Lent for Baptists

As I keep saying, I don’t intend this to be just a Lutheran blog, so please bear with me, those of you who don’t make a big deal about the church year, in today’s Ash Wednesday theme.  I offer you this, though, an article by Jim Denison on why his fellow Baptists could find celebrating Lent helpful and meaningful.

Read the whole article, linked below, which includes some interesting historical background:

“Lent” is derived from the Anglo-Saxon or Teutonic word “lencten,” which means “spring.” As strange as it is to Baptist ears, it’s easier than quadragesima, the Latin term for the period (meaning “40 days” or more literally, “the 40th day”). Greeks called this season tessarakoste (“40th”).

As its names imply, Lent is a 40-day observance that occurs each spring. (The 40-day period excludes Sundays, which are to be weekly celebrations of the Resurrection.) Why 40 days?

Jesus fasted in the wilderness and was tempted for “40 days and 40 nights” (Matthew 4:2). As he used these days to prepare for his public ministry, so we use them to prepare for his resurrection and to minister in his name through the rest of the year.

In addition, the Hebrews wandered in the wilderness for 40 years of purification before entering their Promised Land. The world was flooded for 40 days during the time of Noah, washing away the evil that had infested it. According to tradition, Jesus’ body lay 40 hours in the tomb before the Easter miracle. All these facts led early Christians to set aside 40 days before Easter for spiritual preparation and purification. . . .

Lenten observance began very early, as both Irenaeus (died A.D. 202) and Tertullian (died A.D. 225) refer to it. It was originally very brief, a 40-hour fast, growing eventually to a week. By A.D. 325, the Council of Nicaea recognized 40 days of Lent.

The author gives several reasons why Lent is relevant for Baptists.  Some of them I question, but I appreciate his last one:

We need a period each year for intentional spiritual introspection and contemplation. John R. W. Stott said that he required an hour a day, a day a week, and a week a year to be alone with his Lord. We need a time every year for spiritual renewal. Just as students need a Spring Break, so do souls. Lent is a wonderful season for such renewal: as the physical world is renewing itself, so should the spiritual.

via Associated Baptist Press – Opinion: Lent for Baptists.

A Spring Break for the soul!  I like that.   Not to be confused, of course, with Mardi Gras!

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Call it the Forty Days of Purpose and the Baptists will hop right on it.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Call it the Forty Days of Purpose and the Baptists will hop right on it.

  • Richard

    “The world was flooded for 40 days during the time of Noah,…….” Yes, there was rain for 40 days (and nights), but “The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.” (Genesis 7:24)

  • Richard

    “The world was flooded for 40 days during the time of Noah,…….” Yes, there was rain for 40 days (and nights), but “The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.” (Genesis 7:24)

  • Grace

    Mike @ 1

    “Call it the Forty Days of Purpose and the Baptists will hop right on it.”

    It’s just that sort of snorty remark which identifies yours, and many others lack of education. The Rick Warren in your mind, has not been searched out, you attribute that of the absurd to the Baptist, rather than educating yourself to the truth.

    Baptist as well as others, who do not subscribe to your doctrine find your remarks nonsense.

    So much for your take on Ash Wednesday.

  • Grace

    Mike @ 1

    “Call it the Forty Days of Purpose and the Baptists will hop right on it.”

    It’s just that sort of snorty remark which identifies yours, and many others lack of education. The Rick Warren in your mind, has not been searched out, you attribute that of the absurd to the Baptist, rather than educating yourself to the truth.

    Baptist as well as others, who do not subscribe to your doctrine find your remarks nonsense.

    So much for your take on Ash Wednesday.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Funny that you should mention this topic, Dr. Veith. I’ve been watching one of my Facebook friends, who is Baptist, apparently discovering Lent this year. Based on her comments, it would seem to be something of a movement among certain Evangelicals — perhaps urged on by Beth Moore?

    Anyhow, I must admit, it has generated mixed emotions for me. On the one hand, I’m glad to see Evangelicals (re-?) discovering historical traditions of the Church — and actually finding them useful! Especially since I spent the first two decades of my life among Evangelicals who found concepts like Lent to be “too Catholic” or just incomprehensible.

    But it’s also a little disconcerting to see my fellow Protestants veer a little too close to Catholicism’s legalistic tendencies. For instance, this same friend, in announcing her “fasting” from various online games, noted that “Sundays are not technically part of the fast”. I don’t know, that struck an odd tone to me — not that I don’t see Lutherans taking equally questionable tacks on fasting (should we be announcing it to others that we’re doing so?).

    To quote this friend further, “The value of liturgy (read Lent activities) is that it makes us present-tense participants in a past event. The gap between past and present disappears.” To which my response is something of a “Well, yeah.” It’s strange to me that that’s news to someone.

    Anyhow, all anecdotal, but still interesting.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Funny that you should mention this topic, Dr. Veith. I’ve been watching one of my Facebook friends, who is Baptist, apparently discovering Lent this year. Based on her comments, it would seem to be something of a movement among certain Evangelicals — perhaps urged on by Beth Moore?

    Anyhow, I must admit, it has generated mixed emotions for me. On the one hand, I’m glad to see Evangelicals (re-?) discovering historical traditions of the Church — and actually finding them useful! Especially since I spent the first two decades of my life among Evangelicals who found concepts like Lent to be “too Catholic” or just incomprehensible.

