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Repent of Lent?

Dr. Brian Lee, pastor of the "other" Christ Reformed Church (in DC.), has a helpful essay on various theological problems associated with the observance of Lent (and various other spiritual disciplines) published in the Federalist.

According to Lee,

The problem with even the evangelical, self-imposed fast is that it creates a little law for us to obey, a rule that is within our reach. It is, not surprisingly, a law of our own making, for the law of God — love God and neighbor with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength — is impossible to obey, even for a moment. If we fulfill our personal law, we have confirmed ourselves in the conceit that we aren’t so badly off after all.

To read the rest of Dr. Lee's insightful essay, click here: Repent of Lent

Reader Comments (5)

Some interesting thoughts here, but I liked Mike Horton's perspective on Lent from a couple of years ago. I see this as an issue of Christian liberty for us Reformed folk and not so much of conformity. Since there can be an upside and downside to the practice, it may be contingent upon the maturity of the believer. The issue of precedent need not be the only consideration.
March 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Davilla
Father Alexander Schmemann's 'Great Lent' (St Vladimir Seminary Press, 1969) is perhaps the definitive work on the benefits of a Lenten observation. If one treats Lent merely as series of rules to be followed, or if our goal is to feel better about *ourselves*, it is indeed a waste of time, and perhaps a genuine spiritual danger. There is, rather, an entire rhythm to be experienced that allows us to grow, to return to a less world-centered state, to realize where our true home lies, and to experience Holy Week and Pascha in their true fullness.
The cycle of services, from the Great Canon of Repentance of St Andrew, the hours, and the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, is to remind us of our great need to repent of the many areas in which we have fallen from our true calling, and to assist us in recovering that calling, in whatever degree we can manage each year.
None of this is to presume that after Lent, Holy Week, and Pascha, this effort is to be lain aside and forgotten. "God forbid!", as the apostle would say. Forgetting the lessons learned in Lent is precisely one of the lessons to be learned. But our nature being what it is, these lessons need to be re-learned multiple times before we truly make them a part of us - if ever.
I remember the comedian who said that for Lent he was giving up fasting.
March 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWill
Insightful indeed!
March 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHB
Lent is adiaphora. So long as it's not elevated to an unscriptural or idolatrous level, there's no problem with it.

Just because it's not Reformed doesn't mean it's wrong.
April 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJ. Dean

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