How Healthy is Adventist Eschatology? A Missiological Imbalance (Part 6)


(Frankmer7) #81

I appreciate your in depth analysis of the passage. I do know the context, and there are several points that it seems you either glossed over or simply seem to not see.

This is certainly correct. However, I would contest the precision of what you say he is speaking about. Paul is saying to the Colossians to let no one judge them concerning this syncretistic mix of practices that brought together ascetic rituals with Jewish observances, including the calendrical observances. The reasons are clear. They had already put off the body of sin having been buried with Christ in baptism, and had been made alive together with him, having all their sins and trespasses forgiven. Christ had also blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that stood against them.…and here is where I think your interpretation and the typical Adventist view goes clearly off the rails.

First, traditions of men in and of themselves were not something that stood against people as a condemning agent. Circumcision and the surrounding covenant rituals were never viewed as condemnatory within a Jewish context. They were simply the assumed rituals of covenant life. They were given by God through Moses. What they were distorted into is another story.

Secondly, and much more crucial to Paul’s argument, the term handwriting of ordinances in the Greek is cheirographan en dogmasen. A cheirographan was a commercial term and meant a certificate or record of debt, or an IOU to a shopkeeper. Paul is using imagery, saying that the Colossians owed God a debt that stood against them. And, he already outlined what that debt was…their sins and trespasses. By saying that the cheirographan was blotted out, he is alluding to YHWH blotting out the sins of his people. By saying “… taken out of the way…” literally a judicial term meaning taken out of the middle, he is mixing metaphors and saying that their sins no longer stand in the place of accusation in the court. That is what this term signifies. And, he winds up by saying that God accomplished this by nailing it all to the cross…in the person of his Son. As the hymn says, “My sin not in part, but the whole, is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, it is well with my soul!” The hymn has the theology correct.

Thus, this passage isn’t speaking of any law. This is speaking of our sin, the record of our sin debt and its power to accuse us, being totally wiped out by the death of Jesus! This is truly more about the gospel! The only way the law comes into play here is by the phrase “en dogmasen.” In the Greek dative case, it means that the record of sin stood against us on the basis of the dogmasen…a way of referring to the commandments of God in Hellenistic Judaism. Paul is saying that the power behind the accusation of their sins is the Law/commandments. As he also stated in 1 Cor. 15…the power of sin is the Law.

This leads to, “Therefore/on the basis of the entire removal of your sin and the forgiveness by God of your debt that has been accrued, and the removal of all the accusations that stood against you, all taken care of by the death of Christ and by you being buried and risen with him…let no one judge you regarding eating and drinking, festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. They are a shadow of things to come, but the reality is Christ.

This leads to the second portion of your reading of the passage that also misses important information. The phrase, festivals, new moons, and sabbaths, was a formula found backwards or forwards seven times in the OT. It always referred to all the Jewish worship times…festivals being the yearly holy days, new moons/Rosh Chodesh referring to the monthly, and sabbaths referring to the weekly seventh day observance. Adventist evangelists and every popular explanation of this text twists this to avoid what Paul is really saying: All these observances, including the sabbath, were shadows of things to come. The rabbis even acknowledged that the sabbath was a shadow of the messianic age to come. This is what Paul is saying, the reality of the age to come has dawned with the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. This is the reality to which Jewish holy times, including the sabbath, pointed as a shadow. He is telling the Colossians to let no one judge them or to try to impose any of these things upon them because they already are participants in the age to come, and are experiencing its reality by dying and rising with Christ.

Paul’s description in the rest of the letter about what the life of the messianic age is to look like amongst the Colossians, describes the transformation of life that avoids sexual immorality, that puts off rage, anger, and violence as characterizing relationships, and calls them as a community to kindness, forbearance, forgiveness, thanksgiving, worshipping with and teaching one another, and over all these things, love for one another that binds them all together in complete unity. It says nothing about sabbath observance. As a sabbath keeping Adventist myself, this was hard to swallow. But, I couldn’t keep denying what the text is saying. I don’t think our denomination should keep doing so, as well.

Nowhere does Paul call the Colossians to the niceties of sabbath observance as part of the new life in Christ and of the reality of the new age that has commenced in him. Instead, Paul seems to indicate that the sabbath, along with the other Jewish holy day observances, were actually shadowy parts of the old age that is passing away. This is consistent with his views on the Torah/Law as a whole in letters such as Galatians, Romans, and in 2 Cor. 3.

The dynamic reality that we are to live in, and to which we are to call people, is through dying and rising with Christ. To a new life lived in diverse, unified, and loving community, as Paul describes, empowered by his Spirit.

How are we doing in this as a denomination? We try to impose uniformity of policy and rule on all, the latest being WO, and then wonder why we are splintering apart. We insist on our own uniqueness among other Christian groups, stand aloof and treat ecumenism as a dirty word, as we seek to impose sabbath and food laws on those who would join the body of Christ as we define it, the very thing that Paul said the Colossians should avoid.

Paul’s letters are goldmines for Christian community and life. In some ways, they are landmines for Adventism…which explains why we never deal with them clearly and forthrightly.

Thanks…

Frank


(Frankmer7) #82

George…

Don’t assume what I’ve read or haven’t read. I’ve read Bacchiocchi’s doctoral dissertation twice, as well as other books and articles by him. I simply don’t agree with all his conclusions. He was brilliant, but he began his research with his own bias, and that was to prove the Sabbath, not to simply follow the evidence where it led him.

Thanks…

Frank


(George Davidovich) #83

Frank, I am not assuming anything, I am just responding to and going by your comments - Bacchiocchi did present in the referenced book (sorry I have it in storage so I can’t quote) a gradual socio-cultural/historical perspective of the change. You tell me you read the book twice but you continue to harp on things the SDA church may or not have been teaching in the 60s without crediting him for a different approach, while blaming the SDA organization for “spinning” bad history or theology I may add, who is spinning here?. I read the book in the mid to late 90’s and mentioned it twice to you - there is also other SDA research published on this topic as well, but you seem stuck in the same loop, there is disconnect here but I won’t assume anything.


(Frankmer7) #84

George…

Let me clarify. When I say popular SDA interpretation, I mean evangelistic organizations like Amazing Facts, the typical prophecy seminars, and pre packaged bible studies and literature that are usually given to people explaining our beliefs. They are often nowhere near where someone like Bacchiocchi or Kenneth Strand are, or any of the work of Adventist scholars. Some of Doug Batchelor’s interpretive explanations are practically embarrassing.

However, who impacts the general thought of people in the pews more? It is not the scholars. They don’t even make an impact on this GC administration, witness SA 2015. Some of the “amazing facts” that are trotted out in popular interpretations are simply erroneous. And, they continue unabated and believed within the denomination. I don’t attribute this to someone like Bacchiocchi.

With that said, I am familiar with his arguments, think he did some tremendous work, but don’t agree with some of his conclusions, for reasons I’ve already stated, and others. I hope that clears things up.

Frank


(George Davidovich) #85

This topic is very off the subject of discussion but, since it is quite impossible to ignore it here at Spectrum, as being injected into almost any discussion, I will just mention a few points:

  1. The cultural perspective is understandable but hardly one I feel is a priority for our time.
  2. I have never paid any attention to the Calvinist root of this theology as I have never believed in pre-destination.
  3. The SDA Church at least officially does not believe in it as there is not even a hint of it in any ot he 28 FBs.
  4. The potential theological ramifications into the Trnity do interest me (Jesus being called subject to the Father is not sommething I really believe).
  5. I believe Bacchiocchi only dalt with the WO component of this theology, but I never paid much attention to his position on this. I personally can’t wait until this WO thing is resolved one way or the other so we get on with more important issues and topics for our time. ( I do read and appreciate some of your comments Casie)

#86

Sirje,

This is a little bit misleading.

First of all, you don’t absolutely need EGW to read and study the Bible. She said that her purpose was to lead people to Scripture.

Second, even if one uses the writings the EGW when studying the Bible, it doesn’t mean that one reads the Bible as interpreted by EGW. After all, a lot of people read other people’s books when reading the Bible, either as commentaries or as a way to find an explanation for a difficult text, or to open one’s horizon. For example, when some people here use Ford’s material, do you say that they read/study the Bible as interpreted by Desmond Ford. I don’t think so.


#87

It will never be resolved at the level of WO because it’s about authoritarianism, not WO.

(I’m sorry you “didn’t pay much attention”—I’ve been stridently warning Adventists about this since the last century. Now it’s too late; the crisis is upon you.)

Authoritarianism at the administrative level can never be resolved because it’s about our View of God:

  1. Is God authoritarian, or
  2. Is God relational?

This can never be resolved at the doctrinal level because Adventist eschatology and soteriology are incompatible—like two wet tom cats tied up in a gunny sack, as I often say.

