Have you ever analyzed your traditions? If you are an active participant today in society it’s an easy assumption that you may be partaking in many traditions. Many you were born into. Many you adopted and accepted as society has grown & changed. Our traditions sometimes are what we look forward to. They often keep our lives normal and mundane. They very often are things that break up the monotony of life and bring us happiness.
For example how much do you look forward to your Christmas holiday traditions? Decorating the house, buying the presents, putting up the Christmas tree. Or how about your regular tradition of tithing your 1st 10% of income as your requirement to God? Or the fact that many only worship, celebrate, and praise God only on Sunday mornings? And of course there are many more traditions that we hold dear to.
But as a Christian how often do you analyze your traditions that you partake in? As a Christian do you know what the Lord says about our traditions? Often many times not, because if we did there would be many less churches and Christians practicing the many traditions that are generally accepted. So what does God say about our traditions?
making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” (Mark 7:13 NKJV)
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ (Colossians 2:8)
Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”(Matthew 15:6)
So through these scriptures it’s evident that we need to be very mindful of the traditions of men. When we partake blindly in the traditions of men, scripture dictates that we make the Word of God have no effect in our lives. We quench the Holy Spirit. Something that we never want to do, but something that it seems that many Christians today do regardless.
Though there are traditions that we are to partake in, they should be dictated by the Word of God as Paul commanded in 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2. Any traditions that we accept that were started by man, but not by God told through His Word are wrong for us. Colossians 2 tells us that we will be cheated and deceived through this tradition. When we are following the basic principles of this world.
Unfortunately this message and warnings have been lost through time in the church. Traditions that were passed down from men of authority (i.e. the Roman Catholic Church) have been accepted and practiced very ignorantly. Now to a point that we are relationships with God has turned to a religion filled with massive traditions. Traditions that it seems the body of Christ finds it hard to let go of. Traditions that transform into a carrier of bondage.
In order for the church to display & utilize the power of the Holy Spirit, we must not quench it. We cannot move against what God wants. When we do this we are moving according to the world and not according to God. This would be a good explanation of why evil has been able to prevail in our society the way that it has. Why so many Christians are moving away from the faith and getting trapped into bondage.
When you attach traditions of men along with your faith, what you have created is a religion. Today the modern day church has more of a “religion” than a relationship with God. It’s the relationship that God wants with us, and not religion. This is the confusion that so many members of the church unfortunately do not understand. When we are following the way of the world, no matter how sincere our intentions are, we are not following God. The continuous pattern of this will have God ultimately saying “I never knew you”. He requires us to worship Him in Spirit and in truth, not the way of the pagans.
In order to fix this, we must break away from all traditions of men and get back to doing God’s will. As Jesus said in Matthew 15, we honor Him with our lips and draw near to Him with our mouths, but in our hearts we are far away from Him and we worship Him in vain. We must stop this at once. Based from scripture, we can all see that this is not what He wants from us, but it is exactly what the world and the enemy (Satan) wants.
From this moment on, you should question all tradition that you are just accustomed to. Things you have accepted because the world has accepted it. Traditions you have accepted because you were born into them and they were passed down. If you attend a church that is stuck into tradition, you should bring it up to the leaders. Not in judgment, but for correction and edification of the body of Christ. If they are not willing to understand then you should turn away as stated in 2nd Timothy 3. But if you love the Lord and want to truly worship Him and receive all the benefits of the Holy Spirit, you must break away from the traditions of men!\
Everything must follow up and be found in the Word of God. No matter how small it seems, no matter how generally accepted it is. If it is not in the Word of God, then He has not commanded you to worship Him in those ways. Stop putting a stumbling block between you and God at once!
For some background on some classic traditions that the church seems to accept, please read the history of certain traditions: