How Can Tradition Trump Truth?

indexLast Sunday’s message was from Mark 7:1-13. I titled it, When Tradition Trumps Truth. We talked about how the tradition that may end up trumping truth was never intended to do so. So how does it happen?

There is a general process by which tradition ends up trumping truth…

  • USEFUL. At times, we add traditions to the Scriptures, as helpful add-ons. They are intended to enhance or protect the truth. They seem useful.
  • IMPORTANT. After a while, as we practice our traditions and begin to really like and trust them, to find comfort in them, we begin to place them on a level with the Word of God – giving them equal authority. Now they seem more than just useful, they are important.
  • NECESSARY. Then what can easily happen, is that, in our humanness, we begin to honor our traditions actually above the Scripture. We start to forget or neglect the truth they were meant to help. By doing so, we lower Scripture from its rightful position; stealing its power. Now the traditions have become, not just important, but absolutely necessary.
  • IDOLATROUS. The end of that slippery slope of tradition trumping truth is that we can actually reject God’s word when it conflicts with our tradition. We’ve drifted so far from the simplicity of the biblical commands, that now the traditions have taken the place of truth – in biblical terms, they have become idols; something we worship in the place of God!

O may Jesus keep us from being “taken captive” by those less than biblical things that creep in, that are “according to human traditions” not “according to Christ” (Col. 2:8). May the church and her people keep a simple, pure faith!

Listen to When Tradition Trumps Truth or other messages from the Jesus, the Servant King series from the Gospel of Mark.