The title of my blog post ought to offend every Christian. But the truth is, we learned from Covid, that a majority of local churches and professing Christians, by their demonstration, held a higher view (or fear) of the authorities and the State, than the Lord and His immutable Word of God.
The big news is the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is reconsidering its 1977 ruling, that employers did not have to accommodate employees who did not want to work on the Sabbath Day. That court described and deemed such requests by employees as “de minimis.”
I find the “de minimis” language highly offensive. Why? Because there is nothing “de minimis” about the Fourth Commandment or God’s Law. I believe, I know, that language is an affront to a Holy God.
The Lord’s Fourth Commandment says,
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11).
I believe the right decision is to overturn the 1977 ruling. Furthermore, beyond that, I believe the SCOTUS should refrain from any further decisions, descriptions, and/or definitions of the Sabbath.
Though the below article does not discuss it. I’m sure the court will have to consider or decide which day is the Sabbath. Some religions and cults believe their Sabbath is Saturday. As a Christian, our Sabbath is Sunday (aka the Lord’s Day). Without apology, I am a Sabbatarian.
Unlike the aforementioned Covidians, regardless of what our highest court says about the Sabbath Day, I will obey God’s immutable Word over man, the authorities, or the court.
A proper hermeneutics for the understanding and application of Romans 13, is as follows. Christians and their churches have a duty to disobey ‘the authorities’ when,
a) They give an unlawful order, or
b) They forbid Christians (or the Church) to do what the Bible commands, or
c) They command Christians to do what the Scriptures forbid, or
d) They tell Christians to go against the Scriptures.
Furthermore, I would invoke and apply the Reformed Doctrine of Lesser Magistrate. At the time we left California to move to Tennessee, I was pastoring a Reformed Baptist church. Section 1 of our bylaws stated this.
“The purpose of the church is to glorify God. Any ministries the church deems necessary to accomplish this goal are solely the business of the church and are not to be regulated by any outside authority (including governments, ecclesiastical bodies, or others separate in any way from the church).”
When the Lord tested us with the Covid that He decreed, by God’s grace we demonstrated this conviction, putting God’s Word, specifically the Fourth Commandment before the State.
We honored God’s Fourth Commandment, and we even gave religious exemptions for members that chose against the Covid-19 vaccination that their employers demanded. The following is a portion of the language of their exemption.
“The Elders are writing on the behalf of [name snipped] to confirm that her sincerely held religious beliefs prevent her from receiving a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination.
Our church, for ourselves and our congregants, affirms the right to take religious exemption against mandatory vaccination by governmental authorities and/or employers.
We have issued a formal ecclesiastical statement confirming this right according to our doctrinal standards and Scripture. [name snipped] application for religious exemption is, therefore, not merely a matter of personal opinion or philosophy, but of bona fide religious conviction with the support of the Lord’s church. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.”
Lastly, if Christians are to obey the command, the hapax legomenon to earnestly contend for the faith (epagonizomai), we cannot contend for the faith without contending for the Lord’s church, which includes the Lord’s Day.
The aforementioned news article can be read here, or below. Semper Reformanda!
What the Supreme Court said Tuesday about working on the Sabbath.