We should keep all days holy in the Christian dispensation. But inasmuch as the law of the land has marked out a certain day—Sunday—as the particular day of rest, we should obey the law of the land and keep Sunday.
This Sabbath objection grows out of a predicament. Different groups in the Sundaykeeping ranks of Christendom have different way of trying to avoid the straight command of God to keep holy "the seventh day." One group, frank enough to admit that the New Testament contains no such command to transfer the Sabbath to Sunday, has attempted to escape the Sabbath obligation by declaring that in the Christian dispensation all days are alike holy, and because of this there need not be given to the Sabbath day any particular veneration over any other day.
Those who claimed merely that all days were holy thought that they were solving the difficulty in simple fashion. But in actual practice their solution does not work so well. If all days are holy, then one day is no better than another, and why should we do special honor to any day [Sunday for example] by centering our religious services on that day? Thus men could reason. In other words, the whole idea of the Sabbath would vanish out of the minds of men because it had lost its definiteness.
But how was definiteness to be introduced without surrendering the whole argument? Why, by the simple expedient of invoking the scripture that declares we should be subject to the civil government, and then calling attention to the fact that there is a civil statute requiring rest from labor on a certain day of the week, Sunday. Thus by a wide detour this group of Sundaykeepers reach their desired day without apparently laying themselves open to the troublesome necessity of trying to prove that the day was changed to Sunday by the New Testament writers—a theological [pg. 252] feat that they have observed other Sundaykeepers unable to accomplish.
It is hard to know just where to begin in answering such a fallacy as this, for every main statement of it is incorrect. Take the claim that all days are alike holy. Is it not asking a little too much of the Sabbath defender to expect him to meet the Sunday challenger from two opposite sides at the same time? Must we be expected to demolish with one stroke the claim that the Sabbath was transferred to the first day of the week and the contention that is was transferred to all the seven days of the week? Might we not be pardoned for demanding that Sundaykeepers first agree among themselves as to just what claim they will make for Sunday before asking the Sabbathkeeper to answer them?
But let us examine the claim that we should keep a certain day because the government so decrees. True, the Bible says we should be subject to the civil power. But where do we read that we should guide our religious lives by the statutes of civil government? (Rather, we read the contrary. Acts 5:29) If we ought so to guide ourselves, then our religion would change whenever we moved to a new land, and one so unfortunate as to live in a pagan land would find himself keeping holy certain days set apart for pagan gods. Into what desperate situations does false logic bring us!
But let us take the matter a little further. How do we happen to have Sunday laws on the statute books of various so-called Christian governments? Because certain militant Sundaykeepers who believed the Sabbath had been definitely changed to the first day of the week persuaded legislatures to enact a law setting aside that particular day. And now, incredible though it be, those who declare that all days are like holy come urging Sunday sacredness because of a civil statute that was passed at the behest of those who declare that the Sabbath was transferred to the first day of the week.
Could paradox be greater? Is it really possible to tell just what such people believe?
Source: Answers to Objections, by Francis D. Nichol, copyright 1932, 1947, 1952, by the Review and Herald Publishing Association, pages 251-252.