As with all things in our lives we like traditions. You know those things we do time after time and pretty soon it becomes a way of life. For instance during the holidays we gather at a certain family member’s house year after year expecting it to never end. Or we fix a certain meal on a certain day year after year because it has always been done that way.
Sadly, we also find ourselves making tradition part of our “religious life.” It has nothing to do with the scripture and yet we find ourselves believing it does. We start to believe that if we do certain things time after time they become scripture. Case in point. For years we worshiped this way – opening prayer, three songs, announcements, prayer, another song, the lords supper, another song, the sermon, closing song, invitation and then closing prayer. We always met at certain times on Sunday Morning, Sunday night and Wed night. The times were strictly adhered to. We never deviated. This went on from the time I was a child until now.
If one of our elders, deacons or someone else suggested that times change, or the order of the service change one would have thought that a great sin had been committed. Because tradition had become scripture. Yes, we are to do things in decency and in order, however no where in the Bible does it state what order or how long the service should last. The early Christians went from house to house and worshiped daily.
I agree that our environment does not lend itself to the way the first Christians spread the word, however, it does open new possibilities and new avenues to spread that word.
Colossians 2: 8 states….” See that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of the world rather than on Christ.” (NIV)
Before we set in stone tradition as gospel we must go back to God’s word and see if it is discussed, if not then maybe we should re-think our attitude about what we think of it and how we react when others see a different way of doing things.
As with our personal lives things happen things evolve and traditions should be able to change along with it. If we want to be effective and not just efficient we must be open to those changes while staying true to the word of God.