I figured since we're close to the Passover, it ought to be a good time to examine what we think about the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20:1-17. Most of them are easy, but let's run through them anyway:
1. No other gods before God.
2. No idol worshipping.
3. Do not take the LORD's name in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. Do not murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
Ghastly to do such!
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not bear false witness.
10. Do not covet.
It was all fun and games except for number 4, wasn't it? We really aren't required to keep the Sabbath day anymore. That was abolished through Jesus' death. He's our Sabbath rest now. That's what we have always been taught, isn't it?
It may be true that Jesus' death and resurrection abolished Sabbath keeping, but that certainly is not what we have been taught. It is not the tradition handed down to us by our fathers. Our forefathers were convinced, nearly unanimously, that the "Lord's Day", Sunday, was the new Sabbath. Why do you think we go to Church on Sundays, people? Did we just pick the second day of the weekend arbitrarily?
Are you old enough to remember the "blue laws"? I am, and I'm only 31. In Alabama, virtually every business used to shut down on Sunday to honor the Lord's Day. My family scorned anyone to shame who dared to do work on Sunday. In fact, I was not even allowed to go fishing on Sunday, no matter how hard I protested that this was certainly not work. You did not wash your car on Sunday; you did not mow your yard; you did not clean your house. You were only allowed to watch football. (I guess football wasn't work, eh?)
The Southern Baptists have traditionally held that Sunday is the Lord's Sabbath. Behold these words in the Abstract of Principles signed by every professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (and probably a few of the others as well, such as Southern.) Here is Article XVII:
The Lord's day is a Christian institution for regular observance, and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, resting from worldly employments and amusements, works of necessity and mercy only excepted.
That was written for Southern Seminary in approximately 1859. They believed in the Lord's Day being the new Sabbath, beloved. All you Reformed Baptist types who love our heritage should also check out this quote from the London Baptist Confession of 1689. This is from Chapter 22:
As it is the law of nature, that in general a proportion of time, by God's appointment, be set apart for the worship of God, so by his Word, in a positive moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy unto him, which from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ was the last day of the week, and from the resurrection of Christ was changed into the first day of the week, which is called the Lord's day: and is to be continued to the end of the world as the Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week being abolished.
The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.
That is our tradition. Are you a Sabbath breaker? Or is the LBC 1689 simply mistaken at this point? Do you believe that we ought to worship on Sunday, or will any old day do just as well? You may be wondering if I am a "Lord's Day" advocate. I would say no, but I'm leaning towards yes. To this day, I can not bring myself to work on Sunday other than to do the work of ministry. I would never in a million years mow my yard on Sunday. So what say you, dear reader? Why have we so nearly unanimously become Nine Commandment Christians?