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LandShark
Nov 26th 2013, 02:01 PM
I believe sometimes that we develop definitions that are too narrow, thus we form narrow positions that sometimes suppress the Word from fully speaking to us. For example, many cry out that tradition is bad, but not all tradition is bad. If our definition forces us to view tradition as anything added to the Word of God, then it might be bad, but what if there is another meaning?

One definition of tradition is this:

"The delivery of opinions,doctrines, practices, rites and customs from father to son, or from ancestors to posterity; the transmission of any opinions or practice from forefathers to descendants by oral communication, without written memorials."

So, when a pastor passes his practices, methods of operating that church, the manner in which he does communion, and any other number of things I can list that one might do for services, those are things being done by tradition. That isn't wrong, wrong is tradition that adds to the Word or stands in contrast to God's will and authority. Consider:

Mark 7:13a Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition (paradosis)

And this:

2 Thes 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions (paradosis) which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

When it is tradition, not just of man, but of man that ADDS to God's Word, takes from it, or somehow makes it a burden OR stands in contrast to the will and authority of God, that needs to be exposed and avoided. But clearly the word "tradition" in and of itself is not evil, and need not be feared WHEN it is a tradition that stands on harmony with God's will and authority.

Blessings!!

TheDivineWatermark
Nov 26th 2013, 03:47 PM
I believe sometimes that we develop definitions that are too narrow, thus we form narrow positions that sometimes suppress the Word from fully speaking to us. For example, many cry out that tradition is bad, but not all tradition is bad. If our definition forces us to view tradition as anything added to the Word of God, then it might be bad, but what if there is another meaning?

One definition of tradition is this:

"The delivery of opinions,doctrines, practices, rites and customs from father to son, or from ancestors to posterity; the transmission of any opinions or practice from forefathers to descendants by oral communication, without written memorials."

So, when a pastor passes his practices, methods of operating that church, the manner in which he does communion, and any other number of things I can list that one might do for services, those are things being done by tradition. That isn't wrong, wrong is tradition that adds to the Word or stands in contrast to God's will and authority. Consider:

Mark 7:13a Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition (paradosis)

And this:

2 Thes 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions (paradosis) which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

When it is tradition, not just of man, but of man that ADDS to God's Word, takes from it, or somehow makes it a burden OR stands in contrast to the will and authority of God, that needs to be exposed and avoided. But clearly the word "tradition" in and of itself is not evil, and need not be feared WHEN it is a tradition that stands on harmony with God's will and authority.

Blessings!!

I guess I've always looked at the Thessalonians usage as in the sense of "a teaching/teachings" or "instruction":


"objectively, what is delivered, the substance of the teaching: so of Paul's teaching, 2 Thessalonians 3:6; in plural of the particular injunctions of Paul's instruction, 1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:15."

"Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." 2 Thessalonians 3:6

"Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances [same word], as I delivered them to you." 1 Corinthians 11:2

"Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." 2 Thessalonians 2:15


Having said that, I don't believe all "tradition[s]," as we typically understand the word, are "bad." :)

ChangedByHim
Nov 26th 2013, 04:07 PM
We don't need to avoid all tradition... just the traditions of MEN.

episkopos
Nov 26th 2013, 04:19 PM
The tradition where every single person gets to participate in the meeting is according to the tradition of the apostles. Questions are asked, revelations are related....all to the edifying of all. In fact the length of the meeting will often be dictated by the number of people. So then say 40 people would be meeting for a very long time.

Scooby_Snacks
Nov 26th 2013, 04:46 PM
I agree nice post Land Shark. I am throwing in my 2 cents because I brought up the word family tradition and social tradition in another thread with thought of negative aspects, not positive, and there are positives so it is good to clarify rather than be general. Nullifying the Word of God to love, care and respect by participating in a tradition that was not God's intent or being swayed to participate in traditions because of social pressure rather than following God's Word or will in ones life as testimony of being apart from the world were some of the negative end I was thinking.

LandShark
Nov 26th 2013, 06:32 PM
We don't need to avoid all tradition... just the traditions of MEN.

Exhale... what time do you start your service? How many songs do you sing? Do you have an alter call every week? How often do you do communion? Served in little cups and trays? Nothing I just said can be found in Scripture and once it becomes your practice that gets handed down to the next generation, it is by definition a tradition. It is made by man because none of those things are found in Scripture... based on it... but not found in it. Are they evil, wrong? Nope... they are necessary to keep order. Not all tradition, even as created by man or wrong. It is when tradition stands in contrast to God's will, authority, and character that is is wrong. Blessings.

