The Bishop, The African Church, Lagos Missionary Diocese, Rt. Revd. Ezekhial Adeleke Adetoro, has declared that fasting on Sundays for Christians is necessary but not compulsory.
He also charged that members of the Christendom globally that are starting the 40 days long fasting, also known as Lenten period, should endeavor not to go back to their old ways and habits that they will be given up during the period, after the fasting.
Bishop Adetoro stated this during an interview with THE IMPACT in Ikorodu today, which is known as Ash Wednesday, which signals the commencement of the Lenten period.
“It’s also good that we observe fasting on Sundays, but when you calculate the number of days of the lent, including Sundays that are in – between, it will be more than the required 40 days”, Bishop Adetoro said.
“We normally allow Christians to rest on Sundays and more so, we do have Holy Communion on Sundays and when you take this communion which is the body and blood of Jesus Christ, that means you have already taken food. These are the reasons that we normally allow Sundays not to be part of the fasting period”, he further explained.
The Bishop, who has his seat in The African Church Bethel Cathedral, Aga, Ikorodu, from where he presides over other African Churches in Ikorodu down to Surulere, also stated that it is better for Christians to observe more fasting days than less than the required days.
“But, like I have been saying, if you fast on Sundays, it will be more than 40 days which is good. It is better to fast for more than 40 days than to observe less.
“Sundays fasting are not compulsory but necessary”, Bishop Adetoro stated categorically.
The clergy also stated that fasting is still very relevant in today’s world because it is a period when Christians get closer to God.
“Fasting still very relevant in today’s world because the whole idea was derived from the Bible, Book of Joel, chapter two. The Bible says that we should have time to fast and pray and talk to God”, he said.
“It is still very relevant and that is why we are starting today with Ash Wednesday and by the grace of God, we are fasting for 40 days which will lead us to the Easter period.
“I want to enjoin all Christians to endeavor to move closer to God because Lenten period is for fasting, prayers and arms giving. As we observe fasting during this time, we must abstain ourselves from taking food within a certain period”.
Bishop Adetoro, who also stated that fasting period is between 12pm midnight and 6pm the following day, also charged that Christians must abstain from anything that is not good which God has commanded against.
He also charged that those who have the capacity should use the Lenten period to assist the less privileged in the society.
“Fasting hours are from 12midnight to 6.00pm the following day. That is the period that we must abstain ourselves from taking food for 40 days. We must also abstain from other things that are not good according to the Bible. We must not do anything that would make us commit”, he said.
“Even after lent, we must not go back to those things and ways that we will be given up during fasting. We usually decided to give up something during the lent/fasting period.
“We also need to move closer to God in prayer. This is the time that we need to talk to God and ask for whatever that we want from Him. This is the time that we want God to do something in our lives.
“During lent also, we must also try to remember some people who are less privileged. We know that the way God created us, we have more than one another. When you know that you have the ability to assist somebody, you need to do that during this period”, Bishop Adetoro said