21 August 2023 |
Dear Aunt Sevvy,
Where I come from, Adventist pastors seem to love preaching about the Sunday Law, in both church services and evangelistic meetings. I always wonder why they preach about this. We have no Sunday laws here. No verse from Genesis to Revelation mentions the phrase “Sunday Law.” Why do they emphasize this so much?
Signed, Don’t see it
Dear Don’t see it:
The Bible records that early Christians did suffer persecution, because the Roman Empire looked unfavorably on foreign religious movements. The Bible also correctly warned that future Christians would meet opposition for their beliefs just as did Jesus himself—and of course many have and still do.
But the notion that the Seventh-day Adventists will be singled out for persecution for keeping the Sabbath because Sunday laws will have made it illegal to go to church on Saturday is an invention of Ellen White—in particular, her book The Great Controversy.
The actual biblical “proofs” for this are insubstantial. Daniel 7:25 refers to a figure who “will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws,” which Adventist apologists say is about changing Sabbath to Sunday. That passage is then connected with Revelation 13:16-17 where, say interpreters, the Mark of the Beast is the pope persecuting Adventists for not worshiping on Sunday.
But the Sabbath isn’t identified as the problem in either text. And in fact we see today so little opposition to Sabbath keeping in the real world that a single instance of it is noteworthy.
While Aunty loves the Sabbath, and finds it of great value to her life, she agrees with church leader and writer Reinder Bruinsma when he says that
the expectation that in the end of time a universal Sunday law will be enforced by the civil authorities, upon the insistence of the public and at the demand of the “apostate” churches, seems to be more and more unrealistic. … In reality the overall trend is towards less, rather than more, strict Sunday keeping. In the western world the Sunday of church worship is rapidly being replaced by a Sunday of amusement and shopping.
Aunty doesn’t spend a moment worrying about Sunday laws—or any other end-time events. She believes that if you nurture trust in God, and sincerely try to be like Jesus in your behavior toward others, God will take care of the rest.
You can write to Aunt Sevvy at DearAuntSevvy@gmail.com. Please keep questions or comments short. What you send us at this address won’t necessarily be, but could be, published—without identifying the writer. Aunt Sevvy writes her own column, and her opinions are not necessarily those of Adventist Today’s editors.