Today I got to thinking when considering a purchase, what am I allowed to do on the Sabbath? Am I allowed to shop? Am I allowed to buy online? Does that still apply to the New Testament? So many questions…

In the dictionary the Sabbath is referred to as: a day of religious observance and abstinence from work, kept by Jews from Friday evening to Saturday evening, and by most Christians on Sunday.

This site is quite good and explains a lot about the Sabbath: They are very keen on observing the Sabbath on Saturday. In fact many of the sites I see seem to be insistent on it. I’m curious then, why do every church observe on Sunday (for the most part)?

Another site describing the Sabbath: with some interesting information.

This site is much more liberal about the Sabbath and does not believe it should be followed to the letter like many others. It has a passage showing what Jesus (who obviously is the ultimate authority on everything) says in several passages:

“Jesus always compared the Sabbath to ceremonial laws, not to moral laws. When his disciples were picking grain, he used the example of the showbread, and the work of the priests in the temple (Matt. 12:3-6). Those rituals were just as important as the Sabbath. He said that circumcision could be done on the Sabbath (John 7:22), which indicates that circumcision is a more important law than the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a ritual law—it says that behavior that is perfectly good one day, is forbidden on another, simply because the earth has rotated. But true morality does not change from one day of the week to another. When ritual laws became obsolete when Jesus died, it should be no surprise that the ritual of the Sabbath also became obsolete.

Jesus said that daily chores could be done on the Sabbath (Luke 13:15). Even hard labor could be done in an emergency (Luke 14:5). He told a healed man to carry his sleeping mat, even though there was no hurry (John 5:8). He even used the word “work” to describe his activity (v. 17). Many Christians follow this example. They remember that Jesus consistently criticized the Sabbath rules of the Pharisees, and that he treated it as a ritual law.”

The site also states:

  1. The first place we see a command for the Sabbath is in the law of Moses.
  2. The law of Moses contains many commands that Christians do not have to keep.
  3. Even laws that came before Moses, such as circumcision, can be obsolete.
  4. To see which laws are obsolete, we need to study the New Testament.
  5. The New Testament never commands the Sabbath.
  6. Jesus always criticizes Sabbath rules, and never tells anyone to be careful about what they do on the Sabbath.
  7. Jesus always groups the Sabbath with ceremonial and ritual laws.
  8. Peter and Paul could live like Gentiles if they wanted to.
  9. Paul said that something about the Ten Commandments was fading away

This site makes a ton of other great points. Without stealing too much of their content, they also point out a passage from Paul (one of Jesus’s disciples) that says “In Romans 14, Paul writes that some Christians consider “one day more sacred than another,” whereas other Christians consider “every day alike.” In the Roman church, partly composed of Jews and partly composed of Gentiles, it is obvious what kind of days might be considered sacred.”

Here is another site with similar view points:

This is another site that kind of has an in-between message: they quote from the Colossians and state:  “In Colossians 2:16-17, the apostle Paul declares, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Similarly, Romans 14:5 states, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” These Scriptures make it clear that, for the Christian, Sabbath-keeping is a matter of spiritual freedom, not a command from God. Sabbath-keeping is an issue on which God’s Word instructs us not to judge each other. Sabbath-keeping is a matter about which each Christian needs to be fully convinced in his/her own mind.”

I believe a combination of the last two thoughts are the most accurate. The Sabbath was not meant to be a chore for man. It was designed for the ancient Israelites to have a day of rest and worship. Today we do not do 6 days of hard labor.