How (and What) would you decide?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by rlvaughn, Jul 26, 2002.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    This scenario arises from our Principles of Worship discussion in the Theology forum. There seems to be 3 main principles of worship - inventive, normative, and regulative (see the link for definitions). There may be others as well. We discussed several things, including whether there are any practical differences between the inventive and normative. I am wondering, especially for those who don't adhere to the regulative principle, how they would decide on an issue such as the one in the scenario below. We will assume that this is a congregationally governed church, rather than one ruled by pastoral decree, administrative decisions, etc..

    HOW WOULD YOU VOTE?
    Your church is considering the question of adding some new forms of worship and teaching ministry. The leadership has presented these before the church, and the church will vote next month. They would like to add a drama ministry and a puppet ministry. At different levels, these will be used both to lead in worship and as instructional tools. Your mission, BB Member, is to consider this, tell us how you would decide the question, what you have decided, and why you have decided it. If your decision relates to or is based on any of these principles of worship, please make the connection for us. Or perhaps you will come at the issue from a totally different perspective.


    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    [ July 26, 2002, 07:49 PM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  2. Robert J Hutton

    Robert J Hutton
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    Warm Christian greetings!

    1st Corinthians 1 v 21 says: "....it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe."

    Preaching is what people need, not "gimmickry".

    Kind regards

    Robert J Hutton
     
  3. Renewed

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    I believe those fall under different categories other than worship, which is what the church service is about.
    In short, I would vote no to have them as a part of the worship service, yes to have them part of the SUNDAY SCHOOL.
    R
     
  4. tyndale1946

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    The reason I vote now is because Brother Robert ask me other wise I wasn't going to for the peace of the thread because to us this would never come up in the Primitive Baptist Church. I sure I speak as all my Primitive Baptist brethren would answer this question being in the church for 35 years. There wouldn't be anything to change or add as we allow neither. When we say regulative we mean just that and leave our worship as is... anything taken away or added is forbidden! We are not forbidding other brethren their manner of worship but ours can never change... It is Primitive or Original! I forgot to add their are also Progressive Primitive Baptist that have these things in their churches but the Old Line True Primitive Baptist will not ever allow it. In doing so it ceases to be a true Primitive Baptist Church in doctrine and practice... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ July 27, 2002, 04:09 PM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  5. rsr

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    No fair, Bro. Glen! That was an easy one for you to answer. :D

    Truthfully, that is a great attraction of the Primitive Baptists — they don't have to worry about programs and trends.
     
  6. tyndale1946

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    Give me that old time religion... Give me that old time religion... Give me that old time religion... Its good enough for me!... Brother Glen :D :D :D
     
  7. rsr

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    Having given this some thought (yes, it does hurt my head), I would vote for both of these ministries, depending on the circumstances.

    rlvaughn, you specified that they were for both worship and teaching. I would vote for them on the basis of teaching, not worship.

    Gatherings of Christians have many purposes: fellowship, teaching, worship, praise, etc. Drama is a form of teaching, similar to puppets for children. As such, they can be used, just as other methods may be used. Is lecturing more effective (or biblical) than the socratic method? Is a drawing that illustrates a point forbidden? I think not. Visual arts (and other arts) can teach, as can drama, puppetry and other methods.

    As to worship: Not necessarily. A dramatic production that teaches may lead to praise or worship, but that is not to be assumed.

    If we want to have a service that is worship alone, we can do so, but I would take the advice of Bro. Vaughn in another thread that the service would be better if it were three-quarters singing.

    Preaching is not worship; its goal may be to induce worship. Prayer very definitely can be supplication, praise or worship. If we want a worship service, add more prayers of worship.

    Thanks for your forbearance.
     
  8. Renewed

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    Posted by rsr:
    I agree with this 100%! I'm glad to hear somebody else say thus.
    R
     
  9. DRenicky

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    You forgot Biblical.

    Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Revelation 14:7)

    Nothing about puppet shows or playacting there.

    And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. (1 Corinthians 14:25-26)

    ...hath a puppet show, hath a play. Let all things be done unto edifying.

    And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, (Mark 3:14)

    Nothing about puppet shows or playacting there, either. I'd vote no to both, no matter what contrived, extra-Biblical academic category they fall into.

    --DAR
     
  10. rsr

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    And if the puppet halth a psalm?
     
  11. DRenicky

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    A puppet with a psalm, I suppose, is about as significant as a Muppet with AIDS. It's a frivolity contrived to make a serious point. We'd be better stewards of our time preaching on the street corners than putting socks on our hands. IMHO

    --DAR
     
  12. Karen

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    I would vote yes, under the normative principle.
    The Bible, it seems to me, does have specific commands and rules and prohibitions, yet it is not written like a set of legal statutes, outside of Deuteronomy, in which every single thing is answered or laid out. Sometimes God wants us to apply principles.

    Also, under the pragmatic, :D :D
    having already seen effective use of these forms in churches of which I have already been a member. I would not be a member of a church in which I could not trust others to have some practical sense in how they used these or any other activities. Also, I try hard to keep my personal preferences from being the real dividing line instead of Scriptural reasons.

    The role of preaching is central, yet there are more spiritual gifts to be displayed than singing, preaching, and listening to preaching.
    If anything, I would have less singing, more tightly focussed sermons, more praying, more Scripture reading, and more frequent celebration of Communion.

