Take part on "Good Friday" and "Easter Day" against my conscience?

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Max Hase

Puritan Board Freshman
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I have got a question: I am a Calvinist and supporter of regulative principle (puritan principle) and I am a member of a Reformed Church in Germany. But my own church supports the normative principle.

That means on so called “Good Friday” we have got a so called “service” with Lord's Supper and on so called “resurrection Day” we have got a so called “service”, too.

But my conviction is, that it is a sin to celebrate “Good Friday” and “Easter Day” in general and in particular as a church service because it is against the puritan principle. We don't have any warrant in Holy Scripture to celebrate Christmas and Easter and Pentecost! Only God commands how we have to worship him! Man made wannabe-worship is very evil! God commands that we have to celebrate Christian Sabbath every Sunday. There is no Holy Christian Sabbath more important than another Holy Christian Sabbath! “Easter Sunday” is not more important than another Sunday!

So I can't go to my church on so called “Good Friday” and on so called “resurrection Day” and take part at church service and at Lord's Supper.

My question now is this: Is it a sin when I don't go to my church on Holy Sunday (on April 5th) and don't take part at Lord's Supper on April 3rd? For my it is “only” a Sunday like every Sunday but for my church it is a special Sunday, “resurrection Day”! Of course that is wrong: Every Sunday is “resurrection Day”! We have to celebrate it every Sunday not once a year! But my church has another view!

Am I guilty if I do not participate at this “easter service” or am I guilty If I participate?

Of course I know that I have to subordinate to my elders and that the Bible says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25).

But it is against my conscience if I take part on this church services! So I can't go there!

But maybe it is just an excuse? What should I do? You know: We can always say: “This is against my conscience!” But the pure fact that we can say this always is not an argument at all!

I would be very thankful for your advise!

Thanks a lot!
 

aadebayo

Puritan Board Freshman
I am a member of a Baptist church that subscribes to the 1689 London Baptist Confession. We normally have a service on Good Friday and Easter Sunday as an opportunity to reach the local community in the village where our church is located. We distribute leaflets inviting the non churched with a view of giving them the opportunity of hearing the gospel.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
You don't have to attend the Friday service. As far as the Lord's Day, going to church as you should does not necessarily involve you in what everyone else does wrong that Lord's day. If you yourself are not specifically doing anything different (hearing the word, singing psalms, etc.) any error, superstition, etc is the fault of those so holding, doing etc. If there are additional things added just for that day, depending on what it is you may want to abstain from that specifically (an easter hymn for instance). But I wouldn't automatically abstain from the service. Again, the error is on the others; all you are doing is going to church as is your duty. That you may have to endue some grievous things is the fault of those in error. Their error or superstition doesn't rub off on you for simply being there. As with your other thread, I think the bar needs to be pretty high to simply stay home.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
In my most humble opinion you are allowed to skip "Good Friday" and should not miss "Easter Sunday". To not attend Friday is a matter of conscience even if your church calls you there. Sunday is not the same in that men call us to worship on Sunday as does Our Lord. Good Friday services is laying a burden on the lay people that ought not to be.
 
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Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
A few things to consider:

First, I am thankful that you have such a great conviction for the Lord's Day (Christian Sabbath). Not many people in the world have this kind of conviction, and I praise God for those who truly believe that church "matters".

Second, I think in this case, we must look at the "weaker" brother/sister. I do not believe you should forsake the assembly, but also, within that assembly I think we must understand that disunity might be caused for a zealous (and good) cause. I think of 1 Cor. 10, where Paul talks about the Lord's Supper: "16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf." There is truly a unity of the body of Christ when we commune together with our Lord in the Lord's Supper. I would take caution and say that if you have not examined yourself beforehand, please do not partake. Yet, if there is a prescribed day in which your elders have called the church to partake of the Lord's Supper together please partake for the sake of unity and true communion. Although you have this conviction about the "day", I think you should consider this a "special" gathering of the body. There is nothing wrong with gathering together to worship God on another day other then Sunday! :)

Please consider these things.

By the way, the moderators will ask you to make a signature for the forum. You may use mine as a model, but here is the link for the rules: vBulletin FAQ
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
A few things to consider:

First, I am thankful that you have such a great conviction for the Lord's Day (Christian Sabbath). Not many people in the world have this kind of conviction, and I praise God for those who truly believe that church "matters".

