“Sundays Excepted?”

Via Apologetics Press:

“Sundays Excepted”?

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Did the Founders of American civilization believe in the God of the Bible? More specifically, did the vast majority of them embrace the Christian worldview? Even though they advocated freedom of worship, and opposed any persecution instigated against those who sought to practice divergent religious views, did they, themselves, approach life from the perspective of the Christian religion? A mountain of evidence exists to prove that they did. Consider just one.

Though the Founders intentionally omitted an extensive treatment of religion in the federal Constitution, since they intended for the federal government to stay out of the religious arena and leave such matters to the States and local communities, they nevertheless implied their religious orientation in that seminal document. Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution reads:

If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law (Constitution of the United…, emp. added).

“Sundays excepted”? Indeed, to this day, the U.S. government shuts down and does not transact business on Sunday? Why? If this provision had been made in respect of Jews, the Constitution would have read “Saturdays excepted.” If provision had been made for Muslims, the Constitution would have read “Fridays excepted.” If the Founders had intended to encourage a day of inactivity for the government without regard to any particular religion, they could have chosen Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Instead, the federal Constitution reads “Sundays excepted”—proving that America was Christian in its orientation, that the Framers themselves shared the Christian worldview, and that they were determined to give political recognition to and accommodation of that fact by making allowance for the Christian day of worship. Their decision reflects a respect for Bible teaching on the matter (Acts 20:7; Revelation 1:10).

This respect for the Christian worship of God on Sunday has been perpetuated throughout American history. The vanishing “Blue Laws” verify this fact. For example, in the 1846 South Carolina court case City Council of Charleston v. Benjamin, the court declared:

The Lord’s day, the day of the Resurrection, is to us, who are called Christians, the day of rest after finishing a new creation. It is the day of the first visible triumph over death, hell and the grave! It was the birth day of the believer in Christ, to whom and through whom it opened up the way which, by repentance and faith, leads unto everlasting life and eternal happiness! On that day we rest, and to us it is the Sabbath of the Lord—its decent observance, in a Christian community, is that which ought to be expected (2 Strob. L. 508 [S. C. 1846], emp. added).

Many other examples exist (cf. Miller, 2006). America was founded on Christian principles. The future of the Republic is endangered in direct proportion as those principles are abandoned. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).

REFERENCES

City Council of Charleston v. Benjamin (1846), 2 Strob. L. 508 (S. C. 1846).

Constitution of the United States, [On-line], URL: http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/ constitution.html.

Miller, Dave (2006), “America, Christianity, and the Culture War (Part I),” Reason & Revelation, June 2006 – 26[6]41-47, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2942.

Original Source: http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=2405

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Nature’s Law As Well As God’s

“Sunday is nature’s law as well as God’s. No individual or nation habitually disregarding it has failed to fall upon disaster and grief.”

— Daniel Webster

Source: http://thecontinuingwitness.com/menu/id/54/The%20Lord%27s%20Day

Not Long Sustained

“Where there is no Christian Sabbath, there is no Christian morality, and without these our free institutions cannot long be sustained.”

— John McLean, U.S. Supreme Court justice and dissenter in Dred Scott decision.

Source: http://thecontinuingwitness.com/menu/id/54/The%20Lord%27s%20Day

The Blessings We Derive

“It would be as difficult to take an inventory of the benefits the world receives from the sunshine as to enumerate the blessings we derive from the Christian Sabbath.”

–Henry Doddridge Ganse, American Dutch Reformed pastor.

Source: http://thecontinuingwitness.com/menu/id/54/The%20Lord%27s%20Day

The Seed of Decay

“Show me a nation that has given up the Sabbath, and I will show you a nation that has got the seed of decay.”

— Dwight L. Moody

Source: http://thecontinuingwitness.com/menu/id/54/The%20Lord%27s%20Day

The More Highly So I Estimate

“The longer I live the more highly so I estimate the Christian Sabbath, and the more grateful do I feel towards those who impress its importance on the community.”

– Daniel Webster

Source: http://thecontinuingwitness.com/menu/id/54/The%20Lord%27s%20Day

Of Inestimable Benefit To A State

“The keeping of one day in seven holy, as a time of relaxation and refreshment as well as public worship is of inestimable benefit to a state, considered merely as a civil institution.”

— Sir William Blackstone

Source: http://thecontinuingwitness.com/menu/id/54/The%20Lord%27s%20Day

No Sabbath, No Church, Home, Or Nation

“I honestly believe that this commandment is just as binding today as it ever was. I have talked with men who have said that it has been abrogated, but they have never been able to point to any place in the Bible where God repealed it. 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. ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.’  It is just as practicable and as necessary for men today as it ever was-in fact, more than ever, because we live in such an intense age.

The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. The fourth commandment begins with the word remember, showing that the Sabbath already existed when God wrote this law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?

I believe that the Sabbath question today is a vital one for the whole country. It is the burning question of the present time. If you give up the Sabbath the church goes; if you give up the church the home goes; and if the home goes the nation goes. That is the direction in which we are traveling.

The church of God is losing its power on account of so many people giving up the Sabbath, and using it to promote selfishness.”

~Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899)

Source: http://thecontinuingwitness.com/menu/id/54/The%20Lord%27s%20Day

The Sabbath Will Be Observed In All Lands

Albert Barnes, Reflections on Isa 66:23:

And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. And from one Sabbath to another. . . . {Compare the notes at Isa 58:13,14}

There can be no permanent worship of God, and no permanent religion on earth, without a Sabbath; and hence it was, that while the observance of the feasts of tabernacles, and of the Passover, and of the new moons, made a part of the ceremonial law, the law respecting the sabbaths was incorporated with the ten commandments as of moral and perpetual obligation; and it will be literally true that all the race shall yet be brought to worship God on the return of that holy day. It was instituted in paradise; and as one design of the plan of redemption is to bring man back to the state in which he was in paradise, so one effect of the true religion everywhere will be, and is, to make people reverence the Sabbath of the Lord. No man becomes truly pious who does not love the holy Sabbath. No nation ever has been, or ever can be converted which will not, and which does not, love and observe that day. Every successful effort to propagate the true religion is a successful effort to extend the practice of observing it; and just as certain as it is that Christianity will be spread around the world, so certain will it be that the Sabbath will be observed in all lands. The period is, therefore, yet to arrive when the delightful spectacle will be presented of all the nations of the earth bowing on the return of that day before the living God. The plans of this life will be suspended; toil and care will be laid aside; and the sun, as he rolls around the world, will rouse nation after nation to the worship of the true God; and the peace and order and loveliness of the Christian Sabbath will spread over all the hills and vales of the world. Who that loves the race will not desire that such a period may soon come? Who can wonder that Isaiah should have fixed his eye in the close of his prophetic labors on a scene so full of loveliness, and so replete with honor to God, and with goodwill to people?

Source: http://thecontinuingwitness.com/menu/id/54/The%20Lord%27s%20Day

In Imminent Danger of Convulsion and Ruin

“If the Lord’s day is abolished, the church would be in imminent danger of convulsion and ruin.”

~John Calvin

Source: http://thecontinuingwitness.com/menu/id/54/The%20Lord%27s%20Day