Practices, Traditions, Commands!

God is not necessarily against our customs and practices unless they are directly contrary to His explicit instruction or the time to discontinue the practice has come. This is clearly taught with regard to Jesus going to the Synagogue as was His custom on the Sabbath, (Luke 4:16). Jesus began to disassociate Himself from the Synagogue: in Matthew 10:17 He says”Be on your guard...they will flog you in their synagogues”. Notice what He says “their” synagogues, no longer our synagogues! That does not discount the fact that the Son and the Spirit worked through the Synagogue, even if it was a “custom” that He did not command. He still works through the practice of religion today to meet truth seeking and sincere people, but He did not command the practice of religion. Because He avails of the opportunity to help people in religion does not mean he has condoned religion, just as, because God saves a murderer does not mean He condones murder!

A practice, tradition or custom isn’t a God-given principle! It is the way a believer chooses to do something that deems to be appropriate for a given purpose or time. We all remember when it was the practice for women to cover their heads in “church” and to wear dresses or skirts because “slacks” were thought to be “men’s apparel”. That was so entrenched in belief that some denominations forbade a woman to sing on the platform without a head covering or the “proper attire”. Today the practice is practically unheard of in western religious culture but practiced religiously in others . It was quite in order to discontinue the practice because it was a “custom” and not a “principle”.

In the same way, TRADITIONS are not the TORAH (the Jewish name for God’s law). That is precisely where Jesus took issue with the Pharisees (a religious sect during the N.T. era). They had made what and how they decided was the way to do things as if God had actually commanded it to be so. They began to confuse their own tradition with the TORAH.  Jesus came to fulfill the law not to fulfill tradition! Yet the Pharisees found fault with Him because He did not uphold their traditions.

This leads me to ponder why the regular event-programmed-religious-meetings, are a practice that is carried out and taught to be a COMMAND of God even though it is not? This is not to deny that some wonderful things has happened through the set-up that is centered around Sunday gatherings by “structured fellowships”. But please don’t take the Pharisaical attitude and confuse your tradition or custom as if they were God’s where  you frown on, look down on and even condemn believers who no longer walk in your traditions.


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