Second, I think in this case, we must look at the "weaker" brother/sister. I do not believe you should forsake the assembly, but also, within that assembly I think we must understand that disunity might be caused for a zealous (and good) cause. I think of 1 Cor. 10, where Paul talks about the Lord's Supper: "16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf." There is truly a unity of the body of Christ when we commune together with our Lord in the Lord's Supper. I would take caution and say that if you have not examined yourself beforehand, please do not partake. Yet, if there is a prescribed day in which your elders have called the church to partake of the Lord's Supper together please partake for the sake of unity and true communion. Although you have this conviction about the "day", I think you should consider this a "special" gathering of the body. There is nothing wrong with gathering together to worship God on another day other then Sunday! :)

Please consider these things.

By the way, the moderators will ask you to make a signature for the forum. You may use mine as a model, but here is the link for the rules: vBulletin FAQ
You do know you are asking to go against his conscience (which is formed by God as revealed in scripture and regulated in the RPW), right? In other words, it is not right a good thing to sooth a conscience that is formed by God in the wrong direction. I write this to only inform and not condemn you. :)
 
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johnny

Puritan Board Sophomore
Hi Max and welcome to the board,

In answer to your question regarding Easter, (I am only speaking for my wife and I)
We actually do not celebrate Easter with our church as we take this time to go away on holidays.
While we are away, we attend a different Church on the Sunday of Easter. (but not Friday)

If you wish to not offend, perhaps you could just have a holiday like us. (I know, not an ethical answer)

I'm sure other Christians here will have better advice but "Hey" That's how we get around it,
It should also be said that we "DO" go to Church on Christmas day for the morning service,
Its a simple affair with no communion, and some members do not attend for the same reasons you have outlined.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
To go against conscience is a great sin. To celebrate man made days is a great sin. The Lord alone is lord of the conscience and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in any thing, contrary to His Word; or beside it, if matters of faith, or worship. So that, to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands, out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience: and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also.
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
To celebrate man made days is a great sin.
I do not wish to disagree with you or cause trouble, but I would like to ask an honest question in light of your statement. Was it a sin for Jesus to attend the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22) considering that this festival was not instituted by God? Perhaps others could weigh in on this as well because this is something that I have genuinely struggled with myself.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Gillespie gives the standard Puritan understanding that Christ did not "attend" (give cognizance to) that feast.
It is but barely and boldly affirmed by Bishop Lindsay, that the Pharisees were not rebuked by Christ for this feast, because we read not so much in Scripture; for there were many things which Jesus did and said that are not written in Scripture (John 21:25). And whereas it seems to some, that Christ did countenance and approve this feast, because he gave His presence unto the same (John 10:22, 23), we must remember, that the circumstances only of time and place are noted by the evangelist, for evidence to the story, and not for any mystery. Christ had come up to the feast of tabernacles (John 7), and tarried still all that while, because then there was a great confluence of people in Jerusalem. Whereupon He took occasion to spread the net of the gospel for catching of many souls. And whilst John says, “It was at Jeusalem the feast of the dedication,” he gives a reason only of the confluence of many people at Jerusalem, and shows how it came to pass that Christ had occasion to preach to such a great multitude; and whilst he adds, “and it was winter,” he gives a reason of Christ’s walking in Solomon’s porch, whither the Jews resort was. It was not thought beseeming to walk in the temple itself, but in the porch men used to convene either for talking or walking, because in the summer the porch shadowed them from the heat of the sun, and in winter it lay open to the sunshine and to heat. Others think, that whilst he says, it was winter, imports that therefore Christ was the more frequently in the temple, knowing that His time was short which He had then for His preaching; for in the entry of the next spring He was to suffer.​
Gillespie, A Dispute Against the English Popish Ceremonies (1637; Naphtali Press, 2013) 250.
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Jesus' presence in Jerusalem while the Feast was in operation is no more a sin or a sign of his participation than for me to be in Ellisville, Mississippi when the Baptist and Methodist's are celebrating Maunday Thursday, Good Friday, and having a joint Easter sunrise service.
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
Gillespie gives the standard Puritan understanding that Christ did not "attend" (give cognizance to) that feast.
It is but barely and boldly affirmed by Bishop Lindsay, that the Pharisees were not rebuked by Christ for this feast, because we read not so much in Scripture; for there were many things which Jesus did and said that are not written in Scripture (John 21:25). And whereas it seems to some, that Christ did countenance and approve this feast, because he gave His presence unto the same (John 10:22, 23), we must remember, that the circumstances only of time and place are noted by the evangelist, for evidence to the story, and not for any mystery. Christ had come up to the feast of tabernacles (John 7), and tarried still all that while, because then there was a great confluence of people in Jerusalem. Whereupon He took occasion to spread the net of the gospel for catching of many souls. And whilst John says, “It was at Jeusalem the feast of the dedication,” he gives a reason only of the confluence of many people at Jerusalem, and shows how it came to pass that Christ had occasion to preach to such a great multitude; and whilst he adds, “and it was winter,” he gives a reason of Christ’s walking in Solomon’s porch, whither the Jews resort was. It was not thought beseeming to walk in the temple itself, but in the porch men used to convene either for talking or walking, because in the summer the porch shadowed them from the heat of the sun, and in winter it lay open to the sunshine and to heat. Others think, that whilst he says, it was winter, imports that therefore Christ was the more frequently in the temple, knowing that His time was short which He had then for His preaching; for in the entry of the next spring He was to suffer.​
Gillespie, A Dispute Against the English Popish Ceremonies (1637; Naphtali Press, 2013) 250.
Thank you Chris, this was helpful.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
My statement was made in the context of the whole of what I said.

