Bible Bites

Bible Bites

Tradition or Truth?

“And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.” (Galatians 5:3)

            Circumcision was THE issue in the early church, and congregations left and right were plagued by the potential for division over this issue.  Why?  Simply put – it is was an issue of authority and precedent.

            Circumcision was an Old Testament Jewish commandment, and it was a requirement for a Jew, but when Christ came, He instituted a new law – Christ’s law – found in the New Testament.  Which law were they supposed to follow?  If circumcision was accepted as necessary, they needed to take the rest of the stuff, too.  Animal sacrifice, Sabbath keeping, festivals, temple, priest system, etc. were all required as well… they didn’t get to cherry-pick; it was all or nothing.

            So where is the application for us today?  Circumcision isn’t really a debated topic anymore because everyone has accepted it is an individual choice and not a doctrinal obligation.  But there are other things we are tempted to bind on people today.  Human traditions have constantly been a struggle for God’s people – we must be careful to discern the difference between individual judgment and the issues of doctrinal truth which are universal.  Unity in Christ requires us to make careful examination between issues of Scripture (right and wrong) and preference.  Church unity can be shattered by our preferences being treated like necessities just as much as Scriptural necessities being treated like preferences.

            Let’s make sure that in matters of truth we stand unflinchingly and in matters of preference we show constant flexibility to meet the needs of each generation.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites