The prime disinfectant to every worldly man-made tradition when it comes to Christianity is Scripture. There are ways to discern if one is importing an invented tradition into the doctrines of Scripture, some are highly noticeable, some are not. So I put a brief list together below for you to examine if you are importing a tradition, by which it is being placed ABOVE or in a primary ideology over Scripture.
1. When one imports a tradition, plain grammar is often ignored from Scripture. Words such as “never” for example are somehow neglected or just plain missed, because for the tradition to work with Scripture definitive word definitions need to change or just flat out ignored. Example would be Jesus stating in Matthew 7:23 “I never knew you” or in 1 John 2:19 “they never were with us”. An invented tradition of losing salvation for example, would need to ignore the word “never”.
2. Cherry picking verses. A noticeable importing of a tradition will invariably lead to cherry picking verse out of context in Scripture. An entire doctrine will be attempted to made out of just one verse. When if one is not importing traditions, a systematic string will be tied to several verses throughout the Bible.
3. The doctrine is nowhere to be found. When one imports their man made tradition and then is challenged to produce a teaching from Scripture, they’ll appeal to 2 Thess 2:15 most often in the attempt to claim there are traditions outside of Scripture. Problem is, Paul said in that same verse every tradition was already in practice when he wrote that verse, thus Scripture should be the test on these. Or John 21:25 where the appeal is to say that things Jesus did are not found in the Bible. This is true, however in the earlier chapter John said in 20:31 that ALL that was written was more than sufficient to practice faith.
4. Your worldview trumps Scripture’s view. An uncomfortable truth such as God’s sovereignty over salvation will prompt one to import their tradition of man being also sovereign over salvation. John 1:13 cites that salvation is “not by the will of man”, so in this when tradition gets in the way, that verse needs to be completely ignored by the one importing traditions of man.
5. Your church claims authority over or equal to God. When this is done, the person will always put their church’s teaching over God’s teaching in Scripture. The traditions of the church trump God’s doctrines in every facet. This is what I would call a cult-like indoctrination, where church leaders claim they are God on earth prompting the congregation to follow them no matter how false the teaching is.
6. God can only be God if your traditions say so. If He for example says something through His word which doesn’t fit your idea of justice, mercy, love, grace, etc., the tradition tells you to either ignore it or give God an ultimatum which is He either change that ideology, or He cannot be believed or your God.
When your traditions get in the way of the truth, you will stop learning! You are not open to any challenges to your faith which would discern truth from error. You simply block out what is being pointed out logically from Scripture and allow your traditions guide you instead.