When tradition gets in the way

“Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.” (Mark 7:13)
What place should tradition have in our following Jesus?
Tradition is the faith and practice of Jesus followers before us.
“Tradition is the living faith of the dead, traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.”
We learn from those who have believed before us, but we are not bound by it.
And we should be very careful when that tradition shapes how we hear God in scripture.
The cry of the Reformation was ‘sola sciptura’, only scripture, not tradition.
I belong to a church with roots in the reformation, and we still say ‘sola scriptura’.
But it is striking to me how much tradition plays a role in how we do things.
Many times when I am questioned about something, it is more about ‘tradition’.
How the church (believers in the past) taught things, how the church did things.
I should be open to learning from the church, but I must submit to God’s Voice in scripture.
I know there is danger in straying from tradition; but there is danger the other way too.
My hope is that people will know scripture better than our traditions.
That together we will be like the Bereans, testing what we hear with Scripture.
Otherwise we may be nullifying God’s message by our own traditions.
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, help me to learn from others – both those living today and those who lived in the past. But help me to submit to You, and listen to Your Voice!

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