What Reformed Confessionalists Can Learn From Orthodox Jews

Aaron Hakakian, Drayton Ratcliff

Credit AP

Sports themes continue on the HB. The Blaze carries a story today about an Orthodox Jewish day school in Houston, TX. Last year they earned national attention when they were nearly disqualified from participating in the state basketball tournament because they refused to play on the Jewish Sabbath. The state administrators of the tournament only accommodated the school’s convictions when the school went to court.

The students, however, had decided that their Sabbath convictions were more important than winning the state championship. They were prepared to sacrifice basketball success for their principles. This year the administrators seem to be more prepared to accommodate the school and there shouldn’t be a conflict.

In a world where Sunday is no longer sacred for 99% of Americans, in a world of Sunday-only soccer, softball, and baseball leagues and musical performances and the like, Reformed Christians, who confess that Yeshua HaMeshiach (Jesus the Messiah) was indeed raised from the dead and is the promised seed of David, indeed, that it is he of whom David said, “The Lord says to my Lord….” (Ps 110:1; Matthew 22:45) is to be worshipped. Because Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead on the first day of the week, the NT calls Sunday “The Lord’s Day” (Rev 1:10) in honor of his resurrection and it was on that day that the NT church met for worship, on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).

The Orthodox Jews are simply asking to be allowed, in a liberal, tolerant, pluralist, society to be able to follow their conscience. We disagree with their convictions but we should admire the courage and their willingness to assert their civil liberties patiently and to bear with scorn for the sake of conscience.

In the long run, who will be more “influential” the Beren Academy, who stood by their principles or we who, for the sake of getting along, do not?

Chaim Potok The PromisePs. I learned a good deal about what it means to be a stranger and alien from Chaim Potok’s account of Jewish orthodox life in America.

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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

    More by R. Scott Clark ›

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