Seventh-Day Adventists/The Lunar Sabbath Controversy

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Question
Dear Patricia:

What do you know about the "Lunar Sabbath" controversy? I recently came across some information on this, but it wasn't very clear. Can you help me understand what it's all about?

Thanks for what you do,
Marcia

Answer
Dear Marcia,

Thank you so much for your encouragement and question.

I have not done extensive study on the Lunar Sabbaths but I will share with you my findings from a few years back.

As I see it, the issues are:

1.    SDAs believe that the Sabbath occurs consistently every seven days or Saturday without variation. They say that this is the model taken from Creation’s account. However, it is to be noted that(unlike Israel) all SDA believers do not observe the weekly Sabbath (Saturday) within the SAME 24 hour period because of the International Date Line.

2.    Jews believe that the Sabbath does not fall on Saturday each and every month consistently. When the Sabbaths, feasts, festivals and special days were given to Israel to observe, each event was calculated according to the New Moon. The aforementioned events were not fixed days but were adjusted each month according to the New Moon. For example, depending on the occurrence of the New Moon, in January the weekly Sabbath could be observed every Tuesday and in February every Thursday, etc.

In order for Israel to be in perfect harmony (the same time span) regarding the observance of these special days, just before they left Egypt the Lord gave them their own calendar which was different from the other nations. They were His special people, with His special calendar for His special purposes.

Exodus 12:1-2 NLT
[1] While the Israelites were still in the land of Egypt, the LORD gave the following instructions to Moses and Aaron: [2] "From now on, this month will be the first month of the year for you .

As an aside, all of the Sabbaths, feasts, festivals and special days were Israel specific.

I am sharing the following information only because I want you to see that during the Millerite Movement back in the 1800’s when Miller and Snow were trying to predict Christ’s return, the calculations used by these Gentile men were based on the Jewish calendar of events and then made to correspond with the dates on the Gentile calendar we use (Gregorian).

Date Setting:

“In August 1844 at a camp meeting in Exeter, New Hampshire, Samuel S. Snow presented his own interpretation, which became known as the "seventh-month message" or the "true midnight cry". In a complex discussion based on scriptural typology, Snow presented his conclusion (still based on the 2300-day prophecy in Daniel 8:14) that Christ would return on "the tenth day of the seventh month of the present year, 1844."  Using the calendar of the Karaite Jews, he determined this date to be October 22, 1844.”

Leviticus 23:26-28 (NIV)
26  The LORD said to Moses,
27  "The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement . Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to the LORD by fire.
28  Do no work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God.

The Purpose for the Creation of the Sun, Moon and Stars:

The lights in the heavens were for more than dividing night from day but also to determine the seasons, days and years which is revealed throughout Scripture.

Genesis 1:14 (KJV)
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:  

According to God and His Word, a day is from evening to evening. According to man, a day is from midnight to midnight. Throughout Scripture, the seasons, days (all days), years, feasts, festivals and Sabbaths were calculated according to the lights in the firmament of heaven, their specific function.

SDAs believe that they are worshiping on the seventh day as set forth from Creation and that day is every Saturday. Those who argue for the New Moon based Lunar Sabbath believe that the day of the seventh-day Sabbath can change from month to month but even when it does, it will be observed every seven days of that month. It is my understanding that the Jewish weekly Sabbaths are celebrated on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th of each month.

Following are some links that I saved that I think will help you understand in more detail what the arguments and positions are…..

This link goes back to the 1990’s when Folkenberg was GC President. A lot of discussion had begun among some pastors and significant others so he formed a special committee to study the Lunar Sabbaths, etc.
http://www.mainsw.com/documents/Folkenberg-1.pdf

This link explains how the Sabbaths are calculated according to the New Moon:
http://www.scripturalsabbath.com/sabbath_calculation.html

This link is titled: The Weekly Sabbath Is Not Saturday or Sunday
http://lunarsabbath.info/


I do hope this gives you a better understanding. May God bless you always.  

Seventh-Day Adventists

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Patricia Allen

Expertise

As a former Seventh-day Adventist (SDA), I have insight of value to those who are questioning and/or trying to decide if they should leave or become an SDA. It would be my privilege to discuss SDA church doctrine, structure, Ellen White, the old and new covenants, and their various beliefs. The Bible will be my main source of reference and all quotes, etc. will be documented. I understand that there are different variants of Adventists, but I am only familiar with what I would call traditional or main stream.

Experience

I was a Seventh-day Adventist for over 50 years. I attended their schools and I was always active in the churches I attended. I also worked for the denomination for 37 years. Since I was educated in their schools from Grade 1, and because what I was taught came from the Bible, I never questioned my beliefs. I considered myself as one whom the Lord had chosen to bring out of darkness into His marvelous light. In the year 2005, I became keenly aware that Ellen White contradicted the Scriptures numerous times and plagiarized some of her most popular writings. At this point, I had to seriously consider studying for myself with the aid of the Holy Spirit to see if indeed I really had the truth. Sad to say, I discovered that I was deluded and deliberately deceived by the church I loved and served. In 2010, I requested that my name be withdrawn from the membership roster of the church. Since then, it has been my passion to tell those in the SDA church and those considering joining Adventism, the truth and freedom that I have discovered and enjoy daily. I interact on Facebook with SDAs frequently regarding their beliefs and doctrines compared to the Bible. In addition to answering questions on this site, I have a blog (www.patricia-allen.blogspot.com) and the purpose of my articles is to expose the false doctrines of the SDA church After 50 plus years of trying to 'work' my way, I have discovered the sweet rest in the finished work of my Savior. I've also discovered that there is nothing that I have ever done to make Jesus love me less and there is nothing that I can ever do to make Jesus love me more. Jesus just loves me and this I know!

Education/Credentials
M.A.O.M. degree (Master of Arts in Organizational Management). I also have a B.A.I.C. degree (Born Again in Christ). My calling is to help spread the Good News of the Gospel and to help lift the veil by sharing Jesus, Who is the Truth and the Light.

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