“[Your] teachings are but rules taught by men. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.” (Mark 7:7–8, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Tradition. An established, or customary pattern of thought, action, behavior or belief. I suppose the argument from the world would be that Evangelical Christians are the ones holding on to tradition. That we are the ones who “have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness.” (Matthew 23:23a, NIV 1984). Straining out gnats, while swallowing camels.
Perhaps we could be a bit more charitable to our critics. We certainly do not want to be guilty of becoming 21st century Pharisees. But “the commands of God” are not “rules taught by men.” We cannot set them aside or substitute them with what really are “rules taught by men.” There is an awful lot of that going on these days. Not just in the world, but also within the Church. We must “[practice] the latter [justice, mercy and faithfulness], without neglecting the former [thou shalt nots].” (Matthew 23:23b, NIV 1984).
My Advice – We cannot gain people for the Kingdom by letting “go of the commands of God.” Whether by setting them aside or by substituting a more “user friendly” Gospel, which is really “no Gospel at all.” It this is what we do to “win a single convert, when he becomes one, [we] make him twice as much a son of hell as [we] are.” (Matthew 23:15, NIV 1984). Let’s not be guilty of that. We must “speak the truth in love.” Diluting the truth is not love. Christ died because we broke “the commands of God,” not so we could go on breaking them.