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Why Ash Wednesday Is Not Christian, But Unbiblical

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Ash Wednesday is the first day of the six weeks prior to Easter Sunday that mainly Roman Catholics, but some Protestant denominations celebrate annually by drawing a cross on their foreheads with ashes. As it is the first day of Lent, it begins a season of fasting and penitence generally as a means to try to gain favor with God. While the intentions of Ash Wednesday observers may seem good, the bible never mentions the day — or Lent for that matter — and actually explicitly prohibits some of the ritualistic behavior of Ash Wednesday.

See also: Five Reasons Not to Observe Lent

As stated, the purpose of Ash Wednesday is to kick off the first day of Lent by painting a cross of ashes on one’s forehead. This practice contradicts the biblical design for fasting, which states,

And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:16-18 (ESV)

The point is, fasting is not to be a public or corporate action. It is to be private and kept between you and God. The public spectacle made out of the Roman Catholic and mainstream observance of Ash Wednesday is an affront to the Scriptures, and Jesus said that the attention they receive on Earth is their reward.

It was common for the Pharisees to practice their righteousness before men because they were not regenerate, true believers in Jesus. They were, in fact, self-righteous and their strict observance of the law was not to honor God but to make themselves look righteous before men. This is the same practice we see throughout the Roman Catholic Church — not just with Ash Wednesday, but with the entire practice of works righteousness. The idea is to try to earn favor with God by practicing your righteousness before men while, in reality, you have no real love for the God who has revealed himself to us.

It is important to remember that while the Scriptures don’t strictly prohibit the observance of special days — even when they’re not explicitly mentioned in Scripture — that many of the ritualistic practices in some of these extra-biblical holidays are forbidden and should be avoided. Further, it is important to remember that no amount of ritual or special day observance is going to earn you favor with God.

         

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Gayle Brown

Ash Wednesday is just a small part of the whole deception. I believe that our Lord said what He meant and meant what He said. So if He was crucified on "Good Friday" and arose on Sunday by the Jewish, timekeeping that was only one night and one day. A day in ancient Israel started at twilight and ended at sundown. Just like Ash Wed., "good Friday" is not Biblical. So, if ministers are trained in the Bible using it daily, why are they not preaching the truth about this heresy? It is understandable that the Sabbath mentioned would be… Read more »

Eastern Orthodox Chr

Complete and utter garbage article. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Ash Wednesday isn’t about “earning” anything. What do you think Catholics think sprinkling ashes on their head is a golden ticket to heaven or something? It’s about reminding Christians of their mortality and preparing them for a season of fasting and repentance. “ Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”. There are many references to ashes being used to represent repentance in scripture and in the writings of the early church as well so your reference to ashes being “unbiblical” is nonsense as… Read more »


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