Sunday Sacredness – The Churches Speak

Baptist: “There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day is not Sunday.  It will however be readily said, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week, with all of its duties, privileges and sanctions.  Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studies for many years, I ask where can the record of such a transaction be found?  Not in the New Testament – absolutely not.  There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week.” – Dr E.T. Hiscox, Author of the Baptist Manual.”

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 specific, divine command.  We can plead no such command for the observance of Sunday…. There is not a single line in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday.” – Dr R.W. Dale ‘The 10 Commandments” p106-107

Lutheran Free Church: “For when there could not be produced one solitary place in the Holy Scripture which testified that either the Lord himself or the apostles had ordered such a transfer of the Sabbath to Sunday, then it was not easy to answer the question: Who has transferred the Sabbath, and who has had the right to do it?”  George Sverdrup, “A New Day”

Protestant Episcopal: “The day is now changed from the seventh to the first day… but as we meet with no Scriptural direction for the change, we may conclude it was done by the authority of the church.” – “Explanation of the Catechism”

Baptist: “The Scripture nowhere calls the first day of the week the Sabbath… There is no Scriptural authority for so doing, nor of course, any Scriptural obligation.” – “The Watchman”

Presbyterian: “There is no word, nor hint in the New Testament about abstaining work on Sunday.  The observance of Ash Wednesday, or Lent, stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday.  Into the rest of Sunday no Divine Law enters.” – Canon Eyton in “The Ten Commandments”

Anglican: “And where we are told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all?  We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day.” – Isaac Williams, “Plain Sermons on the Catechism” pp334, 336

Disciples of Christ: “There is no direct Scriptural authority for designating the first day ‘the Lord’s Day.’ – Dr D.H Lucas, “Christian Oracle.” January 1890

Methodism: “It is true that there is no positive command for infant baptism.  Nor is there any for keeping holy the first day of the week.  Many believe that Christ changed the Sabbath.  But, from his own words, we see that he came for no such purpose.  Those who believe that Jesus changed the Sabbath base it only on supposition.” – Amos Binney, “Theological Compendium” pp 181-181

Episcopalian: “We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday to Sunday, on the authority of the one holy, catholic apostolic church of Christ.” – Bishop Seymour, “Why We keep Sunday?”

Southern Baptist: “The sacred name of the Seventh day is Sabbath.  This fact is too clear to require argument (Exodus 20:10 But the seventh day [is] the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates)… On this point the plain teaching of the Word has been admitted in all ages… Not once did the disciples apply the Sabbath law to the first day of the week – that folly was left for a later age, nor did they pretend that the first day supplanted the seventh.”  Joseph Hudson Taylor, “The Sabbath Question,” pp14-17, 41

American Congregationalist: “The current notion that Christ and His apostles authoritatively substituted the first day for the seventh, is absolutely without any authority in the New Testament.” – Dr Layman Abbot, in the “Christian Union” June 26th 1890

Christian Church: “Now there is no testimony in all the oracles of Heaven that the Sabbath is changed, or that the Lord’s Day came in the room of it.” – Alexander Campbell, in “The Reporter” October 8, 1921

Baptist: “To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years discussion with his disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question, discussing in some of the various aspects, freeing it from its false (Jewish Traditional) glosses, never alluded to any transference of the day; also that during the forty days of his resurrection life, no such thing was intimated.  Nor, so far as we know, did the Spirit, which was given to bring to their remembrance all things whatsoever that he had said unto them, deal with this question.  Nor yet did the inspired apostles, in preaching the gospel, founding churches, counselling and instructing those founded, discuss or approach the subject.”  “Of course I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history as a religious day, as we learn from Christian Fathers and other sources.  But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of Paganism and christened with the name of the sun-god, then adopted and sanctified by the Papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism.” – Dr E.T. Hiscox, report of his sermon at the Baptist Minister’s Convention, in “New York Examiner” November 16, 1893

“Catholicism Speaks”

“Sunday is a Catholic institution, and its claims 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 August 1900.

