By Patrick Hawthorne
This is a repost from last year, but being as Mardi Gras is once again upon us I felt the need to have a repeat.
I know this particular post might offend some, but I assure you that offense is not my intent. However, this particular subject has puzzled me for the past twenty-seven years which is the amount of time I have been living in Louisiana. The subject in question involves Mardi Gras. Before I begin, this post is NOT an attack of those who are of the Catholic faith. Nor is it focused on those individuals who enjoy watching or participating in the many family oriented parades associated with Mardi Gras.
Although considered to be primarily a Catholic event to celebrate the last day before Lent (a forty day fasting period), Mardi Gras has gained popularity among Christians of all denominations. In past times, from what I understand, Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday”) was adopted from other cultures and served as a time to enjoy certain foods which were to be given up for Lent.
For instance, if a family was giving up eggs, meats, or other perishable foods for the forty days of Lent, then it made sense to have a last “Hurrah,” so to speak, by eating those foods and not let them spoil. However, the “Last Hurrah,” somehow took a turn among many in the Christian community. To many it has become a free for all, no holds barred, sin fest.
Years ago, I was chit chatting with a woman who is a professing Christian. Somehow the conversation turned to Mardi Gras. Having lived in Georgia and Alabama for much of my youth, I was not familiar with Mardi Gras and asked her what it was all about. As she spoke about the celebrations, floats, Cajun music, and more, her eyes lit up. I could tell she really enjoyed the celebration. She made it sound really fun….until!
As the woman elaborated on the festivities, the truth came out. Mardi Gras, in her point of view, was a day in which she could run wild without fear of the consequences of her sin. According to this woman, her religion allowed her the freedom to use this one day as a day to, “Get it out of her system.”
Having not learned the art of restraining my tongue while my brain processed the information, I blurted out something to the affect of, “That is about the most stupid thing I have ever heard. That is religion gone stupid.” For some odd reason, that was our last conversation.
I seriously doubt that her spiritual advisor taught her that God allows us one free day to sin, but that is what she chose to believe. Unfortunately, many professing Christian’s of all denominations carry this same skewed idea. It may not necessarily be Mardi Gras related, but some believe that God’s grace allows us to live it up today with the intent of asking for forgiveness tomorrow; this is a perversion of God’s grace. That too is, “Religion gone stupid!”
For certain men have crept in stealthily [gaining entrance secretly by a side door]. Their doom was predicted long ago, ungodly (impious, profane) persons who pervert the grace (the spiritual blessing and favor) of our God into lawlessness and wantonness and immorality, and disown and deny our sole Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). (Jude 1:4 Amplified)