Skip to comments.Opinion: Lent for Baptists [Ekoomenikal]
Posted on 02/21/2012 8:31:25 AM PST by marshmallow
(ABP) -- If you're like me, you grew up in a Baptist church where Lent was a foreign word. Like all things Catholic, it was ignored if not rejected. In recent years, I have come to see the error of our ways. I am now convinced that Lent holds enormous promise for us. This ancient discipline can be a pathway to healing and hope in our fractured, fearful world.
What is Lent?
"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.
Lent begins with Ash Wednesday (Feb. 22 this year). It is always the seventh Wednesday before Easter Sunday. Its name comes from the ancient practice of placing ashes on worshippers' foreheads as a..........
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Hey, the Filet O’Fish ads started running again. Coincidence?
Most Baptists know what they believe and why they believe it. One thing Baptists have done poorly, at least Southern Baptists, is they have largely failed to explain why we reject certain ideas and practices.
Here’a a pretty good short discussion of “Lent” by Turrentinfan.
Lent is Biblical?
“Of course, none of this is to suggest that fasting, in itself, is wrong. Nevertheless, Christian fasting is purposeful and, usually, secret. Jesus taught us:
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. But thou, 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.
See people with ash daubed on their face? They are not following this teaching.”
Etymology of the word “Lent” — the author isn’t entirely accurate — also comes from the word “lengthen.”
(Etym. Anglo-Saxon lengten, lencten, spring, Lent.)
Ash Wednesday and Lent in Two Minutes:
A good recipe for Lent and beyond.
So, is there anything in the Bible about “Lent”?
I have some in my deep belly button and my dryer catches a bunch of it too.
...”See people with ash daubed on their face? They are not following this teaching”.....
We Orthodox Christians observe a pretty severe Lenten fast, which begins next Monday (”Clean Monday”).
We have no Ash Wednesday, so no ashes on our faces. (Instead, we begin Great Lent with a rite of mutual forgiveness, which might be good for other Christians to do, too.)
Since Roman Catholics, Lutherans, etc. get the ashes on their foreheads as a community, it’s not a show-off thing such as Jesus condemned. Nevertheless, Orthodox priests and authors often mention the fact that the Orthodox do not observe Ash Wednesday as being consistent with Jesus’ teaching.
What Jesus really mean is not brag about what you do. The ashes on the forehead is not braging what you are doing.
I don’t think Jesus ever asked his followers to do this Lent thingy?
Gee, isn’t the allegedly Reverend Jerimiah Wright a Baptist minister? If so, shouldn’t “Ekoomenikal” be spelt “EkoomeniKKKal”?
Everyone one of us steps into eternity one by one. Either we will hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Or we will hear, “Depart from Me, I never knew you!”
Make sure you are depending on the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, alone, and not on a bunch of man made ceremonies, or the teachings of any church that are not in the Bible.
Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Ephesians 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
I am amazed that you do not recall from the Bible the forty days Christ spent in the desert fasting and praying.
Our Lent is built upon that. And, yes, it’s biblical. But keep your fasting, praying and almsgiving quiet. Only you and God should know what is happening!
One can have ashes in the form of a cross on one’s forehead and yet the fasting of that person can be quite secret. Such a person may also smile and carry the joy of Christ within while going about daily activities.
Personally, I think that, in this present culture of death and hatred for Christians, it takes courage to wear that cross of ashes. Do some people do this to FLAUNT it, not having the proper spiritual attitude of the heart? Of COURSE, particularly some politicians these days, and some who claim to be Catholic but who have long forgotten how to really be Catholic. However, there are many Catholics who do so in great seriousness with their hearts fixed firmly on Jesus Christ.
This is a time when ALL serious Christians need to avoid criticizing one another. It further divides and weakens us as a witness to the world.
I can’t tell you just how many people have commented that “Christianity can’t be true...just look at all the division among Christians.” Perhaps that’s why Jesus prayed that we all be ONE (His last prayer before he ascended to the Father).
May the Triune God bless you and yours abundantly.
I bet you don’t even go and pray for forty days in front of an abortion clinic so abortion might cease there?
Look up 40 Days for Life
As the author explains, the name comes from the word "lencten" which means "spring" but the name is not something on which to get hung up. The important aspect is spiritual union with Jesus through self-denial and penance. As the author also states, Jesus Himself fasted for 40 days and 40 nights in the desert and our lenten observance is based on Jesus' own fast. Jesus also gave instructions for how to fast, as noted above.
St. Paul takes up this theme when he writes to the Corinthians:
"But I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway."
1 Corinthians 9:27
A little "self-chastisement" is good, provided it doesn't become a source of pride.