Adventists believe that the mark of the beast depicted in Revelation is the use of Sundays for worship. Bizarre, right? Many of them fear the end times when, they think, the Catholic Church will impose a Sunday law forcing all Jews and Muslims and atheists … and Adventists … to go to church on Sundays and to work on Saturdays, under pain of death. As ludicrous as this may sound, Adventists sometimes choose careers over the sabbath issue, and are known to relocate to places where such a law is less likely to have them killed. This law is called the “National Sunday Law” and usually refers to the United States of America being involved, because that’s where Adventism originated and that’s the government most prominent in their theology.
Adventist Today has a good article on the Adventist idea of a national* Sunday law. To summarise it, I’ll quote it:
Let us not waste energy on trying to push an unrealistic Sunday-law scenario …
The Catholic Church simply doesn’t have the influence in modern society to get such a law right, even if it wanted to. It will never happen anyway, but if it did, the world would have to change a LOT. It would be an extreme law, requiring a situation much different to that of today.
Nowadays, because of secularism and the lack of ease for Catholics to go to Mass during the week for major non-Sunday feasts that are not public holidays, such as Ascension Thursday, the Assumption, and, like today, the Immaculate Conception, etc., these feasts are often moved to the Sunday following. So Ascension Thursday often gets celebrated on Sunday. Long before any national* Sunday law, society would already have changed sufficiently to allow for the return of these days to their actual dates in the Church’s calendar.
Similarly, long before society can implement such national* Sunday law, the moral influence of mainstream Christianity would have to become sufficient to rescind all pro-abortion laws. Likewise, other traditional moral Christian principles would begin to appear in law long before the religious had enough power to institute a Sunday law of the type predicted by Adventists.
Currently, especially in the USA but also worldwide, there is distrust by Catholics of their bishops, and even the current pope. The only way that trust will return is if the scoundrels are publicly ousted and a return to visible holiness is experienced by the Catholic hierarchy. That would need to happen, and probably a generation would need to pass, before Catholics trusted their leaders so much that any national* Sunday law could be permitted by the people. Even then, Catholics would be unlikely to tolerate such a law.
Likewise, significant Christian unity would have to have begun in order for non-Catholic Christians to go along with such a plan. That would require people to stop hating caricatures of each other and start listening to and understanding each other. They’d have to first abandon hate and adopt humility before any national* Sunday law could get enough support.
Some will say that cataclysmic events could lead to this in a short time. National* repentance of national* and person sin would have to occur in a large majority before differences could be put aside. Such repentance would first lead to the repeal of immoral laws such as those that permit abortion and euthanasia. Perhaps only then could they offer a Sunday covenant to God as a sign of their goodwill.
So Adventists should watch for the following, and, depending on their motives (preventing or hastening a national* Sunday law), oppose or support the following great evils:
- National* repentance
- Personal repentance
- A return to Christian morality
- A return to protection of the unborn and sick
- Personal holiness and devotion to God
- A change from hating to understanding and caring
- Jesus’ own prayer that we may all be one
*National – this depends on which country you live in. Insert your own country above.