Should tradition be a key to my faith?

At my job I met a girl that was Jewish.  I asked her about her faith and she seemed to focus on the fact that she was born of a Jewish heritage and went to Synagogue every week.  I asked if I could look at her Bible.  She brought it in the next day and I quickly noticed this was the Old Testament of my Bible.  Over the next few days I was able to reference all the locations to where God was promising the Savior (in her Bible) and found the fulfillment in the New Testament (in my Bible).  Later that week we had a break and I had her read passages in her Bible that I had marked and then I read the fulfillment of each passage she read.  When we were done she looked at me and cried.  She said she had no idea and that she could do nothing or her father would kill her.  This was the last we talked about it.

And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!  Mark 7:9 (NIV)

Are their traditions in your lives that are not the commands of God?  Do you do things to make yourself feel good based on traditions?  Do you base your life on traditions without doing the research?  How can you reflect on this to validate your faith?

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2 Responses

  1. Frank

    Great post. Over the past two years, God has really challenged what I believed and why, showing me in Scripture that what I thought was Biblical, was in fact, tradition.

    It’s a hard thing to face the fact that a lot of how I lived out my Christian life was not from Scripture, but simply because that is how I had always done it, or that is how those around me did it. Not that it was anything bad, but it was not from the Word of God, and therefore not Scriptural.

    Thank the Lord that his Scriptures are all that is needed for training in righteousness. I don’t have to depend on the traditions of men, but only on the Word of God.

  2. The Spindrifter

    Where do I even begin with this? So very much of what the ‘church’ has come to be associated with is nothing more than the blind, useless, cultural and power-driven structure of the mere traditions of mankind. Most of what people think of when they mentally envision “church”, Christianity in general, or any religion really is just that: traditions, with NO Biblical basis in reality whatsoever. At one point in time, tradition began to take on so much of a life of its own, that one man dared to stand up and say “No more!”, and in a moment of nailing the accusations to a church door, Martin Luder started a revolution that has resulted in… more, different traditions on every level.

    One need only to read a Bible in context, then go look at the history of the church, and then sit in one, to really start to ask some questions. I started asking those questions as a teenager, and the typical reaction from both clergy and laypeople alike was: “Stop making me think!” or “Stop questioning our ‘authority’!”.

    I have been observing for decades now that traditions get in the way of the true Good News at every turn. What is worse, many of them even form types of idolatry, and that’s not even in the Catholic assemblies, but in Protestant ones. Leadership roles and models, committees, splitting hairs (and assemblies) over nearly irrelevant doctrinal matters… it is amazing the numerous ways that humans find to put the focus back on ourselves and take the attention away from where it clearly belongs: right smack onto the loving face of God.

    There is nothing wrong with diversity and differences in worship and ways, or the occasional ‘tradition’ within reason, but as so very often the case with people, we can’t stop ourselves from letting sin creep in and push some of them to extremes. Were we to remain Christ-focused, this would probably not happen, but alas, as with all things human oriented, we fail.

    For this poor Hebrew person, the traditions of their culture have long since grown to overshadow their roots and origins, but in many ways Protestant Evangelicals aren’t much different. The MANDATED Feasts of the LORD are ignored by the Christian church as a whole, modified or replaced in the age of Constantine, creating a powerful divide between Christian and Jew that is unnatural and sad. We Christians are the “wild vine”, grafted into a Hebrew faith, serving a Hebrew God and a Hebrew Messiach, but you would never know that now. If anything, Christianity should look a lot more like, and be more inviting to, Jews in general, but it has failed so very badly at reaching “to the Jew first”.

    The traditions of men, the poison of Constantine and a thousand years of power-seeking mad men have thwarted the original traditions, the revealed Messiach of the Passover who came not to eliminate the Law, but to complete it. Our traditions should be one, and yet many. If Christ were truly our head, then we would all be spokes on a wheel, radiating around Yeshuah as our axle and center, not acting like ten million Lego pieces that think that we can all build some great machine out on our own, when all we can really do is just lay about and look like a useless pile of disassembled plastic.

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