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Why ashes on Ash Wednesday are wrong PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 15:47

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.-2 Tim 3:5

A good example of this is Ash Wednesday.  Millions of Catholic Christians (including Anglicans) will have ashes put on their foreheads tomorrow.  Why?  Will it be a sign of deep contrition or mourning for their sins or will it simply be an outward form of piety done because it is considered a religious duty and custom to have it done because it is Ash Wednesday?  This reminds me of he young clerk at the deli counter who has long unkempt hair and a hat on his head.  He is technically obeying the store rule that says he must not be bareheaded while working with the food. But he seems oblivious to the reason for the rule- to keep his hair out of the food.  Technically, his duty is met; the reason for it is ignored. The hair falls on the food.  I do not buy it.

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces [with ashes], that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. Matt 6:16-18

These are the words of Jesus.  They forbid putting ashes on the forehead as a sign of fasting and penance for sins.  Jesus forbids the common purpose and practice of Ash Wednesday!  Amazing!  And if people who are having the ashes imposed are not really repenting that makes the practice even worse- it means, as Jesus says they are hypocrites.  As Paul told Timothy, we are to turn away from such.

If we are entering a period of fasting and true contrition for our sins, ie- Lent, the Father knows that without the ashes and will respond to the inward intent of our hearts.

I am not twisting Scripture here.  Te meaning of these words is as clear as anything in the Bible.  The fact they are just ignored proves the truth of something else Jesus said (Matt 15:6-9 KJV)

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.

Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. v.6 [Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.- NIV]

This matter of Ash Wednesday sheds needed light on much of what is wrong in Catholic and in Evangelical Churches on other matters!! Let him who has ears, Listen!

 

 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 February 2012 10:34