“Can Inter-Faith Forum Work?”
What is it for and to do what exactly? I can’t help but wonder what makes people think that by having the “much-needed” inter-faith dialogue among all “religious” groups would bring about “peace” and “harmony” to the society? Can that really happen even in religiously volatile countries? What then to talk about that would not “hurt” the feelings of others? That all “religions” lead to the same God? But how could the one true Almighty God be the “God of confusion” with many “religions” to make people become lost and confused to the point of insulting or killing each other over whose religion is better or “supreme”? Have you not ever thought who is the real culprit rallying behind causing all such pandemonium religiously?
Come on – let’s be honest and realistic with ourselves. As long as people do not come to their senses to do the right thing in coming back to the one true Almighty God that sent Jesus, you can rest assured that nothing could be done to solve the endemic problems of religion plaguing humans all through the centuries. You know and God knows what’s going to keep on happening. It does not help one bit trying to push it no matter how well-meaning such inter-faith dialogues are. And neither sweeping it under the carpets those “sensitive” issues will make all religious problems disappeared when one should know better and be sensible enough to come back to the correct path to acknowledge and worship the one and only true Almighty God that sent Jesus!
Quite honestly, if you cannot find peace of mind inside for not having your heart set right with the one true Almighty God that sent Jesus, how can there be “peace” and “harmony” on the outside to even talk about religious issues that will trigger the “sensitivities” of others one way or the other no matter how “thoughtfully” expressed? If you claim “peace” and “harmony” can still be achieved with such inter-faith forum, what do others like me in particular think it looks like in the sight of man, let alone God? Don’t you think it would be something that is so fake and pretentious that you’d rather not be fooling yourself for no good reason than to become the butt of jokes from time to time and unnecessary?
Whether you believe it or not and much less like it or not, if you are not at peace as proclaimed in Romans 5:1 with the one true Almighty God that sent Jesus also known as the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6, what’s the point of talking about “peace” and “harmony” when you don’t even have a clue where and how to go after it starting with yourself?
As I am now about to talk about the subject of “fasting” that I believe would pretty much be deemed as “sensitive” to others, hence it is open to non-Muslims only just to make sure there really will be “peace” and “harmony” or so one would hope! In order to promote the spirit of brotherhood as what the inter-faith forum is all about and for the sake of ‘freedom of speech’ or expression, all Muslims are welcome too to find out what a Christian has to say about the religious “fasting” provided one is really mentally stable and matured enough as grown-ups to handle one’s own emotion to ‘act responsibly’ and not go cuckoo over what’s being shared here to the point of becoming angry to invoke whatever laws whether religious or not to punish people or worse, taking the law into one’s hand with threats to arrest or kill.
Whether people practice it out of “religious obligation” or not, the reason for having a Christian to answer questions on this subject is because a Christian knows better how to talk precisely on the right perspectives of fasting regarding the biblical and spiritual aspects of what in the right context of fasting is and all about.
Generally speaking, any Christian having been humbled and saved by the ‘Amazing Grace of God’ will always try not to “hurt” the feelings of others to touch on “sensitive” issues especially about religion and race. However, truth be told – the real problem is that not everyone is smart enough to know or perhaps even have the common sense to tell like a Christian could under such circumstances to let sensibility overcome sensitivity and not the other way around instead. That is because anyone whether as Christian or not who is telling truth or lies – it will always “hurt” all the same!
So what is the point of getting so “sensitive” and acting so seriously that would do more harm than good? Is feeling “hurt” always an exclusive right for one to retaliate with calls for stern actions to be taken? If that is the case, how could one see such “human rights” as being equal for everyone anymore? To me, I only see those with power and authority more like abusing a commoner’s right if and when any other people call for “stern actions” to be taken on those who have ‘freedom of speech’ to speak out or express oneself in ways whether seen as more than being humorous or not.
Even though a Christian is not bound by any “religious laws” to go on a “fasting” spree as and when required, still it is better to put whatever questions about this interesting topic to a Bible-studying Christian to flush out whatever confusion or doubts once and for all even if some answers found here would likely and highly “hurt” the feelings of other grown-ups. But does it really matters if such dissemination of divine information is done intentionally or not? Nevertheless, be forewarned and brace yourself. This down-to-earth “inter-faith” dialogue could obviously get on the nerves of anyone or perhaps even everyone. However, I would like to think that the opposite of which is rather uplifting to others for all you know if one is smart enough to think wisely and not negatively. So, this is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea as it could ruffle feathers of the tough and insensitive ones to wake up or not at all!
Q: Fasting – is it a religious question anymore?
Christian: Perhaps if you randomly ask anyone you know whether Buddhists, Hindus or Muslims the question of how much does one knows about fasting, you probably will get to hear personal views that are more or less similar with one another and that one should only practice fasting based on “religious” grounds, right? If not, I believe people especially those professing as “men-of-God” would not be absolutely “mesmerised” about going on an empty stomach just to please other “men-of-God” [religious peers] who have greater religious “authority” to execute punishment on those failing to do so but which is only applicable in the Islam religion and not others. That is the truth, is it not? Does it “hurt” too?
However, what you will hear from a Christian is probably a different story altogether. Why? That’s because a true Christian is always taught as a messenger of God to say what the Bible says and to be silent where the Bible is silent. Cool? If so, why are you not a Christian then and be a true one too? And if not, why then don’t you read the Bible to find out more how to become a true Christian? Going to church every Sunday to hear sermons does not mean anything and neither does it guarantee that you are or would become a true Christian. There is only one way to find out if there are still true Christians left in this materialistic world but I cannot disclose such radical information yet because God forbids.
