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 A Goodbye - and rationale for leaving SI

Dear, brothers

I joined SI in 2005 and have been immensely grateful for the work of this website. I have decided to leave (like many before me), but I wanted to explain why.

Paul has shut down a thread on the Sabbath at the request of one user who wrote,

///Would you pull your son or a work animal out of a well on the Sabbath??? Seriously moderators...why is this thread still going? Why is a real life pharisee allowed to spout this kind of stuff and confuse and potentially bring young christians into bondage who might stumble into these forums?///

This (the quote above) was the post that came immediately after I wrote the following:

///Roger, I have said I won't discuss the Sabbath anymore, but I did want clear up what looks like a misunderstanding. I also regret when others act as if theirs is the only true church and that others are going to go to hell. I believe there are very many very godly 'non-Sabbatarians'. The truth is that we are saved by grace not by our works. But I do still believe that it is sin to do work or recreation on the Sabbath, I do believe (as Ravenhill put it!) that it hinders our prayers and brings spiritual consequences on the Church. But it doesn't disqualify people from the kingdom.///

I have been gracious and patient throughout the whole of the conversation, and unlike (!) the pharisees of old I have been very clear that not only are works of necessity and mercy required on the Sunday Sabbath, but I have also been very clear that we are saved by grace and not by our works.

Over the years I have watched many conversations (in the forums) go on unhindered that were ill-tempered and even unkind. This conversation has not been like those conversations... until I was called a real life pharisee.

But the thread was not closed on that basis! It was closed, rather, because I have pointed out an area in the lives of other SI users that I believe is sinful and in doing so I have called the same things sin (doing work and sports on the Sunday) that Leonard Ravenhill called sin, that D.L. Moody called sin, that Spurgeon, Whitefield, Wesley, Brainerd, M'Cheyne, Lloyd-Jones and most everybody before 1900 called sin. Brothers, I am no more a pharisee than they were (I dare you to read what they wrote on the Sabbath!).

But why (on a site dedicated to revival and the sermons of men who did not hesitate to point out the sin in others) is my calling something sin in another Christian so upsetting? Why not simply say "I disagree" and then explain why you disagree (as MaryJane and some others have done) without getting upset about the word 'sin' and charging a brother with pharisaism and then shutting down a thread because the conversation is uncomfortable? Why not then remove Leonard Ravenhill's sermon that espouses just the same things I have espoused on this thread?

It seems an awful lot like works righteousness to me. I have friends who believe I am sinning because [edit: my wife] doesn't wear a covering to church. I have friends who believe I am sinning because as a reformed minister I baptize babies. And we have these frank conversations, we remain friends and rejoice in our shared hope because our confidence is not in our own righteousness but in the righteousness of Another.

I don't mind when someone points out sin in my life for two reasons. First, they may be right, and I want to have ears to hear it. Second, I know that I am not saved on the basis of my living a holy life, but I am saved on the basis of what Jesus did! Paul West, what if you do go on sin breaking the Sabbath til the day you die? I believe you can still say that there is now no condemnnation for those who are in Christ so long as your trust is not in yourself but in Christ alone! I fear that some of you react when something is called sin because you think that if you are sinning you are going to go to hell, and that is works righteousness... it is not the gospel.

In the last 2 weeks I have received a number of emails from brothers using SI who have been thankful for what I have said in that thread on the Sabbath, though they have not weighed in on any of it. I am grateful for them, and I am grateful for those of you who have courteously disagreed with me. I am very sorry, however, for what sermonindex has become.

I'll make my last words those of Leonard Ravenhill

///DON'T you pray (!) for a loved or someone else when you are fooling around on Sundays and won't keep the sabbath. Some of you go to MOVIES on Sunday night.

