I was discussing, with a friend, the fact that I do not celebrate lent to wit he posed the question of why not. In short, I do not celebrate lent because I am a Baptist. Now the longer answer…
Making any kind of publicity of your fasting is a false piety which calls attention to yourself and thus gives your reward.
Matthew 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.
Matthew 6:5-6 5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Christ clearly teaches that our fasting and prayer is to be between us and The Father. In fasting and prayer we force our physical bodies into subjugation to the will of God and into communion with God the Father.
At best, Lent is an observation begun not by the Church Fathers but by the Council of Nicea in 325 AD.
As Baptists, we endeavor to be as true to the New Testament at possible. There, currently, exists no record of any of the Apostolic Fathers or and of the other Ante-Nicene Fathers practicing a Lenten Seasonal Fast.
Lenten Fasting tends to miss the point
Isaiah 58:3-8 (CSB) “Why have we fasted, but You have not seen?
We have denied ourselves, but You haven’t noticed!”
“Look, you do as you please on the day of your fast,
and oppress all your workers.
You fast with contention and strife to strike viciously with your fist. You cannot fast as you do today, hoping to make your voice heard on high. 5 Will the fast I choose be like this:
A day for a person to deny himself, to bow his head like a reed, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast and a day acceptable to the Lord? 6 Isn’t the fast I choose: To break the chains of wickedness, to untie the ropes of the yoke, to set the oppressed free, and to tear off every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,to clothe the naked when you see him,
and not to ignore your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will appear like the dawn,
and your recovery will come quickly. Your righteousness will go before you, and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard.
The point of fasting is to align ourselves with God’s will, to break the chains of wickedness, to strengthen us to minister to those in bondage to sin; ultimately to pursue holiness.
Beloved, there is no need for a Christian to celebrate Lent. If we celebrate Lent but to not practice acts of righteousness the other 325 days out of the year then we simply have a fictional piety that leaves us no better than the hypocrites.