by Jeff Fry
Hi. Do you wonder what the title of this article is about? Let us consider two possibilities.
First. I'd like you to consider things that are wrong. Lying, stealing, murder, homosexuality, multiple marriages, etc. I'd say, we'd all agree that these things are wrong. Is it possible, do you think, to commit these sins in a right way? How could one commit any of these sins in a "right" way? Mankind seems to want to call evil: good (Isa 5:20). If a person is going to "hurt" someone's "feelings", then it is all right to lie to them. The government (or company we work for) has too much or they'll never notice missing this, so it is all right to take from them. If a person is in terrible physical pain, it is all right to murder them. A man "loves" another man so it is all right to have a relationship with another man. The same with marriages, it's OK for them to get married because they love each other. Is it possible to do something wrong in a right way?
No. Lying is always lying and condemned by God (Rev 21:8). Stealing is stealing and is condemned by God (Eph 4:28). Murder is murder and is condemned by God (1 Jn 3:15). Homosexuality is homosexuality and is condemned by God (Rom 1:26-32). Multiple marriages are multiple marriages and are condemned by God (Mt 5:31-32, 19:9). Simple enough? Giving "sins" a better sounding name doesn't change what is being committed.
What about worshipping God? Is it possible, do you think, to please God by worshipping Him in a wrong way? Let us look at some stories in the Bible. Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10:1-2). King Saul saving the best (1 Sam 15:1-24). Building high places to offer sacrifices (1 Kgs 12:31-33). Offering children as sacrifices and making "priests" out of children other than "Levi" lineage (2 Chr 33:1-6). These things were sinful and it was not possible to do them in a right way. These people were punished for their sins. We cannot, today, take it upon ourselves to introduce "new" ways to worship God and please Him. Mechanical music (no matter how pleasant to our hearing) cannot be done in a right way. "Institutionalizing" the Lord's church cannot be done in a right way. Women teaching or usurping authority over the man cannot be done in a right way. Let us not be guilty of trying to do something wrong and say it is right.
Second. Then is it possible to do something "right" in a wrong way? Again let us look at some stories. King Saul offering sacrifices in place of Samuel (1 Sam 13:8-13). King Uzziah doing the same (2 Chr 26:16-21). Marrying (Samson, Israelites Judges 14, Ezra 9,10). Moving the ark of God (1 Chr 13:7-10). It was "right" to offer sacrifices to God. It was "right" to marry. It was "right" to move the ark of God. What then, displeased God with these examples? They did them in a "wrong" way. The priests were to offer the sacrifices, not the kings. Jews were to marry Jews, not aliens. The priests were to move the ark in a specific way. Simple enough? What about worshipping God? Is it possible, do you think, to please God by taking an authorized action of worship and engage in doing it in a wrong way?
We cannot, today, take it upon ourselves to change actions of worship and still please God. We cannot have solos, quartets and choirs do the singing "for" the congregation because "singing" is authorized. We cannot offer the elements of the Lord's Supper in multiple servings on the first day of the week because the "Supper" is authorized. We cannot take the churches treasury and use it to serve food kitchens because helping "needy saints" is authorized. We cannot appoint any man (or woman) an "elder" or "deacon" because elders and deacons are authorized. Let us not be guilty of doing something "right" in a wrong way.
Thanks for reading.
[EDITOR's NOTE: Thanks to Jeff Fry for this thought provoking article! If you would like to write Jeff, he can be reached at 2019 Homesite Drive, Dayton, OH 45414, or Email him at JEFRY74@aol.com.]
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