From the Ten Commandments to the start of Christ’s ministry, which is covered in the Gospels of the New Testament, up until the apostle Paul’s death (which is believed to have occurred after the Great Fire of Rome in July 64 AD) we are given a very concrete set of guidelines that as Christians we must follow. I look at the gospel accounts more like journals kept by the individual apostles, each one detailing their travels and their perspective of Christ’s teachings. We must, however, that the teachings of Christ were primarily to Jews and usually around the time of a Jewish festival. The apostle Paul picked up the teachings of Christ, combined it with his knowledge of the Torah, including the ten Commandments, and presented a very clear Christian interpretation of the Scripture that was easier for everyone to understand. In his letters to the churches the apostle Paul addressed various problems in the various churches that I feel still exist today in Christianity.
At this point I want to make it very clear that I am not targeting any one faith or set of traditions but I do sincerely feel that the same way we are always examining our individual faith we should also examine our traditions to make sure that they agree with Scripture. Throughout the apostle Paul’s letters he is always encouraging us to “test the spirits”.
During the Roman Empire religion was all over the place. After the Temple burnt down in 70 A.D. when Judaism started to scatter all over. The pagan religion was made up of worship based on major God’s that ruled over the entire empire but then each area had their own gods. Christianity was also scattered in pockets all over with no central location. The Emperor Constantine tried to provide religious toleration with the Edict of Milan in AD 313, effectively lifting the ban on Christianity. Later, in . AD 325, Constantine called the Council of Nicea in an attempt to unify Christianity. This lasted, in my opinion, until the Protestant Reformation. Historians usually date the start of the Protestant Reformation to the 1517 publication of Martin Luther’s “95 Theses.”
It was at this point that I feel that a religion that originated with the Bible and the teachings of Christ started to get modified by those participating in it. Being a true Christian is not easy by any means. It is not a hobby is a lifestyle that involves dedication, sacrifice, and a willingness to even die for your beliefs. It was a lot easier to “reinterpret Scripture” rather than stay fast in our faith.
In 2 Corinthians 10:12 (NASB). Paul writes “For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.”. Here Paul is warning us not to judge ourselves by those in the world but only by the standards set forward by God. This should be the same with traditions. So many times I have heard people say, “this is the way we’ve always done it in our family”, “it is what they taught us in church”, or another expression that indicates that it is always been done that way in the church for centuries therefore has to be right. At this point I need to reiterate and to make it clear that I am not targeting any one faith or set of traditions. In by life I have seen so many traditions being practiced by Christians that are totally pagan in nature which is made me very aware of how easily we can fall into non-Christian habits.
In Romans 12:2 the apostle Paul wrote; ”And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
We need to always keep in mind that Satan is the master of disguise and will use anything or anyone to compromise us. Before we accept Christ state this telling us we have all the time in the world make up our minds when in reality we only have until our next heartbeat. After we accept Christ Satan knows that he cannot have us so his next trick is to discredit what we say by corrupting our lifestyle. The one quote I live by and put in most of my writings is “Our Lives Might Be the Only Bible Some People Read”. Stay strong in Christ and God bless.
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