Tradition

Outline: Illustration from the Cuna tribe of how traditional teaching changed within one generation contrasted to God's Word which is changeless. Does not condemn all tradition, but illustrates some good ones and some bad ones (revenge killing). Underlines the need for putting God's Word first to avoid being like the village which had two chiefs.

Script Number:230
Language:English
Theme:Obedience; Word of God (the Bible)
Audience:Animist; General
Style:Monolog
Genre:Analogy
Sophistication:Simple
Purpose:Pre-evangelism
Bible Quotation:Minimal
Status:Approved

Scripts are basic guidelines for translation and recording into other languages. They should be adapted as necessary to make them understandable and relevant for each different culture and language. Some terms and concepts used may need more explanation or even be replaced or omitted completely.

Script Text

Years and years ago the chiefs of the Cuna people used to teach their people to discipline their children. They would spend hours each night teaching their people through chants how to make their children behave. If they did not obey, their parents were told to hit them with a club.

Is that the way it is today? No! Today the chiefs sing in their songs that it is evil to hit your children. They say, "You should let them do what they want to do." Now that is what the people believe. They say, "This is our tradition. This is what we have always been taught." But that is not true, because some of the old people are alive and still remember how it used to really be. (use appropriate custom if you can.)

Brothers, our customs, stories and traditions are always changing. They change because we pass our teachings on by telling them to our sons, and they always forget a little bit.

When God made His laws and teachings He had them written down in a book. For many thousands of years His words have been written in a book. So we know they haven't changed. That is why we should believe what God's Word says. It doesn't change like our teachings do. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will stay forever."

Now, many of our traditions are good. They teach us how to live on these rivers. They teach us how to conquer the jungle animals and use the trees and vines. They teach us how to build our houses and help us to know what work is for the women and which is for the men. However, sometimes our traditions don't say the same thing that God teaches.

Amongst many people on the rivers south of us, tradition demanded that if a man was killed, his relatives had to kill the killer or one of his relatives. But God says that we should not kill other people for any reason, because we are all made in the image of God. When what our fathers have always done does not agree with what God teaches, we must follow what God says. If we do follow His ways, He will make us happy and give us all we need.

If we say we belong to God and continue to do things that do not please God, we are like the village that had two chiefs. While they were both ruling there was always fighting, sadness and discord. When one chief finally moved away there was peace.

Let us make God our boss and examine our way of life. If our tradition does not agree with God's way, we will change it, so we can please God.