Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Trash talk tradition

Have you ever heard that term "Well, I don't believe in that tradition" or how about "Religion was started by mankind so I'm going to just stick with the bible?  I have, and it almost makes me laugh every time because a warped view of reality...

Ya see, we all look through our own lenses at the world.  I look through mine of being raised in a Catholic family by parents that were extremely faithful and giving to the church - so much that my dad became a deacon in 2001.  My lens is also shaped by a family member whom I love dearly that is homosexual.  It's shaped by years of the Pines Catholic Camp, and working in ministry.  It's shaped by the people that have come along and challenged my viewpoint.  It's shaped by the idiocies of my youthfulness.  All along the way, my lens has been shaped by the things around me and each time I look at a particular stance, objection or opinion, I look through that lens to make my decisions and formulate my own prospective.  Just as I look through mine, you look through yours.  What has shaped your particular lens? 

As I talked about a few weeks ago about "pop culture" - you're shaped by your surroundings.  If you've been brought up, or even just recently been involved in a particular church with particular beliefs, you may be looking through the lens of their belief system, just as I look through my Catholic lens.  A personal challenge of mine and even more so recently, is the battle of the world vs. the Catholics.  Our faith is always under attack by the world around us.  Other religions are constantly teaching contrary to Catholicism regardless of it's REAL teachings.  If you're in a non-catholic church, then you've probably been taught concepts that are against Catholic teaching and tradition.  Even more so - you may fail to recognize many of the things taught are not actually contrary... they're just made to appear that way.

The rest of this blog is devoted to the stance of "Solo Scriptura" or bible only - and do away with tradition...

So here's my own little take on tradition - for those of you that were taught to reject tradition, you should be rejecting the bible because the bible IS tradition!  NEWS FLASH!!  JESUS DIDN'T WRITE THE BIBLE!  Jesus was crucified around 30ad.  The Old Testament (OT) mostly covers Jewish Tradition and the experience of the God through the mind and culture of an old testament prophet.  The New Testament (NT) Covers the life of Jesus and of the early Christians that knew Jesus, or were around in or shortly after the time of Jesus as they established the Church.  The NT was composed mostly between 50-110 ad.  The gospels were written throughout that time period dating at least 20 years after Jesus departed.  By that time, they already had developed the Church.  They were already having mass, celebrating the sacraments, and had already established a hierarchy.  Tradition had already begun and had been established for 20 years!  The bible is made up of tradition in and out!  It's made up of the traditions, signs and symbols Jesus began and was being practiced by an entire generation of early Christians.  Read the book of acts and you'll clearly find that the bible is a book of their traditions they had already begun.  These traditions are still practiced in the Catholic Church today.

I also like the notion of "going back to our roots" and practicing our faith like they did back in biblical times.  It's almost as if they think they had it perfect back then, so that's where they want their faith to rest so they're going back to "bible only" theology.  NEWS FLASH - When the bible was written, Christianity was A MESS!!  Look at the book of Acts, and all of Paul's writings.  In most of his books, he starts with a greeting, then expresses where they NEED to be, and then he concludes.  In most of his books, hes writing to get people on the right track, because they've been thrown off by false prophets.  They're starting up their own traditions contrary to the gospel and he's correcting them.  Each town had their own traditions, and therefore they had to start councils to bring everyone together to form one direction of one Christian faith which eventually becomes the Catholic church and it's teachings. 

If this isn't clear to you - the early church really struggled to get on the same page.  They struggled to have the same ideas and theology of who Jesus was.  By the time most the books were written, the individuals who actually were alive in the time of Jesus were passing away, and the new generation was moving up trying to sort out the mess of the early Christian church.

You can't scrap tradition because the bible is built on the foundation of tradition.
If you go back to bible only, you're tapping into who Jesus was to the early Christians.  You're tapping into how they experienced him and the way they felt about him.  You're also tapping into the roots of Catholicism and where we came from.

You can trash talk tradition - but tradition is where we came from. 

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