The Seventh Day Sabbath: The Elephant in Room of Dominionism and Futurism #2
In our previous article we took note how Gary North, Greg Bahnsen and the Dominionists claim that the Law of Moses remains valid and yet, the do not observe and obey the majority of the mandates found in the Law of Moses. They tell us, in violation of Matthew 5:17-19 that the majority of the jots and tittles of the Law of Moses have been “purged” removed and annulled. Not only that, they tell us that the seventh day Sabbath and all of Israel’s festivals have been annulled without their typological meaning being fulfilled– again- in direct contradiction to the words of Jesus.
Both North and Bahnsen appealed to Deuteronomy 8 as proof, as the very foundation of their Dominionist / Reconstructionist theology. Moses told Israel that they were to obey every single word “that I command you this day.” But, as have shown, “all of the words that I command you this day” included several commands, specific commands that the Dominionist do not obey! They openly refuse to obey all the words that Moses spoke that day- the words that they insist we must obey.
So, the words of Deuteronomy 8 – the words that Moses spake that day– began with chapter 5 and in the words that Moses spake that very day, we find, among several other mandates that Dominionists ignore – the emphatic and specific command from God to keep the seventh day Sabbath! We cannot fail to notice that violation of the Sabbath commandment was to be punished with death. Do the Dominionists believe that violation of the seventh day Sabbath – even the Christian Sabbath – should be punished with death? No, the tell us the death penalty of the Law of Moses, for violating Sabbath has been annulled. This is just more of the “some has passed, some remains” of the Dominionist view of the Law.
Let me remind the reader once again that the Dominionists tell us that Deuteronomy 8 must be applicable to all believers today – every word of what Moses said that day. We are told: “Any attempt to renounce this passage as no longer judicially binding in the New Covenant era is inescapably a denial of any biblical basis for God honoring cultural progress in history.”
Bahnsen agreed with North: “Since man is to live by every word (his emp.) from God’s mouth (Matthew 4:4, a quotation from the Mosaic Covenant, Deuteronomy 8:3), then the question arises: who has the right to follow a particular Scripture passage and be indifferent to another?” (Bahnsen, 2002, 447).
But, once again, this is self-defeating and self-contradictory. Take a look at how Bahnsen’s own argument entraps him:
Man shall live by every word from God. This includes the minutea of the Law. Every stroke; every word that Moses commanded in Deuteronomy 5-8.
But, man today does not live by animal sacrifices, Jerusalem pilgrimages, Levitical priesthood mediation, Jewish feast day observations, observance of the seventh day Sabbath – per Bahnsen, McDurmon, Gentry, etc..
Man today – including Dominionists – does not live by every word contained in Deuteronomy 5-8! They do not physically destroy their enemies. They do not wear phylacteries. They do not – apparently – inscribe all the words of the Law of Moses on the door posts of their houses. They make covenants with those outside their own circles. They do not honor the seventh day Sabbath!
Therefore, man today – assuredly the Dominionists – does not live by (literally) every word of God. Dominionists overtly disobey Deuteronomy 8.
Make no mistake, Bahnsen, McDurmon, Gentry and the Dominionists assure us that they – to cite the words of Bahnsen – have “the right to follow a particular Scripture passage and be indifferent to another”! They profess to tell us which laws have passed and which ones haven’t. They tell us the death penalty for violating Torah is annulled. They tell us that the mandate of not traveling on the Sabbath is not binding. They tell us that the offering of sacrifices on the seventh day Sabbath is no longer necessary. They even tell us that working on Sunday, the so-called Christian Sabbath – is allowable. And of course, they tell us that the seventh day Sabbath is no longer the real Sabbath, the seventh day Sabbath is annulled and has been changed to Sunday. And yet, they appeal to Deuteronomy 8 as the constitution for Dominionism, claiming that man today is indeed bound to obey every word that Moses commanded Israel that very day.
The words of Bahnsen, North and other Dominionists– representative of Postmillennial thought and much of the Reformed Amillennial world– violate Jesus’ word (not to mention Deuteronomy 8). Jesus said “Not one jot or one title of the Law” would pass until it was all fulfilled.
Jesus did not say – as suggested by virtually all futurist views– that most of the law would pass without being fulfilled! The Dominionist (and futurist) view of the law has the eschatological feast days of Israel being removed without being fulfilled. Is that what Jesus said? Patently not.
In fact, in my debate with McDurmon, I asked the audience if anyone could get from Jesus’ words “Not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the law until it is all fulfilled” if anyone could get Joel McDurmon’s view from that? Could anyone take from Jesus’ words the idea that some of the law would pass while some would remain? I asked how anyone could get the idea that most of the law (the entire cultic world) would pass without being fulfilled. I challenged McDurmon to show how anyone could get these ideas from the actual words of Jesus. McDurmon never offered an explanation. The reason he gave no explanation is simple. There is no proper reading of Matthew 5:17-18 that would even remotely suggest the Dominionist’s “twist” on Jesus’ words.
Jesus did not say that one typological Sabbath would be replaced with another typological Sabbath of a different day. In fact, Jesus did not say anything closely resembling the Dominionist view of the Law of Moses.
So, I close by repeating the words of Bahnsen: “A Biblical Theology which contravenes the clear pronouncements of Scripture is not worthy of is name.” (Theonomy in Christian Ethics, (Nacadoches, Tx.; Covenant Media Press, Third Edition, 2002), 198). In light of this, consider:
North, Bahnsen, McDurmon, et. al. claim that some of the Law has passed and some remains. This violates the “clear pronouncements of Scripture.” “Not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the Law until it is all fulfilled.”
When they tell us that a majority of the jots and tittles of the law have passed – without being fulfilled – they are wrong. This violates the “clear pronouncements of Scripture.”
When they tell us that Israel’s festal calendar is no longer in force even though it has not been fulfilled – they are wrong. This violates the “clear pronouncements of Scripture.”
When they tell us that the Old Covenant typological seventh day Sabbath has been removed and replaced by the New Covenant, typological eighth day Sabbath – they are wrong. This violates the “clear pronouncements of Scripture.”
When they tell us that the seventh day Sabbath has been annulled without what it foreshadowed being fulfilled – they are wrong. This violates the “clear pronouncements of Scripture.”
When one considers the total inconsistency -the overt rejection – of what Deuteronomy 8 and Matthew 5:17-18 actually says, it is clear that the issue of the seventh day Sabbath exposes a gaping hole in Dominionist theology. The issue of the seventh day Sabbath is in fact the death knell of Dominionism for it reveals a flawed view of the Law of Moses. For more on the seventh day Sabbath and the passing of the Law of Moses, see my book: The End of the Law- from Torah To Telos.