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The Tradition of Men

Beware lest anyone captivate you through philosophy and vain deceit, in the tradition of men and the elementary principles of the world, and not after Christ. -Colossians 2:8 (MEV)

Quite often, in his later years, I would hear my Dad warn about the following the "traditions of men" in response to something that usually was some sort of crazy religious doctrine or practice he heard about. It seems like maybe he was on to something! Quite often, religious ritual and doctrine can serve to take us away from God rather than draw us closer as originally intended. I am often reminded that Jesus did not come to give me a new religion, but rather to offer me a way to have a relationship with God our Father through Him.

So is religion bad? Not necessarily, if it is true religion. So what is true religion? There is an adequate explanation of that in the book of James: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. -James 1:27 (NIV)

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