Superstition Ain’t the Way Pt. 2


One of the things that has always bothered me is religious bigotry.  Denominationalism.  Dogma. Separatism.  Christian mythology.  Christian Mysticism.  Tradition for tradition’s sake. So much ‘whodo’ mixed into the Gospel that the untrained eye can’t tell whether the things they do were based on a good idea or a God idea.  It upsets me…the things that are perpetrated and perpetuated in God’s name that He had nothing to do with.  These are the things that complicate man’s relationship with God.  These are the things that make God so hard to understand.

I once heard this story told.  I don’t know if it was based on any one person’s account or if it actually happened at all.  Not that it matters anyway, you know I’m going to paraphrase it to death anyway…

This family of three sisters, Gerri, Carla and Kristen, got together for a huge holiday dinner.  Everyone was in the kitchen, pitching in, preparing the meal and table settings. Gerri, the oldest sister was getting the roast ready for the oven and was just about to cut it in half to put it into two medium sized roasting pans.  Carla’s daughter, Grace asked her, “Aunt Gerri, why are you cutting that roast in half?  Wouldn’t it just make more sense to use the bigger pot in the pantry to cook it all at once?”

“No, baby,” Jerry replied, “That’s the way I’ve always done it.  That’s how your grandmother did it.  She learned how from her mother.”

“But why did she do it that way?”

“I’m not quite sure. I don’t know if anybody knows.”

Kristen chimed in. “Wait a minute!  I think I remember Great-Aunt Gracie talking about that when we stayed with her for summer vacation that one year.  I know she wasn’t up to coming into town this year, but maybe if we call her, she might still remember.”

So they gather around in the Living room and get Great-Aunt-Gracie on the speaker phone and let the family spokesperson, Kristen, do all the talking.

“Aunt Gracie, Mom always cut the roast in half and cooked it in roasting pans.  That’s the way you and Grand-mom did it, too, right?”

“Great-Aunt Gracie was a woman of few words.  “Yep. Sure did.”

“That’s how Great-Grandma June taught you right?”

“M-hmm. That’s right.”

“Aunt Gracie…WHY did Grandma June do it that way?  Was it to help it cook faster?  Did it help make the roast more tender?”

“Nope. She did it because we couldn’t afford a big enough roaster. And when Momma died, YOUR momma got the roasters because she had your papa and you three girls to cook for and I only had Great Uncle Henry.”

So often, traditions are born out of some form of necessity, or to create some sort of boundaries to enforce some kind of stability.  And once those boundaries are clearly established, no one understands their value, the tradition becomes stifling and inhibits growth and creativity and incites rebellion. And very often, that rebellion establishes new tradition instead of a constant pursuit of TRUTH.

It’s the same problem Israel had on the way out of Egypt.  They had gotten so used to the things they had to eat and drink and endure in Goshen, the price of freedom was too foreign for them.  It scared them to have new boundaries around them.  It took them 40 years to learn to follow a cloud of pillar by day and a pillar of fire by night.  They complained so much about wanting to go back to leaks and onions that an entire generation of LIBERATED SLAVES died without ever tasting the milk and honey that was only 11 days journey away. Why?  Because they were still enslaved by HABIT and glorified TRADITION.  Isn’t it interesting what you can become accustomed to?

What kind of ism, schism and whodo rut have you fallen into that is keeping YOU out of your destiny? Whose habits and rituals are inhibiting your pursuit of the truth about God?

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