Explaining Mardi Gras and Lent to the Reformed: A Short Primer

Since most Reformed Christians (real adherents of Reformed theology) don’t observe such Catholic myths as ‘Fat Tuesday’ or ‘Lent’ let me offer a short primer so you know what the Catholic/Un-Reformed are doing for the next few weeks:

Mardi Gras– An opportunity to live as riotously and sinfully as one wishes with the belief that a few moments of ‘penance’ at the conclusion of the ‘celebration’ will please God and erase guilt.

Lent– The hyperpious notion that if one slathers ash and dirt on one’s forehead and gives up a few non-essential pleasures during a period of 40 days one is somehow made right with God, in spite of and even indeed in contradiction oftentimes to the condition of one’s heart and one’s authentic spiritual state.

Ash Wednesday– That day when the Un-Reformed slather ash on their faces and festoon their blogs with constant reminders of their super-seriousness concerning spiritual things.  It is ‘kickoff day’ for the period of Lent, after which, as soon as the Easter Egg Hunt is over, practitioners return to their pre-Lenten state of riotous living and debauchery.

Just remember the words of Jesus-

When you are fasting, do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they go about looking unsightly to let people know they are fasting. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. But when you fast, put scent on your head and wash your face, so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret; and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you. (Mat 6:16-17).

Go, wash your faces, you Lentians, and do your pious acts in privacy, so that they are between you and God!

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7 thoughts on “Explaining Mardi Gras and Lent to the Reformed: A Short Primer

  1. Chris 21 Feb 2012 at 7:09 am

    I just noted on my blog that I will be explaining later today why you are so very wrong about Lent Jim. I realize you engage in hyperbole, but is that really your understanding of Lent? Why have some teaching ahead of us my friend…

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    • Jim 21 Feb 2012 at 7:11 am

      i just saw that! (please note the categories of the post)

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  2. Chris 21 Feb 2012 at 7:12 am

    I see the “humor” but mockery usually implies that the mocker genuinely does not see or understand the value of that which they are mocking… The kids need to get to the bus stop and I to school (and I have a king cake to pick up at the store) but I will write more later! 😉

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    • Jim 21 Feb 2012 at 7:15 am

      oh but my mockery is the same sort one finds at a stand-up routine.

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  3. uertner 21 Feb 2012 at 7:59 am

    The “mardi gras” is still celebrated in the butcheries of the “Oberland” in Zürich. Here we have the “Schüblig-Zischtig”: http://www.zol.ch/bezirk-pfaeffikon/SchuebligZischtig-Eine-400jaehrige-Oberlaender-Tradition/story/16007037

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    • Jim 21 Feb 2012 at 8:00 am

      i think i myself will celebrate lent by indulgence and loads of sausages!

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  4. Jeremiah 21 Feb 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Sausages for Everyone!

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