AN OPEN LETTER FROM NADAB AND ABIHU
(I do not know the author of the following “tongue-in-cheek” letter, but in light of changes that are taking place in some churches of Christ with reference to the use of instrumental music in worship, I commend it to my readers as worthy of their serious consideration. It is based on an Old Testament incident found in Leviticus 10:1-7 and should be studied in the light of Romans 15:4 and I Corinthians 10:11. –hf).
Brethren, it is with the utmost humility that we inform you of a change of worship practices in your normal sacrificing. Be assured that we are bringing about this change only after much prayer and study. We have recently concluded an in-depth re-study of the Law as delivered by our brother Moses. After this re-study of the matter and following a period of discernment, we have decided to bring about a change in the type of fire used in worship. We are aware that there is a long standing tradition of using only one source of fire, but we, as holy priests, do not feel obligated to blindly follow tradition. Numerous polls of our worshipping clientele indicate the overwhelming opinion that they do not care where we get the fire used for their sacrifices as long as the service is conducted in a respectful and meaningful way.
We are in agreement with this growing majority, as we cannot see how a change in fire will affect anything in the least about our sacrifices. The animal is still properly cooked and the incense burned. We are of the mind that were we to secretly substitute a different fire it would be impossible for any of the worshippers to know a change had taken place.
Besides all this, we became aware of the fact that nowhere in the Law does the Lord forbid the use of what some of our detractors have referred to as strange fire. We feel that the lack of such a restriction was meant to give us freedom. For those who disagree, we would ask you to show us any place in the Law that tells us we cannot do something the Lord has not seen fit to condemn. We are simply asking, Where does it say we cannot do this? We also wish to point out that the congregation of Israel is the only religious group in the known world that willingly limits itself to only one kind of fire. We have become the laughingstock of the land of Canaan and have been ridiculed openly by many groups. This self-righteous policy of only-one-fire has alienated us from everyone else. We believe this change will open up many fellowship opportunities.
Now, to set the mind of some of you at ease, we will continue to offer a traditional service using the old-fashion fire as well as this progressive service with the new fire. As a matter of fact, we may occasionally use the old fire in our progressive service for special feast days. In this way we hope that our older citizens are still comfortable, even though they dogmatically insist on a worship style which is declining and we believe to be stunting our growth. Consider the freedom this new practice affords us! We will no longer have the expense of maintaining a constant fire in one location. This will also make it possible to appeal to a younger audience as we discover more entertaining ways to light the fire of our assemblies (we hope you caught the little play on words there)!
For those who still oppose the use of new fire, we ask you not to be judgmental of new ideas. We also hope you will not use this change as an excuse to divide our people or stir up trouble within the congregation. We remind you that this has been well thought out and the majority of the elders have signed on with us. It is true we have not included our father Aaron in this deliberation, but we were well aware of his tradition-bound views and still plan to leave him in charge of doing the traditional service. We also have not consulted Moses, but his humility is well known and we are confident he will want to uphold the majority decision in this effort to improve our worship.
We are very much looking forward to our first new fire service. We hope you will make a special effort to be present to witness a new age of enlightenment in the church of Israel. We know God will be watching and we anticipate that His joy over seeing his people take a great step toward throwing off the burden of binding tradition will be an electrifying experience. See you there. Bring some extra barbecue sauce, for we think this new practice is going to spread like wildfire!
For freedoms sake,
Nadab & Abihu, DDLP (Doctors of Divine Law and Progress)
P.S. After the successful changeover in this part of our worship, future plans include the ordination of women priests, inter-idol fellowship activities with the various pagan groups nearby, and a special service called, It doesnt have to be Passover to celebrate Passover anymore.
May 12, 2015
May 13, 20, 27: Green Hill Church of Christ, Mount Juliet, TN.