Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
A hangover I have from my own religious upbringing frequently runs into something predominate in LDS culture. It’s the idea of keeping the Sabbath holy. Along with it comes the guilt, judgment and condemnation that comes with breaking any number of unwritten rules concerning things you can not do on Sunday.
What really irks me about this rule keeping is that it is complete nonsense. Its justification always comes from the commandment to keep the Sabbath holy. The reason I say it is nonsense is that, with the exception of Seventh Day Adventist, there is not a single Christian group in the world who is actually keeping the Sabbath. The Sabbath is on Saturday. Christians hundreds of years ago began worshiping on Sunday as a means of remembering Easter. The practice of Sabbath keeping has been done away with long ago.
Some will say “Yes that’s true, but now we are just keeping Sunday holy”. I say it’s still nonsense. Christians aren’t obeying anything close to the regulations for the Sabbath (on Sunday or any other day). As legalistic as a Christian might be, they are desecrating the Sabbath. Instead they are merely obeying are a bunch of cultural legislations which no one can list with any authority.
These include (but are not limited to) not working, not eating out, not shopping, not listening to anything other than hymns, not turning on the TV, not watching or participating in sports, not gardening, not reading the newspaper, not going to the movies, not traveling, and not having any fun of any kind. These may all may make a person feel righteous, but if you so much as turn on a light switch you are not keeping the Sabbath laws. You’re just setting up a sham counterfeit (of something Paul calls itself just a shadow of reality).
The goal for many in establishing these new laws is to seek righteousness and obtain holiness. The problem is that made up rules don’t make us more holy, they make us more guilty.
The law was added so that the trespass might increase.
Adding law adds to the trespass.
Jesus said something profound about the Sabbath. It was made for us, not the other way around. As Hebrews explains, we can now enter into God’s rest and have true Sabbath permeate everyday of our lives. We don’t have to run around like little chickens worried about this or that regulation, we can just . . . rest. We can have a Sabbath lifestyle.
I have on a couple of occasions taken spiritual retreats. These have been occasions to shut myself off from technology, people and noise. I even did them for a season consistently on Sundays. I attended church on Saturday night so that I wouldn’t have to go anywhere I couldn’t walk. I didn’t do this because I thought it would prove my righteousness to God (it wouldn’t). I did it for me, so that I could have a break.
I highly recommend taking time to enter into God’s rest, just make sure your “Sabbath keeping” doesn’t get in the way.