Polyventure Publications

TRADITIONS OF MEN

 by Carl Mease

"They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.  You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”  And He said to them:  “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!" Mark 7:7-9.  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. - COLOSSIANS 2:8

The subject of the traditions of men is well covered on the internet with literally millions of entries on the subject.  The subject matter covers everything from holidays, orders of worship, church discipline, and even Catholic links defending tradition over scripture.  Most sites are pretty specific, but the most comprehensive site I found was http://www.lostkeysrevelation.com/effects.html.  Obviously I have not been able to research all the sites, but the lost keys site would seem to cover more than most people have even considered tradition (I don’t necessarily agree with all written, just that it covers so much). 

I bring up the extensiveness of coverage, because to date I have been unable to find a website which covers a particular Roman Catholic tradition not even covered in the great days of “sola scriptura” of the reformation.  Yet this totally unscriptural tradition of ‘just war”, or for that matter Christians joining the military at all, has gone relatively unchallenged.  The best concise writeup I’ve seen is in Alvin Carpenter’s book From Missionary to Mercenary , which can be found on the Polyventure Publication website.  The entire book is excellent, but chapter two, The Just War Theory and its Fallacies, is the concise explanation I’m talking about.  I also have a section on pages 36-41 in my booklet, God and Country from a Christian Perspective on the subject, which can be read free in the Freeread section of the Polyventure Publications website.  Or read an excellent article by John Howard Yoder on our Just War page.

 

If the average pastor would speak out against the “just war tradition” from the pulpit today, it just may be his last sermon in that church.  Of course this would also be a result of other traditions, such as being hired and paid by local church leaders.  The bottom line is; going to and/or promoting physical war is diametrically opposed to all New Testament teaching.  “Christians” only started joining the military after the time of Constantine combining church and state.  It was not until 100 years later in the early 5th century that Augustine adapted the pagan practice into the “Christian tradition”.  The other Catholic traditions which Augustine taught have rightfully been rejected by most groups, i.e. conversion by force to Catholic doctrine, Purgatory, intercession of departed saints, salvation only through the Roman Catholic Church, and more.  These traditions have rightfully been rejected, but not the unscriptural “just war tradition”. 

 

Just War is a tradition of death, which is not even found in the Old Testament.  The Old Testament wars which were under God’s direction were not “just” by definition, they were acts of obedience to the Lord God which He spoke through His messengers.  The Lord Jesus has the last word, and He commands us to bless those who persecute us, etc.  Yet with the multiple thousands of websites purporting “sola scriptura”, where can condemnation of this ungodly tradition be found?  There are long dissertations on how water baptism is not necessary for salvation, BUT your salvation is somewhat in question if you do not go through this “first act of obedience”.  On the other hand a follower of Christ is somehow excused from the acts of obedience of loving neighbor, enemy, and those who persecute, IF the cause is declared “just” by a secular authority.

 

True revival will not come to America as long as the American Church continues to place the “just war tradition” above the scriptures; for surely this is “thus invalidating the Word of God by your tradition which you have handed down...” Mark 7:13.

 

 

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