How I Came to Learn About the Sabbath
By Larry Hardison
As a child I never had any exposure to God’s Sabbath. When we went to church, which wasn’t often, it was always on the first day of the week, Sunday. Not until after I was released from military service in my early 20s did I have any exposure, which came through my mother. While I was in service, she was studying the Ambassador Bible Correspondence Course; but at that time she had not begun to practice her new faith.
Beginning in 1967, I began exploring and reading with her encouragement. In 1968, after previous readings and detailed studying, I began to keep the Sabbath, even though my efforts were not fully successful. In 1969 I became more serious which brought me into conflict with my work schedule with a major airline. Company management, the union and I discussed this conflict. However, the Company and union had never before encountered any significant on-going Sabbath commitment and because Title 7 of the Equal Employment Opportunities Act was relatively new at the time, there was little legal guidance.
Quickly, events turned sour as the union adhered to their contracted seniority policy which locked me in to Sabbath period conflicts. Because I refused to work on Sabbath and was not allowed any relief, I was charged with insubordination and subsequently terminated (cf Hardison v TWA et al). Later I would run into discriminatory hiring practices, none of which I pursued legally. Eventually, I found work on a salary basis with no major Sabbath conflicts. During the years of 1969 through 1995, I was a member of the now defunct Worldwide Church of God. In the spring of 1995 I became a member of the United Church of God and was recognized as a deacon in 1997.
Since January of 2013 my wife and I have observed the Sabbath and Appointed Times independently, though retaining our membership in U.C.G., as we now follow the observed Biblical calendar rather than the calculated rabbinic calendar initiated by Hillel 2nd a.k.a. Hebrew calendar. The Appointed Times as many know from Leviticus 23:1-3 are YHWH’s times, the weekly Sabbath being mentioned first.
Since this tumultuous beginning of keeping God’s weekly Sabbath day, I have observed it – promoted it – debated it (to no effect except to receive compliments) – preached it – exampled it all through God’s guidance and help 48 years.