Traditions in the Church, Good or Bad?

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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.

Matthew 23:25

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!

7 thoughts on “Traditions in the Church, Good or Bad?

  1. I remember growing up in Detroit, Michigan my family and I went to Catholic for Easter. This priest never mentioned about Lord Jesus Christ, but after he finished with prayer, he said, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I’m a Sicilian and growing up in Catholic family. Catholic church never talked about prophecy, Jesus, and etc. I became a Christian (born again) in 1985, my life changed forever. I never like Catholic Church. For years, they had made me feel uncomfortable.

    Did you hear about Pope Francis wanted new law or rule, that nobody can criticized or label him a bad Pope, this person will be charged. Can you believe this? Pope Francis thinks he is above the law.

    I’m sick and tired of hearing that Pope Francis is Antichrist. He is not Antichrist. Period. He is a false teacher. I firmly believe Antichrist is here alive and waiting under the wings. It is not Obama, it is not Donald Trump. We won’t be here until Antichrist reveals himself. I feeling sorry for European and Italian people thinking Pope Francis is a great guy. Yeah, right?!!! They need to waking up before it too late. Only Lord Jesus Christ is the only way. Period. Amen.

  2. Thank you Gordon, for me ,I have come out from celebrating many of the traditions but it is a difficult thing to do though, just like coming outside of organised religion is but I do believe for me it is in obedience. However, I do not cast judgement on those who have not had the same leading , it is only very recently that I have stopped taking part in certain traditional celebrations that I had observed for decades. However, I agree with you we must be sure in our heart what we believe and if we are not sure seek God for HIs guidance and confirmation before doing or stopping anything, unless of course it is known to be sinful behaviour.

    God bless you!

  3. Thank you Gordon for another good blog ….Happy Easter Gordon to you and yours as we celebrate the Death and resurrection of our precious Saviour

  4. Thanks for your comment Jim!

    I didn’t hear about that law, but it doesn’t surprise me either. I don’t believe that the Pope is the Antichrist, but he could be the false prophet. As far as who the Antichrist is, no one knows yet. There are many people who fit his description, but even so we don’t know, just as we don’t know when exactly Christ will rapture the church.

    The Catholic church has done much damage to the body of Christ, many false teachings, leading many to believe untruths. Yet billions of people seem to worship him, as if he were much more than just a man! I don’t trust the Pope, I don’t trust the Catholic church, I place my faith and trust in Christ alone. We must beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing, we must beware of deception in the world and in the church.

    Just now before answering this comment I had a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door, they were inviting me to celebrate Easter with them. I told them that I cannot go because I am an Evangelical Christian. They said that it doesn’t matter, there will be a lot of people their who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses. I said that the main difference between you and me is that I believe Jesus Christ is God and you don’t, they said yeah, it is a difference. I said, it’s a huge difference, a difference in our salvation! I told them to read the book of John, it’s very clear that Jesus was not merely a man but God! They attempted to argue with me in a nice way, but I said Jesus is God and that we shall disagree. They seemed like very nice people, yet they are deceived into believing that Jesus Christ was just a man and not at all God. I told them thank you but no thank you! Have a nice day and God bless!

    This is the world we live in, people seem to think that there are many ways to heaven, that Jesus Christ is not God, and that if we place our trust in Jesus as a man then we will be saved. Yet, I totally disagree, we must believe that Christ was not merely a man, but believe that He is God in the flesh! Just as spoken of in John 1.

    God bless Jim! Maranatha!

  5. Thanks for your comment Christine!

    The main thing about traditions is that they can lead us astray. They can lead us away from God, and they can grieve the heart of God if they are sinful to Him. Another thing is that even though we may go through the motions of celebrating traditions, is our heart really in it? I mean, if we celebrate Christmas and Easter then we must be doing it for the right reasons, not merely for traditions sake. If we go to church are we going because it is the right thing to do, or because we want to be seen by men? Or do we go because we truly in our heart want to worship God? Do we say that we are believers because we love God or do we do it to impress other people? Just as our salvation is dependent not only upon what we believe in our minds but also in our hearts. And while men may not know the true intentions of our heart God does. We can hide from men but we cannot hide from God!

    When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we must first have a change of mind then a change of heart. And when we follow traditions then we need to do them for the right reasons, from the heart. God knows us better than we know ourselves, and He knows why we do the things that we do, while we may even be deceiving ourselves. We can justify what we do in our minds, we can deceive ourselves into believing things that are not the truth. We must do things from the love of God, do things for righteous and holy reasons, this is when we know that we are on the right path.

    God bless Christine! Maranatha!

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