    But it’s also a little disconcerting to see my fellow Protestants veer a little too close to Catholicism’s legalistic tendencies. For instance, this same friend, in announcing her “fasting” from various online games, noted that “Sundays are not technically part of the fast”. I don’t know, that struck an odd tone to me — not that I don’t see Lutherans taking equally questionable tacks on fasting (should we be announcing it to others that we’re doing so?).

    To quote this friend further, “The value of liturgy (read Lent activities) is that it makes us present-tense participants in a past event. The gap between past and present disappears.” To which my response is something of a “Well, yeah.” It’s strange to me that that’s news to someone.

    Anyhow, all anecdotal, but still interesting.

  • Grace

    Lent is a “tradition of men” it cannot be found in Scripture, nor can Ash Wednesday.

    Giving up sugar, TV, or any other activity or food, has nothing to do with Christ’s death on the Cross. HE and HE alone paid the price for our sins. The idea of Lent is Roman Catholic, as are many other “traditions of men” –

    I’ve heard many an individual tout whatever they are ‘giving up’ as a badge of honor for Lent. As though that has some pedestaled position for their faith.

    Those of us who are Protestant are very well aware of Lent, and who practices it, and the idea of Ash Wednesday. Resurrection Sunday, and the days leading up to it, should be a time of gratefulness for Christ’s death on the Cross, to those of us who believe in HIM as our Savior. That should be our focus, not on ourselves, and trivial sugar, fat burgers, TV, etc., which are given up as a token of our faith.

    Regarding fasting:

    16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
    17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
    18 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.
    Matthew 6

  • Grace

    Lent is a “tradition of men” it cannot be found in Scripture, nor can Ash Wednesday.

    Giving up sugar, TV, or any other activity or food, has nothing to do with Christ’s death on the Cross. HE and HE alone paid the price for our sins. The idea of Lent is Roman Catholic, as are many other “traditions of men” –

    I’ve heard many an individual tout whatever they are ‘giving up’ as a badge of honor for Lent. As though that has some pedestaled position for their faith.

    Those of us who are Protestant are very well aware of Lent, and who practices it, and the idea of Ash Wednesday. Resurrection Sunday, and the days leading up to it, should be a time of gratefulness for Christ’s death on the Cross, to those of us who believe in HIM as our Savior. That should be our focus, not on ourselves, and trivial sugar, fat burgers, TV, etc., which are given up as a token of our faith.

    Regarding fasting:

    16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
    17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
    18 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.
    Matthew 6

  • Grace

    tODD,

    As for Beth Moore. Anyone can watch two short videos below from the LINK I have posted, that give a description of where she’s going. It doesn’t line up with the Evangelical Churches I am, or have been affiliated with.

    http://apprising.org/2011/12/28/sbcs-beth-moore-merely-pretending-to-be-protestant/

  • Grace

    tODD,

    As for Beth Moore. Anyone can watch two short videos below from the LINK I have posted, that give a description of where she’s going. It doesn’t line up with the Evangelical Churches I am, or have been affiliated with.

    http://apprising.org/2011/12/28/sbcs-beth-moore-merely-pretending-to-be-protestant/

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I like Lent, so long as it’s understood to be tradition subservient to Scripture.

    Got issues with Beth Moore, but that’s another topic for another thread.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I like Lent, so long as it’s understood to be tradition subservient to Scripture.

    Got issues with Beth Moore, but that’s another topic for another thread.

  • trotk

    Grace, you have clearly missed the point of Ash Wednesday and Lent. You have also obviously missed the Biblical foundation that it rests upon. While fasting during Lent isn’t necessary to please God, it is certainly not anti-Biblical as you seem to think.

    I actually feel sorry for you, because there is so much that God offers you through the church that you deny.

  • trotk

    Grace, you have clearly missed the point of Ash Wednesday and Lent. You have also obviously missed the Biblical foundation that it rests upon. While fasting during Lent isn’t necessary to please God, it is certainly not anti-Biblical as you seem to think.

    I actually feel sorry for you, because there is so much that God offers you through the church that you deny.

  • Booklover

    Every observance of Lent that I have been familiar with has been entirely biblical:
    prayer
    repentance
    prayer of repentance
    singing of hymns with a focus on what Christ has done for us
    denial of self-gratifying items
    meditation on Christ’s last days on earth

    The observance of Lent is sometimes cast aside for other “traditions” like watching TV, eating more junk food, watching more TV, and gossiping about the neighbors.

    I’m not meaning to criticize those who don’t observe Lent; but if you choose not to, don’t criticize those who do.

  • Booklover

    Every observance of Lent that I have been familiar with has been entirely biblical:
    prayer
    repentance
    prayer of repentance
    singing of hymns with a focus on what Christ has done for us
    denial of self-gratifying items
    meditation on Christ’s last days on earth

    The observance of Lent is sometimes cast aside for other “traditions” like watching TV, eating more junk food, watching more TV, and gossiping about the neighbors.

    I’m not meaning to criticize those who don’t observe Lent; but if you choose not to, don’t criticize those who do.

