More European Sunday Law Pressure
By Pastor Hal Mayer
Welcome to this edition of Keep the Faith’s monthly end-time sermon. I hope that today you will be greatly blessed by what you hear and will take the steps you need to take to get ready for the coming Sunday law crisis. We are nearing the end and Jesus wants you to learn to trust Him completely, even for your food and water. So it is very important that you follow all His counsel whether in the Bible or in the Spirit of Prophecy.
Before we begin, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of Keep the Faith. Your prayers and gifts mean much to us. Our CDs have always been free of charge. But some people ask me how Keep the Faith can send more than 16,000 CDs every month. It is because of faithful souls who continue to support Keep the Faith with heartfelt gifts that make it possible to continue to send so many messages each month. Please pray that God will use Keep the Faith to reach hearts hungering for light and truth in these last days. And thank you again for your prayers and support.
I have just been back to Australia in recent times to re-organize Highwood Health Centre and begin the process of building it up according to God’s plan. God has given specific instructions concerning the city of Melbourne, Victoria. It is a place where a health centre must be established for the care of the sick.
Listen to this statement from the book Medical Ministry, page 326. “But for many years light has been given that sanitariums should be established near every large city. Sanitariums should be established near such cities as Melbourne and Adelaide.”
And here is one from the Review and Herald, November 14, 1899. “The Lord has given me light that… a sanitarium must be erected somewhere in New South Wales, and another [near] the great city of Melbourne.”
God has placed Highwood within an hour’s drive of Melbourne and is ideally located where the healing environment can have a wonderful effect on the guests that come to the place. Have a look at the pictures on our website. I hope to be able to post more in the future.
But perhaps the most important thing is how Highwood reaches souls.
I’ll call her Sharon. Sharon was a health guest recently at Highwood Health Centre. She wrote me a letter and told me that because of Highwood her life has been turned around. She told me she had been in and out of many denominations. She had wanted to attend a Seventh-day Adventist meeting, but was unable to. Because of Highwood she is being drawn to the Adventist message. Friends, this is what it is all about, to help suffering men and women find the Lord and the last message to the world, and Highwood is on the front lines.
Highwood is the only Adventist health centre of its type in Victoria, so please pray that God will bless it with health guests and open up the windows of heaven and bless it with success. Your support is needed. If you feel impressed to help build up the work there, we would like to hear from you. We have a long list of important projects that need to be done to make Highwood what it needs to be. We wait on the Lord to provide the friends and funds to help.
Today, we are going to study recent developments in the Sunday law movement. Bold and obvious steps are being taken by Rome and the various denominations to bring in more Sunday laws, and we need to know what to do so that when we are faced with more intense pressure to compromise the truth, we take wise steps and not be foolish and discredit the message.
If you can turn with me in your Bibles to Hebrews 4:1-11, read along with me as I read these precious verses.
“Let us therefore fear,” says the apostle Paul, “lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.”
There are two ways to “come short;” by not having Christ in your life, and not keeping God’s holy Sabbath in Christ. Do you think that today there are many people coming short of the rest that God has for them?
Paul is talking mainly about how the Jews missed out on salvation, but he is also using the Sabbath as a divine illustration of righteousness by faith. Those who fail to enter the seventh day Sabbath rest on God’s holy day come short of His righteousness, because they are not keeping the law. If done in ignorance His Holy Spirit continues to woo them to Christ and a clearer understanding of God’s will.
The only way to be righteous is to keep the commandments. But this is impossible for fallen human beings. So the only option is to have Christ in your heart. He then keeps the commandments in you. Where Christ is, there is no lawbreaking, no sin. Christ has never endorsed anyone who changes or ignores His holy law, for God’s law can never change. And those who fail to let Christ rule in their lives also come up short even if they keep the seventh day Sabbath outwardly like the Jews in Christ’s day. They do not have His righteousness if He is not their all. All their law-keeping is useless if it is not done in Christ.
