Guest / Limited Access /

NORTH AMERICA'S largest purveyor of Christian merchandise recently began opening its 315 stores on Sunday afternoons. Family Christian Stores touted its decision as a way to expand ministry opportunity. According to a press release, the firm sees it as a way of fulfilling its "calling to provide … Bibles, books and other Christian resources to meet their [customers'] needs—when their needs arise" (italics supplied). That sense of urgency makes them sound more like a crisis hotline than a retail store.

The media were quick to make comparisons with other Christian-owned businesses that do not open on Sundays: Lifeway Christian Stores, Mardel Christian and Educational Supplies, Hobby Lobby stores, and Chik-fil-A restaurants. Family Christian Stores did not see the parallels. "No one is going to hell if they don't eat a chicken sandwich on a Sunday," FCS president David Browne told The Dallas Morning News—as if souls hang in the balance because they can't buy Max Lucado or John Eldredge between noon and five on Sunday.

Hardly anybody thinks people are going to hell anymore if they do buy a chicken sandwich or go shopping on a Sunday. But The Charlotte Observer's Ken Garfield thinks that maybe U.S. culture is going to hell because of its surrender to the rat race. He called the FCS announcement "another sign of the culture turning Sunday into one more day in the rat race—that no matter what your faith, or even if you have no faith, life is too demanding to allow anyone to take a step back and a day off."

Garfield hinted at the spiritual dimension of a weekly day of rest: Faith is what allows people to emulate God and rest from their works. "Life is too demanding" for those of little faith, because the inability to rest is the ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Recommended
Confessions of a Lustful Christian Woman
The first step Christians can take to help women struggling with lust is to acknowledge that they exist.
Trending‘My Pastor Is on the Ashley Madison List.’
‘My Pastor Is on the Ashley Madison List.’
Too many Christians have been caught using Ashley Madison, many of them pastors and church leaders. What now?
Editor's PickMy Small Group Looks Like Me
My Small Group Looks Like Me
Why some multiethnic churches don’t mandate diversity at gatherings.
Comments
Christianity Today
Take Back Your Sabbath
hide thisNovember November

In the Magazine

November 2003

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.