christian Sabbath?” “Mystery of the Ages (a 2nd critical review)” “What About Sunday Worship?” et al. on the ESN site.
Exit Support Network™
December 14, 2021
Links updated December 20, 2021

Recommended Articles:

“The Resurrection Was  not On Sunday” (A Look at Herbert W. Armstrong’s Booklet)

Sabbath and Sunday (Common Arguments and Misunderstandings)

 

Footnote by ESN:

1 Read: What is the Mark of the Beast and how do we keep from being afraid? (Q&A)

 

Back to Should we observe “pagan” holidays? (Q&A)