Lent Is an Abomination

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Liberty Advocate

http://www.libertyadvocate.com

 

 

 

Lent Is an Abomination

 

by

Karen Pansler-Lam, J.D.

 

 

Many evangelical churches are beginning to observe Lent.  But Lent is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.  What true Christian who has been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb can mourn at this glorious time of the year?  Indeed, it is the Resurrection that interprets the cross and brings hope of eternal life.  O what a glorious hope!  Rejoice!

Paul warns unrepentant sinners they shall not enter the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).  Then Paul rejoices with those who are born again.  

 

And such were some of you:

but ye are washed,

but ye are sanctified,

but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus,

and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 6:11

And this is the glorious message of Easter. The Easter miracle transforms the tragedy of the cross into the glorious Gospel, or good news. This is a time of rejoicing!

But Lent turns Easter into a time of mourning, not rejoicing.  

A Time of Mourning

Lent is presented as an annual season of fasting and penitence observed by the Greek, Roman, Anglican and other churches in commemoration of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness forty days (Matt. 4:2).  Lent is observed from Ash Wednesday to Easter, excluding Sundays. It is considered a time during which certain “worldly” practices are to be denied.  For example, a Christian must give up ice cream or chocolate or some other pleasure that is not sinful. 

Basically, they assert that during the forty days of Lent we must mourn for our sins.  The forty days should be a time of sorrow.  The Lutherans observe Lent as a time of repenting of our sins; the Catholics observe Lent as a time of penance.  Both are different.  Both are wrong. 

As for the Lutherans observing Lent as a time of repenting of our sins, it sounds holy…but it is not Biblical.  We should be daily repenting of our sins. We should be daily perfecting our Christian character. The New Testament nowhere commands Christians to set aside special feast days for repentance and sorrow for personal sin.

And as for Catholics observing Lent as a time of penance, it is unbiblical.  No sinner can perform some act, or undergo some penalty, in satisfaction for sin.  For example, counting rosary beads and repeating “Hail Mary” does not absolve us of sin. Mary cannot absolve our sin.  Only Jesus paid the price.  Only Jesus is the Savior.

Lent is a time of mourning.  Forty days of dirges before Easter is an abomination. 

Christ Condemns Public Acts for Show

Parading in public with ashes on our forehead, boasting about fasting, and other public proclamations appear holy.  But they are unbiblical. They are for show.  And Christ condemns this behavior.

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.

Matthew 6:16-18

Wearing ashes on your forehead (“for they disfigure their faces that they may appear unto men to fast”) is for show.  And public proclamations of fasting or denying yourself a pleasure that is not sinful such as chocolate is unbiblical.  It is for show.  It is a man-made tradition. Besides, Christ commands us to fast in secret. 

Again, advocates of Lent allege it is in commemoration of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness forty days (Matt. 4:2). Fasting is Biblical.  But Jesus’ forty days of fasting has absolutely nothing to do with Easter – the Passover.

Easter

Easter is another name for the Passover.  Easter is mentioned in the Bible when Herod arrested Peter.

And when he had apprehended him,

he put him in prison,

and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers

to keep him;

intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

Acts 12:4

Easter, or Passover, was the most important Jewish feast. It commemorated the deliverance of the Jews from Egypt and the establishment of Israel as a nation by God’s redemptive act. In early times the date of the Passover was governed by agricultural seasons.  Ultimately its date was set as the 24-hour period beginning at sundown on the 14th day of Nisan, the 1st month of the Hebrew year (Lev. 23:5) – this corresponds to late March or early April.  This spring season was a fitting one in which to observe the beginning of new life for the Hebrews (“the beginning of months” Ex. 12:2). 

The Feast of Unleavened Bread began on the day after the Passover and lasted seven days (Lev. 25:5-8).  This combined feast was one of the three feasts the Mosaic Law commanded all male Jews to attend who were physically able and ceremonially clean (Exodus 23:17; Deut. 16:16).

At the Passover in the time of Christ, observed officially at Jerusalem, the paschal lambs were slain in various sections of the capital and taken to the priests to have their sacrificial portions presented at the altar. 

