Friday, September 26, 2014

Jesus Did Not Believe in the "Nadab And Abihu" Argument for Authority In Religious Matters

Many might get riled up by the suggestion that God didn't lay down specific plans/instructions for how we are to assemble. This is a huge leap for many of us who have been trained since childhood to "keep the pattern" (a la Heb 8:5). But even within the book of Acts we can see how the "pattern" changes over time and distance, with communism being the first way of life for Christians (Acts 4:32), but moving quickly to a model allowing for private-ownership of property (Acts 5:4); with new church roles/offices being "invented" as the need arises (Acts 6:1-6); with allowances being made for different worship practices by different groups (Acts 15:6-35).

So we need to question the idea that "Everything believed and practiced in religion must have divine authority behind it."

Jesus did not believe in this principle. Please bear with me; please don't be reactive without considering what the scriptures say about it. Here are three lines of evidence that Jesus did not believe in the "Nadab and Abihu" principle:

1) He pointed out the example of David eating the showbread (Matt 12:3-4), which was not "lawful" for David to eat. The point Jesus is making is that situational need takes precedence over red-tape law-keeping.

2) Jesus himself practiced things in religion without having divine authority behind it (Example 1): He attended synagogue. Yet synagogue was never commanded, never authorized. It just magically appears somewhere between the Old Testament and New, without any God-given authority, and yet Jesus accepts it and participates in it as a customary habit (Luke 4:16).

3) Jesus himself practiced things in religion without having divine authority behind it (Example 2): He drank a beverage, and ate bread-dip, at the Passover (Mark 14:20, 23), neither of which was authorized anywhere by God. The regulations were very specific about how to keep the Passover, and there was no mention of either beverages or bread-dips, and yet Jesus participates in his Passover worship with these unauthorized things as a part of it.

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