A Resolution That Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Disprove the Modern Myth That Sunday Work Maximizes Profits [September 2000]

Executive Summary

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has grown to be the leading retailer in the United States and is in a position to make an innovative policy change that would increase profits and benefit Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Associates, local communities, shareholders, and the retail industry.
It is resolved that Wal-Mart conduct a short-term study to disprove the modern myth that Sunday work maximizes profits. The Virginia District could be used as a model.
Expected benefits of the policy change are increased profits and a solution to the challenge of recruiting and keeping good Associates.
Such a change in policy might weaken the union hold on members who highly value not working on Sunday. This in turn might somewhat defuse attacks by well funded labor unions.
Intangible benefits would be numerous, and would more than offset any disadvantages.
A feasibility study could be conducted in-house or contracted to a research firm with related experience.

Whereas, whatever we hear or read exclusively we begin to believe is true,

Whereas, we live in an environment where it is a forgone conclusion that Sunday work increases profits,

Whereas, Sunday trading is still prohibited in Germany and both France and Italy retain a variety of Sunday trading restrictions,

Whereas, the Government does not work on Sunday, except for essential services,

Whereas, exploring new ideas, innovation, and constant change, has given Wal-Mart a competitive advantage in the past,

Whereas, a new policy of Sunday closing could pump new life into Wal-Mart's operations in intangible ways as well as by cutting costs and increasing profits,

Whereas, Wal-Mart may be missing a competitive advantage by not conducting such a study.

Regarding Wal-Mart's current situation

Whereas, Wal-Mart has grown to be the largest retailer in the world, with sales of $165 billion last year (1999),

Whereas, in 1999, Discount Store News honored Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. as "Retailer of the Century,"

Whereas, Wal-Mart is the second largest employer in the United States, second only to the Federal Government,

Whereas, Wal-Mart is rated as among the top five best run corporation in the country by Forbes Magazine,

Whereas, Wal-Mart has nearly saturated the United States with Wal-Mart Stores, Wal-Mart Super Centers, and Sam's Clubs, and shareholders are asking how corporate growth will be maintained,

Whereas, Wal-Mart's circumstance have changed now that it has overcome all the competition,

Whereas, now, as the leading retailer in the world, Wal-Mart is competing in new ways, one of which is recruiting and keeping good Associates,

Whereas, Wal-Mart is in a position to attract the best Associates in retailing, however, is currently unable to recruit and keep good Associates, and is also challenged by attacks from labor unions,

Whereas, Wal-Mart's Associate's benefits package is a model for the business community,

Whereas, Wal-Mart's profit sharing plan and annual bonuses are generous,

Whereas, focusing on problem solving is more beneficial to both the individual and the corporate body than focusing on financial goals,

Whereas, Wal-Mart currently has a high turn-over rate, especially on the Front End,

Whereas, practically nobody wants to work on Sunday,

Whereas, those who do not appreciate the Sabbath, or know how to spend it properly, are often the ones who most stubbornly refuse to work on Sunday,

Whereas, many Associates, both those of faith and those of no faith, would value Sunday off more highly than any other benefit Wal-Mart could offer,

Whereas, Sam Walton believed "Build a store, and they will come" and this has proven true over the years of Wal-Mart's growth,

Whereas, the corollary could also prove to be true "Close on Sunday and customers will come the other six days of the week,"

Whereas, Wal-Mart is under sever attack by strong, well-funded labor unions who seem bent upon changing Wal-Mart's policies and making them less competitive.

Regarding the question of continued growth

Whereas, "Never resist change" has been a proven policy at Wal-Mart over the years,

Whereas, it is expected that, as the leading retailer in the United States, Sunday closing would significantly cut costs and increase profits,

Whereas, by conducting a study in a model district, for example, the Virginia District, and by then analyzing expenses and profits compared to the same period the previous year, the myth could be exposed,

Whereas, the performance of subsidiaries in Germany could be compared with the model to get additional facts on the impact of Sunday closing on profits, recruiting, and other intangible factors,

Whereas, results of the study could be used to convince shareholders that Sunday closing would increase profits and benefit Wal-Mart in many other intangible ways.

Regarding the involvement of The Lord God Almighty in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operations

Whereas, after compiling Great Books of Western Civilization, Mortimer Adler concluded that "more problems are caused by the denial of God than by anything else -- it changes the whole tenure of life,"

Whereas, "Not since the Middle Ages has there been such a spiritual famine in the West." -- John W. Robbins

Whereas, The Lord God Almighty is sovereign in the affairs of businesses, and of nations,

Whereas, Wal-Mart Management and Associates can turn to no one except The Lord God Almighty to meet future challenges, and to stand against their enemies: a corrupt world system, the flesh, and Satan, which are constantly waging war against Associates, Management, the Stores, and the Corporation,

Whereas, the favor of God is a result of obedience to his commandments and results in his positive sanctions, deliverance, and protection,

Whereas, all of history evidences the fact that God blesses obedience,

Whereas, the favor of The Lord God Almighty is the ultimate competitive advantage,

Whereas, Wal-Mart is in "a new ball game," as the leading retailer in the world,

Whereas, Wal-Mart is now, more than ever, in a position to set the standards in retailing,

Whereas, Wal-Mart's code of ethics is a model for the business community,

Whereas, Associates working on the Sabbath, and Management requiring Associates to work on the Sabbath, are violations of the Fourth and Fifth Commandments.

Regarding the Fourth Commandment

Whereas, the Decalogue is the very constitution of God for human society,

Whereas, The Holy One of Israel, The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has commanded in his own words, "Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy,"

Whereas, after creating the world in six days, God took a day of rest,

(Refer also to the THE LARGER CATECHISM Questions 115. Which is the fourth commandment? Q. 116. What is required in the fourth commandment? Q. 120. What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it? Q. 121. Why is the word Remember set in the beginning of the fourth commandment?)

