Tuesday, February 21, 2012



The world under the authority of the Catholic church..The church of Constantine, says that today is February 21st AND that is is Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras.
Do we as Believers believe this?


Catholic Roots of Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras, literally "Fat Tuesday," has grown in popularity in recent years as a raucous, sometimes hedonistic event. But its roots lie in the Christian calendar, as the "last hurrah" before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. That's why the enormous party in New Orleans, for example, ends abruptly at midnight on Tuesday, with battalions of streetsweepers pushing the crowds out of the French Quarter towards home.

What is less known about Mardi Gras is its relation to the Christmas season, through the ordinary-time interlude known in many Catholic cultures as Carnival. (Ordinary time, in the Christian calendar, refers to the normal "ordering" of time outside of the Advent/Christmas or Lent/Easter seasons. There is a fine Scripture From Scratch article on that topic if you want to learn more.)

Carnival comes from the Latin words carne vale, meaning "farewell to the flesh." Like many Catholic holidays and seasonal celebrations, it likely has its roots in pre-Christian traditions based on the seasons. Some believe the festival represented the few days added to the lunar calendar to make it coincide with the solar calendar; since these days were outside the calendar, rules and customs were not obeyed. Others see it as a late-winter celebration designed to welcome the coming spring. As early as the middle of the second century, the Romans observed a Fast of 40 Days, which was preceded by a brief season of feasting, costumes and merrymaking.
The Carnival season kicks off with the Epiphany, also known as Twelfth Night, Three Kings' Day and, in the Eastern churches, Theophany. Epiphany, which falls on January 6, 12 days after Christmas, celebrates the visit of the Wise Men bearing gifts for the infant Jesus. In cultures that celebrate Carnival, Epiphany kicks off a series of parties leading up to Mardi Gras.

Epiphany is also traditionally when celebrants serve King's Cake, a custom that began in France in the 12th century. Legend has it that the cakes were made in a circle to represent the circular routes that the Wise Men took to find Jesus, in order to confuse King Herod and foil his plans of killing the Christ Child. In the early days, a coin or bean was hidden inside the cake, and whoever found the item was said to have good luck in the coming year. In Louisiana, bakers now put a small baby, representing the Christ Child, in the cake; the recipient is then expected to host the next King Cake party.

There are well-known season-long Carnival celebrations in Europe and Latin America, including Nice, France; Cologne, Germany; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The best-known celebration in the U.S. is in New Orleans and the French-Catholic communities of the Gulf Coast. Mardi Gras came to the New World in 1699, when a French explorer arrived at the Mississippi River, about 60 miles south of present day New Orleans. He named the spot Point du Mardi Gras because he knew the holiday was being celebrated in his native country that day.

Eventually the French in New Orleans celebrated Mardi Gras with masked balls and parties, until the Spanish government took over in the mid-1700s and banned the celebrations. The ban continued even after the U.S. government acquired the land but the celebrations resumed in 1827. The official colors of Mardi Gras, with their roots in Catholicism, were chosen 10 years later: purple, a symbol of justice; green, representing faith; and gold, to signify power.

Mardi Gras literally means "Fat Tuesday" in French. The name comes from the tradition of slaughtering and feasting upon a fattened calf on the last day of Carnival. The day is also known as Shrove Tuesday (from "to shrive," or hear confessions), Pancake Tuesday and fetter Dienstag. The custom of making pancakes comes from the need to use up fat, eggs and dairy before the fasting and abstinence of Lent begins.

TRUTH......Mardi Gras represents a blend of religion and immorality, steeped in ancient pagan fertility rites. Many of the parades celebrate and honor false gods such as Bacchus and Venus; others promote fornication and drunkenness—conduct that ends marriages, breaks up families and destroys lives! Professing Christians should take heed: Drunkenness, fornication and such reveling are among the kinds of conduct that exclude one from inheriting the kingdom of God (I Cor. 6:9-10).
It is hypocritical for anyone who claims to seek or serve the true God to participate in a festival that originates from paganism and promotes immoral behavior. Not only should Christians not participate in evil, God commands them to avoid even the appearance of evil (I Thes. 5:22). This certainly applies to Mardi Gras.

