What the Bible Says About Lent

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“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:5-6).

Do not add or subtract commands to the Bible! This teaching is found throughout the Old and New Testaments (Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32; Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation 22:18, etc.). God takes a dim view to folks who insist on adding commands to the scriptures.

One such addition is “Lent.” If you look up Lent in an English Dictionary, you will find a definition like this: “The 40 days prior to Easter in which Christians fast. In earlier days, Christian couples abstained from sexual conduct.”

But if you look up “Lent” in a Bible dictionary, you will find only: “the past tense of the word ‘lend.'” There is NO reference to “Lent” in the New Testament. The commands associated with the Lenten season are invalid because they are commands created by man. I can eat a hamburger or a chicken leg if I wish during these days leading up to Easter. It is not a mark of the lack of faith or spiritual closeness to the Lord.

Of course, it’s acceptable to fast at any time or season. It is a way you can draw closer to the Lord. But it should be a personal choice and NOT done to be seen by outsiders (see Matthew 6:16-18).

Larry Fitzgerald
Woodlawn church of Christ
Abilene, TX

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