Whereas, from THE LARGER CATECHISM, Q. 117. How is the sabbath or the Lord's day to be sanctified?
A. The sabbath or Lord's day is to be sanctified by an holy resting all the day,[624] not only from such works as are at all times sinful, but even from such worldly employments and recreations as are on other days lawful;[625] and making it our delight to spend the whole time (except so much of it as is to be taken up in works of necessity and mercy[626]) in the public and private exercises of God's worship:[627] and, to that end, we are to prepare our hearts, and with such foresight, diligence, and moderation, to dispose and seasonably dispatch our worldly business, that we may be the more free and fit for the duties of that day.[628] [Numbers refer to scriptural proofs found in the web document cited below.]

Whereas, Q. 118. Why is the charge of keeping the sabbath more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors?
A. The charge of keeping the sabbath is more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors, because they are bound not only to keep it themselves, but to see that it be observed by all those that are under their charge; and because they are prone oft times to hinder them by employments of their own.[629]

Whereas, Q. 119. What are the sins forbidden in the fourth commandment? A. The sins forbidden in the fourth commandment are, all omissions of the duties required,[630] all careless, negligent, and unprofitable performing of them, and being weary of them;[631] all profaning the day by idleness, and doing that which is in itself sinful;[632] and by all needless works, words, and thoughts, about our worldly employments and recreations.[633]

Regarding the Fifth Commandment and Management's responsibility to Associates, shareholders, and the public

(Refer also to the THE LARGER CATECHISM, Questions 124. Who are meant by father and mother in the fifth commandment? Q. 125. Why are superiors styled father and mother? Q. 126. What is the general scope of the fifth commandment? and Q. 133. What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment, the more to enforce it?)

Whereas, from THE LARGER CATECHISM, Q. 129. What is required of superiors towards their inferiors?
A. It is required of superiors, according to that power they receive from God, and that relation wherein they stand, to love,[680] pray for,[681] and bless their inferiors;[682] to instruct,[683] counsel, and admonish them;[684] countenancing,[685] commending,[686] and rewarding such as do well;[687] and discountenancing,[688] reproving, and chastising such as do ill;[689] protecting,[690] and providing for them all things necessary for soul[691] and body:[692] and by grave, wise, holy, and exemplary carriage, to procure glory to God,[693] honour to themselves,[694] and so to preserve that authority which God hath put upon them.[695]
[Emphasis added. Numbers refer to scriptural proofs found in the web document cited below.]

Whereas, Q. 130. What are the sins of superiors?
A. The sins of superiors are, besides the neglect of the duties required of them,[696] and inordinate seeking of themselves,[697] their own glory,[698] ease, profit, or pleasure;[699] commanding things unlawful,[700] or not in the power of inferiors to perform;[701] counseling,[702] encouraging,[703] or favouring them in that which is evil;[704] dissuading, discouraging, or discountenancing them in that which is good;[705] correcting them unduly;[706] careless exposing, or leaving them to wrong, temptation, and danger;[707] provoking them to wrath;[708] or any way dishonouring themselves, or lessening their authority, by an unjust, indiscreet, rigorous, or remiss behaviour.[709]
[Emphasis added. Numbers refer to scriptural proofs found in the web document cited below.]

Regarding Wal-Mart's policy of "respect for the individual"

Whereas, Wal-Mart attributes its success to the company policy that includes as first priority, respect for the individual,

Whereas, this is a recognition of the importance of relationships in the workplace,

Whereas, our relationship with God is the most important relationship, and determines the success of all other relationships.

Regarding cutting expenses

Whereas, profits would be compressed into six day a week instead of seven,

Whereas, Sunday bonus wages would be eliminated,

Whereas, Sunday "no call/no shows" would be eliminated,

Whereas, Sunday overtime expenses would be eliminated,

Whereas, payroll would be cut generally by 1/7 (14.28 percent),

Whereas, overtime expenses would be cut generally by 1/7,

Whereas, overhead costs would be cut generally by 1/7,

Whereas, there would be a reduction in turnover of Associates cutting Human Resources/Personnel expenses,

Whereas, stress from non-stop work and resulting diseases are relieved by physical rest, particularly shared days of rest with family,
Stress and Fatigue: Their Impact on Health and Safety in the Workplace
The Causes and Costs of Absenteeism in the Workplace

Whereas, Sunday closing would improve the health of Associates, cut the number of sick days, and cut medical leave,

Whereas, health benefits payments to Associates would be cut,

Whereas, losses due to understaffing would be cut,

Whereas, the unpredictability of the public leaves the retailer vulnerable to losses due to understaffing,

Whereas, Sunday closing would compress this unpredictability into six days a week, and 313 days a year, reducing the vulnerability generally by 1/7,

Whereas, such a study could be done in-house or contracted to a research firm with related experience. Recently The Perryman Group completed a study for the State of Texas, in which they attached a dollar amount to the savings resulting from legal reform of tort laws in Texas.
The Impact of Judicial Reforms on Economic Activity in Texas by The Perryman Group

Regarding recruiting and keeping good Associates

Whereas, employees would come to Wal-Mart from other businesses just for the benefit of not working on Sunday,

Whereas, this movement to Wal-Mart would solve recruiting and retention problems.

Whereas, this movement to Wal-Mart would also generally weaken the unions.

Regarding the effect of Sunday closing on payments made under Wal-Mart's Management Incentive Plan

Whereas, the pre-tax net profit performance goals established for Management would be affected during the study period in the model district,

Whereas, CEOs and Managers working for performance bonuses in the model district could be given a flat bonus during the study.

Regarding intangible benefits of Sunday closing

Whereas, it is expected that the study will prove that Sunday closing will increase profits,

Whereas, Sunday closing would boost the moral of all Wal-Mart Associates,

Whereas, Sunday closing would improve the physical and emotional health of Management and Associates,

Whereas, Sunday closing would strengthen families and give them a shared time of rest together,

Whereas, Sunday closing would encourage individual spiritual growth,

Whereas, Sunday closing would have a positive influence on every community in America, especially those with a Wal-Mart Store,
Sunday Shopping

Whereas, a Wal-Mart policy of no Sunday work would tend to lead competitors to adopt policies of no Sunday work.

