By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

Tradition and Traditions

A lot of stuff I read talks about 'Tradition' as if it is a univserally understood concept - for example the four-fold idea of 'Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience.'  But what is it?

Is it shorthand for 'Creeds and Canon Law', in which case the Baptist assertion that we don't do tradition has some basis?  Or is it a more woolly term that embraces 'the way we do things around here' in which case Baptists are the prime example of lots of it.  The classic of course being the one Baptist tradition is we don't do Tradition.

This is not just idle speculation, or even a bit of mischievious fun, it does seem that the word either gets used carelessly or everyone else understands better than I do what its referent is.

The most common comment I encounter in the real world of church (if that is not an oxymoron) is that you must never do anything twice or it becomes a tradition, i.e. something that has to happen long after anyone remembers why it is done.  Breaking with tradition is fraught with danger and woe betide the minister who suggests that my congregation abandon the dire doggerel and tortured tunes of a Victorian farmer philanthropist who once was in membership here.

I think perhaps there is a distinction to be drawn between 'Tradition' and 'traditions' but quite where that may be I do not know.  In the meantime, I am preparing to encounter the ire of some folk when we have a 'cafe style' service on Mothering Sunday and no 'cult of maternity' celebration at all.

The comments are closed.