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Sunday, March 3, 2013

The New Testament Baptist Church of Butler, Pennsylvania

Why Baptists Do Not Observe the Lenten Season

Early religious people felt that the magnitude of the Easter celebration called for special preparation. Historically, Lent is the penitential period of 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter, excluding Sundays. The Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday, and ends on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday). Sundays were not counted in the forty days because it is considered by some to be inappropriate to fast on the day of the resurrection. Therefore, the Wednesday 46 days before Easter came to be regarded as the beginning of Lent. The Lenten season has been evolved into an observance, dictated by leaders within certain denominations, as a time to include fasting and penitence, both in preparation for Easter and as a way of spiritually joining Jesus with the fasting and meditation he did in the wilderness. For Eastern Orthodox denominations today, the rules of fasting are strict: just one meal a day, in the evening, and no meat, fish, eggs, or butter is permitted. The Lenten season is viewed by the Catholic church as a time of fasting and abstinence. Catholics view a day of fasting as one on which Catholics, who are eighteen to sixty years old, are required to keep. In this country, a person may eat a single, normal meal, and have two snacks, so long as these snacks do not add up to a second meal. Children are not required to fast. A day of abstinence is a day on which Catholics, fourteen years or older, are required to abstain from eating meat (under the current discipline in America, fish, eggs, milk products, and condiments or foods made using animal fat are permitted in the Western Rite of the Church, though not in the Eastern Rites.) Persons with special dietary needs can easily be dispensed by their pastor. In many places around the world, the last day before Lent (known variously as Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Carnival) is celebrated as a last fling before the solemn days of Lent. Carnival is a common name because, for centuries, people were expected to fast by abstaining from meat during Lent (just as they were expected to abstain from meat every Friday), and the term, carnivale, is Latin for farewell to meat. Lent is a church tradition that started hundreds of years after the time of Christ. Observation of the Lenten season is not instructed, or commanded in Scriptures. Within certain denominations, church leaders have the ability to establish binding rules of conduct for their followers. The vast majority of Baptists view the Scriptures as their final authority for faith and practice; therefore, they do not observe this church tradition. As born-again believers, who look to the Bible, Baptists believe that the Christian life should be lived all the time, not just a few weeks of the year. Someone has well said, "If it is wrong during Lent, it is always wrong." The Bible is against the indulgence of the flesh, at all times (Romans 8:6). Interestingly, Jesus taught that fasting should be done discreetly (Matthew 6:16-18). Jesus command to wash your face seems to conflict with the practice of rubbing ashes on ones face on Ash Wednesday. There is a danger when we allow church tradition and dogma to conflict with the teachings of Christ (Mark 7:13; Colossians 2:8, 23). Born-again believers, who look to the Bible, reject the idea that selfdenial, which is institutionally enforced, can enhance the worthiness of the individual. Whenever people have not understood that salvation is by grace through faith alone (Titus 3:57; Ephesians 2:8-9), they have superstitiously tried to gain approval and merit from God through manmade practices. Popular ideas about the observance of the Lenten period with selfdenial brings the observer closer to Christ, and makes him more worthy of receiving forgiveness and eternal life. 724.282.2494 437 North Duffy Road, Butler, Pennsylvania 16001 www.VisitNTBC.com

Thank you for choosing to worship at the New Testament Baptist Church of Butler. Our prayer is that your heart will be stirred for the eternal as we sing songs & hymns that direct your heart toward Christ and challenge you through the preaching of Gods Word. There are friendly people at our Welcome Center in the lobby who will gladly assist you with any questions you may have during your visit. Allow us to make you feel at home during your visit. First-time adult visitors and families are asked to visit our Welcome Center to receive a hospitality bag with a gift card to Chick-fil-A.

First Time Visitors

Out of respect for your loved ones and those in attendance, we ask parents to use our clean & well-equipped nursery. This free service is available for newborns and infants (birth through 24 months). Your cooperation is needed and appreciated. Assistance is available at the Welcome Center.

Parents with Infants and Young Children

Teen Camp in Lancaster, Kentucky Monday - Friday, July 8-12

This year our teenagers will be attending the Circle C Baptist Camp in Kentucky. Drew & Cary Hogan will be taking our young people (going into the 7th grade in the Fall through the 12th grade). Cost is $150/teen.

Tuesday, March 12, 6:30 PM

We are encouraged by the good participation in the Adult Ladies Bible Study. If you havent participated, please consider attending the upcoming Bible study at the church. There is NO CHARGE for attending. Ladies are encouraged to bring a side dish to share with the other ladies.

Butler Farm Show Monday - Saturday, August 5-10

The New Testament Baptist Church booth at the Farm Show requires many volunteers. Please arrange your schedule so you can help us this year.

Food & Drink Items

In the spirit of worship, and as an act of courtesy, please do NOT bring food items, coffee, bottled water, or soft drinks into the Auditorium. Thank you for your courtesy!

Weekly Service Schedule

Sunday: 10:00 AM Adult & Childrens Bible Study Classes 11:00 AM Morning Preaching 6:00 PM Choir Practice 7:00 PM Evening Preaching Patch the Pirate Childrens Choral Club Wednesday: 7:00 PM Midweek Bible Study & Prayer Saturday: 10:30 AM Bus Visitation

Electronic Devices
Cellular devices, pagers, and electronic devices should be turned off or placed in vibrate mode. We would ask that parents do not allow their children to bring electronic video game systems with them to church.

Youre invited to listen to our internet radio station, GlorifyRadio.com, on your computer, smartphone, or iPod/iPad.