The grid of tradition – Hope 103.2

The grid of tradition

Each faith community or gathering has its habitual way of doing things. We each come to the Scriptures shaped by our culture, our upbringing, what we have been taught about the Bible and about faith. No one is tradition-free.

By David ReayThursday 3 May 2018LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 2 minutes

Read Matthew 15:1-3

1 Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him, 2 “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.”

3 Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? (NLT)
 

If we belong to a church or even some informal fellowship group, we will encounter traditions. Some radical new churches assert with some pride that they are not at all traditional. Or some say they are led by the Spirit rather than sticking to tradition.

They are mistaken. We all embrace traditions: a way of doing things, a way of approaching faith and life. Each faith community or gathering has its habitual way of doing things. A church may not follow a written liturgy but you can be sure things are done in usual, repeated ways.

And we all read Scripture through the grid of tradition. Those who claim to rely purely on what the Bible says and not be influenced by human tradition are kidding themselves. We each come to the Scriptures shaped by our culture, our upbringing, what we have been taught about the Bible and about faith. No one is tradition-free. We are inheritors of some tradition or another.

The only issue is whether the traditions we hold to or create are consistent with the heart and mind of Jesus. It is clear many traditions of the Pharisees were not like that. Tradition had assumed an improper place and they were unaware of it. They had become traditionalists. It has been said that traditionalism is the dead faith of the living; whereas tradition is the living faith of the dead.

Blessings
David Reay