Discerning Truth Versus Human Tradition (Part 8)
Some Applications For Us To Consider
Outline By: Brian A. Yeager
I. Introduction: Consider previous 7 lessons in this series that can be found on this page: http://www.wordsoftruth.net/classesandsermons/exposingthewolves.htm
A. There will always be an abundance of errors taught (I John 4:1) and there is no way one or a few lessons can cover them all.
1. Sadly, people love these errors (Jeremiah 5:30-31).
2. Churches want preachers to uphold these errors (Micah 2:11 and II Timothy 4:3-4).
B. While I would love to stop them all (Titus 1:10-14)…
1. …These lessons are about preventing error here (Acts 20:28-31).
2. Don’t think we’re “above” falling for human traditions and other errors (I Corinthians 10:12).
II. Body: Let’s take heed (Hebrews 3:12-13) lest we fall for some of these human traditions…
A. VBS, infants class, staffed nurseries, young kids classes, baby dedications, youth ministers, youth rallies, etc. that focus the work of the church on children.
1. Teaching children is a work for the family (Ephesians 6:1-4 and II Timothy 1:5; cf. II Timothy 3:15).
2. How many “children’s workbooks” do you read about in the Scriptures? How many youth rallies do you see? Is this an area where God says man’s authority is enough (Matthew 28:18-20)?
B. Taking the focus from the Scriptures and focusing more into word definitions, secular history, geography, etc.
1. Is there a place for history in teaching – yes (I Corinthians 10:1-12).
2. Is there a place for secular history in teaching – yes (understanding Daniel 2:31-45 is helpful when comparing secular history).
3. Words have meaning. Understanding is key (Proverbs 4:5).
a. Be mindful that many lexicons are denominational.
b. Reasoning from the Scriptures is the best dictionary (Matthew 9:10-13; cf. Hosea 6:4-6).
4. However, when the focus becomes these things the real source of salvation is lost (Psalms 19:7, Romans 1:16, and James 1:21).
C. Church of Christ denominationalism (Restoration Movement, preacher reverence, etc.)
1. The church never ceased to exist to be restored as such is taught (Hebrews 12:22-28).
2. Traditional events such as Gospel Meetings and Lectureships are often an example of revering preachers and focusing on the speaker rather than the message (I Corinthians 3:1-7).
D. Colleges, preacher schools, foundations, orphan homes, printing companies, Bible camps, and other human institutions
1. There is a pattern for training preachers and such has nothing to do with human institutions (II Timothy 2:2).
2. Caring for widows and the fatherless is not the work of human institutions (I Timothy 5:3-16 and James 1:26-27).
3. In fact, there were NO human organizations (including Bible camps, foundations, printing businesses, etc.) in the Scriptures doing anything that the thousands today are doing. They are not good works (II Timothy 3:16-17).
E. Brown bagging the Lord’s Supper, Second Offering of Lord’s Supper, Nursing Home Lord Supper, Delivery of Lord’s Supper, etc.
1. The Lord’s Supper is to be partaken of when we come together (Acts 20:7 and I Corinthians 11:23-33).
2. Make-up servings, packing it on trips, delivering it, etc. are all additions to the Scriptures (Revelation 22:18-19).
F. Church of Christ racism (Black churches, White churches, Hispanic churches, etc.).
1. Acts 10:34-35.
2. One body, not the racially divided (Colossians 3:10-15).
G. Faith based on sight events such as Bible Land tours.
1. II Corinthians 5:7
2. Romans 10:14-17
H. Calling things tradition that are NOT…
1. The covering is a matter of faith (I Corinthians 11:3-15).
2. Multiple cups during the Lord’s Supper is part of the pattern (Luke 22:14-20).
I. The tradition of “5” that is not the truth (five acts of worship for a service to be God and five steps to salvation).
1. Did they do the “five steps of worship” here (Matthew 28:17)?
2. Can’t we come together as the church for reasons other than “5 acts” (Matthew 18:15-17, Acts 14:27, etc.)?
3. There are MANY more things, based on the individual, that one might have to do to be saved (Matthew 13:19, Luke 9:57-62, Luke 14:25-33, John 8:31, Acts 19:18-19, etc.).
a. The sermon in Acts 2:11-41 is different than what we’d preach today – no Jews present here that killed Jesus.
b. The focus should be individually based on the hearer or hearers to bring about conversion (Matthew 18:3 and Acts 3:19).
J. The tradition of overlooking sin and not teaching what is needed.
1. Sin must be dealt (Leviticus 19:17, Proverbs 27:5, Luke 17:3-4, Galatians 6:1, and I Timothy 5:20).
2. The errorists will always “study the issue”, but never come to a conclusion and repent of their sins (Acts 28:23-29).
3. These sinners will often refuse public discussion of false doctrines, but such is the pattern for public errors (Acts 15:1-32).
4. They’ll even agree something is “wrong”, but somehow refuse to call it sinful or soul damning. There is no difference (James 2:10-12).
5. These congregations often accept any and all who want to “place membership” without regard to whom they are in fellowship with. Again, this is a sinful mindset (Ephesians 5:11, I John 1:3-7, II John 9-11, and Revelation 2:14-16).
K. Traditions of Wednesday night services, Sunday night services, 2 prayers & five songs, “announcements”, closing and opening prayers, etc.
1. Decently and in order is the command (I Corinthians 14:40).
2. The lawful ways in which we accomplish such (I Corinthians 10:23) cannot become our thinking of such as THE PATTERN.
L. The tradition of emphasizing baptism more than anything else.
1. Some congregations have an “expected age” wherein the children “brought up in the church” (false doctrine in itself) are baptized.
2. Baptism is no more important than faith (John 8:23-24), repentance (Luke 13:3), hope (Romans 8:24-25), etc.
3. This is the church of Christ version of Calvinism in which some think “once baptized, always saved”; which is false (Acts 8:12-24).
M. There are many more things such as the church secretary, funeral services as a work of the church, weddings as the work of the church, potluck dinners, puppet shows, pitch pipes, unscriptural songs, twisting of God’s providence into modern day miracles, etc. that are commonly practiced today (100’s if not 1000’s of more things).
1. Let’s be careful not to fall into church of Christisms (Colossians 2:4-8).
2. Hold everything to the highest degree of criticism in asking about and seeking authority without thinking it’s right just because you are used to doing it (Acts 17:10-11 and I Thessalonians 5:21).
3. Let’s keep each other honest by measuring one another by the standard of God rather than of men (II Corinthians 10:12).
4. Remember to take the time to rightly divide the truth (II Timothy 2:14-18) so you don’t twist it to get what you want (II Peter 3:15-17).
III. Conclusion: While error will continue around us, let’s stay the course of truth (II Timothy 3:13-14).
© 2014 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain. Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful! Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies. – Brian A. Yeager