Gnostic Doctrine

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Manmade Traditions Matthew 15:1-9

Manmade Traditions Matthew 15:1-9

Matthew 15:1-9
15:1Then there come to Jesus from Jerusalem Pharisees and scribes, saying, 15:2Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 15:3And he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 15:4For God said, Honor thy father and thy mother: and, He that speaketh evil of father or mother, let him die the death. 15:5But ye say, whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, That wherewith thou mightest have been profited by me is given to God; 15:6he shall not honor his father. And ye have made void the word of God because of your tradition. 15:7Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,
15:8This people honoreth me with their lips;
But their heart is far from me.
15:9But in vain do they worship me,
Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.


What is Tradition?

Information, doctrines, or practices that have been handed down from parents to children or that have become the established way of thinking or acting. The Greek word pa·ra´do·sis means, literally, “a thing given beside” and hence “that which is transmitted by word of mouth or in writing.” (1Co 11:2, Int) The word as used in the Christian Greek Scriptures is applied to traditions that were proper or acceptable aspects of true worship, as well as to those that were in error or were followed or viewed in a way that made them harmful and objectionable
Manmade Tradition
Which is held in greater reverence, the divine law or manmade tradition? With the personal man, tradition holds the higher place, for back of it is the weight or authority of the race mind, and its hold on the race mind is unquestioned. The spiritual man has reverence for the divine law, not manmade tradition.

Which of the two does the Christ Consciousness observe? The divine law always. “I came not to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill.” Where tradition conflicts with the divine law, Jesus the Christ sets aside or disregards tradition. So should we as we follow Him.

Why should we not accept the wisdom of past ages, as handed down in tradition, as a guide to conduct? In following tradition we accept our beliefs and opinions ready-made instead of thinking things through and understanding them originally before accepting them. 

When we think things through for ourselves our mind lays hold of the formless stuff of divine substance and transforms it. By this thought process, which is the proper function of the mind in us, we discern the truth of the accumulated wisdom of mankind, and are enabled to discard what does not concern us.

Is defilement or infection primarily a physical or a mental phenomenon? It is first of all mental. Where faith in the protection of Divine Mind is absolute and complete, there is no fear and no infection. Perfect faith is the greatest prophylactic.

What evidence have we that tradition is not God-given? The fact that although tradition has the unquestioning acceptance of the race mind while the race believes it, every tradition sooner or later is superseded by something else. For example, the scientific truths of one age become the exploded superstitions of the next, and new so-called scientific truths take their place.

What is “the heart,” as used by Jesus in the text for today? The heart is the inner or emotional nature, which harbors will, desire, and the individual and personal thought.

Where should the chief cleansing of the individual take place? In the inner nature or the heart. We should learn to control our thought processes and think constructively. As we preserve the unity of the Spirit we lose our fear of contagion and become immune to outer contaminating influences. With the thought fixed on the purity and oneness of the Mind of God we become expressions of both purity and unity.

Do we make our life, or is it predestined without our volition? We make it by our habitual thought. Our security is also self-made. As we drill our soul in right principles we are ready to meet any emergency when it comes, with a stout, steadfast heart.

Christian Traditions

Viewing tradition in the sense of guidelines handed down orally or by example, the information that the apostle Paul received directly from Jesus could properly be passed on to the Christian congregations as acceptable Christian tradition. This was so, for example, regarding the celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal. (1Co 11:2, 23) The teachings and example set by the apostles constituted valid tradition. Thus, Paul, who had personally toiled with his hands so as not to be a financial burden on his brothers (Ac 18:3; 20:34; 1Co 9:15; 1Th 2:9), could urge the Thessalonian Christians “to withdraw from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition [pa·ra´do·sin]” they had received. One who would not work was plainly not following the fine example or tradition of the apostles.—2Th 3:6-11.

The “traditions” that are necessary for worship of God that is clean and undefiled were in time included as part of the inspired Scriptures. Hence, the traditions or precepts that were transmitted by Jesus and the apostles and that were vital for life were not left in oral form to be distorted by the passage of time but were accurately recorded in the Bible for the benefit of Christians living at later periods.—Joh 20:30, 31; Re 22:18.

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