|February 2014||A Publication of Seventh Day Home Church Fellowships||Vol 05 - Issue 01|
The Lunar Sabbath – Part 5
by Thomas Akens
Providing evidence for the validity of an assertion, which assumes the validity of the assertion. — Urban Dictionary (www.urbandictionary.com)
THERE is only one honest example of circular reasoning: What God says is true, because God says it is true. This is the only honest circular reasoning. All other foundations upon which a circular reasoning is attempted must fail, because they are not founded upon what God has said. God said what he meant, and he meant what he said. He has been fair and honest with us in his language. His meaning has been clear with regard to the Sabbath day. His reasoning has been simple and logical all the way through. However, as we examine the arguments used in support of a lunar sabbath, we see that they are based upon a circular reasoning unfounded in the word of God. What follows is a prime example of just such reasoning:
The real “Lord’s Day” of Scripture is the seventh-day Sabbath! — “New Moons, Sabbaths, & the Gregorian Calendar,” p. 1
The language seems biblical enough, but note carefully what follows:
Because the true Sabbath is a specific day, it is vitally important that the correct method of time-measurement is used to calculate that precise day.” — Ibid (emphasis is in the original)
What is “the correct method of time measurement”?
The only method of time-keeping that reveals the true seventh-day Sabbath, is the luni-solar calendar of Creation. Only the Biblical calendar can accurately calculate the precise day that is the sign between Yahuwah and His people. — Ibid
What is “the luni-solar calendar of Creation”?
The Creator’s calendar begins each month with the New Moon. The first day of every new month is New Moon day: — Ibid, p. 2
To prove the above 1 Samuel 20:5, 18, 24-25 is cited as examples of this fact. Now, if you are like me, when you read these verses, you too probably will wonder what they have to do with calculating the day of the week? The answer is, they have nothing whatsoever to do with the day of the week. They simply tell us that the first day of the month is “the new moon”. The day of the week is neither mentioned nor implied anywhere therein.
Next, comes an attempt to explain their supposed connection as to how the moon governs the week:
Yahuwah created the lights in the heavens for the express purpose of calculating time. — Ibid
Then, after some discussion about the significance of the Hebrew words chodesh and mo‘ed (which we covered in part one of this series), the author then states:
New Moons are tied to seventh-day Sabbaths throughout Scripture. — Ibid
The claim is made that they are “a special class of worship day all by themselves” (Ibid). From this assumption the author now deduces the following conclusion:
Since the Biblical month begins with the New Moon, the weekly Sabbaths are intrinsically linked to the moon. New Moon day restarts the weekly cycle. — Ibid
This is circular reasoning. Their argument thus far goes like this: (1) The Sabbath is the “seventh day”. (2) It is a “specific day”. (3) It can only be reckoned by “the luni-solar calendar”. (4) This calendar “begins with the new moon.” (5) God created the sun and moon “for the express purpose of calculating time”. (6) These “New Moons are tied to the seventh-day Sabbaths throughout Scripture.” (7) So “the weekly Sabbaths are intrinsically linked with the moon.” (8) Therefore “New Moon day restarts the weekly cycle.”
However “sound” such a reasoning may seem, it is nothing more than an assumption. The only conclusive facts in it all are that the Sabbath is a “specific day,” “the seventh day”. The rest are simply assumptions. They require you and me to make a deductive leap of faith based upon the assumption of certain “facts” nowhere stated in Scripture. I for one am not willing to take such a deductive leap of faith, and I hope you are not either.
The basis for their whole argument is founded on the assumption that the modern seven-day-week doesn’t exist, because it is a falsehood adopted from paganism:
It is true that Saturday is the seventh day of the modern week. However, this does not make Saturday the seventh-day Sabbath of Scripture. The modern week comes from the pagan planetary week. — Ibid
It is true that the names of the days used by many nations come “from the pagan planetary week.” Yet this fact cannot affect the existence of the days themselves. To say that the week of seven days is “pagan”, and doesn’t exist in its present order, simply because the names are pagan, would be to argue that the months January, February, March, April, May, June, July, and August are “pagan”, and don’t exist in their present order, because their names are pagan. Both are pure assumptions with no basis in fact.
The modern Gregorian calendar cannot be used to calculate the true seventh-day Sabbath because it lacks one very vital feature of Biblical time-measurement: lunar months. — Ibid
The above argument really amounts to arguing over apples and oranges. It assumes a relation that is nowhere found in Scripture – that weeks are to be governed by the month. It is as if I were to say that the centimeter cannot be used to measure the empirical inch, because it lacks one vital element: the inch. Of course one can’t measure inches with centimeters, because they are two different units of measurement. The one cannot be used to measure the other. They belong to two separate systems. They are apples and oranges. Therefore we don’t measure month’s by the week, nor do we measure weeks by the month.
