Posted by: larry | November 7, 2008

Never On Sunday!

moneyChristians are as likely to grab some groceries at Vons, tank-up on gas at the Shell station, and eat at IHOP on Sunday as any other day of the week.  Since God set aside the first day of the week as a day of rest, and a special day to worship Him, is it right for a Christian to patronize a business that opens on Sunday, thereby preventing its employees from assembling with the saints on this special day?

In the 1940’s & 1950’s nearly all business establishments closed on Sunday.  If you didn’t take care of your shopping needs during the week, you were out of luck when Sunday rolled around.  In today’s world nearly all retail stores are open seven days a week, some 24/7, and of course they would have us believe it’s for our convenience, but is it really, or does greed play the major role!

Many Christians immediately head to the nearest restaurant to meet for lunch right after the final amen; would the employees be working on Sunday if we didn’t make an appearance?  I know some cafes that stay open on Sunday just to cater to “church people.”

I plead guilty (if it is wrong) to all the above.  What are your thoughts about patronizing business establishments on Sunday?



  1. In Matthew and Mark, the lord and his Disciples are criticized by the religious leaders for picking grain from the field and eating it on the Sabbath. His reply is the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. We have come under Grace, freed from the Law that condemns us. To be honest, I am in church much of the day on Sunday, but the remainder of the day I take my rest. But I don’t condemn anyone for honest and moral pursuits on Sunday.

    Also, Sunday is the first day of the week, the day the Lord created the heavens and the earth, not the day He rested. Saturday is the Sabbath. Sunday is the day Christ rose from the grave.

    Our worship of God needs to be the constant state of our heart, not something reserved for one day. Many people are very devoted to nothing but the sacred on Sunday and nothing else but sin the other six days.

    I respect people of conscience who sincerely practice observing Sunday totally to God and who are devout throughout the week, I myself do not go that far in my own practice.


  2. Larry

    We certainly worship God daily, or at least we should.

    But I was just wondering (in my post) how our freedom is reflected towards others when we participate in anything that might hinder another person from obeying the Lord.

    Once there was quite a bit of thought concerning this subject, but it has died out in the last few decades.

    How we are perceived as Christians is important, and anything we do that tarnishes that image can be a potential problem.

    I’m primarily interested in what others feel about handling Sunday just like any other day of the week, other than meeting to worship God together.

    Your comments are appreciated.

  3. Hi Larry, and Larry.
    I will just say I am guilty.
    My reason for going to lunch after church is for the fellowship. We could get together at someone’s house. In fact, I may suggest that.
    I can’t be certain of what the people do who work at these places aside from working on Sunday. I see a lot of college students making money on the weekends at the places I eat at.

  4. Quote “Since God set aside the first day of the week as a day of rest, and a special day to worship Him”
    (Since God set aside the first day of the week, as a day of rest.) is my bible wrong? It says the seventh day!
    Gen 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

    (and a special day to worship him) I can’t find that in my bible either, I must have the wrong bible!! My bible says we are to worship continually. What’s wrong here.

    Act 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

    Hbr 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.

    Quote “I plead guilty (if it is wrong) to all the above.  What are your thoughts about patronizing business establishments on Sunday?”

    Larry , I believe you will be alright, you are only acting contrary to the “modern Pharisees” not the law of God. :)

  5. Jim

    I don’t even know for sure if this is anything to be guilty of; if so, of course I’m guilty as well!

    One old argument was that the people working wouldn’t be “going to church” anyway, but I know some who had to work for financial reasons, or they risked their job if they didn’t comply with their employer to work on Sunday.

    There are always exceptions to any argument, and they may be valid, so perhaps it’s just a matter of opinion how we look at this subject

    The world throws a lot of curves at us, and often we accept things as being normal and acceptable Christian behavior because everyone else is doing it.

    Thanks for adding your thoughts.

  6. laymond

    is my bible wrong? It says the seventh day!” Your Bible is right.

    My bible says we are to worship continually. What’s wrong here.” Your Bible is still right, but we are to meet as a group on the first day of the week, which is also worship…and that makes it special.

    The study of Sabbath, first day of the week, and the practices of the early church go far beyond the scope and intent of this post.

    Most Christians agree that Sunday is a day set aside to meet together and worship God, and we are told not to forsake this assembly. We worship God daily, but meet on Sunday as a body of Christians.

    If we’re not to forsake the assembly, are we wrong to patronize a business where employees have to work that day when they otherwise might be able to join us in the assembly on Sunday? That is the question.

