Troy Miller’s Rebuttal Attempt To “Something Different: Lunar Sabbaths”
By Larry Acheson
Introduction to Troy Miller's Rebuttal Attempt
ver the years, at least two individuals have submitted rebuttals to our study "Something Different: Lunar Sabbaths." One was submitted by Eric Bess in 2006, then, in June 2010, Troy Miller sent me his own version. Later, we found that Troy has posted his rebuttal attempt on his website. To actually gain access to his rebuttal attempt, you must first enter his “Hall of Shame,” where June and I are listed among the "shamed," along with the link to Troy’s rebuttal attempt. If you would like to go there directly, here’s the link.
Although I have never met Troy Miller, I was first “introduced” to him back in 2004, when I participated in an internet forum discussion that focused on the topic of the lunar sabbath doctrine. I hope Troy is different in person than he is in written form. The easiest way for me describe my experience with Troy is to share a few details of my very first experience with him. In his first-ever posting to the forum, Troy forthrightly gave his reasons for why the "lunar sabbath way" doesn't have the (apparent) problems experienced by those who observe continuously-repeating weekly Sabbaths. In his concluding paragraph, he wrote the following:
I do not play games with Scripture. This is a very serious issue that is inextricably linked to the lunar Sabbath issue. Messiah’s statement and the evidence that supports it prove only one thing. Israel AND Yahushua were still observing the Creator’s lunar/solar calendar 2,000 years ago. I believe this is check and mate. 
What at first struck me about Troy's posting is how he introduced the paragraph by stating that he doesn't play games with Scripture, but he concluded it with a game-playing attitude: "I believe this is check and mate." In other words, he was the same as stating that he felt he had "nailed" his points and that those of the continuously-repeating weekly Sabbath persuasion had no choice but to concede that they had lost the game of "Scripture Chess"!
What is also interesting about Troy's choice of words is the fact that he quickly retracted them. Oddly enough, he submitted his posting in the wee hours of the morning, at a time when I just happened to be reading the latest postings. As soon as I saw his contribution, I copied and pasted it in order to work on a response. By the time I submitted my response, however, Troy had already edited his posting and had removed the line about "check and mate."
I went ahead and submitted my entire response, including a commentary about how ironic it was for him to say he doesn't play games with Scripture, yet he was playing "Scripture Chess" with us when he concluded his paragraph with "I believe this is check and mate."
Troy acknowledged his initial poor choice of words as follows:
At the time, I was willing to "move on" and not ever bring up Troy's "Scripture Chess" antics again. At the same time, let's face it: He had displayed a bright shade of arrogance. Moreover, I had detected traces of arrogance in other parts of his posting as well, such as when he introduced a verse of Scripture that he felt proved his point by writing, "Behold the Word," but it's difficult to read a person based on the first writing you've read from him. Thus, the question I kept in the back of my mind was, "Did the 'real' Troy Miller truly mean to challenge us at 'Scripture Chess' OR did he just have a fleeting thought that he posted before catching himself, knowing that it was out of character for him to do such a thing?"
I believe you will see the answer to my question as you read through Troy's rebuttal. As it turns out, Troy didn't hang around the forum very long. Non-lunar sabbatarians quickly dissected his arguments, and his responses were weak (at least that’s my opinion!). Without telling us why, Troy left the forum.
Now, over six years later, Troy has resurfaced, and has challenged me to read his rebuttal. In the same e-mail to which he attached his rebuttal, Troy wrote:
If you REALLY want to make some head way against the Creation Calendar respond to my rebuttal to your entire 84 page older edition. There are arguments you will want to back away from, and probably a new angle of approach taken for others. You did not use Scripture to support your position in your first edition, I expect you will in your revised version. If not, I'll be waiting with Scripture in hand to give it the same treatment as the original. 
There shouldn’t be any question as to whether or not Troy displayed arrogance in his e-mail to me. However, this time my concern is not so much about attitude as it is about integrity. For those who would like to confirm the honesty of Troy's approach, we invite you to read the study that Troy referenced in his e-mail to see if June and I used Scripture to support our position. As I browsed through that study, I stopped counting at 8 Scripture verses. I then skipped over to chapter 18, which is titled “More Scriptural Evidence Seals the Matter.” It turns out that, yes, June and I actually cited verses of Scripture in that chapter, too.
Of course, I replied to Troy's unfair remark:
What does this tell me, Troy? It tells me that you were being dishonest. Not only are you displaying arrogance, but you are also dishonest at the same time. This is my observation just from having read your little “challenge” in this e-mail. So tell me: Am I supposed to want to have anything to do with a dishonest lunar sabbatarian who also comes across as arrogant? Didn’t the Messiah caution us about those who bear such fruit? 