Everyone regardless of race knows that the “religious ritual” of fasting had become what is now popularly known as the “Holy Ramadan” where all Muslims must abstain from the break of dawn until sunset without “eating” or “drinking”, right? Otherwise, one would have defiled the “religious obligation” to become “righteous” and “holy” to go to a “paradise” as propagated in the religion, right? Of course that is right only to the Muslims but it is a cause for concern – still. Why? That’s because such religious ritual is fast becoming commercialized these days that even hotels and restaurants are jumping on the bandwagon to offer incredibly tempting “breaking-of-fast” buffet just to make “fasting” attractive and something worthy of devotion for all Muslims. But then, does that mean it no longer comes as shocking or as “haram” as it should to see Muslims enjoying such a sacrilegious necessity to fast only because of so much delicious food to be spoiled for choice afterwards with “breaking-of-fast”?
Does not anyone whether as Christian or Muslim have the knowledge that indulging on ‘gluttony’ is one of the 7 deadly sins recorded in the Bible and that is also followed suit by the Koran…or is it? But, can the same be said of the opposite where other non-Muslims who do not observe and practice fasting but seen as much as indulging on gluttony by joining Muslims at hotels and restaurants for “breaking-of-fast” together? Who should show a good example here to prevent such indulgence of gluttony from happening? Should it be the Muslims or non-Muslims?
Given that “fasting” in Islam is strictly observed and practiced by all Muslims alike around the world, I can’t help but wonder if ever any Muslims would ask themselves this pertinent question. Why is it no longer comes as shocking or perhaps as “haram” for Muslims to enjoy “breaking-of-fast” at luxurious hotels and restaurants where non-Muslims like me would be so mysteriously spellbound and lost for words to notice something so abnormal about the “holy ritual” that does not seem to be carried out holistically but rather materialistically and in gluttony? Has practicing something considered so sacred in the religion become such a norm now as though it’s celebrating a big festival?
The question I’m burning to ask is: Is it no longer “haram” as in sinful for Muslims during “breaking-of-fast” to patronize hotels and restaurants owned by “infidels” and also patronized by other rich and famous “infidels” who would indulge in gluttony? Moreover, what if not all cooks are Muslims or even Muslims not certified as “halal” as in “righteous” and “holy” enough to handle the food?
For example: Can a heavy-smoking Muslim cook be considered as “halal” enough to handle food for other “righteous” and “holy” Muslims who would patronize luxurious hotels and restaurants for “breaking-of-fast”? Is this a religious question anymore or not? Should such religious and holy “fasting” be observed and practiced in such indulgence of gluttony? If so, then how in the world can a Muslim become “righteous” and “holy” enough with all such so-called sacrilegious fasting to go to a “paradise” someday?
Q: So, where did fasting first originated anyway?
Christian: Well, of course this question proves to be most interesting to ask and to find out, right? Actually, do not be surprised to hear that most of them especially the “religious ones” from the Islam religion already know about the origin of fasting but only not humbled enough to admit the truth. Probably “just because” fasting is being officially recognized and celebrated as a “religious festival” by all others around the world, this could have given the impression that fasting originated from Islam especially to those who are not familiar with the “conflict of interest” in the Koran itself compared to the Bible. But given that Muslims are forbidden to touch the Bible, let alone reading it, thus it does not come as a surprise that there are still plenty others among the Muslims who probably have this same misconception that fasting is the trademark of Islam “just because” it is mandatory for all Muslims to fulfill.
And “just because” you have gotten such a wry impression commercially or perhaps from the teachings of your peers, it does not mean you are “right” without checking the fact first with others such as a Christian or better yet, the Bible! Have you actually done your homework to check the history of fasting and where it originated from? I suppose “if” you are a Muslim, you also “know” about the real reason and true purpose of fasting too. Is that right or not? But have you also checked it out with perhaps a Christian again to confirm and not just always listen to your peers only “just because” you thought they know better? I also further suppose you “believe” fasting would make you proud of your religion “just because” of a few colleagues in the office you know are doing it along with you. Is that right or not? Well then, have you already checked how “proud” and “right” can you be if a Christian now tells you otherwise?
Now, “just because” you got everything “right” in all the man-made ways and laws of religion does not mean anything if you personally….
- Do not know where it first originated.
- Do not know what it really means to fast.
- Do not know what’s the real reason and true purpose of fasting that is according to God’s will, not Man’s.
As such, I’m so sorry to tell you the truth that you really need to ask a true Christian these pertinent questions and in which case would certainly break your “bubbles” in an instant. And not forgetting that it also automatically will “hurt” your feelings rightly or wrongly.
Actually, it is not in Islam where fasting first originated. It was a tradition that Islam is known to have ‘borrowed’ from Judaism which means those orthodox Jews that Muslims supposed to hate and kill according to some verses found written in the Surah of the Koran, yet such ritual was adopted and became a religious law for Muslims to follow. It’s funny – you are taught to hate and kill certain people yet you ‘copy’ their values and tradition and even make it as a “religious laws” to follow. What does that sound to you?
