Kathy — Matt. 15:2 (GW) “Why do your disciples break the traditions of our ancestors? They do not wash their hands before they eat.” In reply, could we ask: why is a priority shift considered intolerable? Why do you make “change” rebellion? Precept upon precept is not preference upon preference nor tradition upon tradition. Sound doctrine does not equal changeless traditions.
May our Lord’s mercy, Word and Spirit remove scales from our eyes. “Scales were representative of Saul’s ignorance… and unbelief.” (Gill) How do “scales” form? They come from past paradigms, from traditions of our environment, opinions, and personal preferences. Persons of significance whom we have given place in our lives, in our development may, in their views, expressions, and theology be instrumental in helping to form the ignorance and unbelief that prevents our seeing readily and clearly the truths of the Kingdom of God. It takes the Holy Spirit to enable us to realize that those blocking, hindering scales are actually there and are actually preventing our seeing even Scriptural truths. (Acts 9:18, NKJV) ”Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.” And, may I add, Paul then became a powerful instrument in advancing the Kingdom of God—as vehemently as he had opposed it.
May God enhance our abilities, talents and skills for His Kingdom, for income, for ministry—to be more effective. Ex 36:2 “Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab along with all whom GOD had gifted with the ability to work skillfully with their hands. The MEN WERE EAGER to get started and ENGAGE IN THE WORK.” The success of these men was not the simple fact that God had given them skills but that they were available and willing to apply them.
Paul called those enslaving, preventative mindsets “beggarly elements” (Gal.4:9). It was not even the fact that those institutions and traditions, in and of themselves, were so evil. It was that they had such little value that they were not worth clinging to. The “clinging to” meant a rejection of those possibilities from the heavenly viewpoint. Clinging to one precludes clinging to the other. Connecting to one causes disconnection from the other.
(This is the twelfth excerpt from Marty’s article “Operator, Operator, I’ve Been Disconnected!” which was published in Volume 11 Issue 5 of their ministry magazine SEEC Magazine. Excerpts will be posted Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.)
Gates And Traditions (by Kathy Gabler)
Probably the hardest place to build a gate is in our traditional, established views of scripture, and unfortunately we could die on our own sword trying to defend our traditional beliefs simply because the letter of the law kills. It is rather ironic that the letter of the law is so strong yet vulnerable to something as simple as a typo or language or culture or new revelation. However, the spirit of the law, or the truth that is right and unchangeable in it, is not threatened by new gates to fuller understanding. For instance, the scripture says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” The spirit of that law boils down to not deliberately deceiving and manipulating information against someone for your own purposes. However, our traditions have added to the letter of that law that we must tell everything we know at all times. Not lying does not equal spilling all truth to all people. Even “honesty is the best policy” is best approached with caution because sometimes SILENCE is the best policy. (There are men who have learned that it is better to be silent than express their honest opinion of what that dress looks like on their wife.)
New Gates (by Kathy Gabler)
Our traditions can be excess baggage that we have to unpack for the journey through a new gate. We need to unpack passionless pieces and old seasons and expired obediences, those acts that were once a mandate but lost their effectualness as times and circumstances changed. Israel had many parameters for sacrifice. They were all teaching-tools and types to anticipate and understand the coming Messiah. All their animal sacrifices were blood that was shed for an exemplary nation until the Christ would come to shed His blood for all mankind. An expired obedience would be to continue the ceremony after the type had been fulfilled. That translates in our day as expired legalisms that want to impose on us the traditions of men instead of the freedom of Christ, like trying to breed a red heifer or build another temple or enforce religious calendar activities again. When God provides a gate, expired goals won’t fit through it.