You, keep the sabbath day holy!! Some of you who used to come here a lot said: "I don't think I need to keep the Sabbath Days. It's Old Testament." Your neighbor thinks they don't have to keep the other Ten Commandments like "Thou shalt not commit adultery". You break one commandment. He breaks the other. If you break one, you are guilty of all. God hangs revival on the keeping of the sabbath. Read Isaiah 58. "Take your foot from my sabbath". That's when football is you see.///

 2013/11/21 10:30

Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057

 Re: A Goodbye - and rationale for leaving SI

Greetings Stephen

I think the issue is this topic is one that is open to interpretation. Many have shared with you their understanding of what the Sabbath rest is, Paul West did so and you did not agree with him. That's fine because Paul never said to stop keeping the Sabbath he just shared with you what he and others are seeing concerning the Sabbath. I think the thread was closed because Paul did not want to see it go south and it could have very quickly.

You did label others who do not believe as you do as sinners so I think that there were bound to be someone who would take that as an offense. In the thread you wrote that "anyone who does laundry on the Sabbath is in sin." I spent that particular Sunday doing laundry, I was caring for two sick little children and there were needs that had to be met. I did my laundry that Sunday and gave thanks to GOD. I prayed while I did my laundry, I often sing praise songs to HIM at that time as well.I cleaned up after, cooked, and cared for the sick ones as well as the healthy and gave thanks unto GOD that I could. After I spent the day caring for two sick children I went to my room and had some wonderful time with the LORD. Reading HIS WORD, praying, and spending time with HIM. Now for you maybe you consider that sin but I do not. Doing all things unto HIM and being a servant is what the LORD has shown me and I walk in that. JESUS is my strength and rest in such times no matter what day of the week it is :)

Perhaps you could have chosen your words differently and said "for me I understand doing these things to be sinful on the sabbath" and then left it at that.

In a forum I think it very difficult to understand another persons heart on a matter. Except for those few who know each other in real life, we do not really know each other and so it makes it all the more important to be in prayer for how we speak to one another.

As for the men you keep mentioning. I appreciate some of the things they have written but that does not mean they are perfect in what they share any more then you or I am. I have as I know others have studied the Bible on this matter and walk with CHRIST knowing HE is our sabbath rest.

If you do close your account and leave then I wish you well and will pray for you as the LORD gives me leading.

God bless

 2013/11/21 11:33Profile


If it was only open to interpretation, then the thread would not have been closed. Jesus and the Apostles are pretty clear on the subject. It is a spirit of legalism that wrest's the scriptures.

It goes against the spirit of grace and the New Covenant and even how Jesus walked when He was on earth. It is regarded as a false, legalistic teaching that subtly undermines young believers much as Hebrew Roots teaching does. I believe that is why the thread was closed.

Romans 14 does not give us the luxury of going around and judging people are in sin for the how they regard a day of the week.

Rom 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
Rom 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Rom 14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
Rom 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
Rom 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
Rom 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

 2013/11/21 11:50


I am surprised that this thread was even allowed, considering the request to that there must not be another sabbath thread started.

But since this is here now let me use this as a way to help young christians who might stumble on here. I wonder what the Apostle Paul would say to us all regarding this matter of keeping the sabbath, if he was on this forum? Here is a paraphrase where I have substituted the word sabbath for the words, "the law". I hope it helps those who might have become confused by the clever speech of our religious friend.

"Oh, foolish Sermon Index, who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law by holding the sabbath day holy? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?

I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you keep the sabbath? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.

In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God.

What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.” So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.

But those who depend on keeping the sabbath to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.” So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the sabbath. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” This way of faith is very different from the way of keeping the sabbath, which says, “It is through keeping the sabbath that a person has life.”

Is there a conflict, then, between keeping the sabbath and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If keeping the sabbath could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ."

 2013/11/21 14:18

Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: A Goodbye - and rationale for leaving SI

Stephen's: I joined SI in 2005 and have been immensely grateful for the work of this website.

I am glad that you have found a blessing over the years. I am sorry that you have chosen to leave the forums, though I think you have made your position clear. The moderators have asked that the subject of Sabbath not be discussed further. I trust that you will continue to find the many resources here on to be a blessing.

This thread is now locked.

Kind regards in Christ,


Robert Wurtz II

 2013/11/21 14:42Profile

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