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Preaching by: John J. Malone, Sr - JABSBG*

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Lent. No Thanks. - Comments (52)

Printer Friendly Category: Applied,Articles,Roman Catholicism
Author: John Malone
Date: 24th March, 2007 @ 05:56:29 AM

One of the practices I left behind when I received Christ as Savior 32 years ago was the keeping of the “Lenten season.”

The wholesale adoption of this Roman Catholic version of ancient pagan practice by what was once Protestantism is indicative of the departure that marks our day.

Now let me be clear here: I have no qualm with anyone’s religious practice, within civil bounds. If someone wants to re-enact the weeping for Tammuz, or some other pagan practice, I consider them free to do so.

My issue with “Lent” is the Christianizing of it: the attempt by ignorant or dishonest men to sell the practice to the unsuspecting as if it had to do with faith in Jesus Christ.

Roman Catholicism acknowledges: “The Teutonic word ‘Lent,’ which we employ to denote the forty days’ fast preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season.” Indeed. Throughout the world, one can find ancient (heathen) ritual practices – many referenced in the Bible – which accommodate themselves seasonally.

Perhaps nothing pinpoints the ascension of Bible-condemned clerisy, “the Pharisee-izing” of Christianity, the paganizing of Christendom, and the confusion reigning today than the promulgation of “the Easter season” (unless it’s the promulgation of “the Christmas season!”).

As is the case with so many “religious controversies,” the fountainhead of this one has to do with the rise of Constantine as the unified emperor of Rome, and the politicizing of the Christian faith as part of an attempt to consolidate a political base in the face of a fragmenting body politic.

By the time of Constantine, roughly 300 AD, the Roman empire featured a splintered leadership (4 ways) – ironically similar to the way the Greek Empire had split after Alexander – demonstrating that primogenitor had failed. Constantine was the son of a politically motivated general (certainly something not lost through the ages) who had found his way into the emporer’s broad household through a second marriage.

Constantine employed a form of politics that has since been heavily replicated. He did not invent the form. Because he needed to break into an status quo political hegemony, he needed to appeal to the disenfranchised – without substantially offending the bourgeoisie – in order to gain requisite political support. Those disenfranchised groups could be substantially found among Christians who were spread throughout the empire, and eastern empire factions who were regarded as second-class (or even thrid class) entities in the empire.

What is amazing today is the near wholesale adioption of “Lenten season” by supposed “Protestants” and “evangelicals!” What was once distinctly Catholic – and pagan – has now become commonplace in nearly all churches.

The gospel has been nearly lost by churches, whereby it now becomes “God’s do over,” or “a second chance,” instead of God’s gracious declaration and imputation of actual righteousness to the believer on the basis of faith alone in the meritorious works of Christ alone. As it has become mired in works-based junior forms of Romanism, it’s no surprise than abominable ritual practices with roots in heathenism are taught to God’s people.

As for me, I want no part of such abominable practices.

As a master stroke, Constantine “sanctified” Christianity, declaring it the religion of the empire, but satisficing traditionalists by incorporating pagan sites into the new religion. A second master stroke, he declared the “new Rome” to be in Istanbul, in the east, the city which after his death was called “Constantinople.”

“Lent” is one of the pagan practices which migrated into Christianity, and can be traced to the worship of Mithras. By the time of Constantine, it was a tradition in the empire, adopted as it was from the ancient Babylonian system via the mystery religions extant throughout the empire.

The “strength” of the Roman empire was its ability to rapidly absorb the culturs it conquered. For instance, Greek philosophy and language had much more impetus under Rome than under Alexander and his generals, because Rome adopted and seized upon the system of thought and language for the privileged class: it was no big deal to speak Latin, but if one spoke, read, and wrote (classical) Greek, he was considered highly educated. This snobbishness, hinted at in Romans , continues to this day.

Rome absorbed the Bablyonian’s religion, the Persian system of roadways and commerce, and the Greek language arts and military strategies.

So it is no surprise that Constantine readily “absorbed (viz. co-opted and usurped) Christianity,” and co-opted the Indo-European people with his New Rome at Constantinople.

Now, Lent is a piece of that Mithraism underlying the mystery religions, “replacing” as it does the season of “weeping for Tammuz.” In fact, this was one of the ancient abominable practices Israel had adopted resulting in the punishment by God that was the Assyrian captivity.

It should come as no surprise that a heathen practice like Lent – once found only among Catholics – is now commonplace among “Protestants” and “evangelicals.”

These who have abandoned the simple gospel of the grace of God, Who graciously imputes real righteousness to anyone who believes in Jesus Christ – on the basis of faith alone in the meritorious substitution of Christ alone – and replaced it with a system of works to be saved, prove you are saved, or stay saved, will readily adopt empty and abominable ritual practices which also hearken to some lame strata of Romanism!

As for me, I’m not the slightest bit interested in adopting such pagan, anti-gracious, abominable practices.

Pingback by Should Good Christians Observe Lent? - The Holy Word Church of God » 18th March, 2019 @ 06:37:31 PM

[…] and the traditional start of spring?  Even its name is derived from non-Christian concepts, and this article claims the celebration derives from the worship of the Roman god, Mithras, a practice that started […]

Comment by Tim Ferral » 31st March, 2019 @ 02:41:51 PM

Amen Brother, you nailed this! I’m teaching a men’s bible study on Romans right now. And it just hit me like bolt of lighting on ash Wednesday; this is wrong! Jesus said nothing about lent to be saved; Paul says nothing about lent to be saved. In fact Paul goes to great lengths saying that Our Lord Savior released us from all this hokum. Lent has nothing to do in our faith in Jesus Christ. I think the practice of Ash Wednesday and Lent is polluting Christianity. Thank you for your research and commentary, it filled in some holes of what I already knew.

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