FASTING WITHOUT GUIDANCE By Sanusi Olawale Ibn AbdulWasii
“Tell your mother I have gone”, I ordered, walking out of the compound through the gate. Just a few steps away, a sound echoed, “Uncle”! “Uncle”!
Looking back, it turned out to be her. I just have to walk back to greet her; it is not that compulsory, but necessary.
After exchanging pleasantries, she sounded, “I am doing 21 days fasting”. Even though I shook my head for her absolute ignorance, I still responded with a typical pity tone, “eeyaah”.
Mere looking at her eye, one wouldn’t argue she was just waking from sleep. But fasting? Let me just says it is not registered! But frankly speaking, she needs fasting, the fat she’ll lose would be a great help for her increasing size.
And now that she is fasting , was it recommended? Of course NO. It is just the obedient to the “Pastor”. It is also about that time of the year, when some Christians would observe the Lenten fast. Hers is just 21days. Could that be Lent? Maybe not, it could just be another “heavenly” declaration from a “man of God” just like the 100 days of fasting being observed by the Redeemed Christian Church of God. Or is that Lent too?
I know pretty well that it is not in anyway my business, but would it be nice seeing my neighbour swallowing a bad insect without caution when I know that could also cause me sleepless night? On a general note now, is it biblical to fast for days? How should it be done? Let’s see if some verses of the Bible can help. After all, Bible warns about desire without knowledge.
Proverbs 19:2 ESV
Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.
Gross fasting in Christianity is synonymous to the Lenten period, however there are other cases of declaration to fast, either personal or as obedience to the men speaking from the pulpit. Abstaining from food and drinks is not the problem, how long, and what modalities should be followed is what Christianity lacks.
Taking Lenten season for example, different denominations fast for different days. In the Roman Rite Lent starts on Ash-Wednesday and finishes on Holy Saturday. This comprises a period of 46 days. This includes six Sundays which are not considered part of the Lenten fast.
In the Ambrosian Rite , Lent begins on the Sunday that follows what is celebrated as Ash-Wednesday in the rest of the Latin Catholic Church, and ends as in the Roman Rite, thus being of 40 days, counting the Sundays but not Holy Thursday.
In Protestant and Western Orthodox Churches, the season of Lent lasts from Ash-Wednesday to Holy Saturday .This calculation makes Lent last 46 days, if the 6 Sundays are included, but only 40, if they are excluded. This definition is still that of the Anglican Church, Lutheran Church, Methodist Church, and Western Rite Orthodox Church.
Why is Lenten season designed to always come before Easter? Its purpose is to prepare for Easter. But is it logically sensible to fast when you already believe your sins have been fully paid for by Jesus Christ? What purpose would the fastings serve? Will the fasting be rewarded on earth or in heaven? While you ruminate over these questions, let’s see how fasting should be done in the Bible.
Looking for biblical verses on how fasting should be done is tantamount to wanting to force tears out of the nose; it is impossible! Jesus fasted for forty days is what we always hear. Whether he fasted in the nights of the forty days is what we are not told. But if he had done that, fasting for only the days will be out of point for Christians. And how Jesus broke the fast wasn’t recorded, was he breaking the fastings everyday making forty days of fastings altogether? Or was it just a marathon? Then it wouldn’t be easy to be like Jesus, I cannot commit suicide! Somebody should stop telling us to accept Jesus if you yourself cannot do what Jesus did.
Because fasting in Christianity is baseless, seeing some who only fasted while they feed on food without pepper or palm oil is not worrisome at all. They call it white fasting. There is another they call dry fast. There is also one they could do by just taking water, and it is still fasting. Some chose to make it 6 to 6 thing. While some try to run marathon for days, but if you kill yourself, prepare your perfect explanation to give your Lord in the grave.
And it is the same people who mock Muslims, they tell us we eat very early in the morning and pretend to be fasting. Please, how is that contradicting what Allah and His Prophet says? Islam is for ease. It is read that “…..Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you
That is Islam for you.
To make a Christian sweat even under a working air conditioner, just ask:
1. Which month did Jesus fast?
2. Why did he fast? Was he lacking anything? A fasting God!
3. What nullifies ones fast as a Christian? with Bible verses
4. Can sickness, old age, pregnancy or breastfeeding stop one from observing Lent?
5. Can a husband and wife copulate during the days of fasting? If No, does that mean for good 100days, the Redeemed worshiper would make their beds a no go area?
6. How can I include my children in a corporate fast? How do I explain it to them?
Far from being a trouble maker, these questions are to just prove all things as the Bible demands us.
1 Thessalonians 5:21(KJV)
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Fasting itself is not the problem, but how it should be properly done, and that is an important component that is no where to be found in Christianity.
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