However, it may come as a big surprise for you to know that fasting was no longer observed or practiced even by the disciples of Jesus at a time when Jesus was fulfilling the new covenant that God made and having it already prophesied in the Old Testament of the Bible. There is of course a valid reason for not observing and practicing such “religious ritual” even after the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. For that I shall cover on it as I go along.
Q: Should fasting be made mandatory as it does in Islam?
Christian: Firstly, to answer this question truthfully, you must know about something else – urgently! You see, not many people especially the “religious” ones will realize and much less would accept a “radical” but believable view that I consider as “apocalyptic” and that I would like to make it known here and now. I know people would say I am a lunatic to say that I stumbled on such a divine discovery only by reading God’s word – the Bible. Of course, anyone who does not ever have a relationship with God and much less contemplate to do so will say I’m talking rubbish or even “blasphemy” as did happen to Jesus once upon a time for telling nothing but the TRUTH that He is the Son of God and yet so unmistakably proven after all.
However, I believe if, in any case, other true Christians also reading the same Holy Bible [KJV] as mine has one way or another received the same divine revelation as I did but only not too ‘daring’ enough to share it openly like I do now, then I know perhaps this could be the right time for me to speak where the Bible speaks and to silent where the Bible is silent.
So, regardless of what you or anyone may think after hearing my testimony, I believe an “apocalyptic war” had already begun. In fact, it has been wreaking havoc on humanity since. It started not at the time of Jesus’ death on the cross but the moment the Satan discovered He [Jesus] rose from the dead. As far as what I can tell from reading the Bible, this has become an unprecedented change of event where the death and resurrection of Jesus that took place to fulfill God’s will and plan on earth must have had also at the same time suddenly gotten the Satan all the shocking blues unexpectedly.
That means the Satan had a rude awakening. Have you had a rude awakening yet? Everything was going fine and dandy and under his control from the time of Adam and Eve until the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Incidentally it would have gotten him packing up for good in fighting the ‘Holy War’ if he had failed to do something quickly to counter attack God’s plan of salvation for all human beings. So – what do you think he did and still do now? It’s pretty easy-peasy only to deal with humans really! All one needs to do is get humans screwed up in the head with all kinds of religion and even in Christendom to get “Christians” impregnated with false doctrines to cause divisions and denominations. Yes, my friend, that’s exactly what he did and is doing until now! That is why all true Christians urgently have to know and speak where the Bible speaks and to silent where the Bible is silent to keep the Satan from getting us screwed up in the head and in turn, screw up God’s will and plan for all humans to become ‘sons of God’ or ‘children of God’ in the kingdom of heaven.
True enough. In order for the Satan to destroy God’s plan and make everything upside down for humans to have problems believing the one true Almighty God that sent Jesus, he realized he must come out with a somewhat similar plan like God to have a “prophet” also but only to confuse humans and to draw them away from obeying the gospel of Jesus and to be saved from eternal death.
As such, it became evidently clear that by having another “prophet” more aggressive and “better” than Jesus to proclaim an even superior “religion” by just observing and practicing a set of religious laws and rituals than by just obeying the gospel of Jesus, it would have done the trick to keep humans away from coming back to the correct path of the one true Almighty God that sent Jesus. Is it not obvious enough that any religion other than the gospel of Jesus is the culprit that would do more harm than good? So don’t you think that makes everyone dangerously walking the tightrope and easily falling down to eternal damnation at any time without the hope of Jesus saving everyone through His divine sacrifice on the cross? Don’t you think it’s time to wake up?
That is why, today anyone can see so easily how things are shaping up with the way the Satan is using his plan to have religion as his supreme and most powerful tool to screw up the minds of humans. So sadly, humans are foolish enough to help him pass with all the flying colors by dancing to his tunes whether religiously or as unbelievers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So it is no longer surprising that fasting as one of the “religious rituals” that is also somewhat ‘borrowed’ is even made mandatory for all the unsuspecting and innocent Muslims to practice. But the problem lies with the fact that fasting has become part of the “religious laws” that it would be considered as unlawful for any Muslims failing to comply with such an outdated and irrelevant law to be punished with fines, jail sentence or both. That’s the danger of religion doing more harm than good unveiled now!
Why is that? That’s because something of such nature as in fasting that has to do with the heart and conscience of everyone is basically a personal matter between humans and God. Hence, it should not by any means be “religiously” forced down anybody’s throat by making it mandatory, should it? By that, I mean how can people be forced to practice fasting out of “religious obligation”? What if one does not even “feel good” about doing it or worse, not knowing what’s the real reason and true purpose behind in doing it? Would it not be the same as portraying God putting a gun in someone’s mouth and blow one’s brain out? That’s exactly what the Satan wanted to achieve in his plan to screw up especially those who are religious and pious. Why? That’s because they have the “power” and “authority” to influence the weaker ones to become as screwed up as them. It’s only a simple trick of the Satan yet powerful enough to turn the tables on the one true Almighty God that sent Jesus.
This will definitely sound “exaggerating” to those who don’t believe and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ if I do not point it out as clearly and bluntly as I should. But to those who did and as true Christians, they know it speaks volume of the false pretense of “fasting” done in such fashion as in mandatory that will do more harm than good. And the following biggest problem to emerge is that it would certainly have a long-term adverse side-effects on Muslims when it starts to sink in to make one feels hypocritical knowing that it [fasting] no longer serves any divine purpose of God simply because it is already outdated with God to practice something that has become so pretentious and dubious in His sight!