Remember that Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem during the Passover.  Christ’s care about observing the Passover is indicated by His being in the vicinity of Jerusalem six days early (John 12:1), and by the preparation He asked His disciples to make for it in the upper room (Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22: 8-14).  He had “desired to eat this Passover” with His disciples.

And he said unto them,

With desire I have desired to eat this passover

with you before I suffer.

Luke 22:15

In this Passover, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, established Christian Communion (Luke 22:14).  “For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Cor. 5:7). 

And John the Baptist proclaimed:

Behold the Lamb of God,

which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 1:29

And Paul instructs the Romans in chapter six about the significance of the Resurrection:

1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Rejoice, Christians: The Resurrection means that we walk in the newness of life! We are free from the bondage of sin!

It is Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross and His glorious resurrection that brings new life to those who are born again.  And that is why Christians celebrate Easter – the Resurrection. It is a time of glorious rejoicing!

Listen, there is not one Scripture to support the man-made tradition of Lent – forty days of mourning before Easter.  Neither Paul nor any of the other apostles commanded the early Christians to spend the forty days before Easter commemorating Jesus’ fasting in the wilderness, or spend forty days mourning over sin.

Jesus’ death conquered the power of sin over us.  Every day – through the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit – we should be perfecting our Christian character.  Just as the Jewish Passover celebrated the deliverance from the bondage of Egypt, the Christian Passover celebrates our deliverance from the bondage of sin. 

Churches are draped in mourning before Easter to focus on suffering, including the Crucifixion.  Instead of mourning, Christians should joyfully anticipate the glorious celebration of the Resurrection!  The Lord God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son.  Christ died for us so we will have eternal life in His presence!  The Resurrection is one of the vital truths in Christianity.  If there is no resurrection then there is no hope beyond this life.  

The Resurrection…Not the Crucifixion

Many churches spend Lent focusing on mourning and suffering, including the Crucifixion.

 

Focusing on Christ’s crucifixion – the cross – denies the power and glory of the Gospel.  Focusing on the Crucifixion – the cross - instead of the Resurrection makes the suffering of Christ the heart of the Gospel. But the true heart of the Gospel is the triumph of Christ - the Resurrection.  Christ was crucified, but He arose.  His resurrection must never be divorced from His crucifixion.  The atoning cross and the empty tomb are inseparable.  And the cross must never overshadow the empty tomb!

 

And this is the abomination of Jimmy Swaggart’s false gospel.  His “message of the cross” denies the power and glory of Christ.  Swaggart’s false gospel of the cross clearly contradicts Paul’s message of the Risen Savior.  In other words, Swaggart focuses on the cross, the Crucifixion.  On the other hand, Paul focuses on the Resurrection.  And this is why Swaggart wickedly slanders and libels the Apostle Paul, alleging that Paul did not fully understand the Gospel.  

 

Swaggart and others allow the Crucifixion to overshadow the Resurrection.  This is an abomination. 

 

To spend forty days before Easter in fasting and mourning is contrary to the glorious message of the Resurrection. Indeed, it is the Resurrection that interprets the cross and brings hope of eternal life.  O what a glorious hope! 

 

Christians…

 

Rejoice!

 

For we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!

 

Rejoice!

 

For we have been washed!

 

Rejoice!

 

For we have been sanctified!

 

Rejoice!

 

For we have been justified!

 

Rejoice, Christians: The Resurrection means that we walk in the newness of life! We are free from the bondage of sin!

 

 

March 2014
Liberty Advocate
http://www.libertyadvocate.com

 

 

 

 

See also:

 

Mary, Queen of Heaven

http://www.libertyadvocate.com/Mary,%20Queen%20of%20Heaven.htm

 

 

There is a dark mystery about 

Catholicism’s meaning of Lent and Easter. 

 

And the secret to unveiling this dark mystery

 is found in the ancient Babylonian liturgical wailing for Tammuz,

 and the ancient pagan worship of the Queen of Heaven.