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If there can be strange fire in worship, then what about discipleship?

There is a principle in certain denominations called the "Regulative Principle," and it mostly applies to how we worship God. In a nut shell, the regulative principle states:

"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." We are to worship God in the way he has commanded, and not according to our own desires. Westminster Confession of Faith (XXI:1)

Restated in simpler terms, true worship is only commanded by God; false worship is anything not commanded. Any thing outside of what is commanded in scripture for worship is considered "strange fire," taken from Leviticus:

Lev 10:1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.
Lev 10:2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.

I will reserve my thoughts on the regulative principle for another time, but move directly to whether or not such a principle applies to discipleship.

If this principle is valid for worship, then wouldn't it be valid for discipleship? Jesus command to "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you... " (Matthew 28:19,20) seems simple enough. There is a command, the command has clearly delineated instructional points, and there is a clear objective.

Today, there no shortage of manners, methods, and motives, for making disciples, of which few resemble the criteria that Jesus himself laid out.

Should tactics that originate from man's imaginations and devices be used in fulfilling the Great Commission?


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