The Glorious Church


In a previous post, we presented the idea that the proof of being apostolic was not in our doctrine or structure, but it was obediently going and doing what we have been sent to do. The challenge we face is that in many (if not most) believers lives and churches we are not going. Now I understand there are always exceptions and there are churches and believers out there who are being apostolic. However, as a whole we are not accomplishing the great commission. So the question begs to be asked: “Why are we not being apostolic?”

Reviewing the early church, it is clearly seen that the apostles walked in a miracle producing authority. They performed the miraculous, and the Lord confirmed their preaching by signs and wonders. This miraculous demonstration of apostolic authority in the daily lives of the first believers was so powerful and convincing that cities were stirred to riots because of its affect, and a reverential fear or awe of God was produced with many souls being converted.

In the Christianity of today, we find that many of man’s ideas have become a hindrance to the operation of the Spirit, limiting the church’s ability to operate in apostolic authority. Jesus said, “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men,” (Mark 7:7-8). Jesus further spoke of the result of holding the traditions of man in verse 13, “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered:” According to Thayer’s “Making of none effect”is one word and it means “deprive of force and authority.”

The greatest hindrance to apostolic authority that is faced in this day and age, is the tradition of men and the resulting structure of traditional churches. Traditions create a biased paradigm that is used to filter scripture. This tainted view of scripture affects the individual’s faith and ability to walk in apostolic authority. Centuries of man’s tradition have created an organization that is far from the original apostolic church.

In the New Testament, the Greek word paradosis is translated as tradition 13 times, 11 times in a negative context and the two times it is used positive it must have a qualifying statement to make it positive. According to Thayer’s it means: “a giving over, giving up. 1. the act of giving up, the surrender: 2. a giving over which is done by word of mouth or in writing.” Most online English dictionaries that I have looked at include for the modern word tradition a component of a “handing down or over.”

According to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary; tradition’s etymology is Middle English tradicioun, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French tradition, from Latin tradition-, tradition and is the action of handing over. It is from the same root word as treason. (emphasis added)

Once again, according to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary; the etymology of treason is Middle English tresoun, from Old French traison, from Latin tradition-, traditio act of handing over, from tradere to hand over, betray. (emphasis added).

It should be a shocking revelation to us that tradition and treason have the same etymology. They mean a handing over of something. So we see the significance of tradition is that it can be considered a treason of beliefs or values that were once held by individuals or a group. In respect to the traditional church, we see that there has been a surrendering, a giving up or handing over of the power of God, as demonstrated through apostolic authority. This treasonous act has been a replacing of the commandments and power of God for the traditions of men. This is truly making the commands of God none affect.

In the next post I will present for discussion some areas of traditions that I believe are hindering us from being a true apostolic church. I encourage you to write me - agree, disagree, give more examples.

Till next time---
Martin Schmaltz, D.C.

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Comment by Nathan Miller on March 25, 2009 at 8:40am
Hi Martin,

Great post, and great book. I have noticed the exact thing you have written about here many, many times before. It really is a different paradigm as you describe. The structural paradigm I equate somewhat to doctrinal truth as well, as I'll try to explain in a moment, but I think it is also very different. Years ago, while having grown up in church, I had not heard of Oneness believers and simply assumed that all Christians had a trinitarian concept of God. Any contradictions I simply relegated to the "it's not understandable" category that trinitarians inevitably fall back on. (Re)discovering the Oneness of God and who Jesus is was very much a new paradigm for me. Once the truth of baptism was revealed there was no going back to see things in the same way again. In some ways, one could say that all truth is a bit like this. It is a turning on of the light, a revelation of what is and has been there all along. However, the structural paradigm is, I think, a bit different. It's a way of saying that the Kingdom of God is not the same as the natural kingdom or the kingdom of this world. We simply cannot build what is spiritual with what is natural. And man's methods cannot bring about God's results. The scriptures are replete with illustrations of this. Yet to enter into this realization does require a removing of the veil of tradition as you so accurately point out. And once the veil is removed, should it be put back on? God forbid! Pagan religious traditions and philosophy threw a shroud upon the truth of the church. Truth was held captive, like you mentioned--not all at once, and not totally, but enough to hold a host of people in bondage.

Now, bit by bit, truth has been restored and we are even seeing the restoration of a more biblical structure. May we learn to walk in apostolic authority!
Comment by Martin Schmaltz on March 5, 2009 at 7:09pm
Bro. Micheal,
thanks. I have more detailed info in the book; Apostolic Authority, Every Believer's Privilege. Also, in the greek, this word is derived from another word that is used 121x in NT. that means to handover, take into captivity. 100x it is used in regards to taking something captive. Sooooo.... the end result of tradition is a captivity.
Comment by Michael V. Frazier on March 5, 2009 at 6:19pm
More source info (for what it may be worth):

c.1380, from O.Fr. tradicion (1292), from L. traditionem (nom. traditio) "delivery, surrender, a handing down," from traditus, pp. of tradere "deliver, hand over," from trans- "over" + dare "to give". The word is a doublet of treason (q.v.). The notion in the modern sense of the word is of things "handed down" from generation to generation. - The Online Etymology Dictionary
Comment by Donnie Gillum on March 3, 2009 at 12:28pm
Brother, you're spot on...kain't wayt fer yer neckst post!

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