The Sabbath is Friday
By Bill Hohmann
An interesting phenomena occurs regarding those who are recruited into and indoctrinated by cults. Through a carefully orchestrated process of conditioning, the individual surrenders their critical thinking skills, for such individualistic behavior is not tolerated within the ‘groupthink’ mentality of the organization. The individual surrenders individuality in favor of the group dynamic; the group is more important than the individual; the individual surrenders their personal identity in favor of the group identity. The individual’s existence becomes tied to the group’s existence.
The instruction of Paul to "prove all things" is subconsciously relegated to proving what they were taught by the cult, and any idea of examining evidence to the contrary is strongly discouraged.
In this light, those religious cults that are legalistic in nature that insist on keeping the Sabbath have a particular problem which is rarely, if ever, addressed.
When one who has been indoctrinated by these cults is exposed to this concept regarding the keeping of the Sabbath, cognitive dissonance is created, causing confusion in the individual. The individual finds themselves unable to reconcile the situation, usually resulting in the individual striking out verbally against the one who planted the seed of cognitive dissonance, even as the religious leaders did when they were confronted by Christ performing a miracle on the Sabbath that could only be attributed to God but was perceived by them to violate the Sabbath command, making Jesus Christ a sinner as a result in their minds. Instead of confirming the truth of the situation, they chose instead to ignore truth and fell back on their reliance in Moses and the law, all the while vilifying Jesus with all manner of verbal vitriol.
Jesus related to his followers that such behavior on the part of those who reject the truth would be directed to them also, even as they had persecuted the prophets of old.
This aspect of the Sabbath that creates this cognitive dissonance with its resultant inability to resolve the conflict is this:
If one travels east to the United States from Israel, paying attention to the sun setting at the end of one’s sixth day, this person would find themselves keeping the Sabbath on what we call Friday in the United States.
When confronted with this truth, those who have been brain-washed into believing they are required to keep the Sabbath are unable to comprehend this simple truth. To them, there is only one Sabbath of God, and the observance of any other day is in direct violation of the word and will of God. When confronted with the truth that the Sabbath can exist on two separate days in one week where both days are valid, they are unable to resolve the conflict. How can there be one true Sabbath that can fall on two days?
As a result, the Sabbatarians resort to all sorts of explanations in order to continue justifying their belief in keeping the Sabbath on what we call Saturday, while verbally attacking the one who would dare question their sacred belief.
Yet the truth of the matter is inescapable, regardless of the rationalizations created to spin away the truth.
One rationalization is that the person passed over the international dateline in the process, and that person failed to adjust their days accordingly.
Yet the scriptures do not address the international dateline. Scripture addresses the setting of the sun at the end of the sixth day, and for one who travels east instead of west to the United States will find themselves observing the Sabbath on Friday, approximately 14 hours earlier than it begins in Israel, as contrasted to keeping the Sabbath approximately 10 hours after it begins in Israel, should one travel west from Israel. To insist on adjusting the calculation of one’s Sabbath based upon the international dateline is not Biblical.
What is interesting regarding this line of reasoning is that the placement of the international dateline was an arbitrary decision. If those who made this determination had decided instead to place the international dateline in the middle of the Atlantic, thus separating the "old" world from the "new", these same adherents to the Sabbath would be insisting vehemently that people observe the Sabbath 24 hours earlier than they do now.
Was the international dateline placed in the Pacific by people perceived by Sabbath keepers as being Godly men who were also Sabbath keepers? Not likely. Yet the Sabbath keepers "agree" with this determination, thereby demonstrating they keep the Sabbath when they do not based upon a command of God so much as they do as a matter of consensus.
Some Sabbatarian groups insist that keeping Sunday, the first day of the week is to worship the sun-god and is Pagan. Yet point out to a Sabbath keeper that to one who travels east to the United States from Israel, they are worshiping on the first day of the week also.
So why are there no Sabbath keepers keeping Friday as the Sabbath? The only reason is that it is a matter of consensus. Do people have the right to change or alter what God commands through consensus? No. This is what the post-exilic Rabbis did with much of the law, and Jesus upbraided them for it, telling them that they had made the word of God of no effect through their traditions.
The tradition among Sabbath keepers in the United States is to keep the Sabbath based on traveling west from Israel.
Is there confusion here? Absolutely.
Is God the author of confusion? Absolutely not.
The resolution to the cognitive dissonance is simple; God never commanded anyone other than Israel to observe the Sabbath, and Israel was a nation occupying the land of Israel; a specific people located in a specific location.
If an Israelite found him or herself outside the confines of Israel when the Passover occurred, they were not able to keep the Passover. A second Passover that occurred a month later was allowed so that those who were gone from Israel could keep it if they had returned before the second Passover.
If one could not keep the Passover outside of Israel, then why do people believe they can observe the Sabbath outside of Israel? It isn’t possible on a round earth unless one insists we live on a flat earth.
More information on Sabbath
Sabbath Not a Law for Christians: Explaining the Covenants
History and Overview About the Sabbath Day By Rob Chaffart
Sabbath in Christ—A new book, by former Adventist Pastor Dale Ratzlaff, that explains how Sabbath keepers have been misled. Be a Bible Berean and read this book. Thousands including Adventist pastors have left Adventism after getting their eyes opened. Order here.