December 2, 2019
An Ecumenical Tradition?
Colossians 2:8 (KJB) Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Advent and Lent are two types of holiday celebrations becoming more and more popularly celebrated this time of year. Can these festivities be found in the Word of God, and are these meant for all of us to celebrate? These are good questions to ponder since more and more candle lighting and practices of Advent are taking place in this world and among many modern church congregations across our land.
Ask yourself, is this practice biblical, and does it bring honor and glory to God; or merely point to dearly traditions of long ago?
We must steer clear of basing our decision about this on our opinion, feelings, the state of our affairs, or emotions but instead, we must focus solely upon what the Word of God has to say. At best, Advent is an Ecumenical tradition widely incorporated into modern-day churches. Observing it is a somewhat awkward holiday act of worship for Gentiles in incorporating a joyful wait for the return of Christ for Bible-believing churches. This celebration, in the more immediate past; (rather than looking at biblical-based ancient times), is most often related to, or on par with Catholic belief, as their members participate with hope in both the holiday season and in the future return of Christ.
Waiting for Christ’s Return is never comparable to a person standing in the wrong, slow checkout line, or waiting past the appointment time for a doctor’s appointment, or in miles of stopped traffic. Undoubtedly, you also detest waiting in such modern time-wasting scenarios. Waiting for any particular reason is certainly not a popular pastime today. Therefore, many are looking for things of God to happen as the work of a “spiritual genie in a bottle,” happening quickly and with a “woooosh” effect.
However, spiritual waiting is never measured by days, and hours for God is never limited or boxed by time or circumstance.
The acknowledgment of this tradition in the Christmas season serves as a good reminder for each of us that Christ will certainly return to this earth, but only He knows when.
Regarding the truth of this promise, waiting for Jesus Christ’s imminent return cannot be pared down to or “boxed” into a celebration season or holiday. Outwardly it may seem as if there is no harm in any professing Christian celebrating Advent. After all, it ties into the Gospel of Christ, it speaks of His birth in this world and to His imminent return. However, do modern Advent observances represent the hope and a waiting period tied to traditions, and contemporary thinking of man or stand in agreement with the Word of God?
You must answer this question with your convictions rooted in God’s Word by studying and applying valuable doctrinal lessons; each of us can find inside the Word of God and personally apply it our life.
Principles practiced in the wayward Catholic belief system throughout time, have not gained traction in other biblical-based belief sets. However, with the onset of a modern, more universal church system, perhaps these practices are made more fun and appealing to modern congregations. I choose not to follow these traditions in my celebration of God and the virgin birth of His Only Son Jesus Christ in this world.
Many Christians and churches try to foster the expectation of the coming of Christ through celebrating seasons and in observing certain traditions. However, looking to the future is perhaps best promoted by reading and knowing scripture and applying God’s timeless truths inspired of God and written for our learning in His Word, which begins and ends with God in His timing and incorporates His deity.