I won’t leave you in suspense; Jon concludes that all traditions are NOT wrong. And, in fact, I think Jon is in good company. When Jesus condemned some of the Jewish traditions, he didn’t condemn all of them. He only condemned those traditional practices that went against God’s commands. (See Mark 7:1-9, for example.)
So, Jon offers some suggestions toward evaluating traditional practices:
I find it gives me the freedom to question if it is the best way of doing something. If something is a tradition that is not commanded or demonstrated in Scripture I think it is worth asking a few questions about it:
- When did we start this tradition?
- Why did we start this tradition?
- Are there better ways of doing things?
- What does the Bible have to say on the topic – if anything?
- Are we OK if some people do things different than us?
I think these are good questions. I’d suggest a couple of other questions such as 1) What are the benefits of doing this? and 2) Are there more benefits in doing it differently?
By the way, I think Jon’s final statement is huge when it comes to traditions. That’s what usually causes problems among people with different traditions.
What do you think about Jon’s questions? What about my additions? What other questions would you ask to evaluate your traditions (and you do have traditions)?