We command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us (2 Thessalonians 3:6).
I was invited as a teenager to speak to the youth at the local Roman Catholic Church. Growing up in a Pentecostal church at the opposite end of the Christian spectrum, I took the invitation very seriously.
After I finished speaking, Father Tom asked the youth if they had any questions for me. The first – and only – question that night was about what made my church different from their own. My answer began by outlining how Roman Catholics followed traditions while my church didn’t.
Father Tom stopped me mid-sentence. “You don’t have traditions? Don’t you begin each Sunday with a prayer, singing, a choir song, announcements, a sermon and then a final prayer?” I was smart enough to know what he was getting at … my church did have, and follow, traditions. Sometimes we don’t recognize our traditions as being traditions.
In confronting the Jewish leaders of His day Jesus said, For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men … making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down (Mark 7:8, 13).
Jesus didn’t condemn traditions, even religious ones; He condemned holding traditions on par with or higher than God’s Word. The Bible is the standard for every Christian belief and practice.