LandShark
Nov 26th 2013, 06:35 PM
I agree nice post Land Shark. I am throwing in my 2 cents because I brought up the word family tradition and social tradition in another thread with thought of negative aspects, not positive, and there are positives so it is good to clarify rather than be general. Nullifying the Word of God to love, care and respect by participating in a tradition that was not God's intent or being swayed to participate in traditions because of social pressure rather than following God's Word or will in ones life as testimony of being apart from the world were some of the negative end I was thinking.

Well said... there are good traditions or "godly traditions" and poor traditions, generally having started by man. I shared two verses in the OP where the word tradition appears in the English the same Greek word is beneath... one is positive and one is negative. I did this to show that we all have preconceived notions about words, concepts, even certain actions. We need to weigh everything out on it's own accord, on a case by case basis, and not pre-judge. Jesus said that we are judged as we judge... therefore, we don't want to prejudge anything, we want to fairly hear a matter out so that he will fairly hear OUR matter out! :) Blessings!

watchinginawe
Nov 27th 2013, 03:01 AM
LandShark, I think there is also much bigger issues at stake in the Protestant objection to tradition.

The idea of tradition that is largely objected to in Protestantism is that of authority through precedent. I think tradition in this sense is much more a legal term than a behavioral or cultural term, and tradition therefore is more like "rulings" which over time and in continuing action form the way things ought to be considered now. Thus, if we have a question about whether the wine of Communion actually turns to blood, or even how that might be, we have tradition which insists on a certain way to consider the matter.

While we might say that such "adds to Scripture", it would be easy to say just about anything does the same. If one's practice is to serve the Communion and everyone partake at the same time, or whether to one approaches, kneels at the altar, and then partakes, an attempt to interpret and observe a practice is done in the application and invariably it also "adds to Scripture". To avoid confusion, someone finally "rules" that the practice is done in such and such a way, or that a passage should be interpreted in such and such a way that supports a practice, or that such and such translation is authoritative; and then you have the building of tradition by precedent.

Aviyah
Nov 27th 2013, 03:20 AM
I'm generally against traditions, because 9 times out of 10 no one knows the significance/meaning of certain practices. I would rather not have candles lit ceremoniously before service, for example, if there is not a consensus on why it began or continues. Many traditions are vestiges of Catholicism - which I want no part of.

LandShark
Nov 27th 2013, 03:08 PM
LandShark, I think there is also much bigger issues at stake in the Protestant objection to tradition.

The idea of tradition that is largely objected to in Protestantism is that of authority through precedent. I think tradition in this sense is much more a legal term than a behavioral or cultural term, and tradition therefore is more like "rulings" which over time and in continuing action form the way things ought to be considered now. Thus, if we have a question about whether the wine of Communion actually turns to blood, or even how that might be, we have tradition which insists on a certain way to consider the matter.

While we might say that such "adds to Scripture", it would be easy to say just about anything does the same. If one's practice is to serve the Communion and everyone partake at the same time, or whether to one approaches, kneels at the altar, and then partakes, an attempt to interpret and observe a practice is done in the application and invariably it also "adds to Scripture". To avoid confusion, someone finally "rules" that the practice is done in such and such a way, or that a passage should be interpreted in such and such a way that supports a practice, or that such and such translation is authoritative; and then you have the building of tradition by precedent.

I tend to agree... I shared two verses in the OP and one was dealing with Jewish Halacha, Rabbinic law added to Scripture. The other was Paul dealing with sound teachings being "handed down" and once something is handed down, it becomes tradition, which doesn't make it good or bad, it just makes it tradition. What makes it good or bad is determined by whether or not it stands in harmony with the Spirit of Scripture. The method your group uses for communion (i.e. perhaps for the last 50 years you have all waited and drank together?) does not stand in opposition to Scripture even though Scripture doesn't say to do it that way. Hence, that "tradition" (we could even call it a ritual since it is done in repetition) is not bad.

In a talk I gave over Labor Day I developed a new "syndrome." :) I called it, NDD, which stands for "Narrow Definition Disorder." See, I was asked to come speak on the topic of worship and I said no twice because my definition of worship was praise... lifting hands, praying, singing, etc. But in one of the rare times I can honestly say that I heard God, I heard one word and when I did I realized that "worship" is a very dynamic concept which includes the things I just mentioned and many many more. My point is, I think we often suffer from NDD when it comes to "tradition" as the word for protestants generally takes a negative lean to it. This thread was simply to expose that and show it doesn't have to. Blessings!

LandShark
Nov 27th 2013, 03:11 PM
I'm generally against traditions, because 9 times out of 10 no one knows the significance/meaning of certain practices. I would rather not have candles lit ceremoniously before service, for example, if there is not a consensus on why it began or continues. Many traditions are vestiges of Catholicism - which I want no part of.

