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Feasts That Are Not

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“Christians who invent things to observe”

I am not very good at accepting anything at face value. Especially not things invented by Christians to fill their otherwise faithless lives with outward useless activities. Today, many people who call themselves Christians are adding feasts, observances and celebratory days, to their ‘must-do’ list, rather like those folks who love to collect Beanie toys. The more the merrier! No faith, just novelty.

At the time of writing, Lent is the current celebration, but there are many more of these humanly devised fables. To my mind they are favoured by Christians whose spiritual state is best described as ‘easy-believism’, a common error in churches, and one that lends itself to all kinds of ecumenical balderdash.

I love pancakes, and often make them when I want to taste something different. And I am very good at it, too - I even toss them in the pan! I fill them with all manner of stuff, from sultanas to orange bits, ice-cream, and savoury ingredients. But this is not what is meant by ‘Pancake’ or Shrove Tuesday.

In Rome, Cardinal Jozef Tomko, who maybe raked the ashes personally from under his fire that very day, gave out ashes to cardinals and bishops, so they could pretend to be humble. They dutifully put the sign of the cross on their foreheads, using the ash, and “turned their hearts towards the horizons of grace” (whatever that means). In Rome, they have symbols for everything, and need to impose them at the start of every celebration, feast day and observance. No doubt they would otherwise forget to turn their hearts God-ward?

The pope added his bit, of course, by saying that this making of signs with ash was not a passing phase or “transitory conversion” but a “spiritual itinerary which has a profound effect on our conscience and involves a sincere intention to amend our lives.” (VIS 20110310 {580}). This might explain why my life has not similarly been transformed - because I do not observe Lent! I must go next door and beg for a bag of ashes from their bonfire, so that my spiritual life can be given a boost.

Why talk about Roman Catholic beliefs? Because they are behind the many ‘Christian’ practices that slavishly follow the same activities, as though they were genuine. The pope very clearly said that practising Lent activities offered “an authentic conversion to God”! Forget the scriptural teaching, that conversion and salvation come to us only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Instead, eat pancakes and plaster your heads with ash!

The pope said that God’s “mercy is regenerating”. Oh not it is not! God’s mercy is just that. It is God not condemning us to hell, as He ought, simply because He wishes to. There is nothing ‘regenerative’ about it. If it were, then we could come to salvation just by eating those pancakes and putting ash on our heads! And it is this kind of meaning that Rome applies to Lent, a meaning every silly Christian observes and approves of by practicing ‘Lent’. Yes, I mean ‘silly’, because they are certainly not serious about their faith and beliefs, and do not understand just how blasphemous the Lent season is.

There were many heresies in the pope’s address to the cardinals and bishops (who no doubt later enjoyed their famed rich lunches). Another was that “(God) offers us His forgiveness (through Lent)”. God does not offer us anything, friends. He makes declarations and expects us to obey. We are not given options, only commands.

So, those who do not want to ‘take up the offer’ will end up in hell, and those who do take it up via Lent are just deceived by a satanic ritual. The pope went on to say that our salvation must be continually amended and renewed (which gives his priests a job for life). For example: “He (Christ) invites us to rediscover these three works of piety (Ed. Alms, prayer and fasting), and to experience them more profoundly, not for love of self, but for love of God, as a means on the journey of conversion to Him.” (Emphasis added by myself). In other words – salvation by works.

What People Do

Though some countries do different things, mainly, meat is not eaten during Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent, by everyone age 14 or over… except for Friday 25th March, because it is a ‘Solemnity’. Fasting is also mandatory, for everyone aged 18 to 59 on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. “Fasting means only one full meal, with your other meals together not equalling a full meal, and nothing but water in between meals.” (CatholicCulture.org). What detailed, legalistic nonsense. Now tell me – can you find any of that in the New Testament as ‘rules’ for Christians?

The Christian Post (9th March 2011) reported that “millions of Christians worldwide will usher in the 40-day season of Lent, by imposing the sign of the cross on their foreheads with ash on Wednesday.” This sadness is not just found amongst Catholics and Anglicans, but amongst those who say they are saved. And they say such ridiculous things… that giving up chocolate for a month will somehow make them right with God. Or, they ‘give up something’ they like so as to be more like Jesus. Again, no biblical reference for that.

Amongst supposed ‘Protestant’ denominations, such as Lutherans (now apostate), Methodists (Arminians) and Presbyterians (just plain PC), people abstain from drinking and eating or doing certain things. The claim is that this outward show “reminds them of the Lord’s sacrifice for mankind.” Maybe I am just being picky, but abstaining from meat, or chocolate, has no equality at all with the sacrifice of Christ on the cross! And if it takes a once-a-year event to ‘remind’ them, well…

How does giving something up temporarily prove anything at all, except that the one doing it is faithful to a denominational tradition, not to Christ? How does it correspond in any way to the horrific death of Christ on the cross? How in any way do we ‘share’ in His sacrifice by giving up chocolate for a few days? Symbolic? Yes, it is – of man’s silliness and pseudo-piety.

The reason the Lent period is forty days long, is that Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness before starting His public ministry. Sorry, but I can see no logical connection there at all.

Other Silly Days

Christians do not just observe Lent. They also observe Christmas, Easter, and a whole host of invented feast days. Many even follow Jewish custom and feast days! All without any true reason, except human tradition. Scripture allows us to observe days as holy if we wish… but this allowance does not extend itself to days held holy by cultists and by the defunct Jewish religion! Such observances must be based on a genuine personal belief in a genuine day for a genuine reason.

So, if anyone wants to observe the birth of Jesus, that is fine, so long as the observance is genuine and personally justified. How that person squares it with the fact that Christmas is itself a Roman Catholic celebration, is yet another question. And how ALL ‘Christian’ churches can possibly have this ‘genuine’ personal belief begs a question about what constitutes ‘genuine’.

So, some holy days, kept by individuals who have a strong inward conviction, are acceptable in scripture. In the matter of Lent, however, we are talking about the beliefs and practices of a cult, the unchristian Roman Catholic church. We have no reason or excuse to follow what it does. And if we need to use annual outward tokens to ‘prove’ our faith and obedience, then something is wrong.

This comes down to all sorts of ‘silly’ activities, including sticking smiling faces or crosses on their Bibles, and carrying them openly through the streets. Or, sticking them on their cars. It is a way of avoiding personal holiness… the stickers do it all, by proxy. I believe the growth of feast days amongst Christians is a sign not of faith, but of the opposite. It is reliance on an outward show, rather than on an inner salvation. We have only two outward ‘ordinances’ or commands from God – communion and baptism. There are no others. So, what does that say about all those feast days, holy days, and observances?

© March 2011

Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
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