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In Mk 7:1-7 we see the “politically correct religious establishment”… saw that some of Christ’s disciples ate with hands that were defiled [in their eyes], that is, unwashed. (For they … do not eat unless they wash their hands [according] to the tradition of the elders…And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.c) And [they]… asked Christ, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written [in Isaiah 29: 13], “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
That government sanctioned, politically correct religious crowd wanted Christ and His disciples to practice religion their way, which included engaging in an elaborate ceremonial washing process that went way beyond what God commanded in Exodus 30:19 and 40:12.
Let’s consider our own tradition of “separation of church and state” a phrase which neither can be supported by scripture, since God drowned Pharaoh’s army in the sea when the state disobeyed Him, and which does not appear in the US Constitution is a tradition that is removing us from fully applying truth in our sermons.
Traditions can provide helpful reminders of Godly heritage if …
- they reflect the Word of God
- they remind us of what God has done for our nation, and
- they help us remember what God has done for us personally
In 1 Cor. 4:6 Paul Admonished those who favored Paul over Apollos and vice versa – to not go beyond what is written. The New Living Translation says – … If you pay attention to what I have quoted from the Scriptures, you won’t be proud of one of your leaders at the expense of another. The ESV says – … that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.
Here are 5 ways we go beyond what is written by
- Naming churches after apostles – all of whom would have forbidden that because their focus was to glorify Jesus, which is the work of the Holy Spirit – John 16:14.
- Involving ourselves with genealogies for spiritual purposes 1 Tim 1:4 & Titus 3:39. Heb 9:27 says we die once, and then face judgement. How would praying for the dead change that God judges us for what we did when we are alive?
- Praying by using vain, meaningless repetitions or repetitive phrases Matt 6:7
- Praying to something other than to God-Jesus Christ -Holy Spirit (1Tim 2:5 & Heb 8:6 & Heb 9:15 & Heb 12: 24)
- Preaching the word of God through the tradition of “separation of church and state”, an anti-Biblical concept that influences how we fail to make applications to what is going on around us in civic and political events.
Let’s ask God to search our hearts and free us to apply His Word in ways that truly lift us up in Liberty.