How BSA Materials Can Help Your Church (Part 1 of 3)
By Kelly McDonald, jr.
The Sabbath is mentioned over 140 times in the Bible. It is mentioned far more than many other doctrines taught in the church today. This means it has a vital function in our relationship with God. Every human was created with the innate need to rest on the seventh day of the week. Truly, there is more for us to learn about this eternal precept.
The BSA has a variety of materials about the Sabbath and the Ten Commandments. Perhaps quarterly, semi-annually, or annually, your Bible study group or congregation could have a special study on some aspect of the Sabbath. This type of study would deepen one’s understanding of this special day and its practice.
I have some examples of these types of studies below, with suggested materials:
Study Idea #1 – Heroes of the Faith – This study would utilize books or videos about Sabbatarians putting their faith into action. These true-life testimonials would highlight how people honored the Sabbath despite extreme and adverse conditions.
Suggested Materials: “Miracle of the Seventh-Day Ox” – The miraculous story of a man who honored the Sabbath in a concentration camp in Communist Russia. He suffered for his faith, but God provided for Him in a miraculous way. “A Thousand Shall Fall” is a book about a German man who honored the Sabbath and avoided fighting in the war even after he was drafted by Hitler’s Nazi regime. “Chains in China” – A Sabbatarian in China was imprisoned over the Sabbath. He still spread his faith despite the terrible conditions around him.
Other Suggestions: You could read these books consecutively or perhaps do this type of study over the course of a year. You can also ask the study group to input their own stories of perseverance. I’m sure that online you could find inspiring stories from other Sabbatarians or from history. This type of study will encourage people to keep the Sabbath despite threats from employers or others.
Study Idea #2 – Why Do We Keep the Sabbath? – This study would take a look at the fundamental reasons why we honor the Sabbath. It is important for Sabbatarians to be reminded why we honor the Sabbath. We do not want to simply go through the motions.
Suggested Materials: “Why I Am A Sabbath Keeping Christian” by Dan Jarrard. This book details one man’s journey in learning about the Sabbath. “35 Reasons Why I Keep the Bible Sabbath” by Robert Correa. This book gives unique insights as to why we should honor the Sabbath. “The Morality of the Sabbath” by D.M. Canright. This book examines the moral foundation of honoring the Sabbath. It puts forth the idea that the Sabbath is the moral centerpiece that holds the other commandments together. “The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man” by Abraham Herschel is a philosophical examination the Sabbath; it is very in-depth. “Holy Time With God” by Bill Shults is another read for this study.
Other Suggestions: This type of study would be good to include a time for people to give testimonials as to how they learned about the Sabbath and how to practice it. It is good for others in the Body to hear personal testimonies of how we came into the Sabbath truth.
Study Idea #3 – History of the Sabbath – In this study, you could look at the history of the Sabbath in general or in certain parts of the world. This would help resolve or overcome common objections to keeping the Sabbath such as “the Sabbath wasn’t observed by early Christians” or “Sabbath keeping just started in the 1800s”.
Suggested Materials: “History of the Sabbath” by J.N.Andrews is a thorough, in-depth read. It covers the history of Sabbath and Sunday in Christianity for over 1,000 years. “Time is the Ally of Deceit” by Richard Rives conveys on a simple level how paganism crept into Christianity and tainted it. “From Sabbath to Sunday” by Samuel Bacchiocchi is another in-depth book that covers the first few hundred years of Christianity. It examines the potential causes as to why some people moved away from the true Sabbath. “The Celtic Church in Britain” by Leslie Hardinge looks at Sabbatarians in Britain, especially in early Christianity. We have several other works on Sabbath history available on our website.
Other Suggestions: Participants in the study could discuss historical claims about the Sabbath that they have heard (and even historical arguments against the Sabbath). You could always invite a historian from a Sabbatarian Church to speak at your congregation. Richard Rives is a great speaker to exhort congregations and even evangelize the general public.
We also have several DVD sets available that are great to use with a group.
To look at the BSA materials, click the links below.
Thanks for reading and I hope we can help build your faith!
Kelly McDonald, JR.