Hanz Gutierrez expresses this more elegantly, in various ways, e.g.:

Therefore it is not off-topic to speak of this vital, core, sine qua non issue.

Spectrum doesn’t appreciate my open-category thinking and banned me for half of last year, but if your church is going to survive and fulfill your calling as a movement, which I fervently hope you will, you’re going to have to:

Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations: spare not, lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes;

This is best done face down on the ground before God.

The old wine skins are not suitable for New Wine.

Jesus told you this.

Don’t break, Adventist friends.


(George Tichy) #88

WOW! I am sorry for that. I didn’t know it happened! I thought that you just took one of those long vacations that you enjoy once in a while.

Well, sometimes it’s not worth to engage some people, especially when they go “ad hominem” and one is tempted to go down there with them.

Just be careful, I don’t want to see you becoming a millennial any soon!!! :roll_eyes:


#89

I honestly don’t think I did that. I can’t even remember anyone ever going off on me here.

I got notices about being “off-topic”—they banned me several times before that for shorter times.

What may have got on their last nerve was, you know how I put lots of spaces in my posts? (Thoughts need breathing room, haha.)

Well, Spectrum came in an reformatted a post, and took away all my “breathing spaces,” which I seem to need.

I left their reformatting but copied my original formatting on top, saying I liked it just fine the way it was.

(I was traumatized in kindergarten when they made me write with my right hand—a seriously bad thing to do. Just leave it alone, you know?)

Then I posted this in the Lounge:

image

And also in the Lounge I had brief exchange with someone about whether Spectrum was dealing equally with women on some subject I can’t recall.

It was in the middle of a funny conversation about 19th century whale bone corsets and Ellen White saying she felt like she was decked out like a ship of war, I think.

That was deleted and I was banned for six months.

No big deal.

But I think topics need lots of breathing room…and time…also.

These topics are all vast, and interconnected, and micromanaging stifles creativity and the natural flow of things.

Just my opinion.

Here’s my neck—chop it any time you please, Spectrum—no harm, no fowl foul: :turkey:

Happy Thanksgiving, all! :fallen_leaf:


(Sirje) #90

Have you not heard of the “Clear Word Bible”? So, you’re going to tell me it is not the official position of the church while it was originally published by the Review and Herald and promoted by it’s magazine. But never mind that, the SS quarterly is a clear picture of how the Bible must be studied, according to the “official” church.


(George Tichy) #91

Come on Cass, just stop breathing! So simple… :wink:


#92

Frank,

Thank you for your answers. I’d like to address a few points.

In Deuteronomy 31:9, we read:

“And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and unto the elders of the Israel.”

In Deuteronomy 31:24-26, we read:

24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished,
25That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying,
26Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.”

And in verse 28, we read:

“Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.”

Also, in Leviticus 23:24, it is written:

“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seven month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.”

So, what do we see?

First, the law of Moses (or at least parts of it) was considered a witness against people as the people were supposed to be judged according to the law of Moses (as it is in the laws written by Moses that we see the consequences of breaking this law or that law).

Second, we see that the celebrations, like, for example, the memorial of blowing of trumpets, were considered as sabbaths. These celebrations were parts of the ceremonial law. And we know that the ceremonial law was nailed to the cross. But we know (see Acts 15) that some thought that people still had to follow them and be also circumcised and the elders in Jerusalem had to clarify the situation.

Through the letters of Paul, we realize that he addressed the same issues as in Acts 15, that is, circumcision and ceremonial laws that, like he said, were nailed to the cross (read, for example, Col 2). But because he used the word “sabbaths”, many believe that the sabbath of the fourth commandment is also included. But is it the case?

There are several elements showing that it is not:

  1. The sabbath found in the fourth commandment is on par with the other commandments which are eternal (unless we can imagine a time when killing, lying, taking the name of God in vain, etc, will be considered okay). More, the fourth commandment refers to the day of the Lord that God sanctified from the beginning of creation, even before sin.
    This cannot be said of the sabbaths corresponding to the ceremonial laws. There were linked to the service of the earthly temple and are not valid anymore.
  2. The sabbath of the Ten Commandments was placed inside the ark of the covenant under the mercy seat which is used during the judgement (Yom Kippour).
    The other sabbaths of the ceremonial laws were outside of the ark and people are not judged according to them today, in the same way as people, today, are not judged by the fact that they are circumcised or not.
  3. In the Old Testament, God said that there would be a new covenant and that the covenant would be based on the law written on the heart, as it is written:

31Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah;
32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband to them, saith the LORD:
33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
(Jer 31:31-33; see also Heb 8:8-10 and Heb 10:16)

And Paul to add:

“Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not in, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stones, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” (2 Cor 3:3)

So, the new covenant, according to the Old Testament, and according to Paul in the New Testament (referring to the Old Testament), was about having the law not just on tables of stone but also on the tables of the heart. We all know that the tables of stone refer to the Ten Commandments.

