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Biblical Studies Journal Volume 4, Number 1

April 23, 2000

The Farce of Mardi Gras

(A Carrell's Corner Article)

The Myth

A radio announcer, commenting on the advent of the Lenten season, made the statement that "People will now have to repent of the sins they committed during Mardi Gras." What a farce! "Mardi Gras," a French expression meaning "Fat Tuesday," is the day before so-called "Ash Wednesday" which begins a forty weekday period of time (Lent) before "Easter Sunday."

Versus The Bible

If anyone has an idea that these things have their origin in the Bible, he can forget it! This is man-made stuff. Can you imagine the God of heaven giving men a special day to "live it up," "sin up a storm," knowing that the next day begins a period of penitence? The idea has its origin in the false concept that God gives us a little indulgence to sin, a little "free time" just before we go through the business of being "sorry" that we did it. It is difficult to conceive of a more ludicrous doctrine when one begins to examine God's plan for our lives.

Biblical Repentance

God's plan of penitence suggests a "change of the mind" (Romans 12:2) It calls for an individual to change his very heart and to look upon sin as being repugnant to all that is clean and righteous and pure. God's plan gives no place to that kind of thinking which would make a joke out of righteousness. When men truly "repent" of their sins, as the Bible speaks of repentance (Acts 2:38), there is the thought that they don't want to sin -- the desire to sin has to be crucified (Romans 6:6, Galatians 5:24).

Christian Righteousness

Paul spoke of that former life as one in which men were truly "the servants of sin." But he said that "when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness." (Romans 6:16-22) It's a matter of choice -- indeed you can choose to be a "servant of sin," but in so doing you are "free from righteousness." To be a "righteous" person is not picking a certain Tuesday of the year to "do your sinning," with the idea that on Wednesday you can "repent." The righteousness approved by God is that which seeks to live "taking up the cross daily," (Luke 9:23) which seeks to serve Him with all of the heart.

        - Gene Carrell

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