  • Grace

    trokt @ 8

    “Grace, you have clearly missed the point of Ash Wednesday and Lent. You have also obviously missed the Biblical foundation that it rests upon. While fasting during Lent isn’t necessary to please God, it is certainly not anti-Biblical as you seem to think. “

    It is Biblical to fast. No where have I read in Scripture otherwise. See Matthew 6 which I posted. Twisting what I post doesn’t serve your purpose, whatever that might be.

  • Grace

    trokt @ 8

    “Grace, you have clearly missed the point of Ash Wednesday and Lent. You have also obviously missed the Biblical foundation that it rests upon. While fasting during Lent isn’t necessary to please God, it is certainly not anti-Biblical as you seem to think. “

    It is Biblical to fast. No where have I read in Scripture otherwise. See Matthew 6 which I posted. Twisting what I post doesn’t serve your purpose, whatever that might be.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@5), a point-by-point reply:

    Lent is a “tradition of men” it cannot be found in Scripture, nor can Ash Wednesday.

    Of course. Is anyone claiming otherwise? Of course, the problem here is that you seem to think that’s a problem. That traditions are, of themselves, sinful.

    Of course, I know you don’t believe that, since I know that you observe and celebrate Christmas — you know, the feast of the Nativity. Does Scripture command us to observe this celebration? No. Does the Bible record anyone observing this holiday? Nope. It’s a tradition of men. And, like most Evangelicals, you appear quite fine with it.

    Which prompts the question: what’s your logic here? What makes some traditions of men okay, and others worthy of some kind of warning or chastisement from you?

    Because it’s clear that several millenia of men (and women) have found such traditions to be useful. By which I mean useful in their devotional lives, helping them to focus on Christ. Obviously, you’ve missed that part of Lent entirely. But that doesn’t mean that every other Christian — to say nothing of several millenia of Christians past, again — finds no value in such traditions.

    Giving up sugar, TV, or any other activity or food, has nothing to do with Christ’s death on the Cross. HE and HE alone paid the price for our sins.

    Strictly speaking, your first sentence is correct. And your desire to focus solely on Christ is admirable. However, you again miss the point that many people find fasting or otherwise abstaining to be a practice that helps them focus more on Christ.

    The idea of Lent is Roman Catholic, as are many other “traditions of men”

    This is simply, factually wrong. Lent is a product of the historical Church, yes, but its observation clearly predates any schism. You seem to have confused anything historical with being merely “Roman Catholic”, even though Orthodox churches also celebrate Lent. As do, you know, no small number of Protestants. In fact, it is quite clear that it is a remarkably small number of Christians, worldwide, who do not observe Lent.

    I’ve heard many an individual tout whatever they are ‘giving up’ as a badge of honor for Lent. As though that has some pedestaled position for their faith.

    I share your concern here. Bragging about what one is abstaining from — or, worse yet, whining about it — is not commendable. That does not mean, however, that we should stop fasting. Indeed, the very passage you quote from Matthew 6 makes it clear that we should fast. And Lent is a fine — and traditional — time to do so. The problem isn’t the tradition, it’s the abuse of it. But you seem unable to separate the two.

    Those of us who are Protestant are very well aware of Lent, and who practices it, and the idea of Ash Wednesday.

    No offense, but if you think Lent is only a “Roman Catholic” thing, then you’ve undermined your case for how “very well aware” you are of Lent “and who practices it”.

    Christ’s death on the Cross … should be our focus, not on ourselves, and trivial sugar, fat burgers, TV, etc., which are given up as a token of our faith.

    Again, true as stated, but you once again miss that for many people, abstaining from such things helps them to focus better on Christ and his atoning sacrifice.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@5), a point-by-point reply:

    Lent is a “tradition of men” it cannot be found in Scripture, nor can Ash Wednesday.

    Of course. Is anyone claiming otherwise? Of course, the problem here is that you seem to think that’s a problem. That traditions are, of themselves, sinful.

    Of course, I know you don’t believe that, since I know that you observe and celebrate Christmas — you know, the feast of the Nativity. Does Scripture command us to observe this celebration? No. Does the Bible record anyone observing this holiday? Nope. It’s a tradition of men. And, like most Evangelicals, you appear quite fine with it.

    Which prompts the question: what’s your logic here? What makes some traditions of men okay, and others worthy of some kind of warning or chastisement from you?

    Because it’s clear that several millenia of men (and women) have found such traditions to be useful. By which I mean useful in their devotional lives, helping them to focus on Christ. Obviously, you’ve missed that part of Lent entirely. But that doesn’t mean that every other Christian — to say nothing of several millenia of Christians past, again — finds no value in such traditions.

    Giving up sugar, TV, or any other activity or food, has nothing to do with Christ’s death on the Cross. HE and HE alone paid the price for our sins.

    Strictly speaking, your first sentence is correct. And your desire to focus solely on Christ is admirable. However, you again miss the point that many people find fasting or otherwise abstaining to be a practice that helps them focus more on Christ.

    The idea of Lent is Roman Catholic, as are many other “traditions of men”

    This is simply, factually wrong. Lent is a product of the historical Church, yes, but its observation clearly predates any schism. You seem to have confused anything historical with being merely “Roman Catholic”, even though Orthodox churches also celebrate Lent. As do, you know, no small number of Protestants. In fact, it is quite clear that it is a remarkably small number of Christians, worldwide, who do not observe Lent.