“Protestantism, in disregarding the authority of the (Roman Catholic) Church, has no good reason for its Sunday theory, and ought logically to keep Saturday as the Sabbath.” – John Gilmary Shea, in the “American Catholic Quarterly Review,” January 1883

“It is well to remind the Presbyterian, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday.  Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church.” – Priest Brady, in an address, reported in Elizabeth NJ “News” of March 118, 1903

“Question: – Have you any other way of proving that the (Catholic) Church has power to institute festivals of precept (to command holy days)?”                “Answer: – Had she no such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her: she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.” – Stephan Keenan, “A Doctrinal Catechism.” P176

“Reason and common sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives: either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping of Sunday.  Compromise is impossible.” – “The Catholic Mirror,” December 23, 1893

“God simply gave His (Catholic) Church the power to set aside whatever day or days, she would deem suitable as Holy Days.  The Church chose Sunday, the first day of the week, and in the course of time added other days, as holy days.” – Vincent J Kelly, “Forbidden Sunday and Feast-Day Occupations.” P2

“Protestants… accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change… But the Protestant mind does not seem to realize that… in observance of Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the church, the Pope.” – “Our Sunday Visitor,” February 5, 1950

“We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.” – Pope Leo XIII, in an Encyclical Letter, dated June 20th, 1894

“Not the Creator of the Universe, In Genesis 2:1-3, – but the Catholic Church “can claim the honour of having granted man a pause to his work every seven days.” – S.D. Mosna, “Storia della Domenica” 1969 p366-367

“The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ Himself, hidden under the veil of flesh.” – “The Catholic National” July 1895

“If Protestants would follow the Bible, they would worship God on the Sabbath Day.  In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church.” – Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying to the Cardinal in a letter dated February 10, 1920

“We define that the Holy Apostolic See (the Vatican) and the Roman Pontiff holds the primacy over the whole world.” – A Decree of the council of Tent, quoted in Philippe Labbe and Gabriel Cossart, “The Most Holy Councils,” Vol 13 Col 1167

“It was the Catholic Church which, by the authority of Jesus Christ, has transferred this rest (from the Bible Sabbath) to the Sunday… Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) Church.” – Monsignor Louis Segur, “Plain Talk about the Protestantism of today.” P213

“We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” – Peter Geiermann, CSSR, “A Doctrinal Catechism.” 1957 edition p50

“We Catholics then, have precisely the same authority for keeping Sunday holy instead of Saturday as we have for every other article of our creed, namely, the authority of the Church… whereas you who are Protestants have really no authority for it whatever; for there is no authority for it (Sunday sacredness) in the Bible, and you will not allow that there can be any authority for it anywhere else.  Both you and we do, in fact, follow tradition in this matter; but we follow it, believing it to be part of God’s word, and the (Catholic) Church to be its divinely appointed guardian and interpreter; you follow it (Catholic Church), denouncing it all the time as a fallible and treacherous guide, which often makes the commandments of God of none effect. Matthew 15:6 “And honour not his father or his mother, [he shall be free]. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” – The Brotherhood of St Paul, “The Clitton Tracts” Vol 4, Tract 4, p15

“The Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine infallible authority given to her by her founder, Jesus Christ.  The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday.  In this matter the Seventh-day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant” – “The Catholic Universal Bulletin,” August 14, 1942, p4

“Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her – she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.”  Rev. Stephan Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism, Page 174

Mark 7:7-9 “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.  For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.  And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.”

Quote; “In the early part of the fourth century the emperor Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a public festival throughout the Roman Empire… The day of the sun was reverenced by his pagan subjects and was honoured by Christians; it was the emperor’s policy to unite the conflicting interests of heathenism and Christianity. He was urged to do this by the bishops of the church, who, inspired by ambition and thirst for power, perceived that if the same day was observed by both Christians and heathen, it would promote the nominal acceptance of Christianity by pagans and thus advance the power and glory of the church. But while many God-fearing Christians were gradually led to regard Sunday as possessing a degree of sacredness, they still held the true Sabbath as the holy of the Lord and observed it in obedience to the fourth commandment.       The archdeceiver had not completed his work. He was resolved to gather the Christian world under his banner and to exercise his power through his vicegerent, the proud pontiff who claimed to be the representative of Christ. Through half-converted pagans, ambitious prelates, and world-loving churchmen he accomplished his purpose. Vast councils were held from time to time, in which the dignitaries of the church were convened from all the world. In nearly every council the Sabbath which God had instituted was pressed down a little lower, while the Sunday was correspondingly exalted. Thus the pagan festival came finally to be honoured as a divine institution, while the Bible Sabbath was pronounced a relic of Judaism, and its observers were declared to be accursed.  {GC 53}

Afterwards in the year 364 A.D., at the Council of Laodicea, the Catholic Church approved the change of the day of worship and commanded everyone to keep Sunday as the holy day instead of Saturday, so Sunday Observance is by “Church Authority” and not by “Scripture.”