Do You Celebrate Lent?
Pagan Origins Revealed
The so-called "Christian" observance of Lent was observed 4,000 years ago, two millennia before Christianity came on the scene. The apostle Paul, never one to mince his words, ordered its practice to cease amongst Christians converted from paganism.
Many are of the mistaken belief that Lent is a divine custom taught in the Bible though there is not a single reference to it there as such. The Lenten season is a period of 40 days' penitence and abstinence, beginning on "Ash Wednesday". The word Lent comes from the old English word Lencten, referring to the spring of the year. The Lenten celebration was originally associated with the spring but today it begins in the winter.
How did this confusion originate? "As long as the perfection of the primitive church (the New Testament Church) remained inviolable," wrote Cassian in the 5th century, "there was no observance of Lent; but when men began to decline from the apostolic fervour of devotion ... then the priests in general agreed to recall them from secular cares by canonical indiction or fasting" (Antiquities of the Christian Church, Book 21, chapter 1).
Fasting, or abstinence from certain foods, was imposed after the days of the apostles by the authority of the priests. It did not originate with Christ. It entered the Christianity of the Roman world in the second century, at the same time that Easter did. lent is always associated with pagan Easter.
Lent is mentioned in the Old Testament as part of the indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz, the pagan Babylonian messiah. The month of June was named in honour of this false being. For forty days preceding the feast of Tammuz, usually celebrated in June, the pagans held their Lenten season. Ezekiel described it vividly in Ezek.8:13-14.
"He (Yahweh) said to me, 'Turn again, and you will see greater abominations'" Notice that Yahweh calls what the prophet Ezekiel is about to see an abomination. And what does he see? "and to my dismay, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz."
They wept for Tammuz, the false messiah of the pagans. That weeping preceded the pagan festival in honour of the supposed resurrection of Tammuz. Fasting was joined with weeping for a period of 40 days before the festival in honour of Tammuz.
The period of weeping and semifasting fell during springtime. That is why the word Lent means "spring". Lent is a continuation of the pagan springtime custom of abstaining from certain foods just before celebrating a fake resurrection. And God calls Lent an abomination.
That is why Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and the true New Testament Church never observed it. Paul forbade Christians to observe any of these pagan days or seasons (Gal.4:9-10).
Surely, some will say, the people today are sincere - but so were the pagans! They didn't know better. Observe what Yahweh says he will do to those who refuse to repent of this abomination: "Is it a trivial thing ... to commit the abominations which they commit here? ... Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice (of course, they pray to God) I will not hear them" (Ezek.8:17-18).
But what if Easter and Lent are ancient pagan festivals? Isn't it still all right, if we use them to honour Christ? That's the way people reason today. Let Yahweh answer that question.
Yahweh warned His people not to follow these customs of the heathen: "Take heed ... that you do not enquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods?' I will also do likewise.' You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which he hates they have done to their gods" (Dt.12:30-31).
It doesn't matter what we think, but it does matter what Yahweh-God thinks. He calls these pagan Easter and Lenten customs abominations. No wonder the apostles did not teach the early Church to observe these traditions.
Is it any wonder that Jeremiah was inspired to write: "Learn not the way of the heathen ... for the customs of the people are vain" (Jer.10:2-3, KJV).
Yah'shua (Jesus) left us an example of what we ought to do - and that example is not Easter or Lent!
This page was created on 21 February 2001
Last updated on 21 February 2001
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