During His earthly ministry, Jesus was continually accused of sin by the religious party of the Pharisees for speaking the truth and for showing mercy and compassion on sinners in obedience to God‘s commandments but sometimes transgressing the man-made applications and traditions of the elders.
It is for this reason that Jesus said to them: “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:7-9).
Today, too, there are those who elevate human traditions to the point where they get in the way of preaching Christ crucified and offering the comfort and assurance of the Gospel to sinners. Instead of being satisfied to preach Christ and the clear teaching of His Word, they make up rule after rule as to how one should worship and serve Christ and partake of His benefits.
When this occurs, we must hold fast to Jesus and his Word and not submit to man-made rules and traditions, as though they somehow are required of us or make us more acceptable to God.
The only way to be acceptable to God is through faith in Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the world. And, the only way for our worship to be acceptable to God is through faith in Jesus.
It is for this reason that our congregation is no longer affiliated with a diocese or synod, nor do we burden ourselves with man-made rites and traditions which merit us nothing before God. We desire to keep our focus on Christ and his life-giving Word and not on the traditions of men.