    I’ve heard many an individual tout whatever they are ‘giving up’ as a badge of honor for Lent. As though that has some pedestaled position for their faith.

    I share your concern here. Bragging about what one is abstaining from — or, worse yet, whining about it — is not commendable. That does not mean, however, that we should stop fasting. Indeed, the very passage you quote from Matthew 6 makes it clear that we should fast. And Lent is a fine — and traditional — time to do so. The problem isn’t the tradition, it’s the abuse of it. But you seem unable to separate the two.

    Those of us who are Protestant are very well aware of Lent, and who practices it, and the idea of Ash Wednesday.

    No offense, but if you think Lent is only a “Roman Catholic” thing, then you’ve undermined your case for how “very well aware” you are of Lent “and who practices it”.

    Christ’s death on the Cross … should be our focus, not on ourselves, and trivial sugar, fat burgers, TV, etc., which are given up as a token of our faith.

    Again, true as stated, but you once again miss that for many people, abstaining from such things helps them to focus better on Christ and his atoning sacrifice.

  • Grace

    tODD @ 11

    The point is not a “problem” – it has nothing to do with Christmas, or the “feast of the Nativity” which I don’t celebrate. Christ’s birth is not a “tradition” it’s a FACT, of which many Roman Catholics, Lutherans and others misunderstand, vs. Lent. The two are not connected. Christ was born, he preached, died on the Cross and HE arose, these are FACTS, they aren’t “tradition” that’s the difference.

    “Fasting” is spoken clearly of, in Scripture, which I have outlined earlier. No need to go over it again.

    Roman Catholics have had many of the same “traditions of men” that Lutherans and other sects follow to this very day. People are not as blind as you might suppose. “The historical Church” is very often not aligned to Biblical Scripture, but IS wrought by “tradition of men”-

    “In fact, it is quite clear that it is a remarkably small number of Christians, worldwide, who do not observe Lent.”

    If you count those who are Roman Catholic – Italy, Spain, the vast majority of south America, central America, and Mexico, the south of Ireland, Poland being mostly RCC, and Portugal, many parts of France, and a few others. Then there is the U.S. – there are many in this country who are Roman Catholics, in Penn, New York, Illinois, Mass, New Jersey and a few others. All those who are Roman Catholics, Lutheran, and other similar denominations continue to follow the Roman custom of Lent

    Lutherans most certainly didn’t invent “Lent” it was the Roman Catholics of whom they follow very closely. No, they don’t pray to Mary, or the Saints, but they do follow many practices that are “traditions of men” –

    Abstaining from sugar, TV, fat burgers, etc., doesn’t help one “focus better on Christ” – HIS Word is what we depend upon, that is what our focus must be, the fallacy upon silly sugars, fat burgers, etc., doesn’t make one focus upon Christ, but instead, makes the individual believe and think even more about what they can’t have, then what Christ and GOD ALMIGHTY did for them.

  • Grace

    tODD @ 11

    The point is not a “problem” – it has nothing to do with Christmas, or the “feast of the Nativity” which I don’t celebrate. Christ’s birth is not a “tradition” it’s a FACT, of which many Roman Catholics, Lutherans and others misunderstand, vs. Lent. The two are not connected. Christ was born, he preached, died on the Cross and HE arose, these are FACTS, they aren’t “tradition” that’s the difference.

    “Fasting” is spoken clearly of, in Scripture, which I have outlined earlier. No need to go over it again.

    Roman Catholics have had many of the same “traditions of men” that Lutherans and other sects follow to this very day. People are not as blind as you might suppose. “The historical Church” is very often not aligned to Biblical Scripture, but IS wrought by “tradition of men”-

    “In fact, it is quite clear that it is a remarkably small number of Christians, worldwide, who do not observe Lent.”

    If you count those who are Roman Catholic – Italy, Spain, the vast majority of south America, central America, and Mexico, the south of Ireland, Poland being mostly RCC, and Portugal, many parts of France, and a few others. Then there is the U.S. – there are many in this country who are Roman Catholics, in Penn, New York, Illinois, Mass, New Jersey and a few others. All those who are Roman Catholics, Lutheran, and other similar denominations continue to follow the Roman custom of Lent

    Lutherans most certainly didn’t invent “Lent” it was the Roman Catholics of whom they follow very closely. No, they don’t pray to Mary, or the Saints, but they do follow many practices that are “traditions of men” –

    Abstaining from sugar, TV, fat burgers, etc., doesn’t help one “focus better on Christ” – HIS Word is what we depend upon, that is what our focus must be, the fallacy upon silly sugars, fat burgers, etc., doesn’t make one focus upon Christ, but instead, makes the individual believe and think even more about what they can’t have, then what Christ and GOD ALMIGHTY did for them.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@12),

    The point is not a “problem” – it has nothing to do with Christmas, or the “feast of the Nativity” which I don’t celebrate.

    Wait, you don’t celebrate Christmas? Or are you just not aware that another name for Christmas is the “feast of the Nativity”? Because I’m pretty certain you celebrate Christmas.

    And, what’s more, I’m pretty certain you do so on December 25th. You know why? Traditions of men, that’s why. It’s part of the liturgical calendar — the very same thing that tells us it’s Lent now. You reject most of that calendar, while still allowing it to inform your celebration of Christmas and Easter.

