Traditions

Church traditions are not necessarily wrong but they can be in the wrong position in our lives. Traditions can unify by providing common ways of doing things and common beliefs. But they can become very exclusionary and start driving people out of the church. The natural path of traditions is that they start as a tool but then become a rule as we move from master to slave. Therefore traditions present an ongoing danger.

One reason for this is that they are man-made and are therefore as short-sighted as man. A tradition is created to serve a purpose and seems wise at the time. As we all know, times change. Traditions can outlive their purpose and their creator.

In the Bible we see the problems that traditions can cause. Nobody loves traditions more than God’s people, Israel. But we see how often this became a problem for them as they observed the tradition but forgot about God. They observed all the steps of the procedure but it became meaningless and hollow.

How should the church handle traditions? It isn’t an easy question to answer. In fact many of the practices in the church have already gone from tradition to law and would be difficult to remove. Trying to do so would cause division. Therefore it can be seen as more trouble than it is worth. The truth is, if a tradition has gotten to that stage, it is already causing trouble.

In this article we’ll see how Jesus handled traditions that were seemingly harmless. We’ll also get a deeper understanding of the things Jesus said about traditions.

Traditions

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Divorce – Abandonment

I was in a Facebook discussion today. The topic was about abused Christian women leaving the marriage and remarrying. I joined the discussion by saying that Jesus had said that remarriage was adultery.

I was attacked by two Christian women, one of whom I’ve known for a long time. Despite quoting Bible verses and Biblical principles, they would not hear what I was saying. Perhaps more importantly, at no time did they try to support what they were saying from the Bible. By the time I pulled myself out of the discussion, these words have been aimed at me.

“Legalism on steroids”

“I will pray for you” – code words for “you are a sinner”

“judgmental”

“WAKE UP You are dangerous”

“You are why people despise Christians”

“Stop it!”

“Take your bible and go home” – an odd statement to hear from a Christian

“you aren’t converting anyone with your hatred”

“You are evil”

“Your ears are stoppered”

“You are hateful”

“You sound like a crude clanging brass cymbal without love”

“May our heart be so full of God’s love and peace that we can only speak words that bring life” – apparently teaching what Jesus said does not bring life … despite what he said.

Below are the words they used to support their position that being happy and safe is more important than what Jesus said.

“I don’t believe Jesus or anyone else expects a woman to not ever be happy again”

“Every person has to work out their own salvation” – apparently this means you can keep sinning until you figure it out.

“If God expects a woman to be beaten to a pulp by her husband i want nothing to do with that God” – This person continuously misrepresented my position as saying that God wanted women to stay in abusive relationships. So her comment would be irrelevant except for what it shows about the state of her faith. She is saying “I chose God to be what I wanted him to be”

“Get in the persons shoes before you speak” – apparently Jesus was out of line when he spoke on adultery … never having been an adulterer himself.

“you believe in the law above personal safety” – perhaps the most interesting comment of all. Personal safety and personal happiness is more important than obeying Jesus. The apostles didn’t believe this and all but John died badly. Certainly Jesus didn’t say to his father “no way I’m drinking that cup – my safety is more important”

“Jesus is all about love, acceptance and forgiveness” – this from a person who is now old and has been a Christian all her life. Apparently Jesus’ love and acceptance cancel out his other words.

“The Holy Spirit is our teacher and our guide and He will guide his children into all truth” – apparently the Holy Spirit is teaching something different than Jesus taught. You would think they would get their act together. Seriously, you have to listen to the Holy Spirit to be guided by the Holy Spirit. If you listen to people instead, you are lost.

This post isn’t about the severe lack of understanding in many churches, though you could think that was the topic. The topic is what Jesus, the prophets before him, and the apostles said about divorce and remarriage. This article puts together the verses that discuss this.

The primary focus is divorce due to abandonment, which is an excuse used to leave an abusive relationship and remarry.

Divorce -Abandonment

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Catholic Holdovers

Protestant Christians believe two impossible things about the Reformation period that resulted in formation of the protestant churches. First, it is believed that all of the perversions of the faith were removed. That never happens in any effort to return to the way things were. This is partly because there is no one who remembers what it was really like. It’s also partly because there are always some people who like it the way it has become and will resist the effort to return to the previous state.

Second, it is believed that the church, having been purified in the Reformation, remains the same way now. In fact a large number of new false teachings have taken hold. Just as Satan worked in the Old Testament churches and the early New Testament churches he continues to work in the Protestant churches, and he is not without success.

The focus of this post is those perversions that have continued on, through the reformation, into the Protestant churches. There were people at the time who recognized these and wanted to remove them and return to the beliefs and practices of the apostolic churches. There were many who did not recognize these as perversions, however, and others who were concerned that those were too deep rooted and removing them would destroy the reformation movement.

That concern was not without foundation. Below are links to the four most deeply rooted beliefs that continued on into Protestant churches. Each one of these is plainly a belief that the modern church clings to with both hands. I’ve dedicated an article to each one of them.

Heaven and Hell – The vast majority of Christians do not understand what the Bible teaches about Heaven and Hell. What they believe instead they refuse to let go of, even when shown what the Bible says. Heaven and Hell

Moving Paradise to Heaven – This article relates to the Heaven and Hell article. Some people recognize what the Bible says but still want to find a way to fit it into a Heaven and Hell context. Moving Paradise to Heaven

The Feasts – It comes as a complete surprise to Christians to discover that the early churches observed the feast days of the Jews, particularly Passover, and this was taught to them by the apostles. The Feasts

Ash, Lent, and Easter – Where did these come from? Ash, Lent, and Easter

Sabbath – There has been a long fight within the church about the Sabbath, but the truth is in the Bible for those who are willing to receive it. Sabbath

Greek New Testament – Unlike the others this perversion is not doctrinal but it has strong effects on the understanding of doctrine. Greek New Testament

Man Made Holy Days – A look from a different perspective at the holidays that are part of Christianity. Man Made Holy Days

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