[lit-ideas] Re: Ask the Ayatollah

  • From: JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 7 Oct 2006 10:11:43 EDT

<<Why  don't Christians fast?>> 
In the Christian world I grew  up in (Pentecostal/Evangelical and then 
Baptist) individuals did fast but not  ritually.  There were no "Fast Days".  
fasting was believed in to  indicate to God how great a need was.  If someone 
was dying a loved one  would fast and pray for three days, e.g.  It was a 
self-abnegation that was  spurred by some verse or other in the NT -- I'll try 
find it -- it's been way  too long. 
But in Christianity fasting is  a personal thing for special occasions and it 
is not made public -- one does not  let anyone know that they are fasting.  
It is a very private way of  submitting one's whole being to God.  There are a 
couple dozen references  to fasting in the Tanakh (the Christian Old 
Testament) and of course Jesus  fasted for 40 days in the desert according to 
gospels.  I think the  Christian concept of fasting must largely come, though, 
the  Tanakh. 
Julie Krueger 

========Original  Message========     Subj: [lit-ideas] Re: Ask the Ayatollah 
 Date: 10/6/2006 11:42:49 P.M. Central Standard Time  From: 
_aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (mailto:aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx)   To: 
(mailto:lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx)   Sent on:    
> [Original Message]
> From: Steve  Chilson <stevechilson@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> To:  <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: 10/6/2006 11:26:47 PM
>  Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Ask the Ayatollah
> Why don't  Christians fast?

Christians do fast.  Some Christians do,  anyway.  Russian Orthodox
Christians (me, once upon a time) fast in the  weeks leading up to Easter. 
I don't remember exactly anymore (been an  atheist since about 19 and my
family of origin is nearly gone) but Easter is  a real big deal in the
Russian Orthodox Church Overseas (that's the name of  it, an offshoot of the
one in the SU that was banned, for the diaspora; it's  got its own
Metropolitan outside of Russia, but it's exactly the same  religion).  The
fast is rather strict if done correctly, no meat, no  fish, no chicken, no
dairy (I believe) for about six weeks.  Needless to  say most people don't
adhere to it, at least we didn't.  The week before  Easter everyone cooks
and cleans furiously.   The cooking is at  feast levels.  Holy Saturday is
very somber and I think you're not  supposed to eat on Saturday at all.  A
basket is put together of all the  goodies and taken to church and after a
marathon 4-hour service that begins  at midnight (even though people arrive
earlier; the church is mobbed) and  ends at 4:00 am, the baskets of food are
blessed and you go home and you  eat.  When we were kids it was fun, we'd
hang out in the church  yard.  We all knew Russian fluently.  Most people
didn't make it to  the end.  The church would be pretty empty by 4:00 a.m.. 
Now it's all  different.  The older people I grew up with are gone, and
mostly  everything is in English.  It's no fun anymore.  American Easter  is
a nonevent.  A chocolate bunny is Easter?  Orthodox Christmas is  like
American Easter, a big nothing, where American Christmas is like  Russian
Easter, a huge deal.  Everybody's Christian on Christmas I  guess.  

Mike, do Catholics fast?  No meat on Fridays, but  that's not really
fasting.   Protestants seem so bland to me.   Except maybe the Puritans when
they burned the  witches.

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