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Do you believe that Christians should fast?

  1. Claire Evans profile image90
    Claire Evansposted 5 years ago

    If so, what is the justification for it?

    1. Quilligrapher profile image88
      Quilligrapherposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Hi Claire.

      You might say Lent is the Christian version of Ramadan but without the coming together and feasting after sundown. It is a tradition in which fasting emulates Matthew 4:1-2 when "Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil and he fasted forty days and forty nights."

      Should Christians fast?

      Well, Roman Catholics, for example, consider it an obligation to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Self-imposed fasting, church attendance, and other forms of self-denial are also strongly recommended on all other weekdays in Lent.

      A more modern trend by many green Christians is called “Carbon Fasting.” It promotes a regiment of daily actions and prayers during lent that are designed to reduce emissions, protect poor people from the changing climate, and satisfy their obligation to care for God’s creations.

      Personally, I think fasting is not only physically healthy but it builds character too.

      1. Claire Evans profile image90
        Claire Evansposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Hi there.  Thanks for your comment.

        I don't believe Jesus fasted for 40 days and forty nights.  He'd be dead.  The forty days was obviously chosen to parallel Moses' 40 days of fasting.  I wouldn't be surprised if Jesus didn't eat because He was in spiritual distress. 

        I'm dead against fasting.  It is dangerous to the health.

        48 hours after fasting, your body is going to give in, and start feeding the hunger with it's own deposited fats. This may sound healthy, but that level of fat burning produces ketone , which are harmful. Ketosis (the production of ketones) cause severe acidity (not the kind that Eno will soothe) - and begin damaging body organs.

        "During the break-up of stored fats ketones are generated. High level of ketones in the blood can damage the liver, kidney and heart muscles."

        Even God can't help people with diabetes who go on a fast - their bodies can go into hypoglycemia - which is fatal."

        http://www.mensxp.com/health/live-healt … r-you.html

        No one can possibly concentrate on God when they are craving food.   There's a case where a young German girl, who was Roman Catholic,  was horribly possessed and decided to fast in an attempt to spiritually cleanse.  It made the possession worse because she was so weak.  The weaker the individual, the more powerful the demons.

        1. Captain Redbeard profile image60
          Captain Redbeardposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I don't want to start any arguments here but I watched my step dad fast for forty days. He didn't die.

          1. Claire Evans profile image90
            Claire Evansposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Was he climbing mountains in the wilderness?

            1. Captain Redbeard profile image60
              Captain Redbeardposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              He was working construction smile

              1. Claire Evans profile image90
                Claire Evansposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                So he was doing heavy construction work eating not for 40 days?

                1. Captain Redbeard profile image60
                  Captain Redbeardposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  What didn't you understand?

                  "I don't want to start any arguments here but I watched my step dad fast for forty days. He didn't die."

                  "He was working construction"

                  You saw and replied to both posts.

        2. aguasilver profile image87
          aguasilverposted 5 years ago in reply to this

           

          First, anyone who tries to emulate Christ in fasting 40 days would be crazy UNLESS they knew 100% that God had asked them to do that, I knew one very good pastor who went 'up the mountain' (literally) for forty days and survived, but it broke him for the ministry, so to a degree I agree with you, however, Christ (IMO) was divinely empowered to do that 40 day total fast had to have been or as you say He would have died.



          I disagree, and the article you mirrored is just that, another opinion, and one heavily reliant upon secular thinking.

          I do not advocate fasting for weight loss, or any other physical reason except where the body knows to fast (not wanting to eat food) in order to repair itself.

          http://www.falconblanco.com/health/fasting.htm




          Again disagree, fasting will show the person fasting just how much their 'flesh' controls them, and IF they are in relationship with Christ, they will be given the strength to TAME the flesh, DENY the flesh and break through to a clearer relationship with God.

          Our church always fast, as a church, for one week in January, in order to seek Gods face on things for the year, and the scriptures we receive from fasting will all point the way for the coming year, and amazingly, although the fasts are carried out in isolation, the results concur when we meet reveal which scriptures spoke to us during the fast.

          Fasting is about defeating the flesh, which allows that personal contact with God to be made clearer and closer.



          I bolded the relevant word above, she decided?

          When I first came to faith, it would be fair to say that as a former occultism practitioner I was filled with the wrong spirits, and my 'church deliverers' asked that I fast a total fast for 24 hours, before we started the cleaning up process.

