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UCG-A Bible Insights Thursday, June 20 2024

Surprising admissions about the Sabbath and Sunday

Many Protestant denominations and the Roman Catholic Church admit Saturday is the biblical Sabbath day, and there are no biblical instructions commanding Sunday observance. God does not give us the choice of how to worship Him—only whether or not we will worship Him according to His instructions.

Jesus Christ condemned the practices of the religious leaders of His day, saying: "'In vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men… All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition" (Mark 7:7-9).

Roman Catholic admissions

"Nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the [Roman Catholic] church outside the Bible" ("To Tell You the Truth," The Catholic Virginian, Oct. 3, 1947, p. 9).

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"You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify" (James Cardinal Gibbons, Faith of our Fathers, 88th ed., p. 89).

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"Q: Which is the Sabbath day?

"A: Saturday is the Sabbath day.

"Q: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?

"A: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea, transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday" (Peter Geiermann, The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, 1957, p. 50).

Protestants follow Rome's lead

Anglican/Episcopal: "Where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh…. The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the church has enjoined it" (Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism, 1882, Vol. 1, pp. 334, 336).

Baptist: "There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday…. the Sabbath was transferred from the Seventh to the First day of the week…There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the Seventh to the First day of the week….Jesus, during three years' discussion with His disciples…. never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated….Of course I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history….But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of Paganism, and christened with the name of the sun-god, adopted and sanctioned by the Papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism" (Dr. Edward Hiscox, before a New York ministers' conference, Nov. 13, 1893, as reported in the New York Examiner, Nov. 16, 1893).

Congregationalist: "It is quite clear that however rigidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath….The Sabbath was founded on a specific Divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday" (Dr. R.W. Dale, The Ten Commandments, 1884, p. 100).

Disciples of Christ: "The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath….It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change" (Alexander Campbell, First Day Observance, pp. 17, 19).

Lutheran: "But they err in teaching that Sunday has taken the place of the Old Testament Sabbath and therefore must be kept as the seventh day had to be kept by the children of Israel….Scripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the Sabbath. There is simply no law in the New Testament to that effect" (John Theodore Mueller, Sabbath or Sunday, pp. 15-16).

Methodist: "Take the matter of Sunday…there is no passage telling Christians to keep that day or to transfer the Jewish Sabbath to that day" (Harris Franklin Rall, Christian Advocate, July 2, 1942, p. 26).

Presbyterian: "The Sabbath is a part of the Decalogue—the Ten Commandments. This alone forever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution ... .Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed, the Sabbath will stand….The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath" (T.C. Blake, D.D., Theology Condensed, pp. 474-475).