Strange Fire........The regulatory Principle.

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Scott_Bushey, Mar 12, 2002.

  1. Scott_Bushey

    Scott_Bushey
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    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.

    Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

    Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

    Hello group,
    Obviously God has specified a proper way to worship Him. The characters in the above texts offered up worship that God saw as balsphemy. What would you consider to be proper components of the Lords day worship?
    For example, My church sings hymmns w/ one piano.
    Do you think contemporary worship is an acceptable form of worship to God and if so why?
    If you don't consider the present day form of worship acceptable, why?
    Also, What do feel is *wrong* (if any) w/ what is being called "Christian Rock and Roll/Christian Rap?"

    In HIM,
    Scott Bushey
     
  2. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    Scott,

    God is much more concerned with the condition of our hearts than He is with the kind of music we worship with.

    I don't have a problem with having contemporary music in church, but I prefer a little more traditional brand music.

    That having been said, I do play contemporary music as part of my church's band.

    I have a couple of problems with CCM.

    One is that it represents such a small part of the great music that's out there.

    Why isn't there any alt.country/Americana, roots rock, or folk?

    Most of what's out there relies on simplistic lyrics and shoddy musicianship.

    No moral problems with it but there are only one or two CCM artists I would be caught dead listening to.

    Mike

    http://www.randystonehill.com

    http://www.keylife.org
     
  3. Scott_Bushey

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    Smoke eater writes:
    "God is much more concerned with the condition of our hearts than He is with the kind of music we worship with."

    Scott replies:
    Do you think God has commanded a way to worship Him?

    In Him,
    Scott Bushey
     
  4. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    Nothing that dictates a specific kind of music.

    Mike

    http://www.keylife.org
     
  5. Scott_Bushey

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    Hey Mike,
    You write in regards to my query, "Has God commanded a certain type of worship to Himself?"
    You write: "Nothing that dictates a specific kind of music."
    Scott asks:
    So are you implying that any type of music is ok?
    Or, let me ask you this, what do you consider to be outside of what God has commanded?

    In HIM,
    Scott Bushey
     
  6. Mike McK

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    Scott,

    The whole thing is relative to the individual.

    Different kinds of music affect people in different ways and God uses different kinds of music in different ways.

    As far as what is outside of what God has commanded, I really can't say since God doesn't address specific styles of music.

    Mike

    http://www.thedoormagazine.com
     
  7. Scott_Bushey

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    Mike, you write:
    The whole thing is relative to the individual.

    "Different kinds of music affect people in different ways and God uses different kinds of music in different ways.

    As far as what is outside of what God has commanded, I really can't say since God doesn't address specific styles of music."

    Scott responds:
    This is my point. We have come to worship God. It matters not how we are affected by the worship but how God is affected by *our* worship to Him. Worship is vertical, not horizontal. As you saw in my earlier post about Nadab and Abihu.
    They offered to God an act of worship He had not commanded. They thought it was acceptable. The outcome proved disastrous.

    I ask you, do you think GOd has commanded a certain type of worship? There is a thing called the regulatory principle. Are you familiar with this term?

    In HIM,
    Scott Bushey

    [ March 12, 2002, 08:20 PM: Message edited by: Scott Bushey ]
     
  8. Mike McK

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    Scott,

    We worship differently now than we did during the O.T.

    No, I don't think God has commanded a "certain type of worship".

    Like I said, God is much more concerned with the condition of your heart than He is with ritual.

    Mike

    http://www.keylife.org

    [ March 12, 2002, 08:31 PM: Message edited by: Smoke_Eater ]
     
  9. Kiffin

    Kiffin
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    I am fairly familiar with the regulatory principle that Calvin made popular though I do not find it to be the barometer on how we are to worship. Personaly I think scriptures demonstrates more of a liturgical form of worship than the regulatory (Rev. 4-5).

    The issue of music is a separate issue since music is only one part of worship.

    Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;


    Singing Psalms has become almost a lost art though some Contemporay Christian and Praise and Worship have revived some of this. The Regulatory has classicaly done this in metrical Psalms though I doubt metrical Psalms will ever make a comeback since in the 1700's they seem to have been jettisoned for the more lively and heartfelt music of Wesley, Newton and Watts.

    Hymns seems to imply songs directed to God and would include the sacred hymns such as "Immortal Invisible" "Holy, Holy, Holy" etc.. while spiritual songs would seem to include relationship songs such as "Amazing Grace" "And Can It Be?" as well as CCM, Southern Gospel songs.