Whereas, from the available medical evidence, the United Nations World Health Organization concludes "Irregular work patterns and shift work have detrimental effects on family and social life; family life is under constant threat from the lack of shared time off together."

Whereas, furthermore and finally, the positive sanctions of The Lord God Almighty to Associates and the corporate entity of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., would undoubtedly exceed, beyond human imagination, the increase in profits from Sunday closing,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. conduct a study in the Virginia District to disprove the modern myth that Sunday work maximizes profits.

Bibliography and Other Resources

The true reason why the power of godliness is fallen to so low an ebb, both in this and in other countries also, is because the Sabbath is no more strictly and conscientiously observed -- And O that all these short hints might be so blessed from heaven as to work us all to a more strict seriousness and conscientious sanctifying of the Lord's Day. -- Thomas Brooks

THE LARGER CATECHISM; Agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, with the assistance of Commissioners from the Church of Scotland, as a part of the covenanted uniformity in religion betwixt the Churches of Christ in the Kingdoms of Scotland, England, and Ireland and approved anno 1648, by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, to be a directory for catechizing such as have made some proficiency in the knowledge of the grounds of religion, with the proofs from the Scripture. -- The long title for The Larger Catechism

Our world today has abandoned the doctrines of salvation and rest in their Biblical meanings. To understand what has happened, let us turn our attention to the work of John Law (1671-1729), the father of modern banking and of modern monetary policies. He is thus a father of both modern commerce and of the modern state. Although not a Christian, Law should perhaps be called also a father of the modern church, because he has so radically altered the idea of rest.
Law developed the modern use of paper money, in particular, a paper currency unbacked by either gold or silver. We hear it commonly said today that the American dollar is sound, because it has behind it the wealth and productivity of America. This is simply a statement of Law's doctrine that money should be established upon the evidences of commercial wealth, actually or potential, upon land and its potential, or upon the potentials of industrial productivity. This means a non-convertible currency; it also means a restless society. Such a view of money mean that society must forever boom or face collapse. The economics of Law is inflationary: it requires a continual boom [as do the Federal Tax Laws deferring tax on capital growth -- sk], and any abatement thereof leads to a bust or collapse. Because of the inflation of the money (i.e., of a paper assurance of potential production), the economy moves forward rapidly. But the paper money assumes a potential production; it produces, however, an actual consumption, so that it creates a consuming rather than a producing economy. It capitalizes instead of capitalizing. Its end is destruction.
In the process, it destroys rest [See the entire chapter cited below. -- sk]. It becomes impossible to relax and enjoy one's wealth, or to rejoice in accomplished goals, because a consuming, inflationary economy eats up capital accumulated from the past. Man is, economically and emotionally, on a hopeless treadmill. An inflationary economy, or, more broadly, a paper-money economy, is marked by emotional and mental instability among the people. It begins with a false religious premise, namely, that man as god can create something out of nothing. It ends with man making nothing out of something and turning himself into a mental, emotional, and moral shambles in the process. As Isaiah makes clear,

But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. (Isaiah 57:20-21)
-- R.J. Rushdoony, "Sabbath and Property," Law and Society, Volume II of the Institutes of Biblical Law, pp. 560-561

Alexander, Archibald (1772-1851), and John Willison (1680-1750), A Treatise Concerning the Sanctification of the Lord's Day, Wherein the Morality of the Sabbath, or the Perpetual Obligation of the Fourth Commandment, is Maintained Against Adversaries; and the Religious Observation of the Lord's Day, or First day of the Week as our Christian Sabbath, is Strongly Pressed by Scripture Arguments. Containing Also, Many Special Directions and Advices for the Better Performing the Most Necessary and Comprehensive Duty of Sabbath-Sanctification. To Which are Added (by way of Appendix), Meditations for the Sabbath Day, Taken From the Author's Manuscripts. Proper for Families.
"Archibald Alexander, American Presbyterian scholar, president of Princeton.
"John Willison, evangelical minister of the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), supported revivals and sympathetic to the Seceders."

Andrus, Silas, The Blue Laws (Connecticut), ISBN: 093988304X 9780939883042.
"The book includes, according to Andrus himself, 'The Code of 1650, being a compilation; the earliest laws and orders of the General Court of Connecticut and the Constitution, or Civil Compact, entered into and adopted by the towns of Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield in 1638-9, to which is added some extracts from the laws and judicial proceedings of New Haven Colony commonly called Blue Laws'." -- Publisher

Blue Laws (Connecticut)

*Boston, Thomas (1676-1732), Commentary on the Shorter Catechism, 1853, 2 volumes. A Christian classic. Available on the Puritan Hard Drive.
" 'Two large volumes of over 1300 pages! Boston's work is the most comprehensive reference set ever penned on The Westminster Shorter Catechism. Concerning The Shorter Catechism, A.F. Mitchell states' it is a thoroughly Calvinistic and Puritan catechism, the ripest fruit of the Assembly's thought and experience, maturing and finally fixing the definitions of theological terms to which Puritanism for half a century had been leading up and gradually coming closer and closer to in its legion of catechisms' (The Westminster Assembly). The Shorter Catechism is the 'king of the catechisms' for shear power of expression, combining logical cogency with succinctness. Boston's exposition is unrivalled; there is nothing else like it. Here you have the cream of Puritan catechisms married to the cream of clear Puritan exposition! This is likely Boston's most important work. A set that will meet numerous needs, ranging from use in family worship, Christian education and personal study, to sermon preparation -- and for help in settling debated questions on the Presbytery floor. A one-of-a-kind set of books that will serve your family for generations to come!" -- Publisher
"It is worth while to be a Shorter Catechism boy. They grow to be men. And better than that, the are exceedingly apt to grow to be men of God." -- B.B. Warfield
*Westminster Shorter Catechism
"The Shorter Catechism, With the Assembly's Proof Texts."
Free downloadable PDF file.
Westminster Shorter Catechism With Proof Texts
Westminster Shorter Catechism Project
"Click on any of the individual questions below to get the answer and Biblical references, as well as links to works by John Flavel, Thomas Watson, Thomas Boston, James Fisher, and John Whitecross, and others."