Aside from that...

For Jesus, the obvious answer was no He did not sin.

And His attendance upon the Feast of Dedication did not mean He was participating. But thinking about it, it was at Jerusalem and so if one would be in that city it would be quite difficult to not be around the 'festivities'. Again that didn't mean He participated in it.
 

Elizabeth

Puritan Board Sophomore
Honestly, I can't ever imagine that gathering with the saints, and hearing the Word proclaimed, to be sin.

Conscience > Word proclaimed? Does not compute.
 

SeanAnderson

Puritan Board Freshman
Honestly, I can't ever imagine that gathering with the saints, and hearing the Word proclaimed, to be sin.

Conscience > Word proclaimed? Does not compute.
I am not enthusiastic about the church calendar, but I would attend a Good Friday meeting simply to be with the rest of the church and to hear the Word preached.

However, it is perfectly understandable why many are troubled. They wish to separate themselves from superstitious views about days and from the binding of the conscience to the traditions of man that such church gatherings generate.

Regardless of any differing views we may have, I do think we should respect the choices of those who are only seeking to uphold a confessional position which is founded in scripture. This is the PuritanBoard after all.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Honestly, I can't ever imagine that gathering with the saints, and hearing the Word proclaimed, to be sin.

Conscience > Word proclaimed? Does not compute.
Can you imagine IF you believed it was a sin to do so that this would be sin? :)
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
Honestly, I can't ever imagine that gathering with the saints, and hearing the Word proclaimed, to be sin.

Conscience > Word proclaimed? Does not compute.
Our brother has not asked about merely gathering to hear the word preached. He has asked about doing these things as part of a religious festival that has not been commanded in scripture. Your response presumes that it is not possible to "gather" or "hear" in a wrong way. A quick reminder of the dangers of religious syncretism that occurs in other contexts (e.g., Christianity + Animism in Africa) should be enough to show that this presumption certainly cannot be the case.
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
A few things to consider:

First, I am thankful that you have such a great conviction for the Lord's Day (Christian Sabbath). Not many people in the world have this kind of conviction, and I praise God for those who truly believe that church "matters".

Second, I think in this case, we must look at the "weaker" brother/sister. I do not believe you should forsake the assembly, but also, within that assembly I think we must understand that disunity might be caused for a zealous (and good) cause. I think of 1 Cor. 10, where Paul talks about the Lord's Supper: "16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf." There is truly a unity of the body of Christ when we commune together with our Lord in the Lord's Supper. I would take caution and say that if you have not examined yourself beforehand, please do not partake. Yet, if there is a prescribed day in which your elders have called the church to partake of the Lord's Supper together please partake for the sake of unity and true communion. Although you have this conviction about the "day", I think you should consider this a "special" gathering of the body. There is nothing wrong with gathering together to worship God on another day other then Sunday! :)

Please consider these things.

