All of the 'tradition stuff', 'liturgical worship stuff', 'historical art forms' rituals, set prayers etc.. as you put it.. are all religious activities....they are the exact things that hinder people from seeing the truth of Christ.. Its simply idolatry. They are traditions of men. Not traditions of God. These ritualistic, or religious, vain, activities - I hate. And, as far as the bible is concerned, Christ hates also. Whats worse is they are practiced in His name.
Really? God hates traditions. That's interesting since most of the traditions we have, were given to us by scripture.
How we decorate our Temple is inspired by how Solomon decorated his, with God's approval (from 1 Kings 6):
1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.
11 Then the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying: 12 “Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David. 13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.”
23 Inside the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high. 24 One wing of the cherub was five cubits, and the other wing of the cherub five cubits: ten cubits from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other. 25 And the other cherub was ten cubits; both cherubim were of the same size and shape. 26 The height of one cherub was ten cubits, and so was the other cherub. 27 Then he set the cherubim inside the inner room;[f] and they stretched out the wings of the cherubim so that the wing of the one touched one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall. And their wings touched each other in the middle of the room. 28 Also he overlaid the cherubim with gold.
So now in addition to cherubim in our Temple, we also have icons of the saints and icons of events from the Bible. (Christ's Nativity, baptism, resurrection, etc.)
All of our sacraments come from scripture:
The Eucharist: John 6:55-57
, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17
, 1 Corinthians 11:23-29
Baptism: Matthew 28:19
, John 3:3-6
Ordination: Acts 6:1-7
As I'm sure you're aware, the priests in the Old Testament also had vestments. So do ours. Now, you may say, "Well that's all well and good, but that's the Old Testament. We are followers of the New."
After the Holy Spirit had annointed the 12 Apostles, where did they go? To the Temple. They did not abandon the Liturgical traditions or style of worship that had been handed to them.
Acts 3:46-47 states, "So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church[h] daily those who were being saved."
The Orthodox, Catholic, and Anglican Churches did not invent Liturgical worship. We borrowed that from our Jewish forefathers in faith. If you go to any Jewish synagogue on a Saturday, you will see them using Liturgical worship.
Likewise, the Apostle Paul commands us to keep the traditions that have been handed down to us:
"Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you." 1 Corinthians 11:2
"But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle." 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15
The Bible as a full canon text (not just a bunch of seperate Gospels) was not put together until the Council of Carthage in 397 and 419. That is almost a full 400 years after the ascension of Christ!
So how did Christians (who mostly were illiterate) learn the Good News? Through the Liturgy. Through the traditions of the Church.
If you read the Liturgy line by line, you will see that all of it is from scripture. Not just the New Testament, but the Old Testament as well.
We do not have icons just because we are big fans of pretty pictures. The icons are a visual Gospel. The are a catechism for all to see. Remember, even after the Bible canon was established, the Gutenberg printing press would not be available until around 1440. That means books were both expensive and difficult to publish. Thus, most people could not own a copy of the Bible, and even if they could, most of the population remained illiterate.
I challenge you to name any of our traditions that are contrary to scripture. Every single one of our beliefs is consistent with Biblical practice and teaching. This is not theology that has been formulated out of frustration with Church hierarchy, or thought of by an uneducated individual who suddenly thought the Holy Spirit was talking to them one night. Our beliefs have been examined and tested over the years. The last time we made a proclamation on Church doctrine was the 8th Century.
Tell me, what was your church doing in the 8th Century?
I find it interesting that many Protestants reject any association with the Early Church Fathers or Church tradition, yet they gladly accept the belief in the Trinity, the Virgin birth, and the Christological nature of Christ.
Who do you think formalized all of these beliefs? Where do you think they all came from?
The word "Trinity" doesn't even appear in the Bible!
It was through the Church councils (the same Church who's religion you "hate") that established all of this!
The Bible didn't give us the Church: the Church gave us the Bible!
These listed above, also hinder us as Christians from being set apart from false religions such as islam, hinduism, scientology, JW's and any others you can think of.
Wrong. It is the same Church, the same Church councils that put together the Bible canon, the Council of Nicea, and all of the Ecumenical Councils that established the doctrine that seperates us from these false religions.
What do you think these councils were established for? To determine whether donuts or danishes should be served at coffee hour?
They were established to renounce heresy.
Read your Church History.
St. Nicholas of Myra, commonly confused with Coca-Cola's invention of Santa Claus, was not just a benevolent Bishop who liked to give gifts to the poor. He also quite literally fought heresy. At the Council of Nicea, Arius was teaching that Jesus was subordinate to God the Father, not co-eternal. St. Nicholas literally punched Arius out (and later repented) because he was so outraged that Arius would proclaim such nonsense!
Fortunately, the Council declared Arianism a heresy.
(To show how dangerous Arianism is, Islam is based off of Arius's teachings. So yes, the Council did distinguish us from Islam, thank you very much.)
You are showing your ignorance on Church History and the beliefs of other religions to think that our Liturgy and Traditions do NOT seperate us from other faiths. It shows how little you know of what we believe and practice, and how little you know of what others believe and practice.
For others to make the same mistake is not the fault of the Church; it is the responsibility of the individual.
People in the world can't pick the difference. And thats because there is none..
Christ is Truth. He does not need these things mentioned above. Much to your disagreement I'm sure, but thats truth. Nothing can change that.
You realize how contradictory your statements are?
You say there is no differance in world religions, then you say Christ is truth.
Well, my dear, I hate to inform you of this, but not all world religions believe Christ to be the truth, so that would indicate that there are some differances among us.
I challenge you to read up on your Church History, and then come back and re-read your statements.
You will see how false they are.