I am not a minister of religion, but I do read and study the Bible and there is no word or hint in the New Testament that states we should abstain from work on Sundays.
This is a choice, which the individual person should make in consideration of God’s law.
The Word of God makes it quite clear that Sabbath observance was a sign between God and the children of Israel.
It was not God’s intent for them to remember the creation but that they would remember their Egyptian slavery and the Lord’s deliverance.
A person placed under the Sabbath Law could not leave his home on the Sabbath (Exodus 16:29); he could not build a fire (Exodus 35:3); and he could not cause anyone else to work (Deut. 5:14). A person breaking the Sabbath law was put to death (Exodus 31:15; and Numbers 15:32-35.)
I am referring to Saturday Sabbath and not Sunday Sabbath keeping. The people of Israel were ordered to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a covenant.
We are not told in the scriptures that we are to keep the first day of the week. We are commanded to keep the seventh day of the week.
The reason we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh day is for the same reason that we observe many other things; not because the Bible says so, but because the church enjoined it.
The change from the seventh day to the first day of the week, Sunday, was made on the authority of one holy Catholic Church.
The first four commandments set fourth man’s obligation directly toward God. The Sabbath was established ordinal, long before Moses, and had no special connection with the Hebrews but as an institution for all mankind, in commemoration of God’s rest after six days of creation.
It was designed for all the descendants of Adam.
There was and is a commandment to keep the holy Sabbath Day, but the Sabbath Day was not a Sunday. Sunday did come into use in early Christian History as a religious day, but what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of paganism and christened with the name of the sun god, when adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism.
Today we observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.
This was done because Christ arose from the dead on a Sunday, and the Holy Ghost descended upon the apostles on a Sunday; so causing the Church to substitute Sunday for Saturday by plenitude of that divine power, which Jesus Christ bestowed upon her.
In Cayman we often refer to ourselves as a Christian community.
We are now being put to the test of not allowing Sunday trading at the supermarkets, yet we close our eyes to the bars and restaurants being open and selling liquor and small businesses open selling food. There are a number of shops and gas stations open.
In truth and fact, we should recognise both days and make a decision within ourselves which of the two days God is asking us to keep holy.
The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and has been in force ever since. In fact it is often claimed that God set the Sabbath in Eden because of the connection between the Sabbath and Creation in Exodus 20:11.
The Fourth Commandment begins with the word ‘remember,’ which shows that the Sabbath day existed already when God wrote the law on the tablets of stone at Sinai. The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.
That is why when Christ was on earth, he did nothing to set it aside. He freed it from the traces under which the scribes and Pharisees had put it, and gave it its true place.
There is no obligation for the New Testament believer to keep the Sabbath and the idea of a ‘Sunday Christian Sabbath’ is also unscriptural. Colossians 2:16-17 says ‘So let no one judge you in food or drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a show of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
The Jewish Saturday Sabbath was abolished at the cross where Christ wiped out the handwriting of requirements that were against us. Colossians 2:14.
The Sabbath was given to Israel, not the Church. The Sabbath is still Saturday and not Sunday and has never been changed, but the Sabbath is part of the Old Testament law, and Christians are free from bondage of the law (see Galatians 4:1-26; and Romans 6:14.)
Sabbath keeping is not required of the Christian – be it Saturday or Sunday. The first day of the week, Sunday, the Lord’s Day (see Revelation 1:10) celebrates the new creation, with Christ as our resurrected head.
We are not, therefore, required to follow the Mosaic Sabbath.
The Apostle Paul said that each individual Christian should decide whether to observe a Sunday Sabbath.
Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. Romans 14:15 says we are to worship God every day, not just on Saturday or Sunday.
We surely must not imagine that the coming of Christ has freed us completely from the authority of the Law; for it is the eternal rule of a devout and holy life; and must therefore be as unchangeable as the justice of God.
Good guidance in making a decision on Sunday trading is to continue to pray and seek God in all his ways and we will be blessed in so doing.
Twyla Mae Vargas