by MW Cook
So the Muslim world just started fasting again. For the next month faithful Muslims will avoid food, drink, smoking and sex while the sun is up. Not only that, but every mosque will hold Qur’an recitations every day and actually get through the entire book before the month is up. And the already burdensome prayer times will get a boost. Whole lot of religious duties going on!
At this point Christians will usually shake their heads, make a bit of a *tsk* sound and say, “Don’t they realize that all these religious works are useless? Don’t they realize that they are missing a key thing that negates all the hard work they’re putting into their faith? Poor, misguided Muslims.”
I guess I shouldn’t sound so … snarky, should I? I mean, anything spiritual without Jesus really does seem useless. But I just can’t help thinking about all the ways Christians nullify their own spiritual acts. Fasting, for example. Some people think it’s a bit of a lost Christian art, but I know a lot of Christians who still fast. And I wonder how many fast in the way God intended. Like how Isaiah says we are supposed to fast in Isaiah 58. In that part of the Bible, God is calling the people’s fast useless because they did it wrong. And then he laid out how to do it right:
I feel like I cannot criticize another group’s fast when they leave something out when the group I grew up in seems to be doing the same thing, y’know?