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One World, One Calendar
The desire to reform the Gregorian calendar has never died out. In 1975, when Jimmy Carter was running for president of the United States, he stated that he was running for peace in the Middle East and The World Calendar. Currently, there is a growing movement to implement The World Calendar in 2012. The World Calendar Association, International , continues the push for calendar reform. Clearly stated on its home page:
During the first half of last century, recognition of the need for a user-friendlier successor to the Gregorian calendar prompted world-wide study. It identified The World Calendar as the best probable choice. A well-documented attempt to make the change followed, but was not completed. In 2008, The World Calendar in 2012 continues to unfold as a multi-level demonstration that the current, nearly unanimous Gregorian calendar, as we know and ignore it, quietly stifles (smothers/chokes) potential.1
While Judeo-Christian traditionalists were able to defeat the earlier calendar reforms of the 18th and 20thcenturies, current developments in the world economic situation would seem to indicate that the reform may be passed this time. The very simplicity of The World Calendar is one of its main attractions to financial and banking institutions. Standardizing the year into uniform quarters would have great economic benefits.
Right now, months and quarters in the Gregorian year vary in length. On The World Calendar, each quarter would be identical to all the others: January, April, July and October would all start on Sunday. March, June, September and December would all end on Saturday. This would make figuring salaries, amortizing loans, mortgages and car payments, work and school schedules as well as international monetary exchanges much easier because quarterly time segments are equal and perpetual.
The economic difficulties being experienced by most countries around the globe have led many world leaders to call for globalized financial oversight. Such oversight would necessitate uniformity such as The World Calendar can provide.
However, for Christians who believe that the Creator has the right to establish the day on which His creatures are to worship Him, it presents a very real problem. According to Dr. Angel Rodriguez, head of the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the World Council of Churches recently studied The World Calendar and how the proposed change would affect the current weekly cycle and worship on Sunday.
While the 20th century move to replace the Gregorian calendar with The World Calendar was defeated by determined resistance from religious groups, many leaders/members of these same religious groups saw no problem in changing the calendar. Some of them based their acceptance of calendar change on the facts of history. P. W. Wilson, formerly a member of the British House of Commons, emphatically stated: "The Jewish people are not to be held responsible for the anomalies and irregularities of the Gregorian calendar. No religious community – Jewish, Christian, Moslem, whatever it be – has a reason for upholding what originated in the Paganism of a Roman Empire that has disappeared."2What Wilson is acknowledging as originating in the paganism of the Roman Empire is Julian calendation which was the predecessor of the Gregorian calendar.
In 1937, Dr. Jean Nussbaum, a Seventh-day Adventist greatly disturbed by the growing support for The World Calendar, conducted a series of interviews with leading men in Paris and Rome. Some Roman Catholic prelates, such as Monsignor Fontenelle of the Biblical Institute and Cardinal Tisserant, the director of the Oriental Institute, claimed to be opposed to The World Calendar. However, the Rector of the Biblical Institute, Dr. Nussbaum reported, "sees no difficulty in accepting the calendar reform . . . He feels that the [Roman Catholic] Church has the necessary power to make this change" (Rome, 1937).3It should be noted that after the Rector of the Biblical Institute expressed support for The World Calendar, Monsignor Fontenelle changed his earlier position and agreed with his superior. In his notes of the interview, Nussbaum stated: "In spite of all my efforts, I do not succeed in bringing him [the Rector] to admit the sacred character of the week."
Even certain Jews had no problem accepting the proposed reform. Rabbi Martin M. Weitz of the Beth Hillel Temple in Kenosha, Wisconsin, stated that the calendar "can be changed today, if necessary, even as it was done previously."4He justified a blank day by arguing that it was allowable if observed as a 48-hour Sabbath:
If the World Calendar in no wise sacrifices the week as is charged by many co-religionists it may indeed be another great reform worthy of consideration. If it sanctifies the week additionally in that it can reintroduce an ancient Jewish practice – a 48 instead of 24 hour "coverage" for major rest days and festivals, it may well be time to lengthen again the one-day and one-week festivals by one-day for each. . . . This practice of a lengthened festival in general is proposed in part by The World Calendar in its Year-End Day and Leap-Year Day, so that on each of these instances there would be two days of leisure celebrated simultaneously by the world-at-large. 5
Current promoters of The World Calendar are offering the same justification: make Year-End Day a second Sabbath and all is well! The reasoning promoted by P. W. Wilson is being repeated today in various forms:
The learned Rabbi has insisted that the word Sabbath does not signify only a day of rest. It signifies Rest itself and the principle of Rest thus emphasized by Hebrew tradition, is no outworn principle. We have today the five-day [work] week. That short week is not destroying the Sabbath. On the contrary it is associating Jew and Christian in a double Sabbath, human and divine, which both are able to celebrate in unison.
