Thursday, December 09, 2010

Protestant Traditions Not Found In The Bible

I'm revisiting this from a while ago, so I'm posting the following again.  This should include comments as well.

Here is a list of Protestant traditions that I don't remember finding in the bible. I may be mistaken about some of these, and these are off the top of my head, in no particular order other than the order that I thought them in, so if I have goofed up this list, please let me know! I'm not suggesting any of these things are wrong in and of themselves. It's simply a list. [Update: Please add, subtract, comment or correct. I'd love to hear your input. I'd like to keep this running as long as anybody is interested. Any additions of my own or from your comments I'll add in red type.]

  • Sunday School
  • The pulpit
  • Preaching of the gospel in church - isn't every example in the NT of preaching the gospel outside of the church and to unbelievers?
  • Bringing people to church to hear the gospel
  • Grape juice used for Lord's Supper instead of wine
  • Christmas
  • Church buildings
  • Stained glass
  • The Sunday meeting being called a "worship service"
  • Choir
  • Tithing to the church instead of in ministry to others
  • Sunday meeting of the church without a meal
  • Sunday meeting of the church without Lord's supper being part of that meal
  • "Personal quiet time"
  • A Sunday church meeting without considering how to stimulate one another to love, or how to stimulate one another to good deeds, or the encouraging of one another.
  • Bringing your own bible to church
  • Pews
  • Giving a personal testimony at a baptism
  • Church bulletins
  • Ushers in the church meeting
  • Dressing up for church
  • Congregational voting

27 comments:

  1. I love it! Thanks. Will post this over at Islam and Christianity.

    And this one: bringing your own bible.

    AD

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  2. Pews come to mind. I never do get used to sitting in them.

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  3. I confess that I like to draw fire when I refer to this list as being unscriptural, which means scripture is silent about them. That silence neither forbids nor allows -- it's just silence. My twig of the Christian tree loves to make doctrine based on silence -- it is always prohibitive -- except, of course for those silences we ignore and do anyway.

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  4. How about "going to church"... rather than BEING the Church. And the new testament Church met in HOMES....

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  5. How about having a "personal" Lord and Savior?

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  6. Judy & VF, thanks for the comments. I regard your comments as theological concepts of Protestantism, but I'm trying to figure how they relate to a practice that, when repeated, could be called tradition. Yes, we talk about "going to church," but I'm thinking about the vehicle (so to speak) for such a thing, as in how one goes to church, or the act of going. Make sense?

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  7. Adding the doxology "For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever, amen" to the Lord's prayer. I find that one amusing because I used to wonder why it was that Catholics "removed" that part from the Lord's prayer.

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    1. The answers to this is easily discovered. The compilation of writings that circulated among the many (Catholic) churches of the 1st few centuries, were copied, some translations included the ending and some did not. Even in the Gospels they differed from one to another. The Church (again, Catholics) do not forbid it's use. It is just repeated elsewhere in the liturgy so that bit is covered in our mass. The thing that should concern you is the absence of the real presence. The lie that led to the removal of it, it one of the worst tragedies of the reformation.

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  8. Wedding rings, honeymoons, age group specific ministries (like seniors or college), voting for church leadership, bulletins, ushers?, dressing up, stigmatized clapping. I don't know if any of those are in the Bible. They might be guided by Bible-ideas, but I've never read anything that specifically states it.

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  9. Judy, I'm adding "going to church." See my followup post.

    Jonathan, the inclusion of the doxology in the Lord's prayer is actually a question of whether that passage was in the original Scriptures. Apparently, some early manuscripts don't include this phrase, so various versions of the prayer don't include it either.

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  10. Jeef,

    You indeed are an experienced observer of Protestantism. I'm adding some of yours.

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  11. To me the key issue is not whether they are found in the Bible, but to what extent to they lead or detract saints from doing what the Bible does say.
    Example: To what extent does it lead or detract saints from gathering to "spur one another on to love and good works" and "encourage one another". Heb. 10:24,25.

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    1. As long as you are not using real spurs!!!!!

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  12. Love the list...it's where tradition meets a false reality (ie: this is what church and faith is). Truth is, most if this stuff is what church people use to make a organizational ethos.

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  13. One person - pastor- doing ALL the preaching.
    (In the New Testament, the believers took turns sharing their testimony with each other.)

    The pastor having to be ordained, and a graduate of seminary school.

    The communion wafer, being in the shape of the sun. (I've found this in some of the protestant services.) In the New Testament, it was often a form of bread that is now often called 'Matzos' - the kind the Jews used for celebrating passover. It was pierced, and had stripes.

    Celebrating Easter. Easter morning sunrise service.
    (In the New Testament Easter was a pagan celebration, honoring pagan gods.)


    The use of wax candles, instead of olive oil lamps.

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  14. The page has so many crosses. The greek translation for cross was originally a pole. The cross is a pagan symbol. Crucifixion came from the Latin translations. The greek text says impalement.

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  15. [ The Fellowship of the Believers ] "They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer" (Acts 2:42). This is a good list of things that the early Christians did do. Apostles' teaching (preaching), fellowship (meeting together), breaking of bread (communion), Prayer (praying).

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  16. In this video at the 42 minute mark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqaMWTZSq-8

    A study shows that children are less likely to remain (or become, however you look at it) a Christian as an adult if they when to Sunday School and church than those who just attended church services.

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  17. "Sinner's Prayer"/"asking Jesus into your heart"

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    1. Clay,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, yours is a biggie. I don't come from a "free will" background so I'm not as exposed to this as many Christians, but I'm plenty aware of what it is. Definitely not found in the bible.

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    2. Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. how does one call? could call speaking to God or calling on Him as prayer?

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  18. I am quite sure that I can find, in the Bible, the whole list. I always am amazed whenever anyone states, "No where in the Bible will you find blah, blah, blah...", because then I smell a challenge. But, what gets me is the legalistic aspect of it all. For example, since the words Sunday School isn't in the Bible, then the conclusion for some is that Sunday School is of the devil, and therefore should not be practiced. That is preposterous. Anything that is not of faith is a sin. Another example. If meat is indeed sacrificed to idols, the ONLY WAY that it is a sin, is if you have knowledge that it was sacrificed to idols. If you have no knowledge, it is not a sin. The Apostle Paul states, in the KJV, "Conscience, not thine own, but of the other, why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience?" All things are lawful, but not all things are expedient. Is Sunday School unlawful? Is Sunday School expedient? One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. So, let those who celebrate Easter do so, without throwing a guilt trip about pagan gods, because those who celebrate Easter are doing so unto the Lord, and have no regard for any pagan god. Legalism is a bad thing.

    Colossians 2:20-22 (KJV)
    20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

    Men tell people NOT to do something. The doctrines of men.

    Ed

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    1. Ed, thanks for your comment. This wasn't meant as a challenge, but simply to point out that with all Protestantism's issues with Roman Catholic traditions, Protestants cannot complain about "tradition" because Protestantism has its own list of them. And I provided a growing list of them.

      Like I said earlier, there is nothing inherently wrong with these things. But let's not condemn another denomination for having the same things we practice.

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  19. You may also include Sunday Worship, Christmas, Easter, New Year's day and all other "days" not found in the Bible but found in the church...

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    1. Welcome, Benhur, and thank you for the comment. Observed days certainly fit my list of Protestant traditions not found in the bible! I know a number of Christians that don't celebrate any of these days, but most I know do.

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  20. Pulpit is covered in Nehemiah 8:4

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  21. Where is "Alter Call" mentioned in the bible?

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