Reading on from verses two and three “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest…”
Verses four through seven say, “For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”
Paul is saying that it is very important not to harden your heart against the Lord and his righteousness, which includes His moral law, the Ten Commandments. We are urged to enter into Christ’s rest, which means that through Christ we are partakers of His righteousness and we keep His law.
Verse eight says, “For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
Paul is not talking about another day for rest as if the Sabbath was changed. He is talking here about another day for salvation. There is still probationary time, for he says in verse nine and ten that “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.”
He concludes in verse 11, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
Paul is actually upholding the keeping of the moral law even as he clarifies how that salvation is not operative outside the righteousness of Christ, for Christ keeps the law in us and we joyfully obey all its precepts. He is saying that the only way you can have genuine faith is if you enter into the rest of Christ and cease from trying to obey the law in your own strength and let Christ live in you, which brings obedience to His law.
But the world is all going in another direction. Even Christian churches are heading in another direction. They are advocating Sunday observance, a substitute for the seventh day Sabbath of the moral law, even while they claim the righteousness of Christ. They are working to bring God’s Ten Commandment law into contempt by advocating for an alternate day, Sunday. Eventually, this will cause serious problems for God’s people.
Listen to this from the Review and Herald, June 8, 1897, “When the law of God is most derided and brought into the most contempt, then it is time for every true follower of Christ, for those whose hearts have been given to God, and who are fixed to obey God, to stand unflinchingly for the faith once delivered to the saints.” “Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” “It is time to fight when champions are most needed.”
Now, at the very time when God’s people are coming closer and closer to Christ and His law, Satan is busy stirring up the people to reject His law and enact laws of their own to replace God’s law, particularly His fourth commandment to keep the Sabbath holy. They are trying to substitute another day for God’s day. For instance, one of the important developments to watch is the Sunday movement in Europe. On June 20, 2011, the European Sunday Alliance was formed. It has been in the planning stages for some time, but it came into existence and began yet another push to agitate protecting Sunday as a day of rest.
Led by the Roman Catholic Church, which is always promoting its own day of worship in opposition to the law of God, the sixty-five organizations that joined in this alliance so far are all dedicated to building up Sunday laws in Europe. They want to establish a Sunday rest law that would require all workers to have Sunday off from work and keep it as a day of rest in all countries of the EU.
While this kind of law would not prevent God’s people from keeping the Sabbath of the fourth commandment holy, it would be a serious step toward the Sunday worship laws prophesied in the Bible. This is a very important movement to watch. Don’t get confused, as some do, that a Sunday rest law would be a conscience-violating law. It isn’t. But it is the foundation of them. You can’t really have a Sunday worship law without lower-level Sunday laws to undergird it. Eventually, conscience-violating laws will arise from them.
Remember that there are at least four levels of Sunday laws that are typically imposed on nations or governments. First, there is Sunday closing laws, which involve the closing of shops and industries on Sunday. These laws often require companies with a certain number of employees to close on Sundays, but not smaller companies. Europe already has a lot of these, but it is not entirely consistent throughout the EU. The Roman Catholic Church and the rest of the groups involved in promoting the protection of Sunday want to make Sunday closing laws consistent throughout the EU and more widely applicable. They also want to upgrade these laws to level two Sunday laws and to include all business activity and all workers in all non-essential work.
Level three involves Sunday worship laws, which require all members of society to worship on Sunday. This is when Sunday becomes the mark of the beast. This level of Sunday laws also violate freedom of conscience and try to force some people to do what they do not believe is right before God.
Listen to this statement from Great Controversy, page 449. Speaking of Sunday laws which compel people to keep Sunday sacred, “…It is not until the issue is thus plainly set before the people, and they are brought to choose between the commandments of God and the commandments of men, that those who continue in transgression will receive ‘the mark of the beast.’”