    I think the key issue is lyrical content. Psalms as well as Sacred Hymns by far have more meaty lyrics while CCM songs usually are weaker (But that does not mean they don't have a place in worship). It is difficult to find any certain style of music since that has always been attached to the culture. (Most of us would not like the Hebrew style of singing which was basically chanting)
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    CLerical help. When you are answering the post right above you (or up 2-3) PLEASE do not repeat the whole thing. We all can read and follow the logic just fine.

    Takes up a lot of bandwidth for needless repetition. Thanks. Don't want to have to go back and "clean up" every one!
     
  11. Ransom

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    Scott Bushey said:

    As you saw in my earlier post about Nadab and Abihu. They offered to God an act of worship He had not commanded.

    This is a bit disingenuous. Actually, there was a command - God specifically forbade both the private use of the holy incense used in the Temple (Exod. 30:37) and the use of unauthorized incense (amongst other things) on the incense altar (Exod. 30:9). It seems that Nadab and Abihu did what was forbidden, not simply what was not commanded.

    In fact, any time you see God condemning some practice that he has "not commanded" (Lev. 10:1; Deut. 17:3; Deut. 18:20; Jer. 8:31; Jer. 14:14; Jer. 19:5; Jer. 23:32; Jer. 29:23; Jer. 32:35) it is always in relation to some practice that has been specifically forbidden elsewhere (offering "strange fire," idolatry, false prophecy, child sacrifice).

    Naturally God has not commanded what he has specifically forbidden elsewhere. That only stands to reason.

    I ask you, do you think GOd has commanded a certain type of worship? There is a thing called the regulatory principle.

    That's the regulative principle, actually, and the scope to which it ought to be practiced is not without dispute amongst its advocates.

    I see, for example, that you said you sing hymns to a piano at your church. To some regulativists, that makes you an idolator because God did not command the singing of uninspired hymns, and he did not command the use of any mechanical instrument in accompaniment.

    Now, between you and me, it would appear that we both disagree with that strict an interpretation of the RPW. However, wrong though it may be, it is still a distinction made on Biblical grounds. So unless you have a Biblical basis to forbid the use of contemporary choruses accompanied by guitars, drums, etc., but also a Biblical reason to exempt your particular choice of uninspired songs and instruments, I submit to you that your preference for the latter and disdain for the former is merely arbitrary and traditional.

    [ March 13, 2002, 01:51 PM: Message edited by: Ransom ]
     
  12. Scott_Bushey

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    Ransom,
    Greetings! Regulatory is an illicit term? I am being challenged by a man of *technical writing*. I approach you with the utmost respect. Having visited your web page, I see that you are a man of excellent ideas. (I myself appreciate the Indigo Girls. Love the song, "Kid-Fears") But in regards to the topic at hand, please enlighten me.
    Suffix: *ory, *ive. Both used to describe something relating to a subject, belonging to a subject, having the nature of (a subject). How is this term used erroneously?

    Also, you write: (I applaud your vision)" It seems that Nadab and Abihu did what was forbidden, not simply what was not commanded."

    I respond:
    You are correct. So there are rules to how we are to worship? Also, that which God has commanded or not commanded does not necessarily mean it is ok to offer up to Him that which we may perceive as Holy! Someone had previously mentioned that what we do during worship is "relative". I assume that this means "Whatever we feel is correct". Another statement was, "God only is concerned w/ the content of our hearts"....whether or not our hearts are right at the time of worship, knowing that our hearts are at best is (as Jeremiah states) deceitful.

    You then write:
    ".......some regulativists, that makes you an idolator because God did not command the singing of uninspired hymns...."

    I respond:
    Much of the hymms sung today are comprised of the Psalms, or based upon the scriptures. Who is to say they were not divinely inspired (not on the same level of Holy writ, mind you). I do not want to address that issue at the moment though....if you don't mind.
    Do not the scriptures tell us to speak to each other in hymms , psalms and spiritual songs?
    The Piano........I hear you. The Boston Church of Christ( a well known Cult, sings acappello). Most churches have band accompaniment.
    In regards to your statement of the arbitrary and the traditional, what would you suggest? Are you implying that there is not a way to reform here? That Gods word is ambiguous and mysterious on this subject.

    Scott (may I call you Scott?),
    I am in no way dogmatic on the issue. it is however, a concern of mine.

    In HIM,
    Scott Bushey
     
  13. Ransom

    Ransom
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    Scott Bushey asked:

    Greetings! Regulatory is an illicit term?

    Not illicit in the sense of being a non-word or used incorrectly, no. It's just a matter of what the thing is called, as opposed to what it could be. RPW stands for "Regulative Principle of Worship." Do a Google search on that phrase, and you'll get 845 hits. Do a Google search on "Regulatory Principle of Worship," and you'll get 6. It's not a semantic issue at all, just nomenclature.

    You are correct. So there are rules to how we are to worship?