So do not be surprised to hear such testimony if you, once again, try to ask a Christian who can verify this with substantiated proof from biblical events found to have happened and recorded in the Bible itself. With regard to the Satan’s plan to get around with “religion” to confuse humans, of course, it cannot be substantiated with proof. It could not be proven in any other ways either because it will be easily shot down as slander or lies by religious detractors. Only a true Christian will know and can tell from the devil’s manifestation itself and one of which is “religion” that he is using as a shield to wreak havoc from behind is a case in point if you know what I mean. If you do not, it’s because you have yet got the wisdom from above to crack it wide open to see and understand the simple warning Jesus gave that false prophets will arise after His death. True enough, what He prophesied had already come true and is still taking place now until the end of time that leads up to the Armageddon!
Sorry for having got you diverted a little talking about the Satan but then he is very much part of all the confusion he is causing to humans all along. Let’s come back to the subject of mandatory fasting.
A Christian will tell you that if you have diligently studied the Bible beginning from the Book of Genesis of the Old Testament up to the New Testament where the famous fasting of Jesus took place in the wilderness and recorded in the Book of Matthew, Mark and Luke, you would have learned something rather significant about fasting and that it actually was first recorded in the Bible as early as the time of Moses.
It only became a “religious ritual” made mandatory [man-made] for all Muslims to practice after Islam came into the picture much later. However, until today, the most unbelievable thing to happen is when most people even the “religious ones” have evidently failed to take note of the real reason and the true purpose of fasting being recorded in the Bible. The only important question to ask is why such significance regarding Moses and Jesus’ fasting have yet been understood and taken seriously by those who are ‘copying’ but yet “religiously” bound by their religious edict as mandatory to fast? What have even these “religious ones” been missing out on all the while even while fasting?
At this point, I know you would obviously accuse me of contradicting myself to have said earlier it was an outdated religious ritual for the Muslims to make it mandatory to fast and now turning around to say how significant the fasting of Moses and Jesus had become. Does not make sense? You see, fasting is one thing. Knowing about the significance behind to fast is another thing altogether. You can’t “fast” without knowing why, can you? But once you know why, you would not want to fast anymore. So you will see no contradiction at all after you have finished reading everything. And that is, if you are smart enough to catch and be able to make analytical assessment of what’s being clearly clarified along the way.
Q: So to fast or not to fast then?
Christian: Not many people know or worse, understand the real reason and true purpose behind in fasting especially if one takes the biblical context of fasting into consideration. This is the most important aspect of fasting that must first be understood fully before plunging into action to fast. The reason people not getting it in their heads could be because of it being oversimplified by those “religious laws” that it becomes like a somewhat “mechanical” thing to do instead. The worse thing to happen is that when making it as mandatory it will make it look like a one-sided “love affair” only and will cause the “marriage” or in this case fasting, to fail one way or another as something that has become meaningless.
You see, when anyone is trying to carry out something significant in life, be it religious or not, without knowing what’s the real reason and true purpose behind in doing it, then it would easily overshadow the heart and conscience of the person to become like a burden than to have a sense of justice and meaning in fulfilling it. The same as in marriage that will break down easily because there’s no longer meaning in being together if it’s only love on one side. So is fasting too. You cannot do it “just because” you are told to do so as a Muslim without knowing why and the significance behind, can you?
As such, it is not uncommon even for a Christian to ask such a question – to fast or not to fast? To be honest, I should start counting the blessings of having become a Christian. Perhaps, it is the most fortunate thing ever to happen for a Christian because it is so evidently fortunate that the Bible seems to be ‘so good’ at providing the most proper answers most of the time that also practically makes the most sense too. Because of reading the Bible, I can tell now easily whether to fast or not to fast at the snap of my fingers! Mind you, the Bible is the best open secret for anyone to get hold of because it’s [principles] the same today, tomorrow and forever!
The only reason and purpose that most “religious” people would fast now seems all too obvious – that it is all about showing outwardly only the necessity to fast. However, the real ‘need’ to fast is not fully understood because they are only doing it out of “religious obligation” which is much the same as doing it when only being told or worse, forced to do so “just because” it’s mandatory, thus the result of such fasting as being “mechanical”. So understandably if a “religious” person fails or caught failing to do so and punished by their “religious laws” accordingly either by paying fines, jail or even both that in which case one can no longer consider it as religious anymore but rather as ridiculous. Is that not so?
If not, will anybody explain how can any religion play a dual-role in enforcing “religious laws” in the spiritual context for its members to abide by it and then suddenly become the “civil law” as in the worldly context to fine or jail someone caught red-handed for committing a “crime” such as failing to fast openly? Does a Muslim fast to become “spiritually” worthy in the sight of God or to become as “worldly” as ever with ridiculously tempting and sumptuous “breaking-of-fast” buffet to be spoiled for choice in luxurious hotels or restaurants? Which is which that a Muslim should go for? Or is it both God and the Satan as in practicing moderation?
So it is no mumbo jumbo stuff for those of the Islam religion to avoid staying away from starving oneself for at least 12 hours a day whether one could or could not do it, and much less like it or not. Do you know then what that sounds like to you as a non-Muslim? No, I don’t think so! Why? Unless and until you have become someone like perhaps a Christian who is spiritually meticulous and sensible enough to tell the difference between what’s true and false, you do not even in the least think that is really showing a poor sense of judgment in the sight of men, let alone God. And this is all because people make it looks as though “fasting” is only all about observing abstinence from food and nothing else matters as long as one does not get caught failing to do so which means no fines to pay or to languish in jail and not to mention – no public embarrassment!
