Commentary By: Gordon King
Why do we do the things that we do, what makes us believe what we believe?
Sunday mornings people around the world attend church services. Every year in December millions of families gather around Christmas trees opening presents and then enjoy a hard-cooked meal during the day. Easter morning people send their children out on egg hunts and hand out chocolate bunnies. Catholics pray to saints in order to be heard by God.
Many times these things are done merely because of tradition, because they have been done for hundreds of years before us by our ancestors. We do them because this is what we have been taught to do, but do we really understand why we do them?
Just because our families have done something for hundreds of years before us does not mean that it is right, some are and some are not. By the same token we must know why we do the things that we do, they must come from the heart and not merely by tradition. If it doesn’t come from the heart then what meaning does it really have? And if they are done in error then they can have negative consequences, leading people down the wrong path, with the wrong beliefs, and many times to destruction! Traditions are things we do over and over again, sometimes in celebration, sometimes to mark an anniversary, some times as a religious ritual. We can follow old traditions and we can make our own traditions.
Millions of people around the world attend Sunday church services, yet just how many are actually saved?! Many do it because they believe that it is a good thing to do and because their families have also done it for generations. Many believe that because they go to church and believe that they are good people that they will get to heaven!
Christmas is celebrated throughout the world, but does the world really know the true meaning of Christmas or is it just a tradition passed down through the generations without any true meaning? And even if they know the meaning do they believe it?! Christmas is a time celebrated by Christians for the birth of their Savior into the world, but just how many people who celebrate it do so for that meaning? The Catholic church has taken this event and turned it into a pagan holiday! They did the same thing with Easter, the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. How many people who celebrate Easter actually know what they are celebrating, how many cherish this event?
Catholics pray to saints in order to be heard by God, but where in scripture does it say to do this? It doesn’t! Nowhere in scripture have saints been given the authority to be the middlemen between man and God, nowhere, that is why Jesus came in the flesh! This belief that we must pray to saints was created by the Catholic church!
We often do things just because we have since we can even remember, because that is what our families have done for generations, because this is what we have been taught to do.
Jesus spoke harshly about the scribes and Pharisees.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.“
These religious leaders did religious acts but their hearts were not in it, and in fact they didn’t even do as they preached, they were hypocrites!
How many of us do things just because they are tradition? Do we really understand why we are doing them or do we just go with the flow? Is our heart really in it or are we just acting it out? Do we do it because everyone else is or do we do it for the love of God?
I have had Christians ask me if it is wrong to celebrate Christmas or Easter? I then ask them if it is wrong to celebrate the birth, death, and resurrection of our Savior?
Is it wrong to pray to saints? Yes it is, nowhere in scripture does it tell us to pray to saints! And even if you did do you actually think that they would hear you?
1 Timothy 2:5
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus“
Is it wrong to attend church if you are not saved? No, it’s not wrong, but it can be a deception if you believe that you will get to heaven for doing so, or if you believe that you are saved just because you go to church! It many sound funny to some of you but there are people who believe this. Going to church for the wrong reasons can be bad, as some people go just to be seen by others!
There are many more traditions which I have not spoken of, some of which are not bad, some of which are. What we must remember is why we are doing them, who we are following, and what do we believe to be the truth?
Not all traditions are good and not all are bad, and then there are those in-between, some of which we are not so sure about. Some depend upon our beliefs and where our heart is, this is where traditions can become not so easy to understand.
None of us have all of the answers in life, and at times the lines in the sand become smeared, our lenses become foggy, and it can be difficult to know what the right thing to do is, while at other times it is quite clear and certain. We must all listen to the Holy Spirit within us, what is He telling us? Pray to the good Lord for wisdom and understanding, for vision and clarity. Repent of your sins and ask the Lord to forgive you, keep your fellowship with God strong. For if we live in sin without repentance then our fellowship with God is weakened and we are not able to hear God as clearly as we should.
We cannot change the minds and hearts of other people, only God can do that, but what we can do is change our own minds and hearts. We can choose to believe, we can choose to do the right thing, and we can choose to live as Christ lives.
Things we should ask ourselves about traditions we may follow, are they righteous and holy, are they the truth, and if so is our heart really in it, do they lead us astray, will they lead us into destruction, are they pleasing to God?
Traditions can lead us down the wrong path, they can lead us into destruction if they are not godly or the truth, or if they are taken the wrong way. Traditions can be a good thing if they are righteous and godly, and if they do not lead us astray. Some times traditions are neither good or bad, they just are. It’s up to each one of us to follow traditions that are pleasing to God and do not grieve His heart. We must also remember not to allow traditions to become idols, it is not traditions that we severe but God Almighty!
There are many other traditions celebrated by the secular world, most I wholeheartedly disagree with because they are ungodly and unholy such as Halloween, Carnival, Burning Man Festival, Gay Pride, etc, but that’s another topic of discussion.
God bless my friends! Maranatha!