Take-away #4 from Chuck Swindoll

“Tradition is the living faith of those dead passed down.  Traditionalism is the dead faith of those still living.”

(Yes, another one from Chuck Swindoll!  I have one more from him, as he is such a well of wisdom!)

My thoughts:

  • I think too many people buck tradition because it is tradition and no other reason.  I used to work for a pastor that said,  “tradition is good, if it is good tradition.”
  • I also think too many people hold on to tradition just because it is tradition.  Not all tradition is good.  Just because it was done does not mean it should still be done.
  • When your focus is on Jesus, and helping people take steps towards Jesus, you will hold on to some tradition.  Even if you are a progressive, contemporary church, you will still have some tradition, and you will create your own tradition.  That is not a bad thing.
  • The difference between tradition and traditionalism is where it lies in your worship.
  • Tradition is good when it is used as part of your worship.  Traditionalism is taking tradition and making it the object of your worship.
  • Is does not matter if you use hymns or contemporary music, whether you dress in a suit and tie or wear blue jeans; both extremes can be a focus of traditionalism.
  • The key: Keep your eyes on Jesus and be who God called you to be.  Realize that there are differences.  Learn to celebrate the differences and be glad that those differences allow us to reach different people. And remember, God is the focus of our worship.
  • Use tradition to worship Him, but do not let it become the focus or our worship and turn in to traditionalism.