In view of the fact that June and I made use of a considerable amount of Scripture to validate our reasons for believing as we do, I am left to wonder why Troy would lie and say we didn't use ANY. Is it because he just didn't LIKE the verses we used in our study? Maybe he thought the verses we used don't actually support our position? If that's the case, then all I can say to Troy is, "Well, Troy, just because you don't APPROVE of the verses that June and I used doesn't mean we didn't use any! Since when does citing verses that others don't agree with equate to not citing verses at all?"
Indeed, if Troy were to have pursued a more honest approach, he might have said something like, "Larry Acheson cited a lot of Scripture, but I don't agree with his conclusion that they validate his position." As I suggested previously, you don't have to agree with my interpretation of Scripture, but certainly you cannot honestly conclude that I didn't use any Scripture in the first place.
Based on the tenor of Troy's remarks from his reappearance after the six-year absence from our lives, I am persuaded that I experienced the "real" Troy Miller's heart when I read the "check and mate" comment from his posting back in 2004. There is a reason why first impressions are important. Sometimes a person's heart will give them away before they have an opportunity to catch themselves.
I am not actually in a big hurry to answer Troy's rebuttal attempt because, for one thing, I've been putting off the completion of our updated "Something Different" study, so taking the time to respond to Troy's rebuttal attempt will obviously contribute to an even lengthier delay in completing that project. If you're reading this commentary years from now (2010) and very little has been added, please understand that responding to Troy's challenge is very, very low on my list of priorities.
Of course, June and I have other responsibilities and commitments in addition to revising our lunar sabbath study, so hopefully you can better understand why this particular project may never reach completion -- not because we don't have answers, but because lunar sabbatarians tend to produce such esoteric, untenable responses to our answers that, quite frankly, we are content to let anyone believe and accept those lunar sabbatarians responses if they want to. I mean, that’s what we do anyway, right? Whether you worship Satan or the Almighty of Scripture, you’re free to do as you please without having to worry about any thundering shouts of restraint from June and me.
Discussing this issue with lunar sabbatarians reminds me of past discussion attempts with evolutionists. Eventually, it just became pointless. They believe their answers are solutions to the age-old question of where we came from, but when we answer their "solutions" and demonstrate the flaws, the evolutionists produce their own responses that sound scientific, but are in essence meaningless and usually vague. I won't get into those arguments here, but hopefully my fellow creationists understand my point.
As it is with evolutionists, so it seems to be with lunar sabbatarians, at least from my perspective (I'm sure they think the same thing about me). Just as evolutionists continue to produce "evidence" that they feel proves we came from a "primordial soup," so lunar sabbatarians continue to produce "evidence" that our Heavenly Father originally ordained the weekly Sabbath to be governed by the lunar cycle.
Just as very few people can really fathom the "evidence" cited by evolutionists, which still fails to answer the question of where the primordial soup came from, in the same way, very few can really grasp the explanations offered by lunar sabbatarians. On top of having to deal with their esoteric, usually vague explanations, we continue to wait for them to produce an ancient Jewish document stating anything to the effect of, "We had been observing the true Sabbath, which is governed by the lunar cycle, but the Roman government forced us to observe continuously-repeating weekly Sabbaths, as is done today. Many of us protested this change, but those who resisted were put to death. Those of us who have survived testify that the Sabbath practiced in this age is not the same Sabbath ordained by the Creator."
I had to fabricate the above quotation because no such quote is known to exist. Lunar sabbatarians would pounce on such a quote in a cold minute and flaunt it to the max ... IF they could find anything like it! But all they have are quotes from unreliable sources, including the most famous one of all, from Joseph Max. We address his quote, as well as his (un)reliability, in our study.
In view of the futility of discussing this matter any further with lunar sabbatarians, combined with the fact that we all have busy schedules, commitments and plans, you can hopefully understand why responding to Troy Miller's rebuttal attempt does not rank very high on my list of priorities. Having spent several years dialoguing and cyber-debating lunar sabbatarians has effectively drained me of a desire to pursue more of the same.
The Origins of Our Original Study
n the beginning of my exposure to this issue, I initially looked into lunar sabbaths out of a heartfelt desire to "prove all things." When I finished my research, I was satisfied that the Almighty did not ordain the observance of lunar sabbaths. I was content to let it go at that without putting my own views in writing.
That all changed when a fellow believer named Frank Brown asked me to put together a short article for his newsletter. The article turned out to be longer than either he or I had intended -- 22 pages (booklet format). I maintain that this original study, in and of itself, successfully disproves the lunar sabbath doctrine.
