Saturday, August 20, 2011

But What Does The Bible Say?

And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do you disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?" — Mark 7:5, ESV

"But what does the Bible say?"

This needs to be the first response when someone "who knows better" tries to force on to everyone else around them something that God never prescribed or commanded.

The Pharisees were zealous for God and his law during the days of Jesus.  However, the Law of God, and the principles found within those laws, and been added to.  The Pharisees had added thousands of extra requirements on top of the law that spelled out exactly what people were allowed to do and not do in order to obey the Law.  These were the traditions of the elders that they would pass down to everyone else, expecting everyone to submit to them since they accepted it.

And it still happens today.  How to baptize. What day to worship. What worship style is appropriate.   Christians can't go out to eat or go shopping on Sundays (I've actually had this one thrown at me).  And the list goes on.

If you have grown up in the church, then you have traditions that you are used to because of the way that your church did things.  And honestly, I am not against tradition.  I find it fascinating to walk into different churches and experience their tradition during a worship celebration.  However, the problem comes when that personal preference (i.e. tradition) is expected to be followed by everyone else when there is no bearing for it in Scripture.

And he said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophecy of you hypocrites, as it is written. "'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'  You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men."  And he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!" — Mark 7:6-9, ESV

As I read this passage this morning, I had to ask myself this question: What personal preferences have I established in my life that rejects the commandment of God? 

That's a scary question to ask, but it's a necessary one to answer.

What about you?

"But what does the Bible say?"

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