          I admit that as a young believer those 24 hours were horrific, with all the normal headaches and pains that severe fasting will produce, and yes I was weakened when I went for deliverance, but so to was the demonic hold over me.

          My deliverers spiritual authority in Christ was strong, and I walked away broken free from the main demonic forces that had held authority over my life, and surprisingly, when we had finished, the pains inflicted during the fast disappeared and a great clarity came over me.

          Demons will do whatever they need do, to stop people getting closer to God, and inflicting as much pain as possible in order to dissuade the person from fasting is just part of their method of keeping control over their subject (and they enjoy watching us squirm).

          When you break through by denying the flesh and focussing on Christ, the demons lose, and once you know that fact, they can never deceive one as totally again.

          Fasting for the right reasons works wonders in the spirit and will restore folk.

          1. Claire Evans profile image90
            Claire Evansposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            You don't entertain the idea that Jesus was said to fast for 40 days to parallel Moses? The gospel writers often tried to parallel Jesus with the Old Testament.  Forty is just symbolic.  Did it not also rain for 40 days in the Noah's Ark story?

            I'm not going to say you mustn't fast but I have sufficient ways of worshipping God that doesn't require me to fast.

            1. Eric Newland profile image61
              Eric Newlandposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              I think I've seen it indicated that "forty days and forty nights" is a transliterated metaphor that actually just means "a long time."

              One thing I might mention is that here in the western world we don't know what hunger really is. What we think of as hunger is actually our blood sugar crashing because our bodies are use to receiving an influx of calories at regular intervals, and ditto producing insulin to counteract all the carbohydrates we ingest. After a while (diabetics excepted), things normalize, and there's a period of mental clarity before "real" hunger sets in.

              Not speaking from experience, mind you, as far as total food deprivation goes. But I have found that if you're on a low-carb or low simple carb diet you can reduce the blood sugar/insulin spikes and you'll notice that you get less "jittery" if you have to wait a little longer than normal to eat. That's what you're feeling when you skip a meal. It's not hunger, it's just the insulin hump.

              1. aguasilver profile image87
                aguasilverposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                Agreed.

                After 4 days fasting the 'hunger' subsides and is no longer dictating to your body.

                40 days could be a symbolic, I also agree.

                So called 'Daniel fasts' (fresh fruit and raw vegetables with pure water) are excellent at cleansing the body whilst not depriving it of nutrition.

              2. Claire Evans profile image90
                Claire Evansposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                That's interesting, Eric!

        3. hookedhuntress profile image60
          hookedhuntressposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Claire I am quoting you,

          "It made the possession worse because she was so weak.  The weaker the individual, the more powerful the demons."

          There are lots of hungry,weak and starving people in the world.There are people weak from battling sickness as well..does that then mean they are at risk of  giving demons power and control over them?


          I think people have watched entirely to many movies and believe the Hollywood hype that has been given to demons.I think people give the devil too much credit in a lot of areas.

          When demons are spoke of in  the Bible, they are either independent (as with Satan) or are  possessing unbelieving people.

          1John 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

          "He"(God) has to be "in you" first.


          If the devil could  just go around picking off weak people or powering up off someone's weakened state then pretty much the entire world would be  possessed because we have all been weak at some point in our lives.

          If the girl's possession was made worse because of  her  fasting, I would then think it was because the demon wanted  her to stop fasting..Wouldn't it make more sense to say that it was trying to make her stop by afflicting her more than to attributing it to gaining more power over her.People seem to glorify the devil with this kind of thinking or mind set.

          I don't think it had anything to do with the girl getting weak but everything to do with the demon getting upset and wanting her to stop. (maybe because it  would have to leave if she continued)


          If we are pursuing God, if we are clothing ourselves with His armor and relying upon His strength , we have nothing to fear from  evil , for God rules over all!

          As I stated before I think fasting is up to the person.We are not commanded to fast.

          I do question why a person would be so adamantly against it as you seem to be.

          You say,
          "I'm dead against fasting.  It is dangerous to the health."

          I could post studies and articles stating that some fasting  is good for you..but you should be in good heath to begin with.
          I believe that restricting your diet can be considered fasting.
          I don't believe a person necessarily has to make it about starving.
          A person could eat only fruits and veggies for a set amount of time.
          I have even eaten nothing but oat meal for a week.I have eaten breakfast and dinner but skipped lunches for a few days and used that time to pray and seek God.

