An Archbishop's Admission

RELIGIOUS WORLD TRENDS: An Archbishop's Admission

nowhere in the Bible is it laid down that worship should be done on Sunday.

Associate Secretary, Religious Liberty Association

The Calgary, Canada, Albertan of October 28, 1949, contained a most interesting item. The Reverend Philip Carrington, Anglican archbishop of Quebec, is quoted as saying in a church meeting at Toronto, Canada, that "nowhere in the Bible is it laid down that worship should be done on Sunday." The archbishop, it is reported, said this to "a hushed, still audience. Local parsons read his comments today with set, determined looks. They refused comment."

We appreciate the archbishop's frankness. It is a matter of recurring astonishment to the careful Bible student that churchmen continue to read the Bible in this enlightened time, and yet are not willing to admit, as does the arch bishop, that the observance of Sunday has absolutely no basis in Scripture.

We could wish that the archbishop took this position because the matter was called to his attention by an earnest missionary-minded Sabbath keeper. We wish even more that he had made the discovery in his own personal Bible study. But, as a matter of fact, this is the official position of the Anglican Church concerning Sunday observance, as it is also official in the Lutheran Church.

Luther held that the Jewish Sabbath was of no concern to Christians, and indeed that every day was equally important to the Christian in his service to God. However, since Christ had risen -on the first day of the week, and the church had for centuries tendered worship on that day, and moreover, since Christians should have a day when they could assemble together, Sunday, the Lord's day, was a fitting day for Christian observance. Luther was not in favor of a legalistic observance of Sunday.

The Anglican position is very similar. To the well-informed among the Anglicans anyone who insists upon a restrictive observance of Sunday is a Sabbatarian. Many among the Anglican clergy are not in favor of Sunday laws. They consider that it is the duty of the church, not the state, to legislate concerning Sunday observance. In spite of this, however, it is a fact that most areas under the Common wealth of Nations (once the British Empire) have on their books exacting Sunday laws, which in some places are strictly enforced.

The attitude held officially in the Anglican and Lutheran churches, as well as that maintained in those denominations the members of which insist upon Judaizing on Sunday, is thoroughly inconsistent with Scripture. We would wish that the light from the Word of God would shine with yet more converting power upon the pathway of our friends in the Sundaykeeping churches.

 

 


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Associate Secretary, Religious Liberty Association

February 1950

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