Pickle Publishing "A Mark of True Loyalty" Research Papers

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A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church

by Bob Pickle

Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and

Discern Fact from Fiction

The Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment

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#161: "One of the primary distinctives of Seventh-day Adventism is the keeping of the Saturday Sabbath. To keep the seventh day is seen as a mark of true loyalty to God."—Mark Martin.

#161: It's seen as a mark of true loyalty to God. The narrator goes so far as to call this view "severe" under #179. Yet according to Mr. Martin's earlier statements, it has to be true.

"Christians are to grow in grace and keep God's commandments out of a love for Him . . ." (#153). "In contrast, being under grace leads to holiness" (#155). By Mr. Martin's own reasoning, if a person adamantly refuses to keep one of God's commandments, he doesn't really love God and is therefore not being loyal to Him. Such a one is also rejecting the holiness that results from being under grace. And this is all the more true since the Sabbath is the Bible sign of holiness (see #155).

The fourth commandment differs from the others in a very important way, and this makes it especially a mark of loyalty.

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another. (Rom. 2:14, 15)

Everyone has a conscience that tells him what is right and wrong, whether he follows it or not. Jew and Gentile, Christian and heathen, all have a sense that murder, theft, and adultery are wrong. The awareness that such things are evil seems built into man's very nature. For this reason, in some theological circles, precepts like the sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments are called "natural law."

Commandments that are not built into the conscience, those that you have to be told about, are called "positive law." This is why the Sabbath commandment has been called by Catholic writers a "most positive command." While an awareness of the need for periodic rest is built into us, an awareness of which day to rest upon is not. Thus it is something we have to be told, not something we naturally know.

So which would be a greater mark of loyalty and love to God? Obeying a precept you naturally know is right, like honoring your parents? Or obeying a precept you don't naturally know is right, something you only know about because the God of heaven requested it, like keeping His Sabbath holy?

It's kind of strange. You can talk about most any of the commandments, and people will not argue with you. They will heartily agree, and rant and rave about the decay of morals in today's society. But once you mention the fourth commandment, they will start talking about how the law was nailed to the cross, how we are now under grace, and how we must not be legalists. Inconsistent, isn't it?

A Response to the Video

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