The following is a reply I posted on a "church forum" when the Sabbath/Sunday issue was debated.
What I'm going to do, is tell you MY story.
First, my parents were not "religious" and never went to church. Moving from south Wales (I'm Welsh) to England at age 5, my parents did send me to a Church of England school (I was educated under their school system all my school life, until 17). I was handed a Bible (we all were) and the first half hour each school day was "Bible." We were taught to recite the Ten Commandments, as in Exodus 20, the long version, as one of the first duties. So by the age of 6 I could recite the long version of the Ten Commandments. They CoE (Church of England) taught us that the ten commandments were to be obeyed by Christians. This was 1947/48, I was born in
1942. I looked at all the TC (ten commandments) and in my young mind thought they all were great. I could see if the world was following them what a super place it would be.
I was taught nothing from anyone about the 4th commandment. I knew what it said, and had no problem with it. Thought all a Christianity had no problem with it either, they were all keeping it I thought. So no preconceived ideas, and no one was trying to give me any.
At age 5 to 6 we were reading through Genesis and learning the TC by memory. When I read in Genesis 2 that God Blessed and Sanctified the 7th day, my little mind jumped to Exodus 20 and the 4th commandment. To me at that age it was obvious God had made the Sabbath, 7th day, for all to observe, from the very beginning.
I started to attend a local church on Sunday, I was about 6. So had a pretty good Bible education from then on out, between the
CoE and local church. I seldom missed Sunday school from then until 18 when I left for Canada.
The "issue" of the 4th commandment, was never spoken about, by any minister, CoE priest, Sunday school teacher. Now at what....age 7, 8, 9, I had read all the Gospels. Read where Jesus said "the Sabbath was made for man...." No problem, in my little mind, of course I thought, it was made in Genesis 2, and my 6 year old thoughts, were proved right, God made the 7th day Sabbath for all mankind to observe, and part of His great 10 commandments. I thought "Well Jesus, the Son of God was backing up what I had thought at age 6, how neat."
To me at this young age of 8, 9, it all seemed pretty simple, this 4th commandment. Right from Genesis 2. The words in the 4th from Exodus 20 (which I could recite) were pretty simple to understand also. I read the Gospels dozens of times over the years from age 6 to 18 (Had one of those "red letter" NT Bibles). Jesus obviously observed the Sabbath, no question about it. Never
did it enter my young mind that Jesus ever broke the Sabbath, and not one of my CoE teachers or Sunday school teachers EVER said that He did. I was not being programmed by any teacher, on this issue. Did not know there was an issue.
Okay, I was kinda taught that Jesus was resurrected on Sunday morning, but never DID ANY TEACHER in all those years ever bring up the subject that we keep Sunday because of the resurrection. It just was not mentioned period. It may have been when I was 10 or 11 when at school (CoE) we read through the book of Acts.
Now, reading the Gospels MANY times by then, and now reading through Acts, there was never a question in my mind about the 4th commandment, or any question about NT Christians, be it Jews or Gentiles, having a Sabbath issue. I could not see anything about Jesus saying or any one saying, in Acts, anything about observing two days, or adding on another day to the Sabbath, because Christ was raised.....etc.etc. This whole thing was a NONE issue in my mind. Why? Very simple. I THOUGHT (and not one teacher told me
differently) that SUNDAY was the 7th day of the week. Yes, it is true as God is my witness. I paid no attention to the calendar, no teacher ever told me differently, the Sabbath issue was never talked about....so in my simple little mind I THOUGHT SUNDAY was the 7th day and hence all Christianity that I knew was of course following the 4th commandment, after all had not the CoE teachers and priests, had me memorize the great 10, and I knew what the 4th one said FULLY.
Of course over those years we read in school and Sunday school, other sections of the NT.
I never saw where anyone raised the issue of either changing the Sabbath or adding another day to the Sabbath. I never saw where any place in the NT the day Jesus was raised upon NOW made that day holy, or where any one said because of Jesus' resurrection we will observe this day also. Of course I did not see any of that, because in my mind, the Sabbath, the 4th commandment, and Sunday as the day of Christ's resurrection WERE ALL ONE AND THE SAME to me. And I was never taught differently, the subject was never
brought up by any of my teachers in all those school years.
I had read many times in the Gospels the account of Jesus saying to the rich young man, "If you will enter into life keep the commandments" and how Jesus replied when he asked which. Jesus quoted from the great ten. To me as a child and teenager, the ten stood as a package. It was unthinkable to me that ANY ONE of the ten was EVER abolished. I could only see them as being wonderful, and what a wonderful world it would be if everyone observed them. I had no problem with the Sabbath command, and I thought Christianity did not, because all the Christianity I knew, all around me, was keeping the 4th commandment, I thought. I mean they were keeping Sunday, so I thought Sunday had to be the 7th day of the week, because it was part of the great ten, that were to be observed, and those who taught about Christ, surely taught, (as I had been taught by the teachers in the CoE school and my Sunday school, from age 5) that the TC of Exodus 20 were to be obeyed. I mean I could not see what was wrong with ANY one of those ten.
Do you see what I'm saying? I would guarantee to you if you took a child at age 5 and put them through what I went through, they would find what I found. The ten commandments are for all ages, the 4th one is very specific, it was from the very beginning, made for mankind, Jesus obeyed it, and there is not one hint in the NT that it was changed from one day to another day, or that another day was added to it.
When I came to Canada at 18 and my Baptist landlord told me that Sunday was NOT the 7th day....I just about fell through my pants and hung myself in shock!!! I was stunned! I went to the public library, took down a book called "Christian Feasts and Customs" by a Roman Catholic bishop and scholar, turned to his chapter on Sunday, and the very first words were, "You can read from Genesis to Revelation and you will find not one single verse that endorses Sunday...the Bible only endorses the 7th day Sabbath or our Saturday...." I said to myself, "Well sir, you sure have that one correct."
I had read the Bible all those years Robert, from age 5 to 18,
and because no one had mentioned the issue, never said a thing....it was as clear as a cloudless sky with full bright sunlight....there was NEVER any other day that was made holy, blessed, sanctified, or to keep holy, other that the 7th day of the week, and to not keep that 4th commandment, when you knew it as I did, was willful sin.
You will never know the state of mind I was in after discovering this. I could not believe that all I knew as Christianity was in error on this commandment.
Now that is how a "child" reading the Bible, with no indoctrination, I guarantee you, will see it. I know for I went through it.
Did not Jesus say, "I thank you Father, that you have hid these things from the wise and the prudent and have revealed them unto babes."
I guess it's needful for someone like Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi to
have to answer all the "technical" arguments on the Sabbath/Sunday issue, but for a child like me, it is pretty simple stuff. Of course the big question then is will we obey?
Written January 2003