Being "Required" to Work on Sundays

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by blhowes, Jun 1, 2008.

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  1. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    There have only been a few times that I can recall being asked to work on a Sunday. Each time I told them I'd prefer not to work on Sunday, and they didn't press the issue. I worked extra hours on other days to make sure the work got done.

    Thinking ahead to October, I may be required to work on a Sunday or two. Procedures I've been working on will be validated at that time. My customer is the Army, and I assume that if they schedule work for that day, that I will be required to be present. I think my company may be less flexible this time around.

    I was just wondering what your thoughts were with regard to being firm about not working on Sundays, if you "had to". Its a given that requests made to an employer would be made respectfully and professionally. If after requesting not to work on a Sunday you were told you still had to, do you think the best course of action is to just refuse to work on Sundays, and take the consequences at work? Or, would you make an exception once or twice and work?

    I'm leaning towards respectfully refusing and taking the consequences, but maybe I'm leaning in the wrong direction.
  2. knowntoGod

    knowntoGod Inactive User

    issues to consider

    First, is the work required on a Sunday because there is something inherently special needed on that day, or just because something was scheduled for that day? For example, it is essential police and physicians work on Sundays because emergencies still happen on Sundays. On the other hand, if a store were to hold a 'one-day only sale' and made it a Sunday instead of a Saturday, that would just be a scheduling issue. With Army-related work, either option is possible.

    But, for me, the bigger issue would be why you don't want to work that day. I mean this sincerely, but are you being legalistic? "A Christian cannot work on Sundays." Or, are you just trying to follow a principle of taking the Lord's Day off to worship? If it's the second, do you actually take the whole day for that purpose (as the Puritans did), or will you still watch the NFL games those days?

    Just some quick thoughts.
  3. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    First, let me say I don't know that work will be scheduled on Sunday, I'm just thinking through a "what if". There is x amount of work that needs to be done in a certain period of time, and I don't know whether or not the Army normally schedules their work around Sundays. I kind of doubt it, but I don't know. If those in charge scheduled work for a Sunday,then I'd assume the Army workers would have no choice but to work Sunday.
    Good question. I may have to give it some thought and get back to you on it. I suppose I may be being legalistic, in a good sense if that term can have a positive connotation to it, in the sense that I believe that when I ask myself the question, "Does God want me to work on Sundays", based on my understanding of the scriptures, I'd say no, he doesn't. That's I guess essentially the same as saying "A Christian cannot work on Sundays", isn't it?

    I am not as principled as the Puritans were with regard to how I occupy my time during the whole of the Lord's day. I won't deny having watched NFL games at times, nor will I say that on every other Sunday the TV is off all Sunday.

    It does make sense,though, that if this were my motivation and if I did follow the Puritan's example, that God might very well bless a decision to respectfully not to work on a given Sunday. If only the first part of your response were my motivation, it would make sense for God to allow me to suffer the consequences if I chose not to work.
    Thanks for giving me such thoughts to think about.
  4. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    If it's for the army, you might want to read through the Maccabees. The question of military related work on the Sabbath is discussed in great detail there, and that could perhaps give you even more an exposure to how other people have solved the problem.
  5. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    Just some thoughts:

    Jesus justified his disciples for picking grains on the sabbath despite the fact that God previously had a man stoned to death for picking up sticks on the sabbath. Given that people in the bible were portrayed for fasting for days on end, surely requiring them to abstain would not have caused them great hurt, yet he did not.

    Sometimes it seems to me that God's requirements for acts of necessity or mercy are not as strict as they are sometimes made out to be.

    If an employer requires a christian to work on sunday on occasion, I am not sure there would be anything wrong on the christian's part. A job that by its nature required regular sunday work would be a different situation off course.

  6. ericfromcowtown

    ericfromcowtown Puritan Board Sophomore

    My job requires that I be on call for around two months every year when my wells are being drilled. This means that I'll likely have to take a call or two on a Sunday, since the rigs go 24x7. Do I like working on a Sunday? No. Would I take a job that required me to regularly work in a Sunday? No. Would worrying myself blue over the very rare time when it's unavoidable be 'majoring in the minors'? Yes In my humble opinion.
  7. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    Hopefully I didn't give the impression I was worrying myself blue over this. Just looking ahead, thinking what I should do just in case.
  8. ericfromcowtown

    ericfromcowtown Puritan Board Sophomore

    Sorry, that was a poor choice of words on my part.

    When I realized that I would be expected to take calls from the rig, whether or not they occurred on a Sunday at 3:30 in the afternoon or Tuesday morning at 2:30 AM, I started to worry "myself blue," until I had time to put things into perspective and recognized that my worry had more to do with my natural inclination towards legalism than noble impulses.

    For me, it means perhaps a total of 2 or 3 hours of Sunday work between January and March. For you, the situation might be different, and I didn't mean to make light of your dilemma.
  9. BJClark

    BJClark Puritan Board Doctor


    Depending on what the job is, I doubt they would have you working Sunday's, most military personnel, unless the situation calls for it, typically do not work on Sunday's. They are all on call, but then they are on call 24/7/365 days a year, even when they are on leave.
  10. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    Thanks. That's good to know.
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