3-28-15 “Do You Have Defiled Traditions?” – Pastor Shane Idleman

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Do You Have Defiled Traditions?


READ Matt. 15

1.     SCRIBES wrote it, the Pharisees taught it – often overlapped.

2.     TRADITION – the word does not occur in the OT – That which is handed down – a teacher to his disciple.

Their Traditions were overriding the Word of God

3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?


MAN MADE rules:

  1. God says, “Do not esteem one person better than another; love the poor and humble in heart”- tradition says, “You must wear a suit and tie.”
  2. God says, “Worship Me in the beauty of holiness; wait on Me”; tradition says, “Hurry, we’re on a tight schedule – 1 song, announcements, 3 songs and a brief tantalizing sermon.”
  3. God says, “I desire mercy and humility during worship”; tradition says, “This contemporary music is not worship.”
  4. God says, “Unity is your greatest asset, and humility will guide you”; tradition says, “We’ve never done that before; the church where I came from did it this way.”


Our minor preferences turn into major conflicts – the majority of division comes from majoring in minors: “Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.”



Application: the context is Giving

4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— 6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.


*Disclaimer: MacArthur, Hayford, Robert Morris, James MacDonald

“I don’t want to teach on giving because of perception, but I have to teach on it because of deception – deception in this area leads to deception in other areas.” Unknown Author


1.     If you’re not putting God first in this area you’re not putting him first in other areas.

  • These religious leaders showed their heart…God was not in it.


2.     “The Church just wants my money.” No, God just wants your heart – it’s the best gauge of spiritual maturity.

  • I don’t trust the leadership – do you trust God?
  • “Not greedy” is a qualification for leadership. How Do You Know if Someone is Not Greedy?


3.     We make rules that benefit us

  • I will give to God what makes me look good and what is manageable.
  • We say, “I give in other ways.” Which is really just an excuse…


People making $100k or $150k often drop in a few hundred, or a $20 now and then.



4.     You’re not really giving to God, it’s already His.

  • On my birthday, my kids wrap things that are already mine.


In the same way that we are not under the Sabbath, we are not under the tithe. But does that mean that there are not benefits from the Sabbath?

  • I’m passionate about giving because it unlocks your heart and opens the heart of God.


*Givers have the heart of God – they experience the favor of God – they’re filled with the Spirit of God.


You have made the commandment of God of no effect by your RULES and REGULATIONS and JUSTIFICATIONS.


5.     We confuse ‘HAVE TO’ with ‘WANT TO’: “I don’t have to give.”

The concept of the first fruits is clear in Scripture – to give God our best.

And it shouldn’t be – I’m going to GIVE so I GET A LARGE RETURN!


THINK THIS THROUGH: We often say, “The Bible doesn’t teach first fruits or tithing in the New Testament,” as if God would punish us or be displeased if we gave more.

a] Giving to Him should come first. Those who don’t give often say, “I can’t afford to give.”

b] Lifestyle changes will need to take place in order to put God first – to get the heart right. We took 10% off the top then factored in a car and house payment.

c] 10% is a burden to some, but for most, its far too little.


8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me…


The scariest thing about DEFILED TRADITIONS is that many are not saved and they think they are because they go through the motions; they follow the traditions of Christianity and say the right things.


12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”

  • Truth, by its very nature, offends – Annoyed, Angry, and Resentful over what is said.


Today’s Battle is about being offended.

  • It’s actually love and compassion that prompts us to share the truth. “Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people.” Jeremiah 9:1 NIV


The god that doesn’t offend is not the God of the Bible. The true God crushes hypocrisy, removes pride, exposes lies, and kills sin. He hurts to help.


If it’s about HATE why do I feel love in my heart? If it’s about BIGOTRY why do I want all people to be saved.


IF THERE IS TIME: “If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation, it must be by other means than any now being used. If the Church in the second half of this century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half, there must appear a new type of preacher. The proper, ruler-of-the-synagogue type will never do. Neither will the priestly type of man who carries out his duties, takes his pay and asks no questions, nor the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the Christian religion acceptable to everyone. All these have been tried and found wanting.”

“Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many), he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce, and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom. Such a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt-spoken and a little bit angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the One and the salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath.” [A.W. Tozer; The Size of the Soul, 128-129.]


  • To Speak the Truth in love we will offend our traditions and beliefs not anchored in Scripture.


Let the excuses end tonight: [Clear the Stage] “Shine the light on every corner of your life / Until the pride and lust and lies are in the open / Then read the word and put to test the things you’ve heard / Until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken / ‘Cause you can sing all you want to And still get it wrong; worship is more than a song’.”​