And so with the Year and Leap Days. These also are days, not withdrawn from the Sabbaths of the Year but added unto them. They are among those Holy Days which man may use as holidays.
According to The World Calendar, in so far as it affects the matter at all, the Jewish Sabbath is set in a strategic position. It remains what it has been – the day on which every week ends. It becomes the day on which every quarter ends. More important than all, it becomes the day on which every year ends. The place of the Sabbath in such a year is impregnable.
. . . Through all ages, the Jewish people have concentrated their minds on life itself. That has been the glory of the Hebraic mission – life and home and happiness defended against the oppressive encroachments of power. If it can be shown that calendar reform guarantees 52 fixed Sabbaths in the year and safeguards those Sabbaths within every year, and if this acceptance of the Sabbath can be extended as a blessing to all mankind – might it not be worth while for the guardians of the Sabbath to consider this opportunity of leadership along the path of well-being for all people?6
In Israel, a bill brought by MK Zevulun Orlev (NRP) and posted on IsraelNationalNews.com on February 23, 2008, proposed that Sunday become a second day of rest, while allowing places of entertainment to be open and public transportation to continue to operate. A poll conducted by Prof. Yitzchak Katz found that 56% of the public supported Orlev’s initiative. Such an act would clear the way in Israel for the acceptance of the blank days in The World Calendar.
One Seventh-day Adventist minister, known for his conservative theological stance, stated: "It is true that when the Sabbath is calculated by the Biblical calendar it will fall differently. However, all God requires is that we worship by whatever calendar society is using."7Such a position, while surprising coming from a "traditional, conservative" source, allows for the adoption of a calendar which changes the current weekly cycle. As so eloquently stated by Rabbi Weitz
Rabbinic Judaism ever permitted infringement of any or all rituals or laws, affecting even the Day of Atonement, if it meant salvation of life. If manifold revisions can be cited in the past, not for convenience but for necessity, it may [be well] . . . to think through anew the problem of double-day Sabbaths every week (to insure Saturday for the Jew and Sunday for the Christian), lengthened Jewish festivals every season, and an improved world calendation in the form of a Year-End Day every year and a Leap-Year Day quadrennially.8
Rejection, as well as acceptance, of The World Calendar crosses all religious boundaries. Many people have assumed that the calendar is a dull subject, irrelevant to their personal self-interests. Nothing could be further from the truth. Scripture is clear that the Sabbath contains the seal of Yahuwah and is the sign of our loyalty to Him and His government. The returning agitation for calendar reform brings with it an increased need for more light and truth. "Different periods in the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the necessities of [Yahuwah’s] people at that time . . . [Yahuwah] gives a special truth for the people in an emergency. Who dare refuse to publish it?"9
The knowledge of the Biblical, luni-solar calendar is the "special truth, adapted to the necessities of [Yahuwah’s] people at [this] time." When the church could not or would not see that the Sabbath by the Biblical calendar falls differently than by the pagan/papal calendar, they were unprepared to meet the emergency. In mercy, Heaven held back the winds of strife and the agitation for calendar reform died out in the 1950s.
It does not appear that it will die out this time. The pope has made it clear that he wants to fix Easter permanently. Most people do not understand just what that entails. There are only three ways to "fix" Easter:
1. Tie Easter to a specific date, regardless of the day of the week. An example of this is Christmas, December 25, which can fall on any day of the week.
The pope will not fix Easter this way, because "Easter Sunday" is his main reason for changing the Biblical Sabbath to the "Lord’s day" – to honor the day on which he claims Christ arose from the dead.
2. Tie Easter to a specific day, regardless of the date. An example of this is Thanksgiving in the United States: it falls on the last Thursday of every November.
This is not an option because this is the way Easter is tied to the calendar now: it is already tied to a specific day. Because the date of Easter floats through the Gregorian calendar, most people do not understand how it is calculated. Easter is tied to the vernal equinox (officially, March 21.) Therefore, it always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. The first two methods of fixing Easter being exhausted leaves only one way: changing the entire calendar. An old proverb says: "He, who controls the calendar, controls the world." Anciently, computation of the calendar was the job of the priesthood.
