In high school, my youth group participated in a 30 hour famine.  We raised money by having people pledge an amount for every hour that we went without food.  During the 30 hours, we prayed, learned about children in 3rd world countries that go without food, and had an overnighter at the youth facilities.  We raised over $3,000 to feed teenagers that were starving in Kenya.  It was my first experience with fasting, and literally changed my outlook on spiritual disciplines.  However, I was floored by this article.

The editor at CRN and Bob DeWaay would call this practice “look at me” Christianity.   Can you see the “look at me” attitude in this excerpt they posted from the Christian Post?

Some 500,000 American teens are joining a 30-hour nationwide “famine” to raise money to fight hunger around the world starting at noon Friday.

Teens will fast for 30 hours to get a real taste of hunger that millions of children and families around the world experience each day. Participants aim to raise more than $12 million this year through World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine.

“In 2005 I did my first 30 hour famine. It was an amazing experience…to feel what these kids feel every day and to learn about what they go through to survive is so amazing,” said one participant named Jessie…

If that is “look at me Christianity”, what else should be consider “look at me” Christianity?  Missionaries?  Tithing?  Going to prayer meetings?

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This entry was posted on Friday, February 22nd, 2008 at 9:03 pm and is filed under Christian Living, Editor, Ken Silva, Legalism, Linked Articles, ODM Responses, ODM Writers, What Can You Say?. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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13 Comments(+Add)

1   Henry (Rick) Frueh
February 22nd, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Some of these articles are not well thought out. What is wrong with fasting to teach teenagers some spiritual principle of denying the flesh along with an awareness and compassion for others? We fundamentalists can become so defensive about any social gospel that we lose our compassion for the poor and needy.

The truth is there should be much more fasting in the church today. I confidently suggest that if John MacArthur had called for a 30 hour fast for doctrinal purity he would be praised as a visionary. So now corporate fasting is pietism?

You know what, I’m a little bit of a pietist. I believe in fasting; I believe in all night prayer meetings; I believe in weeping over the lost; I believe in climbing a hill at night to speak with God alone; and I believe in praying in a prostrate position.

So I guess I believe in piety as did R. G. Lee who said we should not exhibit a “shallow stream of piety that runs a fresher course on Sabbath days”.

2   Joe C
February 23rd, 2008 at 12:25 am

To the crooked all things are crooked.

My entire youth at our church is doing this. It’s a great thing of God.

So let me get this straight…fasting for the poor unfortunate souls starving to death is a bad thing? Entreating God for favor on them is wrong? Blessing instead of cursing? Could they call what is good, anymore evil than has been done here?

Save us from your followers Jesus…


3   Timothy Bell    
February 23rd, 2008 at 11:28 am

Fasting is more of an individual private thing being prompted by God rather than a joining in with numerous other Christians in an organized event with publicity and “amazing experiences” which implies that those who did *not* join the fasting are somehow now at a tiny bit lower spiritual level than the fasters.

I believe in all night prayer meetings; I believe in weeping over the lost; I believe in climbing a hill at night to speak with God alone; and I believe in praying in a prostrate position.

Henry, it’s no sin to pray all night, weep over the lost, climb a hill to pray, and pray in prostrate position. The problem comes when those who do these things feel they are “better” spiritually than those who do not do these things or that those things are “better” spiritual disciplines.

I was a member of a charismatic church years back. I decided that raising my hands, clapping my hands and going to semi-contemplative prayer mode wasn’t “me.” When I didn’t do those things, I got heat like a casino pit boss gives a suspected blackjack card-counter from most of those around me. I wasn’t being “spiritual” like them. Not everyone there did this heat but accepted it as my choice. So you could tell who had the pietistic attitude and who did not even within the largely pietistic charismatic churches.

4   nc    
February 23rd, 2008 at 11:52 am

Sorry, TB…you’re just plain wrong on the fasting thing.

Read Acts…the disciples all together chose to fast as a group.
Throughout the whole of Scripture you see calls for fasts for groups and even nations.

The whole “fast in secret” command of Jesus is specific to contrast with those who fast for ritual’s sake and for the sake of public piety, but whose hearts are far from God. It’s not a blanket command.

Again…these “verses” (artificial markers added later) are not aphorisms that we get to pick and choose.

I’m sorry about your bad experience with spiritual pride and demand for external performance, but I think we should give a little more credit to these folk who do 30 hour famine.

5   Henry (Rick) Frueh
February 23rd, 2008 at 11:57 am

TB – we all would agree with being vigilant against pride and spiritual loftiness. But calling the teenagers to fast is a good thing and I saw nothing that suggested self richteousness or an air of superiority.

6   iggy
February 23rd, 2008 at 12:14 pm


On one level you are right. Fasting is a private thing, yet this was not a “holy fast” but a fast to understand and to raise money for starving people.

About your “Charismatic” experience… it sounds like you were in a crappy church… which has nothing to do with the actually workings of the Holy Spirit. I was part of one of those churches also… but there is a difference between a fundamentalist “forced” holy spirit service and a genuine Holy Spirit experience. Just becuase “people” fake the Holy Spirit experience which comes with “forced” holiness and “forced” sanctification that is not Holy Spirit lead, does not mean God does not do things like lead us to raised hands and clapping are wrong. I appreciate you stated it was not a “me” thing… as often that is the very difference people like Ingrid and Ken and Dywana all confuse. They see it as not a me thing and make it not a God thing… and that is quenching the Holy Spirit and is wrong.


7   Brendt
February 24th, 2008 at 9:26 am

Nathan, Nathan, Nathan, let me try to lift the post-modern fog from your eyes.

Of course, you can’t see the “look at me Christianity” in the article. But anyone with “discernment” can because they have the ability to read someone else’s heart and know that they are doing this for all the wrong reasons.

You obviously aren’t a real Christian, or you’d know this. I’d pray for that to change, but frankly I don’t want you in heaven with me.

(BTW, I see we have some new readers. For those that don’t know me, that was all a joke. Well, maybe not a joke, since jokes are generally fictional.)

8   Henry (Rick) Frueh
February 24th, 2008 at 9:27 am

For a moment, Bredt, I thought you had gone to the darkside.

9   iggy
February 24th, 2008 at 10:19 am


For a moment I thought you were channeling Murphy McStinky!


10   Henry (Rick) Frueh
February 24th, 2008 at 10:26 am

Hey Iggy, I have read you “straw man” comments. And in the words of Sen. Benson:

I knew a straw man. A straw man was a friend of mine. I’ve seen your picture. Iggy, you’re no straw man!

11   Russ N.
February 24th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

I’m going to pick a nit.

WorldVision is putting on the 30-hour Famine…not the 30-hour Fast…see iggy’s comments above.

Yes, the teens are abstaining from food for 30-hours. The goal is to raise awareness (and funds) for the hunger problem around the globe.

We chose various service projects during our 30-hour famines when I led a youth group several years ago…the kids’ attitude during the service projects certainly was not “look at me” – it was “how can I help?” Later it became “I want to help”

12   M.G.    
February 25th, 2008 at 12:33 am

This is nothing more than a disagreement with the *content* of the event.

Would the ODMs ever have a problem with a bunch of kids picketing an abortion clinic or gay pride parade? Never. They’d laud them with the highest of praise.

The repeated inconsistencies demonstrated by ODMs are getting more difficult to comprehend.

13   Evan Hurst    
February 25th, 2008 at 12:39 am

i can’t possibly comprehend why anyone would have a problem with something like this…

and American kids need things to wake them up to what’s going on outside the bubble we’ve constructed in this country.