Hebrew Roots/Neglected Commandments/Sabbath/Church statements

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WHAT CHURCHES AND CHURCH LEADERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE SABBATH

"There is but one church on the face of the earth which has the power, or claims power, to make laws binding on the conscience, binding before God, binding under penalty of hell-fire. For instance, the institution of Sunday. What right has any other church to keep this day? You answer by virtue of the third commandment the Papacy changed the fourth commandment and called it the third, which says, 'Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.' But Sunday is not the Sabbath. Any school- boy knows that Sunday is the first Day of the week. I have repeatedly offered one thousand dollars to anyone who will prove by the Bible alone that Sunday IS the day we are bound to keep, and no one has called for the money. It was the holy Catholic Church that changed the day of rest from Saturday, the seventh day, to Sunday, the first day of the week.':-T. ENRIGHT, C. S. S. R., in a lecture delivered in 1893.

".. .. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.' The Catholic Church says: 'No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.' And 101 the entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church."-T. ENRIGHT, C.S.S.R., in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, Feb. 18, 1884.

"The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday."-The Catholic Mirror, Sept. 23, 1893.

ROMAN CATHOLIC LEADERS

"From this same Catholic Church you have accepted your Sunday, and that Sunday, as the Lord's day, she has handed down as a tradition; and the entire Protestant world has accepted it as tradition, for you have not an iota of Scripture to establish it. Therefore that which you have accepted as your rule of faith, in- adequate as it of course is, as well as your Sunday, you have accepted on the authority of the Roman Catholic Church."-D. B. RAY, "The Papal; Controversy," 1892, page 179.

"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 [Catholics] never sanctify."-JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS, "The Faith of Our Fathers," page III. "Reason and 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 holy of Sunday. Compromise is impossible"--- JAMES CARDINAL. GIBBONS, Catholic Mirror, Dec. 23, 1983.

"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 authority for it anywhere else." -The Brotherhood of St. Paul, "The Clifton tracts," Volume 4, tract 4, p. 15.

"Protestantism, in discarding 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.

"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 seventh day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the church [Roman] outside the Bible."-Catholic Virginian, Oct. 3, 1947

"It is well to remind the Presbyterians, 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 the Elizabeth, N.J. News of March 18, 1903.

"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, August, 1900.

"We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty." Encyclical Letter, June 20, 1894. -Pope Leo Xlll. "Not the Creator of Universe, in Genesis 2:1-3, -but the Catholic Church can claim the honor of having granted man a pause to his work every seven days." -S. C. Mosna, Storia della Domenica, 1969, pp. 366-367. "We define that the Holy Apostolic See (the Vatican) and the Roman Pontiff hold the primacy over the whole world." -A Decree of the Council of Trent, quoted in Philippe Labbe and Gabriel Cossart, "The Most Holy Councils," col. 1167. "The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ, hidden under veil of flesh." -The Catholic National, July 1895.

Protestant leaders[edit]

BAPTIST
"There was and is a command to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was 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 its duties, privileges and sanctions. Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studied 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."

"To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years' intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question. ..never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated.

"We believe that the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government."-"Baptist Church Manual," Art. 12.

"The first four commandments set forth man's obligations directly toward God, ...But when we keep the first four commandments, we are likely to keep the other six. ...The fourth commandment sets forth God's claim on man's time and thought. ... The six days of labour amid the rest on the Sabbath are to be maintained as a witness to God's toil and rest in the creation. ...Not one of the ten words is of merely racial significance. ...The Sabbath was established originally (long before Moses) in no special connection with the Hebrews, but as an institution for all mankind, in commemoration of God's rest after the six days of creation. It was designed for all the descendants of Adam."-Adult Quarterly, Southern Baptist Convention series, Aug. 15, 1937. 

"There was never any formal or authoritative change from the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath to the Christian first-day observance." -WILLIAM OWEN CARVER, "The Lord's Day in Our Day," page 49.

Southern Baptist
"The sacred name of the seventh day is Sabbath. This fact is too clear to require argument [Exodus 20:10, quoted] ..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 Judson Taylor, The Sabbatic Question, pp. 14-17, 41.

"Of course I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history as a religious day, as we learn from the 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, New York Examiner, November 16,1893.

Church of England

"Not any ecclesiastical writer of the first three centuries attributed the origin of Sunday observance either to Christ or to His apostles."-Sm WILLIAM DOMVILLE. " Examination of the Six Texts," pages 6,7. Supplement).

"There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday. ...Into the rest of Sunday no divine law enters. ...The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday .'. -CANON EXTON, "The Ten Commandments," pages 52, 63, 65. "Is there any command in the New Testament to change the day of weekly rest from Saturday to Sunday? None..'- "Manual of Christian Doctrine," page 127. "The Lord's day did not succeed in the place of the Sabbath. ...The Lord's day was merely an ecclesiastical institution. It was not introduced by virtue of the fourth commandment, because for almost three hundred years together they kept that day which was in that commandment. ...The primitive Christians did all manner of works upon the Lord's day, even in times of persecution, when they are the strictest observers of all the divine commandments; but in this they knew there was none."-BISHOP JEREMY TAYLOR, " Ductor Dubitantium," Part I , Book I J, Chap. 2, Rule 6. Sec. 51, 59.