    As for my personal preferences, I have never actually seen them in a Baptist church. I tend towards the liturgical. And I am very fond of the Book of Common Prayer.

    The BB has been very interesting for me in this whole regard. I admire the Primitive Baptists on this board greatly, for example, but I had previously thought that their method of examining Scripture on worship issues was confined to Campbellites. Which my Christian upbringing has always assured me was wrong and contradictory. ;) Jesus did not command electricity in the churches, either.

    Can it be that there is room for some variety in Baptist churches? Each of us was created individually for God's pleasure. And each of us knows God uniquely. (Of course, only through the shed blood of Jesus - don't read something strange into these statements.) I have learned more about God in reverent services, and I have learned more about Him in more enthusiastic services. (You are very eloquent, J. Mark Bertrand.)

    Karen
     
  13. Karen

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    Drama on the street corners can be very effective, too. I have seen Jews for Jesus missionaries in San Francisco. They have some very short attention-grabbers that draw people in to talk on the street corners. I understand that San Francisco is not the kind of place you can easily go door-knocking on visitation night.

    Karen
     
  14. rsr

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    Karen:

    Yes, there should be more room.

    I, too, would appreciate more liturgical churches. But there seems to be little room here; as a fellow Okie, I'm sure you agree.
     
  15. rlvaughn

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    I hope to let this thread run without making too many comments, but I wanted to note a couple of things. First, DRenicky and Karen have given two more terminologies for principles of worship. I will comment below. Second, I hope that you all will share more of the how that you come to your conclusion.
    D, I didn't forget Biblical, because I didn't intend to use the term. The problem with that term, while it may be true, is that it doesn't define anything for the sake of discussion - most everyone thinks his position is the one that is Biblical! It would seem that your approach falls under the idea of not practicing something that is not commanded. Would that be a fair assessment?
    Karen, you may have hit on something here. Pragmatic may fit into the normative category, but it describes very well the reasoning of many Baptists in our day - if it works, do it; if it doesn't work, don't do it. In other words, the decision to use drama, puppets, etc., is results-oriented. I hope I'm not misrepresenting you.

    [edited to correct the disagreement in number of the pronouns 'everyone' and 'their', so graciously observed by DRenicky. Thanks]

    [ July 28, 2002, 10:18 PM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  16. DRenicky

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    Aha!

    The problem with that term rests with the sad fact that most Christians - and all lost people - believe that there is no sure Word, just 200 versions of it in various stages of translational accuracy. Considering this sorry state of affairs, you rightly observe that "most everyone thinks their [sic] position is the one that is Biblical!"

    Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:7)

    This falls under the idea of not practicing something that is specifically proscribed.

    And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: (Numbers 15:39)

    All that having been said, is it not unwise to define "for the sake of discussion" a discussion on the methods of relation of Biblical truth that necessarily rejects the idea of Biblical truth, and instead replaces it with (for the sake of discussion) relative, personal truth?

    And finally...

    Yes, that would be entirely fair. No one is saying there's a Biblical prohibition of puppet shows hiding in the Scriptures somewhere. To me, it an issue of stewardship of time, and prioritization. Time is short. I would much rather spend time teaching my daughter (6) to read Scripture for herself than send her to a puppet show where socks spout psalms - or versions of them. Now, that would be a fine way to entertain her on a Saturday afternoon, but not in Sunday School, and we need more preachers and fewer puppets in our pulpits. Admittedly, it is sometime hard to tell the two apart.

    --DAR
     
  17. rlvaughn

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    First, I did not make up these definitions (or terminologies) - they are already in place. People know what they mean or can easily look up the meaning. Do you use terminology such as rapture, Trinity, etc.? Where are these terms found? The term "regulative principle" simply means that if God has not commanded us to do something, it is forbidden (we should not do it). You almost indicated that is what you believe, but now I am confused - see below.

    I thought you were coming from the angle that you would not practice something that God has not commanded, but this statement leaves me confused. Is it simply an issue of the stewardship of time? If there were enough time, would the puppets and drama be OK?
     
  18. rlvaughn

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    Perhaps I should have posted the definitions, instead of just giving a link:
    1) The inventive principle of worship - a church is free to establish the parameters of worship. This is the view of Roman Catholicism.
    2) The normative principle - whatever is not forbidden is permitted. This view is held by Lutherans, Anglicans, some (maybe most)Baptists, and others.
    3) The regulative principle - whatever is not commanded is forbidden. This is the view of some Baptists, some Reformed & Presbyterian.

    and just recently added -

    4) The pragmatic principle - whatever produces good results is acceptable. This view is held by many modern evangelicals.
    5) The Biblical principle - whichever of these four (or other ones not named) is correct.

    [ July 28, 2002, 07:28 PM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  19. DRenicky

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    Ah, I see where I made my mistake. I didn't realize we were being conscripted as seminary homework helpers.

    --DAR
     
  20. Clint Kritzer

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    That IS a laugh, DAR! Brother Robert is one of the most knowledgable elders I know. He's far more suited a seminary instructor than a student.

    I know you're new but you may be surprised what you can learn here. If you have an axe to grind, I doubt that it is with Mr. Vaughn.

    On the other hand, Robert, he took you for a college kid! [​IMG] LOL
     

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