Byfield, Richard, The Doctrine of the Sabbath Vindicated, 1631.

Calvin on the Weekly Christian Sabbath

The Causes and Costs of Absenteeism in the Workplace

The Christian Sabbath or Lord's Day Homepage

Dennison, James, The Market-day of the Soul: The Puritan Doctrine of the Sabbath in England, 1532-1700, ISBN: 1573580627 9781573580625.
"Dennison originally wrote this book as a thesis at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary for the late Dr. John H. Gerstner, and it was published in 1983. We have retypeset it from its original edition. In this book, painstakingly researched from original sources, Dennison shows the differing views on the Sabbath between the Anglicans of the 16th and 17th centuries and the Puritans of that same time period. He concludes that the Puritan view of the Sabbath is the biblical one. (209 pages)" -- Publisher
"James T. Dennison, Jr. is Academic Dean of Northwest Theological Seminary in Washington, where he also serves as Professor of Church History and Biblical Theology. He has been the editor of Kerux: A Journal of Biblical-Theological Preaching since 1986. He has also edited various books including Francis Turretin's INSTITUTES OF ELENCTIC THEOLOGY, Geerhardus Vos' OLD TESTAMENT ESCHATOLOGY, and THE LETTERS OF GEERHARDUS VOS." -- Publisher

The Economic Efficiency of Sunday Trading Restrictions, Journal of Industrial Economics, 113-129, John A. Kay and C.N. Morris

Everlasting Rest: Sabbaths old and new -- The Lord's Day Covenant Till the Unending day of Glory

Gilfillan, James, The Sabbath Defended in the Light of Reason, Revelation, and History: With Sketches of its Literature, 1882. ISBN: 0972734708 9780972734707. Available on the Puritan Hard Drive.
"This is a massive and thorough book which covers so much ground that it is almost impossible to do justice to it in a short book summary. We will simply say that if you are interested in any aspect of the Sabbath question you will almost certainly find much help here.
"Major heads include: 'Sketches of Sabbatic Controversies and Literature;' 'Proofs, From Reason and Experience, of the Excellence and Divine Origin of the Sabbath;' 'Testimony of Revelation to a Sacred and Perpetual Sabbath;' 'Evidence From History for a Weekly Day of Rest and Worship;' 'The Sabbath Defended Against Opposing Arguments, Theories, and Schemes;' The Claims of the Sabbath Practically Enforced.' Includes a general index and an index of texts." -- Publisher

Global Statement of Ethics (Walmart)

*Hopkins, Rev. Mark, D.D., The Sabbath and Free Institutions. A Paper Read Before the National Sabbath Convention, Saratoga, Aug. 13, 1863. On Invitation of the New York Sabbath Committee.
"Hopkins argues three points, 1. That a religious observance of the Sabbath, or, as it may be called by way of distinction, the religious Sabbath, would secure the permanence of free institutions [civil governments], 2. That without the Sabbath religiously observed, the permanence of free institutions cannot be secured, and 3. That the civil, as based on the religious Sabbath, is an institution to which society has a natural right, precisely as it has to property." -- Wurth Books
"These propositions were demonstrated by a process of reasoning simple and irresistible, and, we may add, majestic. The third of these propositions, viz.: That society has a natural right to the civil Sabbath, is one of special interest and importance. It furnishes a firm foundation on which to rest rights and duty of the community to protect the Sabbath by civil legislation." -- Charles Hodge, D.D., of Princeton, reporting to The National Sabbath Convention, 1863, p. 19, "The Sabbath and Free Institutions." Charles Hodge and his son, A.A. Hodge, are considered to be two of the finest theologians produced by America.
"Mark Hopkins, educator, b. in Stockbridge, Mass., 4 Feb., 1802; d. in Williamstown, Mass., 17 June, 1887. He was a grandson of Col. Mark, of the Revolutionary army, a graduate of Yale, and the first lawyer in Berkshire county, who was a younger brother of Dr. Samuel, the theologian, and married to a half-sister of Ephraim Williams, the founder of Williams College. He was graduated at Williams in 1824, with the valedictory, was a tutor in that college in 1825-7, studied medicine at the same time, and was graduated at the Berkshire medical school in 1829. He began practice in New York city, but in 1830 was called to the chair of moral philosophy and rhetoric at Williams. He was licensed to preach in 1832. In 1836 he succeeded Dr. Edward D. Griffin as president of the college, which post he held until 1872, when he resigned, though retaining the chair of moral and intellectual philosophy, which was established for him in 1836, and that of Christian theology, which he assumed in 1858. The pastorate of the college church, on which he entered in 1836, he retained till 1883. He became president of the American board of commissioners for foreign missions in 1857. He received the degree of D.D. from Dartmouth in 1837, and Harvard in 1841, and that of LL.D. from the University of the state of New York in 1857, and from Harvard at its 259th anniversary in 1886.
"President Hopkins had a large influence for good, and was much beloved by his pupils, many of whom became eminent men, among them James A. Garfield. He was one of the most acute students of moral science that this country has produced since Jonathan Edwards. The last and fullest expression of his philosophical system is found the works entitled THE LAW OF LOVE AND LOVE AS THE LAW [CHRISTIAN ETHICS], ISBN: 9781429017824 1429017821, and AN OUTLINE STUDY OF MAN [AN OUTLINE STUDY OF MAN, or, THE BODY AND MIND IN ONE SYSTEM WITH ILLUSTRATIVE DIAGRAMS, AND A METHOD FOR BLACKBOARD TEACHING, New York: Scribner, 1887, c1886], both extensively used as textbooks, and the latter illustrating his methods in the classroom." -- Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, 1888.
The Sabbath and Free Institutions

Hours of Operation Restrictions and Competition Among Retail Firms,
Economic Inquiry, January 1983, 107-114, Steven A. Morrison and Robert J. Newman.

