Well actually, the Sabbath is Saturday.

It’s hard to believe that the World Cup is almost over. Soon we’ll have to say goodbye to loads of games, exciting international play, and … the friend who tells you to call it “football” not “soccer.” I love this friend, but only if they call the NFL, “American football.” And they better call the field “the pitch” and be able to name a player other than Ronaldo. If you’re going to chastise me for saying the word “soccer” which is Greek for “seriously, why are we arguing about this over a veggie plate at a World Cup party,” you need to fully commit. (Yes I know that FIFA has the word Football in it and if it was soccer it would be called “FISA” which kind of sounds like VISA’s crazy cousin who makes questionable tattoo decisions and lives by the beach.)

I have friends who do the same exact thing when it comes to the Sabbath. They couldn’t tell you a single thing about the Bible or Jesus or God or anything remotely spiritual. But if you ever say, “This Sunday, I’m going to really focus on living according to the Sabbath” they will instantly blurt out, “Well actually, the Sabbath is a Saturday.”

It’s one of those Christian technicalities we love to be right about. Like arguing about tithing gross or net or the most accurate version of the Bible or whether the wine Jesus made from water was actually wine or just special, completely different, New Testament style, grape juice not Cab.

And if you’re one of the readers that posted a comment or emailed me about which day the Sabbath is, we’re still friends. I love that you’re even reading and taking the time to connect. I hope someday we get to watch some futbol together.

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  1. Jon says

    I like to one-up that pedantry with “actually it starts at sunset on Friday,” but then I don’t know if that’s sunset local time, desert-wilderness time, or Jerusalem time.

  2. Seiji says

    My futbol team is Tottenham Hotspur. My American Footbal team is the Philidelphia eagles (pity me, my wife is a philly fan). The field is only called the pitch when you’re watching futbol otherwise it’s the field. Bale, Messi, Dempsey, Hernandez (the one from Spain), Iniesta, Rooney, Sturridge and Lewandowski. ( I could go on but what’s the point really?)

    But interestingly enough Soccer is actually the older term for the game being derived from “Association Football” to distinguish it from “Rugby football.” So feel free to tell me and all the other snobs that you have it right with the older word. :-)

    • The_Other_Tom says

      I was asked by a fellow Futbal watcher how there could be an “offsides” call when there was obviously no line of scrimmage.

      I told him that they just made up the rules as they went along and that the soccer players needed a break every now and then.

      • Steven says

        then you get to educate them that there is no “offsides,” but there is an “offside” rule. :-)

  3. Boom says

    I’m guessing these friends also like to point how how Jesus wasn’t born in December or how much paganism there is in Christmas every year??

    • says

      That only applies to the number of days per month – a week still has seven days based on the Biblical creation regardless of lunar months or solar years. So it’s still Friday evening to Saturday evening. ;)

      And you can get your official Shabbat start time info at Chabbad.org . . . . if you really want to get down with your Jew-self and be observant.

  4. says

    You must maintain good relationships with your boss, the fans, and your pit crew.
    Some graphics can be dazzling and end up being more frustrating than anything else.

    The three game modes available in Raging thunder are: Arcade,
    Time attacks and Championship.

  5. says

    Just keep a pack of gold stars on you at all times. When one of these friends pulls out a useless technicality say in the most enthusiastic voice ever, “Wow! That is an amazing fact! Gold star!” then pin it to their shirt. They will hate you for a bit, but at least they’ll think twice before correcting people.

    • spacegal2003 says

      I always debate whether or not to correct someone. Obviously with something like football/soccer, it’s different, because people can go with both names, and debate which one you should use. But what do you do when someone discusses the book of Revelations? Do you let them persist in their ignorance, or correct them so they’ll get it right the next time?

  6. Jessica from WI says

    And they’re not “shoes,” they’re “boots.” Example: The football players on the pitch are wearing two different colors/colours of boots, and I find it distracting.

    Really though, what do Christians like more than rebuking, especially over the pettier things. If you want to go full-tilt with the fancy wording, high church is the way to go. Then you can argue with your verger about how sad it was that England didn’t make it out of the round of 16, but at least Rooney got a goal.

    • The_Other_Tom says

      I thought “boots” were where English people kept stuff in their cars.

      ex: “I placed my crisps, biscuits and the rest of my kit in the boot.”

  7. Andrew says

    Actually, “sabbath” is just from the Hebrew word “shabat,” and translates into English as “cessation” or “time of rest.” It doesn’t technically mean a specific day of the week at all.

