Prophetic Intelligence Briefings
European Bishops Still Pressing for Sunday Rest · March 23, 2009
Using the economic crisis to press for Sunday legislation, the European Conference of Catholic Bishops, or COMECE, and the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) and the Church of England hailed a February 2, 2009 initiative to introduce a written declaration into the House that would protect Sunday as a day of rest in Europe. Five MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) drafted and introduced the declaration. “A work-free Sunday,” said COMECE, is “an essential pillar of the European Social Model and as part of the European cultural heritage. Such a declaration would constitute an important commitment to a Social Europe.
“Men and women who work on Sundays, are put at a disadvantage in their social relationships: Their family life, personal development and even health are verifiably affected,” said COMECE.
The Bishops urged that “respect for Sunday rest has the potential to be a pillar of the European social model,” and that Sunday’s long cultural heritage and tradition in Europe is why Sunday should be protected as a day of rest in order to balance life safeguard the family. Without Sunday rest, the Bishops continued, “workers have experienced fragmentation of their private lives,” and some businesses, they added, cannot compete effectively.
The written declaration, if passed, would call on the “Member States and on the EU institutions to protect Sunday as a weekly rest day in forthcoming national and EU working-time legislation in order to enhance the protection of workers’ health and the reconciliation of work and family life.”
To become official, a majority of the Members of the European Parliament (394) must sign the Declaration before May 7, 2009. It would then be sent to all the relevant entities of Europe, apparently requesting that they amend their policies.
Text of the Written Declaration:
Notice that these churches, with Rome in the lead, are trying to avoid religious arguments to make their case. They use essentially good arguments such as health, temperance, balance, family time, the poor economy and unbridled consumerism as reasons to promote Sunday rest as being in the highest interest of society.
The book Great Controversy, page 587 reveals what the stealth strategy in linking Sunday rest with social reforms. “…the temperance work, one of the most prominent and important of moral reforms, is often combined with the Sunday movement, and the advocates of the latter represent themselves as laboring to promote the highest interest of society; and those who refuse to unite with them are denounced as the enemies of temperance and reform. But the fact that a movement to establish error is connected with a work which is in itself good, is not an argument in favor of the error… The leaders of the Sunday movement may advocate reforms which the people need, principles which are in harmony with the Bible, yet while there is with these a requirement which is contrary to God’s law, his servants cannot unite with them. Nothing can justify them in setting aside the commandments of God for the precepts of men.”
Resting on Sunday or any other day of the week is not breaking God’s law. What would be a violation of the law of God would be a law requiring Sunday sacredness, or a Sunday worship law. But a law requiring Sunday rest has a religious motivation. After all, it is promoted by the Catholic Bishops, the Protestant Church in Germany, and the Church of England. It should be obvious to all that though these churches are not pushing for Sunday observance or Sunday worship laws at the moment, Sunday rest laws lay the foundation for them to pressure parliament for that later.
Notice also that two formerly protestant churches have joined with Rome to promote Sunday rest in Europe. Germany was the center of the Lutheran Reformation that greatly affected Rome’s control over Europe. Protestant England was the sole global superpower for centuries. Rome is using these very churches who continue to observe the day of worship that originated with her, as a means of reasserting her control over Europe. They are being co-opted by Rome to promote her rest day, and consequently her power. That’s quite a change! Perhaps their leaders don’t even realize it.
The work of Sunday exaltation is being promoted in Europe as a necessary element of a stable and healthy society. But this thinly disguised effort to exalt Sunday is really an underhand way of preparing for their real agenda of Sunday observance laws. This has ever been, and ever will be their agenda.
The Review and Herald, December 24, 1889 makes this comment, “Plans of serious import to the people of God are advancing in an underhand manner among the clergymen of various denominations, and the object of this secret maneuvering is to win popular favor for the enforcement of Sunday sacredness. If the people can be led to favor a Sunday law, then the clergy intend to exert their united influence to obtain a religious amendment to the Constitution, and compel the nation to keep Sunday.”
While this statement is referring to the United States Constitution, and was speaking of the Sunday law efforts in the late 1880s, it nevertheless does not preclude similar efforts to be taken in other places like Europe in our day. If fact, with the dramatic increase in secularization in the western world, the priests and ministers of the churches would have to be more careful to disguise their plans until a favorable environment for Sunday worship laws arises.