Friday, December 16, 2011

Conformed to Tradition

We are told by Paul not to be conformed to the world. (Of course we still are in many ways conformed.) And we are told (by Paul) to hold to the traditions taught by the elders. And we are told by Jesus that certain clerical traditions (created by men) "make the Word of God of ineffective."

We really have to learn to see things as they appear in Scripture..not how we "have been trained to believe" is there.

So yeah, there is the old Three Kings error. And the Three Wise men error. Not kings, not three.

And there is the old Kings and shepherds all in the same barn creche thing. And there is the old "swaddling clothes thing" (The word "swaddle" was used in Elizabethan times to mean the clothes used to wrap dead bodies. Now it just means cute baby clothes.)

When tradition takes over, people cannot see the truth even if it's in front of them in blazing red levels. And humans are so arrogant and against change that even when the truth is shown to them they will not look at it.

For instance, try telling the typical Bible-believing Christian that Mrs. Job needs compassion. It's like pulling teeth to get them to feel for this woman (the weaker vessel) who lost all her children all at once (and who had no comforter come to visit her.)  They say she was "tempting her husband." Why? BECAUSE Tradition has trained them to hate her. And try telling them that the same Hebrew word is used for "bless" and "curse" and they look at you as if you're nuts. Yet, in English we have words like that. "Cleave" means "to cut asunder" and also "to cling together." And the word Raise and Raze are homophones that mean the opposite of each other. But folks will not believe anything that challenges their traditional views, even in the name of compassion. Quite simply, they feel they have a Biblical mandate to hate Mrs. Job because tradition (and some elder or deacon or Sunday school teacher) told them to.

Same thing with Mrs. Lot. We English speakers like to think Lot delayed and Mrs. Lot looked back because they longed for the sins of Sodom. But the angles speak of Lot's unmarried sisters who are in this house, and Lot speaks to his daughter's husbands. If one reads the passage clearly, one can see that it is quite possible that Lot had more than two daughters.

Tradition affects our eyesight and our reading comprehension....and it affects our theology and our hearts.  (I won't even go into the fact that the KJV translators messed up badly. After all, it's okay if we don't know Greek.) But when something is said clearly and we read the opposite into it, EVEN WITH OUR EYES OPEN, it just makes me feel we're not being mindful.

Often the bad theology comes from people reading only a part of a verse.

Paul says he has a thorn in the flesh, "a messenger of Satan to buffet me."  Everyone leaves out the "messenger of Satan to buffet me" part. Why not take Paul's words at face value?

Paul says, "A woman's head should be covered when she prophesies or teaches." What do some people do? They say women should cover their heads ALL the time in churches.

Jesus says, "When you fast, don't let anyone know." YET, when Christians fast, they tell everyone they are fasting.

Jesus said, "Heal the sick" He didn't say "Pray for the sick to be healed."
He said, "When you go out, you are to proclaim, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand'."

Jesus said, "A ghost doesn't have flesh and blood as you see I have." He didn't say, "There are no such things as ghosts."
True, this opens a whole can of worms. After all most christians believe the dead either go to hell or heaven. Some others believe in purgatory or soul sleep. The whole idea of ghosts just messes with our theology.

Which reminds me:
Jesus spoke of people being turned out into "outer darkness."
But isn't hell in a contained area? I'm just asking. I'm not saying I know the answer. I'm just saying that we really have to acknowledged what is there."

John says, "Outside of the gates of the New Jerusalem are...cowards, whoremongers, the faithless"
Okay, so we have folks in hell (and hell is cast into the eternally burning lake of fire) and we have New Jerusalem. With gates? So who is outside the gates? What kind of people?

Ezekiel wrote about those who would serve the prince forever yet  (because of some infraction) they will "NEVER" see his face forever. Uhm.

I'm just saying... we have to really see what it is we are seeing. 

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