Continuing my evaluation of the following website (http://ex-churchofchrist.com/unbiblicalCoC.htm), it is clear the trend in being against has more to do with “I want to believe….” than it does any biblical exegesis. Below is another illustration of this.
An unbiblical doctrine, we are told, would be the following point:
Uzzah (II Samuel 6) is an example of how we will be punished for wrong worship.
See here for an example of this teaching.
The priests were instructed never to approach the ark of the covenant (the Presence of God) without blood and incense (forgiveness and prayer). They were never to touch the ark, but were to carry it on their shoulders. Uzzah, a priest, steadied the ark when the oxen stumbled, and was struck dead.
King David parked the ark in the nearest house, then later moved it the proper way, with the priests carrying it on their shoulders. Sacrifices were made. David leaped and danced with all his might before the ark. (II Samuel 6). There is no record of God asking David to leap and dance. Yet God accepted David’s worship and no-one was struck dead.
RT – This is another account of a desired outcome to reading the Scripture rather than a desire to understand contextual matters. To begin, note how there is no scriptural reference to the points made (or more properly stated, asserted). Is it actually a matter of truth that the priests were NEVER to approach the Ark of the Covenant? No, this is not the case. The priests (certain ones of them) were to approach the Ark of the Covenant at particular times (Numbers 4:5), such as when there was a transport pending (Numbers 4:15), or on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). In both these cases, the “never” is mitigated. Second, within the remarks made, the “never” is contradicted when the remark is made that they were to “carry” the ark on their shoulders (actually, the Ark of the Covenant was transported by a certain Levitical family as they carried the Ark of the Covenant via handling poles).
Uzzah is not identified as a Levite or a priest. One might presume he was (because David would not have been so foolish as to not have at least a Levite to move the Ark of the Covenant), but the Record does not state that he was either. Couple this with David’s words in 1 Chronicles 15:12-15, one might more easily think that David himself was presumptuous in allowing one not of the Levites to transport. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (revised edition, 4:960) identifies Uzzah as a “non-Levite.”
To the larger point, however. If the author of the critical remarks directed at the churches of Christ would have done a little more study, he would have learned exactly why Uzzah died and, furthermore, would have told his audience who read his words. Take note that he did not; all that he said was that David later moved the Ark of the Covenant in the “proper way.” In 1 Chronicles 15:12-15, one reads:
He said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites; sanctify yourselves, you and your brethren, that you may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel to the place I have prepared for it. “For because you did not do it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order.” So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel. And the children of the Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders, by its poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD. (NKJV)
In the case of Nadab / Abihu, in the case of Uzzah the failings of these men were directly associated with a failing of obeying the express will of God.
We are given to understand that since God accepted David’s leaping and dancing as worship, and that he was not “struck dead,” then it must be the case that there is no requirement of man (from God) to inquire concerning the manner of one’s worship. I guess it must be the case that if one is not “struck dead,” then what is done / offered is acceptable to the Lord? Though the author of the web-piece does not explicitly say this, evidently he wants us to understand him this way. It is true that David exhibited a great deal of exuberance and excitement, though 2 Samuel 6:14-15 does not call it worship; whether or not one thinks it is, is simply a matter of judgment. I will not call it that; all that I can say is that he was exuberant and excited because he was bringing the Ark of the Covenant to its desired “resting” place. Additionally, the sacrifices offered in transport and in the end, that can easily be called / identified as worship (Leviticus 1-3).