However, as a result of that study, lunar sabbatarians seemed to come from out of nowhere in protest. Consequently, our study grew in length to over 30 pages -- then to over 60 pages ... then to over 80 pages. It grew to 101 pages by early 2004, which is when I began a three-year stint in the (now-defunct) "True Sabbath" forum at www.eliyah.com. In that forum, I was exposed to a vast array of theories, interpretations, and conclusions offered by lunar sabbatarians, and I realized that I needed to completely revise our original study -- not because our conclusion was wrong, but because I needed to address all the contingencies raised in that forum.
If someone doesn't already regard lunar sabbatarian reasoning to consist of bizarre attempts to force-fit and reinterpret/redefine isolated verses of Scripture so as to conform to their pre-conceived doctrinal view, I am persuaded that an analysis of the ideas presented in that forum by lunar sabbatarians should "seal the deal."
On the other hand, if you are one of those who believes the "true" record of history has been lost and that "true" understanding of Scripture can only be achieved by connecting one isolated text with another isolated text, then nothing in my answer to Troy's rebuttal will have any impact on the way you believe.
After years of waiting for lunar sabbatarians to produce the historical evidence that might tend to invalidate my interpretation of Scripture, I am persuaded that they simply cannot do it. Oh, they will produce some obscure quotes from some obscure writing, but after all this time, I don't look for them to produce any significant quotes that come close to resembling the "fabricated quote" that I constructed above. That's pretty much what they will have to do, and they just cannot come through.
Troy's Introductory Remarks
ven in Troy's introductory remarks to his rebuttal attempt, he not only reveals his arrogance, but it is a stubborn arrogance. I say this because you will notice his concern about the confusing "endnotes" that he had to endure when reading through our study, including how only one of the 108 endnotes was "actually notated." Now the prudent thing for Troy to have done would have been to contact me to ask what's up with the missing endnotes. I would have explained that I sent my original, which has the endnotes, to the gentleman from whose web site Troy encountered our study. The owner of the website unsuccessfully uploaded our study to his site, and since the endnote formatting in Microsoft Word isn't compatible with html formatting, he lost my endnotes. Although I contacted the web site owner and asked him to correct the endnote deficiency, nothing was ever done. Frankly, I don’t think he understands how to make the corrections. In short, if Troy would have asked me for the complete version, I would have sent him the link to the study that is available on OUR web site, which has all 108 endnotes!
However, I'm afraid that stubborn pride kept Troy from asking me if I had a version available with all endnotes intact. I would have gladly referred him to our web site. Apparently, Troy felt it would be easier to wrestle with the missing endnotes, then share his frustration with his readers than to simply contact me (yes, he knew how to contact me!) Troy is free to nitpick at the difficult time he had in "finishing the end noting as best he could," but in the final analysis, all he's really doing is exposing his own stubborn pride.
Now IF Troy had said, "I tried contacting Larry Acheson to see if he could send me a version with the endnotes intact, but he refused to cooperate," THAT would have been a valid concern (presuming it were true, which it is not).
So if you know Troy, you might ask him why he didn't just ask Larry Acheson for a version that contained all the endnotes. I'm sure he'll think of a good excuse!
Later, in the next paragraph of his introductory remarks, Troy asks YHVH to "read his heart." I think we should all be glad that our final judge is Yahweh and not our fellow man, so hopefully when Yahweh reads Troy's heart, He comes away with a better "reading" than I do. I personally read "stubborn pride." "What does Yahweh read?" I wonder. 
I do not mean to dwell on my personal views of Troy's character; I also need to address the claims he makes, but it is no easy task answering his rebuttals while ignoring the smug way in which he frames them. I have plainly addressed my concern about his comportment here in this introduction, and I will continue to address them as I respond to his rebuttal, but our concern should not be so much focused on the character and behavior exhibited by the other party as it should be on the truth of the message they present. If the message Troy has for us is founded on truth, then the fact that I am unimpressed by the way he presents that message should be dwarfed by my being impressed with the truth of his message.
For now, as I begin my review of his rebuttal attempt, I have this initial impression:
A) He presents his views confidently, yet arrogantly. I have no problem with being confident, but without humility it becomes "over-confidence." I do not see the humility flowing through Troy's words.
B) Sometimes the fruit of arrogance is dishonesty, and since June and I have already been falsely accused of not using Scripture to validate our position, I must here state that I am faced with reading the rebuttal of a dishonest person. I do not look forward to reading the rebuttal of an arrogant, over-confident and dishonest person.
The last portion of Troy's commentary reads as follows:
To date, the Spirit of Yah has never failed to lead me to an answer from Scripture or the historical record. I am quite certain that this streak is in no jeopardy.