What about Lent? As noted earlier, the Catholic Church incorporated the 40-day fast that the pagans had been observing and renamed it Lent. This, too, is an unscriptural custom, and should be avoided by anyone striving to obey God.
Any festival or religious observance of pagan origin is unacceptable to God, the “Lord” of the Old Testament (Deut. 12:29-32)—the same Being who later became Jesus Christ (I Cor. 10:1-4).


The True Meaning of Lent
The smell of baked haddock wafts through a parish as local families attend a church-sponsored Friday night dinner together. Heaps of coleslaw, macaroni salad and mashed potatoes fill diners’ plates, yet no trace of meat products such as beef are to be found.

The Lenten season has begun.
Unlike New Year’s, Christmas, Halloween, St. Valentine’s Day and other pagan holidays that are celebrated by the secular, non-religious world, Lent is observed by dedicated religious believers.

For more than 1 billion Catholics and many Protestants across the world, the start of Lent signals the beginning of 40 days of prayer, self-denial and confession that culminates on Easter.

During the Lenten period, lasting from Ash Wednesday to Easter, observers abstain from certain foods or physical pleasures. Some vow to give up bad habits such as smoking or nail biting while others abstain from chocolate or a certain kind of ice cream. Others promise to help “heal the environment” by walking to work for 40 days instead of driving or use Lent as a time to give to others without being recognized for their good works.

Abstaining from physical pleasures or modern conveniences supposedly imitates Jesus Christ’s 40-day fast in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-2), helps the believer understand the suffering of Christ, and better prepares him or her for Easter.
Given that this practice appears well-intentioned and those who practice it seem sincere, Lent must be a practice that God approves.

Or does He?
Examining Lent’s Purpose
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “the real aim of Lent is, above all else, to prepare men for the celebration of the death and Resurrection of Christ…the better the preparation the more effective the celebration will be. One can effectively relive the mystery only with purified mind and heart. The purpose of Lent is to provide that purification by weaning men from sin and selfishness through self-denial and prayer, by creating in them the desire to do God’s will and to make His kingdom come by making it come first of all in their hearts.”
On the surface, this belief sounds sincere, yet it does not agree with the Bible, God’s Word, the only source of true spiritual knowledge and understanding (John 17:17).

God, through the apostle Paul, commands Christians to “continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them; and that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Tim. 3:14-17).

Understand that the “celebration of the death and Resurrection of Christ,” referred to earlier, has in mind so-called Good Friday, but also Easter Sunday—a holiday deeply rooted in ancient paganism. They were instituted by mainstream Christianity to counterfeit and replace the Passover season. Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread were observed by Christ, the original apostles and the New Testament Church—including Gentiles. God commands His people to observe them today (I Cor. 5:7-8).
So where did Lent originate? How did it come to be so widely observed by mainstream Christianity?

Approved by Official State Religion
As surprising as it may seem, Lent was never observed by Christ or His apostles. He commanded His disciples to “Go you therefore, and teach all nations…to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20). Jesus never commanded them to observe Lent or Easter. He did, however, command the keeping of Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. In fact, during His last Passover on Earth, Christ gave detailed instructions on how to observe the Passover service. He also instituted new Passover symbols (John 13:1-17; Luke 22:19-20).

Notice what Alexander Hislop wrote in his book The Two Babylons: “The festival, of which we read in Church history, under the name of Easter, in the third or fourth centuries, was quite a different festival from that now observed in the Romish Church, and at that time was not known by any such name as Easter…That festival [Passover] was not idolatrous, and it was preceded by no Lent. ‘It ought to be known,’ said Cassianus, the monk of Marseilles, writing in the fifth century, and contrasting the primitive [New Testament] Church with the Church in his day, ‘that the observance of the forty days had no existence, so long as the perfection of that primitive Church remained inviolate.’”

Lent was not observed by the first century Church! It was first addressed by the church at Rome during the Council of Nicea in AD 325, when Emperor Constantine officially recognized that church as the Roman Empire’s state religion. Any other form of Christianity that held to doctrines contrary to the Roman church was considered an enemy of the state. (To learn more about the history of the true Church, read our book Where Is the True Church? – and Its Incredible History!) In AD 360, the Council of Laodicea officially commanded Lent to be observed.
It became a 40-day period of fasting or abstaining from certain foods. “The emphasis was not so much on the fasting as on the spiritual renewal that the preparation for Easter demanded. It was simply a period marked by fasting, but not necessarily one in which the faithful fasted every day. However, as time went on, more and more emphasis was laid upon fasting…During the early centuries (from the fifth century on especially) the observance of the fast was very strict. Only one meal a day, toward evening, was allowed” (Catholic Encyclopedia).

