Lent is forty days of fasting before Easter. It’s primarily being practiced in the Catholic church and some evangelicals. I decided to research if evangelicals should observe lent.
Should evangelicals observe lent? Evangelicals can observe lent if they want. Christians are not commanded to observe Lent. It’s a personal decision. Evangelicals are not commanded to observe Lent.
When talking to evangelicals about observing lent you may find a variety of responses. Some feel strongly that we should avoid lent, while others promote the practice.
Ultimately it comes to a personal decision on whether or not to observe lent.
Should Christians Observe Lent?
The Bible doesn’t directly speak about Lent. Christians have no obligations through scripture to observe Lent.
Many evangelicals tend to avoid Lent because of the legalism commonly tied to it.
In the past, Lent has been communicated in a way that observing Lent was impactful on our salvation. Generations before us did not have a choice in participating in Lent, and this was one reason that evangelicals no do not require it and sometimes do not suggest it.
They want to make sure that no one else falls into legalism through the practice of lent.
There is nothing special if you observe Lent, we are still saved by grace through faith with or without Lent.
As evangelical Christians, it should be only by a personal conviction that we observe Lent.
We should not feel obligated to, or because we will receive something special, instead it should be because we feel called to observe Lent or think it would be beneficial for us.
We should make sure that if we decide to observe Lent or pass it over that we do it in a way that glorifies God and points to God and not legalism.
There are good reasons for those who want to observe Lent, but also good reasons to disregard Lent if you do not feel convicted to observe Lent.
Two Christian Viewpoints On Lent
The two views between evangelicals on observing lent are 1. observing lent 2. not observing lent.
1. Observing Lent
Some evangelicals believe we should observe lent. They deserve lent as a way to honor God before celebrating His resurrection on the cross.
Many evangelicals observe lent as it prepares their hearts for remembering Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Giving up social media or sugar during the time of lent helps evangelicals focus on Jesus during Good Friday and Easter.
But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.1 Corinthians 8:9
Paul writes in his letter to the church of Corinth that they should be careful that what they feel free doing does not hinder other’s walk with Christ.
Observing Lent is based on a personal decision, because of this, those who do observe Lent should not look down on those who do not.
It is not helpful to anyone in the body of Christ if shaming is occurring between those who do and do not observe Lent.
If you do feel convicted to observe Lent, there can be many reasons and benefits behind this decision. Lent can be a very beneficial time for believers who choose to observe Lent, and for the right reasons.
One of the biggest reasons that observing Lent can be beneficial to believers if they choose is the preparation for Good Friday and Easter.
Easter is a very significant time for all Christians since it is the time that Jesus defeated death and rose from the grave, covering all of our sins.
Lent can be a great way to prepare yourself spiritually and mentally for this day, we want to come with the right attitude to Easter and praise God appropriately and wholeheartedly for what he did, and Lent can help us come into this mindset.
If you are deciding to fast, do not try to force it on others, and be respectful if some do not agree with your opinion on Lent. You do not want to become legalistic about Lent.
You should feel free to share your conviction about Lent. Just keep in mind there are differing views about Lent between evangelicals.
2. Not Observing Lent
Some evangelicals belive it’s not important to observe Lent.
There may also be those who do not observe Lent because it is a stumbling block for them. Some were previously in a church that was more legalistic and was pressured into traditions such as Lent.
Avoiding legalism does not mean giving up all traditions, but rather deciding on a personal level what you want to do, and not on a church level for traditions such as Lent and the celebration of other Holy Days.
There are good reasons to pass over Lent. Lent for some people can lead to legalism. Some people grew up or easily fall into living as a Christian legalistically- following rules for the sake of following rules and not simply obedience to God.
If Lent pulls you back into the legalistic lifestyle you may not want to observe it.
There is a long and rich history behind the tradition of Lent. Even if you do not plan on observing Lent it is important to understand what Lent is for, and why some people you may know are observing Lent
If you strongly oppose Lent and impose it on others in the evangelical church you may find yourself doing the exact opposite of what you aimed to do at the beginning.
Deciding if you are going to observe Lent or not is a personal decision based on conviction in your own life and should take serious consideration. If you are observing Lent you want to make sure it is for the right reason.
Avoid observing Lent if you are only doing it to look good in front of others, or solely because people are pressuring you to observe Lent.
You also want to make sure you are not observing Lent because you think you will get something special out of it, it is about giving up something in your life and focus on the sacrifice of Jesus, not focusing on ourselves.
Lent in the evangelical church is not something that is mandated, or even suggested, but something that is based on convictions in your own life. Be careful to not become legalistic on either end of the spectrum- avoiding Lent or observing it.
The 40 days of Lent have historically been a season for Christians to engage in confession and repentance.Religion News