By the way, the moderators will ask you to make a signature for the forum. You may use mine as a model, but here is the link for the rules: vBulletin FAQ
You do know you are asking to go against his conscience (which is formed by God as revealed in scripture and regulated in the RPW), right? In other words, it is not right a good thing to sooth a conscience that is formed by God. I write this to only inform and not condemn you. :)
Earl,

Thank you for your kind intentions brother. I had to go back and examine the content of my post. I still do not see my intentions in the post differently. I used the word "consider" cautiously. These are things in which one must consider, and I do not take this lightly. I understand there are difference of opinions here, and I respect that. My intention was not to bind ones conscience but to have one consider other factors.

I also went back to the confession, catechism (larger), and to the directory for public worship. It is my conclusion that it is still granted to worship on a day other then the Lord's Day. There is an appendix at the bottom of the directory that I want to bring to your attention:

Touching Days and Places for Publick Worship.

THERE is no day commanded in scripture to be kept holy under the gospel but the Lord's day, which is the Christian Sabbath.

Festival days, vulgarly called Holy-days, having no warrant in the word of God, are not to be continued.

Nevertheless, it is lawful and necessary, upon special emergent occasions, to separate a day or days for publick fasting or thanksgiving, as the several eminent and extraordinary dispensations of God's providence shall administer cause and opportunity to his people.

As no place is capable of any holiness, under pretence of whatsoever dedication or consecration; so neither is it subject to such pollution by any superstition formerly used, and now laid aside, as may render it unlawful or inconvenient for Christians to meet together therein for the publick worship of God. And therefore we hold it requisite, that the places of publick assembling for worship among us should be continued and employed to that use.

I think, by looking at the documents and this appendix specifically, that one can conclude it to be granted for gathering on another day other then the Lord's Day. When I think of "Good Friday", I do not see it as a day above others, but rather a day to worship my Lord for what He has done for me. Why wouldn't I want to gather with my brothers and sisters to worship our Lord? Also, I know that in my church, and many others of the reformed faith, do not hold to silly superstitious ideas that might be attached with "Good Friday". The directory is quite right when calling it a "pollution" to those superstitions that might be added.

If one is understanding that this is a special or "out of the norm" occasion to gather to worship, why hinder such an occasion? I think there are two options to this: 1) You understand that there is nothing "holy" or set apart with superstitious ideas about this day, and therefore we are at liberty to gather for worship or 2) You are strictly forbidding all gathering of worship as a corporate body, except one day out of the week. I'm not arguing from the point of necessity but that of liberty.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
As far as I’m concerned, the issue is not the lack of liberty, if not necessity, for the church to meet on other days besides the Lord’s Day. This is just unbelievable. We’ve fallen so far from any serious degree of concern for emulating the superstitious and idolatrous practices of the past that apparently the irony is completely lost in going to the Westminster directory for the public worship of God that flatly insisted these were not to be continued to justify gathering on the very days condemned for the same reasons! The Westminster Divines would do a corporate groan and head slap.

I’ve already cited on PB many times the “reforming rule” as expounded by George Gillespie, under girded by Calvin, concerning the necessity of putting away practices notoriously abused to idolatry, and not continuing them. This is not about reaching the lost as far as why this practice exists in Presbyterian churches now. Pew folks in Presbyterian churches gather at those special times to have special services because they think the times ARE special. Just try to end the practices if you don’t believe me!

I don’t mean to pick on Andrew; but this assumption is invalid that we have liberty to resurrect and continue practices our forebearers clearly concluded should not continue or be emulated. It is not a matter of indifference (liberty) because of the idolatry attached to these days.
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
As far as I’m concerned, the issue is not the lack of liberty, if not necessity, for the church to meet on other days besides the Lord’s Day. This is just unbelievable. We’ve fallen so far from any serious degree of concern for emulating the superstitious and idolatrous practices of the past that apparently the irony is completely lost in going to the Westminster directory for the public worship of God that flatly insisted these were not to be continued to justify gathering on the very days condemned for the same reasons! The Westminster Divines would do a corporate groan and head slap.

