By Jeff Wehr
On May 31, 1998, Pope John Paul II issued the apostolic letter Dies Domini (on keeping the Lord’s Day holy) in his attempt to encourage Sunday worship. In article 67, paragraph 2, the Pope admonished, “Therefore, also in the particular circumstances of our own time, Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy. In any case, they are obliged in conscience to arrange their Sunday rest in a way which allows them to take part in the Eucharist, refraining from work and activities which are incompatible with the sanctification of the Lord’s Day, with its characteristic joy and necessary rest for spirit and body.”
Since the release of Dies Domini, church leaders, both bishops and priests, have heeded the call to push for Sunday worship. In Croatia, a country that is about ninety percent Catholic, a national Sunday law passed on January 1, 2009. While the law lacked support from the populace, influential leaders from the church pressured Parliament to pass the law.
In the book, The Great Controversy, page 592, we read, “The dignitaries of the church and state will unite to bribe, persuade, and compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance.”
In the same year of 2009, debate on Sunday legislation escalated in Germany. Berlin has passed legislation allowing stores to be open for ten Sundays a year, per contra the national law. Catholic and Lutheran churches had opposed Berlin’s law and the case made its way to Germany’s Constitutional Court, which ruled against Berlin’s law of leniency. The court’s ruling went into effect on January 1, 2010. Germany’s protection of Sunday is found in article 140 of Germany’s Basic Law, a holdover from the Weimar Constitution of 1919.
While these steps were being taken in Croatia and Germany, the Commission of Bishops for the European Community (COMECE) had given hearty approval and support to the proposal by five ministers of state to the European Parliament, arguing in favor of a Sunday law for all of Europe since Sunday served as a proper “cultural patrimony and social model” for European society. They argued for recognition of Sunday as a day of rest for the well-being of society.
Other support for Sunday rest has come from pro-labor and pro-family organizations, from numerous European countries such as Germany, Austria, Denmark, Croatia, Spain, France, and Italy.
The question which must be asked is, What is the real motivation behind the Sunday laws? Is it really about rest from labor? For some of those in the pro-labor camp it might be.
According to the Book of Revelation, chapter thirteen, it is all about worship and control. We know that the dragon, Satan himself, is behind the Sunday movement. It is his endeavor to have the governments of the world pass a law against the law of God, so that the true worshippers of Him who created heaven and earth might be persecuted and destroyed.
The Papacy is longing to regain her lost ascendency when she once ruled over the conscience of men, both civilly and religiously. Clearly, Revelation chapter thirteen, points out her desire for a new world order of church and state.
The Sunday movement is in progress. Not so long from now Sunday laws will be passed in America, the deadly wound of the Papacy will then be healed, and the final events will be rapid.