As the sign of the authority of the Catholic Church, papist writers cite "the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; . . . because by keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the church’s power to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin."10
. . . The Roman Church has not relinquished her claim to supremacy; and when the world and the Protestant churches accept a Sabbath of her creating, while they reject the Bible Sabbath, they virtually admit this assumption. They may claim the authority of tradition and of the Fathers for the change; but in so doing they ignore the very principle which separates them from Rome—that "the Bible and the Bible only, is the religion of Protestants." The papist can see that they are deceiving themselves, willingly closing their eyes to the facts in the case. As the movement for Sunday enforcement gains favor, he rejoices, feeling assured that it will eventually bring the whole Protestant world under the banner of Rome.11
It is true that the proposed World Calendar is much simpler and easier to use than the Gregorian calendar. Many sincere people have worked and are working to promote what they believe will bring only good to the world. However, they do not see where this movement will end. If the Catholic Church is not at the fore-front of this movement, it is because she sees that she does not need to be.
Marvelous in her shrewdness and cunning is the Roman Church. She can read what is to be. She bides her time, seeing that the Protestant churches are paying her homage in their acceptance of the false sabbath and that they are preparing to enforce it by the very means which she herself employed in bygone days. Those who reject the light of truth will yet seek the aid of this self-styled infallible power to exalt an institution that originated with her. How readily she will come to the help of Protestants in this work it is not difficult to conjecture. Who understands better than the papal leaders how to deal with those who are disobedient to the church?12
On July 5, 1998, Pope John Paul II published the apostolic letter, Dies Domini At the time, it excited quite a bit of comment among sabbatarians who quickly perceived that it was a call for increased reverence for Sunday observance. The letter included statements in favor of Sunday Legislation which made those who remembered history, uneasy. One aspect of the letter, however, that no one commented on was the passage that referred to Sunday as the eighth day. Lacking an understanding of the Biblical calendar, as well as knowledge of The World Calendar, this part of the papal letter went unnoticed at the time:
Sunday is not only the first day, it is also "the eighth day", set within the sevenfold succession of days in a unique and transcendent position which evokes not only the beginning of time but also its end in "the age to come".13
This is very curious wording. No one knew what it meant when Dies Domini first came out. However, with an understanding of the principles of Biblical calendation, it now appears ominous. On the Biblical calendar, every month began with a worship day: New Moon day, the 1st of the new month. The next day, the 2nd of the month, was the first of the six work days. Consequently, the seventh-day Sabbath always fell on the 8th, the 15th, the 22nd and the 29th of the month. The calendar for each month appeared thus:
The World Calendar bears a striking resemblance to the Biblical Calendar, so far as the dates of the worship days are concerned. On The World Calendar, each year and each quarter begins on Sunday. Therefore, the calendar for the months of January, April, July and October all appears like this:
In both calendars, the respective worship days fall on the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th days of the month. Another similarity is the translation day at the end of the luni-solar month. It has its counterpart in World Day, the last day of the year on the reformed calendar, which is not counted as a day of the week nor given a date (i.e., a number.)
Seventh-day Adventists have long believed and taught that the final show-down between the people of Yahuwah and Babylon (a term used in Revelation to symbolize false religion) would be over the true Sabbath versus a false day of rest. They assumed that this was a battle between Saturday versus Sunday. Now a much larger confrontation is emerging. It is a war between Yahuwah’s luni-solar calendation and the calendar system that has passed from Babylon and Egypt to pagan Rome and on down to the papacy. The calendar used for worship reveals on which side of the conflict you stand.
For further study, read Warning: An End-time Message.
2 P. W. Wilson, "Discussion of Leap Week", Journal of Calendar Reform, March, 1935, p. 19.
3 Quoted in Grace Amadon Collection, Center for Adventist Research, Andrews University, Box 4, Folder 9.
4 Martin M. Weitz, "’Time’ in Jewish History", Journal of Calendar Reform, December, 1937, p. 187.
5 Weitz, op cit., p. 188, emphasis in original.
6 Wilson, op cit., pp. 22-23.
7 Personal interview with author, August 16, 2006.
8 Weitz, op cit., p. 188, emphasis in original.
9 E. G. White, The Great Controversy, Review & Herald Publ. Assoc., Washington, D.C., 1888, p. 609.
10 Henry Tuberville, An Abridgement of the Christian Doctrine, p. 58.
11 White, op cit., p. 448.
12White, op cit., p. 510.
13 Dies Domini, Ch. II, sec. 26. See also Ch. II, sec. 23.