Mark 7:9-10 – “He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” NASU
I have been guilty of being an expert in or at wrong things and most of you probably have too. This is true in many areas of life but spiritually, it is one of the most destructive activities in which we can engage. It is detrimental to the message of the Cross and one of the reasons some view the Church in such a negative light.
I am not opposed to Tradition but if our traditions run contrary to the Word of God they must be sacrificed on the altar of faith. The Pharisees were notorious for making their traditions superior to the Word of God. I am not suggesting that they were always malicious in that, but it evolved into a very confining and destructive society. They put ‘man-made fences’ around the Commandments of God to keep people from getting near enough to the Commandment to break it. Their traditions became so important to them, they were willing to condemn if not stone anyone daring to deviate from their traditions. I have known churches and church people almost that bad. One of the things that got me into trouble as a new Christian was the question, WHY? That was a taboo question for many not because the question was in itself bad but because they had no answer and how dare an upstart question the TRADITIONS they held so firmly too. Most of them could tell me, at length, what they did not believe or did not do but could not articulate with scriptural backing what they DID BELIEVE.
As a new Christian, I was completely willing to abide by the traditions and directives I was being given providing my question was answered satisfactorily. I have never been one to blindly accept, “We don’t because we don’t.” I don’t mind giving up things providing I have a genuine reason and basis for doing so. When I first became a Christian, I encountered much negativity regarding what we could or could not do. My newfound love for the LORD prompted me to seek to know and I wanted and want to please Him in everything. Therefore, I studied and sought to find answers in Scripture. Add to that equation my love for and confidence in those who had led me to Christ and the church, over time, I became one of them and became an ‘expert’ in wrong things. I, like many, would try to find justification and explanation for Scripture that contradicted the traditions I was told to observe.
I would become defensive when anyone questioned my traditions UNTIL the Holy Spirit arrested me during a time of prayer. I was convicted of my failure to consider ALL SCRIPTURE and weigh each scripture and seek to interpret the Bible in light of the ENTIRE BIBLE rather than taking a doctrinal position and looking for proof-texts to support my view. I felt the LORD instruct me to ‘put my theology on the shelf’ and not take anything down until He instructed me to do so. Over a period of several years, my entire world was turned upside down and I had people question my sanity as well as my faith. I was called a reprobate, a rebel, and a troubler of the faith. As I began to embrace the ENTIRE BIBLE in a new way. I felt that the directive of the LORD was for me to become more inclusive of other believers in different denominations and to listen to their reasons for their beliefs. I was not being instructed to accept their views but to HEAR THEM and in hearing them I would become more Berean and study the Scriptures to see if their views were correct. In doing so, I found that some of the things I had accepted as final truth were, in fact, only partial truths and needed to be expanded. I found that some things I believed were in error and needed to be discarded. I discovered a new world in the Bible and over the past, many years have found it to be a goldmine and a revelation that I will never exhaust this side of heaven.
I only suggest that you allow the Holy Spirit to shine the Light of God’s Eternal Truth upon what you profess to believe in the area of Traditions. I know that some will argue that theirs are not traditions but sound doctrine and I contend that if you allow the Holy Spirit to shine the Light of God’s Truth on all you believe you may, no you will find, that some things are very incomplete. If you want to harness the harvest of God’s promises and live to the full the Abundant Life Jesus came to give, then open your hearts to ALL SCRIPTURE and rather than interpreting it according to your predetermined doctrine allow the Holy Spirit to open the Word of God to you. Resist being an ‘expert in wrong things’ and become a Berean.
God bless you richly as you enjoy this day in Him!