“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us” (2 Thess 2:15).
As Paul finished describing what was going to come during the final days, he encouraged the Christians to hold tightly to the traditions they had been taught.
Tradition was a word that meant “to hand over from close beside,” and referred to instruction passed directly down from generation to generation. It is very important to notice, however, that Paul was specific in whose instruction or tradition they were to hold on to – his. Paul didn’t tell them to hold on to any and all tradition and teaching – only that which was directly from him.
I was raised in a tradition-laden religion. Only later as an adult did I realize that much of what I had been taught did not come from Scripture, but were man-made traditions. I’ve been frequently surprised to discover what the Bible says, or actually does NOT say, about many topics. For some of us, it may be a worthwhile exercise to take a look at what traditions we hold tightly and determine if they come from God or men – not only “religious” traditions, but those in which our culture may be steeped.
If we do this honestly, we might be surprised to find that some of the things we cling to “religiously” are really our cultural traditions or personal preferences. If God is silent on a topic, perhaps we ought to be as well?? Or at least be aware that when we take a stand, we’re standing on our own opinion or personal conviction, and not on God’s Word. –Dave
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