Break #46

Our Flesh

"Tis the Season"

Now what do we have going on that is 'seasonal'?


So what is this thing called "Lent," anyway?

This is how many of the liturgicalists, Protestants, Baptists, and other denominationalists deal with their flesh.

In their own words, Lent is a time of self-denial, a time of 'chosen' moderation, a time of fasting as well as even a time of "forsaking their sinful nature."

"Lent is a period of fasting, moderation, and self-denial traditionally observed by Catholics and some Protestant denominations. It begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter Sunday. The length of the Lenten fast was established in the 4th century as 46 days (40 days, not counting Sundays). During Lent, participants eat sparingly or give up a particular food or habit. Itís not uncommon for people to give up smoking during Lent, or to swear off watching television or eating candy or telling lies. Itís six weeks of self-discipline. Lent began as a way for Catholics to remind themselves of the value of repentance. The austerity of the Lenten season was seen as similar to how people in the Old Testament fasted and repented in sackcloth and ashes (Esther 4:1-3; Jeremiah 6:26; Daniel 9:3)."
I remember when it was just the Catholics that 'did Lent'... but then, I also remember the days when Catholics would NEVER allow them to be called Christians and when my Lutheran family wouldn't even allow me to play with Catholic kids.  (Not that I wanted to, anyway - they were most often bullies!)  But then it became more and more popular in the Protestant churches; now today, more and more Baptist's 'observe'' Lent!

What gives, anyway.

Just more tradition, eh!  Just more 'sacramental' and 'ecumenical' traditions that more and more engage in to keep their friends, to obey their pastoral and denominational teachings and more and more just erring cuz folks don't' know the Scriptures.  Know the Scriptures?  They don't even have the Scriptures anymore today!

If one were to follow the teachings found in the Gospels 'better than most' people, then doing Lent will be seen as an 'ok' thing.  And for those Baptists, etc.?  Well, if they also follow the Gospels and yet 'say' they also include Paul, then they can say it seems to be an ok thing.

While they ALL say there is no scriptural directive (as if they even know what the Scriptures are???), but they can find verses that 'hint' at it, anyway.

I have seen them refer to II Samuel 13:19, Esther 4:1; Job 2:8; Daniel 9:3.  And the Baptists, etc. turn to 'fasting' because, well, Paul does mention it.  

Paul mentions it?  Yes... I Corinthians 7:5 -: Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.  In fact, to shake some up even more, Paul even fasted himself.  II Corinthians 6:5; II Corinthians 11:27.  We can talk about that in more depth another time - but to say simply, Paul does not command us to fast in the same design and context as the Gospels - and if we consider I Corinthians 13:8-10, fasting does nothing to please God today.  However, there could be a personal benefit from fasting, etc. but we are not talking about Lent, etc.  There is no spiritual / scriptural command for us to fast in order to get God to 'bless us'' - nor is there a command for us to do Lent, etc.  But let's come back to these thoughts later...  Let's keep going with our original concern...

For the most part, those that 'do' Lent generally turn to Matthew 6:17-18.

Ok, first, let's go to that Matthew 6:17-18 - you know, from what they all call "The Sermon on the Mount."  ... when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

If they WERE to really and honestly 'fast' something during Lent, they should also anoint their head - and wash their face - and do it secretly so as not to draw attention to their "Lentening".  So that kills their 'scriptural reasoning.

Now, let's consider their silliness of tradition.  

Well, along with Lent, they have Clean Monday, Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and then Lent.

First: Clean Monday

"Clean Monday, also known as Pure Monday, Ash Monday, Monday of Lent or Green Monday, is the first day of Great Lent in the Eastern Orthodox Christian, Saint Thomas Christians of India and Eastern Catholic churches. It is a movable feast that occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before Orthodox Easter Sunday.

The common term for this day, "Clean Monday", refers to the leaving behind of sinful attitudes and non-fasting foods. It is sometimes called "Ash Monday", by analogy with Ash Wednesday (the day when the Western Churches begin Lent). The term is often a misnomer, as only a small subset of Eastern Catholic Churches practice the Imposition of Ashes. The Maronite Catholic Church and The Mar Thoma Nasranis of India-Syro-Malabar Catholic Church are notable amongst the Eastern rite that employs the use of ashes on this day.

