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Title: Non-Sabbatarianism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Sabbath in Christianity, Ten Commandments
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Non-Sabbatarianism is the affirmation of the religious liberty not to observe a weekly rest or worship day (Sabbath), usually in Christianity. While keepers of weekly days usually also believe in religious liberty,[1] non-Sabbatarians believe themselves particularly free to uphold Sabbath principles, or not, without limiting observance to either Saturday or Sunday.


Orthodox Jews do.

The 29th canon of the Council of Laodicea (late 4th century) states that Christians must not Judaize by resting on Sabbath but must work that day and then if possible rest on the Lord's Day, and that any found to be Judaizers are anathema from Christ.[3][4] Historical figures such as Justin Martyr, Augustine, and Luther taught that Sabbath according to the Decalogue does not apply in a binding fashion to Christians. Historical non-Sabbatarians from later times include the Anglicans Peter Heylin, William Paley, and John Milton; the nonconformist Philip Doddridge; the Quaker Robert Barclay; and the Congregationalist James Baldwin Brown.[5] Some modern Christians do not see themselves as required to observe a day of rest either on Saturday or Sunday.[6][7]


Many Christian theologians believe that Sabbath observance is not binding for Christians today,

Some Christian non-Sabbatarians advocate physical Sabbath rest on any chosen day of the week,[11] and some advocate Sabbath as a symbolic metaphor for rest in Christ; the concept of "Lord's Day" is usually treated as synonymous with "Sabbath". This non-Sabbatarian interpretation usually states that Jesus's obedience and the New Covenant fulfilled the laws of Sabbath, the Ten Commandments, and the Law of Moses, which are thus considered not to be binding moral laws, and sometimes considered abolished or abrogated. While Sunday is often observed as the day of Christian assembly and worship, in accordance with church tradition, Sabbath commandments are dissociated from this practice.

Non-Sabbatarian Christians also cite Rom. 13:10), the new-covenant "law" is considered to be based entirely upon love and to rescind Sabbath requirements.

Spiritual rest

Non-Sabbatarians who affirm that Sabbath-keeping remains for God's people (as in

Weekly rest

Lutheran writer Marva Dawn keeps a whole day as Sabbath, advocating for rest during any weekly complete 24-hour period[11] and favoring rest from Saturday sunset to Sunday sunset,[15] but regarding corporate worship as "an essential part of God's Sabbath reclamation."[16]


Many early Christian writers beginning in the second century, such as pseudo-Barnabas, Ireneaus, Justin Martyr, and Hippolytus, interpreted Sabbath not as a continuing literal day of rest, but (following rabbinic Judaism) as a thousand-year reign of Messiah, which would follow six millennia of world history.[17]

See also


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