  8. says

    Historically, the Jews have kept an unbroken line of keeping God’s seventh day holy. Now, before you start claiming that the Sabbath was given only to the Jewish people, understand that the Sabbath was instituted before there was such a thing as a Jew, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Gen 2:1-2. God also did three things to this day that were not done to Sunday, or the so-called Lord’s day, by blessing it, sanctifying it, and making it holy.
    The death of Jesus have given us no change other to this day of worship, as there is no evidence at all that the day changed upon Jesus’ death. Many claim that when Jesus died, that he did away with the law, or that we are no longer under the law, however, what was Biblically done away with was not the the Ten Commandments, but the ceremonial laws, once the sacrificial service had ended because Jesus was the lamb slain for our sins. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” How would it be possible to keep his commandments, if he did away with them?
    In the end, when Jesus returns to take his faithful one to heaven, one of the chief benchmarks to which we will be judged on is the day to which we keep holy. There is only one true day, while the other was set up by the opposition to Jesus, who said in Isa 14:13-14, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God… I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.” God gave us the Ten Commandments, and Jesus gave us told us many more things in the Bible we are do as well. Thus the bottom line, I sound in Rev 4:12, “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. “

    • Kelly says

      I do not know what solicted you to respond with a comment such as this, but when I read the Bible–better study God’s Word–I am given a hunger to know more personally the God it was written about. The God who inspired its writings, its teachings, and even spoke to man Himself. Yes, I keep the Sabbath, the one instituted by God in the creation. When I fell in love with the God of the Bible, I wanted to follow Him and the things He has instructed us to do. There is a difference between being a legalist and being a law-abiding citizen, isn’t there? I love God, so of course I want to please Him. If I choose to keep the Sabbath because He has instructed me to do so, and I receive a blessing by doing so, then why should you call me a legalist for doing so? It doesnt mean I am perfect, I have short-comings and issues in my life, but just like any child, I want to obey my Father, and please Him.

      Perhaps you feel offended by those who are trying to keep the Sabbath, but your intent should not be to put them down or to make jokes. I am sure Jesus wouldn’t have made a response like that. You wouldn’t call Him a legalist, would you? He kept the commandments of His Father. And he even summed them up by sharing us the principles behind them when he said for us to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbor as ourself (Matthew 22:37-40). This sums up the 10 commandments, just as verse 40 says: “On these two hang all the law and the prophets.” Jesus was trying to show where the Pharisees went wrong. They were trying to keep the law without love. There’s the difference.

      John 15 talks about Jesus as the true vine. He said that the Father is glorified when we bear fruit (v 8). And this is what verses 9 and 10 say: “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” We bear fruit when His love prompts us to make changes in our lives, when the motivation of all that we do is love for God and for one another. He repeats over and over for us to love one another. If He repeated it, then He meant it and really wanted to get His point across. Furthermore He said that he doesnt call us servants (servants obey their masters, right?, or they’re supposed to), but that he calls us friends. Why? Because He loves us, and we love Him, and that is why we do what He says.

      Jesus died for us all–those of us who keep the Sabbath, and those who worship in Sunday. I am sure He would rather see us supporting one another, lifting each other up in the admonition of the Lord. I don’t want to fight, that’s not my motive. I used to worship on Sundays, too, but I didn’t know why, except that Jesus rose on Sunday. Only as I have grown closer to Him and studied His Word, have I made a decision to keep the Sabbath.

      We know that man is not to live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. The Word of God is to be our spiritual bread. Here is an object lesson I have learned: Just as we should chew our food well before swallowing it to get the best digestion of our food, the same is true for God’s Word. We cannot simply whiz through it, but we must take our time to masticate, to study, and to allow the Holy Spirit to impress upon us its teachings and how they are to be carried out in our lives. I’m only saying this because too many Christians have given up studying the Bible for themselves. We don’t ask questions anymore. We have ceased to study the truth for ourselves, and would rather follow the wave of people around us, placing our faith in them as if they know everything there is to know about God. If we’re fallible human beings, then there is a chance that those who we allow to shape our faith are fallible, too. Let’s study the Bible and know the truth for ourselves. There’s a risk in this, though. There’s a good chance you will fall more in love with God, and be able to share with others the things you have learned, if you do.

      May God bless you and us all as we follow in His footsteps and in His Word.

      • Craig Giddens says

        There’s nothing wrong with keeping the Sabbath. Its only wrong when someone tells others they have to keep the Sabbath.

    • Alden says

      It’s funny that when God says obey, that those who try to obey His word are called legalists. Have you murdered anyone, or stolen, then you are also a legalist by your own definition.

  9. says

    On the flip side of the coin, for those who defend Sundays with the same vigor as the “Saturday Legalists” – how many are truly taking a day of rest?

    The whole point of Sabbath was to rest and reflect on God which has not been my experience. Instead has been, coral the kids early in the morning to make it to Sunday school and then morning service, eat lunch at a crowded restaurant, go home for about 2 hours and then back to Sunday night service. There is nothing restful in that grind!

    My family has taken up the practice of celebrating Shabbat on Friday evenings through Saturday evening. We light the candles, break bread, drink wine (& grape juice) say the blessings, and prohibit any work during that time frame. All house chores are done Friday afternoon, so that we have a full day of rest starting in the evening. We often do a devotional to reflect on God during that time. The kids get in on it too because they know they have no chores for that whole time.

    Then Sundays are for our corporate worship (and the grind). Best of both worlds in my opinion.

  10. Craig Giddens says

    The only people God ever instructed to keep the Sabbath was the nation of Israel (Exodus 31:13 & 16, Ezekiel 20:12). God never instructs a Christian to keep the Sabbath, although liberty is granted if a believer wants to observe or not observe a certain day (Romans 14:5-6), but that is each individual’s choice.

    • Thisguy says

      Wait a minute… aren’t we as believers grafted into the commonwealth of Israel? Also, the sabbath isn’t mentioned in Romans 14. The verse is clearly about fasting. Context!

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