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Joined: 2007/6/25
Posts: 764

 Is church tradition one reason for our faith?

Submit a question, something I have heard numerous times in the christian faith...its a little confusion to me? Not sure exactly what it means when its said. "2000 years of church tradition can't be wrong." or if the majority believed a certain doctrine, then that gives us reason to believe it as well? The Jewish people held to their law and ways as the majority and Jesus came to disrupt everything they believed. Their "church traditions" were demolished by Christ, wouldn't that be the same thing?

To me that statement seems a bit scary to rest part of your reason for faith on. Shouldn't we let the bible interpret the bible? Example, tithing, some believe that it is new testament doctrine and the majority hold that believe, But does it mean that its truth in scripture because the majority and tradition has taught that?

Hope you all get were I am coming from. I know there is a lot more theological smarter brothers and sisters on here that can give some insight or links to this subject.

thanks for any help

 2014/6/25 6:53Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5355

 Re: Is church tradition one reason for our faith?


I agree with your sentiment. I grew up in churches where only one viewpoint was taught about various matters (end times, gifts of the spirit, Calvinism to name some big ones).

I was never exposed to alternative teachings on these and other topics until the rise of the internet. Then I went out and listened to some alternative viewpoints and thank goodness I did.

I think the statement "2000 years of tradition can't be wrong" is simply incorrect- just look at the Roman Catholic Church.

Now if course much of mainstream evangelical beliefs that have been around for a long time ARE correct. But the length of time a belief has been held or "that is just how I have always believed" is not a good reason to not at least consider other viewpoints.

And I mean consider them seriously and either be persuaded of their merit, or not.

What is extremely frustrating to me is when a person slams a viewpoint they have never seriously considered or studied.

I changed my viewpoint of the end times and calvinism only after to listening to hundreds of hours of teaching about what the Bible actually had to say about these matters. If others do so and are not persuaded, wonderful! But if you really don't know what an alternative viewpoint actually teaches, it is unfair to attack it based on evangelical tradition.


 2014/6/25 8:11Profile

Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632

 Re: Is church tradition one reason for our faith?

It is a fair question. It is closely akin to the idea that we should believe something because so many other people believe it. A problem we have in our faith is the failure to understand why we believe what we believe and the failure to care to understand. Makes for really weak believers.

On one hand, though, the shelf-life of a tradition may be evidence of its truthfulness. I'm struggling to think of one --- :) --- but my mind floats to the book of Jude. There, Jude asserts that there was a dispute between Satan and Michael the archangel over the body of Moses. There is no Scripture that says this, remotely. Jude relied on either oral or written tradition or other writings, or some combination. Jude's acceptance of this tradition or writing found its way into the canon of the Bible; Jude as part of the canon was included, at least in part, due to the weight of tradition in favor of the book known to the early fathers. Tradition today plays a vital role in the continuing acceptance of Jude as canonical. Similarly, Jude's statements about Enoch's prophecy relied on tradition and/or writings that are non-canonical but after Jude said/wrote them, they were ultimately included in the canon.

The trustworthiness of canon itself is borne out by tradition that is ages long. The church of Jesus in this age of the kingdom has thrived before Him in no small part because of the weightiness of tradition.

Tradition is not necessarily bad.


 2014/6/25 10:53Profile

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