Laband, David N., and Deborah Henry Heinbuch (1987), Blue Laws: The History, Economics, and Politics of Sunday Closing Laws, ISBN: 0669124168 9780669124163.

Lee, Francis Nigel, The Covenantal Sabbath. Alternate title: THE SABBATH AND THE DIVINE COVENANT.
"Notes: Originally presented as the author's thesis, Stellenbosch, 1966, under title: The Sabbath and the divine covenant."

The Lord's Day Alliance of Pennsylvania

The Lord's Day Alliance of the United States

Love, Christopher (1618-1651), Scripture Rules to be Observed in Buying and Selling. By Mr. Christopher Love, Late Minister at Laurence Jury, London. Rules Concerning Buying Commodities. Rules Concerning Selling Commodities, 1653.

Murray, John (1898-1975), The Sabbath Institution.

*Packer, J.I., A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life, ISBN: 0891078193.
"Packer is a well-known author, lecturer, and theologian. He is currently Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.
"Packer writes of that golden age of Christian theology, when giants of the faith pursued holiness in life and practice like a hound follows a scent. Those Puritans of the 17th century (a little before and a little after), had as their aim to be fully conformed to the image of God, and to be seen at home and abroad as close imitators of Christ Jesus. . . .
"There are lessons for us in their passion for effective action. They had no time for lazy or passive persons. They were men of action in the pure Reformed mold -- crusading activists without a jot of self-reliance; workers for God who depended utterly on God to work in and through them. . . . There are lessons for us in their program for family stability. It is hardly too much to say that the Puritans created the Christian family in the English-speaking world. The Puritan ethic of marriage was to look not for a partner whom you do love passionately at this moment, but rather one whom you can love steadily as your best friend for life, and then to proceed with God's help to do just that. . . .
"In the introduction Packer gives his personal testimony as to how much he owes to the Puritans for his depth of knowledge, firmness of purpose, his dedication to fulfilling God's purposes in his life, and his love of the truth as revealed in the Scriptures. Because of his appreciation of this background of Puritan influence on his life, he has often written and lectured on the subject of the importance of the Puritans. Many of our freedoms and just laws can be traced to their influence on all our lives. This book contains the following themes: The Puritans in Profile; The Puritans and the Bible; The Puritans and the Gospel; the Puritans and the Holy Spirit; The Puritan Christian Life; The Puritans in Ministry. . . .
"This reviewer would love to persuade every single reader of these words to read this book. You would get a view of Christians which would inspire you, which would perhaps lead you, which would perhaps lead you to repentance, but also to heights of spirituality you would not enjoy without them. What Packer has said about their influence on his life can be repeated almost word for word in a resume of this reviewer's life. If you want to grow in grace, and in usefulness to God's cause, read the writing of the Puritans.
"We will repeat what we said in reviewing John Owen's THE DEATH OF DEATH IN THE DEATH OF CHRIST, that Packer's well balanced definition of Calvinism in the introduction to that volume is by far the best we have seen in 42 years of intensive reading. And that superb piece appears in this volume in full, which alone is worth the price of this book.
"The book jacket has these words: 'Dr. Packer masterfully uncovers the hidden treasures of Puritan life and thought. With crystalline clarity he reveals the depth and breadth of Puritan spiritual life, contrasting it with the superficiality and deadness of modern Western Christianity. Drawing on a lifetime of study Dr. Packer takes the reader on a survey of the lives and teachings of great leaders such as John Owen, Richard Baxter, and Jonathan Edwards. He offers a close look at such subjects as the Puritan view of the Bible, spiritual gifts, the Sabbath, worship, social action, and the family. He concludes that a main difference between the Puritans and ourselves is spiritual maturity -- the Puritans had it; we do not. In a time of failing vision and decaying values, this powerful portrait of Puritans is a beacon of hope that calls us to radical commitment and action when both are desperately needed'." -- Jay P. Green, Sr.
"Contrary to popular opinion, the Puritans were no dour lot of killjoys. In fact, Packer says, there's a lot we can learn from them about truly authentic and joyous spirituality. In this book Packer explores the Puritans' own writings on the Bible, the Gospel, the Holy Spirit, Christian life, and ministry. For each topic he beautifully demonstrates how the Puritans can help us press on toward godliness. If you're intrigued by the Puritans but don't know where to start reading them, this book will be a valuable guide!" -- CBD
"In a resounding call to deepen our Christian life, Packer reveals the strength of the Puritan system of spiritual maturity." -- Publisher
J.I. Packer's Introduction to The Death of Death in the Death of Christ by John Owen
The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, by John Owen
Owen, John, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ: Redemption and Reconciliation That is in the Blood of Christ (Limited Atonement), 1 of 33, [audio file]
An audio file reading by Still Waters Revival Books from THE WORKS OF JOHN OWEN. Currently (October 2018), there are 77 readings of John Owen by SWRB and Reformed Baptist of Holland (Michigan), (Thomas Sullivan), at SermonAudio.com available for listening online, downloading as MP3 files, [audio file], and listening on iPhone, mobile phones, and MPE players.