In view of what I have already observed from Troy, I can only wonder, "Is this another example of his over-confidence?" We will see.
Chapter 1. What Are Lunar Sabbaths?
A. Lunar Sabbath Slayers?
n the opening segment to chapter 1 of our study, June and I asked the following question:
More importantly to our current investigation is the question, “Is this (lunar sabbath) method of Sabbath observance based upon truth and does it have the support of Scripture?”
Even if only ONE accepts the Creation Calendar, it is still the truth. The truth is not in a beauty contest and needs your vote to win. Truth is still truth, regardless of how few accept it. Error is still error, no matter how many embrace it. The Acheson’s should take Gamaliel’s advice, Acts 5:38-39.
Larry's response: It seems a bit premature to make the determination this early into our study that the Acheson's (and not the Miller's) need to take Gamaliel's advice. Here's what Gamaliel said:
38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
39 But if it be of the Almighty, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against the Almighty.
In drawing our attention to these verses, Troy presumes that his view is based on truth and, as such, June and I need to "refrain from these men." So ... writing a study in which we explain why we disagree with lunar sabbatarians constitutes our plan to "slay" lunar sabbatarians? Yes, that is what Gamaliel was responding to with his words of Acts 5:38-39. Peter and the apostles had just exhorted the people to obey the Almighty and not men, and they further explained the risen Savior Who offers repentance and forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:29-32). When the Jewish council heard these remarks, they "took counsel to SLAY THEM" (v. 33). That's when Gamaliel stood up and gave his speech, concluding with the words to essentially leave Peter and the apostles alone.
Since Gamaliel's counsel was offered as the counter-approach to "slaying them," and since Troy Miller states that June and I should "take Gamaliel's advice," the clear inference is that that June and I support the slaying of lunar sabbatarians. Do such veiled charges have any place in discussions of this nature?
This might be a great spot to let Troy (and others) know that June and I have NEVER so much as suggested condemnation for those who do not agree with our views. Yeshua has been appointed as our judge, not any man. As such, so long as lunar sabbatarians practice their faith in peace, without disturbing the lives of others, June and I recommend "refraining from them." "Refraining from them" does not in ANY WAY mean we should desist from writing our opinions of their beliefs, and let’s face it: That’s the problem Troy was attempting to resolve with his remark – that June and I should discontinue writing our opinions about the lunar sabbath doctrine.
Let's see: To this point, we have seen an exhibition of stubborn pride, dishonesty and a strong inference that Larry and June would support killing lunar sabbatarians. Can anyone say, "Falsely accused"?
Dare we probe further into Troy's rebuttal? Yes, we went deeper, and here is what we found:
B. “Force-Fitting” Interpretations of Isolated Verses
On the next page (I'll call it page 2 of "Troy's Rebuttal Attempt"), Troy opens up with a lengthy commentary that I'm simply going to have to interrupt as we go along with an answer of my own.
Troy's Comment #1:
Indeed, is the Creation Calendar supported in Scripture? The answer as you shall see is a resounding yes.
My reply: Certainly we can agree that the Creation Calendar is supported in Scripture, so that is not in question. The question is, "Is Troy's interpretation of the Creation Calendar supported in Scripture?" The reason we wrote our study in the first place was to see if lunar sabbatarians’ "resounding yes" response to Troy's version of the Creation Calendar is based on sound research or if it's another case of the blind leading the blind. Troy's suggesting that he has or knows the "true answer" in advance proves nothing.
Troy's Comment #2:
But first, here is how I determine truth: 1. If I find a single text that says “thus saith YHVH”, (Deuteronomy 8:3b, Matthew 4:10, Luke 4:8), it is truth, and I must admit it, and obey His command, whether there are 2-3 witnesses or not.
My reply: Of course, Troy and I agree that if the Almighty says to do something then we should obey Him, regardless of any witnesses. This makes for a nice foundation for both our arguments, but doesn't prove or disprove the lunar sabbath doctrine.
Troy's Comment #3:
2. If I find 2-3 witnesses, texts saying the same thing, (Genesis 41:32, Deuteronomy 19:15, II Corinthians 13:1) then it is truth that I must admit, and comply with.
Larry’s response: Okay, here’s where we’re headed for trouble, not because June and I disagree with complying with what Yahweh says to do, but because we know in advance that when it comes to the study of Scripture, we have several interpretational differences with lunar sabbatarians, most notably with their tendency to "cherry pick" verses out of context, then combine them while proclaiming, “There! This proves my conclusion is correct!”
