Why Do We Rely on Church Tradition?

Do something stupid in church long enough and it becomes infallible, authoritative Church Tradition.



“A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” Those are the alleged words of Vladimir Lenin, one of the greatest propagandists of all time. Lenin used his propaganda skills to gain power and wield it authoritatively over a helpless people.

One would hope only blatantly evil people would use such tactics to gain power. Unfortunately, hoping this would require you to be unfamiliar with human nature.

I’m stunned by people who believe things based on “church tradition.”

I mean, seriously, have you ever been to church? Have you ever hung around one for years, knowing its intimate details and goings-on? For the love of all things beautiful and good, why would you base your beliefs on what comes out of there?!

This is especially glaring for those who emphasize Sola Scriptura, the notion that Scripture is our sole authority for life and doctrine. Sole authority. “Sole” there means something. “Sole” means the only one!

“Well yes, but Scripture is hard to understand, so we need to get help. Relying on those who came before us is a safeguard for knowing what Scripture is saying.”

So, I need 2,000 years of insane people doing insane things in the name of Christ to properly understand the Scriptures? How about the Holy Spirit? Is He enough, or do I need all kinds of dead guys?

“Well, we test what the Spirit says by seeing if He said the same thing to others in the past.”

So, the only test of whether the Spirit is teaching me is if the teaching lines up with people I have no guarantee had the Spirit?

I just don’t get this church tradition logic. I just don’t. I know all the arguments and they don’t cut it for me.

You need Scripture and the Holy Spirit. Yes, the church can help, but ONLY IF the ones in the church you are listening to actually use the Holy Spirit and the Scripture. You can’t know that for sure about dead people.

Every church has their own church tradition! If church tradition is such a good guide, why don’t you hold to every single church’s church tradition? Why is your church’s tradition better than the other church’s tradition?

Here’s the other thing, why is it that all the stuff dependent upon church tradition is so sketchily stated in Scripture? In other words, if Scripture said that teaching so clearly, why would we need church tradition to help us?

The last pastor of my church didn’t think Communion or baptism needed to be done. Soon the church believed it. It became their tradition, something they defended and were proud of. If no one had stopped that idiocy, in a thousand years, this insane belief would have had a rigorous church tradition behind it.

The tenacity used in defending an institution is amazing. If people fought the fight of faith with the same tenacity, wow, Christianity would rock. But instead we spend it on defending our tradition and our institutions. Notice all the verses in the Gospels where Jesus condemns the Pharisees for adhering to their tradition rather than God’s Word. At no point did Jesus Christ say, “Hey, you know all those insane people in Israel’s past? Yeah, you need them to understand what I’m telling you.”

Church tradition and propaganda are basically the same thing. Your church is insane. You know it; you’ve seen it with your own eyes. It doesn’t take long for bad teaching to overtake a group of people. Small Group leader’s faces are popping into your head right now, aren’t they!?

Do not let a church’s preferences become guiding authority. End stupid church traditions and promote biblical faith.



Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
–Mark 7:13


4 thoughts on “Why Do We Rely on Church Tradition?

  1. I love your blog.
    And completely agree with you about the day-to-day reality of church. Lovable as it is, despite all that.
    Having said that, I suppose you can imagine what I’m going to say next.
    So – what WOULD you say to the suggestion that the Scriptura itself is a product of Church Tradition? At least partly, anyway.


      1. I understand what you’re saying, I just have never bought into the idea when it has been presented to me that the church decided on the canon by vote rather than on evidence within the text itself. However, I will admit I have no idea why Song of Solomon is in there!

        Liked by 1 person

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