    Thanks for the comments.

  7. “and that makes it special.”

    Just one question brother Mouser, special for whom?

  8. Larry I find eight times in the new testament where “the first day of the week” is mentioned and every time it mentions someone working. I don’t see any where they were worshiping God in any special way. I could be wrong.

    Mt:28:1: In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

    Mk:16:2: And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. (if we look at why they were there they intended to do some work)

    Mk:16:9: Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
    (looks as if even God worked on this first day of the week) (that makes twice we know of)

    Lk:24:1: Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

    Jn:20:1: The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

    Jn:20:19: Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
    (looks like they were hiding, not worshiping)

    Acts:20:7: And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
    (Paul was working)

    1Cor:16:2: Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
    (here Paul was not talking about writing a check)
    I remain open for teaching :)

  9. Hi Larry,
    I see you and Laymond are exchanging comments. Will the two of you visit this blog? I do believe you will enjoy his wit and reason.
    His name is Yung Suk Kim – click here to visit
    Offer him to be involved in the network we blog in.

  10. laymond

    …special for whom?

    Special in the sense that we, as Christians, can meet together to worship God…that is special.

    Special in the sense that the scripture teaches us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together on the first day of the week…that is a commandment and makes it special.

    Special in the sense that we observe the Lord’s supper in remembrance of His death on the first day of the week…that makes it special.

    Granted the day of rest in the OT was the 7th day when God rested from His work. And while the first day of the week is not recorded as being a day of rest, it is a day we take off from our jobs to rest and meet together to worship God.

    Forget all the other stuff :)

    Most Christians “go to church” on Sunday. Believers, and unbelievers that work on Sunday often can’t meet with us. If we didn’t support a business by our presence on Sunday, would this possibly help to close the business that day, and allow the employee to meet with us?

    I’m not advocating whether it’s right or wrong, just getting some input on an interesting subject to me….

  11. Jim

    Thanks for the link.

  12. laymond…

    There are times we have to agree to disagree my brother. :)

  13. Larry, I am not disagreeing with your question, I don’t know that there can be a wrong question, just wrong answers. and my answer can be just as wrong as anyone else. I have simply stated that my answer is influenced by scripture. This is twice you have stated that we are commanded to meet and worship on the first day of the week. I can’t remember where that scripture is written and by who. But if you show me where it is I am sure I would rethink my opinion. But I defiantly am not disagreeing with your freedom to ask a question.
    And greatly appreciate your opinions. But that said I really doubt that Christian patronage is the total reason these businesses are open on Sunday, just my opinion, May God bless.

  14. laymond

    I really doubt that Christian patronage is the total reason these businesses are open on Sunday

    Reread my post; I didn’t write that they stayed open totally for our Christian patronage on Sunday…they stay open because their greedy, and they will be more than happy to take anyone’s money, any day. :)

    Using a verse you quoted:
    Acts 20:7 “on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them…

    I believe (watch me put my foot in my mouth) that this “first day of the week” was Sunday. The bread they broke was what we often refer to as the Lord’s supper, and Paul talked, or as we term it today-preached.

    When we meet together as Christians, or alone for that matter, we can worship God. Since these Christians meet to “break bread” on a specific day, it sure looks to me like a service dedicated to worship God.

    This looks like a special day to worship God to me, because it has the earmarks of a meeting where we meet together to worship.

    Where have I goofed now, and I don’t doubt that I have. :)

  15. First off let me apologize for such a long comment.
    Brother Larry, we may have to agree to disagree now, but this is what the bible tells me about the sabbath. And since the bible is the only guide we were left, I tend to believe it.

    In the Old Testament, God stated, Exd 20 :8-10 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
    But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates.

    But as we see this commandment was not carried over to the New Testament.
    In creation, God rested on the seventh day. But, since God is all powerful, He doesn’t get tired. He doesn’t need to take a break and rest. So, why was it said that He rested? The reason is simple:

    Mark 2:27 “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” In other words, God established the Sabbath as a rest for His people, not because He needed a break, but because we are mortal and need a time of rest, of focus on God. In this, our spirits and bodies are both renewed.

    The Old Testament system of Law required keeping the Sabbath as part of the overall moral, legal, and sacrificial system by which the Jewish people satisfied God’s requirements for behavior, government, and forgiveness of sins. But with Jesus’ atonement, we no longer are required to keep the Law as a means for our justification.

    The requirements of the Law were fulfilled in Christ.  We now have rest from the Law.  We now have “Sabbath”, continually.

