Our Trip to India – TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN
Its been little over a week since we got back from our trip to South India. During our two week stay we met a lot nice sweet people who live in terrible bondage. What do I mean by “terrible bondage” Well you see the people we met in India live by the traditions handed down to them. These traditions include men and women never touching in public, men and women never sitting together in public, women wearing a sari whenever leaving the house, the cast system (a system by which you are born to a certain status in society), arranged marriages, the family of a daughter getting married paying a dowry to the husbands family (you don’t want a lot of girls if you are Indian). These are just a few of the traditions that the Indian people we met live by. As American we have our traditions that we live by. Privacy, not showing up to someone’s house expectantly, boys and girls dating, public displays of affection, the weekend for entertainment, driving everywhere, shopping malls, lots of church buildings, watching TV. Traditions in and of themselves are not necessarily wrong so what makes a tradition evil?
Matt.15:6-9 he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:
8 ‘BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.
9 ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,
TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’”
As an American in India it was fairly easy to spot some of the “precepts of men” that were being taught as Doctrines of God – but seeing the same thing in America is a little bit harder. In India one of the Pastors was rewarding some of the older women in the church because of the scarred knees that they had – the scarred knees were a sign of their dedication to God in prayer – this is obviously a “precept of men” who think that God wants you to suffer while speaking Him. One pastor, during the cold winter in the north had taken a blanket form an elderly gentleman that he was discipling. He told the disciple “You should only need the Fire of the Holy Spirit to keep you warm” the older man’s son begged for the blanket from the pastor but the pastor refused saying “We need men who are dedicated and on fire for the Lord.” This old disciple died the following week from illness. “All we need is the fire of the Holy Spirit” – Doctrine of God or precept of man?
The American Dream is to have a good job, own a nice house, have a nice car and a wife or husband and maybe 2 children one boy and one girl. This is American Tradition but is it “The Doctrine of God or precept of man?” The foundation of our nation is build upon a document called “The Declaration of Independence”. And we are a very independent people but is our independent culture invalidating the word of God for the sake of our tradition. As Christians we say we are “One in the bond of love” but do we really live this reality out. If I read about the early church I read about Oneness not just in word but in action – they shared everything they had with each other. Our culture calls that kind of life-style a cult. Is our American independent, capitalistic culture, Christian? Or is it a precept of man that is opposed to the very nature of God? I know many Christians who link Republican with Christian – Is the Republican platform a precept of man or the doctrine of God, not just parts of it, all of it, remember that a little leaven leavens the whole lump.
In India it was easy to see Traditions that were against God because I was coming for a different tradition but the challenge for me is to see the equally harmful traditions that are right here at home. I don’t want to be one that Isaiah was talking about when he says: ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’”