Stuff Christian Culture Likes

Stuff Christian Culture Likes

#118 Not observing Sabbath

posted by Stephanie Drury

ozzy.jpgChristian culture is a stickler for the ten commandments with the patent exception of observing Sabbath.

American evangelicals tend to overlook this one. The closest they often come to formal observance is letting church out in time for kickoff. (This is actually church policy during football season in parts of the south.)

Sabbath means cease in Hebrew and its desecration used to carry a penalty of death. This seems like a harsh punishment for failing to cease, but if stress is a factor in fatal diseases then maybe the death penalty for ignoring Sabbath still exists. Who knows.

Comments read comments(24)
post a comment

posted January 11, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Very true. And let’s not forget the church members that look down on fellow members that work on Sunday, but have no problem going out to their favorite restaurant after church and let the cooks and waiter work for them.

report abuse


posted January 11, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I think you’ve made the typical Christian mistake of confusing the Biblical Sabbath (which lasts from sunset of Friday night until sunset Saturday evening) with the Christian ‘Lord’s Day’ on Sunday which honors the day of Jesus’ resurrection. Early Christians recognized these 2 as completely different things. The Biblical Sabbath and its laws regarding work, along with other practices like circumcision and the kosher laws of the Hebrew Bible were seen as not applicable to Christians. It wasn’t until much later, when Christians had become far removed from the Jewish roots of their religion, that many Christians began to mistake the Biblical Sabbath with what they were doing on Sundays and believing that the Biblical laws against work applied to that day.

report abuse


posted January 11, 2010 at 4:17 pm

I knew of a church that, for the sake of convenience and to save drive time, scheduled most its committee meetings and church business on Sunday afternoons, after worship. This guaranteed that there were no free hours on Sunday for rest or family time, and that we felt good and worn out from all God’s work.

report abuse


posted January 11, 2010 at 4:20 pm

I have always wondered about that apparent contradiction in the Bible. In Numbers 15 God Himself orders the death of a Sabbath breaker. It’s the only instance of God intervening and ordering the death of someone for breaking Mosaic law.
“32 While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. 33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, 34 and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. 35 Then the LORD said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.” 36 So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses.”
But then Christ and the disciples come along and gather grain on the Sabbath. When confronted by the Pharisees, who no doubt had this passage in mind, Christ says that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
So why didn’t God get the memo in Numbers? If it was made for us, how is it justifiable for God to order the death of man who needed firewood (which in a desert climate could make the difference between life and death.)?
Maybe this belongs on the inerrancy post.
It’s also interesting that people mention the death penalty for homosexuality in Leviticus (with some asserting that it should be re instituted) but they never mention the death penalty for going grocery shopping or doing the laundry on the Sabbath.

report abuse


posted January 11, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I know this is because you have to, most likely, as a requirement of being hosted, but your blog entries are a lot lamer now with the cheesy “message” endings.

report abuse

stephanie drury

posted January 11, 2010 at 5:38 pm

I jumped the shark! Danielle, you might be happier reading

report abuse


posted January 11, 2010 at 5:44 pm

silly fella you know very well that the bible isnt real. :-)

report abuse

Rocky Presley

posted January 11, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Is “lamer” a word? I did find a great definition in the Urban Dictionary, so I guess it is. This website is the authority when it comes to dumb words people use. Sorry, couldn’t resist myself.
“LAMER (as a noun)
1. Someone who cluelessly (or in some cases pridefully) does things to piss off an established community, usually on the internet.
2. Someone with little to no netiquet.
3. A complete ****ing idiot who refuses to get the picture they aren’t wanted somewhere. Again usually on the internet.
-Random Metal Message Board or Chatroom-
Poster-A: This is the metal board. Linkin Park isn’t metal, they are pop-rock.
Person-A: Will a mod please ban this LAMER?”
Yes, LAMER is a noun. More lame would work well in this context.

report abuse


posted January 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Since we’re on the subject, evangelical America has gotten a bit slack on the Old Testament dietary rules and laws about wearing mixed types of fibers. And honestly, how many good Christians can really quote the Law of Leprosy anymore? If we could only link these things to hatred of gays, they’d be all over it again.

report abuse


posted January 11, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Just to clarify, for those who wish to take the word “Sabbath” to mean honoring the letter of the law instead of the Spirit of the law- (Jesus said, The Sabbath was made for humankind, not humankind for the Sabbath.” Mk. 2:27) Sabbath means rest, community, renewal, celebration, reflection, creativity, gratitude… It is time set aside for being, rather than doing. Most of us are not so good at that.
“Sabbath time can be a revolutionary challenge to the violence of overwork, mindless accumulation, and the endless multiplication of desires, responsibilities, and accomplishments. Sabbath is a way of being in time where we remember who we are, remember what we know, and taste the gifts of spirit and eternity.” – Wayne Muller, Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, & Delight in our Busy Lives
(And I can’t resist one more…)
“Imagine for a moment that someone who cares about you has sent you a gift certificate for a day that is to be devoted entirely to the needs of your soul. On that day you don’t have to work. You can take a walk and have a relaxing conversation with friends or loved ones about the things that really matter. You can meditate, pray, and read the books that speak to your soul. You can nap and let your mind take a rest, or dance and sing and let your spirit soar.
For one day, you can stop trying to prove yourself to the world. You can look at your life as a blessing and feel at peace with where you are right now. Instead of feeling fragmented and pressured, you can spend the day in a generous, positive, and contemplative mood.
Does this sound too good to be true? You may be surprised to discover that this gift certificate…is actually the fourth commandment.” – Leonard Felder, The Ten Challenges

report abuse


posted January 11, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Yep. We (read: Christian culture/churchianity) don’t take Saturday (the “proper” Sabbath, not Sunday) at all!