I can illustrate my concern with the three verses that Troy used in the comment above. He presumably offered those three verses together because he feels each verse validates the other. Do all three of those verses really “connect” with each other? Let’s take a look:
Genesis 41:32 reads as follows:
32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by the Almighty, and the Almighty will shortly bring it to pass.
Of course, the above verse is an excerpt from Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams about the seven cows and the seven ears of grain. Does Genesis 41:31 connect with the next verse listed by Troy?
Deuteronomy 19:15 reads as follows:
15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
Does Deuteronomy 19:15 correlate or in any way validate Genesis 41:32? No, not really. Is there a similarity between the two? Yes, but only in the sense of doubling. The fact that Pharaoh had two dreams that confirmed the famine that was about to strike Egypt does not mean that there must be two witnesses before anything can be established, nor does it mean that a man must have two dreams before there can be a fulfillment.
No, the reason there must be two or more witnesses before a man can be convicted is because of what it says in Deuteronomy 19:15, apart from Genesis 41:32! If Troy truly wishes to let Scripture interpret Scripture, he will associate Deuteronomy 19:15 with Numbers 35:30, which essentially says the same thing as Deuteronomy 19:15. He could also include Matthew 18:16, which also says essentially the same thing as Deuteronomy 19:15.
Troy did cite another verse which does tie in with Deuteronomy 19:15. That verse is found in 2 Corinthians 13:1:
1 This is the third time I am coming to you. Any charge must be sustained by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
If Troy wishes to connect Deuteronomy 19:15 and 2 Corinthians 13:1, that is fine by me because they essentially say the same thing. Those two verses have a commonality with Genesis 41:32 in the sense of doubling, but that’s it.
My fear is that someone will take Troy’s association of Genesis 41:32 with Deuteronomy 19:15 down the wrong path of cross-associations, attempting to “force-fit” the dynamics of Pharaoh’s dream to all dreams. For example, someone might conclude, “Unless you have two dreams, there cannot be fulfillment (Genesis 41:32, Deuteronomy 19:15, 2 Corinthians 13:1).”
The above conclusion would represent a flawed attempt to reconcile Genesis 41:32 with the other two verses. Thankfully, such a position is easily refuted by such dreams as the dream commonly known as “Jacob’s ladder” (Gen. 28:10-22). It was dreamt only once.
It is this very thing, mis-associating and cross-referencing verses that don’t necessarily connect, that is practiced by Troy Miller and other lunar sabbatarians. The primary example of this “force-fitting” involves what they do with Genesis 1:14, Psalms 104:19 and Leviticus 23:2-3. Genesis 1:14 is where we learn that the lights were created to be for “signs, and for seasons [Hebrew moedim], and for days, and years.” In Psalms 104:19, we learn that the Almighty “appointed the moon for seasons [Hebrew moedim]: the sun knoweth his going down.”
We see that the lights in the firmament were given for moedim, and we see that the moon is given for the moedim, so lunar sabbatarians then connect the moon moedim to the weekly Sabbath (Lev. 23:2-3), where we learn that the Sabbath is included among the moedim listed in that 23rd chapter of Leviticus. Lunar sabbatarians feel that they make a valid “connection.” Have they really?
Without spoiling the information that demonstrates the flaws that June and I have found with this particular “connection attempt,” let us simply cite the words of a lunar sabbatarian who participated in the same forum that Troy Miller exited:
I, as a Lunar Sabbatarian, use the word mo'eid; or at least my understanding of the word; as a foundation on which to build my case. Well, that foundation may be made of sand. Having built my own house from the ground up, I know a thing or two about the need for a level, square, sound foundation on which to build. Sure, one can build on sand, and their building will stand. But eventually, it will not. The tower of Pisa (spelling?) comes to mind. Over the years, each time it leaned one way, the engineers devised a plan to correct it. Sometimes it starts leaning too much in the other direction, while at other times their plan caused it to lean even more in the same direction. After years of discussion, debate, trials and errors; not to mention millions of tax payer dollars; the tower still stands on a poor foundation. The solution ? Either tear it down, or leave it tied up with cables, as a lesson to the world !
Of all the arguments Larry has presented, thus far, I believe this is the most sound of all. Perhaps, I will change my view upon further research and meditation of the facts. But for now, I honestly have to rethink the whole Lunar Sabbath Doctrine. 
We have no idea what the above author eventually concluded in his reconsideration of the lunar sabbath doctrine. He submitted his posting over four years prior to this writing and we haven’t heard from him since. Nevertheless, he is one lunar sabbatarian who would concur that maybe, just maybe, lunar sabbatarians “misconnected” some isolated verses. In our 84-page study, we demonstrate that the daily sacrifices are moedim (Numbers 28:1-4). This in itself invalidates reaching the premature conclusion that the moon is for all “moedim.” Just as the moon cannot be seriously considered as determining daily sacrifices, neither should it be seriously considered as determining the weekly Sabbath.
