You know, one of the biggest enemies of the [collective] Christian Church is man-made traditions. Although well-intentioned, these rituals can be rooted in works and fleshly attempts to please God. This is nothing new…check out Colossians 2!
I grew up in a time of “can’ts” and “don’ts”. I was taught more about what I could not do than what I could do as a Christian. It was bondage. It was the “letter of the law” at it’s worst. But praise be to God, many Christians have discovered the liberty of serving Him and are not imprisoned by the need to “work” their way to the heart of God.
Wanna know a secret? It will get me in trouble with the “religious” folks…but here it goes: the truth of the matter is that no matter what you do, what you wear or how many times you go to church…you cannot please God on actions alone. You must take advantage of His invitation to grace by way of Jesus Christ. Speaking of Jesus, He wasn’t a big “tradition” person either – study the gospels.
So, it doesn’t matter what you DO (or don’t do), it’s all about repentance – turning from your sin and allowing God to conform you into the image of His Son. It’s a process – sometimes a really difficult one, but the benefits are liberating and eternal.
In the end, I respect the need for traditions. But remember, our harvest is is the “lost”. They need Jesus so miserably and often the biggest barrier is US; Christians stuck in the bondage of tradition – what to wear; what to say; how to act. May our need for tradition never hinder the lost from coming to church- or worse- coming to the Lord.
Again, our traditions should be reverenced to some degree, but do not allow them to put you into bondage or spiritual confinement. God is too big for that and you’re too blessed for that!