Why don't we kill those who break the Sabbath today?

Discussion in 'Defending the Faith' started by Bookmeister, Dec 9, 2011.

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  1. Bookmeister

    Bookmeister Puritan Board Freshman

    This question was posed to me by my atheist cousin today. What do you all have to say on this?
  2. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Moderator Staff Member

  3. wraezor

    wraezor Puritan Board Freshman

    Who's "we"?
  4. seajayrice

    seajayrice Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think I would respond, "Why would we do that?"
  5. FenderPriest

    FenderPriest Puritan Board Junior

  6. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritanboard Softy

    Because we aren't a theocracy.
  7. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    "But we conceive, the whole bulk of the judiciall Laww, as judiciall, and as it concerned the Republick of the Iews only, is abolished, though the morall equity of all those be not abolished; also some punishments were meerly Symbolicall, to teach the detestation of such a vice, as the boaring with the Aule the ear of him that loved his Master, and desired still to serve him, and the making of him his perpetuall servant. I should think the punishing with death the man that gathered sticks on the Sabbath was such...." Samuel Rutherford, The Divine Right of Church Government and Excommunication (London: 1646) cap. XXII Q. 18., p. 493.
  8. Zach

    Zach Puritan Board Junior

    I agree. The Sabbath is a universal moral law, but the command to kill those who break it is a political law for the State of Israel.
  9. InSlaveryToChrist

    InSlaveryToChrist Puritan Board Junior

    Why would Rutherford think punishing with death the man that gathered sticks on the Sabbath was merely symbolical? Wasn't that a clear violation of God's law? In my mind, the boaring with the Aule the ear of the servant to the door of his master's house is completely different from this violation of Sabbath. I wouldn't even consider it a punishment, but rather a serious, yet loving reminder from God to the servant of the conditions of the "contract" he is signing by deciding to stay with his master.
  10. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    In Numbers 15 we are taught that the death penalty under the Old Covenant was for all those who were deemed to have been proven by the evidence of two or three witnesses to have sinned so presumptiously against the 10C that they were denied an animal sacrifice in lieu of their lives.

    By this occasional means of excommunication through execution from the Land of Promise, in the penal system of the childhood Kingdom of God, the Israelites were taught about God's wrath and the vital importance of substitutionary penal sacrifice.

    The New Covenant Israel has the teaching that without Christ's sacrifice we will die eternally. There is also excommunication for presumptious offences.

    As a childhood Church and childhood Kingdom of God, the Israelites were taught about God's preceptive will by the moral law, about God's wrath by the penal law of God's childhood Kingdom, and about God's grace through the ceremonial law, particularly the sacrificial system.

    In the New Testament we are no longer under such a childhood, childish and carnal system. The moral law abides, however, and any general moral equity that is expressed throughout Moses' law.

    For a Christian state to impose the death penalty for Sabbath-breaking merely because it was part of Mosaic law would be a return to Mosaic shadows and an obscuring of the Gospel message. The Lord doesn't want us to fear the death penalty by the US or British government for Sabbath-breaking, but to fear His eternal death penalty for it.

    The death penalty for murder has its own separate foundation to Numbers 15, in Genesis 9.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  11. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    John Calvin on Numbers 15:32
  12. louis_jp

    louis_jp Puritan Board Freshman

    I think they make a distinction between the moral (and therefore enduring) part of the law, and the purely judicial aspect, which was done away with. Punishments attaching to crimes are part of the judicial aspect. (See WCF 19.4).

    Also see here: http://www.westminsterconfession.or...f-political-israel-expired-general-equity.php

    From the article, citing Beza:

    "When the political laws of Moses embody natural equity, which rises above the special circumstances of one nation, to that extent they are binding. But though the magistrate may learn much from the Mosaic law because of the natural equity in it, he is at liberty to depart from such things as the Mosaic penal sanctions when the circumstances of his society dictate. The Mosaic penal sanctions are not permanent obligations. "Although we do not hold to the forms of the Mosaic polity, yet when such judicial laws prescribe equity in judgments, which is part of the decalogue, we, not being under obligation to them insofar as they were prescribed by Moses to only one people, are nevertheless bound to observe them to the extent that they embrace that general equity which should everywhere be in force. . . . . The Lord commands that a deposit be returned, and that thieves be punished. . . . . Because it follows natural equity, and expounds that perpetual precept of the decalogue, Thou shalt not steal, to this extent all are bound to fulfill them both. The thief is sentenced to make restitution for the theft, sometimes twice as much, sometimes four times as much . . . . . This penalty is purely political, and it binds the one nation of the Israelites, to whom alone it was adapted. Therefore it is permitted for the magistrate, in his exercise of sovereignty and for definite and good causes, to prescribe a more severe manner of punishment . . . . . And to be sure, if anyone compares several of the laws of the Greeks, and many of the laws of the Romans, with the Mosaic, he will find a similarity among them in establishing penalties, so that it is sufficiently plain that all were adapted to the same goal of natural equity."
  13. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    You mean y'all don't?
  14. raekwon

    raekwon Puritan Board Junior

    We'd all be dead.
  15. ChristianTrader

    ChristianTrader Puritan Board Graduate

    Was all of Israel killed for breaking the Sabbath?