Parliament, An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons Assembled in Parliament for the Better Observation of the Lord's Day

Reform, State Sovereignty, and Corporate Immunity: Reform of Corporations

*Ridgeley, Thomas, and John Wilson (editor), Commentary on the Larger Catechism, 1731, ISBN: 0921148305 9780921148302. Available on the Puritan Hard Drive.
"Originally entitled: A BODY OF DIVINITY: WHEREIN THE DOCTRINES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION ARE EXPLAINED AND DEFENDED. BEING THE SUBSTANCE OF SEVERAL LECTURES ON THE ASSEMBLY'S LARGER CATECHISM, we have re-titled it to better reflect its contents for contemporary readers. Consisting of over 1300 pages, this massive and extensive two-volume commentary on the WESTMINSTER LARGER CATECHISM is unrivaled in scope or extensiveness. Ridgeley himself notes, in 'The Author's Preface' (p. ix), 'The work is large, but the vast variety of subjects will render it more tolerable. . . . especially since it is rather designed to be read in families than committed to memory . . .' The editor of this edition, John Wilson, pronounces Ridgeley's work as 'the best book of its class,' stating, 'no book in the English language, or, so far as I know, in any other, will serve so efficiently the purposes of a daily companion to a reflecting Christian in his inquiries into Divine truth, or a guide to a candidate for the Christian ministry in introducing him to his theological studies (p. xi). 'In 1731 appeared the first edition of Mr. Ridgeley's great work -- that in connection with which chiefly his name lives in history, and whose influence, as an instrument of good, will probably render him celebrated and useful for generations to come . . .(p. xxii).' Moreover he continues, 'a taste, however, for the racy and substantial theological writings of the days of Britain's moral giants has of late revived; and it will scarcely fail to adopt, as one of the richest dishes of its multifarious banquet for the intellect and the soul, Dr. Ridgeley's Body of Divinity (p. xxi).'
"Additionally, Wilson concludes his 'Life of the Author' with these words, 'His method of reasoning he has adapted to the capacities of those who are unacquainted with the abstruse terms made use of by metaphysicians and schoolmen, and when introduced into subjects of theology, have a tendency rather to perplex than to improve the mind. His scheme of divinity is evidently Calvinistic; but; then, he has explained his subjects with so much moderation and latitude, as to obviate many of the objections raised against the system of doctrines that passes under that name. Upon the whole, it is probable that the English language does not furnish a work of this nature that, for perspicuity of language, extent of research, accuracy of judgment, and judicious description of the numerous subjects that fall under examination, any way equals this work of Dr. Ridgeley . . . he was accounted one of the most considerable divines of his age' (emphasis added, p. xxiii)." -- Publisher
Ridgley, Thomas (1667?-1734), and John M. Wilson, A Body of Divinity: Wherein the Doctrines of the Christian Religion are Explained and Defended: Being the Substance of Several Lectures on the Assembly's Larger Catechism (1855), vol. 1 of 2.
Ridgley, A Body of Divinity: Wherein the Doctrines of the Christian Religion are Explained and Defended, vol. 2 of 2.
Westminster Larger Catechism With Proof Texts

*Rushdoony, Rousas J. (1916-2001), Institutes of Biblical Law, 3 volumes, ISBN: 1879998130. Available through Exodus Books.

Volume 1: Institutes of Biblical Law, ISBN: 0875524109.
"A monumental volume . . . Deeply explores the meaning and application of the Ten Commandments for today in civil government, social ethics, and personal conduct." -- GCB
"Many consider this to be the author's most important work. With indices. -- Publisher
Volume 2: Law and Society, ISBN: 1879998238.
"The relationship of Biblical Law to communion and community, the sociology of the Sabbath, the family and inheritance, and much more are covered in the second volume. Contains an appendix by Herbert Titus. With indices." -- Publisher
Volume 3: The Intent of the Law, ISBN: 1879998130.
" 'God's law is much more than a legal code; it is a covenantal law. It establishes a personal relationship between God and man.' The first section summarizes the case laws. The author tenderly illustrates how the law is for our good, and makes clear the difference between the sacrificial laws and those that apply today. The second section vividly shows the practical implications of the law. The examples catch the reader's attention; the author clearly has had much experience discussing God's law. The third section shows that would-be challengers to God's law produce only poison and death. Only God's law can claim to express God's 'covenant grace in helping us'. With indices." -- Publisher
See also: Theft: Commentary and Cases of Conscience. A Listing Excerpted From The Institutes of Biblical Law by Rousas John Rushdoony, 1973 edition

The Sabbath

Sabbath Keeping Ordinance by the Mayor to the Aldermen of the Several Wards in London

"The author, who was founder of Harvard University and a Puritan minister at Cambridge in the early 1600s, has written four theses on the morality of the Sabbath, the change of the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first, the beginning of the Sabbath, and how the Sabbath is to be sanctified by God's people. This book should silence the cavils of those misguided souls who deny that the Fourth Commandment finds its New Testament fulfillment in the celebration of the Lord's Day." -- Publisher

*Shils, Edward B., The Shils Report. Measuring the Economic and Sociological Impact of the Mega-Retail Discount Chains on Small Enterprise in Urban, Suburban and Rural Communities, Study Director, Edward B. Shils, Ph.D., J.D., LL.M., George W. Taylor Emeritus Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies, Director Emeritus, Wharton Entrepreneurial Center, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, February 7, 1997.
Includes bibliography.


Stress and Fatigue: Their Impact on Health and Safety in the Workplace

Sunday Shopping

The Sunday Trading Battle in England and Wales, Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, No. 4, Terry Burke and J.R. Shackleton

Sunday Trading, Consumer Culture, and Shopping -- Will Europe Sacrifice Sunday to Recreational Shopping? Kajalo, Sami.

