Clark on the Sabbath

I love Clark’s succint writing.

…But the faults of those who were too strict do not exonerate those who are too lax; and no one can deny that this age errs on the side of laxity.  I know one man and wife who could not come to church because that was the time they had to walk their dog.  Again, many fundamentalists who refuse to play dominoes or go to the movies or use lipstick on any day of the week contend that keeping the Sabbath is legalistic and have no compunctions against going on a picnic or studying their high school or college lessons.  They have made their own rules without any divine warrant, while at the same time they reject the Ten Commandments.  Note well, if keeping the Sabbath holy is legalistic, a ritualistic requirement meant only for the Mosaic dispensation, then not only is the Sabbath before Moses inexplicable, but also the first, second, sixth and other commandments are ritualistic too.  These other commandments are obviously not ritualistic, and it is hard to see how with that context the fourth alone could be such.

“What do Presbyterians Believe?”

2 thoughts on “Clark on the Sabbath

  1. Hello Brandon,

    I agree with Clark’s sentiment here. However, I wonder if Clark kept the sabbath – considering we Christians worship on the Lord’s day (Sunday), which is distinct from the biblical sabbath.

    What are your thoughts on Hebrews 4 and Romans 14 concerning the sabbath?

    By the way, I’m a reformed baptist and part of a PCA church in Fort Worth.


  2. Hi Shane. I’ve got a sister down in Killeen. Have you been to any of the Reformed Baptist churches in Fort Worth? It looks like there are quite a few 1689 churches there:

    The biblical sabbath is Sunday. The OT sabbath was Saturday, but upon Christ’s resurrection is was changed to Sunday.

    I think O. Palmer Robertson does a good job of laying out the biblical framework for the day change.

    Noting the difference between Exodus 20 and Deut 5 is important.

    As for Hebrews 4 – many people try to use this passage to support the idea that Christ is our sabbath and therefore we do not need to observe a sabbath day because we rest in Christ. The trouble with this, however, is that the entire point of Hebrews 4 is an exhortation to persevere in the faith because we have not yet entered that rest. So the verse in fact teaches the very opposite.

    As for Romans 14 – we have to understand that Paul is saying that if someone holds one day above another day that he is immature in his faith. Paul is talking about the Jewish ceremonial festivals that have passed away. If Paul is talking about the weekly Sabbath, then the Apostle John is immature in his faith for holding one day above another (“Lord’s Day” in Rev).

    Also, if Romans 14 is referring to the weekly sabbath, then the conclusion we must come to is not that we can choose any day of the week, but that as we mature, we should not observe any day of the week as a sabbath – which contradicts the 4th commandment.

    Sorry that’s a rather brief answer. I’m short on time, but I’d be happy to flesh that out for you if you want.

    I also recently had the opportunity to preach at my church on the 4th commandment in our series on the law.


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