7 Traditions Denominations Will Not Give Up
Denominations are man made organizations that try to force the way they see things in the Word on those that belong to them. They have come into existence because of the world system that we live in. The Church of God is a living organism, not an organization. But to function in the world, we are forced to adopt some of the worldly procedures. This has led to the church becoming like another business or club. In many cases we have taken principles in the Word and twisted them to suit our organization.
1st Tradition -- Paying of Tithes
2nd Tradition -- Church Membership
3rd Tradition -- Emphasis on Church Meetings
4th Tradition -- Compulsory Education Or Bible School Training for Ministers
5th Tradition -- Statements Of Faith
6th Tradition -- The Pastor As A Super Hero
7th Tradition -- Church Buildings
Paying Of Tithes
The subject of tithing has caused a lot of conflict in the Church. It is stressed by most church organizations and public ministries, largely because they all need finance to operate. So rather than look to God as their source, they do their best to bring God's people under bondage to the Old Testament practice of tithing. The New Testament teaches a far better way, and we will be explaining it in detail here. But first let's see why tithing does not apply to the New Testament Church. Read New Testament Tithing article.
Membership of an organization does not come from the Scriptures, but is a result of trying to make the Church another worldly organization. It is an attempt to force people to subject themselves to rules and regulations that do not come from the Word, but from the leaders of the organizations. We will see what the Scriptures say about this.
Emphasis On Church Meetings
One of the Scriptures most used by preachers is Hebrews 10:25
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching."
This is largely because preachers want people to come and listen to them, fill the pews, and pay their dues. If they cannot offer anything to draw people to the meetings, then they use this as a way of making them feel guilty for not attending church. But this is only one passage amongst many that teach more important activities we should be doing as believers. We will consider all of them and see what the Scriptures teach.
Compulsory Education Or Bible School Training for Ministers
The standard preparation for ministry these days is a period of education at a Bible Seminary or other educational institution. A person is not considered qualified to preach the Word until he has some qualification behind him. But what was the pattern in Bible times? This is another worldly principle that has crept into the church. We will be looking at the leadership ministries in the Church and God's pattern for training them.
Statements Of Faith
Because of the many different doctrinal viewpoints there are today, most organizations have put together a summary of what they believe, which they call their 'Statement of Faith.' This is just a way of showing that they are different to other organizations and emphasizes the teachings that they have decided to make their hobby-horse. A statement of faith is therefore nothing more than one group's interpretation of Scripture. But what is the Scriptural pattern? We will see what the Bible says about this.
The Pastor As A Super Hero
Since the minister of the church has attended a training institution, has a qualification behind him, and has been given credentials by his organization, he is set up in a position that places him a cut above the rest. He is to be revered, called by his title (usually 'Pastor') and is the final authority in the church. The Scripture teaches very clearly what it is that gives a man authority and how he should be treated by those whom he leads. We will consider exactly how leadership in the church should be set up and how such leaders should function.
Have you noticed that one of the first things a congregation does when it grows in size, is to start making plans for a church building. This building then becomes the "Church" and we refer to a church by where its buildings are - The Church at the corner of Main Street and First Avenue. But the early church were not like this at all. We will see what God's order is for church buildings.