Pope Francis delivered his encyclical on the environment this morning.
“The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth”, he said in his encyclical called “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home “.
Acknowledging that the environment is getting worse, Pope Francis is addressing this message to “every person living on this planet” and urges us to make improvements for the environment. President Barack Obama commended this message fully!
Toward the end, the Pope connects the environment with Sunday keeping:
“On Sunday, our participation in the Eucharist has special importance. Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world. Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, the “first day” of the new creation, whose first fruits are the Lord’s risen humanity, the pledge of the final transfiguration of all created reality. It also proclaims “man’s eternal rest in God”.168 In this way, Christian spirituality incorporates the value of relaxation and festivity. We tend to demean contemplative rest as something unproductive and unnecessary, but this is to do away with the very thing which is most important about work: its meaning. We are called to include in our work a dimension of receptivity and gratuity, which is quite different from mere inactivity. Rather, it is another way of working, which forms part of our very essence. It protects human action from becoming empty activism; it also prevents that unfettered greed and sense of isolation which make us seek personal gain to the detriment of all else. The law of weekly rest forbade work on the seventh day, “so that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your maidservant, and the stranger, may be refreshed” (Ex 23:12). Rest opens our eyes to the larger picture and gives us renewed sensitivity to the rights of others. And so the day of rest, centred on the Eucharist, sheds it light on the whole week, and motivates us to greater concern for nature and the poor.”
Is the Sabbath Jewish?
Pope Francis likens Sunday with what he calls the “Jewish Sabbath”. However, God gave the Sabbath to mankind, not to the Jews.
“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. 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.” Genesis 2:2-3
“The sabbath was made for man.” Mark 2:27
“Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:18
Obviously the Sabbath is not Jewish, it was given in creation to all human beings, before there was any Jews on this planet. The Sabbath will also be important in the end times. (See Matthew 24:20 and Revelation 14:12)
Who attempted to “change” Sabbath to Sunday?
“You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we [Catholics] never sanctify.” James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers, 16th edition, 1880, p. 111.
“We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” Peter Geiermann, The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (St. Louis, B. Herder Book Co., 1957 ed.), p. 50.
The Catholic Church is clear that the “change” was theirs, even if most protestants accepted this change, that is clearly against the Bible.
The End Time Battle of Worship
Pope Francis also said in his encyclical letter that “Everything is connected…Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.”
“We can see signs that things are now reaching a breaking point…If we scan the regions of our planet, we immediately see that humanity has disappointed God’s expectations.“
After encouraging people to keep Sunday for the environment and for the poor, what will the next step be if the environment doesn’t improve?
Taking care of the environment and the poor is good and necessary, but it should be separate from Sunday keeping.
The Catholic Church says: “Sunday is our mark of authority…the church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” The Catholic Record of London, Ontario, Canada, September 1, 1923
Don’t let any man or tradition control your religious conviction. In these end times, our only saftety is to stick to God’s Word, because “the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
The battle of worship is going to be a great final test, described in Revelation 13.
Do we worship God His way, or our way?
Make a stand for God, today!