Anything that gets handed down, whether good or bad, is tradition. We have a narrow definition of the word sis, it doesn't have to be a negative thing. I shared two verses in the OP to show that it can be a bad thing or a good thing, but without context is neither. Blessings!

episkopos
Nov 27th 2013, 04:00 PM
I tend to agree... I shared two verses in the OP and one was dealing with Jewish Halacha, Rabbinic law added to Scripture. The other was Paul dealing with sound teachings being "handed down" and once something is handed down, it becomes tradition, which doesn't make it good or bad, it just makes it tradition. What makes it good or bad is determined by whether or not it stands in harmony with the Spirit of Scripture. The method your group uses for communion (i.e. perhaps for the last 50 years you have all waited and drank together?) does not stand in opposition to Scripture even though Scripture doesn't say to do it that way. Hence, that "tradition" (we could even call it a ritual since it is done in repetition) is not bad.

In a talk I gave over Labor Day I developed a new "syndrome." :) I called it, NDD, which stands for "Narrow Definition Disorder." See, I was asked to come speak on the topic of worship and I said no twice because my definition of worship was praise... lifting hands, praying, singing, etc. But in one of the rare times I can honestly say that I heard God, I heard one word and when I did I realized that "worship" is a very dynamic concept which includes the things I just mentioned and many many more. My point is, I think we often suffer from NDD when it comes to "tradition" as the word for protestants generally takes a negative lean to it. This thread was simply to expose that and show it doesn't have to. Blessings!

NDD....very good! :)

LandShark
Nov 27th 2013, 05:22 PM
NDD....very good! :)

I can say it too and not be condescending because we ALL suffer from it at times. :) Blessings Epi.

Aviyah
Nov 27th 2013, 05:43 PM
Anything that gets handed down, whether good or bad, is tradition. We have a narrow definition of the word sis, it doesn't have to be a negative thing. I shared two verses in the OP to show that it can be a bad thing or a good thing, but without context is neither. Blessings!

Right, I'm just saying that most traditions (at my church at least) have lost their meaning.

LandShark
Nov 27th 2013, 05:58 PM
Right, I'm just saying that most traditions (at my church at least) have lost their meaning.

Alot of things have lost their meaning today. This actually concerns me, because even "good traditions" are going by the wayside, and generally out of misguided fear. Peace! :)

watchinginawe
Nov 27th 2013, 08:27 PM
Right, I'm just saying that most traditions (at my church at least) have lost their meaning.

From time to time when reading the Bible, I ponder the sentimentality of God; or in the least how it is he created us as sentimental beings. Tradition can be very valuable in teaching and training up generations. Usually there is a meaning behind traditions that is uncovered in the asking or by research. Here is a favorite passage of mine that I like to point to where tradition is used in the most positive way:

Exodus 12:21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. 22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. 23 For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. 24 And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.

25 And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. 26 And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? 27 That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.

Jake
Nov 27th 2013, 09:44 PM
Alot of things have lost their meaning today. This actually concerns me, because even "good traditions" are going by the wayside, and generally out of misguided fear. Peace! :)

What would you consider "good traditions" vs "bad traditions"?

Sojourner
Nov 27th 2013, 09:48 PM
There are good traditions:

So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. (2 Thess 2:15)

Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. (1 Cor 11:2)

And there are bad traditions:

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Col 2:8)

We need to exercise discernment to ascertain what is of God and what is of man, and above all, ensure that we do not neglect the former while following the latter:

'BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.' "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition... (Mark 7:7-9)

LandShark
Nov 27th 2013, 09:52 PM
What would you consider "good traditions" vs "bad traditions"?

If you go back to the OP you'll see I shared two verses. One uses tradition negatively (Jewish Halacha or Rabbinic additions to Scripture) and the other is speaking in a positive light about handing things down to the next generation that are godly.... like sound teachings or ways of going about how we gather, things along those lines. A tradition is just an action or thought passed down to subsequent generations. Peace!

LandShark
Nov 27th 2013, 09:53 PM
There are good traditions:

So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. (2 Thess 2:15)

Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. (1 Cor 11:2)

And there are bad traditions:

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Col 2:8)

We need to exercise discernment to ascertain what is of God and what is of man, and above all, ensure that we do not neglect the former while following the latter:

'BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.' "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition... (Mark 7:7-9)

Amen, well done! When we pass on things which stand in contrast to God's word or character, that is a vain tradition best to avoided. When we pass down thing in line with His word and character that edify, that is a good tradition.

