NBCC, ABAM oppose Sunday shopping

DIMAPUR, DEC 4 (NPN) | Publish Date: 12/4/2020 12:19:20 PM IST

Two major church organisations-- Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) and Ao Baptist Arogo Mungdang (ABAM)- have reiterated their stand against Sunday shopping as it went contrary to the Biblical teaching.

NBCC general secretary Rev. Dr. Z. Keyho pointed out that encouraging people to do business on Sunday (the day of worship) was against Christian principles and that Christmas was not about shopping and entertainment but about worship and being thankful to God for what He has done for us through the birth of His Son.

He said people have six days to do business but to urge shops and business establishments to stay open on Sunday “ do not go well with the Christian spirit of celebrating Christmas.”

No business on Sunday, reiterates ABAM

The apex church body of Ao Baptist Christians, Ao Baptist Church Association (ABAM) has reiterated its call for keeping all shops and business establishments of the State closed on Sunday. 
ABAM president Dr I Lolen Imchen and executive secretary Rev Dr Mar Atsongchanger in a press release stated that though it was not clearly written as a law, Sunday is considered as holiday by most people of the world. ABAM said it has been observed and considered as the day of rest by both Christians and non-Christians. ABAM stressed that taking one day rest in a week was accepted as a human culture and that through the teachings of Christian religion , Sunday became more important and necessary that gave new meaning for its observance.
It said among the many activities conducted in present world were contrary to true observance of Sunday where opening of shops and markets on Sunday have made Christians go for shopping on the day. ABAM regretted that though the church and different organisations attempted to impress on observance of Sunday in accordance with the teachings of Bible, it could not bring the desired change since people were self-centred, selfish and think only of self-gain.  ABAM asserted that Sunday observance was important not only for the church and believers but for all citizens of Nagaland because 100% of them are Christians. 
It said if shops were allowed to open in a State where its people have given the call “Nagaland for Christ”, what would be “our witness” for Christ to the world?. 
It urged upon Nagas to understand the fact that it would be a mockery not only for the individuals but for the whole State, if they failed to follow the teachings of the word of God, that has been observed since the time of their forefathers. 
ABAM reminded that the issue was discussed at length at its executive committee meeting on March 21-22, 2019 and thereafter it was resolved that “shopping/marketing on Sunday is totally against the biblical teachings and therefore all believers should refrain from it”, ABAM said the meeting also resolved to give instruction to its member churches to give sound biblical teachings to all believers in this regard. 
ABAM said it had stood opposed to opening of markets on Sunday in the past years and reaffirmed its commitment to stand for the same cause that went against God’s glory.
It also recalled how Nagas had been observing different festivals since their ancestors’ time with devotion and religious fervour. ABAM observed that till date the account of those good traditions and cultures linger in “our hearts and we often talk and which our forefathers chose to venerate”. 
However, when the gospel was preached to the people of Nagaland, all Nagas led by the Aos became followers of Christ and their feasts and feasts celebrated and based on animistic religions, were obliterated. AMAB said the concept of those celebrations remained in people’s minds and subsequently believers lived in their new faith in accordance to the teachings of the scripture. 
It said one of the legacies of forefathers still practised in a refined Christian way was the observance of Sunday.
 ABAM said after professing the new faith, people were even barred from church membership for not conforming to the rules of Sabbath Day. As a consequence, in those days, they candidly complied and followed the teachings of Sabbath and could recognise the blessing of its adherence in their lives.

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