“Lent?”

20200410_185021 I mean no disrespect in the things I am about to say concerning Lent, but in all honesty, for Protestants, I just don’t get it? And even the Catholics have so watered down the event from its original form that it cast major shadows over its validity to begin with. It’s just another tradition of man, not even officially recognized until 325 AD. A lot of changes occurred with the church during the time of Roman Emperor Constantine, who was not saved, but a pagan man at least until his death. This also cast a great shadow over it. Why was the church so influenced by him?

Some like to say the Apostles started Lent, but our Bible, and all early church writings do not support that, so why do they try to make it look that way? I’m not saying it can’t be useful, because anytime someone truly fast and prays to God, it is good. However, there is no Biblical foundation for this. It’s another man made tradition by the early Catholic church like praying to Mary. In its original form it had very strict fasting rules that proved to be unrealistic for the average person living in the real world.

I can’t imagine every year facing 40 days of only one meal a day and no meat, fish, eggs, or butter. Every year! I mean, I can see a person possibly doing such a thing when led of God to do so, but every year? Do you realize how quickly a year passes? So it was one of the World Wars, I forget which, but I guess they began watering it way down, until today it can be almost anything. Again, not that God does not honor any person who sincerely seeks him, but we already have a BEAUTIFUL event of the Lord’s Supper, Passover, Days of unleavened bread, and Communion that is definitely supported by the early church fathers, and our Bible, and is actually connected to our Lord’s crucifixion! We fail to live a true Passover for this thing called Lent? I just don’t get it?

Why have we embraced a very watered down Catholic man made tradition not supported by our Bible or early church fathers, connected to Constantine and a path that led to the Dark Ages, and completely short changed the most sacred and beautiful event of our Lord’s Supper and Passover?

Jesus fasting 40 days in the wilderness did not happen during his last days before the cross. There is no connection whatsoever, and yet someone creates this Lent, connects it to our Lord’s crucifixion, and causes confusion concerning what the early church actually did on that holy three day period. The Lord’s Supper and his Passover ought to be the most sacred event of our calendar year! Most Christians don’t even know that for the Jew, it was also a New Years event! So if I am now a child of Abraham, I’d rather claim that as my New Years rather than January 1st when the world celebrates, because I am not of this world!

How have we gotten to this watered down place in church history? Last night my wife and I enjoyed a beautiful Lord’s Supper Passover meal in our home. We had prayers, food, worship, fellowship, and began our New Year in a powerful way already giving God first place for another year. As we progressed through the 4 cups and the 3 Matzah breads, we were reminded of every aspect of what our Lord did for us in saving us from slavery to SIN. And now today, as I wait for the celebration of my Lord’s resurrection, I am still in the Days of unleavened bread, and it’s a beautiful thing.

We are no longer under LAW. I don’t have to do the Days of unleavened bread, but I like doing it. I don’t do the full 10 days. I do what I feel God leading me to. I have a few days after the Passover meal where I think about getting SIN out of my life, just like I have to intentionally avoid leaven in my foods if I am to practice this. It makes me think. It makes me think about what my Lord did for me, and how I want to love him more and serve him better. During this time I pray for more of God’s help, more of the Holy Spirit in me, setting me free from my selfish ways, worldly ways, sinful ways. Again, it’s a beautiful thing, and I could do it even if a world war was going on.

I really think the church needs to get back to more of what the early church showed us to do, not these traditions of man. I also believe God allowed the persecution to scatter the church and it was not until then that you see God’s full will for his church. The very first church that kept growing bigger and bigger in those first chapters of Acts was just God’s launching pad for what it was to become. And for almost 300 years it fought to remain that way, until pressure from Rome bishops, a carnal Constantine, and lots of government favor started us down a path to the Dark Ages. And then we Protestants finally came out! OR DID WE?

If you practice Lent in a sincere and real way, I can see benefit there, but have you ever truly studied the beauty of what God already has for us in the Passover? Do you know the Apostles taught the early church to continue these meals, the Lord’s Supper, the Passover, and fellowship meals? It now took on a Christian form, but you find it in early church writings, Polycarp the disciple of John, and the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians chapter 11. There is much evidence of it. Even the Catholic church historians recognize it. It’s there. It’s beautiful. It’s real. It’s still for today. I invite you to see it for yourself. All you got to do is some digging for truth. It’s there. May God bless you in your journey.

