Ross Nelson's Aug. 10th column about the repeal of Sunday blue laws was entitled, "The consequences of turning away from our Christian roots." The problem is that Sunday closing laws are a departure from our Christian roots as portrayed in the New Testament:
Not once does the New Testament record anyone resting on Sunday.
The only day Jesus' followers are said to have rested on is the Sabbath, the day before Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday (Luke 23:52-24:3).
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While Greek has two different words for "week," the New Testament uses only one of them, sabbaton. Sunday, therefore, derives its New Testament name ("the first day of the week") from which day in the weekly Sabbath cycle it is. This implies that the Sabbath was held in higher regard than Sunday, and that the Sabbath was still observed on the seventh day of the week, our Saturday.
Given the New Testament emphasis against thinking we can be saved by law, particularly in Paul's writings, it is not biblical for the state to regulate our relationship to God.
Why have man-made blue laws been resorted to over the centuries, contrary to New Testament practice? In part, because there is no divine law in the Bible requiring rest on Sunday. Unlike the Sabbath, without legislation there is no reason to rest on Sunday.
Just like Nelson, I am against materialism, and concerned about it. But closing laws, whether on Saturday or Sunday, are not the answer.
There is a much greater issue. In order to evade the fact that the 10 Commandments command the observance of the seventh day of the week, not the first, many have argued that the 10 Commandments are for the Jews, and were nailed to the cross. But if the divine law could have been done away with, Christ need not have died. Yet all those sermons about the 10 Commandments being abolished by the cross have played a part in the moral decay we see today in America.
Arguing for Sunday laws is a tough sell. If the Ten Commandments have been abolished, there's no reason to require resting on Sunday. If they haven't been abolished, then one has to justify creating a theocracy that regulates man's relationship to God, and that enforces a day of rest God never commanded, and that no one in the Bible ever kept.