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In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. ‭Romans‬ ‭14‬:‭5‬ NLT

How do Seventh Day Adventists interpret this verse?

  • The 7th day Adventists have chosen to hold their Sabbath at the same time as the Jews in keeping with their interpretation of the ten commandments as part of God's moral law. However, this could be made consistent with this verse in that although they think it is better to do it on the actual proper Sabbath as long as you keep Sabbath in general it is acceptable to God. That's pretty speculative however, hence a comment not an answer. – Reluctant_Linux_User Nov 29 '14 at 8:38
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    @Reluctant_Linux_User Ok. I've seen it said by Seventh Day Adventists that Sunday worship is the mark of the beast. Here's a link that Google gave me. – Zenon Nov 29 '14 at 17:14
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    @Zenon You are right. Adventists believe that Sunday worship is the mark of the beast and that beast is the Roman Catholic Church. What are the main differences between 7th Day Adventists and Catholic/Protestant churches? – 3961 Nov 29 '14 at 17:48
  • This isn't necessarily the SDA position, but The Expositor’s Bible Commentary says that “the close contextual association with eating suggests that Paul has in mind a special day set apart for observance as a time for feasting or as a time for fasting” (Everett Harrison, 1976, Vol. 10, p. 146). That is, the "days" have nothing at all to do with Sabbaths or holidays. Using this verse to support moving the day of rest is eisegesis, not exegesis. – Ray Butterworth Mar 26 at 1:12
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Good question.

Similarly, an earlier verse seems diminish the importance of the Seventh Day Adventists' distinctive belief in vegetarianism.

For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. ...those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants?

(FYI, NLT has a more favorable translation. E.g., instead of "sensitive conscience", NIV says "whose faith is weak". But even NLT begs the question: does it really matter to God?)


The Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has a fairly extensive analysis of these verses. It was written by the department chair of Theology and Christian Philosophy at Andrews University (Seventh-day Adventist affiliation). I recommend reading the whole thing.

The short version:

Paul said something similar about diet that he also said about days. It's hard to tell whether there was a specific contention over diet, but as in other epistles, he is asking for more consideration from mature Christians towards their weaker brethren. Days should be viewed in the same spirit.

Paul is not trying to say there are no commandments, that "everything goes". He is not discrediting the Ten Commandments. He knows they are holy (Romans 7:12). That the Christian reader knows the indisputable value of the Ten Commandments (including seventh-day worship), is taken for granted by Paul.

Paul was likely talking about Jewish feast days. If Christians want to observe them, fine. If not, that's fine too.

  • Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Awesome thought! Thanks Paul! – user3558931 Dec 5 '14 at 23:43
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Seventh Day Adventists do not view Romans‬ ‭14‬:‭5‬ to be about the 4th commandment. We do not believe that the ten commandments (God's moral laws) were abolished at the cross. The law of love would cause Christians to want to keep God's moral laws through grace (i.e. not murder, not commit adultery), it does not free them to then freely murder. The same logic is applied to the 4th commandment, which is specified as the 7th day of the week in the commandment (Exodus 20:10).

Therefore, when Romans 14:5 is read in this context, we believe it is referring to religious holidays. The central issue during the apostolic times were circumcision, eating foods sacrificed to idols, keeping ceremonial feasts and holy days (including the rest days of those festivals). We are free to not keep ceremonial feasts and holy days because they were a "shadow of things to come" (Colossians 2:16-17) (i.e. they were ceremonies that pointed forward to the actual works of Jesus). However, the Sabbath is not a shadow, it represents a memorial of creation, sanctified at creation by God Himself.

Based on the comments on this page, here are a few other points of clarification:

  • The vegetarians in Roman 14:1 is about those early Christians who became vegetarians to avoid food sacrificed to idols, in accordance to Act 15:29. However, the vegan diet advocated by 7th Day Adventists relates to modern foods. Modern animals are raised entirely different from how they used to before. This is the same reason why the organic food movement is popular today, except 7th Day Adventists realized this in the 1850s. Vegetarianism is not a requirement but is greatly advised for heath reasons.

  • While Sabbath keeping Adventists do believe that breaking the Sabbath is a sin, they do believe all those who kept Sunday prior to God revealing this light to them are accepted. Those who are introduced to this topic, however, must search diligently and sincerely for the truth in the Bible until they are fully convicted (one way or the other). Sunday worship is not the mark of the beast today, but will be when it eventually becomes mandatory by law in the future, restricting religious liberty. Then it will become a great test on which men decide to serve God or the traditions of men.

For additional study of Roman 14:5, here is a short 2 min video from amazingfacts.org, scroll down to bottom for the transcript.

http://www.amazingfacts.org/media-library/media/e/1294/t/does-romans-145-refer-to-the-weekly-sabbath.aspx

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    "The vegan diet advocated by 7th Day Adventists relates to modern foods. Modern animals are raised entirely different from how they used to before." Is that really the whole reason for vegetarianism? I suspect there must be something more. Vegetables are also raised differently. And it seems like "raise animals like they were before" would be an acceptable alternate. Or hunting and fishing. – Paul Draper Dec 2 '14 at 1:04
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    @PaulDraper, yes it is about health, God will not take away the consequences of a poor diet. Eating naturally raised animals is a good step (not all Adventists are vegetarians), but the vegan diet is most preferable because this diet God gave to men initially, before the flood temporarily wiped out all vegetation. There is however an important distinction between clean and unclean animals for Adventists. God told Noah to bring 7 pairs of each clean animal and 1 pair of each unclean animal, and this distinction pre-dates the law given to Jews. – Beestocks Dec 2 '14 at 2:59
  • Seventh Day Adventists do not view Romans‬ ‭14‬:‭5‬ to be about the 4th commandment ... just as they confirm from Paul's earlier comment about food -- which the Ten Commandments never mention -- that the passage is not about the Law. – user3558931 Mar 21 '15 at 2:18
  • Please note that adventists are not vegan. Vegan and vegetarian are different things. Vegan is a modern word. Some adventists say, probably to simplify explanation, that they are vegan. I'm a vegetarian SDA and I don't share the vegan philosophy. Adventists were advised to become vegetarians since the XIX century. There are a lot of writings from E.G. White about health issues with meat and about the benefits of being veggie. But there are also statements about not killing animals (she mentions this in a chapter about the pre-diluvian life in one of the volumes of Spritual Gifts, from 1864). – nbloqs Aug 26 '18 at 23:05
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Here's a short answer on how do we read that verse:

In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day [to fast], while others think every day is alike.

(The Jewish usually fasted on Monday and Thursday, and Christians on Wednesday and Friday, as explained in Didache Chapter VIII - 1st verse)

You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable (for fast).

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