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  • Love and Liberty

Tradition Is Not Infallible

No person, church, or denomination should claim to have reached the end of the journey when it comes to learning about and understanding God. While we must take care not to be “blown around by every wind of doctrine”, we must also constantly test the teachings we have heard for biblical accuracy, knowing that the evil one has labored to sow errors into the teachings of the church since the time of the apostles. Christian people throughout church history have grappled with various theological concepts and have moved beyond erroneous doctrines that have been considered "traditional" to a fuller and deeper understanding of who God is and what kind of God he is. Tradition should not be considered infallible. Some have abandoned the faith because of preachers and churches that have falsely portrayed God as uncaring and unfair. Many continue in the church, but they do so in a state of confusion because of the mental tensions created by doctrines that are contrary to reason.

Our allegiance should be with the Lord Jesus Christ, not specific denominational doctrines or a theological label. There are godly people in the various Christian denominations in the world (true Christian denominations - those that confess the deity of Christ), however, the exclusivism of denominationalism often discourages people from searching the scriptures to find the truth, and instead, it frequently results in people searching the scriptures for defenses of what they have learned from their denomination, church, or pastor, even though an alternate interpretation may be the more biblically consistent view.

I believe we should value personal freedom and orderly participation in the local church. Those who submit to Jesus Christ as Lord and seek to obey him are brothers and sisters in the Lord, and their involvement in the ministry of the church is valuable, even if they hold to different doctrinal interpretations in other areas. Sometimes the interpretations of the Lord’s followers change as they step more fully into the light of God’s Word, and in fact, some of the great servants of the past have testified of this in their experience. God’s truths are absolute, and doctrine matters, but that does not mean that all traditional interpretations are error-free. We must be merciful toward one another, and we must humbly give each other the freedom to express our thoughts to one another in the church so we can seek God’s light together.

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