I dont get it. what's with the friday fish thing and the rest of lent?
Call it an offering or a sacrifice. It's essentially a natural work but people do it because they believe it either gets them closer to God or is pleasing to God in some way. If it's done in faith it's a good thing . . .
Rom 14:3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
ok so that explains giving something up for lent, what's with the fish on friday deal? I ask because the secretary at work was making a big show of eating fish on friday.
That's a Catholic thing. I'm sure someone who does it can provide a specific rationalization for fish only Fridays but the bottom line, AFAIK, is that it's something someone (the priest likely) said to do so people do it out of obedience and faith. I think at one time Catholics gave up all "meat" (i.e. chicken, beef & pork) throughout Lent but eventually settled on fishless Fridays as something easier to keep. After all, if you're encouraging someone's faith, you don't want to make something so hard for people that they fail.
Logically, one has to realize that not eating beef one day out of a week for during a particular season does absolutely nothing for your spiritual well-being -- at least not in the sense that somehow beef is suddenly, in and of itself, harmful. What does impact a person's spiritual well being is the mere act of being faithful and obedient to something they BELIEVE is important to do. It's all an act of faith and holiness. People of almost all religions grow spritually by such acts of sacrifice.
Some religious people think that holiness includes dressing a certain way or wearing their hair a certain length. Others fast or don't eat certain combinations of food (there are no Kosher cheeseburgers, for example). It really doesn't matter what it is. They believe it so they do it. For them to believe that thing and NOT do it would be sin. It's the same way with Catholics and fishless fridays. THey believe it's important so it becomes important. That's all that matters.
Again, someone who actually practices Lent could probably explain it better or differently. Most religions have some form of sacrifice or obligation at different times and for different reasons. Lent is just one of those -- no different than an orthodox Jew walking to temple on the Sabbath. It's an act of obedience and faith.
In my earlier message I quoted from Paul's letter to the Romans where he addresses a similar topic in the 14th chapter. His bottom line seems to be that it doesn't matter what someone does to honor their Lord. They do it out of faith and we should respect that. He does make it clear, though, that what really matters is what's going on in the heart . . .
Rom 14: 14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
It's not a fish thing.
It's simply no meat on Fridays. No flesh, as it were.
Hey, it could be worse. It used to be that Catholics couldn't have meat any Friday. Now it's just Ash Wednesday and Friday's during Lent.