So, the commandments written in stone (meaning the Ten Commandments) were supposed to be also written in the heart in the new covenant. And in these Ten Commandments, we, naturally, have the fourth commandment regarding the day of the Lord, the weekly sabbath day.

And if the sabbath commandment has to be written in the heart in the new covenant, according to what God said in the Old Testament, then it has to be there when this new covenant comes into effect.

This shows that not only the sabbath is still valid today but also that every Christian who enters into this new covenant has to keep it.

This passage is about the law since without law there is no sin. Paul is clear on it. Without the law, there is no record of sin and without the law there is no accusation.

So, every time we speak about sin, we speak about the law.


#93

Sirje,

Come on! The Clear Word Bible is not the first paraphrase Bible on the market. There are many out there. Their purpose is just to make the Bible more accessible to people who find the wording style of the regular Bibles hard to grasp. But the Clear Word is not a tool for deep Bible studies.

Since the Clear Word Bible was published by the Review and Herald, it is then normal that this translation would be influenced by the SDA church beliefs. How shocking! But it is the case with any translations of the Bible. So, no big deal as there is nothing new.


(Sirje) #94

Exactly. AND YOUR POINT IS?


#95

Brilliant!!! Thank you, Doctor T!

I’ll do it right now! :flushed:

image


(Frankmer7) #96

Nymous…

I definitely don’t want to continue far beyond this point, because I think that this, like most discussions on this, will not go far. With that said:

This is an erroneous concept. Paul, in Romans 5:13 says that “…for before the Law was given, sin was in the world.” Sin has its own power to enslave and kill apart from the Law. It is why he said that sin and death reigned from Adam to Moses. It is why Gentiles, who were without the Law, were equally as culpable and enslaved without the Law as Jews were with it.

Now, you can say that Adam transgressed God’s command to eat from the tree. Adventists use that to try to prove the existence of the Law before Sinai. But this is not Paul’s point. Nor do I think that he would recognize the Adventist argument. The Law, in the sense that Paul meant it is more than just a legal code or set of commands. It was covenant, a covenant arrangement with one people, Israel. This is behind this statement, and all his references to Law.

And the covenant was one entity, not split into moral, ceremonial, civil parts as Christian and Adventist interpreters often do. The whole thing, all 613 commands, was binding upon Israel. And the basis of it all was the ten. The ten were even called the covenant in the OT. For Paul and the Jerusalem council to say that Gentile believers in Christ didn’t have to be circumcised meant much more than the idea that they didn’t have to keep certain Jewish ceremonies. It meant that they were not expected to come under the Sinai covenant, at all. They were not to be brought under the Law and be expected to live as Jews. Christ, and the reception of the Spirit, totally separate from the Law and life under it, was enough to dynamically call them into the life of the people of God in Christ, and to keep them as his living and loving community of faith.

This is the entire argument of a letter like Galatians. Circumcision was the entry sign into the covenant, and Paul’s argument is not only against the imposition of the ritual itself. It was against imposing the entire covenant arrangement, that he tied to Sinai, (where the entire Law, including the ten, was given) upon Gentiles. I declare to everyone who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to keep the whole Law." Gal 5:3

In fact, he goes as far as saying that with the coming of the Messiah, the time of the Sinai covenant/Law as the condition to belong to the people of God was actually over. It was an historical arrangement for one people whose time was up. This is the image of the paidagogos in Galatians. The child custodian, to which he likened the Law, is no longer needed, because the Messiah has come, and those of faith are likened to adult heirs, no longer under the supervision of the custodian…IOW no longer to be brought under the Law.

This temporary nature of the Sinai covenant, can add depth and background to our understanding of Paul’s reference to the Sabbath, as well as all Jewish holy times, as part of shadowy observances that were passing away. The reality had come…Christ, his death and resurrection, and the new life of the Spirit that the Colossians were baptized into. His council was to not let anyone impose a system of shadowy observances upon them as necessary for faith and fellowship.

