Mining Our Traditions

[Jesus] also said to them, “You completely invalidate God’s command in order to maintain your tradition!” – Mark 7:9

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When a commandment of God is reduced to a tradition, then the tradition often hides God’s intended purpose and becomes a commandment unto itself. The unfortunate result of this trade is that the heart of God’s commands are often neglected (i.e., love God and your neighbor) in order to protect the tradition that is being tightly-held. Traditions are not necessarily harmful, but when we become more concerned about keeping them than honoring God’s express will, they hinder God’s work in our hearts and in the world.

At the root of our biblical practice, there was once a God-honoring purpose. Like precious gems that need to be uncovered, we must continually “mine” our traditions in order to uncover these purposes, then we must drag them back to the surface of our ministries. If we do not, there is a danger that God’s true purpose, which the tradition manifested, will be lost.

There is no secret to remaining “rooted” and “relevant.” Just be sure that your religion remains centered on God’s purpose and glory.

As soon as tradition has come to be recognized as tradition, it is dead. – Allan Bloom

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