Keeping the Sabbath and Keeping Your Job
By Dr. Daniel Botkin
“I’d like to keep the Sabbath, but I can’t — I have to work on Saturdays.” Wrong. You may think so, but you are mistaken. No one who believes in keeping the Sabbath has to work on Saturdays, at least not in America. No one is pointing a gun at the heads of American Christians and Jews and forcing them to work on Saturdays. Americans who work on the Sabbath do so by their own choice, not because they have to. There were many Sabbathkeeping Christians in Communist Russia who were ordered by their oppressive government to work on Saturdays. Many of these Christians chose to obey God rather than man, and they lost a lot more than some crummy job. They suffered imprisonment, exile, and torture for refusing to break God’s holy Sabbath.
When we stand with these faithful saints before the Lord on Judgment Day, will any of us have the gall to say, “Well, Lord, I wanted to keep the Sabbath, but I couldn’t — I had to work on Saturdays”? How does a disciple of the Messiah go about getting every Sabbath off from his job? First of all, you do not go in and ask your employer if you can have Saturdays off. You are not there to make a request; you are there to inform. You inform your employer (politely and respectfully, of course) that you will not be available to work from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. Your employer may respond in a number of ways: • “I’ll see what we can do to accommodate you, but in the meantime you’ll have to keep working Saturdays.” • “We can give you Saturdays off, but you’ll have to work for a few hours on Friday nights.” • “We’ll do our best to accommodate you, but we may have to occasionally ask you to come in on a Saturday if we’re short of help.” None of these responses is acceptable.”
(This article is an excerpt from the March-May 1999 edition of the Sabbath Sentinel)
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