In spite of the above reasoning, lunar sabbatarians such as “Shofarshogood” still thought that the moon must be considered as the determining factor for the Sabbath mo’ed. That is, until I presented another line of reasoning. You won’t find that line of reasoning included in our 84-page study, nor have I incorporated it into our revised version (yet). Hopefully, one of these days, I’ll get it added. For now, I am persuaded that the other evidence we present is sufficient to invalidate the lunar sabbath doctrine.
Okay, I expended considerable space discussing my concerns about Troy’s methods of “connecting” verses of Scripture. That concern, from my perspective, is actually key to the whole problem, so I hope the space I devoted to explaining my concern will help you to better understand the methods employed by lunar sabbatarians, and why we need to be careful about adopting their methods of eisegesis 
Troy's Comment #4:
3. If I find a chain of texts where there is an unfolding of truth, one expounding upon the other, (Isaiah 28:9-10), it is truth that I am responsible for. 4. If it agrees with the Torah and the prophets, neither adding nor subtracting anything, (Isaiah 8:20, Deuteronomy 4:2), it is the straight truth. 5. A lack of all the above means that something is NOT true. If there is no “thus saith YHVH, no 2-3 witnesses, no chain of textual evidence and no support found in the Torah and the prophets, then it is false. It is my privilege to admit it and tell others that it has no foundation in truth.
Do you see where Troy is headed? He believes he has found a “chain of texts,” and he believes he has carefully, thoughtfully, prayerfully put those texts together and … voilą! He has validated his predisposition towards the lunar sabbath way. Of course, Troy is convinced that the “chain” he found has the full support of the Torah and the prophets.
In Troy’s point #5 above, he asserts that a lack of the proper “chain” means that something is NOT true. Since he would have you to believe that he found the proper “chain,” and since it is not a “chain” that June and I agree with, this can only mean, according to Troy, that our belief is false and has no foundation in truth. Therein lies the danger in Troy’s approach: If you don’t have the right “chains,” then you’re a false believer, and if you tell others about your “wrong chains,” then you’re a false teacher.
Again, this is all a part of the key problem: When you “connect the verses,” you need to make absolutely certain that you’re making the right connections. Lunar sabbatarians, from our vantage point, make the wrong connections, but in their estimation, their connections are sound. Having made all the “wrong connections,” lunar sabbatarians then point their fingers at everyone else and label them idol worshippers. (Since I know in advance that this is something Troy does, we’ll show examples as our response to Troy’s “rebuttal attempt” continues).
Recapping our point here, June and I certainly support the proper application of Scripture, but we need to make absolutely certain that we’re making the right connections before we reach premature conclusions. After all these years, I’m persuaded that the majority of lunar sabbatarians are not going to question their “connection” of Gen. 1:14, Ps. 104:19 and Lev. 23:2-3. It is not likely that lunar sabbatarians will reconsider the “connection” of those verses, although there will be some exceptions, such as the gentleman quoted above (“Shofarshogood”).
Troy's Comment #4:
6. Any historical evidence that agrees with Scripture is acceptable as supportive evidence to the truth. Any historical record that disagrees with Scripture is a lie of the highest order of magnitude. This is an open response to the Acheson’s rebuttal. If they respond and want to add to the list above, I shall add it at a later date. We shall see if the Acheson’s apply the same method of discerning truth or if they lean on their own understanding. The reader will attest to this thing shortly.
Larry’s response: Of course, Troy’s first sentence is correct, but we have to be careful. June and I know that what he is really saying is, “Any historical evidence that agrees with my interpretation of Scripture is acceptable as supportive evidence to the truth.” This one goes both ways. Just because June and I have found historical evidence supporting our view that ancient Judaism observed the continuously-repeating weekly Sabbath doesn’t mean the continuously-repeating weekly Sabbath is supported by Scripture. In view of this possibility, it appears that we’re eventually going to be presented with what Troy believes is evidence that June and I have misrepresented the historical record.
Here’s a “profound statement” offered by Troy: “Any historical record that disagrees with Scripture is a lie of the highest order of magnitude.” Actually, I consider this remark from Troy to be nonsensical. You see, it isn’t that the historical record is supposed to agree with Scripture. I mean, is the historical fact that the Great Wall of China was built long ago supposed to “agree with Scripture”? No, rather, we need our interpretations of Scripture to match the historical record of what was understood and practiced by ancient believers. In this case, it just so happens that the historical record of what was practiced by ancient Judaism matches the interpretation that June and I have of when and how the weekly Sabbath was determined.
