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TITLE: 2 Inches off the ham

TEXT: Ephesians 3:17-21; Mark 7:5-13

PROPOSITION: God offers us far more choices than we seek.


KEY WORD: Choices




1. Story of newlyweds - she cut 2" off of a ham and threw it away - Why? - Mother always did.  Ask mother - He mother did and always had good ham.  Ask grandmother - pan too small.

2. Dangers in tradition.

               a. Doctrine does not change - methods do!

               b. When locked in - do not grow.

               c. Make void plain teachings to keep tradition.

3. Preacher returned from a meeting - "Greatest meeting ever." - No additions; two subtractions.

4. Sad truth - some churches will not grow until:

               a. They have some funerals - OR:

               b. Some traditions DIE!


I. Custom

               A. New idea (program, area of work) is introduced

               B. Minor adjustments to make it work better.

               C. "This is the best, most expedient way to do it."

                              This is what the church should be doing.

                              Do the best we can.  Use the best methods.

                              Don't throw away the old - because it is old.



               D. It becomes "THE WAY."

               E. It is no longer a custom, but tradition.

               F. New ways are rejected.  Old ways are held with reverence.  Any attempt to change is met with opposition.


II. Do we have any customs that have become tradition?

               A. Yes!

                              1. Order of service - 3 songs and a prayer.

                              2. Communion - when and how done.

                              3. Closing song - stand

                              4. Closing prayer - not dismissed until the prayer

                              5. Gospel meeting

                              6. Aud. class - only reason they still exist is for those who have always been there and are afraid that if they were in a class they might learn something

                              7. How to appoint additional leadership

                              8. Bus Ministry became "THE" way to reach others

                              9. Wednesday night Bible Study

                              10. Ending a prayer with "In Jesus name"

                              11. Statement to say at a baptism.


III. Watch for when one crosses the line.

               A. Custom - NO PROBLEM!

               B. Tradition - SIN!


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