The History of Traditions

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We have grown up with  and blessed with many wonderful traditions. Tradition is defined as:  an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action or behavior, the handing down of information, beliefs and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction.

Examples of Good and Lasting Traditions include:

  • Celebration of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
  • Celebration of special national holidays –  New Years Day, Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th July & Labor Day.
  • Celebration of birthdays and anniversaries.
  • Attending church and Sunday School
  • Apostles Creed, the Eucharist and Hymns
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Star Spangle Banner
  • Political Elections  
  • Marriage
  • Classic Poetry

At various times in history, the Christian church supported and often defended the following past traditions:

  • The earth is flat (from Socrates 400BC to Columbus 1492 – almost 2000 years).
  • The sun and other planets orbit around the earth – Copernicus reversed this tradition confirmed by Galileo
  • No one but ordained clergy may own or read the Bible – subject to persecution by the church.
  • The first born son shall inherit all of his father’s estate.
  • Slavery is justified for economic reasons.
  • The white race is superior to all other races. We now know this is a social and political distinction.
  • A woman’s place is in the home – subject to the wishes of her husband.
  • Women may not own property, have a bank account or vote – up until 1920 in this country.
  • Men should be paid more than women for the same job.
  • Women may not be ordained as ministers in the church.

So even our great “democratic” country has been slow to change. Past traditions have been both good and bad. Would it seem reasonable that our loving God expects us to keep studying, learning, praying and adjusting our interpretations of his Word as new revelations and scientific facts are given to us? Will our Christian churches have the knowledge and the courage to adjust to changing information and new knowledge? How long, O Lord, will it take to open the eyes of many  who still insist in the literal interpretation of all scriptures?

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