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Doctrine in dialogue format

 

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From the Pastor's Pulpit

THE SABBATH

and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;


"Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is Candor Dispassion and I will be your moderator for this session of the Pastor's Pulpit. Today we have as guests two very well known pastors who represent opposing sides of the issue of the Sabbath, which is our topic of the day. On my right we have Pastor Armando Archaic representing the traditional view. And with me on my left is Pastor Punctilious Stern representing the strict view of this issue. Gentlemen, thank you for being our guest."

"Our pleasure to be here, Mr Dispassion."

"To begin this session of the Pastor's Pulpit, Pastor Archaic, would you please give us your opinion of the Sabbath as it applies to the church today?"

"I would be most happy to Mr Dispassion. As you know, Jesus died on the cross to give us what we now call the Age of Grace. When Jesus died he took along with Him all sin, past and future, and left us with the love of God the Father. Laws that effected the Jews, from the cross til this were, and are, null and void. As to the law requiring Sabbath observance, it too was set aside in this age of grace. Therefore, anyone who attempts to observe this law, or any law, could well be considered to be attempting to work their way to heaven, and would fall under condemnation. It's as simple as that Mr Dispassion. The Bible is very explicit on this issue. To violate the grace given us by Jesus is to insult what He did for us on the cross."

"Thank you Pastor Archaic. Now for your opinion Pastor Stern. What is your reaction to Pastor Archaic's rather brash statement?"

"That's quite a hole you dug for me Pastor Archaic, one I might find a little difficult to climb out of. I'll try to respond without digging any holes myself. First I would like to say that I observe the Sabbath on a regular basis. I believe it, along with all the other laws God instituted are as viable for us today as they were at the time He instituted them. God is the same today as He was then. If God wanted His laws followed to the letter 2,000 years ago, He wants them followed today. Are we under grace today? Certainly we are, as you so eloquently pointed out Pastor Archaic. But being under grace does not mean we are without law. To believe this would be to believe God is the author of chaos and anarchy, which the Bible plainly stated He is not."

"May I respond directly to Pastor Stern's comment mister moderator?"

"Please do Pastor Archaic. I can see this topic might be well suited for an open forum, so let it be so. Continue your dialogue gentlemen. But please, watch your words and your decorum."

"Thank you Mr Dispassion. You say you observe the Sabbath Pastor Stern. Which Sabbath do you observe?"

"Which Sabbath? What do you mean, which Sabbath Pastor Archaic? Is that by any chance a backhanded slap at my beliefs?"

"Not at all Pastor Stern. But I'm sure you're aware of the fact that there are many different ways of observing the Sabbath. Some consider Sunday the Sabbath. Then there is the Sabbath that was earlier instituted by the Romans adopted in the seventeen hundreds. Then we have the traditional Sabbath observed by the Jews. And of course there are many other Sabbaths held to by various religions throughout the world, even to the black sabbath of the occult world and the Wicca pagan sabbath. Of course I know these last sabbaths are not what you are referring to, but that still leave a number of choices from which to choose. Then if you consider the Sabbath of weeks, and of years, and the Jubilee Sabbath...."

"Your point is taken Pastor Archaic. I observe the Sabbath that God Himself instituted, that of the seventh day, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. I hope that answers your question Pastor Archaic."

"It does, and thank you Pastor Stern. I take it then that you are Jewish since you continue to observe the Jewish laws. Doesn't that conflict with your Christian pastorate?"

"No Pastor Archaic, I'm not Jewish. And as to my church, we all observe the Sabbath. But getting back to this age of grace. Grace, as I stated, does not give us the right to break the law, any more than it gives us the right not to tithe or pay taxes. What grace does is to gives us the freedom to do what's right out of our own heart and not because of regulation. It would be like releasing a convicted criminal on his own recognizance. His freedom does not give him the freedom to break the law. We have been given this same freedom. The law still exists, but it is not written on stone but on our heart. If we don't obey those laws without being forced to by laws written on stone, then it's evidence that the law is not in us, and we are still in an unredeemed state. Surely you must know this Pastor Archaic. It is in your Bible after all."

"Of course I know this Pastor Stern. But you're evading the point. We're talking about the Sabbath, not the laws, or the heart. Please tell me what your concept of the Sabbath is."

"I'm afraid you have the wrong idea about this forum Pastor Archaic. First, I am not under your scrutiny as you seem to suppose. And second, it is you who brought up the issue of grace superceding the law. I am following suit with the hand you've thrown on the table. Is it not so Pastor Archaic that Jesus said those who do not obey His commandments are not His Apostles, and are not of God? If you have any doubts on this you may refer to your Bible. It's in...."

"I know where it is Pastor Stern, thank you very much. Yes, Jesus did say that. But you must realize when He spoke those words He had yet to be crucified. He was speaking to His own people and under the law as they were. When Jesus died all that changed. This is something far too many people in far too many churches do not understand. If they did, there wouldn't be nearly the disagreements in the churches there are."

"I do believe I'm beginning to understand your reasoning Pastor Archaic. Thank you for clearing that up. Then you're saying that all the words of Jesus are null and void because He hadn't died yet. That is certainly an interesting outlook. It sounds to me as if you believe Jesus was not a Christian then, and did not understand what was to come? What of His statement that the law was until John the Baptist, and since then the kingdom of Heaven is preached?"

"Ah! Thank you Pastor Stern for bringing up that passage. That's Luke 16:16, and as you said, the law was until John's time, not after. That just proves my point, the law is null and void."

"I find it interesting Pastor Archaic that you're so adroit at avoiding the issue. I take it that your minor in school was politics. Remember what you said earlier. Better yet, I'll refresh your memory. You said the law was until the cross, which was three and a half years after John. Please tell me, which is it, the cross that nullified the law? Or was it until John?"

"Does it matter Pastor Stern? And as you said earlier, I am not here to be cross examined by you. The fact is that the law is not in effect now. That is made clear in the Epistles. And it's the Epistles we are to live by. And why, may I ask, are you pressing this point?"

"You certainly do have a way about you Pastor Archaic. I have already agreed with you on that point The law written on stone is no more. It is now on hearts of flesh. Let's leave that point behind us, shall we? I would like to know more about Jesus not being a Christian if you would be so kind as to explain how this could be. As to my pressing the point Pastor Archaic, I am hoping to discover how you, or anyone else, can dismiss the many Words of Jesus lending to the effect that we be obedient to the law and His commandments until death."

"You're twisting my words Pastor Stern. I never said that Jesus is not a Christian, or that He is not to be listened to. I said that He was talking to the people of His time in a language they could understand. Please remember that."

"Then you say Jesus was a failure Pastor Archaic. If Jesus was speaking to people of his own kind in a language they could understand, He failed miserably because no one understood what He was saying, and that's why He was persecuted and crucified. He was either talking about something different than they were aware of, constantly referring to statements made in the Old Testament, or He was speaking to a new generation, the one He was in the process of instituting and training. Which is it do you suppose?"

"Gentlemen, it's obvious that you are no longer going to discuss the topic of the day, that of the Sabbath, and we have almost run out of air time. So I would like to thank you both for joining us today on the Pastor's Pulpit, and for the lively discussion, that I think has ended in an inconclusive draw. Thank you again for joining us gentlemen. This is Candor Dispassion bidding you all a good night, and hoping you will tune in to the Pastor's Pulpit next week."



11For there is no respect of persons with God. 12For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) 16In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. (Rom 2:)


 

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