Of course, Troy is going to present his readers with his foregone conclusion that June and I lean on our own understanding. That’s a given, so we’re bracing ourselves!
C. Floating Sabbaths
The first endnote of our study was a simple note explaining that “Lunar Sabbaths” are also referred to as “Floating Sabbaths.” Lunar sabbatarians are quick to protest this designation. From their perspective, the continuously-repeating weekly Sabbaths are the Sabbaths that float. Since lunar sabbaths must fall on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th days of each month, and since those dates are “FIXED,” those sabbaths cannot “properly” be understood as “floating sabbaths.”
Continuously-repeating weekly Sabbaths, they say, are the Sabbaths that float because those Sabbaths may fall on any given day of the month. For example, one month they may fall on the 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th days of the month. The next month they might fall on the 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th. Since they’re not “fixed,” i.e., falling on the same dates of each and every month, they float. Hence, lunar sabbatarians maintain that we misrepresent their position.
Troy is one of those who disagrees with labeling “Lunar Sabbaths” as “Floating Sabbaths.” Here is his response to our explanatory endnote:
[End note: The Creation Calendar Sabbaths are fixed. They are always on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th days of the month. Since the Creation Calendar predates the Roman calendar, the dates on the Roman calendar float on the Creation Calendar.]
Three things: First, Troy automatically presumes, and hence expects his audience to believe him, that his version of the “Creation Calendar” predates the continuously-repeating weekly Sabbath. Second, Troy presumes that continuously-repeating weekly Sabbaths have their origin with the Roman calendar. Third, I think it is fair to examine whose Sabbaths “float” from both perspectives. From the lunar sabbatarian perspective, as mentioned above, the Sabbaths are observed on “fixed” days of each month and therefore do not float.
From our perspective, the continuously-repeating weekly Sabbath doesn’t “float” because it is ALWAYS seven days from one Sabbath to the next. It’s fixed! Moreover, since lunar sabbaths may fall on the third day of our week one month, then the fourth day of our week the following month, they certainly do appear to float – from our perspective.
It’s all about perspective with this one, so if I alter our endnote explanation about “Floating Sabbaths,” it would be to mention both perspectives. Personally, June and I have never referred to lunar sabbaths as “floating sabbaths.” We simply added the endnote explanation because we had heard various individuals refer to lunar sabbaths as “floating sabbaths.” Our explanation should not have been understood as an endorsement of such a designation.
D. Confusing Extended "Worship Days" With Lunar “Sabbaths”
On page 2 of our study, we explained the difficulty we had in addressing lunar sabbatarian beliefs because lunar sabbatarians are not themselves unified when it comes to how and when to reckon lunar sabbaths. In spite of this explanation, Troy chose to go ahead and express the belief that June and I “prove our ignorance” when our description of lunar sabbaths didn’t precisely fit his model.
Here is what we wrote in our original study:
Those who adhere to the teaching that the Sabbath should be governed by the timing of the new moon are not themselves in agreement over how this belief was (apparently) practiced, which makes it difficult to come up with a response to each piece of logic they offer in support of their position. Some lunar sabbatarians believe the weekly Sabbath should fall on the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th days of the month. Some believe the new moon governing the Sabbath observances each month was actually the conjunction of the moon. Others believe it was the visible new moon crescent. Thus, some believe the new moon crescent sighting heralded the beginning of, not only the new month, but also a new Sabbath day. Others believe the sighting of the new moon crescent signaled the end of the first Sabbath day of the month and the beginning of a new work week.
I composed the above explanation describing the predicament of trying to piece together all the tenets of lunar sabbatarians out there, which invariably means we’re going to misrepresent a few groups … so I was hopeful that lunar sabbatarians like Troy might “cut me some slack” if I didn’t quite nail down their beliefs. Well, it didn’t take long for Troy to exhibit his unwillingness to allow for the slightest deviation from his doctrinal stand. Here is where I (in Troy’s estimation) didn’t word things quite right:
Although there are various methods commonly taught with regard to exactly how this was done, the one I am most familiar with goes like this: The new moon conjunction determines day one of each month, and this day is a Sabbath day.
Here is Troy’s reaction to the above comment:
[The first day of the month is not a Sabbath. Right away, the Acheson’s validate Proverbs 18:13, proving their ignorance of Scripture, history, Nature, and what Lunar Sabbatarians believe, see more evidence below in red and green.]