Liturgically, Clean Mondayó and  thus Lent itself ó begins on the preceding (Sunday) night, at a special service called Forgiveness Vespers, which culminates with the Ceremony of Mutual Forgiveness, at which all present will bow down before one another and ask forgiveness. In this way, the faithful begin Lent with a clean conscience, with forgiveness, and with renewed Christian love. The entire first week of Great Lent is often referred to as "Clean Week", and it is customary to go to Confession during this week, and to clean the house thoroughly.   The theme of Clean Monday is set by the Old Testament reading appointed to be read at the Sixth Hour on this day. (Isaiah 1:1-20)"

Ok, I get it...  they have to get 'clean' before they 'do their sacrifices and self denials...

Then comes Shrove Tuesday: 

"Shrove Tuesday (known in some countries as Pancake Tuesday or Pancake day) is a day in February or March preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes. In others, especially those where it is called Mardi Gras or some translation thereof, this is a carnival day, and also the last day of "fat eating" or "gorging" before the fasting period of Lent.

This moveable feast is determined by Easter. The expression "Shrove Tuesday" comes from the word shrive, meaning "absolve". Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Roman Catholics, who "make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God's help in dealing with."

Being the last day of the liturgical season historically known as Shrovetide, before the penitential season of Lent, related popular practices, such as indulging in food that one sacrifices for the upcoming forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations, before commencing the fasting and religious obligations associated with Lent. The term Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday", referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday."

So, as I see it, before they get into their own personal sacrifices and self denials, they have to 'pig out' beforehand so that they can make it through their time of Lent.

Then, of course, Ash Wednesday:

Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting, is the first day of Lent in Western Christianity. It occurs 46 days (40 fasting days, if the six Sundays, which are not days of fast, are excluded) before Easter and can fall as early as February 4th or as late as 10 March. Ash Wednesday, is observed by many Western Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics.

According to the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus Christ spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by Satan. Lent originated as a mirroring of this, fasting 40 days as preparation for Easter. Every Sunday was seen as a commemoration of the Sunday of Christ's resurrection and so as a feast day on which fasting was inappropriate. Accordingly, Christians fasted from Monday to Saturday (six days) during six weeks and from Wednesday to Saturday (four days) in the preceding week, thus making up the number of 40 days.

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches blessed on the previous year's Palm Sunday, and placing them on the heads of participants to the accompaniment of the words "Repent, and believe in the Gospel" or "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return".

Then when Lent finally arrives, they have cleansed themselves, then gorged themselves and then they can to their Lenton thing!

Unbelievable stuff, but they do it - and more and more are getting into it. 
They err not knowing the Scriptures!  
Jesus even told them  in Mark 7:13 - Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

And Paul stated: Colossians 2:8 - Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Let's end this mini-study with a comment / question that you can ask your friend participants.  If these folks are serious about their self denials, about their stopping of doing wrong things, etc. then why do they get angry at us when we say we want to walk according Paul's teachings?  Even though the reasons for doing these things are different - they basically involve somewhat the same things.  You know - stopping eating too much / dressing more modestly / laying off sweets / lay off the tube and computer more / exercising and denying our flesh some fleshly pleasures, etc.  

And besides, when we try to do it, we try to do it privately in our own personal and private walk.  We don't even want or need a formal liturgical public claim to be seen by others, ashes on our forehead, etc.

And even besides that, they only do it for 40 days and we just want to do it the rest of our earthly lives.

And we are the bad guys?

Aren't you glad you have chosen the RISEN LORD and the KJB - and have Paul to look to for our guidance and manner of life?  Aren't you glad you are not told to 'imitate' Paul, as the modern bibles say?  Aren't you glad about being aware of the dispensation of grace - and having that understanding about our own flesh.  Aren't you glad you don't have to play these games of religion?  Aren't you glad you have chosen scriptures over the church?  (Sola scriptura - "by Scripture alone" - the Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of doctrine and practice.)  Aren't you glad you have wised up to the 'theft' of the Bible in the world today so when you see the word 'Bible' you know that only the KJB is the fulfillment of that word?  Aren't you glad you KNOW you are following the true Christ, not the false christ?  Aren't you glad you know the difference between Revelation 6 and Revelation 19?  And... aren't you glad you know at least one guy who won't tweet Paul in a manner that will give him a great following with high finances that will cause him to err from the faith like it seems more and more pastors are doing these days?

Definitions of the 'days' are from From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (good enough for me)


Mikel Paulson
P.O. Box 327
302 Western Ave.
Hazelton, ND, 58544
509-876-1611  cell phone