My Rebuttal To A Roman Catholic Priest
(and EWTN expert)
on Sabbath - Sunday


What follows is an answer given by EWTN's Fr. John Echert on 11-08-2004 to a question put to him on the Sabbath:

The ten commandments do not mention Saturday, but only to keep holy the Sabbath. The word Sabbath means rest, not Saturday. The Church does have the authority to shift that day, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and based upon the fact that our Lord consecrated Sunday by His resurrection from the dead on that day. The Acts of the Apostles records the honor of Sunday, referred to as "the Day of the Lord." We continue this practice, as handed down by the Apostles, and perhaps as explicitly commanded them by the Lord Himself--we cannot assume that everything our Lord instructed them over the course of forty days is recorded in the few verses of the Gospels which regard the Risen Christ period.

And the confused and mistaken beliefs and practices of heretics and non-Catholics should not call into question what the true Church does.

...

Father Echert

COPYRIGHT 2004 by EWTN

Now, here is my point by point rebuttal. 

The ten commandments do not mention Saturday, but only to keep holy the Sabbath. The word Sabbath means rest, not Saturday.

That deliberately obscures the truth. It is a transparent attempt to deny that God commands a specific day of the week to be the Sabbath. Here is the commandment as set forth in Exodus:

Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The "seventh day" mentioned in verse 10 refers to the seventh day of the creation week:

Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

Now note this from the official Vatican Catechism:

2174   Jesus rose from the dead "on the first day of the week."[104] Because it is the "first day," the day of Christ's Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the "eighth day" following the sabbath,[105] it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ's Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord's Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday:

We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.[106]

Sunday- fulfillment of the sabbath

2175   Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath.  ...

Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) Online.

So the Vatican's own Catechism, a document with magisterial authority, readily admits what Fr. Echert tries to deny, that Saturday is the day commanded by God to be the Sabbath day.

The Church does have the authority to shift that day, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, ...

If God did not specify the seventh day of the week (Saturday) as the Sabbath, as Fr. Echert tries to assert, then why does the Roman Catholic Church need this presumed authority to "shift" the Sabbath to Sunday? That is just not logical. Such presumed authority would only be asserted if God DID specify a day other than that kept by the Roman Catholic Church. Only because Fr. Echert knows that Saturday is the true Sabbath day commanded by God, does he attempt to maintain the Church's authority to make a change to Sunday.

A change in God's commandments is negated by Jesus Himself:

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

... and based upon the fact that our Lord consecrated Sunday by His resurrection from the dead on that day.

Gen 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

In the above verse God blessed and sanctified the seventh day of the week, which as already has been shown, the Vatican Catechism acknowledges to be Saturday. But where in the Bible does the Lord bless or consecrate the first day of the week, Sunday, to be kept every week? It is not to be found. It is not a "fact" that can be established in the Bible with a "thus saith the Lord", and Fr. Echert knows and admits this (see below).

The Acts of the Apostles records the honor of Sunday, referred to as "the Day of the Lord."

In the book of Acts, there are but two verses to consider:

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Does that verse say that "the Day of the Lord" or "the Lord's day" was being honored or observed? No it does not. Does that verse say the disciples were meeting to honor the resurrection or to keep holy the first day of the week? No it does not. They were together because it was the festival of Pentecost, not because it was Sunday (although that year, by coincidence, Pentecost was on a Sunday).

Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

Does that verse say the disciples were meeting to honor or keep holy the day of the resurrection? No it does not. Does that verse say that the first day of the week was now being honored as "the Day of the Lord" or "The Lord's day"? No it does not.

The book of Acts does not tell us that Sunday is to be honored or observed as a weekly holy day, nor does the Bible anywhere designate Sunday, the first day of the week, to be "the Day of the Lord" or "the Lord's day." Fr. Echert's assertion is simply untrue.

We continue this practice, as handed down by the Apostles, and perhaps as explicitly commanded them by the Lord Himself--we cannot assume that everything our Lord instructed them over the course of forty days is recorded in the few verses of the Gospels which regard the Risen Christ period.

Note that Fr. Echert concedes here, that in the Bible, Jesus never commanded a change to Sunday keeping. Neither can he prove from the Bible that the Apostles kept Sunday to honor the resurrection, or commanded it. He admits he has nothing but the assumptions of Catholic Tradition on which to base his Sunday keeping, since Sunday sacredness is simply not taught in scripture.
See: Did the Apostles Keep Sunday?

And the confused and mistaken beliefs and practices of heretics and non-Catholics should not call into question what the true Church does.

I think it has just been amply demonstrated who has the confused and mistaken beliefs and practices.

Scripture has this to say about the people of God, the true church:

1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

1 John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Since the Roman Catholic Church breaks and profanes the Lord's Sabbath day, and teaches others to do so, and also prides herself in having the presumed authority to abolish/modify one of the Ten Commandments, it cannot possibly be the true church. Rather it is the little horn power described by the prophet Daniel:

Dan 7:25 And he [the little horn] shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws [of the most High]: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.


More on the Sabbath.



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