J. G. Vos on The Observance of Days

Below is an extract from an article by J. G. Vos (RPCNA) in 1947, which was republished on Gentle Reformation a few years ago, but the link no longer works:

“Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.” — Galatians 4:10, 11.

“…As men lose their faith in the truth of God’s Word, and in Christ as truly God, they seem to try to make up for their spiritual loss by putting on a great deal of religious ritual and pageantry. This tendency can be observed in churches large and small across our coun­

“Doran’s Minister’s Manual” enumer­ates over 30 special or holy days that are regularly observed by Catholics, Episcopal­ians and some Lutherans. In addition to listing these the book provides materials for sermons or addresses for twenty special days, which are the following: New Year’s Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Every Member Canvass Day, Washington’s Birthday, Palm Sunday, Easter, Memorial Day, Ascension Day, Children’s Day, Whitsunday, School Commencement, Missionary Day, Independ­ence Day, Labor Day, Reformation Sunday, International Temperance Sunday, Thanks­ giving Day, Christmas, Old Year’s Day, Armistice Day.

To these we might add others that are coming to be commonly observed, such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Red Cross Day, Go-to-Church Day, etc. One organization after another comes forward calling for a special day or week to be devoted to its in­ terests. When we once begin to add other special days to God’s Holy Sabbath day, we start on a long, long trail, and no one can tell -where the end will be.

Of course there is no objection to ob­serving a day like Thanksgiving Day, to which we are duly called by the civil auth­orities, nor to observing such days as the preparatory days before the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, these being appointed for a special purpose by the officers of the church. That is quite different from the tendency to set apart certain days as special or holy in themselves, thereby adding ele­ments not appointed in Scripture to the worship of God.”

You can read the full thing here.