I mentioned to those who attended the recent Bible studies in our area on our Sabbath booklet that I really wanted to post on the blog about the section of the booklet that contained quotes from various churches about Sunday-keeping. Well, I’m finally making good! Here it is…
Saturday vs. Sunday
Statements from Other Churches
Jesus Christ said of the Pharisees, “‘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). Yet notice what other churches admit regarding their observance of Sunday instead of Saturday.
Stephen Keenan, A Doctinal Catechism, p. 174:
“Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?
“Answer: 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….
“Question: When Protestants do profane work upon Saturday… do they follow the Scripture as their only rule of faith…?
“Answer: On the contrary, they have only the authority of tradition for this practice. In profaning Saturday, they violate one of God’s commandments, which He has never clearly abrogated, ‘Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath.'”
The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, 3rd ed., p. 50:
“Question: Which is the Sabbath day?
“Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.
“Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
“Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea [c. 363] transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.”
Catholic Press, Aug. 25, 1900
“Sunday is a Catholic institution, and… 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.”
Charles Buck, A Theological Dictionary, “Sabbath”:
“Sabbath in the Hebrew language signifies rest, and is the seventh day of the week… and it must be confessed that there is no law in the New Testament concerning the first day.”
Clovis Chappell, Ten Rules for Living, p. 61:
“The reason we observe the first day instead of the seventh is based on no positive command. One will search the Scriptures in vain for authority for changing from the seventh day to the first.”
The Christian at Work”, April 19, 1883, and Jan. 1884:
“Some have tried to build the observance of Sunday upon Apostolic command, whereas the Apostles gave no command on the matter at all…. The truth is, so soon as we appeal to the litera scripta [literal writing] of the Bible, the Sabbatarians have the best of the argument.”
Isaac William, D.D., Plain Sermons on the Catechism, vol. 1:
“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.”
Philip Carrington, Toronto Daily Star, Oct. 26, 1949:
“The Bible commandment says on the seventh day thou shalt rest. That is Saturday. Nowhere in the Bible is it laid down that worship should be done on Sunday.”
Harold Lindsell (editor), Christianity Today, Nov. 5, 1976:
“There is nothing in Scripture that requires us to keep Sunday rather than Saturday as a holy day.”
Finally, here is one more from earlier in the booklet. A well worn (and for good reason) quote from the 1876 text, Faith of Our Fathers, by famous American Catholic James Cardinal Gibbons:
THE FAITH OF OUR FATHERS
Third—A rule of faith, or a competent guide to heaven, must be able to instruct in all the truths necessary for salvation. Now the Scriptures alone do not contain all the truths which a Christian is bound to believe, nor do they explicitly enjoin all the duties which he is obliged to practice. Not to mention other examples, is not, every Christian obliged to scantify Sunday and to abstain on that day from unnecessary servile work? Is not the observance of this law among the most prominent of our sacred duties? But 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.
The Catholic Church correctly teaches that our Lord and His Apostles inculcated certain important duties of religion which are not recorded by the inspired writers.¹ For instance, most Christians pray to the Holy Ghost, a practice which is nowhere found in the Bible.
We must, therefore, conclude that the Scriptures alone cannot be a sufficient guide and rule of faith because they cannot, at any time, be within the reach of every inquirer; because they are not of themselves clear and intelligible even in matters of the highest importance, and because they do not contain all the truths necessary for salvation.
¹See John xxi.25; II.Thess.Ii.14.
For those interested in reading the booklet, here it is: Which Day Is the Christian Sabbath?