Christian Tradition

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Reformed, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. Reformed

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    In another thread a poster criticized tradition. Tradition is viewed as a pejorative by many on this board; as teachings of men, not of God. And while certain traditions are exactly that, not all tradition is unbiblical or wrong. Consider the words of the Apostle Paul:

    1 Corinthians 11:2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.

    The New Bible Dictionary states the following about Christian tradition:

    If we, as New Testament believers, follow the teachings of the Apostles, then we are following the traditions they set in place and handed down to us. To dismiss tradition entirely is to display a misunderstanding of God's word.
     
  2. JonC

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    We often dismiss tradition without realizing that tradition is precisely how one generation hands down truth and ideologies to another. To dismiss tradition even less than entirely is to dismiss truths and wisdom that our fathers have struggled to understand. I don't know why we struggle so hard to consistently be the first generation.
     
  3. JamesL

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    Reformed,

    I think I know which thread you're talking about. However... so that there's no confusion, will you insert a quote from the one who allegedly criticized tradition or dismissed it altogether?
     
  4. DHK

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    (YLT) And I praise you, brethren, that in all things ye remember me, and according as I did deliver to you, the deliverances ye keep,
    --I am not sure this verse has any thing at all to do with tradition.
    Some translate it doctrine, teachings, etc. I think "tradition" in our way of thinking is not the sense that this is to be taken. It is one of the verses the RCC uses in this way to substantiate their "tradition" as just as important as "scripture."
    Paul's tradition was his doctrine that he taught them. Other translations use "ordinance" (a law), doctrine, etc. It is not tradition in the Catholic sense. I have been accused of having tradition. I challenge them: What tradition do we hold? Sola scriptura?
     
  5. JamesL

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    DHK,
    Orthodox church teaches tradition as having the same authority as scripture, same as RCC.

    And it is fair to say Protestants and Evangelicals hold traditions, because everyone does. But the question must be - does our tradition conflict with scripture?


    I agree with your take on Paul's mention of tradition, though. It was all verbal teaching in the beginning, the epistles were not different from what had been taught already.
     
  6. Reformed

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    The word translated "tradition" in the OP is the Greek word paradosis. It is used 13 times in the NT and is always translated the same way. According to Strong's paradosis means:

    There is no need to equivocate on the meaning of the word. What really matters is the source of a tradition, not tradition itself. We can confidently say that the teaching of Christ and the Apostles are biblical traditions that we should follow without question. Ad fontes! should be our cry. If a church establishes a tradition, that tradition should be weighed against scripture. If it is a teaching that contradicts scripture it should be discarded.

    But back to the point of the OP. The church has "been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets" (Eph. 2:20), and their paradosis or traditions.
     
  7. JamesL

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    It seems to me that the point of the original post was to accuse another of criticizing tradition or discarding it. Can you quote what you were referring to?


    Oh, I forgot that I'm on this guy's ignore list or whatever it's called. Would someone else be so kind as to ask him to provide a quote?
     
  8. plain_n_simple

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    He may be referring to another thread about selling coffee at church. But he has not said.
     
  9. JamesL

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    I figured he was taking issue with your statement about thinking too highly of a building and tradition. But I was preferring not to jump to a conclusion
     
  10. Reformed

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    The point is not to get into a back-and-forth on what was said in another thread but to discuss tradition itself. I read a thread started by Protestant on a false teaching about Christ's satisfaction where a frequent poster criticized tradition. I have seen tradition criticized many times over the past few years on this board and thought it was time for me to address it. That is all there is to it.

    If we are honest with ourselves, all of us follow a certain degree of tradition. And it all comes down to the axiom, "because we've always done it that way." That may be rather simplistic, but it is true nonetheless. Now, there most certainly is a "why" behind the "what", and when the tradition was first started it was probably done for a good reason. But as time goes by people become detached from the reason and fulfill the tradition out of rote. That is a good reason to go back to the clear teaching of scripture. Our traditions need to be examined in light of scripture. If our traditions are scriptural, then praise God! If they are not, then they need to be abandoned. But we need to avoid fearing tradition itself as a boogeyman. We are not like the papists who elevate man-made tradition to be equal with scripture.
     
  11. JamesL

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    Christian tradition is not "traditional practice"

    Tradition is doctrine/teaching handed down

    Not at all the same as the traditional practices like communion once a month, decorations around a holiday, etc
     
  12. plain_n_simple

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    Yes we are
     
  13. OnlyaSinner

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    One of these things is not like the other (and I'm confident that you were not implying they were in any way alike.) The Lord's Table was given to us by Christ as (among other thngs) a way/time to remember what He has done for us. How often it is celebrated should be up to each local church.
     
  14. Reformed

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    We are? If some do, they do so in error.
     
  15. JamesL

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    Right you are. I didn't mean to infer that communion is the same as decorations. My intended emphasis was the once-a-month aspect. Some would call those tradition, much like singing 4 songs each week, or going to the same restaurant on your birthday each year. Or a Sunday School picnic each summer. Tradition would not be theological when used this way.

    But tradition, as in RCC or Orthodox vernacular, would be teachings, doctrines, etc. passed down apart from written scripture. Some may be explicit in scripture, some may not. But the transmission apart from scripture is tradition
     
    #15 JamesL, Jul 20, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2015
  16. JohnDBaptiste

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    Everything including traditions is a-okay as long as it lines up with scripture.

    John 17:17b "thy word IS truth!"

    All things must conform to the measuring rod of truth the Bible.
     
  17. Salty

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    and we should include - as long as it does not go against scripture
     
  18. JonC

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    :thumbsup:
     
  19. JohnDBaptiste

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    Yes. To line up with scripture is not to go against scripture.

    We are to...



    • accomplish this by daily study of the scriptures (Acts 17:11)

    2 Timothy 3:16–17 (AV)
    16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    2 Timothy 2:15 (AV)
    15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
     
    #19 JohnDBaptiste, Jul 29, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2015
  20. Martin Marprelate

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    I would put it the other way around.
    Nothing is to be done in the churches of Christ unless there is clear Biblical warrant for it.
    I'm not talking here about incidentals like using a screen or a hymn-book, or amplification, but things like infant baptism (there's no verse directly prohibiting it), clerical dress of any kind, or even having a cross at the front. If you have one, sooner or later someone will do a little bow in front of it.

    Steve
     

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