Why Do We Do What We Do in Our Faith Practices?

Why Do We Do What We Do in Our Faith Practices?

I have a compulsion that irritates people, especially in religious circles. I ask, “Why?” I need to know why we do the things we do. What reason is behind them? Is there a biblical justification? Or is it a manmade tradition that has become meaningless ritual?

For example, in 52 Churches, I witnessed many services that began by lighting two candles. I’m still trying to figure this one out. Why do they light candles in the first place? Is there biblical support for it? And why two? Three would represent the Trinity, but two? If there’s a symbolic reason for two – or even lighting candles for that matter—then we need to know what it is so we can celebrate it. Else we should eliminate it as a practice without purpose.

Candles and the number two, however, are minor considerations. Whether or not we light two candles is of little consequence—as long as we don’t attach spiritual significance to it. However, there are bigger issues, much bigger issues, that have permeated our faith practices. Let me be bold and assert we’ve messed up most of what we do, elevating tradition over biblical command.

Consider the process of becoming a Christian. This is rife with manmade ideas that aren’t in the Bible. Yet many have elevated these processes as nonnegotiable faith requirements, superseding what Jesus taught. I think that makes them heresy. Yes, I said many churches practice heresy. I talk about this in A Faith Manifesto.

(So you know I’m not making this up, the origins of our religious ways are researched in the mind-blowing book, Pagan Christianity? by Frank Viola and George Barna. So many of our practices are not rooted in scripture and several emanate from secular culture; that is, their origin is pagan.)

I encourage you to boldly examine your faith practices. Eliminate all that lack biblical support. What remains will be a purer, more God-honoring spirituality.

Join me in asking, “Why?”

Free Bible Reading Tip Sheet!

Bogged down reading the Bible?

Good news: there's hope! Reading the Bible can be a meaningful experience. Check out 10 Tips to Turn Bible Reading from Drudgery to Delight

Let me know your email address. Then I'll email you my free Bible reading guide and add you to my mailing list. (Unsubscribe at any time.)

Get 10 Tips to Turn Bible Reading from Drudgery to Delight today!
(No worries. I won't spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.) Powered by ConvertKit


  • Wojcik Posted April 6, 2014 2:31 pm

    As in Easter, Christmas, (Halloween ie)-All Saints Day. We have thought about this a lot and have concluded it is best for us to make less out of them than we did in the past, minimizing the entrapment while maximizing the sacred and self preparation in memory of the day.

    • Peter DeHaan Posted April 6, 2014 4:56 pm

      What a great move!

      We, too, treat those holidays differently than most of society, trying to focus on what really matters.

  • rocksand5 Posted April 6, 2014 2:34 pm

    I just discovered Frank Viola yesterday. I subscribed to his blog!

    • Peter DeHaan Posted April 6, 2014 4:54 pm

      It should prove to be a great read!

Add Comment

What do you think? Please leave a comment!

%d bloggers like this: