Chapter 42: Tradition

July 14, 2007

Well, it’s been a while. Like most things I do, this too is less scheduled then I had planned. That’s what life is like inside myself I suppose, but I my heart gets back around even if my attention flags. I’ve read quite far ahead and have to catch up. Thanks for reading anyhow.

This chapter title makes me think of Fiddler on the Roof–only this one is real. What strikes me is the tendency to exult our own ideas. I was doing just that in my head today in Sabbath School–wishing I could say just the right words so that everyone could see things as clearly as I do. Modern day pharisee in me?

“As before, the ground of complaint was His disregard of the traditional precepts that encumbered the law of God. These were professedly designed to guard the observance of the law, but they were regarded as more sacred then the law itself. When they came in collision with the commandments given from Sinai, preference was given to the rabbinical precepts.” DA415

First of all, it can’t be done. No behavioral hedge is thick enough to guard any person who’s natural design is to break the law.

“Jesus explained that defilement comes not from without, but from within. Purity and impurity pertain to the soul. It is the evil deed, the evil word, the evil thought, the transgression of the law of God, not he neglect of external, man-made ceremonies, that defile a man.” DA418

The solution is extreme–the natural design must be destroyed in man through death. It’s the only way, and the direction I must follow. It’s a scary plan, one that we didn’t learn well in Sabbath School and boarding academy. But it’s easier to put in place man’s systems of control.

What can we do until we get it? I wouldn’t be comfortable giving up my attempt to lawful outward behavior on days my natural self insists on living, and I haven’t yet been converted to the point that self never kicks and screams (like today in Sabbath School), but I won’t give up the search for further change. This inner reality is out there. Have you found it? It is not something tradition can work for you.

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