"Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 'Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!'

"Jesus replied, 'And WHY DO YOU BREAK THE COMMAND OF GOD FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR TRADITION? . . .  you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! ISAIAH was right when he PROPHESIED ABOUT YOU:

 ' " 'These people honor me with their lips,
      but their hearts are far from me.
 They worship me in vain;
      their teachings are but rules taught by men
[Isaiah 29:13]." '

"Jesus called the crowd to him and said, 'Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him "unclean." '

"Then the disciples came to him and asked, 'Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?'

"He replied, 'Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.... Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man "unclean." For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man "unclean"; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him "unclean." ' "

-- Testimony of Matthew, the tax collector (Matthew 15:1-20, NIV)


"Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, the living Stonerejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. FOR IN SCRIPTURE IT SAYS: 

   'See, I lay a stone in Zion,
      a chosen and precious cornerstone,
   and the one who trusts in him
      will never be put to shame
[Isaiah 28:16].' "

-- Testimony of Peter, Jesus' disciple (1 Peter 2:1-6, NIV)

Some "traditions of man" that divide followers of Christ: belief in the infallibility of the Pope, baptism and communion etiquette, sovereign authority of some pastors, priests and elders, social and political heirarchy, unquestioning trust in human teachings. Follow Jesus, not men.  -- PY