Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Now the Council of European Churches is also Pushing for Sunday Enforcement · July 27, 2010

by Pastor Hal Mayer
On November 22, 2008, the Sofia Echo published an article that noted that joining with the Catholic Church in pressing for the protection of Sunday as the day of rest for Europe, is the Council of European Churches (CEC). The CEC includes about 120 Orthodox Christian, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 associated organizations.
“The church representatives expressed their wish to see the Sunday rest day being better protected in national legislations as well as in the future EU Working Time Directive which currently is being revised.

“In our societies and in our economies, where efficiency has become the ultimate criterion of valuation, Sunday rest allows the individual to be placed at the centre of society and calls attention to the fact that he is free and not the slave of work,” the church groupings said.”

The CEC gave reasons why Sunday should be protected as a day of rest. One of them is the deteriorating environment. This follows the lead of the Roman Catholic Church, which recently elevated protection of the environment to a moral issue.

Their website says, “Sunday is without doubt the most important element. The relationship of the Sabbath, or Sunday, to God the Creator and His creation should never have been lost. True, the central meaning of Sunday [is] Christ’s resurrection and victory over death. Every Sunday is a sort of  'small Easter'. But this more recent content need not be understood as irreconcilable with the Old Testament meaning of the Sabbath as a day of rest, analogous to God’s rest on the seventh day of creation."

Note the emphasis on Sunday as a “little Easter.” This comes from Roman Catholic teaching about Sunday. But like John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter, Dies Domini, the CEC claims that Sunday is now the commemorative rest day for creation, again following the lead of the Roman Catholic Church.

“God’s new world is the fulfillment of the creation. As God’s creatures, we praise the Creator who called this world into being and preserves it, cares for all creatures and gives them their food in due season, and puts an end to death with the in-breaking of the promised reign of God."

Their efforts to protect Sunday were not successful in 2008, but the Working Time Directive is being reviewed in 2010. They have also joined the Catholic Church in a public effort to attract 1,000,000 signatures to petition the European Parliament to enact legislation that would enshrine Sunday as the day of rest for the European communities in European law.   Keep the Faith Ministry
Some members of the CEC:
Sofia Echo Article
CEC Website Document on Easter and Creation