So, Sunday worship and keeping Sunday holy instead of the Sabbath does not rise to the level of the mark of the beast until it is plainly set before the people. That is most likely to happen when legislation is debated and argued pro and con in the public area, and laws are made. At the same time God’s people defend the Sabbath of the Bible. So it becomes a public issue that is clearly set before the people at large. I hope you are planning to be one of those who will defend God’s truth and His principles in those difficult times.
The fourth level of laws involves anti-Sabbath laws. This is when the most severe penalties are imposed for breaking these laws including the death penalty as found in Revelation 13.
Though it isn’t the mark of the beast now, violation of the Sabbath command is still a sin and breaks God’s holy Ten Commandments. I hope you are carefully thinking about how you are keeping God’s Sabbath. Also I hope you are thinking about how you are going to act when the time comes for Sunday worship laws and anti-Sabbath laws. It will be a very delicate time for God’s people.
You need to have a mixture of holy boldness and caution. Here is a statement from Last Day Events, page 139. “Refraining from work on Sunday is not receiving the mark of the beast… In places where the opposition is so strong as to arouse persecution, if work is done on Sunday, let our brethren make that day an occasion to do genuine missionary work.”
Here is another from Selected Messages, Vol. 3 and page 399. “We should not feel it enjoined upon us to irritate our neighbors who idolize Sunday by making determined efforts to bring labor on that day before them purposely to exhibit an independence. Our sisters need not select Sunday as the day to exhibit their washing.”
So we can comply with Sunday closing and Sunday rest laws without violating the word of God. Here is another statement that gives positive instruction concerning what to do when Sunday laws come into force.
“Sunday can be used for carrying forward various lines of work that will accomplish much for the Lord. On this day open-air meetings and cottage meetings can be held. House-to-house work can be done. Those who write can devote this day to writing their articles. Whenever it is possible, let religious services be held on Sunday. Make these meetings intensely interesting. Sing genuine revival hymns, and speak with power and assurance of the Saviour’s love.” That’s from Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9 and page 232, 233.
The European Sunday Alliance is no doubt sincere, and their ideals are good, but they are misguided, for they are laying a foundation to take them in opposition to the most wonderful of all of God’s laws, all in the name of upholding the Ten Commandments. But they are undermining its authority.
Here are some things that the website says about the European Sunday Alliance. The new alliance is promoting work-free Sunday throughout Europe. Their slogan: “Together for decent working hours” masks the underlying purpose of the Sunday movement in Europe.
Listen to what God tells us in Great Controversy, page 581. “God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution.”
The European Sunday Alliance website says that “the signatories commit to safeguard and promote work-free Sundays and decent working hours throughout Europe.” Perhaps some sincere members of the European Sunday Alliance have no idea what Rome really has planned. Perhaps they will have a shock when they learn of the secret recesses where her persecutions will be repeated. Right now they think Rome is rather tame and would not do the things she did before. After all, the priests are so kind and friendly and ecumenical. Perhaps they will learn too late that they have helped Rome resurrect her despotic power and will be embarrassed when they realize the consequences that they have supported. They might even try to distance themselves from Rome when they realize what they have done. I hope so. I hope that before it is too late that at least some will see their sin and repent of their cooperation with the “man of sin.”
The process of developing the alliance started a year ago with a conference that took place in Brussels promoting a “work-free Sunday” and also the protection of Sunday as a day of rest. And to launch the new alliance, the group of 65 members held another conference to further mature their arguments in favor of Sunday rest. The conference opened with a speech by Luca Jahier who “emphasized that Europe needs a social model based not only on production and consumption, but also on shared free time for social interaction and societal engagement: ‘We need time for the collective rituals of society, not only mass occupations like shopping,’” said Jahier.
What is the meaning of this interesting phrase “collective rituals of society?” Jahier is talking about members of society doing certain things together with a collective purpose. Collective rituals are symbolic and repetitious in which everyone participates. It is something like Thanksgiving dinner for Americans, or Christmas dinner, or days of national celebration. These are days or events that are heavy with social symbolism. A ritual in this context is a habit or routine that involves everyone, or at least the majority of society’s members. This could include secular or religious pursuits such as annual sporting events, family parties, or weekly or yearly religious ceremonies.
