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Sunday Observance

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The scriptural basis for a weekly day of rest is the teaching given in the fourth commandment(Exodus 20-8-11). In its recognition of Sunday, as distinct from the Jewish Sabbath, The Salvation Army aligns itself with what came to be the custom of the Early Church in joyful celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Its concern, however, is not confined to the needs of practising Christians.

The Salvation Army affirms that all people need a balance of work and rest. Rest is needed on a regular basis for the maintenance of health. Believing that the well-being of society depends largely on the strengthening and stability of family life, it views Sunday as a day on which every opportunity is given for family members to be together; the day should therefore be kept free from all unnecessary work while allowing the fullest opportunity for Christian work and witness (Mark 2:27).

The Salvation Army is aware that in any highly organised society some forms of labour will be essential but considers that commercialised sport, political meetings and unrestricted trading on Sundays has adverse social, cultural, economic and psychological effects, and encourages the efforts of groups opposed to this. Those whose beliefs or consciences will not permit them to work on a Sunday are particularly harmed by the removal of all restrictions. Where Sunday work is permitted, there should be legal safeguards against unreasonable discrimination in recruitment or deployment of staff.

Whatever changes may be made in the secular regulations relating to Sunday, Salvationists will continue to use the day for worship and the proclamation of the gospel, and will exert every influence possible, especially in their own families, to make and keep Sunday a holy day. They will demonstrate by their own use of Sunday that it is a recognisably different day in which the worship of God has first priority.