Open Letter from Nadab and Abihu*by David Brassfield
It is with the utmost humility that we inform you of a change of worship practices. Be assured we are bringing about this change after much prayer and a 400 day in-depth study of the Law.
We’ve decided to change the source of fire used in worship. We’re aware of our tradition, but we, as priests do not feel obligated to blindly follow tradition. Polls indicate the majority opinion of worshippers is indifference regarding the source of fire as long as the service is respectful and meaningful.
We agree with this growing majority. We can’t see how a change in fire will affect our sacrifices. The animal is still properly cooked, the incense burned, God is worshipped. In fact, if we secretly substituted a different fire it would be impossible for anyone to know a change had taken place.
Our study of the law has found no place in which the Lord forbids the use of what our detractors have referred to as "strange fire." We believe the lack of such a restriction gives us freedom! Dissenters are asked to produce one word in the Law telling us we cannot do something the Lord has not seen fit to condemn.
We also wish to point out that the congregation of Israel is the only religious group in the world that limits itself to only one kind of fire. We’ve become the laughingstock of the land of Canaan and have been ridiculed openly by many groups. This self-righteous policy has alienated us from everyone else. We believe this change will open up many fellowship opportunities!
Now, to set the minds of some of you at ease, we will continue to offer a traditional service using the oldfashioned fire. In 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 will remain comfortable in spite of clinging to a worship style which is declining and, we believe, stunting our growth. 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.
To those who still oppose this, we ask you not to be judgmental. Do not divide our people or stir up trouble in the congregation. We remind you: this has been well thought out and the majority of elders have agreed to this. It’s true we’ve not included our father Aaron in this decision; but we were aware of his tradition-bound views and plan to leave him in charge of the traditional service. Nor have we consulted Moses, but, knowing his humility, we’re confident he’ll uphold the majority decision in this effort to improve our worship.
We’re looking forward to our first new fire service. Make every effort to be present to witness a new age of enlightenment in the church of Israel. God will be watching and we anticipate His joy over seeing his people take a great step toward throwing off the burden of binding tradition will be an electrifying experience!
*Note:Be sure to read Leviticus 10:1-3 for the fate of these change agents.