Friday, September 04, 2015
You Need Help
Some Christians, and not just new believers among them, take this “me and God” approach to reading Scripture. They have learned from Matthew 15 not to be like the Pharisees, whom Jesus said exalted human tradition over God’s Word. They also try to heed Paul’s warning not to succumb to “philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition” (Col. 2:8, ESV used throughout). They have concluded, therefore, that Scripture teaches that church tradition—and all the perspectives and human-derived interpretations that it carries with it—should not color our reading of God’s Word.Most Christians I know have gone through a phase like this. It is almost always born of having been hurt deeply by the church or having watched the church deeply hurt someone they care about. It is one of those places where sin really confuses our thinking. It is one of those places that has me making sure I always read "The Screwtape Letters" - again.
Is that what the Bible itself teaches?
Paul commended the Corinthians for “maintain[ing] the traditions even as I delivered them to you” (1 Cor. 11:2).
ANd the funny thing is, if we read scripture with others, even without the benefit of tradition, they will help us to see how we are thinking about things. They will help us to see that we are letting our emotions stand in the way of our reason when we try to understand this.
Tradition can become old and staid, but selfishness is really the issue. We can breath life into tradition if we seek to understand it and adopt it for our own. But then that might allow God to really work on our hearts.