Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Breadwinning Worship

Yes, I know I have had an extended absence from the blog.  Truth be told, things are crazy around here and you all know that my family comes first.  When they need me, I vanish for a bit.  But, in addition to all of that, this blog post has also taken a while to craft.  Why?  Well because, true to my normal self, I have put together another longwinded post. Please bear with me for always having too much to say on any given subject.

So, what is this longwinded subject?  Well, as some of you know, I’m a writer (soon to be published, if all goes well).  What some of you may not know is that being a writer has come with lots of complications, one of which is should I write on Sunday if it is a form of work (one in which I intend to be paid for), or should we even write at all on Sunday, even if it is not for pay?
While I know this question may seem odd to some of my readers, it is a valid question, especially when you consider that the argument used for “should you write on Sunday” is very similar to the argument of “should you work on Sunday”.  My thoughts?  Well, that’s what this blog post is for.  Keep in mind that this post, though long, is not an exhaustive look at working and writing on Sunday.  Also be aware that I will be addressing the subject from a very specific position and will try not to veer from that.  But before we get started, I want to set the record straight on a few things before diving in.

This is a secondary issue.  An important one, but a secondary one.  For those of you wondering what I mean by this, let me explain.  I divide primary and secondary issues by their affect on Salvation.  The rapture is secondary in my opinion. Being pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trib, doesn’t affect your salvation. What you believe about the virgin birth and the trinity, will. So while I think this is an important and edifying discussion, it isn’t something to become divided over. I strongly believe that whether you write or not on Sunday should come down to personal conviction.  This subject has nothing to do with your salvation, nor does it have to do with sin.  God does not say that we are sinning, under the new covenant, by writing on the Lord’s Day.  What we do see throughout scripture is that if our hearts are not in the right place, or if we violate our own convictions, we can be sinning by writing on Sunday.

Also, I want to address another point. It’s no secret that I strongly believe the Lord convicts each person and their families differently.  What is right for one family, where personal convictions are concerned, is not necessarily what is right for the next family.  Some things are absolute.  Not everything is.  So, if you are a young person, seek your parent’s thoughts on this subject.  Talk with them about your thoughts and theirs.  That should dictate, in my opinion, what you do on this subject.

Now, with all of that out of the way, let’s get started by looking at a common misconception people have when debating this subject.  People often say that the Bible says we shouldn’t work on the Sabbath, according to the old covenant.  While this is true, it is interesting to note that, if you want to be technical, the Sabbath is not Sunday.  Protestants celebrate the Lord’s Day on Sunday, because Christ rose on a Sunday, but according to the actual Jewish calendar, the Sabbath day is Sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. So anyone writing on Sunday is not breaking the Sabbath.  That being said, some people interpret the commandment as “one day in seven,” basically leaving it open as whatever day you want the Sabbath to be, and feel that we should follow the Jewish Law, despite being under the new covenant.  After all, didn’t Jesus come to fulfill the law, and not destroy it?   
The old and new covenant is a very long topic which we won’t be getting into today, but it is poignant to point out that, if you take that view, you have to follow the Jewish Law fully.  Why?  Well, under Jewish law you cannot choose just a part of the law —you must obey every precept of it (Gal. 3:10), including the “do not eat unclean animals” (pork falls into the food groups the Jews did not consume), or the shank of certain animals (in remembrance of Jacob’s maimed leg). So if we are taking the Jewish law stance, we have to take that stance on everything.  For this reason, I think we should alter our point of thinking, and stop basing our arguments off of Sunday being the Sabbath.
So, if we push all of the Sabbath day discussions behind us, there is still a very large concern people have with writing on Sunday… the work and money aspect.  See, if we write on Sunday, and make money at it, is that not the same as working on a Sunday?  
Well, let me ask you all a question (you know how I love to turn the tables on you).  If a pastor get’s paid for preaching on Sundays and ministering to, and leading, the body of Christ, is that wrong?  After all, he is working hard, putting in lots of hours, and receives compensation for it.  To make things more complicated, the Bible tells us that we should care well for our shepherds, and that includes monetarily.
Why is it okay to pay a pastor for working on Sunday, but it is not okay to write on Sunday with the knowledge that you could sell your manuscript?  See, the way I look at it is that work is a form of worship.  Not only were we created for work (Genesis 1-3 clearly shows us that), but Paul also counsels us in that whatever we do or say, do it as a unto the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father (Col 3:17).  So, doesn’t that mean that work is worship?  

