Mark 7:7-13 The Word of God is First

Mark 7:7-13

     … in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’  You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

     And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)—then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

1. Do we do what the church says? Do we do what the pastor says?

2. What if the church told you, “Don’t raise your hands when you sing to God.” even though the Bible says, “We lift our hands to God” (Psalm 28:2; Psalm 63:4; Psalm 119:48; Psalm 134:2; Lamentations 3:41; 1 Timothy 2:8). Then what?

3. What if billions of people said that this one person (not Jesus) who is the head of our church and whatever he says is equal to God?

4. Is the church totally perfect?

5. What do you do when the church says one thing, but you find something else in the Bible? What do you do? Who can you talk to? Where do you go for help?

What we shouldn’t do is rebel for rebel’s sake. But we should examine our creeds, doctrine, traditions continuously. Remember that no one is born with theology. It always must be learned anew.

The people before us did the work already, but it wasn’t for a lifetime. That work barely makes it out of their generation. Some of us read dead guys but we are in the smallest minority. Even still, they wouldn’t answer some of the questions that we now face.

It is with that in mind that we must not assume traditions. It think it was the intention of Church Fathers that we mustn’t assume traditions. We must be diligent to ensure that what we do and say and believe lines up with the word of God first before giving way to man-made traditions.

However, the flipside of that thought is a stern warning: because we have done it a certain way for so long is not a good enough reason to stop doing or stop believing a certain way. With a tradition, creed, or doctrine, just because it is old, doesn’t make it wrong. Traditions might ebb and flow, give and take according the culture and the world around but creeds are proclamations of truth while doctrine is simply the teaching of the word of God. First, we must humbly admit that we do not know the Bible all that well. That is, the word of the Infinite God is much more than the thoughts that can be glean from one complete read of the Bible. That we must do well not judge the Bible accordingly to our own leanings, philosophical understandings,  feeligns, and prejudices and but rather let the Bible judge those assumptions. If I want something theologically or morally to be true, then humbly admit so and bring that want to the Bible.

That might seem like a far-fetched jump but to examine our assumptions is really a question of the heart. The question comes down, “Do I want what I want or do I want what God want?”

Here’s the choice: get nothing or get everything.

If I go after my own desires, I get an empty, broken heart. If I want something that God says is not good or is good but not complete, I might obtain that but that thing is finite: whether that be money, fame, marriage, relationships, kids, job, Whatever. Finite things do not fill an infinite heart. Only God, who is infinite, does that. 1

However, we know that God gives the desires of a new heart that was given to us by God. With a new heart by God, we desire God who gives Himself freely to us. Since He is infinite, we fills our hearts and then, we are satisfied not just now but forevermore. 2

Notes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 3:11
  2. Ezekiel 11:14-21 cf. Psalms 37:4, Psalms 16:11

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Joe Louthan

You might catch me: loving, writing, reading, admin-ing, or playing PUBG Mobile. Not necessarily in that order.