This is not what Colossians 2 is saying at all. No law is portrayed in that chapter as being nailed to the cross. I unpacked the historical and cultural background behind the Greek phrase cheirographan en dogmasen in my last post. You either didn’t read it, or you just refuse to address it. The record of sin, on the basis of the commands, is what was nailed, in Christ. That is what it means. No ceremonies, no laws were nailed. On this basis of having their sins wiped out, Paul was saying to let no one judge them regarding festivals, new moons, and sabbaths, etc.

Additionally, you can make whatever arguments you want about the sabbath being separate from the other celebrations. While I agree in one sense, the fact is that the celebration of the sabbath was just as tied to the temple and the sacrificial rituals as the other holy days were in the temple system. Secondly, and more crucially, the above phrase in Colossians is a formula used repeatedly in the OT to indicate all the holy times…yearly, monthly, and weekly. It includes the weekly sabbath. Paul is clearly using this formulaic expression in this way. One can’t just pull concepts from all over the Bible to refute what the language in a passage, and in its context, clearly means. Paul was calling all of them shadows that were not to be imposed upon those who lived in the reality to which they pointed, the Messiah Jesus himself!

You simply argue against this by reasserting that it can’t possibly mean the weekly sabbath, applying other passages from all over the Bible, without ever dealing with the evidence and meaning from the passage and the context itself. It is the same with your way of importing the meaning into the text of Col.2 that the ceremonial law was nailed to the cross, when it is also clear that this is not what the passage, read in literary, linguistic, historical, and cultural context is saying.

Finally, from a more experiential point of view, you argue that the law written on the heart is the ten commandments. The Law, from a Jewish perspective is more. It’s the Torah…all of it. Hebrews, where this is quoted repeatedly, was written to Jewish believers. They most likely would have understood it in this fashion.

Paul’s point about the law written on the heart in multiple places in his letters, is that faith in Christ, and the fruit of love that is brought to life by the powerful Spirit in and amongst his people, is the experience of the law written on the heart. This is why he could say, “Love is the fulfillment of the Law.” Or, “what matters is faith expressing itself in love.” Or, “the whole law is fulfilled in this, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Or, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so bring to completion the Law of Christ.” Nowhere does he ever refer to the sabbath as part of that experience for his churches.

This is why I say this is experiential…there are vast numbers of present day Christians who have been born again through faith in Christ, into a living hope, and express real love for one another and others…but don’t keep the Sabbath. And, they were never convicted about it. Why? Did the Spirit not do his job? Are they all deceived as Adventism says? Or, have they simply received the Spirit, and are experiencing the law of love in their hearts, lives, and communities apart from the written code of the law and the sabbath, and belong equally to God as they are, just as many Adventists do while keeping it?

I sense that we are at an impasse, because I don’t anticipate anything I’ve argued will make a difference. As a long time Adventist, I am thoroughly familiar with all the Scriptural proofs and arguments you’ve mustered. After years of further study, I just don’t agree with them anymore.

Thanks…

Frank


(George Davidovich) #97

Frank, it sounds as if it is just about your opinion, you don’'t agree with scholars and you wont accept scritpture, why keep arguing then?


(Frankmer7) #98

That’s hot stuff, George. I could easily throw that back at you. There are many non Adventist scholars with whom you don’t agree, that have different views on the covenants, and the Law, than Adventist scholars such as Bacchiocchi, who defend the sabbath. They are just as erudite. And, they base their views on the scriptures. So, we are talking about differing interpretations.

Secondly, everything I presented on this thread is supported by Scripture. It doesn’t happen to agree with your views or the traditional Adventist views of the scripture. Which means we are talking again about interpretation.

Rather than throwing shade, as if one isn’t listening to authority, or not being biblical, why not acknowledge that this is about differing views of the same scripture, between us, and between scholars. I happen to think we still serve the same Lord, since it still is one Lord, one faith, one baptism. We just happen to differ on these issues. I think that about Adventists and other Christians as well…sabbath keepers or not.

Thanks…

Frank


(George Tichy) #99

My wife’s favorite movie ever. I like it too, but she watched it at least 10 times. Great story.


#100

Frank,

You have to mention the entire verse and not just take one part. In Romans 3:13, it is written:

“For until the law sin was in the world:but sin is not imputed when there is no law.”

Also Paul said in Romans 3:20:

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

And elsewhere:

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”

This is what is meant by: “without law there is no sin”. Because, legally speaking, when there is not a law against something you are considered guiltless regarding that something.

You are right and wrong here.