    What you haven’t done is explain why you pick and choose like that. Why do you chastise Christians for allowing tradition to be part of their life even as you do the same thing?

    Christ’s birth is not a “tradition” it’s a FACT, of which many Roman Catholics, Lutherans and others misunderstand, vs. Lent.

    Yes, it’s a fact he was born, but the timing and manner in which Christians celebrate that fact is nearly all just tradition. Surely you understand that. (As to the rest of your sentence, I don’t know what you’re trying to say. I mean, literally, it’s incomprehensible.)

    “The historical Church” is very often not aligned to Biblical Scripture

    Perhaps so, but in case you hadn’t noticed, you have yet to prove to me from Scripture why I and others shouldn’t observe Lent as we do. What, exactly, is wrong with the observation of Lent? With focusing on repentance? With preparing to observe Christ’s atoning sacrifice on our behalf? What have you got against such things?

    Lutherans most certainly didn’t invent “Lent” it was the Roman Catholics of whom they follow very closely.

    Once again, this statement can only be made in ignorance. The observation of Lent predates Roman Catholicism. I’m beginning to question your knowledge of the Church prior to the modern era.

    Abstaining from sugar, TV, fat burgers, etc., doesn’t help one “focus better on Christ” – HIS Word is what we depend upon

    It’s funny that you would direct us to God’s Word, which so often connects fasting and praying in a way that you would appear to deny here. Should I listen to Grace when it comes to fasting, or should I listen to God’s Word, as Grace bids me to?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@12),

    The point is not a “problem” – it has nothing to do with Christmas, or the “feast of the Nativity” which I don’t celebrate.

    Wait, you don’t celebrate Christmas? Or are you just not aware that another name for Christmas is the “feast of the Nativity”? Because I’m pretty certain you celebrate Christmas.

    And, what’s more, I’m pretty certain you do so on December 25th. You know why? Traditions of men, that’s why. It’s part of the liturgical calendar — the very same thing that tells us it’s Lent now. You reject most of that calendar, while still allowing it to inform your celebration of Christmas and Easter.

    What you haven’t done is explain why you pick and choose like that. Why do you chastise Christians for allowing tradition to be part of their life even as you do the same thing?

    Christ’s birth is not a “tradition” it’s a FACT, of which many Roman Catholics, Lutherans and others misunderstand, vs. Lent.

    Yes, it’s a fact he was born, but the timing and manner in which Christians celebrate that fact is nearly all just tradition. Surely you understand that. (As to the rest of your sentence, I don’t know what you’re trying to say. I mean, literally, it’s incomprehensible.)

    “The historical Church” is very often not aligned to Biblical Scripture

    Perhaps so, but in case you hadn’t noticed, you have yet to prove to me from Scripture why I and others shouldn’t observe Lent as we do. What, exactly, is wrong with the observation of Lent? With focusing on repentance? With preparing to observe Christ’s atoning sacrifice on our behalf? What have you got against such things?

    Lutherans most certainly didn’t invent “Lent” it was the Roman Catholics of whom they follow very closely.

    Once again, this statement can only be made in ignorance. The observation of Lent predates Roman Catholicism. I’m beginning to question your knowledge of the Church prior to the modern era.

    Abstaining from sugar, TV, fat burgers, etc., doesn’t help one “focus better on Christ” – HIS Word is what we depend upon

    It’s funny that you would direct us to God’s Word, which so often connects fasting and praying in a way that you would appear to deny here. Should I listen to Grace when it comes to fasting, or should I listen to God’s Word, as Grace bids me to?

  • Grace

    tODD @ 13

    “Wait, you don’t celebrate Christmas? Or are you just not aware that another name for Christmas is the “feast of the Nativity”? Because I’m pretty certain you celebrate Christmas.”

    I, and millions of others celebrate Christmas, we do not refer to it as the “feast of the Nativity” – There is no date for Christ’s Birth, and there isn’t one of HIS death as well. So, we celebrate Christmas on the 25th day of December and HIS death and resurrection are in line with “Passover” – this shouldn’t be too hard to understand if you read Scripture. Christ and HIS Disciples celebrated “Passover” and thereafter He left with his disciples, to the garden, then arrested, then crucified, risen from the grave.

    “It’s funny that you would direct us to God’s Word, which so often connects fasting and praying in a way that you would appear to deny here. Should I listen to Grace when it comes to fasting, or should I listen to God’s Word, as Grace bids me to?”

    Lutherans speak of fasting. What does Christ say?

    16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
    17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
    18 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. Matthew 6

    Many, including Lutherans speak very loudly about how they “fast” – that is not how Christ directed those who “fast”

  • Grace

    tODD @ 13

    “Wait, you don’t celebrate Christmas? Or are you just not aware that another name for Christmas is the “feast of the Nativity”? Because I’m pretty certain you celebrate Christmas.”

    I, and millions of others celebrate Christmas, we do not refer to it as the “feast of the Nativity” – There is no date for Christ’s Birth, and there isn’t one of HIS death as well. So, we celebrate Christmas on the 25th day of December and HIS death and resurrection are in line with “Passover” – this shouldn’t be too hard to understand if you read Scripture. Christ and HIS Disciples celebrated “Passover” and thereafter He left with his disciples, to the garden, then arrested, then crucified, risen from the grave.

