The Sabbath was Kept in the Home, not in the Sanctuary

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B.L.

Puritan Board Sophomore
Greetings PBers,

Starting this year I've been slowly reading Rushdoony's Institutes of Biblical Law (Vol 1) and nibbling a little here and there. This morning while reading through the chapter on the 2nd Commandment, specifically p. 71, I came across the below paragraph which made me pause and ponder a bit and I thought I'd share it.

Vol. 1 p. 71 (Last Paragraph): The tabernacle, and the temple after it, remained primarily as palace, not house of worship. Worship was local, and its place was in the family. The sabbath was kept in the home, not in the sanctuary. To see the tabernacle and the temple as church structures is to misread the Bible. That there was worship at the sanctuary does not alter this fact. Man worshiped God everywhere: when he killed meat, game or domestic animals, the blood was shed in worship. Prayers and sacrifices were offered before battle, and the sin of Saul was that he did not wait for Samuel to come and perform the offering (I Sam. 13). But the normal place of worship was the home, where the sabbath was observed.

Do you agree with the way Rushdoony characterizes the tabernacle and temple here? Do you see the normal place of worship today as being within the home as opposed to at your church (building)? Just trying to generate a bit of discussion is all.

Have a joyful Lord's Day!
 

ADKing

Puritan Board Junior
It is true not every Israelite could go to the temple every Sabbath. The males were required to go three times a year. But that doesn’t mean worship was primarily in the home either. The synagogue was an important feature of Sabbath worship. We see that in Jesus’ time but even earlier the synagogues existed. (Psalm 74.8). Early in the law and in the division of the land it was the intention that the Levites have their portion scattered throughout Israel. Since the Levites were to be teachers, this seems very suggestive to me that worship was to be held in the communities. Family worship is important. And the importance of family exercises on the sabbath are crucial and maybe sometimes swallowed up by other social engagements on the sabbath today. But I’m wary of views that make the home the primary center for sabbath exercises either.
 
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Nate

Puritan Board Junior
Does Rushdoony interact with the regular Lord's Day gatherings recorded in the NT in his section on the 2nd commandment?
 

Jo_Was

Puritan Board Freshman
It is true not every Israelite could go to the temple every Sabbath. The males were required to go three times a year. But that doesn’t mean worship was primarily in the home either. The synagogue was an important feature of Sabbath worship. We see that in Jesus’ time but even earlier the synagogues existed. (Psalm 74.8). Early in the law and in the division of the land it was the intention that the Levite’s have their portion scattered throughout Israel. Since the Levites were to be teachers this seems very suggestive to me that worship was to be held in the communities. Family worship is important. And the importance of family exercises on the sabbath are crucial and maybe sometimes swallowed up by other social engagements on the sabbath today. But I’m wary of views that make the home the primary center for sabbath exercises either.

Yes, wouldn't this especially be true in considering the means of grace and the dispensing of the word and Sacraments? Whether by an "old school" guy like Rushdoony, or modern evangelicals who romanticize the 'house church' model, I am always wary of those who over-emphasize worship in "all parts of life" to the detriment whereby there is not a specific, particular time and place (the gathering of the people) that God has called us to for worship.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
The Psalmist was always longing for the assembly of God's people in the tabernacle, even envying the birds which nested in the tabernacle's eaves. The captives hung up their harps and refused to sing because they were far from Jerusalem. They could still keep the Sabbath with their families, but it was worship in Jerusalem that they desired.
God's special presence was where the ark was then, and God's special presence is where his church meets now.
 

alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
I'm not quite sure what Rushdoony is aiming at. But we have the testimony of the Spirit:

The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
-Psalm 87:2
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Later in his life, Rushdoony had “church” in his home. I don’t know to what extent this argument had to do with that.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
There is an “Acts 29” church, Matthias’ Lot, in the St Louis area, that actually celebrates Sunday church “services” in people’s homes and has a Wednesday night service involving preaching and singing.

Note: I have never attended this, nor intend to.:.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
There is an “Acts 29” church, Matthias’ Lot, in the St Louis area, that actually celebrates Sunday church “services” in people’s homes and has a Wednesday night service involving preaching and singing.

Note: I have never attended this, nor intend to.:.