I’ve already cited on PB many times the “reforming rule” as expounded by George Gillespie, under girded by Calvin, concerning the necessity of putting away practices notoriously abused to idolatry, and not continuing them. This is not about reaching the lost as far as why this practice exists in Presbyterian churches now. Pew folks in Presbyterian churches gather at those special times to have special services because they think the times ARE special. Just try to end the practices if you don’t believe me!

I don’t mean to pick on Andrew; but this assumption is invalid that we have liberty to resurrect and continue practices our forebearers clearly concluded should not continue or be emulated. It is not a matter of indifference (liberty) because of the idolatry attached to these days.
Chris,

I find this article interesting and it might be worth reading. Unfortunately, he does not provide any citations. I will have to find the sources myself.

Calvin and Christmas


Also, this one has some references and this might be of use as well: http://www.opc.org/nh.html?article_id=372
 
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au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
What should I do?
You should reconsider the prudence of asking ecclesiastical advice from strangers on an Internet forum and of airing grievances about your church to strangers on an Internet forum. There is far more that we do not know than that we do know about you and your ecclesiastical circumstances.

In general, when a church is acknowledged to be a true church to which one may lawfully belong given a set of appropriate circumstances, corruptions in some parts of worship do not necessarily invalidate the entire service. My comment pertains particularly to services on the Lord's Day. For reading on this subject, I recommend James Durham's work on scandal and Samuel Rutherford's A Peaceable and Temperate Plea.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
I’ve seen those old articles before and don’t find they really address the issues that need to be addressed.

Calvin has been discussed here on PB before; if not Meyers, at least a similar argument. http://www.puritanboard.com/f18/calvins-christmas-observance-27446/

Gillespie's defense of Calvin against the anglocatholics who cited those same letters Meyers did in 2007, pretty much still stands I think. Calvin was not a fan of holy days. He tolerated them; but if a church was able to abandon them he believed it wrong to go back to them. The letters usually not discussed by those wanting to make what hay they can from Calvin to justify observing the calendar, are Calvin's letters to the Monbelgardens (which I believe remain untranslated; see Gillespie, EPC, 2013, pp 67ff).

However, the main issue is Gillespie's rule or argument about the necessity of putting away things notoriously idolatrous. It is like trying to get ministers to start wearing the surplice again, or as in an old PB thread, using the sign of the cross. We won’t be doing it for the same reasons as those forcing it on the Puritans; so it is okay, right. No, it is not okay. It is scandalous and a stumbling block and a continued open trap to fall back into the old idolatry (the fact presbyterians are going after lent now simply proves this). Why is a tradition of a certain western calendar of days and topics on Christ's life to be handled differently than some traditional dress or bodily motion? It's not. One can plead another basis but it still symbolizes with the idolatrous practices. So, why is it folks like Rev. Doe who what the “indifferent” liberty to preach annually on Christ’s birth, death and resurrection etc, instead of setting new dates, hit upon the old idolatrous calendar that by its nature cannot be indifferent?

I’m not going to re litigate this yet again and hijack this thread further. American Presbyterians rejected the calendar until the liberals succeeded in bringing it back as the PCUSA and PCUS began their decline into apostasy. It is just another thing conservatives who left to establish faithful churches should have reformed but didn’t. See these old threads on Gillespie’s rule on notorious idolatrous practices.

http://www.puritanboard.com/f15/celebration-christmas-issue-adiaphora-85359/#post1064425
http://www.puritanboard.com/f15/celebrating-easter-pagan-73407/#post937613

As far as I’m concerned, the issue is not the lack of liberty, if not necessity, for the church to meet on other days besides the Lord’s Day. This is just unbelievable. We’ve fallen so far from any serious degree of concern for emulating the superstitious and idolatrous practices of the past that apparently the irony is completely lost in going to the Westminster directory for the public worship of God that flatly insisted these were not to be continued to justify gathering on the very days condemned for the same reasons! The Westminster Divines would do a corporate groan and head slap.

