How Far Do We Go To Protect Tradition?
Whether or not we realize it, all aspects of our lives include traditions: unexamined habits and mindless rituals. But perhaps traditions most often exist in our approach to God and our worship of him. While some traditions had a positive origin, others were misguided from the start. With little thought we pass our traditions from one person to the next, one generation to another.
Churches often protect their traditions with adamant, unyielding passion— sometimes at the expense of obeying God and doing what the Bible says. This is not a new problem. Jesus addressed this two thousand years ago.
The religious leaders of the day (the Pharisees) were quick to point out that Jesus’ followers (disciples) broke from tradition. They didn’t bring this up to provide correction but to pronounce condemnation. They thought they could discredit Jesus and embarrass him in front of the people.
Their plan didn’t work. Jesus foiled them. He declared that what the Bible said took precedence over their traditions. Jesus put his detractors and their ideas of what was important in their place.
What are some traditions or rituals that you have jettisoned? What are some traditions that might warrant reconsideration?
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.