God’s Glory and Grandma’s Traditions

He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones, and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. ~ 2 Kings 18:4

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

The bronze snake had at one time been an instrument of transformation. It healed people. Saved them from the consequences of their sin. But then the people turned it into an object of worship. And thereby ruined it and robbed it of its power.

This is the essence of traditionalism. It’s not simply holding onto Grandma’s preferences. It’s when we take things. Good things. Effective things. And we end up worshiping them instead of the God who used them for a season. And it can happen to anything.

Hymns. Or modern worship.

Live preaching. Or video preaching.

One campus. Or multiple campuses.

Sunday school. Or small groups.

None of these are bad things, but they’re also not the ultimate thing. And therefore, we shouldn’t treat them as such.

Otherwise, we run a dangerous risk. The very thing you hold up as a tool for transformation today can easily become an idol of tradition tomorrow.

And God has a way of smashing our idols. Or rendering them powerless.

Don’t get me wrong. We should never lose our appreciation or respect for the things God uses to reach people and transform their lives.

But we should also never allow them to steal God’s glory by becoming a greater object of our affections than God or the new ways He wants to work among us.

God’s glory is greater than Grandma’s traditions.

And our own as well.

~ By Steven Furtick

Anything, no matter how good or Godly it might appear to be, becomes an idol – a false god – when we are more attached to it than we are to God!

© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.


Filed under Christianity, Glory of God, God, Priorities, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

2 responses to “God’s Glory and Grandma’s Traditions

  1. Kent

    Good words today. Wasn’t it not too long ago that you attended some workshop/seminars on community/small groups/relationships? How’s all that panning out for you and the community?

    • Thanks Kent and thanks for asking about the workshop. It was a week-long School of Spiritual Direction with Larry Crabb and was one of the most life-changing experiences I’ve ever had. Not that I have it “all together” by any means but was stretched in some good ways. My relationship with my wife and kids is very different – much more open and real – largely due to me being confronted with my propensity to be an emotional island dweller. Our small Sunday School class has begun to transform in some really good ways and we are exploring a new fellowship group based on living out what I learned that week. Don’t know what will come of it but am enthused about the possibilities and trusting God for the ride. As far as it’s influence on our church as a whole (70-80 folks) it has affected my approach to preaching but changing the dynamic of larger gatherings is much different than smaller ones so still not sure where all of this will lead. If I gave you more info than you were wanting – I’m sorry. If it’s something you want to hear more about I’d love to share more with you. Emailing would likely be a better venue for that. Again, thanks for asking. Hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving!

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