A Spatial Theology of the Sabbath (Part II). The Disenchantment of Place.

The Christian View is that Christ died for all of mankind. Yet only a tiny portion of humanity ever heard of Him or of Grace.So how does God deal with that issue. Could it be on how one treats their neighbor? Certainly denominationalism is a loser.


Isn’t this the purpose of Christian Mysticism, Steve?

The Road to Spiritual Formation is not talked about.


This is really an interesting observation. The primordial Sabbath was made holy by God. The Ten Commandment Sabbath has to be made holy by the people. Seems, something of the Sabbath was lost on the journey, something of the already blessed and made holy. Hebrews 3+4 says something similar, the rest of God is available since the primordial Sabbath, but no one entered because of unbelief. The Ten Commandment Sabbat wasn’t helping to really enter, but now in the new aeon, the true Sabbath rest is available when believers in Christ enter into this rest of God, and as a result rest from their works (Heb 4:10). This resting from one’s own works (works = trying to work yourself into heaven) is another way of saying to keep it holy a.k.a. to set it apart for God’s purpose (movement: away from me towards God).
Keeping the essence of the true Sabbath holy now is trusting Christ’s finished work and not trusting my own works (free from legalism). [BTW trusting Christ is going against the disenchantment, trust is non-controllable by me.]

An application may also be focusing on God’s purpose, a.k.a. other people, especially on one’s free day, like I do with my relationship Sabbath. In the new covenant, this means a movement towards others in the all expanding kingdom of God through all societies. I am made holy, so I can go into all the world without the fear of being made unholy.
In the old covenant, this meant something different, setting apart for God’s purpose then: focus on God to learn how to live around polytheistic societies (movement: away from others). People had to learn to be holy, and were made symbolically holy by the sacrifices, only in Christ you are constantly declared holy., and the Holy Spirit is with you always. Before Christ, you could be made unholy by mingling with others.

My thoughts for now.


but this is what i’m saying is so disrespectful…why should one bad apple be allowed to spoil the whole barrel…there are very many sabbath-keeping adventists who feel no sense of disenchantment…they have no intention of leaving the church any time soon…they are intentional and outreaching with their religion…their worship and life-style give them meaning, not only in the here and now, but in what they believe the future will be bring…why should they be disparaged just because some people don’t find meaning in the seventh-day sabbath…

oh but it is time oriented…in fact the sabbath represents a seventh of our time…it’s the one thing god has asked of us that specifically has to do with how we use our time…

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That is precisely the problem - shouldn’t it be 7/7 of our time? That’s what we’re talking about. If the Sabbath is to give us rest just one out of seven days, how much better is Christ, giving us rest 7 out of 7.


The typical Adventist View is much like that of the rich young ruler but without asking what more. Does not the tithe, the Sabbath, And Loma Linda Foods cover it. Oh yes suspenders.



I think we forget that " the Sabbath (rest) was made for man; not man for the Sabbath." We act as though we are giving God something by “keeping” the Sabbath. That’s because we have made the Sabbath a test of loyalty and even a badge of our Christianity.

The best indication of what the Sabbath means to Adventists is to follow the kids when they’re let loose from mom and dad and the deans in charge of their dorms. Where are they - why are they not here? It’s an indication of the lack of depth of our Sabbath keeping.

Yes, there are some great kids hanging on - let’s count the numbers.

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And it never will be as it considered not necessary and a distraction to the other “duties” of announcing the imminent, soon, return of Jesus. How many thousands of time has this been emphasized (rhetorical question)?

The author posits that the essence of the meaning of the Sabbath is “trust”, presumably a personal view without offering any support for his contention.

Like most post-modernists, the author constantly criticizes “Western cultural thought”
(Ironically a Peruvian who’s now at an Italian educational institution) without once even suggesting what our Sabbath experience would look like through say an Eastern lens and how that experience would be improved.

Whilst not necessarily agreeing nor disagreeing with his thesis, he offers nothing but sociological jargon.

