Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Nine? Commandments of the Decalogue

Learning Not to Ignore the Fourth Commandment  
The Sabbath has always disturbed believers.  We’ve demoted, altered, abrogated, and challenged its place in the heart of the Lord God.  From the very beginning  (Genesis 2:3) God set aside a day of rest; i.e., He made it holy, setting it aside and designing it, like all His commands, to help people be and stay closer to God.  But…

  • Modern believers have demoted God’s commandment to an anachronism of Judaism.
  • Reformation believers altered the fourth commandment by stipulating believers observe the Sabbath on the first day of the week, regardless of the witness of Scripture.
  • Pharisee believers abrogated the Sabbath; i.e., obedience became an artform of religious chest-beating, rather than a means of spiritual refreshment, a day made for humans (Mark 2:27).
  • Pre-Law believers challenged its observation (Exodus 16:23ff); to say nothing of those who had the fully articulated Law (cf., Nehemiah 13:15ff; John 9:13ff).

SabbathbyJosephDutkoThe Sabbath is important to the Lord God.  Consequences for violation were, and are, dramatic.  When the Sabbath was not observed under the Law of Moses, death could result (Numbers 15:32ff).  Today, the consequences of failing to observe Sabbath are even more obvious—and deadly—stress has been clearly linked to heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, headaches, depression, GI problems, and Alzheimer’s (see

My Jesus observed the Sabbath; thus, it is clearly part of our Christian heritage (c.f., Hebrews 4:9).  Why did the Lord God create the Sabbath principle?  God loves us; He deserves to be glorified while we’re here on earth and beyond.  It’s difficult to do so when dead, coughing, fat, depressed, and/or with dementia.

And for those of you like me from Missouri, nothing shows you more about how central the Lord God is to your life when you stop everything and think on Him.  It’s hard.  We’re all so wrapped up in doing, doing, doing.  And then we’re done, or are we?  Sabbath teaches us to see there’s more to living than doing.  And, ironically, our doing becomes more abundant.  A glimpse of what’s to come?

God is smart.  He doesn’t desire our obedience to fulfill some fascist, narcissistic personality.  All of God’s commands are designed to bring us closer to Him; i.e., to be blessed by Him.  When we are closer to Him, He can be glorified, and we get to bask in that glory.  Observe Sabbath—Jesus did.


“Easter” Linguistic Idolatry or God’s Providence?


Yes, that is a pentagram in her right hand. Is this what we want associated with the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ?

While the precise etymology is unknown, scholars accepting the derivation proposed by the 8th-century English scholar St. Bede, believe it probably comes from Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon name of a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility, to whom was dedicated a month corresponding to April.  Her festival was celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox.  Traditions associated with the festival survive in the Easter rabbit, a symbol of fertility, and in colored Easter eggs, originally painted with bright colors to represent the sunlight of spring, and now used in Easter-egg rolling contests or given as gifts.

Early Christians began celebrating the Resurrection at the time of the Passover, but to distinguish themselves from their Jewish roots, they began their celebration a week later.  As the years continued, the German Teutonic tradition’s dependence on the lunar calendar served to “date” when Resurrection Sunday should be celebrated.  Incidentally, some Christians do still celebrate the Resurrection on the Biblical calendar.  The Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the Resurrection based on the annually legitimate time to celebrate—Passover.  It’s the “first day of the week” after the last day of Passover.  Interesting about that first “first day of the week….”

My church, Carrollwood Baptist Church, will celebrate the Resurrection on April 17, not “Easter.”  We take the first and second commandments of the Decalogue seriously; i.e., a “Teutonic goddess of fertility” has no place in a Yahweh-fearing church.  Of course, most people don’t think they’re worshiping “Eastre” when celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus as the Christ. Our linguistics, nonetheless, need some edification.  God is smart—He’s even taken a linguistic lie and associated it with the greatest event so far on earth.

So, should you wish people, “Happy Easter?” Seriously?  But when you’re greeted with a “Happy Easter!”—bunnies aside—take the time to remind them Who was resurrected, and why! You’ll be blessed, and so will they.