Is that not the case with all the so-called fasting these days and very much all done in vain? The reason I say so is because most “religious” people today do not even in the least know what’s the real reason and true purpose of fasting. Don’t you think it would be better off for a person not to fast if that is the case? Why fast when you no longer realize or detect how false and unreal such fasting had become? That is why, it no longer is surprising to know even the disciples of Jesus did not want to fast and got the Pharisee Jews questioning Jesus left and right about them. I’m not being judgmental. It’s only when you see such fasting that has evidently become so “mechanical-like”, you will say the same as I do and would not want to fast like the disciples of Jesus in Matthew 9:14.
Naturally, to most ordinary people or perhaps even those “religious ones” who could not even figure out who the one true Almighty God is until now, they will continue the tradition to “religiously” and “voluntarily” fast without knowing exactly why, thus turning it into something so religiously “mechanical”. If all “religious” people fast “just because” they see from their religious point of view as something necessary by their “religious laws” or tradition and not because they understood as they should about the real reason and the true purpose of fasting that is according to God’s will and not Man’s, then is it not even easier for those people who are not religious to see the foolishness in embracing such a religion that is smack of wisdom and logic even in fasting? So, we should give a big thank you to Lucifer then for having caused such ignorance and confusion among not so smart humans after all…or should we?
If ordinary people go on a fast, it would be understandably seen as doing it for health reasons. But if those “men-of-God” did not quite understand what’s the real reason and true purpose of fasting according to God’s will, how then can you expect the ordinary people to know and understand the significance behind the biblical fasting of Moses and Jesus?
Q: So, is fasting good and practical?
Christian: Well, on one hand, it is of course good to fast if you do it for health reasons especially to keep from becoming obese. But it seems people who observe and practice “fasting” religiously are getting more obese than ever. Did you not notice it? Everyone without having to become a medical practitioner knows that obesity will lead to many other health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic heart diseases that not surprisingly are still afflicting those who “fast” religiously. So you can’t help but wonder what’s the point in observing and practicing “fasting” then?
On the other hand, when a non-Muslim comes to talk about the practical aspects of “religious” fasting, the first thing one would notice is that such religious ritual looks rather ridiculous than religious because it does not necessarily mean it will bring about “enlightenment” and “spiritual fulfilment” to everyone even if people make it as a “religious obligation” to fast. Why? It is as easy as ABC to understand why if you have the common sense to think and be able to figure out what actually the right reason and true purpose of fasting is in the first place? But then again, what’s really surprising is that not even “religious people” have a clue. Can you imagine that?
Q: What do you mean by “the right reason and true purpose to fast”?
Christian: It’s crucial to ask yourself the question why you want to practice fasting in the first place? Is it strictly for health reason or for religious reason? That is because if you are ill-informed about the aspects of fasting especially the biblical truth and not doing it right with a sense of justice, fasting can become impractical and ridiculous like in being “mechanical”, a delusion and even as a curse if you are doing it for the wrong reasons and worse, in the name of religion.
1st wrong reason:
If you fast “just because” you are “forced” to, then it’s absolutely wrong to do so because first, you are not going to do justice to your own heart and conscience. Secondly, you would be seen as destroying the fundamental principle of a human being created by God to have the natural freewill to choose between what’s right and what’s not to do. If you do not feel like going hungry for a great length of time in a day and for a certain period, no one should “force” you against your will to do so whether with or without the mandatory religious laws of fine and jail terms threatening you in the face.
Apart from this, it is also not practical and logical for those working in any kind of infrastructure work to “fast” as it may bring them more harm than good. This is more likely so for blue-collar workers as they could get into troubles if they have to involve themselves in handling heavy machineries. And others could be accidentally killed by falling down from heights if working at construction sites because of “fasting” and not having the strength and energy to carry out their strenuous work properly.
2nd wrong reason:
If you fast out of “religious obligation”, it is even worse than you can ever imagine. Believe me – you do not want to end up feeling like a hypocrite for not knowing whether such “fasting” you are going through will ever serve the divine purpose necessary to make you become untainted as in righteous and holy in the sight of God which is what fasting is all about in the first place. If you are not really 100% certain you could make such divine purpose of fasting to bring yourself to the level of ‘enlightenment’ that would make you become really righteous and holy that will glorify the God of the heaven and earth, you would be better off not “fast” under such uncertain circumstances because doing so would become a threat to your heart and conscience in answering to God end of the day.
It would be foolhardy to think that God takes something as divine as fasting so lightly to be done out of “religious obligation” but not with a heart and conscience that would please Him. That means, if your heart is not right with God, why still go ahead and “fast” knowing so well you are already not even feeling good about it yourself? Don’t forget – you know and God knows whether you are doing it right or not because you cannot fool yourself and much less the Almighty God if you do not fast according to His will that, unfortunately, no man can do so anymore after the death and resurrection of Jesus! Can you not recall only 3 words spoken by Jesus, “It is finished” before He died on the cross? Does that or does that not include fasting? You tell me.
Q: Is fasting not recorded in the Bible?
Christian: Yes, there’s no doubt about it that it does. In fact, it is against the Jewish laws under the old covenant for failing to fast for certain purposes or reasons during the Mosaic age right up until the time of Jesus in the 1st century. Unlike what the Muslims are practicing now which is mandatory to fast, what happened to fasting during the biblical times is totally a different thing altogether. You will see a very big contrast compared to the fasting Muslims practice today.
Back then, until one who is known as the ‘children of Israel’ has an ‘official business‘ to carry out under God’s commandment, one would not fast as seriously as did prophets such as Moses chosen to do God’s work to lead the Israelites out of the bondage of slavery in Egypt. That was indeed a massive task for Moses to carry out but he chose to take the challenge because he would rather obey God’s commandment than Man’s. He was doing fine and well in the house of an Egyptian pharaoh until he got a calling from an angel of God to free the ‘children of Israel”.
What became the most notable record of fasting recorded in the Old Testament was when Moses ‘amazingly’ fasted 40 days and 40 nights just to become really righteous and holy enough to go up to the mountain to meet up close with God in obtaining the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. Do you have any important “official business” with God that requires you to meet up close with God today? If not, why still “fast” religiously…and ignorantly?
The reason I mentioned amazing is because there’s reason to believe that Moses did not have any chance with “breaking-of-fast’” then as the Muslims do in today’s modern fasting. You see, Moses was on a special ‘mission’ for God and that is why he did not have the need to go through “breaking-of-fast” to “eat” or “drink” at all for 40 days and 40 nights because he was with the LORD [God]. God regarded him as righteous and holy already when he fasted 40 days and 40 nights. Otherwise, he could not have qualified to meet up close with God in the mountain, could he? That was the only real reason and true purpose of fasting to become really righteous and holy in presenting oneself to God! Can you do the same? I don’t think so!
Since God no longer required anyone to present oneself in His presence anymore and moreover Jesus was the last one to have fulfilled God’s will and plan on earth, thus there is no need for anyone, whether as Christian or not, to go on a fast to become “righteous” and “holy” enough to meet up close with Him until the Judgment Day. Besides, who else can fast 40 days and 40 nights like Moses with no “breaking-of-fast” to become righteous and holy in the sight of God? None!
So why do people still fast out of “religious obligation”? And for what right reason and true purpose that one can consider as divine? None! Unless, you have a calling to fulfil a divine purpose of God, you really CANNOT fast to prove to God you are worthy in His sight as “righteous” and “holy” anymore. What you can only so much do now is to start feeling remorseful of your sins and go down on your knees to REPENT by obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ and not by fasting religiously for goodness sake!
It was also recorded in the New Testament another notable record-breaking in fasting. There is no denying that Jesus of Nazareth did mention about fasting in Matthew 6:6-18. But even then, He cautioned that one should not practice it just for the sake of being seen doing it for publicity like what’s exactly happening today. Meaning to say, you do not have to commercially show it to the world you are being “religious” and “holy” by fasting. And because you only want to be seen as such for “fasting” openly, God in heaven who knows and can see will not reward you all the same. So why still fast when there’s no longer any divine calling from God anymore?
However, what’s really surprising that eventually turned out to be not surprising after all is that He [Jesus] did not mention whether there was an absolute need or being required as “mandatory” for a person who has become a Christian today to practice “fasting” and that if caught failing to do so will face a heavy penalty which is the case in Islam. That is why even I as a Christian do not fast because I can’t do it quietly. Why? Because I want the world to know and see so that people will know and see me as “righteous and “holy” in the sight of God. Surely you can see how vain this is by now, can you not? But what’s important is, have you really got the point now?
When Jesus walked the earth He and the Israelites [Jews] who were the chosen people of God were at that time still observing the tradition to fast even though they were under the rule of the Roman Empire. So He too like other Jews was expected to fast under the old covenant because He had yet fulfilled the new covenant while He was alive. And of course He did fast because he had claimed before in Matthew 5: 17 that he came not to abolish the Law [not rituals] or the Prophets but to fulfill them.
But what the orthodox Jews failed to understand the real reason and true purpose of Jesus’ fasting was to become ‘obedient’ to God until death. You must bear in mind that such much-needed ‘obedience’ failed to materialize with Adam and Eve in the beginning. But that does not mean we can put all the blame on both of them entirely because we still have the choice now to obey the gospel of Jesus, are we not? In the case of Jesus, unless and until He [Jesus] could prove that He would not fall into hands of the Satan to become disobedient again like Adam and Eve, He would not have proven Himself as the Son of God sent by God to bear the sins of mankind. So that was why it only became necessary for Jesus to fast because of such right reason and true purpose to do God’s will.
Do not be confusing yourself. Unlike the Ten Commandments that were cast in stones, fasting is not because it’s only a ritual [tradition] performed under certain circumstances so it’s not necessary to make it become as mandatory as a law to fulfill. If the Ten Commandments laws alone could not stop the Israelites [Jews] from committing sins against God, what’s the point of making “fasting” as another religious law to force people to do it when it would also not stop people from sinning all the same?
Q: Why did Jesus fast but not His disciples and now the Christians?
Christian: Does that mean Jesus’ disciples and the Christians today are disobedient and heretics? No, I don’t think so! However, I believe this is the most important question that has baffled many critics and even the Jews until today. It’s incredible that one knows how to ask such question and get a logical answer from reading the Bible. It’s even more incredible that one would safely not get any backlash from the Christians for daring to question Jesus, the Son of God, left and right like what the Pharisees Jews did just because His [Jesus] disciples were found not fasting as they should at that time. The good thing about Christianity is that the door is always wide open for anyone to question from the top to bottom because there is nothing to hide or to get so “sensitive” about.
