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The traditions or the faith.

When I am talking about tradition, I am not talking about that which is handed down to us by the apostles, for all scripture is god inspired, and worthy for teaching, reproof and correction. That is good. Instead I am talking about the traditions that mean that the word of God is stifled.

Those who do not consider that the word of God matters. Those who accuse us: who see taking scripture as authority as wrong, when instead we should be dealing with the traditions of the times. The tradition of the Pharisees related to rituals and observable purity. It reminded the Jews that they were special, unique, and these actions were taught as the source of righteousness.

But the hypocrisy nauseated the people. The walked away. They are walking away. This may be considered, of course, a feature, not a bug, by those who push tradition, and worship their man-made rules.

Matthew 15:1-20

1Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.” 3He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ 5But you say that whoever tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God,’ then that person need not honor the father. 6So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void the word of God. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said: 8‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; 9in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.'”

10Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand: 11it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” 12Then the disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” 13He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.” 15But Peter said to him, “Explain this parable to us.” 16Then he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? 18But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. 19For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. 20These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”

Our hearts are desperately wicked. None of us fully understands the depravity that is within. What we do know is sufficient to damn us. We all need Christ: indeed if we were able to make our way to God by keeping the law and following regulations then Christ did not need to be nailed on the cross.

Those who hate the gospel project their hatred, their pain, their shame onto us. Unless we join them, in celebrating sin, and converge with the narrative of degeneration.

Yes degeneration. When people who are creative such as Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdian suicide — despite fame, riches, and comfort (and yes, Pat McGorry is right, both had issues: Bourdian wrote well of his struggle. I looked at the timeline for Pat on Twitter, and found that one of the Dutch Royals as also succumbed. Depression and addiction are rife. The fruits of this time are noxious to all.

When traditions get in the way of the gospel, choose the gospel. Ignore those who clutch their pearls, and say that you hate this group or that. Often the accusers do not belong to the group they say you are offending: they are using them as a flag to attack you. (If anyone thinks that the progressives care for the homosexually orientated: the insults they gave Chris Findlayson, a previous attorney general, were noxious, hateful and toxic. Findlayson — who I disagree with politically — is a staunch Catholic. They hated him for that, regardless of the work he did that they approved of.

The elite will make new traditions, new sins, new offenses. They will contradict the gospel.

Ignore them. Choose Christ.

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