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Sunday Observance

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. The scriptural basis for the 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.

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 secularise the day intended for man’s renewal and refreshment.

It is recognised that legislation in itself – in a multicultural and secularised society – cannot safeguard the Lord’s Day, but The Salvation Army believes that the legalising of unrestricted retail trading on Sundays will have adverse social, cultural, economic and psychological effects, and supports the efforts of groups opposed to unrestricted Sunday trading.

Salvationists believe that there must be legal protection against victimisation for those whose beliefs or consciences will not permit them to work on what they see as the Lord’s Day. There should be no jeopardising of job applications, no discriminatory action taken against them, and there should be safeguards against dismissal on the grounds of their unwillingness to work on Sundays.

Since Sunday is the day on which Salvationists enjoy opportunity for worship and the proclamation of the gospel, the day should be kept free from unnecessary work. Salvationists will exert every influence possible, especially in their own families, to make and keep Sunday a holy day. They themselves will witness to this belief by the way they use Sunday, and demonstrate by life and practice that Sunday is a recognisably different day in which the worship of God takes priority.


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