    Sure. The New Testament regulations are not as detailed or as strict as what you see in the Old Testament cultus, but they're there. I won't go through the process of chapter and verse for each one, but off the top of my head, New Testament worship comprises at least the following:
    </font>
    • prayer</font>
    • teaching and preaching</font>
    • meeting together</font>
    • the Lord's Supper</font>
    • baptism</font>
    • singing</font>
    • giving
      </font>
    In addition, Rom. 12:1 and the rest of the book following shows that even our day-to-day lives, lived in Christ, are an act of worship.
    Also, that which God has commanded or not commanded does not necessarily mean it is ok to offer up to Him that which we may perceive as Holy!

    No, but there are some things God has commanded, which are therefore holy, and there are other things that God has forbidden, which are unholy. The issue is over those things where the Bible is silent. Even if I allow that to say "what is not explicitly forbidden is permitted" is just as arbitrary as "what is not explicitly permitted is forbidden," the latter still seems to me to chafe against the Christian idea of liberty - that where Scripture is silent, we are free to decide for ourselves how we may best honour God.

    Who is to say they were not divinely inspired (not on the same level of Holy writ, mind you).

    But that is the very crux of the regulativists' argument for psalmody. Since the 150 psalms are divinely inspired and intended for the worship of God, and since the New Testament never permits the invention of new songs for worship (and they would be inferior at best, and probably prone to error), then it would be wrong to add uninspired hymns to the inerrant, divinely inspired and approved songs because to do so is to offer "strange fire."

    Do not the scriptures tell us to speak to each other in hymms , psalms and spiritual songs?

    The strict regulativists will tell you that these three terms refer to divisions within the book of Psalms itself, and are certainly not mandating the use of man-made hymns or songs in addition to the Psalms. (Thus Paul is saying to sing "psalms, psalms, and more psalms," or so the argument goes.)

    In regards to your statement of the arbitrary and the traditional, what would you suggest? Are you implying that there is not a way to reform here?

    Certainly there is room for reformation. My point was simply that there is no more Biblical support for worshiping God strictly with hymns and a piano than there is for worshiping God with praise choruses and drums and guitars. With respect to Scripture, it is arbitrary since Scripture is equally silent on each one. The distinction comes from human tradition. (Heck, if anything, the guitars and drums have better Biblical support since they are arguably the closest modern equivalent to the stringed and percussion instruments mentioned in the Bible.)

    In terms of reformation of worship music, I think the first and most important step to be taken is to make sure the pastor or some other trusted spiritual authority within the church to make sure the content of the music is biblically sound. In my experience, there are "worship" leaders out there who have too much freedom in choosing music, and not enough discernment.

    In addition to being doctrinally sound, both music and lyrics ought to be of good quality. There are songs out there that express some great sentiments, but as poetry they are doggerel, or they are typically set to some horrid tunes. This is true of both traditional hymnology and contemporary songwriting.

    Which specific songs or styles one uses in worship depend on a number of factors: the music should fit the theme of the service (if necessary), and the form should fit the function, (i.e. the style of music should be conducive to worship). Those are just off the top of my head; beyond that, I'd leave it to the church authorities to decide what specific musical style, genre, accompaniment, etc. is most suitable for their specific congregation.

    It is important also to make sure there is not a "performance" atmosphere when someone sings. I have no problem with so-called "special music" or choral numbers - I am part of my church's choir myself - but the people who do these things need to remember that they are not performing for an audience, they are worshiping God, and by so doing they are leading the assembly to worship God through the hearing of it.

    But we should all please disabuse ourselves of the common straw man that says if we allow one certain innovation in our worship, we are somehow saying "anything goes." The KJV-onlyists claim that if you "abandon" the exclusive use of the KJV, you are saying that all other translations of the Bible are equally good, and everyone will come to church with a different translation and this will cause great confusion. The strict regulativists claim that allowing hymns and piano will legitimize skits, dance, and increasingly outrageous spectacles in church. The pro-hymns, anti-CCM crowd claim allowing praise choruses into church will open the door for more and more loud, offensive, and doctrinally unsound music. It simply is not true. Some songs are better than others. Some songs are more sound in content than others. Some musical styles are more suited to corporate worship than others. God forbid that when faced with something like this we actually take the time to think it through, rather than abandon the mind in favour of a simplistic and arbitrary pass/fail test.

    That Gods word is ambiguous and mysterious on this subject.

    I didn't say that God's word is "ambiguous" or "mysterious" on this subject. I said it is silent. There is a difference. There are multitudes of subjects where the Bible is silent and we have no problem.

    And yes, you can call me Scott. [​IMG]
     
  14. Mike McK

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  15. Mike McK

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