Surely Sabbath “experience” rather than “trust” would be something we could learn from other traditions but he offers nothing.

Additionally, such a monolithic view of Adventism is hardly justified when, within Western Adventism at least, most can choose a more “mindful” church over the traditional if they are in search of space rather than time.

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It is said that the principle of effective teaching and communication is to make the complicated simple. I’m sorry if this sounds critical, but I feel that this article does the opposite. It takes a fairly simple idea and renders it all but incomprehensible…as do many by this author, it seems. I don’t know whether this is an issue of translation into English, but I would hope that this gets taken to heart, because he does seem to have much to contribute.

With that said, there is no acknowledgement in either of the articles in this series of the old covenantal moorings of the Sabbath. The entire Sinai covenant of Law was meant for a specific people, during a specific time in history. With the coming of Messiah, and the entrance of Gentiles into the people of God, that covenant arrangement was over. It had served its purpose, and met its fulfillment/telos point in Jesus and the outpouring of his Spirit upon all (Jew and Gentile) who believe.

Entrance by circumcision into life under the covenant of Law/Torah, and the observance of visible covenant signs, such as Sabbath/holy days, and food laws, were not required of Gentiles, and were not to be made conditions of belonging. Galatians, Romans, Ephesians, etc., make no sense without the acknowledgement of this as a central issue in Paul’s letters, and of his on the ground theology and ecclesiology as a whole.

Adventism’s problem with the Sabbath transcends the difference between a spatial vs. a temporal emphasis. It has constructed its own type of Old Covenant condition of belonging to the people of God in Christ, positing an exclusive, end time remnant based on the signs and vestiges of a covenant whose time was and still is over. In its own way, it puts the walls back up between believers over ancillary matters of faith. Walls that Christ had torn down, something that the Spirit testifies to as he works in the lives of all who believe…sabbath keepers or not.

Christ’s rest is seen in the unity and belonging that happens through his Spirit. Where the fruit of love is amongst fellow believers, there is Christ and his true rest, regardless of the observance of days.




this is a false choice…we can effectively rest in christ while doing secular work during the six working days of the week, just like we can rest in him during the seventh day sabbath…no doubt christ was perfect while working six days each week in a carpenter shop, just like he was when teaching and healing for seven days each week after his baptism…and god wasn’t less holy during the six days of creation week than he was on the seventh day, during which he rested…

but it is a point worth considering that god did choose to create the world in six days and rest on the seventh…another point worth considering is that he blessed the seventh day in a way that he didn’t bless the other six…still another point worth considering is that he commanded the people he was working with anciently to follow the example he had set 2,000 yrs before their existence, on pain of death…

evidently god places a premium on sabbath observance…i’m thinking this is because of what all adventists know: the seventh day sabbath memorializes fiat creation, which is the supreme evidence that god is divine, and that he transcends every limitation that defines a created being…the sabbath is the symbol of why we worship god…

sabbath observance is linked to reality as god has defined it…we accept that the seventh day of the week is blessed and holy because god has said so…keeping the sabbath aligns us with a god-ordered universe…it is the visible indication that we acknowledge that he made us, and is sanctifying us…it is how we collectively express that we have chosen his rule over us…

I know what you’re saying, given the way God and salvation is represented to Adventist, including myself. I’m not here to talk anyone out of a faith that works for them, but it doesn’t work any more for many, especially the young and the educated - and for those who have plumbed the issues in the Bible for themselves. So, I will give you an alternate perspective.

Your summary would be just fine, if it weren’t for the NT that follows. All that you have said could be true if we totally discard the NT. But we present ourselves as Christians, and Christ said the entire OT (the scriptures in his time) were actually about HIM (“these are they that testify of me”). At the same time, let’s apply Jesus’ statement about the intent of the Sabbath (“made for man”). It was not an ego trip on God’s part by which He lorded over the Hebrews like the Egyptians had. It was God’s gift to Hebrew slaves who had never known REST.

