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Should theological students have a day off?

I like having Saturday off (normally).

I suppose you could try keeping the fourth commandment literally, according to the original instruction. But that would involve downing tools at Sunset on Israel’s Friday (about 2 AM Saturday morning EST) and picking them up again 24 hours later (2 AM Sunday morning). Anything else (e.g. just ‘having Saturday day off’) requires some sort of arbitrary non-literal interpretation based on human institutions like the International Date Line or Catholic tradition (especially if you have Sunday off). I think it’s wiser just to work out how to apply the spirit of the law to your current situation. For me, it’s having Saturday off. What is it for you?

Here are five reasons you might choose not to have a day off each week:

  1. You are God, and the salvation of the elect depends upon your continuous upholding of the universe (John 5:17).
  2. You and your family are in danger of starvation if you don’t work seven days a week (Mark 2:23)
  3. You are a slave, and your master requires you to work seven days a week (1 Peter 2:18)
  4. You have a son or an ox that falls into a well every time you try to have a day off (Luke 14:5)
  5. You are a legalist and will just spend your day off stressing about whether you’re really having a proper day off (Colossians 2:16)

Here are five reasons you might choose to have a day off each week:

  1. You need to remind yourself that you’re not God, and the salvation of the elect does not depend upon your continuous upholding of your ministry or study.
  2. Your family isn’t in danger of starvation but would really like to spend some time with you.
  3. You aren’t a slave to the College syllabus, or to your current/future congregation or bishop, for that matter, but you are responsible to God for how you use your time.
  4. You’re able to organise your son and your ox (and your life) so that things don’t regularly keep falling into wells without notice.
  5. You’d like to practice resting in the mercy and salvation of our glorious God.

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength (Isaiah 30:15)

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