From the ninth century onward, Lent’s strict rules were relaxed. Greater emphasis was given to performing “penitential works” than to fasting and abstinence. According to the apostolic constitution Poenitemini of Pope Paul IV (Feb. 17, 1966), “abstinence is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays of the year that do not fall on holy days of obligation, and fasting as well as abstinence is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday” (Catholic Encyclopedia).
Today, Lent is used for “fasting from sin and from vice…forsaking sin and sinful ways.” It is a season “for penance, which means sorrow for sin and conversion to God.” This tradition teaches that fasting and employing self-discipline during Lent will give a worshipper the “control over himself that he needs to purify his heart and renew his life” (ibid.).

However, the Bible clearly shows that self-control—temperance—comes from having God’s Holy Spirit working in the life of a converted mind (Gal. 5:16-17, 22-23). Fasting—of and by itself—cannot produce godly self-control.

Paul warned against using self-denial as a tool to rely on your own will. He called it “will worship.” “Wherefore if you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances, (touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh” (Col. 2:20-23).

God did not design fasting as a tool for penance, “beating yourself up” or developing will power: “Is it such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? When you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh?” (Isa. 58:5-7).

God’s people humble themselves through fasting in order to draw closer to Him—so that they can learn to think and act like Him—so that they can live His way of life in all things (Jer. 9:23-24). Fasting (and prayer) helps Christians draw closer to God.

Lent’s Ancient Roots
Coming from the Anglo-Saxon Lencten, meaning “spring,” Lent originated in the ancient Babylonian mystery religion. “The forty days abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess…Among the Pagans this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz…” (The Two Babylons).
Tammuz was the false Messiah of the Babylonians—a satanic counterfeit of Jesus Christ!

The Feast of Tammuz was usually celebrated in June (also called the “month of the festival of Tammuz”). Lent was held 40 days before the feast, “celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing” (ibid.). This is why Lent means “spring”; it took place from spring to early summer.

The Bible records ancient Judah worshipping this false Messiah: “Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz” (Ezek. 8:14). This was a great abomination in God’s eyes!

But why did the church at Rome institute such a pagan holiday?
“To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals amalgamated, and, by a complicated but skillful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get Paganism and Christianity—now far sunk in idolatry—in this as in so many other things, to shake hands” (The Two Babylons).

The Roman church replaced Passover with Easter, moving the pagan Feast of Tammuz to early spring, “Christianizing” it. Lent moved with it
“This change of the calendar in regard to Easter was attended with momentous consequences. It brought into the Church the grossest corruption and the rankest superstition in connection with the abstinence of Lent” (ibid.).
Before giving up personal sins and vices during Lent, the pagans held a wild, “anything goes” celebration to make sure that they got in their share of debaucheries and perversities—what the world celebrates as Mardi Gras today.

Abomination Masked as Christianity
God is not the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33). He never instituted Lent, a pagan observance connecting debauchery to the supposed resurrection of a false Messiah.
God commands His people to follow Him—not the traditions of men. God’s ways are higher—better than man’s (Isa. 55:8-9). Men cannot determine for themselves right from wrong or how to properly worship God. Why? Because “The heart [mind] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9), and “the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps” (10:23). God designed us and gave us life. He teaches how we are supposed to worship Him.

To be a Christian and properly serve God, you must live “by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4), recognizing that His Holy Scriptures “cannot be broken” (John 10:35).

God commands Christians to flee from the pagan traditions and customs of this world (Rev. 18:2-4), currently led and deceived by Satan the devil (II Cor. 4:4; Rev. 12:9).

Lent may seem like a sincere, heartfelt religious observance. But it is deeply rooted in pagan ideas that counterfeit God’s Plan. God hates all pagan observances (Jer. 10:2-5; Lev. 18:3, 30; Deut. 7:1-5, 16). They cannot be “Christianized” or made clean by men. This includes Lent.