Sunday, August 05, 2007

Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy...

What are we to make of this antiquated tradition of Sabbath day morning and evening worship services? This phenomenon is only seen in the most conservative reformed churches. Is it only the result of tradition, or is there a firm Scriptural foundation and norm for this activity? Robert Rayburn gives a short explanation, defense, and praise of morning and evening Sabbath day corporate worship. At our church (Red Mountain Church, PCA), much is made of the biblical illiteracy of our culture, and this recognition drives pastors and elders to be careful in sermons to make their message intelligible (by explaining terms such as sanctification, etc.) and to use our "own poets" to preach sermons to us. As laudable as this is, there are possibly even more effective approaches, as Rayburn says here regarding a second service:

...such a service provides another opportunity for ministers to preach and teach the Word of God. All the more in our day, when the church is not as biblically literate as it once was, reducing the number of times Christians hear the Word read and taught is hardly a recipe for spiritual prosperity or renewal. I give my own testimony as a preacher that, were it not for the evening service – a well attended evening service for which I am very grateful – there are a many parts of the Bible the congregation would never have had taught to it and many biblical themes that would never have been taught so comprehensively were I limited to a single sermon each week.

A second and third defense of the practice can be found here and here.

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