The conference in Belgium included a number of “experts” on Sunday rest, such as Professor Friedhelm Nachreiner, a psychologist, “who recently testified in the German Constitutional Court proceedings on Sunday work that resulted in a ban on shop openings on Sundays in that country.”
Nachreiner was working to defend level one Sunday laws in Germany. Now he is working with the European Sunday Alliance to organize rest laws, or level two Sunday laws, which involve broader laws to restrict work on Sundays throughout the European Union.
In his speech he discussed recent scientific studies and said that “Whatever set of data you look at, whatever aspects you factor in or leave aside, the result is always the same: Any person working on Sundays is negatively affected both in terms of health and safety.”
Friends, let us keep in mind that the reasons that are now being promoted for Sunday rest are some of the very reasons why God gave us Sabbath rest of the fourth commandment. But these people do not understand the Ten Commandment law as they should. They want to replace the Sabbath with Sunday. But they also want to transfer even the reasons for keeping the Sabbath to Sunday in support of their agenda.
Another speaker, social scientist Dr. Jill Ebrey presented research about the social value of synchronized free time during weekends for workers. What is “synchronized free time?” This is time set aside by all of society so that everyone has the same period of time during the week set aside as free time. Dr. Ebrey said “Saturday and Sunday are not merely the end of the week, but form the weekend – a special time for almost anybody. Its demise causes great distress.”
In other words, people need free common time so that they can spend it doing things together. Please note that she included Saturday as well as Sunday as part of the free time of the weekend. However, if you are paying attention, the advocates of Sunday rest are not interested in protecting Saturday as free time. They are only interested in protecting Sunday, even though the studies show that both days have benefit as rest days and have harmful effects as working days. There are no restrictions as far as I know concerning what work can be done on God’s holy Sabbath, except in Israel. Working on Saturday would be just as damaging as working on Sunday, if not more so. But as far as the Alliance is concerned you can work as much as you like. You can conduct your business on Saturday. You can make money and you can spend money on Saturday. You can get all the harmful effects of working on one of the two weekend rest days, the one on which God said to rest, but that is no concern to them, even though it is part of the weekend rest period. This is terribly inconsistent, and suggests an underlying motivation for Sunday rest laws. The Alliance is deliberately angling for Sunday rest and synchronized free time only on Sundays. Something isn’t right about that.
The retired Roman Catholic bishop of Linz, Maximillian Aichern, welcomed the proposal and said that a work-free Sunday is the “oldest social law of Christian-Jewish civilization.” This is a false statement. The oldest written social law of this type is the fourth commandment in the Ten Commandments that were given to Moses and the people of Israel on Mt. Sinai. But it was in force even before there was a Jew. It was the day of rest since Creation. Sunday was only protected as a day of rest for Christians since the days of Constantine in the fourth century B.C. So it is relatively recent compared to the Sabbath laws found in either Jewish or biblical history.
Amazingly, in order to promote Sunday observance or Sunday rest, even religious leaders bear false witness to press their point.
“The common day of rest, the social contracts which go with it and the praising of the Lord are the most important Christian values and … are indispensable for the human dignity,” said the bishop.
It is true that a common day of rest has social contracts and benefits, but he has misapplied them to Sunday rather than to the Bible Sabbath in promoting Sunday rest. But note that he also pointed to the inherent religious nature of Sunday laws. He uses the term “praising the Lord,” which is only one aspect of religious worship, but with it comes all the rest. Fundamentally, all Sunday laws are religious in nature. The fact that the movement is led by the Roman Catholic Church provides ample evidence of the religious purpose of the Sunday movement. Yes, they are using all sorts of secular reasons for it, but its function is religious. The Alliance even includes spiritual development as a reason for Sunday rest, again hinting at the spiritual nature of the Sunday movement. Perhaps the secular people of Europe have resisted this encroachment upon their liberties because they realize that underlying all the talk is Rome’s religion.