"Sunday being the day on which the Gentiles solemnly adore that planet and called it Sunday, partly from its influence on that day especially, and partly in respect to its divine body ( as they conceived it), the Christians thought fit to keep the same day and the same name of it, that they might not appear causelessly peevish, and by that means hinder the conversion of the Gentiles, and bring a greater prejudice than might be otherwise taken against the gospel."-T. M. MORER. "Dialogues on the Lord's day," pages 22, 23.

"Where are we told in Scripture 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. ...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."-lSAAC WILLIAMS B.D., "Plain Sermons on the Catechism," Vol. I, pages 334-336:

"Dear Madam: "In reply to your letter of May 7th, I am asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury to say that from the first century onward the Christian church has observed the first day of the week as the weekly commemoration of the resurrection of our :Lord Jesus Christ. Many of the early Christians. ..deliberately substituted the first day of the week for the seventh on the ground that It was on the first day that our Lord rose from the dead italics ours.] . 'Yours faithfully, "ALAN C. DON.

Anglican
"And where are we 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, pp. 334,336.
Churches of Christ ( Also Disciples of Christ )
"There is no direct Scriptural authority for designating the first day the Lord's day."-DR. D. H. LUCAS, Christian Oracle, Jan. 23, 1890. 

"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 anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath. There never was any change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change."-"First-Day Observance," pages 17, 19.

"It has reversed the fourth commandment by doing away with the Sabbath of God's Word, and instituting Sunday as a holiday." DR. N. SUMMERBELL, " History of the Christian Church," Third Edition, page 415.

"To command. ..men. ..to observe. ..the Lord's day. .. is contrary to the gospel."-"Memoirs of Alexander Campbell," Vol. I, page 528.

"It is clearly proved that the pastors of the churches have struck out one of God's ten words, which, not only in the Old Testament, but in all revelation, are the most emphatically regarded as the synopsis of all religion and morality ."-ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, " Debate With Purcell," page 214.

"I do not believe that the Lord's day came in the room of the Jewish Sabbath, or that the Sabbath was changed from the seventh to the first day, for this plain reason, where there is no testimony, there can be no faith. Now there is no testimony in all the oracles of heaven that the Sabbath was changed, or that the Lord's day came in the room of it."-ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, Washington Reporter, Oct. 8, 1821. 11

Lutheran

"I wonder exceedingly how it came to be imputed to me that I should reject the law of Ten Commandments. ...Whosoever abrogates the law must of necessity' abrogate sin also."-MARTIN LUTHER, Spiritual Antichrist," pages 71,72.

"The observance of the Lord's day [Sunday) is founded not on any command of God, but on the authority of the church."- .4ugsburg Confession of Faith, quoted in "Catholic Sabbath Annual," Part 2, Chap. I, Sec. 10.

"For up to this day mankind has absolutely trifled with the original and most special revelation of the Holy God, the ten words written upon the tables of the Law from Sinai."-"Crown Theological Library," page I 78.

"They [ the Catholics ] allege the Sabbath changed into Sun- day, the Lord's day, contrary to the Decalogue, as it appears, neither is there any example more boasted of than the changing of the Sabbath day. Great, say they, is the power and authority of the church, since it dispensed with one of the Ten Commandments."-Augsburg Confession of Faith, Art. 28, par. 9.

"The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance."-AUGUSTUS NEANDER, " History of the Christian Religion and Church," Vol. I, page 186.

Methodist
"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 a supposition." -Amos Binney, Theological Compendium, pp. 180-181. 

"The moral law contained in the Ten Commandments and, enforced by the prophets, He [Christ] did not take away. It was not the design of His coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken. ...Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other;"-John WESLEY "Sermons on Several Occasions," Vol. I, Sermon XXV.

"....The moral law stands on an entirely different foundation from the ceremonial or ritual law. ...Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind and in all ages."- JOHN WESLEY, "Sermons on Several Occasions," 2-Vol. Edition, Vol. I, pages 221,222.

"No Christian whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral."-".Methodist Church Discipline," (1904), page 23. "Take the matter of Sunday. There are indications in the New Testament as to how the church came to keep the first day of the week as its day of worship, but 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.

"The Sabbath was made for MAN ; not for the Hebrews, but for ALL MEN."-E. 0. HAVEN, "Pillars of Truth," page 88.

Episcopalian
"We have made the change from the seventh 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.

"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." -"The Protestant Episcopal Explanation of the Catechism.

Presbyterian
"There is no word, no hint in the New Testament about abstaining from 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 Exton, Ten Commandments.
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 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 Ten Commandments, pp. 106-107.
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. Lyman Abbot, Christian Union, June 26, 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, Reporter, October 8,1921.
Moody Bible Institute

"The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word 'remember " showing that the Sabbath already existed when God wrote the law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?"- D. L. MOODY, "Weighed and Wanting," page 47.

