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Question #4: What’s the importance of church traditions for the believer? How much should we know of where we, as the Church, have come from, our history?

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I think church tradition and church history are both very important subjects for Christians to think about and learn from. It has been said that “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it”, and I think there is a lot of truth to that statement. When we delve into this subject, we find that there are many points in history where the church did not faithfully represent Christ, such as the history of racism in this country, or any instance of killing in the name of Christ. On the other hand, there is a lot from our history that we can cherish and learn from, such as the Apostle’s Creed, or men of God such as Martin Luther and John Calvin who have changed and shaped the church as we know it.

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It is important to remember that we should not be governed by church tradition; instead, we need to be governed by Scripture alone. We use Scripture as our objective standard that we make decisions by and live by, not church tradition or history. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

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With that said, it is nice to know that we do have church history to look back on when we face issues in the church today. In other words, we don’t need to start from scratch and “reinvent the wheel”, because most of the issues the church deals with today have been dealt with at one time or another in the history of the church.

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Lastly, it is encouraging to look back through the history of the church and see how God has preserved it through the ages, just as He said He would in Matthew 16:18 when Jesus said to Peter, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

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~Scott

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