Traditions

As you read the title “Traditions” there were probably several things that went through your mind. Some good and some not so good. Just about everyone has family traditions that bring great memories to mind. Maybe it is going to a beach together every spring break, or the way you hold hands at every meal to pray.

But, sadly in church circles the word “tradition” can bring thoughts that are not so positive. The truth is that we should periodically evaluate why we do what we do as followers of Jesus. Is it biblical, or is it something we do just because it is the way we have always done it?

The truth is that traditions do not have to be bad or wrong. There are a couple questions we need to ask. First, what is the purpose of this tradition? Back in the 1900’s there was a sentry posted in a particular place at the Kremlin and it seemed to be for no apparent reason. One day when someone finally asked why there was a guard posted in such a strange place the answer was finally tracked down. It seems in the 1700’s Catherine the Great had a sentry posted in the spring to keep some flowers from being trampled. That flower garden no longer existed, yet the sentry still stood. Truthfully, there are probably a lot of things that are in our lives for similar reasons.

Second question, is the tradition biblical? Paul wrote in II Thessalonians 2:15, “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.” If anyone was against the religious traditions of man it was Paul. The traditions he is speaking of are not the extra biblical kind that the religious had placed on the backs of God’s people, but truths that were given by Jesus to be given to all His followers. Paul’s point is that man is always looking for biblical loopholes to excuse us from living the lives that we have been commanded to. Paul is telling us to stand firm in those truths that we know come from the Lord.

Let us then stand firm in the traditions of the word of God, but we must first know the word of God. Pray that we may be hungry for God’s word and know that which He has called us to.