For this question above, you can read about it in Matthew 9:14-17 how Jesus answered it with parables. It is so interesting to learn how Jesus handled even sarcastic questions with answers so incredibly mind-blowing that it would probably get an ordinary person’s brain cells really all worked up to figure out how Jesus answered questions like it’s so easy only at the snap of the fingers, yet those answers come together with so powerful punch and meaning that can stop your heart beating in an instant.
He [Jesus] is such genius that there is no reason not to believe He is the Son of God indeed. Believe me, if you want to become smart like Jesus, then you’d better follow Him this close by becoming one of His disciples too and not be scared of questioning and telling the truth that matters to God, not humans.
So, do you know why “fasting” is not made mandatory for Christians to practice? The simple reason is because God knows too well and could see through the hearts of men that no one, whether as Christians or not, would be able to practice “fasting” as sincerely and divinely as what Moses and Jesus did in the right context of fasting to become righteous and holy in God’s sight.
Q: What then in the right context of fasting is?
Christian: Jesus, after baptized by John the Baptist, immediately went straight into the wilderness to fast. And He did so the same as Moses for 40 days and 40 nights according to Matthew, Mark and Luke, but it was not recorded in the book of John. How could it be possible for anyone as a “human being” able to survive without food to eat or water to drink for more than a month in the desert? But if Jesus had survived and came out unscathed, then, wouldn’t it be so easy to understand that He is more than being a “human being” because He is actually God himself?
You probably would ask this question – what was the right reason and true purpose behind then that He had to fast so long? The answer is of course He did it for a divine purpose and that He had to be tested by having to face the evil temptations of the Satan to see if His [Jesus] willpower to stay obedient to God would be shaken or stirred like what happened to Adam and Eve.
And also to see if He [Jesus] could become qualified as the Son of God to fulfill His Father’s will in heaven and on earth to bring hope of salvation to all people regardless of race. So it was very crucial and significant for Him [Jesus] not to fail in the test as did Adam and Eve that brought sin into the world. Otherwise, He [Jesus] would not have qualified to bear the sins of the world to fulfill His Father’s will that under the new covenant only untainted [sinless] blood can seal God’s promise of eternal salvation for anyone who obeys [not just by believing alone] the gospel of Jesus. That is why, the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross was necessary not only to fulfill God’s promise of eternal life, it would do good as well in cleansing us of our sins because only the sacrifice of blood from a righteous and holy human being like Jesus can do the job. Nothing else can.
What about Moses? What is the difference between Moses and Jesus as both also fasted 40 days and 40 nights but became different entity from one another? Why did Moses who only served as a prophet of God died but not resurrected while Jesus proclaimed Himself as the Son of God as well as being exalted as the Prophet of the prophets also died but rose from the dead instead? The answer is quite simple, really. You see, God had chosen Moses and Jesus for a different reason and divine purpose to fulfil at a different time and place. That is why He is the one true Almighty God that you and I should pay allegiance to and worship and none others – period!
Now, what is so incredible about Jesus’ fasting in the wilderness that I learned from studying the New Testament is that there was no record of Him “breaking-of-fast” at any time possible during 40 days and 40 nights of fasting in the desert. Really this is one very serious and miraculous fasting, that no one could ever have gone through, let alone accomplished. I mean if it were you in this case, how do you make “breaking-of-fast” possible bearing in mind the immediate problem of finding something to eat in the wilderness? You would consider yourself as very lucky if you can escape those wild animals waiting to enjoy you as their “breaking-of-fast” and as their sumptuous meal instead. You can read about it in Mark 1:12 that Jesus was with wild animals but angels were around to protect Him too from getting eaten.
Is that not so amazing then that Jesus could survive without “breaking-of-fast” in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights? Now that’s what I called real fasting in the right context when there was absolutely no “breaking-of-fast” ever having taken place. Who in the world could ever do that? Can you? I do not think anyone in the history of civilization could ever break such incredible record in fasting the way Jesus did that will nicely and easily earn Him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Record, right?
Maybe the world’s most famous illusionist and magician, Criss Angels should consider doing such a feat of fasting for 40 days and 40 nights for the world to witness. And if he could successfully make it without dying of hunger, then I would renounce my faith in Jesus because Criss Angels would have proven any other humans can be as divine as Jesus then, right or not? As far as I know, there’s no human being on earth ever have broken such a record in fasting save Moses and Jesus, is there? I can bet my life there will be none until the end of time.
So you can see that is why those 1st century Christians pioneered by the apostle Paul never ever have testified about the need to “fast” whether or not as mandatory because when someone a Jew or a Gentile obeys the gospel of Jesus, that person is already considered as having become a ‘new creation’ and old things have passed away and everything becomes new as written in 2 Corinthians 5:17. And that of course also included the old tradition of fasting that is no longer necessary to practice. After all, there is no one in today’s standard of “fasting” who can become so “righteous” and “holy” enough to be qualified to meet up-close with God like Moses did. Is there?