Now, let’s use a real life analogy.  I hate sitting in an ivory tower and philosophizing about things without applying our concepts and beliefs to real life.  It’s easy to make a blanket statement, but when you have to apply that statement to reality, we see that things aren’t always so cut and dry.
I’m a farm girl— or was, before we were blessed with Samuel. There is always work to be done on a farm.  The animals have to be fed, milked, brushed, cared for— now, we always tried to limit what we did on Sundays, because the bodies of farmers and their children need some serious rest, but that didn’t always happen.  But let’s go a step beyond everyday care, because some people will say “well obviously you must take care of daily tasks on Sunday, you just don’t do work above and beyond the normal”. 

Hay season is a precarious time here in our farming community.  If you don’t bring the hay in on time, a farmer could lose the income he intends to feed his family off of for the next month.  I remember one particular Sunday when a friend of ours was going to lose his entire crop, due to an approaching rain storm, if he didn’t get his crop in that day.  So, directly after church, my family went over and helped bail and stack his field.  Did Christ condemn us for this?  I think that answer lies very clearly in scripture when Christ say “"What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out?” (Matt. 12:11) 

Another example is when we had a new batch of goats infect our entire herd (60 head).  We had to fight day in, day out, to save them, or they would have all died.  Our vet wasn’t even sure they would make it in spite of our efforts (they did, however).
Now, some people might say we should have given up the farm.  If we couldn’t find a day in our week to rest and completely devote our minds to Christ then obviously our farm was sucking too much out of us and we were not worshiping the Lord properly. But that’s just it… I think people need to seriously look at what worshiping Christ is. It isn’t just worshiping him in a building with a steeple on it (let’s hope not, because my church doesn’t have a steeple!). When we went to help our friend with his hay field, we were serving him in Christ’s name, worshiping Christ through our actions of self sacrifice. Believe me, the last thing I really wanted to do was help bale a field. It is horrible, back breaking work.  You seriously can’t understand how awful it is unless you’ve done it (or had it vividly described to you, as in the case of my friend Wren for a book she was writing). The working conditions are terrible! Even if you aren’t allergic to grasses and nature, you’ll have the symptoms of allergies when you do this job. The heat is unbearable! But we set those feelings aside, rolled up our sleeves alongside another, and went to work. Tell me, how is that not worshiping and serving Christ on a Sunday? We aren’t preaching— we aren’t technically even evangelizing— and we are helping someone make a profit, but do those things mean we aren’t worshiping?

Also, there are some jobs that require the service of people for the care and provision of another. Example: Many of you know about my baby brother Samuel, at least in passing. Samuel has a complicated story I won’t go into here, but he required day in, day out, care. We also had nurses that “lived” with us for a big chunk of time, specifically at night.  You see, Samuel had to have 24 hour care.  If he was left alone, a whole host of things could happen that, uncared for, would kill him.  So, without those nurses coming in and staying with Samuel through the night, we would never have gotten any sleep.   
If we say no one can work or make money on Sunday, we are now saying that Samuel should either be deprived of care, or my family will have to pull a twenty-four hour wake period in order to stay up with him in the night if he had a medical emergency (which wasn’t unusual). Doing that would have not only been unproductive and detrimental to our health and Samuel’s, but it would also have been counterproductive.  See, the Lord calls us to be fit vessels of the Lord, able to serve.  If I had to do that every week, I guarantee I would not be a fit servant and would in fact become an unbearable crab! 
There are many people who work on Sundays for the welfare of others.  If those people were not making themselves available, many in our society would be put in jeopardy. After all, If you get hit by a drunk driver on a Sunday morning on your way to church, don’t you want the paramedics to show up and possibly save the lives of you and your children?
I know a man who is a Fireman.  Not only is he a fireman, but he is a specific type of fireman.  If a large forest area catches on fire, guess who gets call out there to try and beat back the fire so it doesn’t spread to residential areas and kill people?  The funny thing about fires is the fact that they don’t differentiate between days of the week.  If it’s a Sunday, this God fearing man still pulls on his yellow gear, saves lives, and gets paid for it. 
Should all the hospitals close down on Sundays? What if Samuel had been born on a Sunday? Should the medical staff not have done everything possible to save his life simply because it was Sunday?

