- Religion and Philosophy
Dedicated Religions Fasting - For a higher Spiritual life
In Hebrew the word sum means fasting; and sum means "to cover the mouth". In Greek, the word for fasting is nesteuo which means "to abstain."
Religions Fasting are taken place for different reasons, lets take a look!
A list of the religions dedicated to fasting are;
The Buddhists mainly stress moderation in their eating. One meal per day; some do not eat after 2 P.M each day.
The Jewish history of fasting goes back to some five thousand years. All their Prophets, Priests, High Priest and people fast according to an order from God.
Moses received the commandments with fasting (Ex. 24:18)
(Deuteronomy 9: 9-18) God also ordered the Jewish people on some occasions to fast before they came before him.
(Leviticus 23) The people of Israel were too observe seven religious feasts at which they were to abstain from leaven, but most of them at the time of the Atonement, God ordered them to afflict their souls and do no servile work. At this time most Jews fast, confessing their sins to God. To some Jews this is life or death.
The more formal churches, such as the Roman Catholic Church, The Church of England, and their daughter churches, are more interested in fasting around the period of Lent. That would be seasonal abstinence, such as no meat during that period. Then on good Friday, some members would not eat until after sunset.
Some of the churches' (such as the Roman Catholic) main fast days would be lent, Ember days, Pentecost, Assumption, All Saints and Christmas. Fasting in the Church of England is mainly observed by the high faithful of the church.
Fasting is observed mainly by the Episcopalians, Lutherans, Church of God, Pentecostals, Seventh Day Adventists (Saturday worshiping group). One new group I must mention is the Christimatic; this group is a mixture of all Christian religions. This is where the Catholic Priest and Nun would worship in gifts with the Pentecostal and other fundamentalists.
The practice of weekly fasting is mostly found among some of the groups in the above. Some of these churches have what you would call a church fast and Bond Fast. Some would assemble on one or more certain days from 9 A.M - 3 P.M or 9 A.M - 6 P.M. For this exercise. Such churches sometimes would have a whole week fast, they would have certain members to voluntarily pledge certain days. This could also be called "chain-fast".
Some of the reasons are adding more members to the church, helping in the church finances, weeding out or change bad members. It is also a fact these people are abstainers from alcohol, tobacco and their indulgences.
Many people fasted for many reasons, some for spiritual and some for physical benefits. Bus some church groups, such as the Puritans among the Protestants, condemn fasting and the traditional Festivals of the Western Churches.
Some refer to this religion as Islam, but their founder was Muhammad. There are five religious duties that Islam imposes on all their true believers:
- Reciting the creed
- Alms Giving
Muslims worship five times daily and in worshiping the Muslims must face Mecca. Alms giving; In Muslim all believers must share their wealth. Formerly this was compulsory; now it is kind of voluntary.
Muslims fast the entire month of Ramadan, which is thirty days. This was the month Mohammed claimed he received his revelation from God. This fast is from 6 A.M o 6 P.M each day for one full month. If someone becomes ill he would use his discretion and eat or drink.
One of the interpretations of some people of fasting is that it lifted one up into a higher spiritual life.
In the Jainist religion they observe fasting as something that will bring happiness. The young women in that religion fast so they may marry a good man and be very happy in their married life.
OTHER RELIGIONS THAT FASTS
The American Indians have tribal fasts to keep away disasters. In the Caribbean there are many cultures and sub-religious cults fast on their days for healing, casting out demons and driving away spells put on by other cultists.
Other religious that fast are;
Confucianism - which is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system of East Asia.
Taoists - are referred as a variety of related philosophical and religious traditions that have influenced Eastern Asia.
By; George E.W.Brown, D.D.D.D.S.
Every man is the builder of a temple call his body.. we are all sculptors and painters and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones. Any nobleness begins at once to refine a man's features, any meanness or sensuality to imbrute them. - Henry David Thoreau
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