          I think it is what is in your heart and not what is on your plate.

          1. Claire Evans profile image90
            Claire Evansposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Not if those people aren't possessed.  Demons will tend to prefer those who are weak because they are cowards.  The possessed girl was Anneliese Michel, the young lady the film, "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" was loosely based on.  Nobody knows how she got possessed in the first place but she did attempt to fast and it made her too weak to fight back.  Eventually she couldn't get the food down.  She died starving. 

            Here's a bit of her possession.  Warning: It's terrifying.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4n9vK0_mdk


            It is dangerous for a Christian to underestimate the power of the devil.  If Jesus was sweating blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, then I think people should start taking Satan seriously.



            What you don't realize is that Satan does pick off weak people and is strengthened by suffering.  Why do you think there is so much evil and suffering in the world? To make it clear, you don't have to be possessed for Satan to use you.  Jesus told Satan to get behind him when Peter warned him not to go to Jerusalem.




            Satan probably enjoyed seeing her starve to death.  I get the impression you have never had any experiences with the devil.






            Yes, but that doesn't mean we should not take evil seriously.



            Restriction is different from just plain starving yourself.

            1. Disappearinghead profile image87
              Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              My doctor told me to fast for 48 hours in order to kill of some amoebic dysentery I picked up in India. So fasting can be good for you.

              There was the occasion where the disciples could not 'cast out a demon' aka cure the person from a mental disorder, and Jesus said that some healing comes only through prayer and fasting. He also told them that when they fast they should not 'put on sack cloth ad ashes' but dress normally and hide the fact that they are fasting. So there you are Claire, Jesus advocated it.

              You know where I stand on superstitious belief in demons so I won't go into that here.

              1. Claire Evans profile image90
                Claire Evansposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                Did it work? How so?



                You're just assuming possession is mental disorder.

                The verse you are talking about is Matthew 6:16.  Here it is written what Jesus says about fasting but here the Pharisees are criticizing Jesus because the disciples didn't fast.  He did not think fasting important enough, not to mention the Sabbath.  I've looked this up to make sense of this and came across a very interesting page which clearly proves fasting was a man-made practice and not advocated by God.

                "There is no scriptural directive for Christians to “fast” by not eating food. In fact, God has never prescribed the practice of fasting for any of His people, either Israel or the Church. Nevertheless, some people think that God commands fasting. Furthermore, others who realize fasting is not a command of God practice it for a number of reasons such as: a tendency to want to save themselves by their works, to feel more valuable in the eyes of God, to try to gain God’s favor in a given situation, to prove to themselves that they really do love God, or to increase their self-discipline and prove they are not a slave to food. Also, there can be health benefits to fasting, although there are also reasons to be cautious about it, but that is not the focus of this article.

                Through the centuries, fasting became such an important tradition in the Jewish religion that it was given the force of law. The Jews had many traditions that involved afflicting the flesh that were not commands of God, but which they kept as if they were. Many such traditions are mentioned in ancient Jewish literature but not in the Bible. Some are in the Bible, and even a cursory reading of the Gospels shows Jesus in conflict with the Jews about traditions that made people’s lives difficult, including Sabbath traditions (Matt. 12:10-12), traditions about helping parents (Matt. 15:3-6), and traditions involving cleanliness (Mark 7:1-6). Jesus also did not require his disciples to fast, something that confused the people of his time (Mark 2:18-20).

                Even though fasting was a tradition, not a commandment, it was an important part of the Jewish religion and was also practiced by the early Christians, so it is mentioned many times in the Bible. For example, Zechariah mentions a public fast in the fourth, fifth, seventh, and tenth month (Zech. 8:19); Jesus mentions fasting in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 6:16-18); the Day of Atonement is called the “Fast” (Acts 27:9); and the early Christians fasted (Acts 13:1-3).
                Fausset’s Bible Dictionary notes in its article on fasting (now Public Domain in Bibleworks) that fasting was not part of the Law of Moses.

                The word (tsuwm) [“fast”] never occurs in the Pentateuch [Genesis – Deuteronomy]. The Mosaic Law, though directing minutely the foods to be eaten and to be shunned, never enjoins fasting. The false asceticism so common in the East was carefully avoided.