I’ve already cited on PB many times the “reforming rule” as expounded by George Gillespie, under girded by Calvin, concerning the necessity of putting away practices notoriously abused to idolatry, and not continuing them. This is not about reaching the lost as far as why this practice exists in Presbyterian churches now. Pew folks in Presbyterian churches gather at those special times to have special services because they think the times ARE special. Just try to end the practices if you don’t believe me!

I don’t mean to pick on Andrew; but this assumption is invalid that we have liberty to resurrect and continue practices our forebearers clearly concluded should not continue or be emulated. It is not a matter of indifference (liberty) because of the idolatry attached to these days.
Chris,

I find this article interesting and it might be worth reading. Unfortunately, he does not provide any citations. I will have to find the sources myself.

Calvin and Christmas


Also, this one has some references and this might be of use as well: Orthodox Presbyterian Church
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
You should reconsider the prudence of asking ecclesiastical advice from strangers on an Internet forum and of airing grievances about your church to strangers on an Internet forum. There is far more that we do not know than that we do know about you and your ecclesiastical circumstances.
I was thinking about this thread on the bus back from Dublin last night and the same point occurred to me. It is very easy to seek "counsel" from total strangers to whom we have no accountability. Too often, "cases of conscience" threads on internet forums serve little other purpose than providing people with an excuse to justify their separatist ecclesiology.

I also echo Chris's initial response to the OP. Unless there is a non-Easter observing congregation within driving distance, the one who asked this question should go to his church on the Sabbath, but should ignore "Good Friday" services. I would consider it a violation of the fourth commandment to stay at home on the Sabbath instead of attending public worship.
 

Nicholas Perella

Puritan Board Freshman
When I think of "Good Friday", I do not see it as a day above others, but rather a day to worship my Lord for what He has done for me. Why wouldn't I want to gather with my brothers and sisters to worship our Lord?
For me it came down to this, though I never celebrated "Good Friday", but our family did and now does not celebrate Christmas to name one. "Good Friday" is named. It is a special day picked out of the year called Good Friday. There is no way around that. It is put as a day above others regularly celebrated for other days are not called Good Friday, but that specific day is. When a person goes to worship with the church on that day (which is outside of the Lord's Day) they are making that day above other days. They are going to worship on that specific day because it has been set aside as a special day called Good Friday. You may subjectively try to think the way you do, which I only say "subjectively" to point out what you think the day means as you started the sentence above in which I quoted: "When I think..., I do not see...". Yet there is an objective reality that Good Friday is a regularly celebrated day where some churches gather for worship. Those churches gather that specific day because it is a day that has been granted a regular specialness and has been regularly set aside above other days and that day so happens to be called Good Friday.

Another reason it is arbitrarily set "above other days" is because worship happens. Anytime a church gathers to worship God is a special time. God even in the order of creation has set aside that after six days of work He rested on the Lord's Day - the seventh day. God was pleased by His own work of creation in which we are to creaturely imitate. There are many Psalms that glorify God and the work of creation. The Lord's Day is set in the order of creation as the setting of the moon to orbit earth. It just is. Or as gravity has apples fall, so does Sabbath exist after six days of work. God being worshipped by His creatures on a day that has been set aside is special and is above other days for the other days are ordinarily days in which people conduct their business (usual daily activities).

Christ is worshipped and when He is worshipped He is to be preciously cared and our hearts are to be prepared. The day is like no other and is above other days just by the fact that Christ is being worshipped, our Lord and Savior, for what He has done. That act is a special act. An act in this sinful world that is not usual and thank God He has in this wicked world by His Almightiness subjected time itself for His creatures to worship Him.

The special days "upon special emergent occasions, to separate a day or days for publick fasting or thanksgiving" in the WCF are not regularly named days organizationally set aside on a church calendar say, but are days irregularly set aside in which a church may for whatever reason gather outside the Lord's Day for worship. Maybe the church is going through a hard time, and the church decides to gather for prayer or the hearing of the Word. I know in the Far East this (prayer gatherings) used to be a regular practice by some churches in the very early mornings before people went to work when they were more hastily persecuted. I have talked to some who lament that it is not done as much now due to the persecutions have lightened and there is an air of complacency even though the persecutions have not stopped just that they (the gov't) has not applied as much pressure as they used to.
 