Right when you said the covenant was one entity; that the 613 commands were binding upon Israel and that they were based on the Ten Commandments.

But you are wrong when you seem to imply that there was no split in the law, that there was no difference between the Ten Commandments and the commandments written by Moses. For example, the mere fact that the Ten Commandments were written by God himself and in stone marks a stark difference with the law of Moses, written by Moses on scrolls. Another big difference was the fact that the Ten Commandments were placed inside the ark of the covenant whereas the law of Moses were not.

And of course, there were different types of laws. Some dealt with the sanctuary service, others dealt with civil matters, and some others with moral matters. Granted, it was under the same covenant but there were different categories. And these laws didn’t have the same character of permanence as the Ten Commandments as they could be changed or things could be added. For example, there was no law of inheritance for women at the beginning but it was changed when it appeared that it was possible to have families where there were only women and no man left to carry the name and take the inheritance. So the law was changed. Another example: the sanctuary service pointed to Jesus. Once Jesus came and fulfill his mission, the sanctuary service was not necessary any longer. This is why the veil separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place was torn down.

The Ten Commandments, them, are permanent, even the fourth one because the seventh day has always been the only day sanctified and hallowed by God and is the only day that God calls His day and this from Creation when there was no Jew.

Frank,

If keeping the fourth commandment is to live as a Jew then keeping the first one, or the fifth one, or the sixth one is also to live as a Jew. But no one is saying that (as most Christian keep nine commandments without any problem). Why? Because everybody can see how ridiculous this argument is. So, as the fourth commandment is on par with the other ones, we can see that keeping the sabbath is no more Jewish than keeping the commandment that says “Thou shall not kill”.

I didn’t mean to say that Colossians 2 portrayed the law as being nailed to the cross. I was, in fact, making a reference to that chapter to make a comparison with Acts 15. So, in my statement, the reference to Col 2 is in regard to what I said about Acts 15, not about the law and the cross. And the sentence should have been written as: “we realize that he addressed the same issues as in Acts 15, that is, circumcision and ceremonial laws (read, for example, Col 2) that, like he said, were nailed to the cross.”

Sorry for the confusion.

Technically, you may be right. But I was using that expression loosely (even sloppily), as it is often done among Christians, to say that these laws (circumcision and ceremonial laws) were not valid anymore after the sacrifice of Christ.

This is not quite exact. We have to remember that the Israelites were asked to keep the sabbath (Exodus 16:23)… even before the giving of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) and before they were asked to build a sanctuary (Exodus 25:8).

This shows:
1- the objective existence of the day of the Lord regardless of the law, that is, it is not the Ten Commandments that created the sabbath day and made the seventh day holy. The sabbath day was already holy even before the Ten Commandments were announced and read to the people;
2- the sabbath day is not tied to the temple as it was already holy and declared long before the sanctuary/temple service was even instituted.

The context in Colossians 2 is clearly about circumcision (verses 11-13) and the ordinances for which Paul even gives some examples, like in verse 21 (“Touch not; taste not; handle not”).

In verse 16, the first four references made by Paul are linked to the ceremonial laws (meat, drink, holiday, new moon). So why do we want to say that the last reference in this verse is not linked to the ceremonial laws. The seventh day sabbath is not linked to the ceremonial laws as it existed even before the sanctuary service was even instituted whereas the other sabbaths, them, were instituted after the sanctuary service was implemented.

It is not me who says that, it is Scripture. Just read the references I gave you (Jer 31:31-33; Heb 8:8-10 and Heb 10:16; 2 Cor 3:3) and you will see that they refer to the new covenant and the Ten Commandments.

Read Acts 13:42-48. There we see Gentiles, not Jews, not proselytes, asking Paul to speak to them the following sabbath. If Paul thought that the sabbath didn’t matter for the Gentiles, he could have spoken to them any day before the sabbath. And according the text, almost the entire town was there and it seems that they had a good experience during that sabbath.

Also, don’t you think that it is rather strange that those who refuse to keep the sabbath, the day that was sanctified by God himself, keep a day anyway for worship? Why keep a day that God never hallowed and neglect a day that Jesus himself said He was the Lord of. If Jesus is my Lord, don’t you think that I would rather keep His day rather than any other day? Just thinking…

The same can be said of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc… all having a living hope, expressing love for one another and maybe others… and certainly not keeping the sabbath.

But Jesus said that if we love him, we have to keep his commandments. It is not enough just to pay lip service. The Pharisees surely thought they loved God… We know the result.