The Catholic Church, like many churches, have invented their fair share of new doctrines. Convincing people to buy into these new doctrines was not always easy.
One of the ways employed several times to convince people was to suddenly find or receive a letter from Jesus Christ telling people to do exactly what it was the Catholic Church had been telling people to do! Pretty handy.
There was one letter, received from heaven, telling people that Sunday was the Sabbath day and should be a day of rest.
Although Constantine had made Sunday the official day for Christian worship (although it was hard to tell who he was actually telling people to worship), tying in Jewish rules of rest into Sunday’s was a much later idea.
Initially, Sunday Sabbath didn’t catch on too well. Until, lo and behold, Jesus done wrote us a letter!
Here are the contents of Jesus’ letter from heaven telling people to not work on Sundays.
A LETTER OF JESUS CHRIST.
WHOSOEVER worketh on the Sabbath-day shall be cursed, I command you to go to church, and keep the Lord’s Day Holy, without doing any manner of work. You shall not idly spend your time for bedecking yourself with superfluities of costly apparel, and vain dresses for I have ordained a day of rest. I will have that day kept holy that your sins be forgiven you. You shall not break my commandments, but observe and keep them, write them in your heart, and steadfastly observe that it was written with my own hand and spoken with my own mouth. You shall not only go to church yourself, but also send your men-servants and your maid-servants, and observe my words and learn my commandments; you shall finish your labour every Saturday in the afternoon by six o’clock, at which hour is the preparation of the Sabbath. I advise you to fast five Fridays every year, beginning with Good Friday and continuing the four Fridays immediately following, in remembrance of the five bloody wounds which I received for all mankind. You shall diligently and peaceably labour in your respective callings, where in it hath pleased God to call you. You shall love one another with brotherly love; and cause them that are baptised to come to church and receive the Sacrament, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper, and to be made members of the Church, in so doing I will give you a long life and many blessing; and your land will flourish and your cattle bring forth in abundance; and I will give unto you many blessing and comforts in the greatest temptations, and he that doth to the contrary shall be unprofitable. I will also send hardness of heart upon them till I see them, but especialy upon the impertinent and unbelievers. He that hath giving to the poor shall not be unprofitable, remember to keep holy the Sabbath day, for the seventh day I have taken to rest myself. And he that hath a copy of this my own letter, written with my own hand, and spoken with my own mouth, and keepeth it without publishing it to others shall not prosper; but he that publisheth it to others, shall be blessed of me, and though his sins be in number as the stars of the sky, and he believe in this he shall be pardoned; and if he believe not in this writing, and this commandment, I will send my own plagues upon him, and consume both him and his children, and his cattle. And whosoever shall have a copy of this letter, written with my own hand, and keep it in their houses nothing shall hurt them, neither lightning, pestilence, nor thunder, shall do them any hurt, and if a woman be with child, and in labour, and a copy of this letter be about her, and she firmly put her trust in me, she shall safely be delivered of her birth.
The letter didn’t go over too well. But it does show the growth of the idea that Sunday was the Sabbath and that Jewish laws must be kept on that day.
Anytime someone has to get “new revelation” to prove their point, you can rest assured they are making stuff up. Don’t fall for it.
For more information on the subject of Sunday, check out this book I am currently reading.