report abuse


posted January 12, 2010 at 9:50 am

Excellent closing paragraph. Stress is such a killer of the saints. Too many people become addicted to approval methods and hunger and thirst for more and more of it. Even though I strongly believe in the gathering of His body – I’ve learned over the last 15 years that there is much more of an expression in worship toward Jesus when our families and friends actually love being with each other. And that occurs in the “small” things that truly are the pearls of our faith.
peace to you friend!

report abuse


posted January 12, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Stephanie, I think your strength has always been your insightful closes. No matter how much you make fun of a tenant of Christian culture, you also manage to do something though-provoking with it.
I used to get crap for working after church (clearly, my priorities weren’t in line!) but people never had a problem coming to my coffee shop and ordering for me after church. Sunday is a big money day (precisely because of the church folk) and I needed to eat! I think God approved of me feeding myself.

report abuse


posted January 12, 2010 at 5:00 pm

GAH. THOUGHT-provoking. The grammar nazi in me is hitting myself.

report abuse

David H.

posted January 15, 2010 at 9:03 am

Kara wrote, “It is time set aside for being, rather than doing. Most of us are not so good at that.”
Indeed. And I understand that this is one of our hostess’ pet peeves about “Christian Culture,” and rightly so: That it’s so focused on doing stuff (busy work) rather than on being in relationship.

report abuse


posted January 17, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I’m not sure if inerrancy is one of your goals (should i expect perfection?) but I have never heard of “cease” as a root word for Sabbath. I have heard “seven”, Sheva in Hebrew, it’s the seventh day.
Other’s have pretty much correctly pointed most of the other “missing facts”… at least as well as i would be able.

report abuse


posted January 17, 2010 at 4:47 pm

i wonder if ozzy considered biting a bats head off to violate jewish dietary laws??? Another thought-provoking post about how we tend to pick and choose what to do and not do or allow and not allow Stephy

report abuse


posted January 18, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Ummm, the sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Even Jesus gathered food on the Sabbath. Come on Steph, you can do better than this.

report abuse

stephanie drury

posted January 19, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Billy, your flawless (ahem) theology must surely be a result of your attending Elevation Church! I can smell it a mile away. Sadly, this IS the best I can do. It’s a sad state of affairs around here.

report abuse


posted January 20, 2010 at 8:35 am

steph it’s also in the south that it’s required to not have services during the super bowl or at least a get-together at the church and a “lesson” at halftime. either way i guess it was written in the book of tebow or something like that?

report abuse


posted January 20, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Haha, awesome! You remembered! Someone told me your brother goes to Elevation as well, I didn’t believe it…but does he? Anyways, I do consider my theology to be pretty accurate, but I’m always open to discussion. However, I don’t really hold to the Pre-trib, pre-mill end time theology. I think that there is more facts to back up the tribulation being during Nero. However, I keep those thoughts to myself here in the south, I would probably be kicked out of church for that one. Don’t get me wrong, I like your blog, but sometimes I think you should just skip a few days to get something smoking hot to post. The Sabbath discussion is an old one, but I guess for some it’s new thinking so maybe I should just keep quiet since this may be an eye opener for some. Thanks for remembering me!

report abuse

stephanie drury

posted January 20, 2010 at 2:42 pm

My brother lives in Kansas so I don’t think he goes to Elevation. He loves football but doesn’t subscribe to the book of Tebow, or any Christian thought, which is how it usually goes for us preacher’s kids.

report abuse


posted February 1, 2010 at 7:47 pm

It’s all thanks to the Puritans. Heck, watching football Sunday afternoons is probably the only way they’d be able to get people to stay out of the office…

report abuse

Zion Mystic

posted February 12, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Nice picture!
On a more serious note, observing the Sabbath is something i’m still wrestling with, especially because when i am employed (which i’m not right now, doggone economy!) my employer often really wants someone to be available to work on weekends. My opinion is that it’s good to taken some rest and spend time with God, even if it’s not on Sunday. Still, it’d be nice to have a “palace in time” like the Shabbat in traditional Judaism.

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

auf Wiedersehen
My contract with Beliefnet is up and I'll be back on my own ad-free domain again. Beliefnet has been really lovely to me and I appreciate their letting me write whatever I want without trying to censor anything. I will be back on my blogger domain sometime this week, after I figure out how to export

posted 7:56:21pm Feb. 21, 2011 | read full post »

#210 Mandatory chapel at Bible college
Most Christian colleges require students to attend chapel services. Chapel is not an option, it's part of the curriculum. If you don't fulfill your chapel quota, you don't graduate. Though Christianity purports to operate under the auspices of grace and generally claims that church attendance isn't

posted 7:06:31pm Feb. 11, 2011 | read full post »

#209 Perceiving persecution
Christian culture is vigilant about persecution. Jesus said being persecuted goes with the territory of following him, and some of those followers are really on the lookout. Christian culture sees persecution in all sorts of things and they often say they're under attack. The institution of marriage

posted 6:16:31pm Feb. 03, 2011 | read full post »

#208 Missionary dating
When someone in Christian culture meets a delicious non-Christian they will usually assume a missionary position with them. Missionary dating is when you date a non-Christian for the express purpose of proselytizing so as to instigate their conversion. Youth group leaders heartily disapprove of mis

posted 6:16:57pm Jan. 27, 2011 | read full post »

#207 Marrying young
Christian culture gets married young. The reason isn't entirely clear, but the general consensus is that it drastically lowers the risk of fornication. You just can't fornicate if you're married, and that takes care of that. Fornication is Christian culture's natural enemy. Bible colleges (aka

posted 6:33:07pm Jan. 19, 2011 | read full post »

Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.