Guest post at the blog Reinventing the Adventist Wheel.
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Today, Holy Thursday, is the day that the New Covenant came into being.
At this time of the year, when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and the Incarnation of God the Son in human form, scoffers appear. Adventists are amongst these. Some Adventists celebrate Christmas, some don't. Those who don't rely on two key arguments - 1) it's not commanded in the Bible, and no permission is given to do so, and 2) misinformation.
Adventists, and others such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and those groups continuing Herbert Armstrong’s legacy, often claim that Easter is derived from a pagan festival. In fact, there are two important points to raise in response to them – a) whether or not Easter is pagan, and, for the Armstrong followers, b) which days of the week the Crucifixion and Resurrection were.
The late Adventist scholar Samuele Bacchiocchi was influenced by the teachings of Herbert Armstrong, and promoted the observance of Jewish holy days instead of Christian holy days. In his Endtime Issues #43 he rearranges the historical evidence to form a revised version of history to support his arguments. He beautifully provides us with a typical example of how historical evidence is misapplied.
I applaud the Adventists, and others, who have seen the significance of Easter and Lent, and choose to celebrate Christ's resurrection as the early Christians did, and set time aside in their calendar for preparation for that celebration, along with the rest of their brothers and sisters in Christ, throughout the centuries.
The date for Easter, as most people know it, is calculated according to rules defined by the Catholic Church centuries ago. Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Dutch Reformed, and other Protestant churches that celebrate Lent, a 40 day preparation before Easter, along with most Catholics, keep Lent the way most people know it.
Unless there is a good reason not to, refusal to worship with fellow Christians must be seen in a negative light - it is not good for the Christian, and it is not good for the fellowship of the Church. It is in that sense that not going to church is considered to be a sin. That is the moral sense that existed when the Sabbath was in force as well, and while the timing on the 7th day is no longer of importance to…