Recent Sabbath-Sunday Declarations

The appearance of the following declarations given in full from late Roman Catholic sources demonstrates two things: First, that there is constant request on the part of readers to have the Catholic position on the Sabbath and Sunday clarified. Second, that the Roman Catholic Church is most frank in its statements that it is responsible for the change of the Sabbath. These admissions are highly quotable.

HENRY F. BROWN. [Departmental Secretary, Lake Union Conference.]

[From Our Sunday Visitor, October 1, 1944, Catholic weekly, published at Huntington, Indi­ana.]

No sir! We don't believe in it. We work all day, and keep our stores open, and shop, and do everything else, just like on Monday. We've been doing it that way for almost 1900 years.

Sabbath day observance? That was all right in Old Testament times, but we're different. We're followers of Jesus Christ. We've made a break with the Jewish religion. Theirs is the old law; ours is the new.

The apostles knew that, and that's the very rea­son they decided to switch from the Sabbath to Sunday. No, you won't find much about it in the New Testament—hardly any mention of Sunday as the Lord's day. It's mostly a part of what we Catholics call tradition, that body of customs and teachings brought down to us from the time of the apostles, and it's as much a part of God's word as the, Holy Bible. Everyone admits that—everyone who works on the Sabbath and goes to church on Sunday.

Mind you, God commanded Moses to keep Sat­urday holy. The Jews of today, with no faith in Jesus, are absolutely logical in clinging to the Sabbath. But our apostles, believing firmly that Jesus was God and that He had given them the power to loose and bind in heaven and on earth, decided to break with the age-old law—a matter in which they had complete authority. Had it been a question of permitting theft or perjury, then they would have been helpless ; but this was a question simply of transferring a weekly observance from one day to another.

Why to Sunday? Because it had been a Sunday when Christ rose from the dead. That miracle gripped their minds for eternity. It had been a Sunday when Jesus gave them the authority to hear confessions. It had been a Sunday fifty days later when the Holy Ghost came down from heaven in the form of fiery tongues and filled them all with the Spirit of truth for the preaching of the gospel. All these things made Sunday a day es­pecially honored among' the Christians.

It is Sunday, then, that we observe by hearing Mass and by keeping away from manual labor. The Sabbath, Saturday, is no different from any other day, excepting that on that day we get our marketing done, and everything made ready for the following day of rest.

Bible and Rule of Faith

[From Why, December 31,1944, New Series, Vol. I, No. 53. "Published weekly with ecclesias­tical approbation by the Defenders of the Faith" at Conception, Missouri.]

The Bible is a very important rela­tion to the rule of faith. It contains most of the things that we must believe. The Bible, rightly used, is a real fountainhead of faith, but it is not the only source of faith. Tradition shares that honor with it. Does not St. John tell us that only a portion of what Jesus said and did was written down (John 21:25)? Where in the Bible, for ex­ample, can one find any command to keep Sunday holy? It does say, "Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day." But the Sabbath was Sat­urday, not Sunday. We get our Sunday from Christ through St. Peter and the apostles, but that fact, like many others, is recorded only in tradi­tion, not in the Bible. Scripture and tradition to­gether, then, make up the deposit of the Christian faith; and over both, the Bible and tradition, Christ Himself has set that teaching organization called the church to be His official custodian and interpreter. To that church alone, and not to any book or private individual, did He say, "Go there­fore, and make disciples of all nations. I am with you." Matt. 28:19.

The Bible, then, is a source of faith, but it is not the only source of faith. It is a source of faith, but only in so far as it is used as God designed it to be used, namely, as a textbook in the hands of His teaching church. Those who distort it from that place wherein God Himself has placed it and pin their faith to its private interpretation "distort it to their own destruction" (2 Peter 3:16), for "no prophecy of Scripture is made by private in­terpretation" (2 Peter 1 :20).

 

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HENRY F. BROWN. [Departmental Secretary, Lake Union Conference.]

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