The Ephesians 4 Project: Article VIII
The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord's Day should be commensurate with the Christian's conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Unifying Principles from Article VIII.
The doctrine of the Lord’s Day can involve some disagreement among Southern Baptists. Some would like the wording from the BF & M 1963 reinstated that includes phrases denoting activities to avoid on the Lord’s Day. The former statement said that the Lord’s Day ought to be observed “by refraining from worldly amusements, and resting from secular employments, works of necessity and mercy only being excepted.”
Interestingly, Southern Baptists from a variety of theological understandings argue that the 1963 wording was best, while other Southern Baptists from those same varieties of theological understandings argue that the 2000 wording was a needed change. It appears, however, that the BF & M has maintained a delicate balance between the two more opposing views by catering to both. Here is a great example in which a local church ought to draw up an additional statement of belief that will be “commensurate with the Christian’s conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.”
The unifying principle remains the same despite minor disagreement, which is Southern Baptists agree that the Lord’s Day ought to be observed regularly for the remembrance and worship of our great Savior, Jesus Christ. Further, I would conclude that all Southern Baptists agree that Jesus is not only Lord of the Sabbath, but He is also Lord of the Lord’s Day. If we can conscientiously sign the BF & M with its statement on the Lord’s Day, then we are welcome under the umbrella of the SBC.
For His Glory,
I think the BF&M 2000 got it right placing the activities of the Lord's Day under the authority of the Christian conscience. Sundays are not Sabbaths, which the BF&M 1963 seemed to make it out to be. While it is a day set appart for Christian devotion, it is not a Sabbath and should not come with a set of laws.