Q. I have a question regarding traditions within the Church. I have been having discussions with friends and family about the traditions of Catholicism, Orthodox, Protestant, etc.. We have gone back and forth about the importance of tradition, and how it can be good and edifying, or empty and meaningless. In your opinion, is adherence to tradition necessary to be in right relationship with Christ?
A. I believe any tradition that goes beyond what the Bible says is man made and therefore irrelevant to our relationship with God. Think about it. Would the Lord, who has gone to so much effort to see that His word has been preserved for us, have left it short of a complete list of the requirements necessary to be in a right relationship with Him? I don’t think so.
The Old Testament makes is abundantly clear that one of the main issues with traditions is they often take on greater importance than was ever intended, sometimes to the point of obscuring the truth. In Isaiah 29:14-13 The Lord had this to say about tradition.
“These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”