Lenten Fast and 1Tim:4:3 - Please Critique my closing

I’m writing an article about Lent, fasting, and abstinence. I start by asking why Christians would do these in light of 1Tim 4:3, and then I go through what these are and the Biblical support, and then summarize by finally addessing 1Tim 4:3. Here is the summary that I would like feedback on:

"So, what about 1Tim 4:1-3? Doesn’t Paul condemn these practices? No, not hardly. First of all, Paul would not contradict Scripture, nor would he contradict Christ who expected us to fast and instructed us on how to properly do it. Paul taught, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that the old law is but a foreshadowing of the new, and that ALL Scripture is useful for teaching and learning the faith (Hb 10:1, 2Tim 3:16). What Paul is talking about there are people who forbid the eating of certain foods that God declared to be good…because they still considered those foods unclean or ungodly. You see, the Juda-izers, during this time, were still forbidding the consumption of certain meats, not for the purpose of fasting, but because they were still holding onto the old law which Christ fulfilled. Catholics don’t abstain from meat because we think it is wrong to eat it or that we shouldn’t eat it with thanksgiving. In fact, we believe the exact opposite…that it is a wonderful and good food from God and we LOVE to eat it…which is exactly why we consider it an act of penance to abstain from meat during Lent, to prepare our hearts to more fully receive Christ when we celebrate His Resurrection. "

A skeptic might ask you for a resource on your claim about the Judaizers. Also, see this thread for other thoughts.

I have never heard of anyone using 1 Timothy 4 to argue against fasting. Certainly my Baptist, Evangelical and mainline Protestant friends all agree that fasting is a very Christian thing to do. I have never heard of that argument.

For Christians who argue against fasting however, you could stop after the statement that Christ taught fasting and that Paul would not contradict Christ. That should be enough. I’m an engineer and I like simple designs.

I’m not sure about this… Penance is not to “prepare our hearts to more fully receive Christ.” I’m not sure what “prepare our hearts” means but penance is reparation for sin. We abstain from meat for the purpose of penance but also for self-discipline, self-denial in imitation of Christ, etc.

Fasting as taught by Jesus in Matthew 6 is one of the three spiritual disciplines, along with almsgiving and prayer. These three spiritual disciplines help us fight the three spiritual threats outlined in 1 John 2:16.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. (1 John 2:16)

We defend against lust of the flesh by fasting. We defend against lust of the eyes by giving alms. We defend against the pride of life by praying.


Thanks very much for the feedback guys!

Yep, believe it or not, I’ve actually been accused of violating 1Tim4 a number of times because of abstaining from meat on Fridays, as well as fasting. And while a quick reference to Mt solves it, I like to “talk” alot. :smiley:

Here’s the final article. Enjoy! :slight_smile:


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