The Season of Lent

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The Season of Lent

28 February 2012 Hits:8039

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.  Sundays are skipped when counting the 40 days, because Sundays commemorate the Resurrection.  This year Lent begins on 9 March and ends on 23 April, which is the day before Easter.  At Bayside Church we finish the fast on Palm Sunday – the weekend before Easter.

In many countries, the last day before Lent (called Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Carnival, or Fasching) has become a last fling before the solemnity of Lent.  For centuries, it was customary to fast by abstaining from meat during Lent, which is why some people call the festival Carnival, which is Latin for farewell to meat.

Many churches today do not celebrate Lent.  The reason for this is that in the 16th century, many Calvinists and Anabaptists discarded all Christian holy days, on the theory that they were Roman Catholic innovations.  This we now know not to be the case.  In the late 19th century, ancient Christian documents came to light.  The Didache from the first century, the Apostolic Constitutions from the third century, and the diaries of Egeria of the fourth century all give evidence of the Christian calendar and holy days. The Didache and the Apostolic Constitutions were written in the east, which denies it ever recognized the institution of the papacy. Egeria was a Spanish nun, but her writings also describe practices in the east.  All of these documents came to light 300 years after some Protestant groups had already discarded Christian holy days.

The Anabaptists gave rise to or influenced the Amish, the Mennonites, the Baptists, and the Plymouth Brethren. The Puritans, who were Calvinists, had similar views on worship, which is why they made Christmas illegal in Massachusetts at one time.

Gradually, the holy days have returned to the churches that had lost them.  The restoration quickly began with Easter.  Christmas followed in the 19th century, and Advent and Holy Week became widespread among churches in the 20th century.  Lent is mounting a comeback in the 21st century.

I believe the season of Lent is about two things – others and ourselves.  Personally it’s a time to give up something, especially something that is holding us back or hindering the freedom Jesus has gained for us.  It might be a particular food or drink, a habit, or something that is taking up too much time.  Lent is a time to rededicate our life to Jesus Christ and to spend more time praying, as well as reading and studying God’s Word.  It’s a time to enjoy a greater intimacy with our creator.

In Philippians 2:4 the apostle Paul taught, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  I believe that is true of Lent.  It shouldn’t just be a time for us but also a time for others – to pray for family and friends and to look for ways to be generous – to perform random acts of kindness.

I encourage you to get involved in Lent this year. You’ll reap great personal benefits and be a blessing to those around you.

Rob Buckingham

Senior Minister

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One reply on “The Season of Lent”

Basiasays:

Lent is another pagan celebration and modern churches are full of these things. It is very scary to realize it.

Believe it or not, Lent was never observed by Christ or His apostles. He commanded His disciples to “Go you therefore, and teach all nations…teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20). Jesus never commanded them to observe Lent or Easter. He did, however, command them to keep Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. In fact, during His last Passover on earth, Christ gave detailed instructions on how to observe the Passover service. He also instituted new Passover symbols (John 13:1-17).

Notice what Alexander Hislop wrote in his book The Two Babylons: “The festival, of which we read in Church history, under the name of Easter, in the third and fourth centuries, was quite a different festival from that now observed in the Romish Church, and at that time was not known by any such name as Easter…That festival [Passover] was not idolatrous, and it was preceded by no Lent. ‘It ought to be known,’ said Cassianus, the monk of Marseilles, writing in the fifth century, and contrasting the primitive [New Testament] Church with the Church of his day, ‘that the observance of the forty days had no existence, so long as the perfection of that primitive Church remained inviolate.’”

Coming from the Anglo-Saxon Lencten, meaning “spring,” Lent originated in the ancient Babylonian mystery religion. “The forty days’ abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess…Among the Pagans this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz” (The Two Babylons).

Tammuz was the false Messiah of the Babylonians–a satanic counterfeit of Jesus Christ!

The Feast of Tammuz was usually celebrated in June (also called the “month of Tammuz”). Lent was held 40 days before the feast, “celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing.” This is why Lent means “spring”; it took place from spring to early summer.

The Bible records ancient Judah worshipping this false Messiah: “Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz” (Ezek. 8:14-15). This was a great abomination in God’s eyes!

But why did the church at Rome institute such a pagan holiday?

“To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals amalgamated, and, by a complicated but skillful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get Paganism and Christianity–now far sunk in idolatry–in this as in so many other things, to shake hands” (The Two Babylons).

The Roman church replaced Passover with Easter, moving the pagan Feast of Tammuz to early spring, “Christianizing” it. Lent moved with it.

“This change of the calendar in regard to Easter was attended with momentous consequences. It brought into the Church the grossest corruption and the rankest superstition in connection with the abstinence of Lent” (The Two Babylons).

Before giving up personal sins and vices during Lent, the pagans held a wild, “anything goes” celebration to make sure that they got in their share of debaucheries and perversities–what the world celebrates as Mardi Gras today.
Abomination Masked as Christianity

God is not the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33). He never instituted Lent, a pagan observance connecting debauchery to the supposed resurrection of a false Messiah.

God commands His people to follow Him–not the traditions of men. God’s ways are higher, better than man’s (Isa. 55:8-9). Men cannot determine for themselves right from wrong or how to properly worship God. Why? Because “the heart [mind] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9), and “the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (10:23). God designed us and gave us life. He knows how we are supposed to worship Him.

To be a Christian and properly serve God, you must live “by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4), recognizing that His Holy Scriptures “cannot be broken” (John 10:35).

God commands Christians to flee from the pagan traditions and customs of this world (Rev. 18:2-4), currently led and deceived by Satan the devil (II Cor. 4:4; Rev. 12:9).

Lent may seem like a sincere, heartfelt religious observance. But it is deeply rooted in pagan ideas that counterfeit God’s plan.

God hates all pagan observances (Jer. 10:2-3; Lev. 18:3, 30; Deut. 7:1-5, 16). They cannot be “Christianized” or made clean by men. That includes Lent.

My views as taken from a website and written by David C Pack on a website that unpacks pagan beliefs from contemporary Christianity. http://rcg.org/articles/ttmol.html

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