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Welcome to my blog, MB's Theological Thoughts. If you have a question you'd like me to answer, feel free to ask, either in a comment or an email. If it's a legitimate question, I'll do my best to answer it. Might take some thinking and some time, but again, I'll do my best.

01 April, 2011

A word on the Sunday Law

The National Sunday Law has been a focal point of Adventist theology for decades. Will it happen soon? I can't say for sure. Will there be blood running through the streets? I seriously doubt it. Here are my thoughts.

The Blue Laws were seen as the forerunners of the National Sunday Law, a foreshadowing of the second Advent, as written about by Ellen White. The biggest thing about the blue laws is that they don't outlaw Sabbath worship, and they don't force Sunday worship. They simply regulate commerce on Sundays, mandating a day of rest. In fact, if there were blue laws that regulated homework, I would run out into the streets and shout, "Thank you Jesus!" 

In order for a Sunday Law of the caliber that we have predicted with dread to be enacted, serious changes must be made to the Constitution. First, the entire First Amendment must be abolished (as of yet, such a change is far from sight). The Founding Fathers wanted to avoid a theocracy, and so they penned the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Not only can Congress not establish a national Day of Worship as Sunday, but they can not prohibit Sabbath worship. These are two essential tenets of the dreaded Sunday Law. 

Also prohibiting the Sunday Law are the other clauses of the Amendment. Establishing a State Religion will surely gather the protests of every atheist, agnostic, Muslim, Buddhist, Satanist, and so on within our nation's borders. These make up such a percentage that we wouldn't be able to function unless under martial law. No, the only way to swing something like this would be to abolish free speech and the right to assemble and petition.

Even if the First Amendment, something which defines the USA, could be abolished or altered, we would have to get people to agree to the establishment of a State Religion. Given the attitudes of people toward religion nowadays, I think that the number of people that would go along with it would be very slim. The system of Checks and Balances prohibits one branch of the Government from having the power to hammer the law through, so that system would also have to be abolished. The Legislative and Judicial branches would have to be absorbed by the Executive, creating a monarchy, something the Founding Fathers wanted to avoid like the plague. You know the aphorism: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Let's say that the Sunday Law were to pass somehow. We would need a way to enforce it. That is where martial law would come in. The amount of people protesting the law would fill our prisons to bursting. House arrest would be useless, and we wouldn't have enough law enforcement personnel to make anything work. We would have to give the military the authority to punish those who didn't follow the law. (A text comes to mind. "Unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be spared." Mt. 24:22) This would require enough military personnel that didn't have qualms about killing their own people for religious reasons, and I don't think even the most autonomous of soldiers would do that.

What do I know, though? If you told somebody 50 years ago that we would have computers in our pockets, they would have laughed you out of existence. But no matter what Ellen White says, there are insurmountable obstacles between current law and the Sunday Law. I'm not saying it won't happen. If it does happen, though, it won't be for some time. One theory is that a global catastrophe will force people into this Old Testament-era "we must avoid the wrath of God" mindset--a global catastrophe like an asteroid impact (Rev 8:8). The biggest likelihood of such a strike is the asteroid 99942 Apophis, an 880 foot wide asteroid with an impact likelihood of 1 in 250,000. And that won't even be close until April of 2036. 

So is it wrong to prepare for something that won't happen in the foreseeable future? No. But nobody should be paranoid about it. If this oppressive Sunday Law should come about, the Bible lets us know that we will be protected, so long as we love God. Remember, nobody knows anything definitive about this. We have our warnings, and we can heed them without using scare tactics to tell people to run for the hills. Remember Isaiah 41:10; Proverbs 3:5, 6; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; and Psalm 91:12.

Your Brother in Christ,

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