What About Traditions?

by Bryant Evans on September 21, 2009

Our Sunday morning lessons was titled “What about Traditions?” from Mark 7:1-13.

I hope it is useful to you.

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{ 12 comments }

Jeff Hammack September 21, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Yeah, like the tradition of "sola scriptura"? lol

Bryant Evans September 21, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Ah my Catholic apologist! Galatians 1:8, "But if we or an angel from heaven preach unto you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed." 2 Peter 1:3 "His divine power has granted unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence."The only tradition necessary is that of God's word. All else is a doctrine of men.

Jeff Hammack September 21, 2009 at 11:29 pm

Bryant, first off – I'm not Catholic. Secondly, you totally beg the question – how did we get the canon of the Bible without relying on (sacred) tradition? A Catholic could use the same Scripture verses against your less than 300 yr old religious tradition. Bryant, you're a bright guy – please do your homework, ok? You sound like some throwback to the early the 1900s! Please read again read John 6:53 – and receive Life!

Jeff Hammack September 21, 2009 at 11:31 pm

PS, for a good Catholic apologist youtube "Scott Hahn." Peace, brother.

Bryant Evans September 22, 2009 at 6:04 am

The concept of sola scriptura is a primary talking point for catholics who must assail the idea in order to support their lengthy history of church tradition and the idea of ongoing revelation. I accept that you are not catholic but you are making their case. It is a tremendous simplification to declare that the canon is just sacred tradition. While volumes and volumes have been written on the subject it is sufficient to say that the establishment of the canon was/is far different from the creation of the traditions that mar the Christian landscape today.If a person today relies only upon the Bible for his personal and corporate faith he is not resting in a 300 year old tradition but in the faith delivered once for all that saves (Jude 3).John 6:53 is a rich and mighty passage with which I fully agree, support and teach. There is no salvation except in Jesus Christ (John 14:6) and the Christian must totally dissolve himself into the body of Christ. 6:53 teaches that and points to

Bryant Evans September 22, 2009 at 6:09 am

the beauty of communion which Jesus himself established just before his death.The problem Jeff is that when we open the door to ongoing revelation we open the door to "anything goes Christianity." There is a standard. The books now recognized as canonical can each be supported in that status separate and apart from any ecclesiastical tradition. The fact that brother X or preacher Y said the book is canonical is not relevant. What is important is for the Bible student to compare, study, and determine for himself the true place of a writing. It is, after all, the individual who answers for himself in the last day.May your shared peace return to you as well, and thanks for the comments. We may disagree but it's a pleasure to talk.

Bryant Evans September 22, 2009 at 6:13 am

BTW, I did say there are some traditions that are good and acceptable. Paul points to them in 2 Thessalonians.

Jeff Hammack September 22, 2009 at 7:18 am

Bryant, no where in scripture is sola scriptura taught. Jesus nor the apostles taught it. "The books now recognized as canonical can each be supported in that status separate and apart from any ecclesiastical tradition" Ha! Again, the Bible just did not drop from the sky. The canon has a long, tumultuous, and beautiful history, covering more than a few hundred years. You can't have your cake and eat it, too. "Anything goes Christianity." I agree, the history of Protestantism (including the "churches of Christ") is just that.

Bryant Evans September 22, 2009 at 8:41 am

I agree that you will never find the words sola scriptura in Scripture. That does not mean it is not taught. The Bible is the result of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The canon is just a recognition of that. True it has taken men some difficult battles to recognize what God did but it is still his truth after all.The history of the churches of Christ is a history of men trying to restore that ancient truth taught by Jesus and his apostles. Certainly not perfect. However we do seek a Bible basis for everything we do and try our best to repudiate the traditions of men.And I still stand by my statement that "books now recognized as canonical can each be supported in that status separate and apart from any ecclesiastical tradition."Either their is truth or there is not. If not we are wasting our time. Scripture is that given by God through inspiration. And as Jesus said, his word is truth.

Jeff Hammack September 22, 2009 at 9:04 am

"I agree that you will never find the words sola scriptura in Scripture. That does not mean it is not taught." If so, this would condradict the above scriptural references to tradition. One thing that has always puzzled about the "churches of Christ" is the diefication of the 1st century as a blueprint for worship. They didn't even have the New Testament! To me it's like trying to pattern a book club after an era that had no books. And I say the canon is an inpiration of the Holy Spirit as well. Our Lord and our God is not a Deist – He is active in history, especially the history of the Church where doctrines developed, were argued over, debated, even killed for. If anything this is my point- there is a rich historical tapestry to Church history. Nothing fell out of the sky ex nihilo. And to discount the tradition surrounding this is to discount the work of the Lord Himself.

Bryant Evans September 22, 2009 at 9:17 am

Contradict it how? I think I am missing your point.The 1st century did not have the NT as we do today but they did have apostles and inspired men who were guiding and directing the church through its earliest years. All the while they were writing and communicating to the churches in books that would become the NT.Their bona fides were seen in the accompanying miracles which gave credence and authority to their words. Today we are asked to accept things from a council or synod which has no such verification and offers doctrines at variance to clear Bible teachings. I suggest we stand with the clear Bible teachings which came from those 1st century inspired men.

Jeff Hammack September 22, 2009 at 9:28 am

Again, you are discounting the work of the Lord. Also, many of these inspired men were at odds with each other. These inspired men also taught other men who wrote what later would become things like the Apostles Creed – NOT written by an apostle, etc, etc. Again, Bryant, you are truncating the glorious work of the Lord – the Lord of history and the Lord of His Church.Have you ever read the Didache? It was probably written before the Gospel of John and was at one time considered canonical. Very, very interesting reading when addressing how the early church worship – at least converts from Judaism. Prominent in it are Baptism and the Eucharist.

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