While living my normal “every day” life, I’ve taken to the costum of scrutinizing everyone and everything around me. Now some may consider this to be a good thing, while I’m sure others would have a much different opinion on the subject. Regardless though, it has become quite the habit. Now I myself can see both pros and cons to the subject. Pros: it saves you a lot of mistakes, it gives you a better understanding of people, much useful knowledge is gained, etc. Cons: you may become overly critical.
In my careful observances of people and their doings I have found there to be this devil, this beast, this wolf in sheep’s clothing that controls innumerable areas of their Christian life. A despot that turns them whither so ever it will; a monarch that governs their every move. What could be this fiend’s name? ‘Tis Traditionalism. So innocent yet so filthily guilty!
If ever Chistianity were to be brought as low as to shamful depths, we would have at only one thing to point, the already mentioned – Traditionalism.
Without so much as a look at the Bible, Christians have too long resorted to tradition for their beliefs, their standards, their convictions.
“I never really studied it out”
“I always heard…”
“My pastor said…”
“I was always taught…”
Many a time has traditionalism been covered up with the nonchalance attitude of “If it was good for the father and mother, it’s good enough for me.” “If it were good for the preacher and deacon, it’s good enough for me.” “If it was good for the…”whoever you want to name! May I insert “it’s *not* good enough for me!”
It seems like nobody knows why they believe anything any more.
These people inflict many a harsh rule and standard upon themselves in the name of Christianity, yet have not these customs been derived from the Bible. They are simply traditions of men passed down through the generations on which many a Christian has clung.
Stepping aside from the more personal particulers such as beliefs and standards, may we take a look at probably the most common tradition of everyChristian. Attending worship services. As a devout Christian you roll over Sunday morning with the intent of attending a local church. If you’re a really devoted Christian you may even have the same intent on Wednesday. Several times now, over the course of time, I have visited other churches on a Wednesday or Sunday evening and thought to myself “Wow. This church isn’t as big as I thought”. However, the pastor always seems to give an extravagant number (compared to the evening service) for his Sunday morning attendance. It always shocks me and I always come to conclusion that other churches must not have nearly as many dedicated Christians. Sure they can boast double the amount of our crowd Sunday morning, but we just about triple or quadruple theirs, midweek. Ok. back on track again. Most of us can agree, when you come down to it, attending church is kind of a tradition. You grew up always attending church, and it’s just kind of a natural thing that you’ve carried on. How many Sundays in a row do you wake up with the mentallity of “God, because I love you and your children – my brothers and sisters in Christ – I want to set apart a time today to gather with others and worship you. Not only do I want to worship you today, I want to encourage my fellow believers in their walk as well as in You.” Church stuff becomes a kind of monotonous pattern of our lives. It is such an engrained tradition in us that after a while we tend to forget our very reason for taking part. In my opinion, God would be much more pleased at times like this if we just stayed at home, until we could go to church with the full intent of giving him glory with our being there.
Now, to me, probably the worst part of traditionalism, is found in the fact that they aren’t satisfied to simply have these modes for themselves. Others must conform to them else they fall under judgement. I tell you, it’s disgusting to see the way Christians treat their fellow believers now days. Everyone is so caught up into their own groups and the idea that their group is the best group, that they forget that there’s a world of lost souls out there, and instead of reaching out, they war with their brothers and sisters in Christ. “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his vrother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes…He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” “Hereby they shall know that ye are my disciples by the love that ye have one toward another”. I’d pay to see the day that we actually got along together and all worked toward one common cause! The cause of Christ.