TRADITION AND THE CHURCH
Like it our not, all the communions in Christís church have elements of historic tradition that are not found directly in scripture. One of which is admitting women to the Lords Supper. Can any of you find a direct example of a woman partaking in the Breaking of Bread in scripture? If I want to get snotty about it I could site I Corinthians 11:28:
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
Not a woman to be found there. Could I not say if I used fundamentalist theories that this verse would exclude women? Then how come do all the communions include women at the table? And do you think they will be hustling to change their doctrine now that I have revealed this? The traditional church has always included women for it is good and right and comes from the Apostles not from direct scriptural teaching but from tradition.
The next one is a biggie. THE BIBLE. Yes the bible is a product of tradition. One of my favorite things to do is type the word bible into my little bible computer. The response is "BIBLE NOT FOUND IN BIBLE, SPELL CORRECTING, ...BABBLE ." So even the term Bible is not scriptural.
Hmmmm. This should cause a dilemma to a man that has sworn to "speak were the bible speaks and be silent were the bible is silent." For the word bible is usually in every other sentence he will use. Letís continue. How do I know that all the books of the bible are inspired? How do I know that say the book of Hebrews should be included in the cannon. The book claims no author, how do I know him to be an inspired man and not an imposter? Where in the bible are the books of the bible outlined so I know they should be there? There are many other books not included in the bible that many held as inspired. How come were they excluded? The only answer I can find is that the tradition of the church is the authority that confirms the existence and cannon of the bible. Jesus founded his church he said, "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16.18) this church was entrusted in "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:20) This was complied with in part by the writing and preserving the New Testament. But it could only be in part because John says:
And there are also many things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen John 21:25
The verb "did" in the Greek is often translated "brought forth". It is inclusive meaning all actions, which includes teaching and commanding.
There are many concepts and terms held by fundamentalist that one would not find directly in scripture. Such as, free moral agent, sinnerís prayer, asking Jesus into your heart, personal savior, believers baptism, watery grave, choosing God, baby dedication, free will. It is not my point here to argue the validity or invalidity of any of these subjects just to point out that there are no direct examples in scripture of any of these terms. Some would argue that some of the above mentioned concepts have no place in scripture. Often I wonder if the fundamentalist held himself to the same standards that he expects me to go by, would we see any of these terms that just kind of slipped into the back door? Proper prospective is the key here. The abuses of the Roman church caused many to reject tradition but we must be careful in our enthusiasm to reform least we throw the baby out with the bath water. If you will excuse a metaphor, if I were to look at a man of god, scripture would be the bones that would be the foundation to his body, tradition would be the flesh that gave the bones purpose, and the Spirit would be the blood or life force that made it living and of use. If I have just scripture, I am left with dry bones with no life, in that sense "killeth" is an appropriate term. If I have too much tradition it would be like an obese person who is bogged down by the weight they have to carry which could "make vain" the use of the bones.