Now, I am not really going to get into the need for fellowship with the body of Christ that believers have, or their need to be fed by the word on Sundays.  This is not the place to do so, and I assume you all know that is important.  However, I do want to make the statement that I don’t think you should work on Sundays just to fill your purse a little bit more.  There is a major different between a need to work on Sunday vs working just because we feel like it.  My Daddy doesn’t work on Sundays.  Why?  He doesn’t need to.  He’s an executive administrator for an electric company.  They don’t need him on Sundays, even if they want him on Sundays.  However, I’m trying to reason why we can write; as opposed to we shouldn’t write on Sundays, which is why my focus has been where it is. 
We should do everything as unto the Lord, guys.  Paul Washer (founder of Heart Cry Missionary Society Ministries, and a personal friend) always says we should eat ice cream as unto the Lord (this means do not be gluttonous, Ouch!). The Bible says everything, period. Your heart is what the Lord cares about. This is part of why I find it hard, since we are no longer under the Mosaic Law, to justify why we can’t write/work on Sunday. Is our heart worshiping? Then how is it a sin?

Now, if you love writing so much that you can’t bear to stop on Sunday, you’d rather do that than spend part of the day in your quiet time and prayer life, then you have a problem. Your heart is not right, and you should not write on Sunday. If you don’t struggle with this, and writing is just another outpouring of your worship, then where, really, is the issue?

As I said when starting this post, I think there is a lot to be said for having a day where we rest from the rest of the week and focus on our Lord.  In fact, at times I envy my friends who have a restful, relaxing Sunday.  It is easy to become burnt out if we never stop and rest.  And how then can we be good servants of the Lord if we are exhausted and weary?  However, what is rest to one person is not rest for another.  It is relaxing for me to write, as a general rule, unless my book just isn’t panning out well.  I choose not to make edits to my books on Sunday because it is a stressor for me, at times.  That being said, I do write.
The Bible says that man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man.  It was a gift.  The Lord knows my heart, and He knows there is no sin in me writing on His day.  So I ask all of you, is your heart right?  Are you abstaining from writing on Sunday for the wrong reasons, or perhaps are you writing on Sunday for the wrong reasons?  Only you can answer that.


  1. *gives standing ovation* I love this post, Kaitlyn! I agree with you one hundred percent. :D I did have a long rantish comment here on how much I agree with you, but my internet died. :P My family actually celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday and don't generally eat pork, however the same rules you apply to the Sabbath, we also apply to what we eat. (i.e. we wouldn't go out of our way to buy pork, but if a friend serves pizza with bacon, we'd be going back for seconds. ;D)

    The Sabbath was made for us! A rest does the body and soul so much good, and we love our Saturdays we get to spend at home sleeping, spending time together, reading, or eating bad food. ;) However when times come up where work is required, and our help is needed, there is never any hesitation to break a sweat.

    When it comes to writing, generally I don't seek out to write on the Sabbath. However if I am inspired, it's not something I hesitate at. If God gives me inspiration on the Sabbath, I expect He wants me to do something with it. :D

    So again, loved this post, Kaitlyn! Thankyou for sharing those awesome thoughts.

    1. No way, you guys are like that with pork, too? I can't eat it, because of my PRP, but my family has always avoided pork (for health reasons, you know, God really knew what He was doing when He said not to eat them, and science has now proved it). We can still eat it, like you said, if someone is serving it or something, but we don't make it. I don't know many people like that, so it is cool to know you guys do that too. :D

      Oooh, I'll come spend Saturday at your house!! Saturday is normally our busiest day (we call it our work day).

