When scripture is silent… man creates tradition.

Two or three weeks ago I found myself banned from a blog that I’ve been following for a long time and on which I’ve regularly commented.

The blog owner seems not to have liked what I said about Sabbath observance in comments on his blog. The specific issue is one I addressed here after my banning:


He continued his discussion of the Sabbath in a recent posts, writing:

How does one observe the Shabbat? The traditional answer in Hebrew Roots is that we simply do what the Torah tells us to do, but there are problems with this explanation. We have to wrestle with the reality that the Bible doesn’t specifically define exactly how one spends their time and what behaviors one engages or avoids on the Sabbath.

And this brief except again highlights the issue that led to my banning and it has little to do with the Sabbath observance and a lot to do with the observing of tradition.

I find he misses the point entirely, that the Sabbath wasn’t meant to be a burden but a blessing – it was about resting and NOT doing.

It was NOT about creating new rules, regulations and practices to fill the absence of BIBLICAL instruction. If scripture is silent, don’t complicate things or create difficulties by adding to scripture.


8 thoughts on “When scripture is silent… man creates tradition.

  1. I think it’s okay to do thing and not to do things and, either way, not harass each other or exclude each other.

  2. When we do things that become binding, stifling, or crippling – then it becomes a problem.

    When our doing of anything takes the focus off the centrality of God and the gospel of Jesus – it is an even bigger problem.

  3. I agree with your concerns; I just think we need to be careful before coming to those conclusions. And especially careful about criticizing family traditions of people who aren’t the guy we have an issue with. Additionally, I want to be very mindful of the fact people are much more commonly, and likely to be, going to get flack for say a procession of the Torah than for straight up going to work on the Sabbath.

  4. As Christians we are not supposed to have ‘guys we have issues with’. ” For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12, KJV)

    The bible says we are to follow HIM, not family or their traditions. Jesus even warned all His followers to beware of the Pharisees and Sadducees, who had made up extra rules and regulations and traditions and then added them onto the people. So He has shown us what He thinks of such ‘man traditions’. (Matthew 16:12) Our family is dealing with this very issue, so this was a much needed post for me, Onesimus. Thank you.

    In trying to discern what is of God or not, the Lord keeps telling me to check to see if it is shown in the scriptures. If it is, then that we are to do. He has told me that to add on (with man’s ‘should’s’,) for example to his Holy Festivals, is just like adding onto His Word. It is something we are not to do!

    Indeed, my kids have found that man’s traditions, especially those of pagan origins, can have tremendously big powers, (in this case they manifest as huge demons,) and can morph and gather into the very principalities that we are told to wrestle against. So yes, we need to stay clear of man’s traditions, and not make them an added on rule to follow!

    “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, KJV)

  5. Hi, DoD. The “guy we have an ssue with” (because Onesimus has this issue and then the guy banned him, so then we have an issue) is the reason Onesimus posted this topic (as he, Onesimus, explained in this thread and another similar one). We are as much as is possible (when reasonably doable) to be at peace with people; this is true. But it also seems to be the case that it is assumed a person who is okay with Sabbath traditions (and uses the “issues” word) is a trouble maker or issues person, while the person who has brought up the topic (because of issues) is not. Nothing new. Pagan holidays aren’t the same thing as the Jewish Sabbath, by the way.

    The problem with what was specifically brought up in scripture about tradition isn’t all about tradition; it is about nullifying for instance honoring if parents by doing some token thing that really benefits someone else or about accusing, people in a way that could have dire consequences, of failing to measure up (when thet aren’t actually doing something wrong).

    Also, if it was your mother’s tradition to hug her family every morning, would you say you can’t participate because Jesus didn’t specifically tell you to do it? I think that would itself be in the category of issues.

  6. Yes, the ban was removed and I was allowed to comment again.
    However, the point that I made wasn’t grasped by that blog owner.

    I have no argument with anyone who chooses to observe the Sabbath. My concern is not with Sabbath keeping, it is with the restrictions and conditions that are being ADDED to the definition of what is required in keeping the Sabbath: hence the article about the fridge light.

    When scripture has little information about what to do regarding the Sabbath, there is no need to ADD conditions to fill that absence of instruction fro mGod. Sadly the blog owner who desired to observe the Sabbath doesn’t seem to grasp the simplicity of that idea and sees a need to look beyond scripture for instruction and thereby takes on a Sabbath “burden” that effectively contravenes God’s reason for the Sabbath.

  7. I agree the way things went (including the end of the ban, but not the ending of the ban itself, the simple passing of time leading up to the ending) was not ideal and was disappointing. The immediate problem started inexplicably, shortly before this topic (thus the reaction to this subject response was missing a level of credibility — due to that fact), but I cannot get into everything and am sure you don’t want me to try.

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