    Are we free to worship God on Sunday, yes we are, but nowhere can I find where we are commanded to call Sunday “The Lord’s day” a special day of worship, Just the opposite we are free to pick our own sabbath.

    Within the New Testament is ample evidence that one day over another is no longer a requirement. (Rom. 14:5-6).”One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God,”
    The entire section of Rom. 14:1-12 is worth careful study.  The instructions here are that individuals must be convinced in their own minds about which day they observe for the Lord. If one day was required over the other , then the choice would not be mans’, but God’s.  To me, this verse is sufficient to answer the question beyond doubt.  Furthermore,  Col. 2:16:17 “Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.”
    Notice the time sequence mentioned in Col. 2:16-17 above.  A festival is yearly. A new moon is monthly. A Sabbath is weekly. No one is to judge in regard to this. The Sabbath is defined as a shadow, the reality is Jesus. Jesus is our Sabbath.  So, if someone is judging you because you worship on the Sabbath, they are wrong.  Likewise, if you are judged for worshiping on Sunday. I can’t see any place where we are commanded to treat Sunday only as a special day of worship. May God bless

  16. laymond

    We have too many major differences on this subject, and we agree that sometimes we have to agree to disagree.

    If I lived in Texas we could go fishing and sort things out while dragging in catfish. :)

    Thanks for your comments.

  17. Larry. I must confess I could use your coaching in that field as well. :)

  18. Hi, Larry. Jim, of Journaling for Growth, sent me your way.

    I certainly have a Biblically-based opinion on this issue, but I think it’s been beaten to death by now, so I will refrain. :)

    You certainly have some thoughtful posts over here, so I’ll be back sometime.

  19. Greg…

    Thanks for the visit, and you don’t have to refrain around here :)

  20. Careful you two. I see spitfire, already.

  21. Larry,
    I believe I sent a link to you from Patricia Hickman’s blog. She is a Christian Novelist.
    Anyway, she is out of town, currently and will resume blogging when she returns.

  22. Patricia Hickman

  23. Just for Laymond, I’ll add my two cents…

    As for the sabbath, I believe that Hebrews 4:9 talks about the Christian sabbath keeping (the word is “sabbatismos”). We will have a sabbath rest in heaven; we don’t have a weekly sabbath.

    That being said, there is room for a Christian to choose to set apart a certain day: “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” (Romans 14:5) I fully respect those, like Chick-Fil-A, who choose to honor God by setting aside one day a week for him.

    How’s that for fence sitting? Have a great day.

    Grace and peace,

  24. I have worked more than my share of Sundays…hospitals don’t “shut down” on Sunday, and people require hospital services on Sunday. I certainly don’t judge establishments that stay open on Sundays. but wouldn’t it be nice if Christians gathered at each others’ homes after church services? We did that when I was a youngun’. And that fellowship was priceless.
    Y’all can debate the issue of WHEN we should meet together from now until doomsday. All I know is that the N.T. says is “When you gather together…” Some people even say you can’t make your “contribution” on any other day – does that mean that if I have to miss a Sunday service, I can’t mail in or drop off my contribution at the church on any OTHER day? I sort of believe the NT is more a narrative of the beginning of Christianity, and that the ONLY “commandments” are to love God, love each other and love ourselves, and to spread the good news of Christ.

    I guess it all hinges on whether or not one believes, today, in the “Law of Silence”. We are given examples of what occured during that First Century…but I’m not so sure that everything that was DONE then is a “direct commandment”. God was VERY specific on “commandments”. We need to be very careful on what is elevated to the level of “commandment” today, especially when attuning what we DO as being salvific!

    The “gathering together” has everything to do with a sense of unity God wants us to experience…to edify, to worship and praise, to share His presence in our lives, to teach and be taught, to remember the death and ressurection of His Son, to show the world that He is Lord. We are to do this because we thirst for unity and affirmation of His love for us. It is HIS day, a regular reminder to us of HIM, a reinforcement of what HE is all about during this time of collective worship and also what WE should be to each other. It’s a time of collective joy…and a time to show our love for each other as well. But this is just my opinion…

  25. Carolyn

    Whether Sunday, or any other day, there are jobs that must continue 24/7. If I’m in the hospital I certainly don’t want the nurses to disappear if I’m hanging on by a thread. :)

    My concern is how our actions on Sunday might prevent some from meeting with their church that day. When there are two services on Sunday the problem of missing the meeting can be solved to a point.

    Thanks for the comments.

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