Denominational Preference Should Never Supersede Doctrinal Faithfulness

I do believe it’s tenable for a denominational tradition to be doctrinally faithful. For Paul clearly said in 2 Thessalonians 2:15, “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.” Thus, the traditions of the Judeo-Christian worldview do play a vital role for interpreting Scripture.

However, they do not take the primary role. Denominational preferences or traditions should be superseded if they violate the clarity of Scripture. This means there are doctrines, most notably salvation, that are so clear from the reading of God’s word, that to violate it’s objectivity in favor of keeping a denominational tradition is tantamount to unorthodoxy.

The most notable example is Matthew 15:1, where the Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” Jesus answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?”

Clearly, the law of Moses never mentioned that washing hands before a meal was necessary to keep oneself clean. It was introduced into the Babylonian Talmud and over time became wrongly equated with God’s law.

In conclusion, I am not anti-denomination. I am only suggesting denominations should be open minded to changing their doctrinal views if it is found, after careful investigation of their “statement of faith”, to be opposed to the clarity of Scripture.

I realize all denominations, including those who are non-denominational, fall into a set of theological presuppositions. That’s okay, as long as the church does not replace the word of God with a doctrinal creed. And I believe this is clearly articulated in Paul’s letter to Timothy: “All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.”

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