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Are You Really THAT Traditional?

I wrestled with the title for this article…I really did. “New Wineskins and Handtowels”…”You Don’t REALLY Like Hymn’s…DO You?” … the list went on and on. I just decided to be blunt. This is about traditions and customs. It is going to ruffle feathers and get some people atop their soap boxes…but I’ve gotten used to that by now. What I don’t hope for is confrontation…what I sincerely hope for is open earnest thought processes. To begin my dialogue…I have to go way back to a good friend of mine named Rebekkah Webber.

Man…I can laugh at Rebekkah’s wit sometimes. She is a talented writer – and spent one day months back taking the time to rant about hand towels in the bathroom. You know the sort. Those towels. The guest towels that you can’t use – and the ones that the “guests” they are meant for are afraid to use because they think they are for decoration only. Why? Why put them out to begin with? Here’s a thought…you do it because your parents probably did it. It is tradition. It seemed like the thing to do…so you did it.

…sometimes I get the feeling that we’ve got some “guest towels” in worship. No…don’t start the hate mail just yet…listen. Give me a fighting chance. I think there are lots of services that are stuck doing “traditional services” because of…well…tradition alone. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing profoundly wrong with holding to traditions…except for when they may limit what the tradition is trying to hold in the first place.

Most people aren’t really that traditional in their choice of worship music to begin with – they have just become programmed to think they are. I’ve seen Church of Christ congregations that believe staunchly that no musical instrument should be used at all to praise God save a voice – yet will use DC Talk and Steven Curtis Chapman CD’s to inspire the youth. Churches rooted in deep southern hymns that haven’t changed since the 1800’s and are shocked by anything that occurs in the church past 1960 finds congregants buying Chris Tomlin and Matt Maher…why?

The answer is this…they aren’t opposed to the songs – they welcome them and know their value in worship. They’ve just gotten to used to leaving the “guest towels” in the bathroom to collect dust mites and allowed their manner of worship to become a “tradition”.

Traditions aren’t anything new to deal with. Jesus even talked about them in Matthew 9 when the Pharisees asked Jesus why He and His disciples were not fasting.

During this next week – we are going to take a look at this passage and dig deep into where Jesus was taking the Pharisees mentally. Bridegroom? Patching garments? Wineskins? We’ll bring it all together – but read it over…and pray through it and see what God reveals to you through His Word as we begin the week.

Yes, I’ll welcome the comments that are bound to come…just make me a commitment that you will at least take down your guest towels before you do!

Getting out of a worship rut (Part 2)