                The Day of Atonement was traditionally a fast day in the Jewish religion, so it is called “the Fast” in Acts 27:9, but God never specifically commanded the Jews not to eat on that day. Fausset’s Bible Dictionary says:
                On the yearly Day of Atonement, the 10th day of the 7th month, Israelites were directed to “afflict the soul” (Lev. 16:29-31; 23:27; Num. 30:13). This significant term implies that the essence of scriptural “fasting” lies in self-humiliation and penitence, and that the precise mode of subduing the flesh to the spirit, and of expressing sorrow for sin, is left to the conscientious discretion of each person.

                The Day of Atonement was a day for people to “afflict your souls” (Lev. 16:29, 31 KJV), which other versions translate as “deny yourselves” (NIV), or “humble your souls” (NASB). The Hebrew word that the KJV translates “afflict” in Leviticus 16:29 and 31 means to “humble, overpower, subdue, oppress, or weaken,” depending on the context. The same Hebrew phrase occurs in the context of a woman making a vow to afflict her soul, which could be any vow she made that involved self-denial (Num. 30:13). Although over time the Day of Atonement became a day of fasting, God never specifically said people were to go without eating. Instead, people were to deny themselves, which different people would do in different ways.

                Another reason people think the Bible commands not eating is that “fasting” wrongly appears in three places in widely read versions of the Bible. That is because during the centuries that monks and scribes controlled and copied the New Testament, the word “fasting” was added to some manuscripts in several places. This could have happened by accident, but the scribes may have added it on purpose, thinking it would help people in their walk with God, like the Jews who for the same purpose enforced their traditions as if they were laws. This is the position Fausset’s Bible Dictionary takes:

                “Evidently the growing tendency to asceticism in post-apostolic times accounts for these interpolations [additions to the text].”

                History shows us that what Fausset’s refers to as a “growing tendency to asceticism” or pious observance of regulations shows up in many ways besides fasting. Over time, many traditions that involved afflicting the flesh entered not only Judaism, as we have already seen, but also Christianity. For example, the Roman Catholic doctrine that priests not marry is a tradition that is not biblical (1 Tim. 3:2). Ditto for the regulation not to eat meat on Friday (which was done away with by the Roman Catholic Church in the late 1900s), and the tradition that many people follow when they get very dressed up to go to church on Sunday (a tradition that is less and less adhered to today).
                It is important to be aware of the three verses where “fasting” was added to some of the Greek manuscripts, eventually finding their way into both Protestant and Roman Catholic Bibles, especially the earlier versions such as the King James Version, Geneva Bible, or Douay-Rheims. We will show each of them in both the KJV and a more modern version that recognizes the erroneous addition. For our modern version we will use the ESV (English Standard Version), which is the newest widely accepted essentially literal translation available today, although we would find the same thing in the vast majority of Protestant and Roman Catholic modern Bibles."

                Often the scribes substituted the word "prayer" with "fasting".

                Here's examples:

                Mark 9:29 (KJV)
                And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
                Mark 9:29 (ESV)
                And he said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer."
                1 Corinthians 7:5 (KJV)
                Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
                1 Corinthians 7:5 (ESV)
                Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

                http://www.truthortradition.com/iphone/ … ;Itemid=59

                Fasting often yields negative results.  Many people think it is a way of scoring brownie points with God.  They think if they fast from time to time they don't have to be on their best behaviour the rest of the time.  Clearly Jesus knew this and did not advocate fasting, i.e, abstaining from all food. 

                This is what Isaiah has to say:

                Isaiah 58:3-9
                New International Version (NIV)

                3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
                   ‘and you have not seen it?
                Why have we humbled ourselves,
                   and you have not noticed?’
                   “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
                   and exploit all your workers.
                4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
                   and in striking each other with wicked fists.
                You cannot fast as you do today
                   and expect your voice to be heard on high.
                5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
                   only a day for people to humble themselves?
                Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
                   and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
                Is that what you call a fast,
                   a day acceptable to the LORD?

                6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
                to loose the chains of injustice
                   and untie the cords of the yoke,
                to set the oppressed free
                   and break every yoke?
                7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
                   and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
                when you see the naked, to clothe them,
                   and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
                8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
                   and your healing will quickly appear;
                then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
                   and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
                9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
                   you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

                Having said this, if one does feel closer to God and it doesn't negatively affect their health and thus make them irritable and quarrelsome, then they must fast.  It has to be for the right reasons.  It mustn't be a display of piety.  I personally believe that people should spiritually fast everyday.  They should deny themselves and refrain from all things that can corrupt the soul.  I have the same sentiments for Lent.