Jake
Nov 27th 2013, 11:44 PM
There are good traditions:

So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. (2 Thess 2:15)

Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. (1 Cor 11:2)

And there are bad traditions:

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Col 2:8)

We need to exercise discernment to ascertain what is of God and what is of man, and above all, ensure that we do not neglect the former while following the latter:

'BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.' "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition... (Mark 7:7-9)


If you go back to the OP you'll see I shared two verses. One uses tradition negatively (Jewish Halacha or Rabbinic additions to Scripture) and the other is speaking in a positive light about handing things down to the next generation that are godly.... like sound teachings or ways of going about how we gather, things along those lines. A tradition is just an action or thought passed down to subsequent generations. Peace!


Amen, well done! When we pass on things which stand in contrast to God's word or character, that is a vain tradition best to avoided. When we pass down thing in line with His word and character that edify, that is a good tradition.

There are some traditions that seem harmless, yet have little to do with anything. On the other hand, it seems people go overboard on tradition and instead of worshipping God, they worship the act of the tradition (like Catholicism).

Sojourner
Nov 28th 2013, 01:16 AM
There are some traditions that seem harmless, yet have little to do with anything. On the other hand, it seems people go overboard on tradition and instead of worshipping God, they worship the act of the tradition.

Yes, some traditions amount to meaningless window dressing, while some are detrimental to the true Gospel. Inherent in some "religious" people is a propensity to add to or modify the commandments of God. The Jews did it to the point that by the time of Jesus' ministry, the law as delivered through Moses had become bloated with manmade additions that added volume without value--increasing burden and responsibility while missing the essense of the law's precepts.

A few centuries later, Gentiles in the church did the same thing, creating a new ecclesiastical priesthood--after Jesus did away with the need for one. There would be added to the Christian faith numerous new doctrines and ordinances that would make priests, and even the mother of Jesus and other dead saints mediators between God's only appointed Mediator and believers. Today, there is a vast difference between the traditions handed down by the Apostles and various outgrowths of "religiosity." The Spirit of truth and the corroborating testimony of the word of God will always distinguish between the two if we avail ourselves of the Lord's providence.

Jake
Nov 28th 2013, 03:50 AM
Yes, some traditions amount to meaningless window dressing, while some are detrimental to the true Gospel. Inherent in some "religious" people is a propensity to add to or modify the commandments of God. The Jews did it to the point that by the time of Jesus' ministry, the law as delivered through Moses had become bloated with manmade additions that added volume without value--increasing burden and responsibility while missing the essense of the law's precepts.

A few centuries later, Gentiles in the church did the same thing, creating a new ecclesiastical priesthood--after Jesus did away with the need for one. There would be added to the Christian faith numerous new doctrines and ordinances that would make priests, and even the mother of Jesus and other dead saints mediators between God's only appointed Mediator and believers. Today, there is a vast difference between the traditions handed down by the Apostles and various outgrowths of "religiosity." The Spirit of truth and the corroborating testimony of the word of God will always distinguish between the two if we avail ourselves of the Lord's providence.

Ah, this is how legalism gets started, huh? We add and add, eventually it looks nothing like the original.

It seems people can go the other way, too, suggested by the OP, all tradition is tossed out the window which could leave a bunch of people wayward - they haven't even reached the original yet. haha

I guess balance is good.

keck553
Nov 28th 2013, 05:14 PM
4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.

chad
Nov 29th 2013, 03:40 AM
IMO, it would be ok to ignore some traditions that no longer apply.

LandShark
Nov 29th 2013, 06:07 AM
There are some traditions that seem harmless, yet have little to do with anything. On the other hand, it seems people go overboard on tradition and instead of worshipping God, they worship the act of the tradition (like Catholicism).

Well, while I agree, I won't indict all Catholics. Intent is key, yet intent is a heart issue and only God can see the heart. Plus, we have error too my friend, we have to remember that. Blessings.

Curtis
Nov 30th 2013, 11:16 AM
2Th 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.

Tradition can lead men to adding to scripture that which was not intended by the original author. Paul tells Timothy that the only good tradition was that which only he spoke directly to him face to face or that which he wrote to the Churches through his letters. We all know what happens when you tell a story to someone, and they tell someone else, and they tell someone else. The story changes as each ones adds something that was not in the original. The original source (the Word of God) is the only good tradition we have to learn from.

Scooby_Snacks
Nov 30th 2013, 01:39 PM
When I went to church as a child, I did not believe/trust Jesus existed, had absolutely no faith.
I was told very young there was a Santa Claus, and well that ended up being a lie and didn't help matters.
(I literally would wait to hear the reindeer hooves or bells on the roof in the snow)

All these years later, now that I do believe, I remember particularly the bell choir at the church.
This was a First United Church of Christ.
Certainly having a bell choir there fell along the lines of "tradition" but to this day I remember it was when I heard them a spark of Gods presence and the sound of His angels came to mind.