Do “Sola Scriptura” Protestants observe Lent? If so, why? It isn’t biblical


NO, “we” Protestants don’t! Please do not come here with that misguded belief, and proclaim it as truth. There are Protestant denominations who do recognize Lent. They include Anglican/Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, some Anabaptist and some Evangelical.


I believe he was a presbyterian at the time.


I think we need to distinguish between two interpretations of sola scriptura. One interpretation is that the entirety of church doctrine and practice must be drawn from scripture. The other is that doctrine must be drawn from scripture. So the Anglicans observe Lent, even though it is not explicitly demanded in the NT, because they believe that it is a good practice that reinforces biblical demands for repentance. Presbyterians do not because it is not demanded and is therefore wrong.


First posts in 9 months. The new platform for CAF continues to provide surprises more than a year since the transition. Not that I have problem with this particular one.


It was an accident. Mea culpa. I reopened this old thread because I wanted to post a link to it on another (new) thread:


When my mother was a Protestant, she and her family didn’t observe Lent.


Variations of this question are constantly being asked on this site, primarily because Catholic apologists have erected a complete canard of what Sola Scriptura means. To understand it you need to look at the historical context of the Reformation. Martin Luther rightly brought up a number of concerns about the abusive practices of indulgences, simony, and other Church traditions that had cropped up by the Renaissance. He noted many of these practices were corruptions that were doctrinally sketchy and were contradictions to scripture. In challenging these he expected the Papal authority to initiate reform. However, rather Pope Leo X doubled down on these abuses. Luther was ordered to recant or be declared a heretic and outlaw, even though his detractors agreed with many of his complaints and could not defend them scripturally. Luther was presented with the choice to obey the Pope, or to faithfully teach the gospel. Luther chose the gospel.

Sola scriptura says that the scriptures provide the sole infallible rule of faith for the determination of doctrine and practice because of their nature as being the God breathed revelation of Jesus Christ. Notice that the words “sole infallible” are a unit. Sole doesn’t mean only, it means the only infallible authority. It means that scripture holds primacy as the means by which our faith and practice is normed. Therefore, when tradition or Church authority contradict the clear meaning of scripture as the God-breathed revelation of Jesus Christ wins.

Luther’s reformation was a conservative reformation. He retained the practices of the Church where they worked in harmony with the gospel such as the liturgy and lectionary. He did things such as hold service in the vernacular to catechize the people, and developed hymns in the vernacular that the congregation would sing. He only got rid of practices that were at odds with the gospel. If one reads the Augsburg Confession, one would see that the early Reformers were very conscientious about retaining tradition, and consistently cite the scripture and the early Church fathers when defending themselves against the charges of their opponents.

In that light, there is absolutely no contradiction with observing Lent, a tradition which focuses our liturgy on repentance leading to the Passion week where Christ’s death and resurrection are proclaimed. In other words, the tradition does not contradict the gospel as normed by the scriptures, and works in concert with it.


I think everything you say in that post is correct, with the reservation that it applies to some sola scriptura adherents only. As @HopkinsReb and other posters have pointed out on this thread, there is no single definition of sola scriptura that is accepted by all those who proclaim it as their doctrine.


And not all view it as a doctrine.


Many think of the Trinity in modalistic or subordinationist terms because they are misinformed of its definition. That doesn’t redefine the doctrine of the Trinity or make it less true. The same goes for Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia.


Excuse me Reformed and Presbyterians observe Lent is is part of our holy days. Mainline Presbyterians such as PCUSA , PCA, Cumberland and Reformed Church in America and I believe even Orthodox Presbyterian all observe lent. There may be offshoot groups that are off the chart that do not, would not know anything about them. Generally Anabaptist and Baptist and Evangelicals that are born again" do not observe for the most part.

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