Jesus criticized the Pharisees for their traditions, because they often invalidated the Word of God. For example, a man didn’t have to honor his father and mother of he pledged the support he would have given them to God. For teachings like this Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, saying “for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God” (Matthew 15:6 ESV).
Traditions aren’t necessarily bad. There are some beautiful hymns in the hymn book. The marriage ceremony has evolved into something deeply spiritual and scriptural over the years. But tradition is not the word of God and cannot be confused with scriptural standards of faith.
Time and time again, tradition has impaired the worship of God. Fueds have developed over song choices. New Christians have been confused and discouraged by old English translations. Change has been rejected because we want to do things the way they have always been done. We tolerate more traditionally “acceptable” sins while often rejecting those struggling with sins we consider “more severe.” When difficulties arise, we tell people that they don’t have enough faith.
Are your traditions impairing your walk with God? Are they turning others away from the faith? Are they hindering Kingdom growth? It’s time to clean house and change whatever is harming your own faith walk or the faith walk of others- even if it may be a tradition that you so love. It’s time to break the chains.