MANY CHURCH LEADERS and politicians are unified on the hotly debated issue of legislating Sunday as a day of rest. Today, great efforts are being made to gain influence in the executive and legislative circles of the United States federal government in order to enact laws for the observance of Sunday as a national day of rest. The thrust is not overtly religious but is couched in a concern for the welfare of the American family. This activity is being duplicated in other parts of the world as well under the same pretense.
It is ironic to see this kind of legislation being promoted when you consider what has been said by the leaders of the Christian churches at different times in history. Considering this, it is also ironic to see what was the practice of Christians throughout history.
In even stronger words, Pope John Paul II has asked for more strident measures be taken to insure a day of rest is observed, and to inflict punishment on those who would transgress. Of course, the day that he wants kept is Sunday, regardless of your persuasion.
“In Europe, the Sunday Law issue is expected to be contentious as Pope John Paul II continues to press for mandatory Sunday closing laws” (Church & State, May, 1992).
As recently as July, 1998, the Pope, in his Apostolic Letter, Dies Domini, was quoted as saying that a violator should be “punished as a heretic” (Detroit News, July 7, 1998).
Currently, the Vatican is asking the “civil authorities” to cooperate with the Church in legislation of Sunday as the nation’s day of rest.
“The civil authorities should be urged to cooperate with the church in maintaining and strengthening this public worship of God, and to support with their own authority the regulations set down by the church’s pastors. For it is only in this way that the faithful will understand why it is Sunday and not the Sabbath day that we now keep holy” (Roman Catechism, 1985, emphasis supplied).
Someone Admits to Changing God’s Law
In a recent Catholic church newsletter, it stated, “Perhaps the most revolutionary change the Church ever did, happened in the first century [actually in happened in the fourth century]. The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday. ‘The Day of the Lord’ [Dies Domini] was chosen, not from any direction noted in the Scriptures, but from the Church’s sense of its own power.…People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become [Seventh-day] Adventists, and keep Saturday holy.” Saint Catherine Catholic Church Sentinel, Algonac, Michigan, May 21, 1995.
No Scriptural Support
Sunday is a Catholic institution and its claim to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles.…From beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first.”—Catholic Press, Sydney, Australia, 1900.
Mark of Authority
“Sunday is our mark of authority.…The church is above the Bible, and this transference of sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” The Catholic Record, London, Ontario, September 1, 1923.
“Question: Which day is the Sabbath?”
“Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath.”
Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?”
“Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 336) transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, by Peter Geiermann, 50.
What Do You Think?
Do you need to be forced to keep Sunday in a way contrary to what you believe? Should you be punished for your conscientious regard or disregard for that day? Is this something the Federal government should legislate?