National Sunday Law - Fact or Fiction?

Chapter 7

Does it Really Matter?

After reading the previous six chapters are you beginning to get a sense of just how absurd, impossible, illogical, and ridiculous this whole Sunday law scenario is? Following are seven solid reasons to reject this teaching:

1. It originated from a biased source

Do you believe everything a smiling salesman tells you? Of course not! Why? Common sense tells you to be wary in believing something a person is telling you if you know that person holds a personal bias regarding that subject.

Consider Joseph Bates. Besides being an inept Bible scholar, Bates had a powerful personal bias against mainstream Protestant churches. After the bitter disappointment of 1844, this retired sea captain was searching for some way to condemn the Christian denominations and prop up his own prophetic theory that the door of salvation was shut. His strong personal bias against the Protestant churches is evidenced in his writing. Should it be any surprise to us that he opened his Bible and "discovered" that Sunday-keeping was the Mark of the Beast? Was this man really a true Bible scholar? Or was he twisting Bible verses out-of-context to prove his own personal prejudices?

2. The story keeps changing

Do you trust someone who keeps changing their story? When the National Sunday Law teaching was first proposed by Ellen White, the Adventists did not think that Christians needed any special prompting to pass the Sunday law. When Christians failed to enact a law as planned in the late 1800s, the story began to change. It was then proposed that a crisis would occur, and the law would be passed amidst a "stupendous crisis." When even this appeared unlikely, the story changed once again. Now it was proposed that Satan himself would masquerade as Jesus in order to convince world leaders they needed to kill people who go to church on Saturday. Over time, as it becomes more and more evident a Sunday-law will never be passed, the tale becomes more bizarre and outlandish.

3. Sunday-keepers have little interest in the issue

There is very little interest in establishing Sunday laws even amongst the most ardent Sunday-keepers. In fact, most existing Sunday laws are being repealed. To most Sunday-keepers, the Sabbath-Sunday issue is irrelevant. There is no evidence that Sunday-keeping Christians have the least inclination to persecute Sabbath-keepers over their day of worship. Most Christians today would be appalled at the very thought of persecuting another Christian to death over a doctrinal issue.

4. Sunday-keepers do not have the political power to pass a Sunday law

The landscape of the United States has changed to the extent that it would be virtually impossible to pass a Sunday law over the objections of Jews, Muslims, secularists, homosexuals, and Sabbath-keeping Christians. Sunday-keeping Christians have neither the political power nor the will to pass a Sunday law, as is evidenced by an unbroken string of failures to keep religion in American society.

5. Neither Jesus nor the Apostles ever said it was a "test"

Adventists insist it will be a "final test" even though it is impossible to believe Jesus and the Apostles would be silent on such a profound issue. If the final climatic battle between good and evil, the war to end all wars, is to be fought over the Sabbath, then why did Jesus and the Apostles ignore the issue entirely? The day of worship is said to be so significant that it determines who has the Mark of the Beast and who has the Seal of God, even though Paul said that what day a person worships on should never be an issue to separate believers (see Rom. 14).

6. Their own prophet says its okay to worship on Sunday!

Adventists say they are going to be put to death for not worshipping on Sunday even though their prophet said God was "pleased" if they held religious meetings and performed missionary work on Sunday. If God is pleased by such activity, then why do Baptists and Methodists receive the Mark of the Beast for holding religious meetings and doing missionary work on Sunday? If both Adventists and non-Adventists are holding religious meetings and doing missionary work on Sunday, how are authorities going to be able to determine who is breaking the National Sunday law?

7. It is economically impossible

Imagine the chaos that would result from such a law. Businesses and factories would have to be shut down on Sunday. The United States would suffer irreparable economic harm. The reduction in work hours would probably drive many businesses to move overseas. Imagine a U.S. police force that can barely keep up with chasing real criminals, trying to cope with forcing the 100 million people who do not worship on Sunday to start worshipping on Sunday! Imagine a U.S. prison system, that is already filled to the brim, trying to handle millions upon millions of new prisoners. Imagine the terrible economic impact of taking millions of hard-working individuals out of the work-force, putting them in prison, where they must be clothed and fed by tax-payers. The economic and social impact of this scenario would probably bankrupt the United States, both financially and morally.

Is this teaching dangerous?

After considering all of the evidence presented, some might say that while it is true that a Sunday law appears extremely unlikely, what is the danger of believing such a teaching? What harm could possibly come from it? The truth is that it is always harmful to believe a falsehood about Bible prophecy. Adventists, of all the people on the earth, should be able to understand how dangerous it is! Look what happened in 1844! Perhaps as many as 50,000 people were deluded by a fanatical leader to believe that Christ was returning in 1844. That delusion led to financial ruin, destruction of families, bitter disappointment, and in a few instances, even suicide. Is it dangerous to believe a false teaching? Was it dangerous for the Branch Davidians of Waco, Texas, to believe the misguided teachings of leader David Koresh?

Teachings such as the National Sunday law are deceptive. They take the focus off of the real issues of Christianity, and the real persecutions that are taking place around the world. Instead, they focus the attention on future events that are unlikely to ever take place. While other Christians are following Christ's command to take the gospel into all the world, some Adventists spend all their time and effort trying to convince other Christians that a Sunday law is going to be passed and they need to start keeping the Sabbath in order to be one of the remnant that is saved when Christ returns. One Adventist pastor spends his time traveling around the world, visiting Adventist churches in order to warn people about the coming Sunday laws. This type of activity is not only a waste of time and effort, but it is also direct disobedience to Christ who commanded Christians to take the "good news" of salvation--not the "bad news" of fear--into all the world.

Teachings such as the National Sunday law are dangerous. Since Adventists know that a Sunday law will be passed before Jesus returns, there is always the danger that some will delay preparing their hearts for Christ's return because they think to themselves, "Well, the Sunday law is still years away, so I do not have to worry yet about getting my life in harmony with God's pattern right now." Humans have a tendency to procrastinate. Adventists are being lulled to sleep by a false sense of security. While they are putting Christ's return years into the future after a National Sunday Law is passed by Congress, Christ may decide to return far sooner than they expected.

Teachings such as the National Sunday law are divisive. Rather than promote love and understanding between those of different faiths, these teachings create fear and suspicion. How can an Adventist have fellowship with a Sunday-keeper whom they suspect is secretly planning to pass laws to torture and kill them?

The National Sunday Law serves only one purpose. It generates fear. No cult can survive long without fear. The time has come for Adventists to face the facts and admit that a National Sunday Law is no longer feasible or even meaningful. It is time for them to turn away from this unscriptural teaching and turn away from fear. It is time for Adventists to stop using fear tactics to persuade people to join their church. Many people become Sabbath-keepers for reasons other than fear. Giving up the Sunday law teaching does not mean Adventists must give up their Sabbath or any of their other distinctive teachings. It simply means that they are willing to take a second look at Bible prophecy and admit that perhaps the future may not unfold in the exact manner that their pioneers had predicted. It is time for Adventists to stop preaching fear and join wholeheartedly with their Sunday-keeping brothers and sisters in fulfilling Christ's great commission to take the gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ into all the world.

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