Advanced search

Christians and Sunday working

(10 Posts)
17leftfeet Sun 20-Oct-13 00:26:20

Sorry I can't post a link from my phone but there is a story in the Sunday telegraph about a lady who is taking her case to the court of appeal after a high court decision that her employers were not acting unreasonably forcing her to work Sundays as a children's care worker

The court decided that not working at all on a Sunday was not a fundamental aspect of the Christian faith

But is it?

Personally I know practising Christians who work in caring professions such as nursing who attend services during the week or at a different time if they can't attend their normal service

Should Christians have the right to opt out of Sunday working, or Jewish people Saturday working etc?

This story is from last year. I think the decision the judge made was that because not all Christians attended church every week then the woman who brought the case was unreasonable to ask not to work every Sunday. I suspect that if you apply for a job that requires you to work on a Sunday and you have church commitments then you need to get something in writing from your employer that makes clear that you will be exempted from Sunday working.

In my last congregation there were doctors, nurses, midwives, IT people, police and social workers who worked Sunday shifts or were on call. The 8am service was a popular one with people who went into work afterwards.

Being part of a worshipping community is important for Christians. Whether that has to be at 10am every Sunday is what I think the judge was taking a view on.

martinedwards Sun 20-Oct-13 08:15:41

SOME Christians are strick on the no Sundays rule, some aren't

Paul's teaching on the food laws (following the vision of the sheet full of unclean animals... kill and eat) sort of results in the old laws being put into a category of guide lines, but no longer essential.

in todays 24/7 world, many Christians go with the idea that so long as SOME time is set aside for worship, it neednt be 10 am on Sunday.

17leftfeet Sun 20-Oct-13 09:22:25

I think the original high court ruling was the end of last year but its back in the papers

I work in retail so have the option of opting out of Sundays but it would be career suicide!

I do think though if you choose to go into certain professions then you accept that anti social hours are part of that and you shouldn't be going to court over it

BurlyShassey Sun 20-Oct-13 19:15:29

Priests/vicars /deacons/altar boys and girls/churc stewards etc work on a Sunday! As do airline pilots/bus drivers/emergency services.

My vicars day off is a Wednesday.

The thing I believe is to have A day of rest, be it any day of the week?
and for believers its a day not just to rest but to pray an have fellowship?

many churches do midweek/early morning/evening services.

Repecting those who don't wish to work ona particular day (thinking of the guy that runs The Entertainer shop) but one day aweek is any day to not work.

Correct me if m misinformed!smile

BackOnlyBriefly Mon 21-Oct-13 14:25:01

I think someone pointed out that if enough people converted to christianity the children being cared for in that instance would have to be abandoned.

If a colleague's has the right to have sunday off that forces me to work every sunday.

Also do those people who claim they can't work on sunday make phone calls, use trains, water, gas or electricity? It would seem they are ok with working on a sunday after all as long as it's not them that has to get up and go in.

mollygibson Tue 29-Oct-13 17:00:42

Hi there, the Biblical teaching is that it is lawful to do works of neccesity and mercy - see Jesus' response when the Pharisees tried to trap him for healing a man on the Sabbath ( Matthew 12 : 9-12)

Nurses, ambulance drivers, care-workers, ministers of the gospel etc have a perfect Biblical warrant to work on the Sabbath - in fact it would be going against Christ's teaching for them not to do their job on Sunday.

Shop or restaraunt work does not come into this category though.

If a colleague's has the right to have sunday off that forces me to work every sunday.

Yeah and that's not right; this is why as a Christian I would not work in that kind of job... I also would not go to a restaraunt or shop on Sunday, because that's taking advantage of the fact that somebody else is forced to work on a Sunday.

Obviously it's not really possible not to use water or electricity, and some people live a long way from their church and don't have cars, so it's not possible for them to refrain from using public transport. However I think as a Christian I should do as much as I can to keep the Sabbath. Nobody keeps it 100 percent perfectly, but that's not a reason to wilfully break it. I will never in my life understand Christians who strive to keep the other 9 commandments and think you're allowed to ignore that one.

The point of the Biblical Sabbath is not just that it is a day of rest - the commandment says "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy". So it's not just about ME getting to relax - it's about GOD and dedicating the day to Him. So my "rest" shouldn't involve, e.g. watching Eastenders or anything else that I can do some other time in the week - I should try to spend time praying, meditating, reading the Bible or a book that will help me grow in faith. I'm very blessed that I do a job where I don't have to work on Sunday - others are not so fortunate, so I should be mindful of this and try to give the day back to Him.

NB I'm not trying to be "holier-than-thou" and saying I do all these things all the time myself! But this is what I should strive for!

sashh Wed 30-Oct-13 08:10:00


Interesting post. I don't think I've come across a Christian who does that.

I used to live in an area with a lot of Jewish people and also work with quite a few and I found it fascinating what could and could not be done on the Sabbath.

I find it interesting that you don't 'take advantage' of other people working on a Sunday such as shopping where Jews are allowed to employ gentiles to do work they are not permitted to do.

In the days of coal fires a nice little Saturday job was letting your self in to houses and lighting the fire.

CelticPromise Wed 30-Oct-13 08:18:31

I'm a Christian (RC) and have worked many Sundays, I also do sport on a Sunday, shop, go to restaurants etc. I don't know anyone who doesn't. Famous example I can think of who doesn't is the Scottish Rugby player who doesn't play Sunday matches. I think there are probably lots of people who have private arrangements with their employer eg I worked with a Jewish guy who finished early on Friday and never did Saturday on calls. It's difficult to think of a blanket ruling that would work. I think shop workers are entitled to opt out though.

SamG76 Wed 30-Oct-13 16:59:51

sashh - Jews aren't generally allowed to employ gentiles to do work they can't. The exception for lighting coal fires was made out of necessity to prevent families from freezing to death!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now