Let us be honest with ourselves. As humans, we can’t be bluffing ourselves till kingdom come that one would be looking forward to suffer the pangs of hunger without knowing properly the real reason and true purpose behind like in the case of Moses and Jesus. Can we? I have once contemplated on fasting and thought I could do the same as Jesus to experience what it is like without “breaking-of-fast”. Well, to tell you the truth, I could only manage to last for 3 days without food due to the incredible hunger pangs that really was not easy to overcome all because I’m only a human and a sinner. That is why Jesus now is my greatest hero because He has indeed qualified to be the Savior of my soul.
Q: Is it not a religious obligation for Christians to fast too?
Christian: Well, it is not and indefinitely! However, it is all up to each Christian because Christianity is not a religion that is about doing this or that. Besides, it is not a crime too not to “fast” and neither does it make anyone who is a perpetual sinner in the sight of God anymore “righteous” and “holy” by doing so. You see – if a Christian in his/her bid to “fast” out of “religious obligation” ends up only looking forward to “breaking-of-fast” not at home but at hotels or restaurants where the luxury of sumptuous buffet to be spoiled for choice always there to tempt you, what’s the point and purpose in fasting then when the mind is on food all the time?
If no divine purpose to fast is present, why “fast” then unless it’s for health reason? And what’s worse is that one can even become obese faster with all such sumptuous buffet to get fed properly and enough to last until the next day of fasting. If that is the case, is it not the same as not fasting at all if one is so afraid of the hunger pangs that will strike anyone during the course of fasting? Besides, if you who has the “religious” authority to punish others but can’t tell or see through a person’s heart what’s the intention to “fast” except God, how then is it even possible to make it “mandatory” for people to fast and to check by going about policing to see whether there is anyone fasting or failing to fast so that you can punish someone with fines or jail sentence? Isn’t that ridiculous and so unnecessary?
As such, the ritual of “fasting” is not at all significant in any sense because it is not even mentioned as mandatory in the New Testament to fulfil out of “religious obligation”. Since no one can do it with the divine purpose like what Jesus did to atone for the sins of mankind or like Moses in obtaining the Ten Commandments from God personally, why even make it mandatory to “fast” that will give rise to people with vested interest to commercialize “breaking-of-fast” in hotels and restaurants? Besides, who in the world can really “fast” without “breaking-of-fast” to last even 3 days, let alone 40 days and 40 nights like what happened to Jesus and Moses who were on special missions for God?
Are you on any special “mission” for God that you can fast for 40 days and 40 nights without “breaking-of-fast”?
At best, the more “religious obligated” a person is in fulfilling such religious ritual as “fasting” the worse a person will become. Why is it so? You see, when such practice of religious rituals have gone to the point of overshadowing the heart and conscience to ‘come clean’ with God, it could send a wrong signal to the person thinking that by only fulfilling the religious obligation to “fast”, it would redeem a person of all wrongdoings and that everything will be fine and dandy again without the need of a Savior to save one from one’s sins, right? Wrong! You know and God knows if there is no right reason and true purpose in fasting, you will not even bother to ‘come clean’ in the heart to be right with God at all.
Now that is exactly where the trouble is when people do not seek the correct way to be right with God and because of that – people easily get the wrong idea about “fasting”. The biggest issue with religion is what it [the Satan] is causing people to think and believe for all the wrong reasons that they are “right” in pursuing all the religious practices to become “righteous” and “holy” in the sight of God or rather the Satan posing as “God”. But if they have embarked on a journey that it [the Satan] is leading them to the wrong side of the finishing line and not even knowing it for failing to counter-check with the one and only Almighty God who sent Jesus, it is because they have failed in their ability to think and reason wisely for not reading the Holy Bible. If everyone had done so wisely, the world would have been such a wonderful place to live until now than having to contemplate on moving to the planet Mars that would cost a bomb to do so.
As such and is the case with the world until today, the heart and conscience of a person can easily become null and void that is much like a ‘dead-man walking’ who will always have difficulties understanding that no one whether, as Christian or not, need to “fast” anymore as Jesus had already made history and created hope of salvation for all regardless of race. This is because the divine purpose in doing so had already been fulfilled by Jesus Christ long time ago when He declared in the last hour that “It is finished!” Now it makes no difference whether one wants to “fast” or not and not important anymore even if one is doing it out of “religious obligation”.
Needless to say, this is exactly what the Satan would be dying to see it happening to “religious” people who do not see the truth that they are in a state of uncertainty and confusion for not even realizing they have become outdated with their religious practices. But still, not surprisingly, people are as disobedient and unrepentant as ever to acknowledge the truth of their sorry state of affairs and yet they would accuse others as heretics for not doing this or that religiously.
As it turns out that one thing leads to another, we as humans created in the image of God will without doubt end up not smart enough to come back on the correct path to God that Jesus had paved for us to become saved from sin, death and the devil. Rather, people preferred the choice to become lost by going other ways and believing man-made religions that even most highly “educated” people would defend it as “suffice” but will eventually what cause them to stray further and further away from God unknowingly and become spiritually irreconcilable with God in the end and definitely that is no happy ever after end of the story to remember.
The worst thing of all is when people not knowing such dangerous risk looming because of being blinded by the greatest Deceiver [Satan] the Holy Bible has ever described as the curse of humanity. Also humans are repeatedly warned he is good at disguising as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” that anyone should flee from as quickly as possible by obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ.
And this is the only right thing to do to become saved from eternal damnation. There is no other way out for anyone to be set free from sin, death and the devil now and forever.