Tradition can be a very important thing in our life. Many have a family tradition they hold dear and look forward to each year. One of my favorite traditions is going to my mom’s and eating pork roast and sauerkraut for my birthday. This is by far my favorite meal of the year. Christianity is full of tradition. Most Christians are too quick to blame the Catholic church for holding traditions when they hold too many themselves. Religious tradition is something Jesus dealt with throughout his earthly ministry.
Mat 15:1-3 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Jesus knew they were holding their tradition on equal ground or even higher than scripture. Something many do in error today. Unfortunately today, many Christians know the information that has been passed down to them in church but can’t use the Bible to find scriptural support for the things they believe. Jesus was not upset that they washed before eating, he was upset at the importance they put on this act. They were holding their man made tradition over scripture and even rejecting God’s word with their traditions.
Mar 7:7-9 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 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. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
They were “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”. This is the result when Christians spiritualize the Bible. In their failure to rightly divide scripture and in their attempt to force things together that God made separate they teach for doctrine the commandments of men. Your church probably teaches you that you must tithe 10% of your income and even goes so far as to say that this must be calculated before taxes. Your church will use Malachi 3:8-10 to teach you this doctrine. Thousands if not millions of churches across the world teach this tradition. They of course have to ignore verse 6 in the context which specifically puts the “sons of Jacob” in view as the people being spoken to, but you have been taught to read yourself into all kinds of context where you don’t belong. Verse 12 in this chapter, and the immediate context, is also ignored which clearly states that someday “all nations” will call Israel blessed. This verse doesn’t fit into the man made theology that most churches follow today which ignores all the promises and prophecies of Israel’s future earthly kingdom. None of these verses line up with church tradition as taught today in denominational churches because they have assumed Israel’s promises and Israel’s prophecies for themselves. Why can they do this so easily? Christians today don’t know why they believe what they say they believe. Christians today blindly follow the theology of their chosen denomination over the Bible rightly divided. Malachi chapter three belongs to the people TO WHOM it was written. You don’t give because you are commanded to in this chapter. In this dispensation we give because we have the privilege to and because of the grace God extended to us. This is a higher standard than 10%. God is interested in your heart. God does have an interest in your giving, and his standard in found in Paul’s epistles. You know, the books in the Bible that are specifically written to the body of Christ in this dispensation. Our motivation is God’s grace not Israel’s tithe. Your giving is a direct indicator of how thankful you are to God for his grace. How are you doing?
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul