Things Fall Apart

In College, I was asked to read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. To say that I remember anything about this book other than the title and what the cover of the book looked like would be a stretch. Nevertheless, we find Calvin and Hobbes starting another meeting of G.R.O.S.S. and right off the bat, things take a turn for the worse. Hobbes is taking an approach of doing what feels right, whereas Calvin is sticking to his guns and trying to run the meeting per the proper protocol. Does this have any application to us? But of course!

We read in the Westminister Confession of Faith (Chapter 21 paragraph 1): The light of nature showeth that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all, is good, and doth good unto all, and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might. But the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture.

An illustration as to this principle in action is the story of Aaron and his sons. In Leviticus 9, Aaron and Moses are seen offering a sacrifice to the Lord as they were directd. What follows is” 24And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.”  We see God accepting their sacrifice. Shortly thereafter in Leviticus 10:1-3, we see a different story ” 1Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them. 2And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. 3Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD has said, ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.'” And Aaron held his peace.”

And Aaron held his peace. Wow. Most would say that Aaron would have every right to be mad at God for what just happened. I think Aaron had a more appropriate appreciation for the Holiness of God. The heart of the matter and how this relates to today’s comic is in the Regulative principle of worship. This is clearly stated in the passage above from the Confession which is drawn from scripture. (I freely admit that my knowledge of the Confession and the Regulative principle come from Chad Bailey and Matt Bradley). Simply put, God has ordained the ways in which we are to approach and worship him, we are not to use the “imaginations and devices of men” to think that we can somehow worship God better than He has prescribed. The consequences for Nadab and Abihu were dire and you can bet that Calvin and Hobbes will soon come to blows as well.

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