The Sabbath originally was a memorial to the exodus (Deut. 5); and so it is for us. Yes, God is the Creator (Ex. 20) but He is first, our REDEEMER, giving us rest ("…I will give you rest."- NT) from purifying ourselves (working for salvation.)

My alternate synopsis is based on “the rocks that are crying out”, God’s second book, telling the story of redemption. Those rocks are old, despite what Usher has said. This gives us a different understanding of those “days” of creation. The first six are counted “from evening to evening”; but the seventh day, in which God rested, has no ending. God blessed this never ending day - the one we all have been living in, and declared it holy. This makes our entire life a HOLY endeavour. No day that God created is less holy, and in His hands, than another. Why then the emphasis on the Sabbath in the OT …

The Hebrew slaves were born and grew up under Pharaoh and the god(s) that he worshipped. They were slaves, without any other identity. God gave them an identity as HIS by giving them rest from their old identity. It took 40 years to rid them of the old one.

God also gave them ethics (the other 9 precepts) - they had none before that. The Hebrews followed God’s instructions to the letter, performing by rote as they had obeyed pharoe. Finally, God declared He hated their festivals and burnt sacrifices (that HE, HIMSELF, had instituted) because they weren’t learning anything from them. They never did learn the lessons God intended for them, living and performing rituals with all kinds of laws but without love for each other or God.

The Adventist paradigm wants to take us back to the OT mindset of obedience being the paramount objective. The NT (Paul) tries to explain that LOVE is what God is looking for (without it we are "clanging symbols). Can we love while keeping OT laws… maybe not. The sermon on the mount takes those OT demands and wants us to keep them on a deeper level - one which we can’t, of ourselves, accomplish. Only by a surrender of self to Christ (REST) can we be imbued by the SPIRIT to accomplish this change. Doing SABBATH as an obligation, one day out of seven, is no better than how the Jews did it. How do we make that surrender… simply by accepting the fact we can’t do anything (obedience), and rely on God to forgive and lead us. This is unconditional love - unconditional because of Christ. Unconditional love, produces love, none-the-less.

Whatever else the Sabbath is, it’s not about physical rest, for the sake of rest. We miss its true purpose if we see it as a mandate, to be kept “on pain of death…” (lost salvation). We can go to church any day if we’re there to worship God. It’s useless to go there only because we are told to, on the penalty of death.

Happy Sabbath to you.


There is a hymn in the Adventist hymnal that includes the phrase—Take time to be holy. To me in an obvious obscure way the author is putting that nonsense to rest.Worship is time to acknowledge and praise the Holy Love of a Creator Redeemer God. He needs to use an esoteric approach to stay within the box. Also it gives him the opportunity to display his advanced learning.

A more direct and simple way would be “nuts”.

Worship is private the consequence is generosity.


the NT can be read in several ways, including in a way that affirms, amplifies and identifies the OT as part of the stream of divine instruction that began in eden, and that has culminated, so far at least, in egw…this way doesn’t use the NT to destroy the OT…instead it places the NT within its time-limited context, which is the all-important moment when god literally became one of us in order to initiate his eternal plan for our eternal redemption…

actually the sabbath was originally a memorial of fiat creation, Genesis 1-2:3…it was later adapted to memorialize the exodus, Deuteronomy 5:12-15, but never in a way that undermined its original memorial status of fiat creation, Exodus 20:8-11…one of the milestones in understanding the sabbath revealed in the NT, in Hebrews 4:4-11, re-captures instruction that god himself gave in Exodus 31:12-17, which is that god is the source of our sanctification, and not our own efforts…

these rocks are certainly crying out about a world-wide flood that destroyed all fauna, except what was preserved on the ark…it is only geologists using methods that depend on negating catastrophism that say otherwise…of course there are also geologists who use methods that include the possibility of catastrophism, and who corroborate the record of earth origins given in the OT…