I don't necessarily have a problem with that. That's gathered worship. That's assembling together whatever other issues there may be with them. I don't think Rushdoony is referring to that but rather is simply referring to the household i.e. one's family.
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't necessarily have a problem with that. That's gathered worship. That's assembling together whatever other issues there may be with them. I don't think Rushdoony is referring to that but rather is simply referring to the household i.e. one's family.
If placed on a spectrum from mega church with Sunday morning and evening services to moderate size church with one Sunday service to your typical reformed baptist church to family worship in the home... this would fall towards the latter end.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
Do you agree with the way Rushdoony characterizes the tabernacle and temple here? Do you see the normal place of worship today as being within the home as opposed to at your church (building)? Just trying to generate a bit of discussion is all.

Well the common worship was not in (perhaps around) the Temple, but
@ADKing got it right when he said:
The synagogue was an essential feature of Sabbath worship

Just last night, I was asked by a friend to estimate the size of Soloman's Temple for a talk he was preparing for. I attached a PDF of the best info I could find. The measurements are mine and are, of course, fallible. The Temple proper was about 7,340 square cubits at 1.58' per cubit or about 11,600 square feet. That's about a quarter acre.

Note: I found some information that said the "sacred" cubit was a little longer but I could find proof for that.

My measurements are on the third page of the PDF. There is a Summary on the top right that I made too small and didn't want you to miss it.
 

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B.L.

Puritan Board Sophomore
Does Rushdoony interact with the regular Lord's Day gatherings recorded in the NT in his section on the 2nd commandment?

Given the sheer size of this work I'm sure he does. I'll try and carve out some time today to see how the quote I provided fits within the scope of what Rushdoony wrote on the 2nd as a whole.

Agreed - But Rush was one of the most interesting people I have ever read.

I agree wholeheartedly with this. I'd rank him up there as one of the most provocative/interesting people I've read ever, which is probably why I continue to enjoy his writings. Though he is no doubt controversial I appreciate (not to be confused as always agreeing with) much of what he's written.
 

B.L.

Puritan Board Sophomore
I've been mulling over the quote I dropped in the OP and I'm not totally sure I understand what Rushdoony was driving at exactly.

Indirectly related to the quote, but spurred by some of the follow-on discussion:

I think many people forget that God's special presence has to do with the people and not the building or space.

For example, my wife's mother treats the church (building) as being more sacred and special than other places and believes God dwells there more intimately than in other places. Rather than pray at home, as one example, she will regularly drive across town to her church during the week and pray in the sanctuary (by herself not corporately). She has an unhealthy legalistic bent to her, which doesn't help things, but in her own words believes the church (building) is where God tabernacles in a unique and special way. She has zero exposure to high church Anglicans, to Catholics, or other "traditions" that take a sacramental view of the place of worship, which makes her views all the more perplexing to me.

I'm off to work now...hope everyone enjoys their day!
 
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Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
I agree wholeheartedly with this. I'd rank him up there as one of the most provocative/interesting people I've read ever, which is probably why I continue to enjoy his writings. Though he is no doubt controversial I appreciate (not to be confused as always agreeing with) much of what he's written.

This might interest you. Many years ago, as a young man of 25±, I had all the cassette tapes of Rushdoony's Lord's Day evening messages that became the Institutes of Biblical Law. The recordings have long since disintegrated. Most of them were nearly word for word of what became his book. Several years ago, I read four of his 500± page each commentaries on the Pentateuch. I have yet to read Genesis. I read them cover to cover.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
I think that for people home with a sick child, or home sick, and with all the talk about global quarantines, it can be encouraging to remember that worship at home does not mean we are missing out or lacking anything.

I do wonder though, having known people over the years who do "house church" when many other decent options are available, what it means to them to be part of the body of Christ. Generally they seem to act a bit superior, or walled off. I like Rushdooney and he doesn't seem that way in his writings, and people who are at every church meeting can have superior attitudes, so maybe there is no correlation.

At any rate, if you've ever been snowed in by a blizzard, I think it is helpful to understand that the Lord is present in our home worship every bit as powerfully as at church.

"For example, my wife's mother treats the church (building) as being more sacred and special than other places and believes God dwells there more intimately then in other places." Lol. In my charismatic days, that was how you viewed up front by the altar. Seriously.
 
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