Sabbath: Christ and Religious Tradition
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Read for This Week’s Study: Matt. 23:1-7, Matt. 15:1-6, Isa. 29:13, Matt. 5:17-20, Rom. 10:3.gless03=2014b

Memory Text: “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the percepts of men ” (Matthew 15:8-9, RSV).

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, suggested that one’s theology is influenced by four factors: faith, reason, Scripture, and tradition. He didn’t mean, however, that all sides are equally authoritative. He acknowledged that the Bible was foundational, but he also recognized that one’s individual faith, ability to reason, and religious tradition affect the way in which the Bible is interpreted. If Wesley were brought back to life today, he would be shocked to discover that many modern theologians in the Wesleyan tradition (and other traditions, as well) now value reason, tradition, or personal opinion over the clear teaching of Scripture.

This week’s lesson investigates the religious traditions upon which the scribes and Pharisees based many of their teachings. The rabbis who originally penned these traditions greatly respected the Scriptures and had no intention for these traditions to be elevated to the status of God’s Word. However, some of their zealous disciples confused the method with the message and in so doing shifted the focus from God’s written revelation to human tradition.

*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, April 19.

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Sabbath: Christ and Religious Tradition — 12 Comments

  1. Many traditions of the Lord's time were born by those who indeed did love the scriptures. And Jesus allowed no compromise despite the good intentions. But what of today? How many of us follow traditions born of those who have no love for truth at all? How many traditions do we follow that are born to deceive and lead away the ignorant from the truth? And how many are we leading away through those traditions by our example?

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  2. This quarters lessons so far has been like a breath of fresh air! There are those who suggest that we must keep the law (moral and ceremonial) in order to be good enough to be saved. It is an old argument in new clothing. We keep the law (moral) because we already have a saving relationship with God. It can't be more simple than that. It is when I have that loving relationship with Christ that keeping the law is not a burden but a joy!

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  3. I was taught from that Wesleyan method that Scripture, tradition and reason were to be balanced like a three legged stool. Shorten or remove one leg and ones theology will suffer and fall when you try to sit or stand on it.

    The problems we now see is the result of both scripture and tradition being shortened or removed. What some modern theologians teach goes contrary to both scripture and what Christianity has traditionally taught and understood.

    One the other side some Christians have removed the leg of reason and tradition and ended up thinking and doing rather foolish things like handling snakes etc.

    The key is balance.

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  4. Jesus is saying many people pay lip service and talk religion, but Jesus is saying he wants us to serve him with all of our hearts and hearts that love him. Many are choosing to obey the traditions of people and teach others man made traditions. He says we worship him in vain, in others words we are just going through the motions and not serving the true and Living God. God wants us to worship him in spirit and in truth. If we love the Lord we are willing to do what he says, instead of following crowd and doing what people tell us to do, that is contrary to the scriptures.

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  5. What about when (culture and tradition) and scripture get married to each other, how you as a member separates them from each other. Some how wants to hold on to their beliefs says; if something isn't broken do not fix it!.e.g. some says "come as you are", or "render your heart and not your garment". Just the other day one gentleman stated he do not know why we have females up to the pulpit and officiating.

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    • SDA church was established as a result of the movement and this may make some of her cultures to change with time while her doctrines Still go hands-in-gloves with the moral laws,and for this,the voice of a woman can be heard in the pulpit .But,a faith that teaches it's adherents to render their heart only and not garments is a terrible bus for spiritual destruction. Positive spiritual renewal results into a positive outlook of the garment

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      • Hello Brother Simeon, the text says to "rend" (or tear) not "render" and is really not about clothing, but about true repentance.

        "And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil."
        --Joel 2:13

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  6. While we should be weary of tradition,it is important not to cast all aspeCts away for we will find guidance if not value in many things that are tradigional. May the spirit of God guide us by his word in the aspects of tradition we embrace so that his law of liberty will be suprime. Any christian tradition that passes the scrutiny of the word and would enrich our relationship with Christ would do us well.

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  7. The main problem Christianity is facing today is postmodernism. Just like the Pharisees of Jesus day,some christians have become instinctually stimulated, placing traditions above the God's laws. They are walking after the dictates of their traditional instinct rather the demands of moral laws

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    • Hello again Brother Simeon, would you mind sharing what you believe postmodernism is and why it may be a danger to Christianity?

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      • Yes brother Andrew, I love that old time religion where the Bible was the benchmark of all decision that was made in the Christian society, but, as years advanced, the church stopped reasoning biblically and went on emperical reasoning (Postmodernism),a philosophy that undermines the Biblical doctrine under extols science reasoning to help solve spiritual matters

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  8. I don't know whether it is "post modern" or not, but I believe one of the greatest dangers to our church and our message is our own fear. (Not wanting to go off-topic I will, for the time being,place our message as a part of acceptable 'tradition'). Lets face it. Our message, that is the original as per Revel. 14:6-12 and as per (the original)The Great Controversy, is decidedly politically incorrect, and if handled indiscreetly, or tactlessly, can be understood in the modern (or post-modern) world to be hate speech. Being afraid of the consequences of publishing truth, compromising the message to placate the over-sensitive mindset of modern man, can literally cripple our church and make us ineffective as a last day church. A watered down politically correct gospel that denies history, fails to rebuke apostasy, and is willing to tolerate or accommodate error in order to maintain or gain "respectability", is no true gospel at all. Actually, it does sound quite 'post-modern'.

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