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Persecution For Keeping The Seventh-Day Sabbath

 

Question

How Should We Respond To Persecution For Keeping The Seventh-Day Sabbath, particularly regarding Sunday Blue Laws.

 

What is a Sunday Blue Law?

The Sunday Blue Laws referred to on this page are edicts passed by governments requiring that all work cease on the first day of the week—prohibitions against Sunday Labor. The phrase can also refer to the prohibition of alcohol sales on the first day of the week. The origin of the term is unknown.

 

Short Answer

We are to obey the truth and live the truth in the most beautiful way possible. If obeying the government does not cause us to disobey God, we should obey the government, including not working on Sunday [Please carefully read the attached documents to understand why from Ellen White's writings!]. In sharing the truth of the Seventh-day Sabbath we should carefully shed light in a manner that will not arouse prejudice or diminish our ability to witness for God. If taken to court we are not to fight for our rights, but for God's right to our service. If necessary, flee to another place. [Read the associated materials to understand where these principles come from.]

 

Bible Answers

Obey God's Command To Keep The Sabbath

"Exodus 20:8-11 "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."

Be Wise!

Matthew 10:16 (KJV) "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."

Carefully And Progressively Share Truth

John 8:26 "I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him."

Do Not Defy Government Authorities If No Violation of Conscience Is Involved

Romans 13:1-7 "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour."

Trust God For Your Answers; Flee If Necessary

Matthew 10:17-23 "But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come."

 

Longer Answer

As you read the articles that follow you will find the following.

1. Persecution is coming! It is unavoidable and God will not shield His people from it. 

2. We don't need to carefully prepare for what we will say at that time because God will provide our answers. In the meantime, however, we should fill our minds with the Word of God.

3. There is a very real danger that well-meaning church leaders may try to shield God's people by passing resolutions that would minimize their need to stand for truth. This should not be. Counsel was given to not remove burdens that God has allowed, nor to impose new burdens that God has not placed!

4. When faced with persecution, or edicts to work on Sunday, to the degree we can obey with clear consciences, we should comply. Where obedience would cause us to violate God's law, we must stand firm.

5. Refraining from work on Sunday does not bring the mark of the beast. If we face a requirement to cease working on Sunday, we should use the day for missionary work. In any case, do not militantly disobey because it could bring negative consequences, close minds against the truth and bring additional measures that could close up the work.

6. We can go forward confident that God will provide the wisdom and the strength necessary for the situation.

7. By properly responding, we can continue carrying the truth to those who do not know.

 

Important Documents

Interview Regarding Religious Liberty

"When the practices of the people do not come into conflict with the law of God, you may conform to them. If the workers fail to do this, they will not only hinder their own work, but they will place stumbling blocks in the way of those for whom they labor, and hinder them from accepting the Truth."

This is an exceedingly important document that gives clear counsel on how we should introduce truth relating to the seventh-day sabbath. This should be "must reading" for Seventh-day Adventists.

How Should We Respond To Sunday Labor laws—Blue Laws?

"There may be large mountains of difficulties in regard to how to meet the claims of God and not stand in defiance of the laws of the land. He must not be making ample provisions for himself to shield himself from trial for he is only God’s instrument and he is to go forward in singleness of purpose with his mind and soul garrisoned day by day, that he will not sacrifice one principle of his integrity, but he will make no boasts, issue no threats, or tell what he will or will not do. For he does not know what he will do until tested. He will just go forward in a contrite spirit with an eye single to the glory of God, depending on the word of God and the grace promised through Christ, and the mountains may become molehills."

This quote comes from an exceedingly important document on how to respond to trials and persecution in the last days. Should be must reading!

The Danger Of Extreme Reactions To Sunday Labor Laws

In this short extract Ellen White defends what she counseled relative to responding to Sunday labor laws.

Sunday Labor

This extract from the ninth volume of Testimonies for the Church provides clear direction for using Sundays for missionary work when Sunday labor laws are passed.

 

Final Thoughts

The information provided in the documents provides some of the clearest counsel I have read on how to respond to Sunday labor Laws. I urge everyone to read them.