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Monday, October 7, 2013

But What About the Sabbath?

Recently I did something I almost never do. I called in on a radio talk show.

The station was one of the syndicated Christian broadcasters, and the program was hosted by a very prominent preacher. I got through, and felt honored.

The man was talking about the Sabbath, and decrying the fact that we have a 7-day-a-week economy. He felt that pretty much everything should close down on Sunday, in obedience to the Lord's command.

He made an exception for police, firefighters, medical staff, and the armed forces. Nice of him.

I have a neighbor who's a cop. When he's on patrol, sometimes he just needs to step into a McDonald's, use the necessities, and get some hot, fresh coffee and something to eat.

I said as much to the Radio preacher, and his comment was, "Well, on the Sabbath he can pack a thermos and a lunch."

And what about the people who work six days (or seven days!) a week at two jobs, and a few hours on Sunday are the only ones they have to spend with their families. A trip to an ice cream parlor can be a big deal for a kid.

Radio Preacher said, "They should go to church, and then spend family time at home." Then he hung up.

Personally, I found his attitude offensive. We live in a world in which we demand that many services are on call whenever we want them, and Christians are no exception. To demand that everyone follow the same calendar of work and rest is unrealistic at best, and hypocritical at worst.

There's no question that we should have a day of rest, reflection, and worship. But there's nothing magical about Sunday except for the fact that most church services happen then.

If your day off is Monday, you may not be able to attend your local church (you can watch worship on TBN), but you can spend time with the Lord in Scripture.

Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for us, and not we for it. Perhaps we should take his advice.


  1. Andrew, sorry you were not received well by the preacher speaking on the radio. I'm like you, I believe that we should make an effort to set aside a day to honor God by resting from our work, but I don't believe it has to be Saturday or Sunday. And I don't believe we have to be legalistic about what we do and don't do. I will still provide meals for my family, but I try not to touch my computer or my manuscripts. Notice I say try, lol. Am I wrong? Maybe. I absolutely could be wrong. Observance of a day of rest is something God has recently put on my heart, and I'm still studying the arguments for Saturday and Sunday. :-)

  2. I like the way you look at it! I can hardly not work on one day a week - the 26 dogs in our sanctuary see to that - but I believe it's within the purview of Jesus' instructions. I don't work on my manuscripts on Sunday, or do any welding - and our TV is tuned to TBN

    A day of rest and reflection is surely important - it's made for us, and I believe we should strive to set an example to others through our actions.

    Maybe it'll catch on!

  3. Legalism makes everything difficult. Sabbath is God's gift to us. Our response to his grace!