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This was our 3rd year of having Passover and every year gets better as we learn more. My Matzah turned out the best yet this year! Even my wife agreed. Next year we hope to add some bitter herbs and honor our Lord even more, every year. But do not forget as you’re going about your busy day, our Lord was in the belly of the earth, his body in a cold tomb, this day. Let us always remember this most sacred event, and take none of it for granted. Be blessed in our Lord forever, as we follow Him.

 

Passover?

5883 So which is it, Lent or Passover? I have some questions. How is it Lent conflicts with Passover because you’re not to eat meat, and yet Passover is a meal and involves a lamb? Did you know the Apostles all continued a Christian form of Passover even after Christ ascended? So did the early church fathers. And a disciple of the Apostle John, known as Polycarp, actually stood against the Bishop of Rome when they tried to change things! Polycarp said he was instructed by the Apostle John to continue the Lord’s Supper, and so did the other Apostles, and he would not cease to do what he had been taught by the Apostles to continue! What does all this mean?

I have more questions: My understanding of Lent is that it has to do with the 40 days of Christ temptation in the wilderness at the very beginning of his ministry. Okay, if that be so, then how did it get connected to something that does not happen until the very end of his ministry, his Last Supper? What do those 40 days at the beginning have to do with his crucifixion and resurrection in Jerusalem?

Jesus fasted 40 days in the wilderness, so I understand the fasting part of Lent, but that also causes it to conflict with the eating part of the Passover, which is an event that is actually part of this Easter weekend, and the Apostles taught to continue! I’m confused.

Why and when did we discontinue what the Apostles said to continue? In First Corinthians chapter eleven, the Apostle Paul actually corrects the Corinthian church on how they were treating the Lord’s Supper! He did not say to discontinue it, but to do it right! It’s right in our New Testament that the early church was doing it, a meal! Not just a cracker and thimble juice! What happened? And do we continue to ignore this part of our Bible even to this day? Why?

Polycarp and the Asian churches resisted the Bishop of Rome concerning this change from Passover to Lent. Polycarp rejected the change his whole life! The Asian churches continued even after Polycarp passed. Rome kept pressing for it. Then Constantine came to power around 300 AD. (a little past). And the church went down the Catholic fork of the road, Passover got lost somewhere, we went back into big church buildings, everything changed, eventually we entered the Dark Ages, and then finally came a Reformation where we revolted against the religion of that time! But we kept certain baggage and never went completely back, even though it’s plainly spoken of in our Bible.

I’m so confused. Is it a small matter? Is it not important? Does new traditions of man override old instructions of God? It’s right in our Bibles, folks. Along with some other things we scoff at today.

Now of course I have my opinion about all this, and my little group always does a Christian form of Passover each year. It was one of the reasons I left modern church to get back closer to our roots. But the questions I have posed here are valid. How did Easter become a one day event to wear fancy clothes, eat a tiny cracker and thimble of juice, maybe hunt some eggs a rabbit hid, and then go out to eat?

And doesn’t it seem odd that Lent, focusing on Christ’s 40 days in the wilderness, had nothing to do with the Lord’s Supper or his cross and resurrection, and yet we connect it to all that, and it just happens to conflict with having a Passover meal on Passover, 3 days before his resurrection? And the Apostles instructed the church to continue a Passover meal, verified by First Corinthians eleven, and several early church writings! Is this not very odd? Am I missing some details here? Can anyone explain?

One of the early church fathers even asked the Bishop of Rome, was he to obey man or God? I saw this writing with my own eyes! And he clarified he would continue obeying God! (Good for him!) But what about us today? Do you have answers for any of this? Or do you blindly trust your Bible College educated leaders?

This year our Passover meal will be conducted by individuals in their own home, just as it was in the original Passover as slaves in Egypt. And they were not to come out of their home as the death angel would pass over that night! This Corona Virus thing has us staying in our homes as much as possible, which just happens to be perfect for a Passover meal and Communion. So perhaps this is the perfect opportunity for people to research the questions I have posed. God will honor our true diligence in a matter, but he does not honor intentional ignorance and lack of caring.

Is God trying to tell us, his church, something? Did we fail to change with the first wake-up call of 9-11, and so now we are in a stronger wake-up call? Will we repent this time? Will we change this time? Will we get back to what Jesus actually DID this time? Or are we beyond changing, beyond the point of no return? If so, what comes next? Revelation?

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Who would have thought the pain of that day could be so eclipsed by the pain of today? And once again we hear the cry of our N.Y.C.