Religion- Sabbath or Sunday: Part 5 – Paul –
Did Paul mean we decide the day to keep holy in his letter to the Romans in Romans 14:5-6? If we look at verses 5 and 6 of Romans 14, we can easily interpret the verses that God doesn’t seem to care as long as it pleases us. But, do we think it doesn’t matter to Him which days we keep holy? If it is our choice, we can freely apply and assume that God will not interfere with our free will. If we base our understanding on these two verses alone, we should already be ashamed of ourselves for twisting the truth of the word of God. We can do anything we want, but we must remember that disobedience has consequences. Does God care how we worship him? Since the days of Cain and Abel, proper worship has pleased God, while careless worship can severely damage our relationship with Him, with consequences that can lead to separation. The answer is God cares.
Sunday worship, as we witnessed, becomes a competition. Other churches claim that a congregation is non-denominational. The church accepts anyone’s belief, and the transferee or new converts are welcome. Many churchgoers enjoy the entertainment preaching of Pastors, the music played by the choir, the modern and expensive musical instruments, and the food catered (potluck) after the service (fellowship). Smaller groups of the faithful do this to develop close relationships, compared to other bigger congregations who are focused on the attendance of the members, except if it will have any special announcement, which sometimes involves finances and obtaining the commitment of the members about any planned fundraising.
We cannot apply one or two or more verses in a given chapter and then make a point. For example, verses 5 and 6 of Romans chapter 14 do not tell us that any day must be kept holy. It needs to be proven by the context of the whole chapter. There are meetings of the faithful that practice worship four days a week, two to three times a day, including Saturdays and Sundays.
We cannot pick and choose the verse and then preach it. Our accountability is to God and not to any mentors from whom we learned the interpretations. Returning to verse 1, “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.” Paul warns the faithful of Rome to receive the “weak in the faith” and not to judge them the way they practice their newfound faith. For example, those recent converts, some are still young and whose faith is not strong enough and can fall anytime if lacking guidance. Some are rooted in their old faith and still adjusting, like the belief of not eating meat on Fridays, perfect Fridays.
Some groups of the faithful fully or partially refuse to eat meat and mainly subsist on vegetables. They may believe that meat is being offered to idols or meat is reserved for the idols. Some believe idols have something to do with their well-being, and they eat meat to possess that power. Paul’s issue with Corinth is their idolatrous behavior; they avoid eating food they know to have been offered to idols. Gods and idols of Corinthian culture did not exist but imagine, and Paul believed that many Corinthian Christians knew there was only one God. (1 Corinthians 8:4–5). The problem is that not every Corinthian convert possessed this knowledge, even though it is true.
Paul was not referring to God’s Sabbath day when he wrote Romans 14, but do not be deceived because Paul did not change Sabbath worship to Sundays. God cares that we worship with the proper attitude and for the right reasons.
“One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.”— Romans 14:5-6. What have you heard from your Pastors or Bible Study about their teachings of this passage, and what is your take?
God is all and all!