Let us now ask for a “thus saith the Lord” in explanation of a lunar sabbath. What is their official reply?
This seems like a reasonable request. But is it consistent with Scripture? There are a number of things in the Bible that cannot be proven from a single text. . . . “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” (Isaiah 28:10, KJV) — “Lunar Sabbath | The Defense - Part 1,” pp. 5, 6
Is it just me, or do you too feel like our fair request was nicely circuited? Where is the promised precept upon precept and line upon line; here a little, and there a little? Surely they would show us where they are. After all it would be to their benefit to do so, wouldn’t it? Sure it would, if they intended our faith to rest upon a “thus saith the Lord”. However, not one single text is given in support of the claim. Instead, the burden of proof is unceremoniously plopped back upon those of us who question the doctrine, as if you or I must prove the truth of a theory we ourselves dispute.
The student of Scripture must ask: What is the weight of evidence? When all texts are brought together on the subject, what is the conclusion of the matter? — Ibid
And now, without having supplied us with so much as even one clear or even plausible text in support of their theory, they now proceed to draw for us their “logical” conclusion which they want you and me to draw from “the weight of evidence,” “when all texts are brought together on the subject”. Here it is:
It is impossible to prove a Saturday-Sabbath from Scripture. — Ibid
Dear reader, the above is nothing more than a boastful skepticism. It is pure, unadulterated doubt. Such “faith” cannot save a soul. However, it will lead to spiritual blindness and death. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25). There most certainly is evidence, and it is given in the simplest and clearest of language, that all may know and believe. The only difficulty that any can justly have in regard to the Sabbath day is unbelief. They simply won’t believe what is written. They lack that faith which believes the words as they are written. A faith which neither quibbles over nor ignores evidence when it is presented, but accepts it as the end to all doubts and fears. Faith such as that of a little child is all that is required to know the truth. This only can “prove” anything to anyone; for without this kind of faith “it is impossible to please him” (Hebrews 11:6).
And, as if their telling us that our faith in a seven day week is “impossible” weren’t bad enough, they boldly assert that,
The weight of evidence clearly supports a Sabbath calculated from the New Moon, a “lunar” Sabbath. — Ibid
And, as if in response to our imminent demand for them to present their boasted “weight of evidence,” they promptly tell us:
There is not a single verse in the Bible explaining the luni-solar calendar format, because it was common knowledge! All nations originally used a luni-solar calendar. — Ibid
I would gladly accept such a plain, though forced, admission that the doctrine of a lunar sabbath has no Scriptural basis whatsoever, were it not promptly excused and explained away as a matter of “Common knowledge”. Common to whom? Certainly not to the Bible writers. And where do they get the idea that “all nations used a luni-solar calendar”? Which passage of Scripture leads them to such a conclusion? None, and this fact they themselves have readily admitted. I don’t know about you, but I find it “impossible” to believe in a “biblical teaching” that can’t muster even one Bible text to explain it.
Dear reader, no argument on earth can change the facts as stated in the first two chapters of Genesis, which clearly mark out the days of the week, and give to each its sequential number. Regardless of whether or not men have forgotten to keep track of them, God has not. And he has himself reminded men of their obligation to keep his Sabbath, and has himself pointed out which day it is in the fourth commandment, which points back to the days of creation.
While some call it obedience to teach and keep a lunar sabbath which may fall on any day of the week, yet this the Bible unsparingly condemns as iniquity or lawlessness. I would point those who teach such things to the words of Jesus:
“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 5:19
To keep a lunar sabbath is to break the law, and not merely the “letter of the law,” but the very heart and spirit of it. It sets an example of disobedience to the plain command of Jehovah before the watching world, and justifies rebellion against God’s law. I therefore exhort the honest-of-heart reader to prayerfully ponder the following words:
. . . in attempting to refute the above reasoning, the main thing you will have to show is, that “the Sabbath-day,” or “the day of the Sabbath,” is an indefinite or general expression, applicable alike to, at least, two different days of the week, and that it is used indefinitely in this commandment. If it has been proved, that “the day of the Sabbath” refers, and can refer, only to the seventh day of the week, then it is true, and will remain for ever true, that the original Sabbath law requires the sanctification of no other day. — John Nevins Andrews, “The First Day of the Week not the Sabbath of the Lord,” pp. 31-32 (1855)
And so say I. Amen.
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Seventh Day Home Church Fellowships is an association of Sabbath-keeping groups, which through web & tele-conferencing provides means for study, fellowship, and jointly organized missionary projects.
Seventh Day Home Church Fellowships:
P.O. Box 262, Laconia, NH 03246, U.S.A.
Phone: 530 708-2381
Chief Editor: David Sims
Assistant Editor: Thomas Akens
Proof-reader: Alice Fredrick
Layout: Thomas Akens