      I think that setting aside a day is very good for us, but having a healthy view of "if something needs doing, we'll do it" is even better, I think. Sounds like we think very similarly on this subject, Aussie Love. :D

      Thank you for commenting, Aussie. Glad I could be helpful.

  2. You're making the situation seem more complicated than it really is.
    Everyday,everyone commits a sin(even priests and pastors).
    You probably sinned five times today without taking recognition of the fact you sinned. If a Pastor is allowed to work on a Sunday,you most definitely can yourself. When you're a writer,you create books and books can heal people,change the way people think and make people happier-investing your time on that seems pretty good to me.
    You will most likely sin on a Sunday anyways. You can take the so called 'working on a Sunday sin' out,and you'll still have the many sins you will of committed on that day (but you won't pay attention to them or have any idea of them being sins.)
    Do what you want to do.

    1. While I think we tend to overcomplicate things as Christians, I don't think there is anything wrong with thoroughly looking over a subject to ensure we keep ourselves in a checks and balance system, Teen in a Bean. It is very true that we, myself included, sin multiple times every Sunday. That being said, we have to be careful we don’t use that as an excuse. I know people who say “I am saved by grace, therefore, I have a license to do whatever I want because God’s grace will still cover me”. I think that is a very wrong and unbiblical approach to grace. Because of that, I think Christians should be very careful in ensuring they know what they believe and why.

      God’s grace is all sufficient. However, I have a duty to try and ensure I do not sin, even out of negligence.

  3. Hi, my name is Esther and I'm Bethany Faith's (from Holy Worlds) mom. I have been reading Rainbow In The Storm since your first post. I gotta tell you, I can see you are a beautiful young woman; one who seeks and hungers for the truth. I have enjoyed reading all your posts and I've tried to comment before but for some reason I have never been able to do so, maybe it's because I'm using the iPad. So this time, I'm on the computer.
    As far as the Sabbath is concern, I agree with much of what you have to say and if I may I would like to add a little more. :0)
    We have so much freedom in God. Sooooo much it almost takes our breath away, unfortunately most of us never really reach our freedom potential. We live under so many rules and regulation, we forget about the relationship with Father, Jesus came to give us. The Old and New Testament argument is very tiresome and as a body, it's getting us nowhere. WE Have God Living in Us (New Creation) not outside of us (old creation). The Sabbath indeed was created for man and NOT man for the Sabbath. The old creation needed to have a day specifically designed to meditate upon God. The new creation lives in relationship with God, we get to meditate on Him 24/7 - amazing!!! Have you ever written in a journal and found your heart? Have you ever spent time in nature and felt His warmth? Have you ever had a time where you could just be? That IS the New Covenant Sabbath. During our new creation Sabbaths we get to seek the heart of God and we even have the opportunity to find God's heart in us. For, thanks to the perfect sacrifice, He does indwell our whole beings, everything that's good in us is Him. Many hugs my friend. Hope we can talk again. Esther.

    1. *is so pleased Bethany's Mom posted *

      Thank you, very much, for your kind words. They are an encouragement and I pray that they always be true. That I would seek and hunger for truth continually.

      Your words about the old and new covenant are beautiful. We have incredible freedom in Christ. He is in us, with us, leading us. We no longer require an intercessor. We can go directly to God ourselves.

      What a beautiful thing.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Esther. They were a blessing.

  4. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!


    I agree with you 100%, Airi. (Not that this is unusual.) Certainly a well-written, thought-inspiring post. :)

    As a traveling family band, we can't afford to refuse to play on Sundays. We often times play at Churches, and often get paid for doing so. And sometimes we play secular gigs on Sundays, too.

    And you know Paul Washer? O.O


    1. *grins *

      I am glad my post was edifying, Red. I had forgotten that your family is a travelling band until you jogged my memory. :D

      You've heard of Paul! Yes, we have known Paul for a long time. When he and his family used to live in Metropolis IL we were able to keep in better contact, but we are still very fond of the Washer family. :) I am so excited you guys listen to him and know about Heart Cry!


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