Every denomination or religious tradition has its doctrinal peculiarities.  Not only may these be unique to the religious tradition in question, but they are often thought of as strange to outsiders.  Usually these doctrinal peculiarities are based on some Biblical text, but they either distort that text, fail to read it in light of other texts, or overemphasize it to the point that it becomes a distortion.  And yet, people who were raised in that tradition not only accept it as true, but will work up all the intellectual muster they can in defense of it.  While they manage to convince themselves with their reasons, they often fail to convince most others.

We need to be on guard that we do not become so intent on protecting all the teachings/traditions of our own particular religious tradition, that we will come up with, and actually settle for subpar arguments in their favor.  Are there things we believe and argue for simply because they are part of our religious tradition – things we would not believe if we were raised in a different tradition, and would not be persuaded of if presented with the same evidence that we use to justify the teaching/tradition?

Sometimes I ask myself of certain teachings/traditions, “If I was not raised as a Oneness Pentecostal, and was freshly converted to Christianity, would I think this teaching/tradition was clearly taught in Scripture?  Would I be persuaded by the evidence that I am offering others in defense of this teaching/tradition?”  Sometimes the answer is yes, and sometimes the answer is no.  While it is painful to come to the conclusion that your religious tradition is mistaken on some point or points, intellectual honesty and true Christianity requires that be more interested in the truth than in justifying our religious heritage.

Truth is a leader, not a follower.  We ought to accept where it leads us, rather than protest when it brings us down an unexpected path – and God forbid that we ignore it.  Truth is more valuable than tradition; truth is more valuable than fellowship; truth is more valuable than approval; truth is more valuable than ego; truth is more valuable than reputation; truth is more valuable than winning arguments; truth is more valuable than being right.  Truth is valuable simply because it is true.  Let us be seekers of the truth.