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.”
...”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?
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.
Just a remembrance, a reminder to us Catholics...remember the funeral rite, from dust to dust, ashes to ashes? You have your Biblical reference or interpretation mixed up with this one.