Patrick Madrid, the Sabbath, and the Calendar:
"Surprised By Truth"
The following boxed text is a transcript of Roman Catholic apologist Patrick Madrid's remarks on EWTN's Open Line, of January 05, 2006 (mp3). He is responding to a question regarding the allegation that the Roman Catholic Church changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.
Well, what we have to remember is, first of all what Jesus said, He said don't forget that man was not made for the Sabbath, the Sabbath was made for man [Mark 2:27]. And, the Lord Himself, we are told, was the Lord of the Sabbath [Matt 12:8, Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5], so He had the authority, in areas as far as how we would observe that commandment.
Where was Patrick going with this? Obviously he was beginning to assert that Jesus Himself changed the Sabbath commandment. Here is what Jesus said about that:
Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
The truth is that Jesus emphatically dismisses any notion that He would alter any of the 10 commandments.
What your brother-in-law may not understand is that the Catholic Church did not change that commandment, the Catholic Church observes the commandment to keep holy the Sabbath, but is does so on the Lord's Day.
Patrick maintains that the Catholic Church did NOT change the Sabbath commandment, he claims they KEEP it, on SUNDAY, the Lord's day. That is like asserting that Eve was in full compliance with God's instructions when she ate the fruit of the forbidden tree.
The truth is that God commands that the seventh day of the creation week, the Sabbath of the LORD thy God, be observed as a day of rest as a memorial to creation (Exo 20:8-11). It is a specific day of the week, the last day of the 7 day week, that God claims as His Sabbath, so it is quite impossible to be in compliance with the Sabbath commandment on Sunday, the first day of the week. What you do on the seventh day of the week, Saturday, determines whether or not you are keeping God's commandment.
And the earliest Christians transferred their observance of that commandment from Saturday to Sunday, first of all because their was a distinct break between the Old Testament requirements, the rituals and Mosaic covenant demands dealing with the Sabbath worship and animal sacrifices, and that sort of thing.
The truth is that what Patrick asserts here is simply not taught by the inspired written testimony of the apostolic church, the New Testament. The New Testament books were all written decades after the crucifixion, and none of them teach the transfer of the seventh day Sabbath commandment to Sunday, the first day of the week. No where in the New Testament are we told that Jesus or the disciples began meeting on Sunday in order to keep the Sabbath commandment. This is because they were simply not observing the first day of the week as the Sabbath at all, it was nothing more than the first work day of the week. This was true even thirty years after the crucifixion, when the New Testament was being written.
And they wanted to show that Christianity was distinct from Judaism. It came from Judaism, but it was distinct from it. Ah, celebrating the Lord's coming, I'm sorry, celebrating the Lord's resurrection and death on the day that He rose from the dead seemed to be the most appropriate.
Patrick is saying that anti-Semitism was the motivation for Sunday keeping. Jesus Christ is a Semite. Jesus Christ kept the seventh day Saturday, and said He would not change one jot or one tittle of the commandments. So, is anti-Semitism a valid reason that justifies keeping Sunday instead of the commanded seventh day? Isn't such anti-Semitism in fact anti-Christ? Yes, the truth is that Dan 7:25 prophesies that the little horn power, the antichrist, would think to change the times and laws of the most high God.
Ah, the other thing that we should remember too, is that, our calendar that we follow, including Seventh-Day Adventists, is not only a calendar that was devised by the Catholic Church, but also it is a calendar that is based upon the solar year, not the lunar year. And the Jewish calendar that was observed in the time of Christ is, follows a lunar calendar, which is several days short of the solar calendar.
The truth is that the Catholic Church did not invent or devise the 365 day solar calendar, pagan Rome did. It is called the Julian calendar after Julius Caesar, who implemented it. The Julian calendar has a leap year every fourth year of 366 days. By the 16th century, the effect of the imprecision of the Julian calendar was becoming significant enough that it prompted the Catholic Gregorian (Pope Gregory XIII) calendar reform of 1582, in which Thursday, October 4th, was followed by Friday, October 15th. The method of adding leap years was also changed in order to stay in sync with the solar year. Note however, that the weekly cycle of 7 days, Sunday through Saturday, was NOT altered at all by the Gregorian calendar reform.
So the great irony is that, even the Seventh-Day Adventists themselves are not worshipping on exactly the same Sabbath day as the Jews of the time of Christ, because it is several days off now, ah, having switched to following the lunar calendar.
WHAT? Just where does the Roman Catholic Church officially teach this? [Patrick apparently actually meant to assert that the true Sabbath was lost in the Gregorian calendar reform of the Catholic Church, but that only involved adjusting the existing solar Julian calendar. It did not involve a switch to "following the lunar calendar" as stated, or switching from a lunar calendar, either.]
If the Seventh-Day Adventists (and the Jews, incidentally) are not keeping the true seventh day Sabbath (Saturday) in their abysmal ignorance, then just why does the Roman Catholic Church keep the very next day in celebration of the Sunday resurrection? If Saturday has been lost, hasn't Sunday been lost to us as well? The Roman Catholics LOST SUNDAY in their own calendar reform? Could anything be more more absurdly stupid than this assertion?
This is what passes muster at EWTN and Roman Catholic apologetics? This is nothing more than smoke and mirrors, a snow job, that gives the illusion that Patrick Madrid knows what he is talking about. Clearly he does not, when the facts are examined. The truth is that millions of Jews have kept the seventh day Saturday Sabbath for thousands of years, and this practice was not altered or lost by either the Julian or Gregorian calendars. They are still keeping the same seventh day Sabbath that was instituted at creation, the same day as was commanded at Sinai and kept by Moses, the same day as kept by Jesus and the apostles, and that day is our Saturday.
See also: A Rebuttal To Patrick Madrid's Why Do We Worship on Sunday and Not on the Jewish Sabbath?
Sunday is NOT the biblical Sabbath day.
Did the Apostles keep Sunday?
The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast.
The Battle of Armageddon