*Trewhella, Matthew J., The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates: A Proper Resistance to Tyranny and a Repudiation of Unlimited Obedience to Civil Government, ISBN: 1482327686 9781482327687.
"America has entered troubling times. The rule of law is crumbling. The massive expansion of Federal government power with its destructive laws and policies is of grave concern to many. But what can be done to quell the abuse of power by civil authority? Are unjust or immoral actions by the government simply to be accepted and their lawless commands obeyed? How do we know when the government has acted tyrannically? Which actions constitute proper and legitimate resistance? This book places in your hands a hopeful blueprint for freedom. Appealing to history and the Word of God, Pastor Matthew Trewhella answers these questions and shows how Americans can successfully resist the Federal government's attempts to trample our Constitution, assault our liberty, and impugn the law of God. The doctrine of the lesser magistrates declares that when the superior or higher civil authority makes an unjust/immoral law or decree, the lesser or lower ranking civil authority has both the right and duty to refuse obedience to that superior authority. If necessary, the lower authority may even actively resist the superior authority. Historically, this doctrine was practiced before the time of Christ and Christianity. It was Christian men, however, who formalized and embedded it into their political institutions throughout Western Civilization. The doctrine of the lesser magistrates is a historic tool that provides proven guidelines for proper and legitimate resistance to tyranny, often without causing any major upheaval in society. The doctrine teaches us how to rein in lawless acts by government and restore justice in our nation. "Use this sword against my enemies, if I give righteous commands; but if I give unrighteous commands, use it against me." -- Roman Emperor Trajan, speaking to one of his subordinates. This is the first book published solely addressing the doctrine of the lesser magistrates in over 400 years. Matthew Trewhella is the pastor of Mercy Seat Christian Church. He is a graduate of Valley Forge Christian College. He and his wife, Clara, have eleven children and nine grandchildren, and reside in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. His research and teaching on the lesser magistrate doctrine is reshaping the thinking of Americans. He was instrumental in publishing THE MAGDEBURG CONFESSION in 2012 - the first English translation of the document since it was written in 1550." -- Publisher
"Wow! Please get this book and read it. And then read it again! And then send it to your lesser magistrates (specifically your local sheriffs, county judges, and State governors).
"Romans 13:1-7 has caused a great deal of confusion to modern Christian evangelicals. On the whole it tends to get interpreted as "we must obey the government [with an implied unlimited obedience]." Of course that doesn't feel right, and we know of the passage that says "we must obey God rather than men." But how do we reconcile these?
"The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates helps us figure that out. Government has been instituted by God as His instrument to do His work. But when government ceases to do God's work in carrying out just laws, there needs to be a way to hold back the tyranny. Will revolt and riot work, or is that what Christians are called to do? No.
"Enter the lesser magistrate -- also known as the government office holder who is inferior to the one giving the orders but has a legitimate role in government nonetheless. He has the ability and the duty to resist carrying out unjust laws or orders. And he has the ability and duty to interpose on behalf of the citizens against whom the tyrannical governing authority is trying to carry out his power.
"Trewhella shows historical examples of how the application of this doctrine has worked and provides compelling Biblical exegesis of how this doctrine is clearly taught in Scripture.
"I highly recommend reading this book! It's short enough to be read in one sitting, but powerful enough to transform your understanding of how to properly resist tyranny -- in God's power and by God's prescription." -- Reader's Comment
Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate
Defy Tyrants

Trunbull, J. Hammond, and Samuel Peters, True Blue Laws of Connecticut and New Haven and the False Blue Laws, Invented by the Rev. Samuel Peters: To Which are Added Specimens of the laws and Judicial Proceedings of Other Colonies and Some Blue-laws of England in the Reign of James I. ISBN: 0837726328 9780837726328.

Ursinus, Zacharias (1534-1583), and John Stockwood (d. 1610), A Verie Profitable and Necessarie Discourse Concerning the Obseruation and Keeping of the Sabboth day, Seruing as well to confute the superstition of the Iewes, which obstinately vrge the strict keeping of the seuenth day, as also to ouerthrowe the vaine and godlesse reasons of others, that stiffely at this day maintaine, that Christians ought to keepe no set or appoynted time to worship and serue the Lord in, in his church and faithfull congregation. Written in Latine by Zacharias Vrsinus, sometimes reader of the diuinitie lecture in the Vniuersitie of Heidelberg in Germanie, and very nevvly turned into English, by Iohn Stockvvood schoolemaster of Tunbridge.

Warfield, B.B. (1851-1921), Foundations of the Sabbath, 16 pages.

*Westminster Assembly (1643-1652), The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646), [completed and first printed in 1646, approved by the Assembly, August 27, 1647, Session 23 -- sk] (Glasgow, Scotland: Free Presbyterian Publication [133 Woodlands Road, Glasgow G3 6LE], 1994), ISBN: 0902506080 (case-bound), and ISBN: 0902506358 (paperback). Among the ten greatest works in the English language. Available (THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH (1646) with all its subordinate documents in searchable format) on the Puritan Hard Drive. Also available (THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH (1646) with all its subordinate documents in searchable format) on Reformation Bookshelf CD #1.
Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) With Scripture Proofs
The Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, With the Scripture Proofs at Large: Together With The sum of Saving Knowledge (contained in the Holy Scriptures, and held forth in the said Confession and Catechisms), and Practical use Thereof, Covenants National and Solemn League, Acknowledgment of Sins and Engagement to Duties, Directories, Form of Church-government, &c. of Public Authority in the Church of Scotland, With Acts of Assembly and Parliament, Relative to, and Approbative of the Same (1757) [the original version of 1646, prior to the changes of the "American Version" of 1789 -- sk]
" 'The product of Puritan conflict,' stated Shedd, reaching 'a perfection of statement never elsewhere achieved.' All that learning the most profound and extensive, intellect the most acute and searching, and piety the most sincere and earnest, could accomplish, was thus concentrated in the Westminster Assembly's Confession of Faith, which may be safely termed the most perfect statement of Systematic Theology ever framed by the Christian Church,' writes Hetherington. (The History of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, p. 345).
"Concerning The Shorter Catechism, which is one of the items also included in this book, Mitchell notes: 'it is a thoroughly Calvinistic and Puritan catechism, the ripest fruit of the Assembly's thought and experience, maturing and finally fixing the definitions of theological terms to which Puritanism for half a century had been leading up and gradually coming closer and closer to in its legion of catechisms.' (Westminster Assembly: Its History and Standards, p. 431).
"THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH (1646) is the greatest of all the creeds of the Christian church. The church of Christ cannot be creedless and live. Especially in an age of doubt and confusion, it is her duty to define and proclaim the one true faith. Nowhere has the Reformed church done this so effectively as in the WESTMINSTER CONFESSION, and family of documents. This book represents Reformed thinking at its purest and best. It was intended, as part of the Covenanted Reformation taking place during its compilation, to be adopted as the binding confessional standard for every individual, family, court, church, and legislature in the British Isles." -- Publisher
This is considered to be the definitive publication of the Westminster family of documents. It includes the following:

