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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Traditions or Truth

In a world in which traditions are valued more than truth, culture and heritage are promoted as invaluable even though the world our ancestors left us is wrought with folly and bloodshed, in such a world one needs to make a conscious effort to begin one’s search for truth by questioning one’s own heritage, one’s own culture and one’s traditions. Jesus taught in Mark 7:9, “And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition”. Blindly following traditions handed down from previous generations means to repeat and compound the errors of all previous generations. The apostle Paul admonished us in Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ”. And the apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1:18, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers”. The words ‘vain conversation’ as used by the apostle Peter in the above scripture mean a lifestyle that is to no purpose, in vain, empty, fruitless, aimless. It is building houses on sand, chasing the wind, shooting at stars, pursuing one's own shadow. Following traditions blindly is like a dog chasing his tail; it gets us nowhere, and wears us out mentally and spiritually.

Biblically speaking the word tradition is applied to one’s birth religion first, and then to cultural aspects of one’s heritage. The majority of people that have lived on this planet and that presently occupy this planet will unquestioningly follow the religion handed down to them from their parents. The majority will never stop and consider that which they are following; like children following the pied piper of Hamlin they will blindly adhere to their ancestral religion without having even a rudimentary understanding of what the religion is all about. A Hindu will remain a Hindu, a Catholic will remain a Catholic, and a Muslim will remain a Muslim and so on. Yet I dare say that one out of a million may actually stop and study what the religion teaches, and more importantly have the courage to question the validity of those teachings. Since all religions are false and based upon false authority, religions need to be enforced, much as a cop enforcing the law. The enforcement is subtle but powerful; the unwritten and sometimes written law is enforced by strong disapproval of family members and members of society of any person that dares to challenge the prevailing religion of a family or region. Since the majority of people crave acceptance by family, friends, and society more than almost anything else, they put a lock on their mental and spiritual faculties and become putty in the hand of the very system that will keep them enslaved for their entire lives. And the biggest culprits in this wicked enslavement of the mind and spirit are one’s own parents, priests of religion, and teachers and professors who themselves have chosen to remain blinded and cannot stand to see anyone challenge their blindness. This is the reason why the Pharisees always sought to destroy Jesus because he challenged the status quo which meant that he challenged the authority of the enforcers, and this they could not allow. Like Jesus was rejected by the Jews, so too were his disciples, as will be any person that wants the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth no matter what the cost. The cost at best is being shunned by one’s family and peers, and at worst one pays for the truth with one’s life. O how true are the words of Jesus in John 12:43 , “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God”.

The search for truth must begin by questioning everything we have learnt till the present time in our lives. Do not blindly follow any person that sets himself ups a leader, be it the Pope or the President. Unless you do so you may have a life of comfort but it will not be a life of truth. If and when you begin to question authority you will quickly come to the realization that most authority in this world is false and based upon fear or retribution which is why we need reams and reams of laws on the books. This is why laws have to be enforced because if people truly understood the laws they would quickly realize that these laws are detrimental to their well being, and not beneficial to them at all. Questioning authority will not make you popular or win you many friends but it will lead you to truth and true authority, which is the authority of God your maker. Matthew 28:18, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”. Power derived from Jesus is true power and everlasting power since it is the power of love that does not need to be enforced.

1 Thessalonians 5:21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good”. ‘Prove’ means to test, to try out, to reason out, to dissect and then and then only to believe that which can withstand the test of truth. Reject everything else!!!

1 comment:

  1. Paul,
    Another example of un-biblical traditions we should question is the celebrating of holidays. Christians just like the world love Halloween, Christmas, Easter and so on. Should we celebrate Halloween with our kids dressing up as witches and demons and our young daughters dressing like prostitutes? Should we seek to understand the origins of Christmas and “Santa”, the tree and ornaments before we decide this is truly something God would have us celebrate? And is Easter really Christian? Where in the Bible can we find Easter bunnies and eggs?