What is Lent
Religious fasting observed in many religions. But, the methods of fasting are different. Some hold 40 days fasting, which is observed before Easter. Other are starving on Friday in Holy Week. Usually during the Lent people abstain from such foods as: meat, fish, eggs and dairy products.
In Christianity, it is believed that fasting was initiated by Jesus . In fact, in the Gospel you can read about how he was starving in the desert for 40 days. He did so immediately after his baptism. But nowhere is it said that he initiated a religious ritual. It was important for him, because after baptism a serious responsibilities were imposed on him. He had to think about it, to pray to God, and to remember all that he knew, before he became a man. Later in the Gospel there are no mentions, that the disciples of Jesus observed the fasting.
It is known that for the first time Lent was introduced into the lives of Christians in the IV century. This is much later, then time of life of the first Christians. All the traditions relating to fasting have been borrowed from the pagans.
If the tradition of fasting, it is an imitation of Jesus fasting after his baptism, then why fasting is observed before his death? There are no reports that Jesus fasted before his death. On the contrary, there are several messages, as Jesus and his disciples took food before the execution event. In the evening before his arrest, his disciples gathered for the Supper.
Events associated with the fasting after the baptism of Jesus, can be useful for us. What Jesus did, it was not part of a ritual or just torturing himself by hunger. He was just very focused on the important, and not thinking about food. Starvation was not his goal. It can be concluded that fasting can be useful, if a person has the right motivations and the right case for this.
Person also can have such situation when, because of serious feelings he did not even remember about the food. At this time he thinks, or solves the problem. And starvation in this case, is not intended to impress others, and not to please God. Sometimes after a serious sin the conscience can torments a person, and he can not touch the food. In such cases, abstinence of food itself can not possibly adjust the relationship of man with God. God did not need a victim of starvation. It is more necessary to man to think about it.
David - king of Israel has experienced something similar. His son was born very sick. And David directed all his forces to pray to God. He had not eaten for several days, praying to God to save his child, and it was fasting. Now also can be situations when a person is experiencing grief so deep, that the meal may seem inappropriate to him.
Other cases in the Bible shows that God's servants fasting, when they have thought over an important decision.
It can be concluded that fasting is a personal choice and is not required for Christians. You can not condemn a man if he did not fast, and for the regularly fasting. It is important to have a level head and realize that you can not refuse of food to impress others. We see that the God does not demand us to fast, but also he does not forbid us to do so, if we need this.
Translation of the article: Christianity basic...
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