Note that the bishop and the advocates of Sunday rest speak of a common day of rest, which could be any day of the week, in spite of the fact that the Ten Commandments are very specific. The fourth commandment specifies when that synchronized time off from work is to be in the life of the Christian. “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work, but the seventh-day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it thou shalt not do any work…” Exodus 20:9,10. But the European Sunday Alliance is advocating Sunday as the work-free day, not the seventh day or the Sabbath. The idea of a “common” or “synchronized” day is a clever way to diminish the Sabbath standard and the Sabbath command and substitute another day for God’s Sabbath. Incidentally, it would be just as wrong to legislate Sabbath rest as it is to create a legal Sunday. God’s government does not force anyone to obey Him. All must obey by choice.
The website says that “the members of the Alliance demand that both European and national legislation needs to be more protective of workers’ private lives, including the right to shared free time for family, social and civic engagement, and culture. They stress that societies need a collective rhythm… [and] social cohesion…”
Notice the “demand.” This is an emphatic and political term. They are trying to put pressure on national and EU leaders to make laws that agree with their agenda.
Please notice the idea of a “collective rhythm” for society. The Alliance website says that Sunday is the reference around which a collective rhythm is established and how time is organized for both state and society. But a collective rhythm for society is again one of the reasons why God gave us the Sabbath. Sunday cannot legitimately replace the day that God established because it is fundamentally against His law. There will be other consequences to society, such as increased immorality because of the disregard of God’s law, and eventually, the judgments of God, which will tear society apart.
Note also the words “social cohesion.” This is a fancy word for saying that societies need to stick together in order to promote social well-being. They are trying to say that when everyone is required to take rest from work and gainful employment on Sunday, their collective activities together on Sunday increases the social glue that holds society together. Of course there is no proof that this is better accomplished on Sunday than on the Sabbath of the Lord, but that is their claim.
If you didn’t know the truth of the Bible about the Holy Sabbath, you would probably think that these are very good reasons for Sunday rest. They sound well reasoned and well researched. And that is precisely the problem. Most people don’t know their Bibles, or that the Bible set aside the Sabbath for the social well being of man as well as his spiritual well-being. So, they will naturally think that these are very good reasons for the protection of Sunday as a family day and as a social day. After all, who wants to work more? But the very arguments that are used for Sunday rest are drawn from evidence that would demonstrate the importance of Sabbath rest.
Concluding his speech, Professor Nachreiner said; “Apart from our scientific findings, the political decision comes down to what sort of society we want to live in: a participative society, or a society where more and more people withdraw from interaction – with the negative impacts on democracy this would have.”
Note that he mentioned the idea of a participative society. To be a member of a “participative society” has a special meaning. Participation means that members of the society are involved in that society, particularly in the political process and in the process of social interchange. The most basic element of social interchange is the ability to buy and sell. In other words, they are now promoting the idea that society cannot be a healthy, interactive society unless society protects Sunday rest. A corollary to this is that if Sunday is protected as a day of rest, and ultimately a day of worship, those who break the law, will be prevented from participation by removing their ability to buy and sell. This issue will, one day, impact God’s people strongly because any true follower of Jesus will have to break Sunday worship laws. The Bible says that those who do not receive the mark of the beast and comply with the worship laws that will be imposed on the nations will be prevented from buying and selling and from participation in the political process.
Let us read it in Revelation 13:15-17, “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
Already you can see the direction this is heading. The Sunday laws, if the Vatican has her way, will ultimately be Sunday worship laws, or religious laws. Those who do not comply with them will be unable to participate in society through buying and selling. They will be isolated, and consequently they will be excluded from the political process as well. Eventually, there will be a death penalty for those who refuse to worship in the prescribed way.
Note that Nachreiner is even saying that democracy would have negative consequences if Sunday is not protected. He is consequently suggesting that laws must be made to compel all citizens to respect Sunday as a day of rest to protect democracy too.