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Free Christian

Puritan Board Sophomore
A little while ago I heard someone mention good Friday and how many Christians celebrate it. I don't follow it at all but It got me thinking. Instead of celebrating Christs crucifixion, shouldn't it really fill us with shame that the Lord had to do this as we are so lost in sin that He had to do this to save us? The word "celebrate" seems far from what I think anyone should be doing.
 

Max Hase

Puritan Board Freshman
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

first of all, thank you so much for your answers and advice!

Today I won't go to my reformed church and take part at the Lord's Supper because today is just Friday. And Friday is not Christian Sabbath! So called “Good Friday” is a man-made day! I boycotting this!

I didn't told you a very important information: In the near of my city is a Reformed Baptist Church and they hold the regulative principle (puritan principle). That means they don't celebrate Christmas Service and Easter Service. So I want to go to this church on Holy Sunday (on April 5th) and boycott my own church at this day because my own church celebrates so called “resurrection Day”.

I know that it is our duty to go at church every Sunday! My question now is this: Is it a sin when I don't go to my church on April 5th but go to another church? I don't want to celebrate Easter service or take part at Easter service!

Thank you so much for your patient and detailed answers and advice! It is not easy to be a Puritan Calvinist in Germany!
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
Is it a sin when I don't go to my church on April 5th but go to another church?
Max,

Is it a sin? I guess it depends on the reason why you aren't going to your church.

If you are not going to your church but to another for visitation, then there is nothing sinful about that situation.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Max, it is not necessarily a sin and it is not automatically innocent either. No one attempting to answer you here knows you or your situation enough to give you a definitive answer or 100% exoneration in your boycott. If the accoutrements added to the worship are so grievous, it seems unreasonable to deny this solution you have found. My concern would be if you have right reasoning in doing this (i.e. if you have separatist ideology in doing this rather than reformed), have done what you can in the place the Lord providentially has you, etc. Those are questions no one here can judge well and you should be self examining yourself as you do this to be sure you are doing an otherwise innocent thing for innocent reasons.
 

Max Hase

Puritan Board Freshman
Is it a sin when I don't go to my church on April 5th but go to another church?
Max,

Is it a sin? I guess it depends on the reason why you aren't going to your church.

If you are not going to your church but to another for visitation, then there is nothing sinful about that situation.

Dear brothers,

thanks for your answers!

My only reason is this: I want not violate against the regulative principle (puritan principle). My own reformed church violates the puritan principle because they have a so called “resurrection Day” (“Easter Sunday”) next Sunday. This wanna-be service is for the most part like every another service we have every Sunday. But this service is official called “resurrection Day”. That is wrong! Because this implies that only this Sunday is a “resurrection Day”. But that is wrong! Every Sunday is “resurrection Day”! We are not allowed to make differences between holy Sundays itself. The difference is only between Christian Sabbath (= Holy Sunday) itself and the other days of the week. Next Sunday we have of course a sermon about the resurrection! The preacher has to preach about this theme. This is legalistic! In my church we are slaves of the church calendar. But in the bible there is not a church calendar at all! Every Sunday is equally important!

So I want to go to a Reformed Baptist Church next Sunday because they hold the puritan principle. I want to go there because we have to go to a church on Sundays. I want to take part at the service there because I want not to sin. But if I take part at the service in my own church I will sin because than I agree that I accept this wrong service. But God never commands that we have to celebrate “resurrection Day” once a year. We have to celebrate “resurrection Day” every Sunday! So either we call every Sunday “resurrection Day” or we never call any Sunday “resurrection Day” (because
it is redundant)! But it is not allowed to call only one Sunday “resurrection Day”.

So my question is: It is a sin if I boycott a Sunday service in my church because I want not to violate against the puritan principle?
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Max. You are not violating the regulative principle by being there as I have said before because you are supposed to be at your church's worship services. The fault is your church leaders' who don't hold to the principle. Their sin does not attach to you for simply being there. This is what I mean by having sound reasons. You are free to visit the RB church to have a completely uncompromised worship service that day if what your church does so burdens your mind; but if all your church is doing is having a normal service but calling it an easter service and a sermon on the resurrection, you would be constrained to boycott the majority of conservative Presbyterian churches in the USA.
 
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