Tuesday, September 05, 2006

tradition with imagination

Jonny Baker posted this sign some time ago.
tradition with imagination

I think this describes what a lot of people want the church to be...
traditional... but with a little freshness.

is that really a biblical model?
It seems to me that Jesus [Mark 7 for example] came down pretty hard on those who held to the traditions, because traditions often [most of the time?] win over obedience to God.

Mark 7
So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with 'unclean' hands?"
He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:"
'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'
You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."
And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe[c] your own traditions!
For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'
But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban' (that is, a gift devoted to God),
then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother.
Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that."
Traditions are nice...
they are comfortable... they are often rooted in truth... they reflect the heritage that is ours.

Traditions are deadly...
they can kill the spirit... they can stifle what God is doing today.

But we like what has happened in the past. We all have selective memories of a so-called glorious past.
I visited a church in England, many years ago now, and the entire service was focused on remembering or longing for a move of God that had happened some 20 years earlier. Now, it's great to remember how God worked in the past [that's very biblical, David did it all the time in the Pslams]; but, if remembering how God worked in the past does not affect our worldview / belief system / attitude today, then our remembering is not a biblical remembering.

Do we therefore throw out the past and all it's traditions?
I don't think so, because then we get caught in the idolatry, not of the past, but of the present - where we fail to recognize with thanksgiving what God has done in the past.

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