                1. Disappearinghead profile image87
                  Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  Mark 9: 29. I have a Greek New Testament. It says prayer and fasting in the Greek.

                  1. Claire Evans profile image90
                    Claire Evansposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    I'll quote here again:


                    "t is important to be aware of the three verses where “fasting” was added to some of the Greek manuscripts, eventually finding their way into both Protestant and Roman Catholic Bibles, especially the earlier versions such as the King James Version, Geneva Bible, or Douay-Rheims. We will show each of them in both the KJV and a more modern version that recognizes the erroneous addition. For our modern version we will use the ESV (English Standard Version), which is the newest widely accepted essentially literal translation available today, although we would find the same thing in the vast majority of Protestant and Roman Catholic modern Bibles."

    2. profile image0
      jomineposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Satan said so, may be!!

  2. Shanna11 profile image91
    Shanna11posted 5 years ago

    Mormons fast! There's that whole debate whether they're Christian or not, so take that with a grain of salt if you want, but once Mormons turn eight, they fast for twenty four hours on the first Sunday of every month. It's known very simply as "fast Sunday". Mormons then donate what they would have spent on food for those twenty four hours to a collection called "Fast Offerings" that goes to help feed those who can't afford to pay for food.

    Of course, if you have medical issues (IE you cannot fast physically or you need to take medication with foods daily) then you are excused. My younger brother does not fast for this reason.

  3. aguasilver profile image87
    aguasilverposted 5 years ago

    Matthew 6:16
    Amplified Bible (AMP)
    And whenever you are fasting, do not look gloomy and [a]sour and dreary like the hypocrites, for they put on a dismal countenance, that their fasting may be apparent to and seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full already.

    Would seem to answer the question. smile

  4. AshtonFirefly profile image81
    AshtonFireflyposted 5 years ago

    I'm not sure that there's a "should" or "should not" answer to this question.

    For some people, it's beneficial; for others, it is not.

    I know that there are different kinds of fasting, but the first one that comes to mind is the food fasting. For me, that's impossible
    For example, if I skip a meal, I will get an instant migraine and be bed-ridden for 24 hours. I wouldn't be able to even think much less pray..
    I'm not sure I see the point in denying oneself something that they enjoy for a given period of time, for the purpose of prayer...particularly a fast in the area of food. In that case, you're depriving your body of essential nutrients. Anything you experience during that fast is therefore slightly questionable. Is what I'm feeling real, or a delusion because my brain's going psycho from not eating. But again, that's relating to the food fast.

    As for other fasts, I don't see the point. I don't really see the value in it. If the thing I'm fasting about is something that I'm devoting too much time to, or something I should be avoiding anyway, then I should be doing it all the time, right? Idk. I've never really seen the purpose. But, to each their own I guess.

  5. steveamy profile image60
    steveamyposted 5 years ago

    to loose weight

  6. Paul Wingert profile image78
    Paul Wingertposted 5 years ago

    I think all Christians should fast every Friday night and holidays. Since about 3/4 of the population here in the US are so-called Christian, that would mean faster service and shorter lines at resturants and buffets for the rest of us.

    1. AshtonFirefly profile image81
      AshtonFireflyposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      smile llool

  7. hookedhuntress profile image60
    hookedhuntressposted 5 years ago

    I think fasting is up to the individual.Jesus fasted as well as many of his followers.

    Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

    I feel that fasting can be a part of denying one's self.


    The purpose of fasting should be to take your eyes off the things of this world and focus completely on God.

    Fasting should not be considered a “dieting method” either. The purpose of a biblical fast is not to lose weight, but rather to gain deeper fellowship with God.

    I to believe there are different ways of fasting.

  8. Jerami profile image78
    Jeramiposted 5 years ago

    Fasting is also a health concern.
      Whatever foods that people eat have certain toxins in them.
      And we all have our favorite foods.
      Our bodies build up unsafe levels of these toxins which are in the foods that we eat the most; and then our bodies develope what has come to be called an agergic reaction.
      It is a good thing to fast allowing our bodies to shed these toxins.
    This in turn, is a good thing for our spiritual life

 
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