Isn’t the Sabbath supposed to be on a Saturday, the last day of the week? Why then, do most churches meet on a Sunday? Shouldn’t I be going to a Saturday church?
This is an age-old debate; since the beginning of church history, really. Some people will tell you that the day of worship changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament, some say that it was always on a Sunday, and some will tell you that the change has something to do with co-joining with a pagan belief system. So, which is it?
I have read up extensively on all three parts, and I’m going to tell you that I believe it doesn’t matter. Here’s why:
“And he said to them, The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
(Mark 2:27 ESV)
In this passage, Jesus’ disciples are hungry; they happen to be walking through a field and are merely snacking on grain. The Pharisees, who are scrutinizing Jesus’ every action, declare that they are being unlawful by working on a Sabbath. Jesus, in reply, essentially tells them that they’re taking it way too far. The Sabbath was made for them, for their benefit! A day of rest. Not the day of a thousand rules, that they’ve made it to be.
Let’s step back for a moment and apply this to our lives.
What are we, as Christians, taking too far? Are we taking the Sabbath argument too far? Are there other beliefs we’re taking too far? I think the most important question is this: at what point does something we believe become a hindrance to the body of Christ?
Paul speaks to us in 1 Corinthians 1:10; he says, “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (NIV)
Look at today. We have hundreds of different denominations, thousands of different church types. Different takes on the end times, prophecy, Bible versions, and even music. Does the church, in any way, seem unified to you?
I’m not saying that it’s wrong to believe different things; I’m telling you I believe it’s wrong to let it split up our churches, hindering us from sticking to our ultimate goal: sharing the gospel message to all the world.
(Quick note: I’m assuming these different churches have the same understanding of salvation and what Jesus did for us, which is the case for so many different churches.)
I’m telling you that I believe it’s wrong to not go on that mission’s trip with your friend’s church just because your parents disagree with them on a point. I’m telling you that I believe it’s wrong to get so caught up in the futile arguments that we miss the opportunity to share with that one person the life-saving and changing message about what God did for us.
I believe that THAT is our ultimate focus. Therefore, the Sabbath does matter. It does. But people’s souls matter more.
With that in mind, let’s talk about the “where”. In today’s age, there are tons of options. Online churches are springing up all over; you can attend and get involved without leaving the comfort of the couch in your living room. You have conservative churches that are stable, churches that are hip, but fun, churches farther away, and churches up the street.
Perhaps it’s worth considering a church that you may not necessarily like, that’s closer, but would help you get more involved in your community than one that’s further. Perhaps it’d work better for you invite your peers to an “online stream and chat” with you, rather than for them to come to a physical building. I urge you to think about that the next time you go to church. Would a different church perhaps be more effective? Is an ultimately pointless disagreement hindering you from being more involved in His plan?
Finally, I challenge you to open your heart and apply this post to your life. And I urge you to keep our ultimate objective in mind; it is, after all, the meaning of your life.