god also gave these same ethics in their original decalogue context to the rich young ruler, almost 2,000 yrs later, as a condition for eternal life, Matt 19:16-30…early in his ministry he explained that he has no intention of destroying them, Matt 5:17-19…the apostle paul affirmed that as christians, we “establish” this law, Romans 3:31…the apostle james framed these ethics in their decalogue context as the “royal law”, James 2:8, and the “law of liberty”, v.12, which shows that even jewish christians in NT times had separated ceremonial law from the decalogue…the apostle john elaborates on the timeless purpose of “law” as the definer of sin, 1John 3:4, and even identifies its eradication in our lives as the reason for the incarnation, 1John 3:45…more than any of the NT writers, john equates fellowship with christ with movement away from sin, 1John 2:3-6; 3:6, 24…

actually the adventist paradigm is the remnant paradigm…it connects us to the true followers of god who, in precededing us, were guided by god through the same supernatural gift of prophecy as we are, and who were therefore also the special object of satan’s specialized attacks…the adventist paradigm also carries us forward up to the second coming of christ, which will actualize the eternal life we are currently only faintly experiencing, although, of course, we fully expect additional prophets to guide us into even more knowledge than we have now…

and to you too, sirje…remember, there’s value in physical rest, social interaction with friends you know over a lifetime who share your values, and of course good food…this is in addition to the personal fellowship with christ we are able to enjoy on this day above every other :slightly_smiling_face:

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frank_merendino wisely said:
“It is said that the principle of effective teaching and communication is to make the complicated simple. I’m sorry if this sounds critical, but I feel that this article does the opposite. It takes a fairly simple idea and renders it all but incomprehensible…”**

I agree with Frank and others that have found this article by Hanz Gutierrez incomprehensible. Communication is the transfer of meaning. Hanz has managed to take a simple premise that God gave us a gift in the Sabbath and turned it into a complicated and difficult idea… What God did on the Sabbath and our response is clear. We can accept it or reject it. It’s really that simple.This means that even if something is simple, our brain concludes that it can’t be that simple and proceeds to make it much more complicated (more stimulation). It does this so that we can tell ourselves and prove to ourselves that it really was complicated – even though it was really simple. Learning the meaning of the Sabbath as a gift from God will provide us with a most valuable lesson in how to study, interpret, and apply the Scriptures. The difference between education and indoctrination is the difference between a process and a product. Accepting the Sabbath is part of the process.
Hanz, take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the Sabbath rest!

Yes, but the objective was always Christ, predicted even in Genesis. If you can find Christ in your worship on the type of Sabbath you proclaim, then all is good. The Jews didn’t seem to be able to see that. My worry is that we make the Sabbath pinnacle of our faith, rather than Christ.

The rocks I’m referring to tell a story of a much older earth, and divides the creation week into epochs, making the Sabbath the culmination of creation, and one in which we are meant to live a holy life, daily, like Paul said, “some regarding every day the same”. Paul also said each should decide for themselves whether to regard one day more important than another. Unless the weekly Sabbath comes to represent the rest we have in Christ, it won’t serve its purpose.

As a musician, you must know you can’t make music just by playing the notes. :slightly_smiling_face:

Sorry Sam, this was meant to reply to Jeremy. @vandieman


Sirje, you have written many articulate comments through the years…but this one is both profound and beautiful to me. You have explained without artifice what the Adventist paradigm is and what the purpose of a Christ was meant to be and produce- Unconditional Love. Thank-you for this.

Hanz, what you have written certainly has stretched the “little gray cells” for most of us. You have taken us on a ride through time and space (with lots of new terminology) to “The Disenchantment of Place”.

Whether or not you intended to see/discover if we could “swim” through to your “point of interest”…I do not know. However, suffice it to say, you have said enough in this article to keep most of us busy for quite a while “digesting” and then trying to “apply”. And for this- I give you a hearty, “Amen”! :grin:


It’s pretty simple, as you so succinctly stated above. Simple, uncomplicated and straightforward.