Thursday, May 24, 2012

Don't Be Too Quick To Abandon Traditions

While it may be debatable as to whether or not it is a good thing, it is undeniable that we are in the midst of an age when many within the Church have deemed it either wise or expedient to abandon much of the Church's heritage and many of her traditions.  Trevin Wax has some good observations dealing with this fact in a great blog post originally posted in 2007, and re-posted at his blog this morning. Early on, he makes a concession:
Before we go on, we must admit – yes, our Christian traditions can become dry and lifeless. In many churches, they are ritualistic and cold. Most of the time, though, rigor mortis sets in when traditions are not understood or explained. When rituals become dry and empty of significance, the answer is not to throw them out, but to rediscover their purpose.
This extends not only to the shape of our liturgy and the parts that make up a worship service. It includes even the language we use. Wax points out the eschewing within the church of such theological terms as "justification," "redemption" and "propitiation," in an effort to be "seeker-friendly."
Christian leaders cop out by dismissing such terminology because “the lost don’t understand.” The greater danger is “the saved don’t understand.” If our preachers, teachers and writers would reconnect the church with the depth and majesty of the theological terms so many want to throw away, perhaps the cry against hard words would fall silent.
Words are more than just definitions in a lexicon. They remind us who we are – citizens of God’s Kingdom.
Click here to read the whole post.

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