Let us think about this comment for a minute. Democracy is a political process that involves the will of the majority. It is also sometimes called majoritarianism. Majoritarianism does not protect the rights of the minority, unless they are among the political elites and the classes of society that the elites want to protect, the majority rules. But don’t think that Sabbath keepers will be among them. The people of God, who keep all of His commandments, and in particular the fourth commandment, will be a small minority and will eventually lose all their protections. They will be perceived as the cause of the troubles that democratic governments have. Eventually, they will be painted as dangerous for society to have them.
The logic is already being developed for persecution. It is only a matter of time until it is debated in public. It is possible that at least some who advocate these reasons for Sunday rest don’t realize what they are saying, but it is important for you to understand the implications of it.
We are to do all in our power to prevent the development of Sunday worship laws that will remove the freedoms we enjoy to worship according to God’s law.
Listen to what God’s messenger says to the people of God in the last days before the Sunday law crisis comes. It is from the Review and Herald, December 24, 1889, “There are many who are at ease, who are, as it were, asleep. They say, ‘If prophecy has foretold the enforcement of Sunday observance, the law will surely be enacted;’ and having come to this conclusion, they sit down in calm expectation of the event, comforting themselves with the thought that God will protect his people in the day of trouble. But God will not save us if we make no effort to do the work he has committed to our charge. We must be found faithfully guarding the outposts, watching as vigilant soldiers, lest Satan shall gain an advantage which it is our duty to prevent. We should diligently study the word of God, and pray in faith that God will restrain the powers of darkness; for as yet the message has gone to comparatively few, and the world is to be lightened with its glory. The present truth—the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus—has not yet been sounded as it must be. There are many almost within the shadow of our own doors, for whose salvation no personal effort has ever been made. We are not prepared for the time when our work must close…”
“As faithful watchmen, you should see the sword coming, and give the warning, that men and women may not pursue a course through ignorance that they would avoid if they knew the truth. The Lord has enlightened us in regard to what is coming upon the earth, that we may enlighten others, and we shall not be held guiltless if we are content to sit at ease, with folded hands, and quibble over matters of minor importance.”
Think about how you can spread the message of Christ and His law.
The website of the European Sunday Alliance says, “The Alliance urges the EU and Member States to take all legislative and political measures to promote these aims, including working time regulations that respect the right to limited working hours, to weekends and holidays, and collective agreements. It invites other actors to join the Alliance and promote the aims at all political levels.”
The website also says, “Sunday and, more general, decent working hours, are the focus of our campaigns. In our Founding Statement, we draw attention to aspects of life/work-balance and social cohesion that depend on a vast majority of people to have their lawful free time at the same time.”
Notice the emphasis on the vast majority! That is hinting at majoritarianism. Also note the phrase “lawful free time at the same time.” The idea of a legal Sunday for all citizens is as old as the time of Constantine. But the history of the work-free Sunday in the European Union is important to understand. I’ll summarize it from their website.
The initial Working Time Directive of November 1993 [which is the law that regulates work hours for the whole European Union] made provision for a minimum weekly rest period. It said that time off from work “shall, in principle, include Sunday.”
That means that though there are some work areas like hospitals and other jobs that support essential infrastructure such as some public transportation or tourism jobs, etc., all other non-essential work would be illegal to conduct on Sunday.
In November of 1996 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) annulled this provision about time off on Sunday. The Court found ‘that the [European] Council has failed to explain why Sunday, as a weekly rest day, is more closely connected with the health and safety of workers than any other day of the week.’
Please note that the court did not say that it would be wrong to include Sunday as a day of rest in European law. All it said was that there wasn’t sufficient evidence presented that it is more important to protect Sunday as a day of rest over any other day of the week.
In other words the court was inviting European lawmakers to demonstrate that Sunday is more closely connected with the health of workers than any other day of the week. “A [legal] provision [to include] Sunday as a weekly rest day in any future revised Working Time Directive,” says the Alliance website, “is therefore to be welcomed if the European lawmakers demonstrate scientifically that there is benefit to rest on Sunday more than any other day.” So, they organize themselves to get studies to support their theory of Sunday rest.
