The topic of Bowing To the Pope really goes hand-in-hand with Sunday worship as well. It has been acknowledged by many leaders in Evangelical and other circles that it was the Catholic Church who admittedly changed the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday and even chastises Protestants for their inconsistency.
Greg Laurie seems to take a different tack by even going as far as state a bald-faced lie about the fact that the early Church kept a seventh-day Sabbath, and he has even dug himself in deeper by stating, “it is wrong to set Saturday apart as a special day for worship.”
He even states:
Jesus actually broke the Sabbath law, as it was observed in the Jewish culture (see Matthew 12:1-14). The religious leaders had so perverted and twisted the meaning of the Sabbath that it was turned into a miserable, religious mess.
It is very dangerous to be so loose with one’s words. Jesus did not break the Sabbath, or else He could not have died for our sins. He would not have been sinless, and we would still be dead in our sins and trespasses.
The additional “as it was observed” only softens what is still blasphemy. Jesus broke the Pharisaical customs of His day not God’s Law. Any insinuation to the contrary is dangerous ground to stand on.
He continues in his lies by stating “The apostles never taught anyone to keep the Sabbath.” That is especially odd when you consider what they expected of Gentiles:
21For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. (Acts 15:21, King James Version)
Notice how the NIV puts it:
19"It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is [still] read in the synagogues on every Sabbath." (emphasis added).
He uses the NLT to make doctrinal points. The New Living Translation really isn’t even a “translation” so much as a paraphrase. Compare one verse he quotes, Col 2:17, from the NLT:
17 For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality.
Now in the KJV:
17Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
And, the NIV:
17These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
You will notice that “these rules” is an assumption. In fact, it only marginally makes sense when you consider the order of things before it. First, Paul tells us that the “written code, with its regulations, that was against us” was done away, cancelled (v 14). Why? We were forgiven (v 13). How? By nailing those charges to the cross (v 14). So, we were forgiven of our sins, and now we aren’t to allow anyone to judge us in keeping that Law that we now embrace (v 16).
In fact, the NLT has “for not celebrating…” while no other translation has “not” in that clause in v 16! The NLT is a biased translation to say the least! The NASB states it pretty well: “Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—”.
Yes, Christ is the reality, but should we not stand in and enjoy His shade? Would you setup a tent and not enjoy its shade?
Just like my JW friends, he twists Heb 4:9-11 into saying the opposite of what is said, again using the NLT. Notice that the NIV begins that passage with, “There remains…”
Also, just like my JW friends, he insists that because the Sabbath wasn’t explicitly repeated in the NT, it is not valid. No, it isn’t explicitly repeated, but it is certainly implied over and over again. Jesus went into the synagogue on the Sabbath as His custom was, as did Paul. As we have already seen, the Apostles even expected Gentile believers to show up for instruction on the Sabbath day.
Laurie makes a lot of unprovable assertions, yet never once does he produce a definitive statement that the Sabbath was moved to Sunday. Neither does he produce any command to not keep the Sabbath.
He takes great pains to show that Jesus “broke the Sabbath”, but he forgets to add that Jesus is “Lord of the Sabbath”. He can say that because He created the Sabbath! He knows how to keep the Sabbath because it is His Sabbath (Lev 23:3). It is not our Sabbath. It is not the Jews Sabbath. It is God’s Sabbath!
How does God identify His people according to the people? There is a two-fold marker:
17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:17, King James Version)
It is not enough to just yell, “Lord! Lord!” It is not enough to just keep the letter of the Law (even if you could). No, those things are not enough. We need to accept His shed blood on our behalf, and we need to strive to keep His commandments.
We need to “Remember” what God says to remember. We need to keep His commandments, not the traditions of men nor of a false church.