    “It’s funny that you would direct us to God’s Word, which so often connects fasting and praying in a way that you would appear to deny here. Should I listen to Grace when it comes to fasting, or should I listen to God’s Word, as Grace bids me to?”

    Lutherans speak of fasting. What does Christ say?

    16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
    17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
    18 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. Matthew 6

    Many, including Lutherans speak very loudly about how they “fast” – that is not how Christ directed those who “fast”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Once again Grace (@14), you seem unaware that the sole reason you celebrate Christmas (a) in a recurring yearly fashion and (b) on December 25th is because of the traditions of men (or, more accurately, the Western Christian church) — the very thing you decry when it comes to Lent.

    And I’m not sure if you just haven’t been paying attention, but the dates for Easter and Passover are no longer directly connected, either, and haven’t been since the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. Guess what: more traditions of men! Which you observe!

    Once again, my question remains: why should I take you seriously when you complain about observing the historical traditions of the Christian church, given that you do the very same thing? Why is it okay for you to do, but not the rest of us, Grace?

    Many, including Lutherans speak very loudly about how they “fast” – that is not how Christ directed those who “fast”

    Indeed. But I have already noted (@11) that “The problem isn’t the tradition, it’s the abuse of it. But you seem unable to separate the two.” Based on your comments here, you remain unable to make this distinction.

    I’m sorry you hate Lent, Grace. It’s too bad you can’t articulate the reasons for your feelings, much less defend your antipathy from a Scriptural stance.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Once again Grace (@14), you seem unaware that the sole reason you celebrate Christmas (a) in a recurring yearly fashion and (b) on December 25th is because of the traditions of men (or, more accurately, the Western Christian church) — the very thing you decry when it comes to Lent.

    And I’m not sure if you just haven’t been paying attention, but the dates for Easter and Passover are no longer directly connected, either, and haven’t been since the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. Guess what: more traditions of men! Which you observe!

    Once again, my question remains: why should I take you seriously when you complain about observing the historical traditions of the Christian church, given that you do the very same thing? Why is it okay for you to do, but not the rest of us, Grace?

    Many, including Lutherans speak very loudly about how they “fast” – that is not how Christ directed those who “fast”

    Indeed. But I have already noted (@11) that “The problem isn’t the tradition, it’s the abuse of it. But you seem unable to separate the two.” Based on your comments here, you remain unable to make this distinction.

    I’m sorry you hate Lent, Grace. It’s too bad you can’t articulate the reasons for your feelings, much less defend your antipathy from a Scriptural stance.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    As if people do not abuse Christmas, and Easter ……

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    As if people do not abuse Christmas, and Easter ……

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    A very good point, Klasie (@16). Those two holidays are sorely abused by many, including many Christians. And yet even someone like Grace can still see the good in observing them, in spite of such abuses.

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    A very good point, Klasie (@16). Those two holidays are sorely abused by many, including many Christians. And yet even someone like Grace can still see the good in observing them, in spite of such abuses.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Seems to me that when Jesus was chastising the Pharisees for their “traditions of men,” he was talking about using them as a convenient excuse to ignore — or even reject — the commandments of God. I really don’t think that Jesus was saying that traditions of men in and of themselves were evil and to be avoided.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Seems to me that when Jesus was chastising the Pharisees for their “traditions of men,” he was talking about using them as a convenient excuse to ignore — or even reject — the commandments of God. I really don’t think that Jesus was saying that traditions of men in and of themselves were evil and to be avoided.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @15 Small correction, I believe the Orthodox calendar still has Easter and Passover linked. tODD, I hate to say it but looks like you are taking Harrison’s seat in the panel in this discussion.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @15 Small correction, I believe the Orthodox calendar still has Easter and Passover linked. tODD, I hate to say it but looks like you are taking Harrison’s seat in the panel in this discussion.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    p.s. Nice try though, shame people don’t listen.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    p.s. Nice try though, shame people don’t listen.

  • Helen K.

    following..

  • Helen K.

    following..

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DLit2C (@19), perhaps you’re right about the Orthodox — I’m too lazy to look it up, and it’s beside the point, anyhow, which was that all of us, including Grace, will be celebrating Easter on a date that was set as a tradition of men.

    I hate to say it but looks like you are taking Harrison’s seat in the panel in this discussion.

    Sorry, I don’t get your point here. Rev. Harrison? And why would you hate to point out what he and I apparently have in common. Am I missing something?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DLit2C (@19), perhaps you’re right about the Orthodox — I’m too lazy to look it up, and it’s beside the point, anyhow, which was that all of us, including Grace, will be celebrating Easter on a date that was set as a tradition of men.

    I hate to say it but looks like you are taking Harrison’s seat in the panel in this discussion.

    Sorry, I don’t get your point here. Rev. Harrison? And why would you hate to point out what he and I apparently have in common. Am I missing something?

  • Grace

    This year, 2012 Passover will be on the 6th of April, Resurrection Sunday follows on April 8th 2012.

