Sometimes I think it would have been useful to have a dollar for every time I've heard the excuse, " I don't do things that way!", or, "We've never done it that way before!". Mind you, most who say those deadly phrases truly think they are mouthing a legitimate reason.
We are all creatures of habit to one degree or another, some more so than others.
There was a lady in a congregation I was privileged to minister to as pastor (I'd rather say elder), who always came in the door of the building in which we met ( it was designated 'the church') ten minutes late. She was ten minutes late, punctually! Every Sunday she would grasp my hand and apologise. One day I said to her, "Phyllis! Why don't you leave home fifteen minutes earlier?"
She looked at me with wide eyed surprise, and said,"I never thought of that!"
During the ensuing years, as I ministered to people in other places, I often thought of those words in connection with how those different groups functioned. I often asked the question, especially of elders and deacons, "Why do you do things the way you do?" Their responses were invariably ones which related strongly to habit, ritual, formalism and tradition, both locally and denominationally developed.
When questioned as to the justification for what was regarded as normal, the answer was that it was Biblical. As you can imagine there were some fairly unusual references given in this regard.
Those many years ago, when I first entered, so-called "full-time" ministry, I looked into why people resist necessary change. I can't remember the source, but some of the results of a study stuck firmly in my mind: 16% of people accept change for the sake of change, 16% of people will change when persuaded that it is necessary, at the other end of the scale 16% would not accept change, even if it meant the destruction of the group to which they belonged.
Obviously, if a Christian group, the first are in dire peril, but less obviously, if they don't have a reality check, so are the latter.
Isn't it true, and I am generalizing, that, like the lady mentioned earlier, we don't really think about what we do as a Christian group, nor why we do what we do?
Why do we think what we do for an hour on Sunday is really worship? Why not what we do every day of our life?
And please don't answer with, "The Pastor said...."! And, I am, deliberately, being provocative!