my take on tradition

24 02 2007

just read my college roommates blog on the issue of contemporary vs. traditional – great insight he shares – he shares some from another blog that I’ll link here

bottom line…not all traditions are bad – here’s the deal…you see, jeff and i had this conversation countless times – he grew up in a traditional church – i grew up in the church of van halen, motley crue and ozzy (i know they are not a church, my point is that i didn’t grow up in church) – so, i had no “background” in tradition – when I came to know Christ it was in a pentecostal church that sang “contemporary” songs (there’s a word to be expanded upon later…what is it?) .

i have to agree with jeff – i like some traditions…things like people taking baths/showers, and several others – like everyone in the U.S. agreeing to drive on the right side of the road – great tradition, let’s all stick with it together!

seriously, not all tradition is all bad – it’s when it becomes lifeless – that means it doesn’t give life – something like the celebration of communion is a great tradition when it gives life – when there’s a realization that life (Christ’s life) is attached to it…however, i’ve also known churches and people in particular that “observe” (hokey word, right?) communion on a regular basis and it becomes just part of the “routine” (defined…”dull, uninteresting, commonplace”)

other traditions i like…worshipping together – sure, there’s the whole house church movement going on – i have my concerns about it! i saw some of this while i was planting a church and it seemed to be that it’s only intent was to bash anything “organizational” – i.e., a traditional church – i like gathering together with God’s people and celebrating in His presence…there’s something powerful about the Body of Christ coming together – there’s a sense of purpose and belonging…recently heard that kids in large youth groups often stand stronger because they have a sense that the Kingdom is bigger than just the few kids in a small youth group – note here…if you have a small youth group (and that’s what I mostly had as a YP, then it’s ok) just be sure that there’s some exposure in a bigger realm – organize a joint youth rally with other churches, do a disciple now weekend together (my son’s at one right now!), go to a conference or camp together – kids need to see the Kingdom as bigger than the 7 or 12 that come to youth group…

another tradition…being and staying married – i know there are people that go through the pain and hell of divorce – been there as a child – i’m going on 15 years of marriage and i rather like my traditional “view” of marriage – which by the way, is God’s view – it’s an amazing journey! i LIKE this tradition!

bottom line for me…and i’ll borrow part of the exact quote from the site that jeff “stole” this from…I’m “oppossed to the lifeless and heartless” forms of tradition – when hymns, choruses, preaching, teaching, etc – all that we do as disciples of Christ becomes “lifeless and heartless” it’s become traditional to the point of ineffectiveness




One response

25 02 2007
Jeff Smith

Hey, it’s me – the “roomie” noted above. I’m traditional at heart, but with a pull to the new. The new being life. I believe that God is doing a new thing, I also believe that there can be life in something “traditional” – but that is usually up to the people not God. Whatever God blesses is life, whatever is used to worship God in “Spirit and in Truth” is life. What is used because that is what we’ve always done or what is “next” on the list will not be bless and therefore not be life.

Rick, I like what you said about communion. Some “observe” communion. It is usally “next” on the list, but when we “participate” in communion or “celebrate” communion, then this age-old tradition is life, it is like the first time.

I’m enjoying this. Thanks Rick!

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