Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Missing the Point about Lent

The Church of England in the West Midlands is opening a comedy club for Lent—The Laughing Sole. The posters sport a fish in uproarious laughter. This is part of the “Love Life Live Lent2” campaign which includes daily text messages of fifty positive “actions to encourage kindness and generosity.”

This kind and gentle approach to Lent turns the focus away from spiritual disciplines to a feel-good attitude towards the community of humankind. The true locus of Lent and spiritual disciplines is God and His grace. Do good actions appeal to human vanity. You can read the full story from the BBC.

On this side of the world, apparently the Today Show is doing a twist on Lent with the “Could You Do Without?” segment. One family lived without modern appliances for a week. This was, of course, completely devoid of any spiritual purpose and more of a sociology experiment. However, it is fascinating that the idea of a fast translates into secular humanist religion.

2 comments:

Richard in Austin said...

Thank you for your post.

Could you please clarify your statement "Do good actions appeal to human vanity."

Was this a question that should have been punctuated as such ("do good actions appeal to human vanity?")? Or, were you simply stating that human vanity can be fed by good actions?

Either way, faith without works is dead (James 2:20).

While works do not save us (2 Tim 1:9 & Titus 3:5), we still are encouraged to do good works for the Lord - not just during the Season of Lent, but throughout our lives.

Jesus himself encouraged us to do good works: Matt 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Thanks for your time!

Richard Welch
Austin, Texas

Greg said...

Richard:

Yes, the punctuation should have been "do-good actions." Obviously I'm not negating the biblical concept of works (see my previous blog on the disciplines of grace and deeds of mercy), but the attitude of the Church of England program appears to be works without faith--more of a karma concept than biblical.

Thanks for your comment!