So much misunderstanding

The topic of tradition is much misunderstood.

Tradition consists of all truths of the faith not contained in scripture. It's that simple.

Tradition has several components...

  1. Truth, the word of God
  2. Practises such as baptismand the Eucharist
  3. Various prayers, meditations, and devotions

We must distinguish between the traditions of men and divine traditions...

For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. (Mark 7:8,13)

Jesus rebukes them for following the traditions of men.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

We are to reject the traditions of men.

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (2 Thessalonians 2:15))

However, apostolic teaching and practice is not the traditions of men but, rather, traditions of God, apostolic tradition. We are to obey these.

So the question is, which Church traditions are truly apostolic traditions, traditions of God? The key issues are: (1) whether the traditions are performed to gain God's favor, and (2) whether they are based on truth, on the word of God.

Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone. (Romans 9:32)

Spiritual practices such are prayer, meditation, devotions, works of charity, etc. are not works of the law — unless the person is doing them to gain their salvation. In fact, God judges us for our works. We must have good works, works of faith to be saved.

Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. (1 Corinthians 3:13)

We are judged by our works.

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. (James 2:18)

Saving faith requires good works. Someone who doesn't have good works doesn't have saving faith.


Big-T Tradition

The Catholic Church makes much of the concept of big-T Tradition as a source of infallible truth.But they make some severe blunders...

  1. They use Tradition as a catch-all for anything they want to proclaim as true but which doesn't have sufficient support from the New Testament nor the early apostolic Church.
  2. They claim that these Traditions have been passed-along unaltered for centuries and are, therefore, trustworthy today. But in every case, the details have changed significantly over time.

I think it is safe to say that when someone refers to the truthfulness of something based on Tradition, we can ignore it. It is more likely than not going to prove to be an error.