Mardi Gras has its roots in religious tradition. But what does the Bible say?
[Steve Myers] Colorful costumes and masks and pageantry. That's all surrounding Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is one of those traditions where...sometimes I'll talk about the fact that it reminds me of the three Ds. There's dancing in the streets, there's drunkenness and debauchery. That kinda categorizes Fat Tuesday. That's literally what the term Mardi Gras means. Religiously it's called Shrove Tuesday because that's the day before Lent. Lent of course being more of a Catholic kind of a tradition that's rooted in pagan holidays. And what would happen at Lent is that you would give up something for Lent. And so before you give something up, you certainly want to overindulge and fatten up and, you know, get into food and drink and all those things so that you can then put that behind you and repent for the rest of this religious season.
But when you really think about the implications of that religiously, it's really ridiculous. In modern carnival traditions and celebrations all around the world and whether it's in New Orleans or Rio or Nice, France. These are areas where they'll often celebrate for weeks, leading up to that time. When we lived in New Orleans for a while, I remember they talk about Fat Tuesday, and then instead of Ash Wednesday, they'd call it Trash Wednesday because there was so much junk leftover from these Mardi Gras celebrations. Well, is that something we should have any part in? These Catholic traditions that are not really based in the Bible at all. I mean, there's a couple of interesting aspects when you consider this. I was thinking of the passage that's found in Romans 13:13 Romans 13:13Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
American King James Version×. It says the basic things. As Christians it says, "Let's walk properly in the day, not in revelry or drunkenness."
Of course on TV, they'll show the parties and the fun but they don't show all of those types of things because that would certainly take away from the tourism of all those areas of the world. Romans goes on, "don't walk in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy." And it's kind of a reminder, those are the things we should give up, but that's not good enough. This whole aspect of Mardi Gras and Lent, I think it is something that miss directs us to what the truth of God's word really is. Yes, we've got to give up lewdness and drunkenness and revelry and all those types of things that are against God's way of life. But Romans points out, it's not just about giving something up. We have to put something on and so verse 14 in Romans 13 says, "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lust."
And so that's an important aspect of Christianity, true Christianity. We not only put off those things that are wrong, but we've got to take it a step farther. We've got to put on everything that's right. So when you begin to hear about Mardi Gras celebrations, and all of those types of things in this upcoming Lent season that this religious world will keep, remember, it's not rooted in the Bible. In fact, let it remind you of the fact we need to put off the ways of the world, but more importantly then, put on Jesus Christ.
That's BT Daily, we'll see you next time.