  • Grace

    This year, 2012 Passover will be on the 6th of April, Resurrection Sunday follows on April 8th 2012.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @22 Sorry, oblique reference to Rev. Harrison, when he testified before congress, speaking to a room full of people who don’t want to listen but instead spout their party line. I hated to say it, not as a negative towards you but, because it makes me sad to see people refusing to listen.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @22 Sorry, oblique reference to Rev. Harrison, when he testified before congress, speaking to a room full of people who don’t want to listen but instead spout their party line. I hated to say it, not as a negative towards you but, because it makes me sad to see people refusing to listen.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    ugh, hit mouse before I was ready.
    …continued from 24. And the exchange between you and Grace is an example. Grace isn’t listening, but she is using it as a chance to rant about the evils of “traditions of men.”

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    ugh, hit mouse before I was ready.
    …continued from 24. And the exchange between you and Grace is an example. Grace isn’t listening, but she is using it as a chance to rant about the evils of “traditions of men.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@23):

    This year, 2012 Passover will be on the 6th of April, Resurrection Sunday follows on April 8th 2012.

    It’s not clear what point you think you’re making with that, but it appears to be in response to my noting that “the dates for Easter and Passover are no longer directly connected, either, and haven’t been since the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD”.

    If so, are you still ignorant of the difference in how dates for Easter and Passover are calculated? Yes, they are often near each other, but they slide around, and every few years are nowhere near each other! Consider 2008, when Passover began April 20 (or the evening prior, of course), while Easter began March 23 (for those of us in the West). Or 2016, when Passover will begin April 23, but Easter will be March 27.

    Face it, Grace, you celebrate Easter on a day dictated by the traditions of men. As you do Christmas. And you apparently don’t know why some traditions are okay with you, but others aren’t. You just know that Lent is evil or something. What a compelling argument.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@23):

    This year, 2012 Passover will be on the 6th of April, Resurrection Sunday follows on April 8th 2012.

    It’s not clear what point you think you’re making with that, but it appears to be in response to my noting that “the dates for Easter and Passover are no longer directly connected, either, and haven’t been since the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD”.

    If so, are you still ignorant of the difference in how dates for Easter and Passover are calculated? Yes, they are often near each other, but they slide around, and every few years are nowhere near each other! Consider 2008, when Passover began April 20 (or the evening prior, of course), while Easter began March 23 (for those of us in the West). Or 2016, when Passover will begin April 23, but Easter will be March 27.

    Face it, Grace, you celebrate Easter on a day dictated by the traditions of men. As you do Christmas. And you apparently don’t know why some traditions are okay with you, but others aren’t. You just know that Lent is evil or something. What a compelling argument.

  • Grace

    tODD,

    When you quip: You just know that Lent is evil or something among other accusations, it’s nothing short of lying about what I’ve written. It’s simply your way of making a point you don’t have.

    You have used the word “evil” and so has Mike Westfall. Dr. Luther has used the word “evils” – I have not once used either word even once, no matter how you continue twisting what I write. That’s how you operate, but it isn’t smart or clever.

  • Grace

    tODD,

    When you quip: You just know that Lent is evil or something among other accusations, it’s nothing short of lying about what I’ve written. It’s simply your way of making a point you don’t have.

    You have used the word “evil” and so has Mike Westfall. Dr. Luther has used the word “evils” – I have not once used either word even once, no matter how you continue twisting what I write. That’s how you operate, but it isn’t smart or clever.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Sorry for putting words in your mouth, Grace.

    It seems to me, though that the point of denigrating liturgical practices as “traditions of men” is to imply that it is somehow evil, or at least sinful. Or Pharisaical at best.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Sorry for putting words in your mouth, Grace.

    It seems to me, though that the point of denigrating liturgical practices as “traditions of men” is to imply that it is somehow evil, or at least sinful. Or Pharisaical at best.

  • Grace

    Mike – 28

    “It seems to me, though that the point of denigrating liturgical practices as “traditions of men” is to imply that it is somehow evil, or at least sinful. Or Pharisaical at best.”

    Traditions of men, most often do not allign themselves with Christ’s teaching. They are afterthoughts of those who never sat under Christ’s teachings, (they were never one of the 11 Apostles) but much later after Christ arose and assended to heaven, sat under some of HIS Apostles, or the Apostles disciples.

    In 1545 the Council of Trent, the Roman Catholic Church made official that tradition was equal to the Bible. That became the bench mark for adding to what Christ taught. That fact has been overlooked since then.

    Christ’s words are perfect, HIS teaching cannot be matched. How can anyone believe they can trump the LORD’s words? Liturgy? I’ve listened in different churches “Liturgy” often falls short when compared to reading, the HOLY Scriptures. God’s Word is sharper than any two edged sword.

  • Grace

    Mike – 28

    “It seems to me, though that the point of denigrating liturgical practices as “traditions of men” is to imply that it is somehow evil, or at least sinful. Or Pharisaical at best.”

    Traditions of men, most often do not allign themselves with Christ’s teaching. They are afterthoughts of those who never sat under Christ’s teachings, (they were never one of the 11 Apostles) but much later after Christ arose and assended to heaven, sat under some of HIS Apostles, or the Apostles disciples.

    In 1545 the Council of Trent, the Roman Catholic Church made official that tradition was equal to the Bible. That became the bench mark for adding to what Christ taught. That fact has been overlooked since then.

