You know when you start taking heat for a post that you have struck a chord with the people offended by what you wrote. I think my earlier post on Lent did that because of the fact that so many seemed to be offended by the fact that I was saying observing Lent is not biblical, nor is it commanded in Scripture.
This just doesn’t rest well with the flesh that has decided to celebrate something because it makes them feel closer to God. Such silliness. If we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, born again, a new creation, what difference do our feelings make? In fact, if these things are true, why regard our feelings as anything at all given the propensity for our feelings to be extremely fickle on any given day.
But the other side of the coin is that if this is valid for our Christian walk, to walk by sight and what we do instead of walking by faith, why not go ahead and join a monastery or take a pilgrimage to Israel (aka the Holy Land), to earn some righteousness points and feel closer to God? Why not do even more than this and require us to sit and say 75 Hail Mary’s a day, confess our sins to some priestly figure so he can absolve us of our sins? Why not go all out and just join the Roman Catholics in earnest and quit playing Roman Catholic lite?
My point is that if Lent is so good for us, as so many seem to be trying to say, then why stop there? (I know my Lutheran Brethren and Anglicans are put out by this, but so many of them already are Roman Catholic, it’s just their pride keeps them from admitting it.)
The truth is that simply by realizing that men inventing the practice, men will corrupt it as well.
I do like what Amada wrote about her participation concerning Lent:
My heart is deceptive & wicked. I need a redeemer. I need a redeemer OUTSIDE of me. I have found that in Christ Alone. My heart is an idol factory. I can produce idols in my heart quicker than Kimberly Clark can produce the 80 rolls of toilet tissue in a box that Steve brought home last night from work. I mean, I can whip the idols out, if my heart is not constrained by Christ’s atonement on my behalf. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Yep. I need that verse.
In the case of Lent & Ashes, it would surely be an idol for me. Oh….look at me. I’ve got some super holy marking on my head. Yes…that’s right. I understand some things about this stuff. Come hear me wax eloquently about it.
The sad truth is that she nails it. This is everyone who celebrates it. I know they say they benefit, but again, do we not benefit from the means of Grace that God has given us: the preaching of God’s word, the reading of God’s word, the sacraments of baptism and the LORD’s supper, prayer, praising God in prayerful psalms, hymns and spiritual songs? The taking of lawful oaths and vows (meaning those found in Scripture).
Why do we have to invent things like Lent to be obedient? Why can we not just be obedient in our LORD’s day worship and trust the Spirit to grow us spiritually instead of coming up with feel-good, flesh inspiring solutions?
If you cannot find a reason biblically, or my arguments don’t persuade you, go ahead, join the Catholics officially because you are already there practically speaking.