Is there a place for church traditions? Yes, but they must be weighed against the teaching of the Bible. We know that "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Romans 2:23. Peter was rebuked by Paul for his sin. The teachings of men are dangerous if left unchecked against God's book. Purgatory is a perfect example of the church adding to and contradicting God's Word. The New Catholic Encyclopedia states that purgatory cannot be found in the Bible. Yet, the teaching essentially says that Christ has not finished the work of salvation on the cross. We must personally suffer. However, while he is hanging on that cruel cross, where he received God's wrath for all of humanities sin, he professes that it is finished. It's either finished, or we need to go to purgatory. It can't be both. I put my faith in the words of my Lord and Savior, not it the teaching of fallen men.We have handled the Tradition topic here and more generally here.
Intereting tidbit, some of Jesus last words were "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which is being interpreted My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?" Mark 15:34b Jesus is quoting scripture, Psalm 22, which if you read it, will give you goosebumps. The Bible is unlike any other book in the way prophesy is fulfilled. It is God's Word to us.
Just because the catholic church teaches something, doesn't mean it is wrong (I agree with you on perverted forms of sexual expression in marriage. The Bible speaks very clearly of what the union is to be - procreative.) I do believe that we should be like the Bereans who were called noble because they searched the scriptures daily to see if what Paul was teaching was so (Acts 17:11).
Also, smoking is not a fundamental of Christianity, but the Bible teaches that our bodies are the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16). Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, an unhealty lifestyle, etc. are all hurting the temple of God. No book (the bible, catechism, quaran, watchtower magazine) can cover every single situation that you're faced with - that's where the Holy Spirit convicts us.
Elena, as well as other bloggers, have been very gracious in taking the time to answer my questions - I know how hard that is with all the blessed responsibilities of keeping the home...er...homemaking :) I am thankful for the dialogue and prayerfully submit this post in hopes that it stands for the teachings of Christ Jesus, my Lord.
Let me close with this... God's gift of salvation is a free one but it does require trusting in Christ, and Christ alone.