Last year we reported (GT E-News, Issue #8) on the launch of the European Sunday Alliance, a coalition of 65 civil society organisations, trade unions and Churches who have committed to to safeguarding and promoting work-free Sundays. As part of these efforts, on May 16 of this year, Pope Benedict XVI launched his appeal against Sunday working which was introduced not so long ago in Italy. During his address, reportedly attended by 11 thousand pilgrims, the Pope stated, “I also hope that Sunday, the Lord's Day and weekly celebration of His Resurrection, will be a day of rest and an opportunity to strengthen family ties.” [Vatican Radio, May 16, 2012] http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-a-familys-right-to-work-and-sunday-rest
A few weeks later, in a pastoral visit to Milan, the Pope responded to a question on work/family time balance. In his response he stated, “And finally, there is Sunday, the day of celebration: I hope that Sunday is observed in America. Sunday, the Lord’s Day, seems to me to be of great importance, and as such it is also “our day”, because we are free. In the creation account, this was the Creator’s original intention: that on one day we should all be free. In this freedom for one another, for ourselves, we are free for God. And this is how I think we defend human freedom, by defending Sunday and feast-days as the Lord’s days and thus as our days.” http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2012/june/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20120602_festa-testimonianze_en.html
While maintaining a healthy balance between work and family life is an important Christian principle, we believe defending Sunday for this purpose runs contrary to clear Biblical evidence that the seventh day of the week, Saturday, was the day ordained for this purpose. More importantly, we are opposed to the notion that a day of rest should be enshrined in law, which is the ultimate objective of the European Sunday Alliance. Arguably, no day needs legal protection. Millions around the globe choose to rest and worship on a day other than Sunday, even if this means inconvenience. They are a living testament to the fact that if a rest day is important enough, no one can make you work on it.
How far will the various Sunday alliances go in defending Sunday, contrary to the Bible? Prophecy indicates the whole world will be compelled to respect Sunday as a day of rest and religious observance. God is calling for us to take our stand in defense of truth and righteousness. In doing so we will find ourselves in direct opposition to the vast majority of Christendom. May God help us to be able to stand when the final test of our allegiance comes.