  1. "To the Christian Reader, Especially Heads of Families"
  2. "Mr. Thomas Manton's Epistle to the Reader"
  3. THE CONFESSION OF FAITH (1646), the full and original edition with Scripture proofs written out
  4. THE LARGER CATECHISM with Scripture proofs written out
  5. The SHORTER CATECHISM with Scripture proofs written out
  7. "The National Covenant"
  8. "The Solemn League and Covenant"
  9. "A Solemn Acknowledgement of Publick Sins and Breaches of the Covenant; and a Solemn Engagement to all the Duties Contained Therein"
  12. "The Directory for Family-Worship, Approved by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, for Piety and Uniformity in Secret and Private Worship, and Mutual Edification"
THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH (1646) is said to be the finest summary of THE HOLY BIBLE available. It is recommended for daily devotions. See the following resources:
  2. "The Complete Scripture Index to the Westminster Confession (1646), Larger and Shorter Catechisms." Alternate title: SCRIPTURE INDEX TO THE WESTMINSTER STANDARDS. Available on Library of Presbyterian Heritage Publications [and] Protestant Heritage Press CD. Also available on the Puritan Hard Drive.
    Includes a unique, 100-page topical index to both the CONFESSION and the LARGER CATECHISM.
    Arguably the greatest tract ever created, all factors considered.
    Free downloadable PDF file.
  6. Westminster Shorter Catechism Project
    "Click on any of the individual questions below to get the answer and Biblical references, as well as links to works by John Flavel, Thomas Watson, Thomas Boston, James Fisher, and John Whitecross, and others."
  7. Commentaries on the Westminster Standards Including the Westminster Confession of Faith, The Larger Catechism, and The Shorter Catechism
  8. The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646), (The Westminster Standards), and Related Works: A Study Guide
  9. The Scottish Covenanted Reformation continued the work of The Westminster Assembly. David Steel (1803-1887), is considered to be one of the most faithful Covenanter ministers in America. Notice that the citation following is an authorized, complete edition of their final TESTIMONY.
    This is a new edition of the Ploughlandhead Testimony of 1761. It was the subordinate standard of the original "Steelite" Reformed Presbytery that was constitutes in 1840.
  10. Church and State
    Works listed here discuss the decline of the influence of Calvinism and the Covenanted Reformation in Great Britain and the United States. The various alterations to the Westminster Standards are also discussed.
  11. Heresies Defined and the Necessity of Heresies Explained, by George Gillespie, Scottish Commissioner to the Assembly of Divines at Westminster

Willson, James Renwick (1780-1853), The Sabbath: A Discourse on the Duty of Civil Government in Relation to the Sanctification of the Lord's Day 1829. Available on the Puritan Hard Drive. Available on Reformation Bookshelf CD #21, #25.

Young, Thomas (1587-1655), and Richard Baxter (1615-1691), The Lords-day, or, A Succinct Narration Compiled out of the Testimonies of H. Scripture and the reverend ancient fathers and divided into two books: In the former whereof is declared, that the observation of the Lords Day was from the Apostles . . . : In the later is shewn in what things its sanctification doth consist . . . / lately translated out of the Latin, 1672.

A Note to Wal-Mart Associates:
The Code of Virginia on Days of Rest, Sunday, and Saturday Work*

Perhaps Associates frustrated over Sunday work schedules (Saturday, if that is your Sabbath) may not know that The Code of Virginia provides protection for their Sabbath. It further protects them from employer retaliation for requesting Sunday or Saturday as a day of rest.

Most state laws are available online, so they can be easily searched for Sunday laws.

If there are states without laws similar to The Code of Virginia, then elected officials could be urged to enact such laws using Virginia codes as a model.

Perhaps new Associates do not know they may request a "Change of Availability Form" from their Wal-Mart Department Head and change their available work hours at any time. Since schedule are done three weeks in advance, if action is prompt, then the change will take place shortly after the next schedule is written. However, you must be persistent in follow-up on the request because Wal-Mart has been known to throw out the requests when managers change, lose the forms, ignore the request, and so forth, delaying the change for months and months or until the Associate quits. So you must follow-up daily, using the open door policy to talk to higher management if action is delayed.

The Code of Virginia: Employers to allow employees at least one day of rest in each week

The Code of Virginia: Employees entitled to choose Sunday as day of rest

The Code of Virginia: Employees entitled to choose Saturday as day of rest

The Code of Virginia: Penalties for violation of Sections 40.1-28.1 through 40.1-28.3: Investigations

*The above codes were in effect in 2000 when this resolution was first written. However, THEY WERE REPEALED IN 2005.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia that 40.1-28.1 through 40.1-28.4:1 of the Code of Virginia are repealed.

Also, some local ordinances may prohibit various activities on Sundays, such as, increased traffic, and noise. Possibly some of these ordinances could be used by local governments to charge Wal-Mart with misdemeanors for Sunday operations.

Associates have access to The Wal-Mart Statement of Ethics on the Wal-Mart Intranet, which is not accessible to the public. The intranet address of the latest revision of the Statement of Ethics is http://pipeline.wal-mart.com/policy/peoplediv/pd-10.htm, or search for "Statement of Ethics."
Notice that "All Associates of Wal-Mart must always comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, ordinances and regulations and with this policy."

E-mail: lettermen2@aol.com

Updated -- April 21, 2019, [originally posted online April 3, 2004]