The above is a rather harsh observation, especially in view of the fact that I was merely repeating what I had already been told by other lunar sabbatarians! However, since my report didn’t quite align with Troy’s understanding, June and I were judged ignorant of Scripture, history, nature and what lunar sabbatarians believe. We will soon see, on a calendar that appeared on the very next page of our study, that, indeed, the first day of the month is regarded (by some lunar sabbatarians) as an “extended Sabbath,” but not in the same vein as a regular weekly Sabbath. In fact, lunar sabbatarian Arnold Bowen has referred to the first day of the month as an “extended worship day.” Sounds like we have a semantics issue on our hands! Let's face it: If a worship day is “extended” from a weekly Sabbath day and it’s also called a “worship day,” then it sounds like a “sabbath” – an extended one – to me! If Troy and Arnold disagree with regard to the proper designation of the first day of the month, that can hardly be considered my problem, can it?
What makes this topic all the more interesting is the fact that the man whom we regard as the original lunar sabbatarian is on record as referring to those "extra days" at the end of the month as a "continuation of the fourth Sabbath" of each month. We address this entire argument in the 12th chapter of our revision.
Moving along, Troy makes it clear that semantics plays a huge role in his treatment of this topic. Here is what I had written:
The sighting of the crescent moon signals the official ending of this Sabbath day, and the beginning of day one of the work week.
Now I don't think lunar sabbatarian Jonathan David Brown would have much of a problem (if any) with the above remark. After all, he referred to the "extra days" after the fourth (lunar) sabbath as a "continuation of the Sabbath." Troy Miller, on the other hand, feels led to offer the following correction:
[Fact: The sighting of the crescent moon announces the end of new moon and that the next day is the first work day.]
In offering his correction, Mr. Miller makes it clear that we should distinguish "end of the new moon" from "ending of this Sabbath day." Since lunar sabbatarians themselves have referred to the "extra days" as Sabbaths, Troy has effectively chosen to turn this into an issue of semantics.
How Does One Learn About Lunar Sabbaths?
What we also find interesting is the fact that although Troy literally expects June and me to "just know" his understanding of Scripture, history, etc., he doesn't expect the same of the general populace. On his web site, Troy invites us all to "come on in" and LEARN from him about the "true calendar." We're including a screen capture from Troy's web site invitation below:
If the lunar sabbath model is so easily understood from Scripture, then we can only wonder why Troy finds it necessary to help "educate" others about "how it's done."
It's one thing to defend our understanding of Scripture by presenting the texts that we believe validate our views; it's another thing to presume that visitors to Troy's web site need his help. Trust me -- if you don't see things precisely as Troy does, you "do err," at least in his estimation.
Coming soon: Troy, in over-confident fashion, "corrected" a remark we had made regarding the potential of sighting the new moon crescent on the same day as the conjunction. Troy asserts the "fact" that it is not possible to sight the new moon crescent on the same day as the conjunction. Rather than waste time arguing our case, I decided to go straight to an expert, Dr Roy Hoffman, of the Israeli New Moon Society. Here's a screen capture of his response:
Although I haven’t finished Chapter 1, this will be my stopping point for now. As time allows, I will delve further into Troy’s “rebuttal attempt.”
To be continued (Yahweh willing)
1 Excerpt from a posting submitted to "True Sabbath" forum at www.eliyah.com by Troy Miller on 02-21-2004 at 02:43 AM EST. The posting was actually submitted under the screen name of "B. A. Berean" in the forum thread entitled "Three days and nights in the heart of the earth."
5 I should note here that Troy does not believe that "Yahweh" is the Creator's name. In fact, he refers to this transliteration of YHWH to be a "tradition of men." We hope to post a study to our site soon that addresses this huge bias against the form “Yahweh.”
6 Excerpt from a posting submitted to "True Sabbath" forum at www.eliyah.com by a man who went by the screen name “Shofarshogood” on 02-18-2006 at 10:16 AM EST. The forum thread where “Shofarshogood” posted his commentary was named “Are ALL ‘Moedim’ Moon-related?”
8 From a comment made by lunar sabbatarian Arnold Bowen in EliYah’s Forums ( www.eliyah.com ), the (now-defunct) “True Sabbath” private forum discussion thread titled “ Philo,” which he posted on 08-27-2005. Here’s the quote: “Every month the 4 Sabbaths have six work days between each and the last Sabbath/worship day of the month is followed by an extended worship day called the New Moon and then the six day intervals begin anew with a Sabbath at the end of each. This is why they are called Lunar Sabbaths, because they are Governed by the moon and not the sun, as the traditional Sabbath is.”
This is the name of our Creator, Yahweh, sometimes called the Tetragrammaton. It is given here in (A) the Phoenician script, (B) the Ivrit Kadum (Paleo-Hebrew) script, and (C) the Modern Hebrew script (a stylization of Aramaic).
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