  16. Weston Stoler

    Weston Stoler Puritan Board Sophomore

    All I could see was "why don't we kill those who break the sabbath"
    I was thinking of 99.9 percent of the population being killed by PB members......
  17. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)



  18. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    That's missing the point, since Paul was just some citizen. He had no more authority to tell another bunch of citizens to take the law into their own hands than we do today. Imagine! Telling a small church in Alabama to take money out of the bank account of a thief!!
  19. gordo

    gordo Puritan Board Freshman

  20. Skyler

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

    Because our country is more concerned about babies than evildoers.

    I might also ask if he has a problem with killing sabbath-breakers.
  21. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    Shouldn't the question be, "Why is it not a capital crime to break the Sabbath?" The word 'kill' implies a violation of the 6th Commandment which is the contradiction the atheist is probably looking for.
  22. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    If Sabbath keeping as defined by some here is moral then if there's ambiguity in our understanding of Scripture, then the obvious recourse is to natural law, right? So it's easy. What's been the penalty for Sabbath breaking in Japan, the Roman empire, the Zulus under Chaka, the Aztecs, Vikings, modern Chinese and us today??? Or not??
  23. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    Our recourse should be to the general moral equity of the Mosaic law as the WCF says, whereas theonomists want the specific reapplication of the Mosaic law.
  24. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    What did theonomy have to do with my post? Besides, you're wrong. Rushdoony went out for lunch every Sunday after church, as did the rest of our church.
  25. Skyler

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

    I consider myself a theonomist and I don't want the specific reapplication of the Mosaic law. I just consider the punitive measures in the Law to be part of the general moral equity thereof.
  26. RobertPGH1981

    RobertPGH1981 Puritan Board Freshman

    The Old Covenant (Moses on Sinai) is replaced by a new covenant in Christ (Luke 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25; 2 Cor 3:6). So the "Old Covenant" was intended to restrain the sins of the people and to point them to the future messiah (Jesus). When Jesus fulfilled the law in our place he took away the Mosaic covenant (Old Testament), and placed us under the covenant of grace.

    Just so you know I treat the Sabbath part of the Mosaic covenant. So you have the Mosaic Law and the Moral law and I consider the Sabbath part of the Mosaic law. In Genesis God created everything in 7 days and the 7th day God rested. The Sabbath is meant so believers can have a day of rest, that is resting and mediating on Gods word and goodness (i.e. What he accomplished for us on Calvary: Present Day; and what God will accomplish for prior believers: past). So it was created to point all believers to rest in Christ, which is something we should do every day. I still set Sunday apart from the rest of the days as a day that is holy, but I do not go as far to not work, go out to eat, go grocery shopping ect.. I set aside time to attend church, bible study, and personal study on my own.
  27. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    Are you advocating a position contrary to this?

  28. JP Wallace

    JP Wallace Puritan Board Sophomore

    Could you clarify? Are you saying you do set Sunday aside as holy, but think that you can do so even while you work, go out to eat and shop? It could be you mean you don't do those things, I'm not sure the way you've written it.

    If so, how actually are you setting apart Sunday as holy at all? The only thing that appears to be different is that you attend church, since you should be engaging in Bible study and personal study on your own most days anyway.
  29. Zach

    Zach Puritan Board Junior

    Robert, that is a position I held to. Even when I joined this board I put in my "About Me" that I took exception to the Confession of Faith's teaching on the subject. The more I personally studied the topic of the Sabbath the more convicted I was that I wasn't keeping it; particularly in the area of pursuing my own recreations. Keeping the Sabbath is a Moral Law. Did, "You Shall not Murder," pass away with the coming of Christ?

    I would really recommend Joseph Pipa's book The Lord's Day and Isaiah 58 and search the scriptures for what keeping the Sabbath day Holy looks like. When I did it, I was convicted of my sin of failing to keep the Sabbath. I can honestly say since then, keeping the Sabbath day holy is far more enjoyable than doing my homework, running errands, or even watching our beloved Pixburgh Stillers.
  30. RobertPGH1981

    RobertPGH1981 Puritan Board Freshman

    I do not follow everything written in the LBC exactly as written. Only reason is because I feel that the Sabbath was initially intended to point to Christ and resting in Christ. By placing rules and regulations on something, such as the sabbath, places individuals under the law (i.e. you can do this but you can't do that). In Mark 2:27 Jesus says, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. " He says this in response to the Pharisees criticizing his disciples for picking wheat in a field on the sabbath. So we are supposed to keep the sabbath set apart than other days, but we are not supposed to burden ourselves with rules and regulations placing us under the law.

    ---------- Post added at 05:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:57 PM ----------

    I do personal Study and Bible study on Sunday, and during the week I am restricted to personal study (except early Tuesday mornings when me and my pastor meet for coffee). The reason is because I work a full time job, and I am pursuing an MBA so I do not have a lot of time during the week. It's holy in the sense that I am attending church, setting aside time for a longer duration of study time, and attend a group bible study. I do not work on the Job Sundays, and all the chores done around the house (laundry, cleaning and most of the time grocery shopping) are done on Saturday. Although there are weeks when I help people move, or help out in a ministry when I am forced to grocery shop on Sunday.

    ---------- Post added at 05:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:05 PM ----------

    Wouldn't the Sabbath mean resting in the works and righteousness of Christ, opposed to resting on a specific day? That's why I consider it mosaic law vs. Moral. Murder on the other hand is moral for obvious reasons. Although I will take you up on reading into this subject because if I am wrong then I am sure God would lead me into that direction.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
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