Within the last few days, a few posts have referred to a new position statement taken by the Biblical Research Institute regarding the lunar Sabbath teaching.
Just this last weekend, a friend of mine attended Garden Road SDA Church in Calgary, Canada, where Pastor Ishmael Ali said he just came back from a ministerial meeting and that we have an official position that the BRI has made on the heresy of the lunar Sabbath calendar that he could present and he would do so next week. Pastor Bob also posted, "I was at pastors' meetings just this week in which Gerhard Pfandl addressed this theory and presented the evidence as to why it is not Biblically tenable and why the Biblical Research Institute has rejected it." He has graciously promised to post the full critique when he gets it. (Pastor Bob - are you in the same conference in Canada?)
I have wished for some time to hear an official stance on the lunar Sabbath from the BRI and was happy to hear what Pastor Ali and Pastor Bob had to say. In my eagerness to obtain the information, I just now called the BRI and spoke to a lovely lady by the name of Brenda Flemmer. I asked if I could receive this information and she said, "No, there is no official church stance. There are GUIDLINES, but nothing has ever been voted on. I do not know if they will vote on it - I have not heard of anything along those lines."
While this was very disappointing to me, I would like to offer a gentle word of caution to everyone involved in the disucssion of so vital a topic as the holy Sabbath: We are not the Roman Catholic Church and the Biblical Research Institute is NOT the "Holy Office for the Defense of the Faith" (aka, the Inquisition.) Angel Rodriguez is not the Grand Inquisitor whose decrees should be taken as the Word of God Almighty. As we all must answer for ourselves at the judgment bar of God, there certainly is room to allow each other religious liberty in our beliefs. Some of the name calling that has occured, "lunies", etc. does not honor the belief which the one doing the name-calling claims to espouse.
Whether you are for or against the lunar Sabbath belief, let us all allow each other sufficient liberty of consciense to study for ourselves what we believe. The findings of the BRI should be taken under consideration in the context of one's OWN study - not as the final end-all-be-all of the discussion, for that would make us no different from the Ropman Catholics who do not feel the need to study for themselves as they just have to believe what the Grand Inquisttor has studied out FOR them.
I, personally, would like to see an official position taken on the lunar Sabath. If any of you agree, I would encourage you to call the BRI and request it. Of course, this can only be done by the GC in session under vote, but there would certainly be opportunity for that iat this next session this year. The phone number of the BRI is 301-680-6790.
In the loving and gracious spirit of Christ, Brothers and Sisters, let us study for ourselves.