There are several studies that have been done in the years since the European Court of Justice made its ruling.
There is no argument that time off from work is essential for the health and safety of workers. In fact, this is why God gave the Sabbath at creation. It provides regular periods of rest in the weekly cycle.
But their main arguments to protect Sunday go like this. Working at unusual times such as on Saturday and Sunday impair the safety, health, well-being, and work-life balance of workers. Evidence, so the researchers seem to suggest, shows that those who work on Sundays have a substantially increased risk of causing or having an accident, leading to work time lost.
Interestingly, the statistical results of working on Saturdays also show a substantially increased risk of causing or having an accident. So the research actually shows that both weekend days have an increased risk of accident, not just Sundays. And the research includes occasional work as well as regular work on weekend days, even when taking off another day during the week to compensate for it.
In spite of this conclusion, the European Sunday Alliance emphasizes Sunday as the main day in which work decreases safety, even if it is occasional. If they understood the Bible and were willing to advocate for the Bible Sabbath, they would be able to use the same studies to support Sabbath rest laws, which would be just as bad as Sunday rest laws. But this they are unwilling to do. Deloitte Report, page 37, 42 and 139
Surveys, according to the alliance, show that unusual working hours such as on Saturday or Sunday, increase sickness and absenteeism by a factor of 1.3 times.
Managers report that they have motivational problems with their employees when they are working unusual hours such as nights and weekends. Studies show that there are 1.5 times greater motivational problems with people who work on Saturdays and 1.4 times more problems with those working on Sundays. Apparently, there is a slightly greater risk of problems with motivation among those working on the Sabbath.
Other research shows that companies experience more turnovers when 20% or more of their staff are required to work on weekends which would include either or both Saturday and/or Sunday.
And in studies going back to 2003, both Saturday and Sunday work show an increase in many health and well-being problems.
The important point here is that the studies show that the benefits of resting are almost the same between Saturday and Sunday. In other words, though there could be studies showing the superiority of Sabbath rest over Sunday rest, apparently the advocates of Sunday rest are not interested in studying these comparisons. Sunday rest advocates are using these studies to mainly advocate for their preferred day of rest, not the day that God established. They are trying to build a case for Sunday rest because they want to eventually bring about Sunday worship. That is at least what Bible prophecy is telling us. And they are using as many secular arguments as they can to support their views.
The studies are interesting. A Canadian Study (Jamal, 2004) found that full-time employees working on weekends reported significantly higher emotional exhaustion, job stress and psychosomatic health problems than employees not involved with weekend work. In another European-wide study, respondents were asked about health problems, according to whether or not they worked on weekends. The results were highly consistent. Those working on Saturdays or Sundays were more likely to report health effects than those not working on those days.
Moreover, the authors of the study found, that, in particular, Sunday working of parents has a negative impact on the well-being of their children. (p. 14)
“Sunday work” the report says, “appears to affect time spent with children more than any other form of [unusual] work… Parents do not appear to make up for time lost… by spending more time with children on another day or at other times.” The study recommends incorporating a shared week-end day off into current working time legislation. (p. 14-15)
Family time is a big issue with the European Sunday Alliance. “On Sundays,” they say, “parents and children are able to spend time with each other. Schools are closed on this day… Sunday is already the acknowledged weekly rest day for children and adolescents” in EU law. Therefore, it should be a small step to be consistent and enshrine it in laws for parents too. Again, this is an important benefit of the Sabbath of the Lord which is now being transferred to Sunday. Work at irregular times, or on Sundays, they say, prevents parents from balancing their lives and fulfilling their commitments to their children, the very things that God intended for the Sabbath.
