Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 10, 1950

Tradition, A Foe Of Christianity

Olen Holdersby, Tucson, Arizona

Long ago God gave this solemn warning to His people "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil." (Ex. 23:2) This alone strikes an astonishing blow at the acceptance of any practice simply because the majority has approved it. The idea that "fifty million people can't be wrong" caused a lot of people a terrific shock in recent years. We read in the Bible of the perfection of God's way. (Psalms 18:30) Paul points out that God's way is found in the scriptures, and will furnish us "unto all good works." (2 Tim. 3:16, 17) Peter declares "his divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertains unto life and godliness." (2 Peter 1:3) The men who said these things were eye-witnesses of Christ. (2) Peter 1:16) It is evident, therefore, that any practice of Christianity today not found in God's written way does not "pertain unto life and Godliness."

Most of us try to fit into the community in which we live. We detest living as an eccentric and much prefer to go along with the majority. However, we should be more interested in being right than "regular." This interest sometimes will find us walking with the minority, but we should be more interested in facts than numbers. Nearly all we practice today is determined by the goddess of tradition. We are accused of pushing from the church, the organ, the dance, and many other innovations into the religion of Jesus Christ, which tradition holds is approved of God. We have not pushed them out, but simply have not allowed those things to enter that the Lord did not place there himself. Jesus condemns tradition (Matt. 15) and finally concludes by saying, "In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the precepts of men." Moreover, John declares, "whosoever goeth onward, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." (2 John 9) It is absurd to say we believe in the inspiration of the scriptures and not believe their precepts binding on us today.

If I were asked today to name the greatest evil facing the Christian world, my answer would be ignorance of the Bible. Tradition has it that the average person cannot understand the Bible, but must rely upon someone's interpretation. As a result, people lay aside the Bible and follow the directions of others. This produces a state of ignorance. Peter said; "no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." (2 Peter 1:20) Woodrow Wilson was once quoted as saying, "a man deprives himself of the best there is, when he deprives himself of a knowledge of the Word of God." We need to realize this today and dust our Bibles off for other than appearance sake. Study it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and follow it to be holy. Let us cease to trample the colors of Prince Immanuel among the filth and scum of the world.