Fasting

Discussion in 'Church History' started by MommaJenny, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. MommaJenny

    MommaJenny Member

    This isn't a completely outdated practice, but it was certainly observed more strictly in the past and, of course, the early church and beyond. I fast at various times throughout the year and I find it to be very beneficial. It helps me to focus. I think it's a shame that so many people these days don't see the positive effects it can have on the body and soul.
     
  2. RabbiKnife

    RabbiKnife Open the pod bay door, please HAL.

    I did a 7 day water fast last year.

    Will probably do a 10 day water fast in the not very distant future.
     
  3. פNIʞƎƎS

    פNIʞƎƎS Connoisseur of Memes Staff Member

    Just curious, what positive effects have you experienced in your body and soul?
     
  4. MommaJenny

    MommaJenny Member

    Wow, RK! You've got me beat! I never dry fast, so I always include water, but the most I've done is 72 hours.

    Oh, it's fantastic for helping me to get my focus back when I get caught up in the nonsense of the world around me. I am extremely busy, often working as many as 18 hours a day, and when I notice that I am letting life run me rather than me running my life, I take a step back and make a plan to reboot and that usually includes a one to three day fast, among other things. During that time I am able to let go of the residual stuff and regain my clarity to truly reflect and look within myself and focus on God and my relationship with Him. It does wonders for helping me to have very concise prayers and then I maintain it long after the fasting is over...until I allow myself to be derailed again.

    The physical advantages are great, too. An excellent reset of any poor habits that begin to creep in and abundant energy when the fast is over.
     
  5. TrustGzus

    TrustGzus Don't make me hangry Staff Member

    I did a water fast that probably lasted years.
     
  6. RabbiKnife

    RabbiKnife Open the pod bay door, please HAL.

    Goober.
     
  7. BrianW

    BrianW Active Member

    I've never did a food fast for more than 24 hrs and I've only done it then for medical reasons. But fasting isn't always strictly food related is it?
     
  8. MommaJenny

    MommaJenny Member

    I found this basic article about fasting and how it can relate to Christians. Food, drink, sleep, or sex would be the main things, but I suppose you could choose anything that would be a challenge to you. Kind of like the whole giving something up for Lent thing. If/when you do that you aren't supposed to choose something easy.
     
  9. פNIʞƎƎS

    פNIʞƎƎS Connoisseur of Memes Staff Member

    Thanks for explaining it to me. I may have to do one myself. Refocus.
     
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  10. BrianW

    BrianW Active Member

    That's a good article and is pretty much in accordance with my understanding of fasting. I would also point out that the reasons for fasting are just as important as to what you choose ( food or otherwise ) or how you do it.
    If someone is fasting just because they think they are supposed to or because it has become an annual ritual for them then they are accomplishing nothing and are most likely displeasing God. I only point this out because some people and churches do this sort of thing on a schedule ( Catholics and even some Protestant denominations ) and it boggles my mind.
     
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  11. RabbiKnife

    RabbiKnife Open the pod bay door, please HAL.

    I agree 100%!
     
  12. MommaJenny

    MommaJenny Member

    I completely agree. If a person knows themselves well enough, they'll know when the time is right, when it's needed, etc. For example, I know myself well enough to know when I let myself slip a little too long. :p
     
  13. hisleast

    hisleast FISHBEAT!

    Even though I've dropped out of Christianity, I still think fasting is very specifically for food (especially in the context of Christianity).
    In secular world, its about food deprivation, and there's a couple of SPECTACULAR "TED" talks on it. The one from a neurologist (can't remember his name) is particularly interesting. Essentially after bouncing back from a fast your brain will adapt... possibly forcing itself to be more clever about finding /maintaining food sources.
    In the Christian context, I quite simply can't see the point of a non-food fast. The trick was never to deprive yourself of LUXURY (everything not food), but rather depriving yourself of NECESSITY. Doing so places you in the same discomfort as the poorest of poor - an empty belly. With the possible exception of addiction, nothing will strain your willpower like denying something your body uses as fuel.
     
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  14. BrianW

    BrianW Active Member

    I'm not trying to be offensive but I couldn't care less what the secular world thinks about fasting. Biblically speaking the purpose of fasting is to take your eyes and heart off of yourself and the things of this world and to to focus completely on God.
    It isn't meant to be a punishment or trial it's meant to help you focus through dedication and prayer. It's never been and never should be about food or deprivation at all it's instead for a closer relationship and dedication to Him and His will instead of the I/Me/Mine we inevitably find ourselves caught up in.

    Fasting isn't about US it's about Him and our total reliance upon Him.
     
  15. hisleast

    hisleast FISHBEAT!

    It's *ALWAYS* been about fasting from food, because that's what the word means. Its only a modern perversion that's decided you can fast from a non-food luxury and still be fasting.
    It would be very much akin to saying you're dieting... by watching 1 hour less of television per week. Its not what dieting means, nor how the bulk of people have understood the word since it was invented.

    Also, who said anything about punishment?
     
  16. DaniH

    DaniH You're probably fine.

    Yes, fasting absolutely is strictly food and water related. If it's not food/water related, it's simply called "abstaining". Abstaining from excess & luxury is most definitely not fasting, which by definition means going without essential nourishment.

    Within this context there's food fasts, and food and water fasts, where people fast anywhere from shorter time periods of a day or a few meals, to weeks at a time.

    (P.S. Daniel didn't actually fast, and there's no such thing as a "Daniel fast". He and his friends merely abstained from richer foods and alcohol offered at the king's palace for 10 days and had vegetables & water only.)

    I consider fasting to be an essential sacrament that's gotten lost in the shuffle somehow. I do fast from time to time, and have often fasted in the past 20 years. Which I'm not supposed to make public (according to Jesus) so I mostly kinda hint at it.

    If I read my Bible correctly, fasting is supposed to remind us what it's like to be truly hungry/thirsty (which is why it's only food/water related) so we become more attuned to the needs and struggles of the truly poor who actually don't have enough to eat and who lack adequate water supply. To motivate us to actually go and share our food and water with them.

    Fasting for its own sake as a spiritual exercise is actually pretty useless as far as God is concerned. It ought to make you a more compassionate person after it's all said and done who is more attuned to the needs of others, especially the desperately poor and oppressed, after having acutely felt your own pangs when you're not being liberally fed & watered. See Isaiah 58 for more detail.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  17. BrianW

    BrianW Active Member

    If fasting absolutely is strictly food and water related and to make us attuned to the poor and it can't be sex or sleep ( for example) it should be simple enough for you to show me scripture that says this.

    I'm sorry to say that I don't think you are reading your Bible correctly sister.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  18. RabbiKnife

    RabbiKnife Open the pod bay door, please HAL.

    By the way, folks, a "water fast" doesn't mean you abstain from water, it means you drink only water and consume zero calories.
     
  19. BrianW

    BrianW Active Member

    Yep you're right. I should have wrote food and drink instead of food and water. Thanks for the correction.
     
  20. hisleast

    hisleast FISHBEAT!

    How is the word "FAST" defined? Why do you think biblical scholars chose the word. The word isn't a metaphor. Its the descriptor for a very specific concept: abstaining from food.
     

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