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Traditions that bring glory to God

Posted by on Sep 28, 2009 in discipleship | 9 comments

I was recently talking with someone who made the following statement, “Traditions are okay if those traditions bring glory to God.”

On the surface, that sounds like a valid statement. But, something occurred to me.

I asked him, “Do all of your traditions bring glory to God?”

He responded, “Yes, of course! Otherwise we wouldn’t have those traditions.”

I replied, “Doesn’t everyone think their traditions bring glory to God?”

So, how do we decided which traditions bring glory to God and which traditions do not bring glory to God?

Or, removing the idea of traditions, how do we decide what actions and attitudes bring glory to God? Who gets to decide? Is it enough that we desire to bring glory to God?


9 Comments

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  1. 9-28-2009

    Alan you’ve asked some difficult questions. I’ve some more: What does it mean to glorify God? What are the criteria? Are some criteria universal and others local?

    The difficulty in defining terms may be one reason why traditions do not change very often.

  2. 9-28-2009

    I was just reading in Isa. 11 this morning and wrote down the following note on verse 10 from my ESV study Bible: “‘glorious’ – Literally ‘glory’, i.e., the place where God’s presence is conveyed.”

    I also recall Kay Arthur’s definition of what it means to glorify God – to give a correct opinion of God (my paraphrase). The question I need to ask myself is: Do my traditions, actions, and attitudes declare His presence and His fame, giving a true representation of Him? Unfortunately, I don’t ponder this question nearly often enough.

  3. 9-28-2009

    Laura,

    Thanks for adding to the questions… I like difficult questions. :)

    Violet,

    So, how do we decide what declares “His presence and His fame, giving a true representation of Him”? The Jews thought they were doing that when Jesus quoted Isaiah as saying, “These people honor me with their mouths, but their hearts are far from me.”

    -Alan

  4. 9-28-2009

    Those are some tough questions. There may not be a “black and white” answer. However, Jesus told the pharisees, “….Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.”
    Mt 15:6 KJV The ESV says, “…you have made void the word of God.”

    That is a powerful statement. The traditions of man are capable of making the commandments/word of God, void.

    So, looking at our traditions that way, might be a starting point in which to judge them. What do yall think?

  5. 9-29-2009

    Alan,

    Come on now, the pastor decides silly. Who else?? :-)

    This is an excellent question–I need to sleep on this one…

    -jeff

  6. 9-29-2009

    Christmas is a tradition.

  7. 9-29-2009

    Alan,

    Thanks for probing more deeply with your questions. In recent months I have come to realize just how me-centered everything is – even my “spiritual” activities (traditions, etc.). I think that was the mistake of the Pharisees as well. Their hearts were focused on what was in it for them (their godliness, etc).

    My focus in everything must be God-centered, striving to know Him intimately, acknowledging Him as preeminent in everything. Romans 11:36 – “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”

  8. 9-29-2009

    Jack,

    Exactly. What if the traditions that we think bring glory to God actually nullify God’s commands?

    Jeff,

    I’m looking forward to your thoughts.

    Scott,

    Yes, it is.

    Violet,

    Again, everyone thinks their traditions bring glory to God. Everyone thinks their traditions are God-centered and for the purpose of knowing Him intimately, acknowledging Him as preeminent in everything.

    -Alan

  9. 7-12-2011

    Seems like Jesus was always breaking traditions and constantly moving us closer to the Hope of Glory. If he was willing I want to be willing.

    Maybe we could start an “even if (blank) changes, I will…” list. ( we could even make it a tradition and people that don’t do it wont be as spiritual as us….lol)