The cult of Mary and non-traditional tradition...
In the comments under "Scriptura--solo or sola..." Jack writes: "Instead of getting hung up on the word 'tradition,' I have thought of it as the collective understanding of Christ's church throughout history. For example, one of the reasons I have always rejected dispensationalism (both its views on the church and its end-times speculations) is that it is a novel doctrine that just found its way into the church in the 19th century. Why was it never clear to anyone before then, including in the early church fathers? ...Would be interested in your comments."
Jack, I agree. I've thought the same thoughts about dispensationalism and many other aberrant doctrines--where were they for two thousand years? But this is the conceit of the Roman Catholics, that Protestants were nowhere for two thousand years. It's only a conceit. Read Calvin, for instance, and it's clear the reformers see a very long line of continuity between themselves and prior centuries, right back to the Apostles. Indicative of this are the frequent citations of other church leaders through the ages including Augustine, Bernard, and many early church fathers. The reformers use church fathers as well as Scripture in opposing Roman Catholic heterodoxies and heresies.
Reformed Protestants don't buy the Roman Catholic argument about tradition for more than one reason: yes, because we see it undercutting the final authority of Scripture by placing tradition on a level with God Himself; but also, because we don't really see Roman Catholic tradition as holding to historic Christianity as much as it does, so often, simply protect the syncretism of the masses and the perquisites of the pope and his cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and priests. The cult of Mary is one obvious example where syncretism has been blessed by church tradition with a legitimacy it never had in the Early Church and should never have been given later.
Personally, I believe that reformed men who have left Christianity behind and entered the Roman Catholic church defend the cult of Mary with such vehemence precisely because of their bad conscience on this matter. But of course that's just speculation and I could never prove it.
Think of it: millions across the world and time worship the mother of our Lord but it can't be condemned. Why?...
Because the Roman Catholic church nullifies the Word of God for the sake of her traditions. So instead of coming up with some category known as "corban," they wrap themselves up in Nicaea's 'Latria' and 'Dulia', or Aquinas' 'hyperdulia'. And having done so, they cop the posture of incredulity that the rest of us don't simply respond, "Oh! Now I get it! How dense could I be?"
Meanwhile, those who have eyes that see and ears that hear know that the worship, the Latria, the adoration of Mary vies with the worship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for primacy within the Roman Catholic church across the world.
Typical of Roman Catholic doctrine on this matter is this statement: "This is the heart of Catholics devotion to Mary. She was, through her faith and obedience, the cause of our salvation. Therefore, Mary proclaimed to Elizabeth: 'For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.'" - Luke 1:48
As always, here we're not dealing with different interpretations of Scripture, but with the plain meaning of Scripture being twisted to fit the fertility cultish syncretism of the masses. Away with this idolatry! (Yes, I did write that.)
And away with all the apparatus that continues to prop it up such that it may continue to lead souls to hell--souls who follow traditions that nullify the Word of God! Do we love these souls? Then we must warn them.