"I honestly believe that this commandment [ the fourth, or Sabbath commandment] is just as binding today as it ever was. I have talked with men who have said that it has been abrogated, but they have never been able to point to any place in the Bible where God repealed it. When Christ was on earth, He did nothing to set it aside; He freed it from the traces under which the scribes and Pharisees had put it, and gave it its true place. 'The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.' It is just as practicable and as necessary for men today as it ever was--in fact, more than ever, because we live in such an intense age."-ld., page 46. " 'Sabbath' means rest, and the meaning of the word gives a hint as to the true way to observe the day. God rested after creation, and ordained the Sabbath as a rest for man."-ld., pages 46,47.

MISCELLANEOUS

"Practically everything that Protestants regard as essential or important they have received from the Catholic Church. They accepted Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made that change. "But the Protestant mind does not seem to realize that in accepting the Bible, in observing the Sunday, in keeping Christmas and Easter, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the church, the pope."-Our Sunday Visitor, Feb. 5, 1950.

"Only gradually did Christians begin to observe Sunday as a day of rest. ., .In the third century, as we learn from Tertullian, many Christians had begun to keep Sunday as a day of rest to some extent. ... "The real need of Sunday as a day of rest as well as worship came much later, in the sixth century."-"Yes, I Condemned the Catholic Church" (Supreme Council. Knights of Columbus) , page 4.

"When St. Paul repudiated the works of the law, he was not thinking of the Ten Commandments, which are as unchangeable as God Himself is, which God could not change and still remain the infinitely holy God."-Our Sunday Visitor, Oct. 7, 1951.

"You will tell me that Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath, but that the Christian Sabbath has been changed to Sunday. Changed ! But by whom ? Who has authority to change an express commandment of Almighty God? When God has spoken and said, 'Thou shalt keep holy the seventh day " who shall dare to say. 'Nay , thou mayest work and do all manner of business on the seventh day; but thou shalt keep holy the first day in its stead'? This is a most important question, which I know not how you can answer . "You are a Protestant, and you profess to go by the Bible and the Bible only; and yet in so important a matter as the observance of one day in seven as a holy day, you go against the plain letter of the Bible, and put another day in the place of that day which the Bible has commanded. The command to keep holy the seventh day is one of the Ten Commandments; you believe that the other nine are still binding; who gave you authority to tamper with the fourth? If you are consistent with your own principles, if you really follow the Bible and the Bible only, you ought to be able to produce some portion of the New Testament in which this fourth commandment is expressly altered."-"The Library of Christian Doctrine" pages 3, 4.

"The first precept in the Bible is that of sanctifying the seventh day: 'God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.' Genesis 2: 3. This precept was confirmed by God in the Ten Commandments: 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. ...The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.' Exodus 20: 8, 10. On the other hand, Christ declares that He is not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil it. (Matthew 5: 17.) He Himself observed the Sabbath: ' And, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.' Luke 4: 16. His disciples likewise observed it after His death: 'They. ..rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.' Luke 23: 56. Yet with all this weight of Scripture authority for keeping the Sabbath or seventh day holy. Protestants of all denominations make' this a profane day and transfer the obligation of it to the first day of the week or the Sunday. Now what authority have they for doing this? None at all but the unwritten word, or tradition of the Catholic Church. which declares that the apostle made the change in honour of Christ's resurrection, and the descent of the Holy Ghost on that day of the week."-JOHN MILNER, "The End of Religious Controversy ," page 7 I.

'Most certainly the Commandments are needed today, perhaps more than ever before, Their divine message confronts us with a profound moral challenge in an epidemic of evil; a unifying message acceptable alike to Jew, Moslem, and Christian, Who, reading the Ten in the light of history and of current events, can doubt their identity with the eternal law of nature?"-ld" page 124.

"The Sabbath is commanded to be kept on the seventh day. It could not be kept on any other day. To observe the first day of the week or the fourth is not to observe the Sabbath. ... It was the last day of the week, after six days of work, that was to be kept holy. The observance of no other day would fulfil the law."-H. ]. FLOWERS. B.A., B.D., "The Permanent Value of the Ten Commandments," page 131.

SETZLER, Head Curator, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institute, from a letter dated Sept. I. 1949. "He that observes the Sabbath aright holds the history of that which it celebrates to be authentic, and therefore believes in the creation of the first man; in the creation of a fair abode for man in the space of six days; in the primeval and absolute creation of the heavens and the earth, and, as a necessary antecedent to all this, in the Creator, who at the close of His latest creative effort, rested on the seventh day. The Sabbath thus becomes a sign by which the believers in a historical revelation are distinguished from those who have allowed these great facts to fade from their remembrance."-JAMES G. MURPHY, "Commentary on the Book of Exodus," comments on Exodus 20: 8-11.