While I follow Mr. Armstrong’s dictates regarding the “calculated Hebrew Calendar”, there is much debate over the issue. Mr. Rich Traver brings us an article in our Food For Thought section that elaborates on why the confusion and perhaps puts it in perspective for us.
It is presented here in the hope that it will soften some of the bickering about the calendar issue and put it in its proper place in our thinking.
With regard to how to construct a calendar acceptable to God, the Bible offers very little by way of specific information. What we have today and what we have had from antiquity is built upon longstanding practice (tradition) and ‘mountains’ of conjecture. The biblically stated parameters we have are:
1) Sunset – to begin the day – mentioned only obliquely in reference to the Day of Atonement,
2) First visible crescent – to begin the month – though not specifically stated,
3) The abib – to begin the year – a sometimes fickle indicator, needing human assessment.
4) The completion of the fall harvest so that the worshipper could bring a true tithe to the Feast.
Why is so little specific information given? If the “true” calendar of God is such an all-important instrument, and He expects mankind to “keep it” so precisely, why is there such a lack of specific criteria by which to construct one? If God is so adamant that we keep His Holy Days on ‘the right day’, why isn’t there more criteria given to establish unequivocally what all the ‘right days’ are?
If God is so insistent that ‘right days’ be observed, why would He provide us so few absolute and irrefutable benchmarks? As shown above, each of the above determination methods are increasingly imprecise. If God is so insistent on exactness, as many calendar enthusiasts insist, why provide mankind with so few absolute specifics, while what is provided is subject to wide ranging interpretations? But the greater question is, do the calendar enthusiasts have sufficient basis to take the attitude toward others that, “If you don’t have the right calendar (as I define it) then you are dirt to me! You are not worthy of my fellowship.” Unfortunately, that happens.
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