Monday, July 14, 2008

Nadab and Abihu

One of the most powerful arguments that I believed growing up in the Church of Christ was about Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10). These two gentlemen, the argument goes, added to God's worship. They did this by using incense that God did not tell them to use (unauthorized, as many translations have it). Now, according to this argument, they were punished for adding to worship in a matter where God had previously been silent. Thus, if you add instruments to your worship services (as they claim everyone did long after the Church was established), you are doing something not authorized by God, thus non-pleasing to him and can be punished severely for it (hell anyone?). All this is a very strong case that God is very displeased when you try to worship him in a way that he did not command. Note the strength of this argument is not trying to tell you that you can't do something against God's command, but rather that you are doing something that he was silent on, and therefore are in the wrong.

Again, a strong argument. That is, until you read Exodus 30:9. This law was given to Israel before the story of Nadab and Abihu takes place. It says "You shall not offer unauthorized incesnse on it". This was clearly a direct statement telling them not to do what they later sinned and did. There goes one "good" argument down the tubes.


Soutenus said...

Now you've got me re-reading Leviticus 10 and Exodus 30.

Good post!

~Joseph the Worker said...

Interesting isn't it? Did you learn about it in your background?

Creative Clayer said...

Oh! So that is the argument. I remember never quite understanding why the lack of instruments at my Dad's CoC church. Even though I always really loved the A capella singing there because they actually sang in harmony. :) I'd personally rather it be without instruments than with drums and guitar but that's just an opinion and nothing to do with right vs. wrong. Thanks for the post, I'll have to try and remember it if I'm ever posed the question. :)

~Joseph the Worker said...

I can't say that this is their only argument. I can say that it is the main one I heard growing up, and it was always the best argument to my knowledge.