    Christ’s words are perfect, HIS teaching cannot be matched. How can anyone believe they can trump the LORD’s words? Liturgy? I’ve listened in different churches “Liturgy” often falls short when compared to reading, the HOLY Scriptures. God’s Word is sharper than any two edged sword.

  • Grace

    RE: post 29

    The post above should have included Paul.

  • Grace

    RE: post 29

    The post above should have included Paul.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, it’s funny — if also a bit sad — to watch you attempt to express outrage (@27) at people’s insinuating that you called Lent “evil”, on the one hand, and yet also claim, all of one comment later (@29), that Lent, like all traditions of men, apparently, does not align with Christ’s teachings.

    I mean, pick a side, will you? Is observing Lent opposed to Christ’s teachings? Then it’s evil.

    Of course, you still have yet to show in any way, much less from Scripture, how observing Lent is counter to Christ’s teachings.

    All you’ve got so far is a collection of hyper-legalistic rants against “traditions of men”, even as you hypocritically cling to the traditions of men that you personally deem okay.

    This isn’t about the teachings of Christ, it’s about the teachings of Grace.

    If you’re going to be hyper-legalistic, Grace, at least be consistent and go all the way. Join your fellow thinkers in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, why don’t you? They’re scared of observing all those holidays — and more — too!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, it’s funny — if also a bit sad — to watch you attempt to express outrage (@27) at people’s insinuating that you called Lent “evil”, on the one hand, and yet also claim, all of one comment later (@29), that Lent, like all traditions of men, apparently, does not align with Christ’s teachings.

    I mean, pick a side, will you? Is observing Lent opposed to Christ’s teachings? Then it’s evil.

    Of course, you still have yet to show in any way, much less from Scripture, how observing Lent is counter to Christ’s teachings.

    All you’ve got so far is a collection of hyper-legalistic rants against “traditions of men”, even as you hypocritically cling to the traditions of men that you personally deem okay.

    This isn’t about the teachings of Christ, it’s about the teachings of Grace.

    If you’re going to be hyper-legalistic, Grace, at least be consistent and go all the way. Join your fellow thinkers in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, why don’t you? They’re scared of observing all those holidays — and more — too!

  • Grace

    No outrage tODD, calm down. Read what I posted, instead of throwing another tantrum, twisting what I post and then snarking about as though you’ve been wounded.

  • Grace

    No outrage tODD, calm down. Read what I posted, instead of throwing another tantrum, twisting what I post and then snarking about as though you’ve been wounded.

  • Med Student

    “Liturgy? I’ve listened in different churches “Liturgy” often falls short when compared to reading, the HOLY Scriptures.”
    I’m curious about which churches’ liturgy you’re referring to specifically. The liturgy I’ve grown up with IS Scripture, taken directly from various sections – the Psalms, Revelations, John, Joel, etc, etc. I’ll often be reading through part of the Bible and suddenly find that I can sing that part because I’ve done it before in the liturgy (i.e the Venite, the Agnus Dei, the Magnificat). Perhaps not all liturgy everywhere is drawn from scripture but that which I am familiar with certainly is. It’s very helpful because even if the sermon somehow falls short of the mark, I still get God’s Word every Sunday in the liturgy and the readings for that week.

  • Med Student

    “Liturgy? I’ve listened in different churches “Liturgy” often falls short when compared to reading, the HOLY Scriptures.”
    I’m curious about which churches’ liturgy you’re referring to specifically. The liturgy I’ve grown up with IS Scripture, taken directly from various sections – the Psalms, Revelations, John, Joel, etc, etc. I’ll often be reading through part of the Bible and suddenly find that I can sing that part because I’ve done it before in the liturgy (i.e the Venite, the Agnus Dei, the Magnificat). Perhaps not all liturgy everywhere is drawn from scripture but that which I am familiar with certainly is. It’s very helpful because even if the sermon somehow falls short of the mark, I still get God’s Word every Sunday in the liturgy and the readings for that week.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Singing a bunch of random hymns, followed by a sermon/rant be a preacher who may or may not bang on the pulpit with his fist, then having a church choir sing “Just as I am” 5 times in a row while said preacher makes an invitation, followed by a closing hymn, and interpsersed with a prayer or 2, is also a liturgy, albeit a pretty dismal one. Usually found in some or the other IFB or similar Church…

    Just sayin…

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Singing a bunch of random hymns, followed by a sermon/rant be a preacher who may or may not bang on the pulpit with his fist, then having a church choir sing “Just as I am” 5 times in a row while said preacher makes an invitation, followed by a closing hymn, and interpsersed with a prayer or 2, is also a liturgy, albeit a pretty dismal one. Usually found in some or the other IFB or similar Church…

    Just sayin…

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    And so is sitting in a meeting quitely, waiting for the Lord to speak through whoever… (Society of Friends, ie Quakers)

    Tradition, Tradition – without our tradition we will be as shaky as… As a fiddler on the roof!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    And so is sitting in a meeting quitely, waiting for the Lord to speak through whoever… (Society of Friends, ie Quakers)

    Tradition, Tradition – without our tradition we will be as shaky as… As a fiddler on the roof!

  • http://www.pascallionnet.com/_wp_scripts/saclongchamp/ Sac Longchamp

    Anyone built a couple of good factors presently there. My spouse and i seemed on the internet for any trouble and located lots of people certainly associate with together with your web page.


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