Is Your Church Bible Based?
Are You Sure?

by Larry C. Hamner

October 21, 2007

Bible based teachings

Bible based teachings are those that have the bible as their foundation and is the basis of all that is considered God worthy. The bible is the beginning and the end for all that is a true and faithful declaration of the Gospel of Christ. As followers of Christ it is our Christian duty to examine the teachings of those who claim to teach the principles and doctrine of our Lord and Savior. In our examination if we find what we are being taught is not bible based we must reject such teachings and “let God Be True”.

“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.”(Acts 17:10-12 KJV)

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:20KJV)

So you see those who are sincere in their commitment to a godly walk are taught by God to test the words of those who preach and teach the gospel, to see if what they are being taught is in accord with the bible and rest solidly and squarely upon the authoritative rock of Holy Scripture. How can we know if a teaching is bible based teaching? When a practice or teaching can be found in the bible one can say that practice or teaching is bible based. Another way of saying something is bible based is to say it is biblical, again meaning that it can be found in the bible, i.e. having its origin in the bible. My friend it is that simple if you can read it in the bible it is bible based, if you can't find it in the bible it's not bible based. At first glance many of the practices of the Christian Church appear to be bible based but a close look reveals that they have their roots in pagan worship or early church practices. Since many of these customs and practices are deeply embedded in the Christian culture it is more often than not simply assumed they are based on the teachings of the bible.

Would You Believe

The celebration of Easter as a Christian holiday one would think is most certainly bible based, but not so. There is unanimous agreement among scholars that Easter has its roots in ancient polytheistic religions. The term “Easter”, is never used in the original Scriptures, nor is there any biblical association of Easter with the death and resurrection of Jesus. Many Christian churches have abandoned the term “Easter” and replaced it with Resurrection Sunday. Of course there is no bible celebration called “Resurrection Sunday” either. Wouldn't it be simpler to just observe the biblical feast called Passover and include a resurrection celebration as part of the feast celebration, rather than continue trying to create biblical truths that don't exist?

Enough with Easter would you believe Christmas is not a bible based celebration? Surely with all the talk of “putting Christ back in Christmas” Christmas must be a bible based celebration. Not so! Not in a “holy nightmare”! The term Christmas, a contraction of Christ's Mass first shows up around the year 1038. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Sol Invictus festival is a likely origin for the date of December 25th, I could go on with Santa Claus, The Christmas Tree etc, etc, etc, not one has an origin in the bible. The early Christians as well as the Protestant Churches of the 1800's taught and fought against its celebration. Nothing religious about this holiday says the U S Supreme Court in 1999 so it's okay to have it as a national holiday. You would think that we Christians could find a few bible celebrations to get excited about rather than our own inventions wouldn't you?

Now that brings me to “the Holy Grail” of Christian celebrations, Sunday. Yes Sunday! Any mention in the bible of Sunday as a worship day, of course not! If not Sunday surely the bible has to mention the first day of the week as a day for Christian's to worship. Not one mention in the bible. Take a look at what the bible does say about the first day of the week.

“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” (Acts 20:7 KJV)

“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” (1Corinthians 16:1-2 KJV)

That's it, that's all my friend there are no other verses or teachings that come close to stating that Sunday or the first day of the week should be set aside for worship and honor of our creator. Both of these writings give precise and clear statements of purpose. Take Acts twenty and verse seven, the writer states “the disciples came together to break bread”, the bible gives no other reason for their coming together. First Corinthians Sixteen verses one and two doesn't speak of a worship of any kind, simply that “the collection for the saints” should be laid in store on the first day of the week and the reason is “that there be no gatherings when I come”. Neither suggests that the first day of the week has now become or is to be construed as the regular worship day for gentile followers of Christ.

Here's my take on what's happening here. The great thinkers of the Christian Church looked into their bibles and saw no basis for Sunday worship. What they did see is the aforementioned two bible references to the first day of the week. Rather than admitting that there is no bible basis for Sunday worship they sought to justify their teaching and practices through a monumental exercise in extrapolation. So today we have innumerable books and sermons, founded solely on conjecture, espousing Sunday worship as biblical. That's it my friend no statement of fact simply conjecture.

If the Bible is truly recognized as the only true source and teacher of God's plan of salvation, which indeed it should be then the great thinkers of the Christian Church should be able to point out the book, chapter and verse where a new divine decree repealing Sabbath worship and substituting that of Sunday (first day of the week) was made. Of course they can 't because there was no such decree made, so they continue their campaign of justification armed only with extrapolation and conjecture. In other words they can only tell you what they think may have happen or what their opinion of what a particular chapter or verses might be saying never a true definitive bible statement repealing Sabbath worship and instituting Sunday worship.

A Cloud of Witnesses

I praise God that I am not the only one who can clearly see and understand that the Bible doesn't replace Sabbath worship with that of Sunday. Here are some quotes from others of various denominations who share the same understanding.

“There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week, with all its duties, privileges, and sanctions. Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask, where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament, absolutely not. There is no such scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week.

I wish to say that this Sabbath question, in this aspect of it, is the gravest and most perplexing question connected with Christian institutions which at present claims attention from Christian people; and the only reason that it is not a more disturbing element in Christian thought and in religious discussions, is because the Christian world has settled down content on the conviction that somehow a transference has taken place at the beginning of Christian history.

To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during the three years' intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question, discussing it some of its various aspects, freeing it from false glosses, never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated. Nor, so far as we know, did the Spirit, which was given to bring to their remembrance all things whatsoever that He has said unto them, deal with this question. Nor yet did the inspired apostles, in preaching the gospel, founding churches, counseling and instructing those founded, discuss or approach this subject.

Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come to use in early Christian history as a religious day, as we learn from the Christian Fathers and other sources. But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, when adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!”
“The Manual of Baptist Churches,” Dr. Edward Hiscox quoted in the New York Examiner, November 16, 1893.

“It is sometimes argued that Christ abrogated the mosaic law, and therefore there is no longer any obligation to keep the Sabbath; but He Himself declares that He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. Notice that He never says that He abrogated the Sabbath.”
“Baptist Sunday School Quarterly,” March 1929.

“The Christian Sabbath is not in the Scripture, and was not by the primitive church called the Sabbath.” “Dwight's Theology,” Volume IV, Page 401.

“God instituted the Sabbath at the creation of man, setting apart the seventh day for that purpose, and imposed its observance, as a universal and perpetual moral obligation upon the race.” Tract No. 175, Dr. Archibald Hodges, Presbyterian Board of Publication.

“Some have tried to build the observance of Sunday upon apostolic command, whereas, the apostles gave no such command on the matter at all . . . The truth is as soon as we appeal . . . to the Bible the Sabbatarians have the best of the argument.Ý
“The Christian at Work,” an editorial.

“We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodecia transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine

“There is but one church on the face of the earth which has the power, or claims power, to make laws binding on the conscience, binding before God, binding under penalty of hell-fire. For instance, the institution of Sunday. What right has any other church to keep this day? You answer by virtue of the third commandment, which says, 'Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.' But Sunday is not the Sabbath. Any schoolboy knows that Sunday is the first day of the week. I have repeatedly offered one thousand dollars to anyone who will prove by the Bible alone that Sunday is the day we are bound to keep, and no one has called for the money. It was the holy Catholic Church that changed the day of rest from Saturday, the seventh day, to Sunday, the first day of the week.”
T. Enright, C.S.S.R., in a lecture delivered in 1892.

“The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the Catholic Church.” “Plain Talk About Protestantism,”Father Segur, Page 213.

“If you look to the Bible as an authority for the observance of the day, you will not find it. It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, and all other Christians outside the pale of the Mother Church, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in the observance of Sunday. The Seventh-day Adventists are the only ones who properly apply the term (Sabbath,) because they do observe the seventh day, and not the first day, as the day of rest.”
“Clifton Tracts,” Volume IV, Page 15.

“Protestantism, in discarding the authority of the church, has no good reason for its Sunday theory, and ought, logically, to keep Saturday with the Jews.”
“American Catholic Quarterly Review,” January 1883.

“Protestants have no Scripture for the measure of their day of rest -- they abolish the observance of Saturday without warrant of Scripture -- and substitute Sunday in its place without Scriptural authority -- consequently they have for all this only traditional authority.”
Keenan's Doctrinal Catechism, Page 354.

“From this same Catholic Church you have accepted your Sunday, and that Sunday, as the Lord's day, she has handed down as a tradition; and the entire Protestant world has accepted it as a tradition, for you have not an iota of Scripture to establish it. Therefore that which you have accepted as your rule of faith, inadequate as it of course is, as well as your Sunday, you have accepted on the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.”
“The Papal Controversy,”D.B. Ray, Page 179, 1892

The truth is there really isn't much else in the bible that could be construed as an enumeration of Sunday as a special day of veneration. Some Christians might use Romans fourteenth chapter verses five and six as proof, however, it is rather obvious that these verses are not discussing the Sabbath, seeing none less then God Himself rested on the seventh day, and even wrote this as the fourth commandment with His own finger. Jesus kept the Sabbath and called Himself “Lord of the Sabbath”, thus the seventh day would never be considered as “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” No, this verse, obviously is discussing the fact that some might hold one of the other six days in higher esteem than the others, despite the fact there is no scriptural basis to do so, and those who do this should be convinced in their own minds, but should not judge others based upon their own very personal preferences. It is God Himself who considers the seventh day better than the other six. God calls one day in seven His day, the seventh day, His day, a “special day set apart wholly for Him”. Some people only need to hear God say something once, and that's good enough for them; others can hear the same message from God any number of times and never decide to obey Him, and that's how specific and redundant God is about the Sabbath, there is absolutely no room for interpretation or dissention. When it comes to the Sabbath being esteemed above the other six days God is very clear.

“If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:” (Isaiah 58:13 KJV)

It's rather obvious, however, that some young believers were trying to esteem a certain day above the others, which may have been Sunday the day of Christ's resurrection (this is conjecture not a statement of fact). But Paul cautioned them not to go making their own personal preferences into laws everyone must adhere to. There you have it the truth about Sunday. There are no other verses that even suggest Sunday might be a day of veneration. The bible tells us that the Sabbath is different than the other six days of the week. But there is not one screed of evidence that Sunday is also special unto the Lord or that Sabbath should be abrogated in lieu of Sunday. Early church history and tradition has much to say about a Sunday Sabbath and many use this to defend their position. That's church history and tradition but what about the BIBLE?

Practice What You Preach

The Christian Church should practice what she preaches. If she believes the Bible is God's living Word, then she should forsake Easter and celebrate the Bible's feast of Passover. She ought to denounce Christmas for what it is, pagan . If she is truly a Bible based Church she ought to forsake the teachings of the early church fathers in regards to Sunday and once again embrace God's Holy Sabbath. But will she do that no she will continue to follow the false teachers and their latest book. If the Christian Church truly believes in the inerrancy and sufficiency of the Scriptures and the Lordship of Jesus Christ then she ought to take God at his word and “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy!”

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