I’ve seen many catholics with ash ‘pon ’em foreheads this morning and I asked, how is it that these haven’t seen the Saviour’s instructions concerning the mode of fasting?
To start with, no where in the Bible was an instruction to fast for 40 days issued, even though The Saviour fasted for 40 days and on several occasions gave such spiritual exercise as fruitful towards attaining favour of the Almighty.
It is in keeping with Catholic tradition of deviating from scripture and creating their own form of righteousness that many Catholics will be fasting for 40 days in what they call the LENTEN SEASON.
Interestingly, unlike the many traditions found in the old testament which Catholics deem unnecessary as they’ve been ‘nailed to the cross’, they’ve not considered the application of ash on the foreheads (symbolic of old testament act of pouring ash and wearing sackcloth by those in mourning, are sad and unhappy or in the mode of fasting) of parishioners as that, in what is seemingly an act by the hierarchy of the Church to do all in it’s power to antagonize and relegate the Word Of YAHWEH to the background, in favour of that of man and by implication all that stands against THE WAY.
I will not bother going to the Old Testament to buttress my point here since you already know what Catholics and many Christians feel about that part of the Bible, so I’ll go straight to the book of Matthew Chapter 6 from Verse 16, which relates to fasting and how the Saviour intends for us to engage in this very important act of Spiritual Exercise.
Verse 16 states, “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance; for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast…..”. Did you see anything familiar to what you’ve just read this morning?
Did you not see the sullen faces and sad countenances?
Did you not see Catholics with disfigured faces?
Are those in keeping with the instructions of the Saviour they purport to follow?
I leave that for you to provide the appropriate answer.
That verse continues, “….Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”
Is the fast YAHSHUA instructs not written in verse 17 thus, “But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; (18) That thou appear not unto men to fast…”, an injunction Catholics have obviously not adhered to this morning as everyone knows who is and who isn’t fasting, infact if a serial killer wanted to target Catholics today, his/her targets will be provided on a platter of gold.
The Saviour implores us to when we fast to do so “…unto Thy FATHER (The Almighty, and shouldn’t be misconstrued with the appellation of Catholic clergy) which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”
Now that I’ve satiated the hunger of those who rely only on the New Testament to draw conclusions, I shall now proceed to the Old Testament to bring wholeness to this issue.
YAHWEH instructed the prophet Isaiah on the type of fast that is pleasing to him and that is reproduced in the Book of Isaiah Chapter 58 from Verse 4, stating what the norm was:
“Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.”
(5) Is it such a fast that I have chosen?
A day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ASHES under him?
Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to YAHWEH?”
This one totally knocks Catholic doctrine out of line, making you wonder the heck they got backing for the traditions and ceremony associated with their fast from.
Furthermore, YAHWEH says in verse 6, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen?
To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
(7) Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?
When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
(8) Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of YAHWEH shall be thy reward.”
The fast that YAHWEH desires is thus simply spelt out with its reward, let’s not make hypocrites of ourselves (like many have done this ASH WEDNESDAY) in fulfilling an injunction YAHWEH approves of (fasting, not at only a so called LENTEN season that’s without any spiritual or scriptural backing).