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The Holy Spirit or Tradition? Which do you follow?

Mark 7:9 - 13
"9 He said to them, All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’
11 But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban––’ (that is, a gift to God),
12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother,
13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do."

Colossians 2:4 - 7
"4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words.
5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
6 As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." 

Tradition is often used in religion to sustain a particular doctrinal system.  The Roman Catholic church considers the traditions of the church as doctrine.  The Eastern Orthodox church uses tradition as an integral part of their system of worship.  Most reformed denominations teach the traditions of the reformers as doctrine.  Most non Christian religions of the world are based on tradition.  The Jews who lived during Jesus' first advent also used tradition as doctrine.  Traditions develop over generations and become ingrained into religion.  One generation will practice what they learn from the older generation.

Are traditions good or evil?  It depends upon the tradition and how it is used.  It is good to eat a traditional meal at Thanksgiving or Christmas.  It is good to wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of disease.  It is good to wash your body and your clothes.  There are many traditions which are good but not religious.  Religious traditions are usually not good.  Good traditions do not change the word of God through man created methods of interpretation.  Religious traditions which alter the plainly written word of God are evil.  Evil religious traditions deny and distort the plainly written word of God.

Jesus told those who practiced tradition in Mark 7 that they rejected God's word so they could practice their tradition.  Much has changed in 2000 years but not the rejection of the plainly written word of God.  Mankind still uses deceptive traditions to support religion.  The objective of tradition is to conform the worship of God to benefit the desires of the flesh and the mind both of which are full of sin. 

Paul references these desires in Ephesians 2:1 - 3, "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,  in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others."  NKJV.  Notice that such desires were while the Ephesians were living "according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience" or while they were dead in sin and servants of Satan, before their salvation.  Notice also these desires originated from two places, the flesh and the mind.  The flesh is concerned with biological urges of the body which the Ephesians practiced in their worship.  Ephesus was religiously diverse.  A goddess named Artemis (Acts chapter 19) was widely worshiped.  Several ancient religions practiced a tradition of religious prostitution.  Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?" NKJV. 

God has simplified worship of himself in the new covenant.  The only remaining priest is Jesus who is our high priest.  Each believer is now a priest.  "To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."  Revelation 1:5 - 6, NKJV.  The priests and sacrifices of the old covenant are gone.  The rituals and practices of the old covenant are gone.  The new covenant has now written God's law on our heart.  "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,"  Hebrews 10:16, NKJV.  Now we have a new heart, a new covenant and a constant helper, the Holy Spirit all within to guard, help and guide us.  Professional priests with their rituals are no longer needed and have been laid aside by God himself.

Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart,  1 Samuel 16:7.  Man rejects the word of God and looks on the outward appearance as he seeks to worship God.  Therefore man has replaced true worship with traditions which make worship ritualized and formal in nature.  Formal worship relies upon a professional clergy with attendant rituals which supposedly give credence for their need.  So the tradition of special clothing (robes, etc.), burning of incense,  priests who purportedly can give absolution from sin if penance is done and many other traditions are added to fill the void left when God's plainly written word is rejected.

How do you worship God?  Does your worship consist of traditions in the form of rituals dressed in formality?  Flee from those who use formality and tradition to replace God's plainly written word.

John 4:23 -24, "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."  NKJV