Following Tradition

An old song says, “I want a girl just like the girl that married dear, old Dad.” Isn’t tradition nice? Sometimes, it’s almost as comforting as an old blanket on a cold day.

But, there’s the trouble. It’s all too often the case we turn to tradition for answers when we ought to be turning to God’s word.

Bildad the Shuhite was a great one for tradition. He told Job, “Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert what is right? (Job 8:3 NET). Bildad, in a question, accused Job of sin. But, Bildad’s assumption was incorrect. He assumed a number of wrong things. He assumed Job’s son’s sin caused his house to fall from a mighty gust of wind killing everybody inside. With Bildad, every effect has a cause and both may be readily seen if we employ the power of tradition.

Yes, we should learn the lessons of the past. But, we must never become a slave to tradition. Some traditions are not rooted in the truth. Bildad’s idea that God’s blessings always equal material wealth was not correct, though that’s what his traditions taught him.

Some people think Bildad was right. When they see a big church with plenty of members and money, they’re impressed and assume that church must be doing things correctly.

If that church is not following the commands of God as laid down in the Bible, then it’s not righteous, is it? Many churches are numerically large with a spiritual famine going on inside. Prosperity does not always equal God’s blessing.

I married a girl very similar to the kind my father married, but I didn’t blindly follow his type exactly. Traditions must never be followed simply because it’s a tradition. Socrates reportedly said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Blind, unexamined traditions must never be followed without question.

The apostle Paul said, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

#bildad, #church, #tradition