The family is the most basic unit of any society. The Sabbath was designed to help protect families from excessive outside earthly commitments and also to provide a common time for them to bond spiritually under God. The Sabbath was established at creation just after God created the first family and performed the first marriage. Sabbath rest was the first thing in which they were to be engaged, in order to learn of their creator. Sunday rest is a deceptive substitution for what God intended for secure, spiritually mature families.
The European Sunday Alliance is advocating Sunday rest laws using objectives which they hope secular people will accept. They know they have to convince secular people to respect Sunday rest with secular reasons, or at least reasons that appear non-religious. Those secular arguments include health and safety of workers, family time, social cohesion, economic advantages, etc. Keep watching. There is more to come.
Sunday is on the minds of many. From the Roman Catholic Church, to trade unions, economists, social planners, non-Catholic churches, and civil societies and even secularists; all are paying attention to the developing arguments concerning Sunday rest. They each have their own reasons why they can support Sunday protection. The European Sunday Alliance, led by the Roman Catholic Church is trying to bring all these reasons together at one table and build a coalition that will put a lot of pressure on the European Parliament to enact level two Sunday legislation. At some point, there will be a tipping point at which it will all come together. That’s prophecy.
Psalm 119:126 says, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law.” This prophecy is about to be fulfilled. As soon as the heavenly throne room permits it, the protection of Sunday rest in Europe and other parts of the world will come.
There is a statement that needs to be reconciled at this point. It is from Maranatha, page 214. It says, “As America, the land of religious liberty, shall unite with the papacy in forcing the conscience and compelling men to honor the false sabbath, the people of every country on the globe will be led to follow her example.”
This statement clearly suggests that the Sunday law will begin in America and then spread to every other country on the globe. The question then on the minds of many is, if this statement is true, then why is there so much Sunday law movement in Europe?
Please notice that the statement talks about “forcing the conscience.” That is referring to Sunday laws that violate conscience and require Sunday worship. That’s level three Sunday laws. The laws that are being discussed and advocated in Europe are level one and level two laws that do not violate the conscience. Rome continually works for these types of laws where ever she can. Right now she is developing her strong arguments for Sunday in Europe. If she cannot get Europe to go along with level one and level two Sunday laws, how can she ever get other countries to do the same thing? You can expect that when lower level Sunday laws have been implemented in Europe and perhaps other parts of the world, America will lead the way with level three Sunday rest laws, and level four anti-Sabbath laws.
But there is something else. There is a fundamental difference between Europeans and Americans. Europeans tend to be much more intellectual in their approach to social problems and life in general. Americans, on the other hand, tend to be more emotional in their decision-making. It takes a lot of logical effort and intellectual development to convince Europeans to accept something they don’t really want. Americans can more easily be manipulated by an emotional crisis to do what social planners want them to do. So in order to bring everybody along toward the same goal Rome has to work with some nations differently than with others. She has to develop the intellectual consensus in Europe before stoking the American fires of Sunday protection too strongly.
When the judgments of God are poured out on the land, the Sunday movement will get a lot of traction. Though God’s people must always be discretionate concerning their behavior regarding Sunday laws, when there is a lot of panic and unstable circumstances in society; when people are reigned up and ready to assign blame or find a scapegoat, it is especially important that commandment-keepers respect the laws of the land that don’t violate conscience. We must also treat all men with respect and help them see that even the best of intentions in advocating Sunday laws still violates God’s moral law.
Listen to what God’s messenger says concerning this time. This is again from Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9 and page 233.
“When we devote Sunday to missionary work, the whip will be taken out of the hands of the arbitrary zealots who would be well pleased to humiliate Seventh-day Adventists. When they see that we employ ourselves on Sunday in visiting the people and opening the Scriptures to them, they will know that is useless for them to try to hinder our work by making Sunday laws.
Friends, as Sunday observance agitation begins to appear on the horizon, this is the time to make your life right with God. Never before have any of us experienced what is coming upon the world. The only preparation we can make is that which Jesus said to make. “Watch and pray always,” he said, “that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come upon the whole world.” That’s Matthew 24:36.