Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, ‘Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!’ Jesus replied, ‘And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? (Matthew 15:1-3)
In his book, Pagan Christianity, Frank Viola noted that many traditions found in churches today have little biblical basis. Moreover, there are many traditions that do have a biblical basis which we no longer practice for various reasons. Think about it. I am sure you can think of many examples for yourself.
Now, unlike Frank, I do not see the incorporation of new traditions and the neglect of old traditions as always problematic. I think we should be open to reframing non-Christian traditions around Christ for the sake of clear communication of the good news. This is what is meant by critical contextualisation. And this too has a biblical basis.
But, like Frank, I think it is problematic when our traditions get in the way of loving God and loving everyone else. That’s when we have a God given mandate to break religious tradition. What are some religious traditions you think get in the way of God today?