The Regulative Principle of Worship

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Monergist, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. Monergist

    Monergist
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    As stated in both the Westminster Confession of Faith and the 1689 London Baptist Confession :

    I am of the opinion that it is tragic that this principle has been largely forgotten today.

    Anyone here share my sentiments?
     
  2. Karen

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    In my case, not as I think you mean it.
    I have lurked on Calvinist message boards.
    They seem to interpret it as exclusive Psalmody, maybe acapella, maybe not, and nothing that reminds of Baptist such as altar calls, and nothing that reminds in any way of Catholic or liturgical Protestant such as candles.

    Very plain churches and very long services. Tight control by elders on every word spoken. In some, only an elder can pray outloud.
    Some have Sunday Schools, not seeing them as part of worship, some do not have Sunday Schools, seeing them as part of worship, and therefore forbidden.
    Some would go so far as to say that attending a special service on Good Friday is actively sinning.

    I predict that if Calvinism continues its resurgence among small Presbyterian groups, there will be splinter groups and schisms arguing about things like the Regulative Principle's exact meaning just as much as some Baptists splinter over pre or mid trib.

    Karen
     
  3. violet

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    Yes, in that it bugs me that worship has become so "seeker friendly" that it hardly resembles worship....
     
  4. billwald

    billwald
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    There is no prescribed NT liturgy. Why not? Because everyone knew what worship was - the stuff that happened in the Temple.
     
  5. Link

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    The New Testament does give some instructions about what to do in church meetings. We can also learn from the example of the churches as recorded in scripture, who had learned what to do from the apostles.

    Paul wrote to the Corinthians, helping them to adjust the way they met so that it would be in line with God's will. It is clear from the passage that not only the elders could speak in the meeting. In fact, we see that 'every one of you' could speak. Prophets were allowed to prophecy. Also 'one that sitteth by' could share a revelation, and the speaking prophet was commanded to yeild the floor. Those who spoke in tongues were able to use their gift as long as someone interpreted. Singers of psalms were allowed to sing (apparently solos) and teachers were allowed to teach.

    Paul's instructions about praying in tongues imply that his rank and file reader be allowed to pray in church, as long as it was in the common language or there was interpretation if it were in tongues.

    Paul's statement that, in the church, he would rather speak 5 words with his understanding that he may instruct others than 10,000 words in an unknown tongue, was part of his argument that the Corinthians needed to speak in a way that they would edify one another. The implication is that Paul expected his rank and file reader to be allowed speak in the meeting (at least the believing men.)

    Hebrews confirms this. The famous verse used to argue for people to go to church contains some other information. We must also read it with the previous verse. Paraphrasing from memory, Hebrews 10:24 and 25 teaches:

    But consider how you can provoke one another to love and to good works. And do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is, but EXHORT ONE ANOTHER, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.

    Notice that the author connects the idea of assembling with the believers exhorting one another, and also with the idea of provoking one another to love and to good works.

    The idea of only allowing elders to speak in the assembly flies in the face of Paul's writings. It also makes it difficult for men to mature into elders of the church, since they do not have the proper Biblical venue in which to use their gifts to grow and mature in them. It is better to have the men use their gifts in the church meeting where the elders can see what they are doing than to have them use them only in other places, or not at all.

    Link
     
  6. billwald

    billwald
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    There is no NT description of a formal worship service except temple worship.
     
  7. Mike Stidham

    Mike Stidham
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    In my case, not as I think you mean it.

    Karen [/QB]</font>[/QUOTE]The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Synod still practices acapella singing of the Psalms as their only church music, using the Regulative Principle as their rationale.

    Disagreement over the application of this Principle was behind the Church of Christ/Independent Christian Church split in 1906; when David Lipscomb informed the Census Bureau that non-instrumental churches were to be counted separately from those that used organs in the church building.
    The non-instrumental Churches of Christ have numerous subgroups (One Cup, No Sunday School, No Cooperation with Other Congregations, for instance) over Regulative Principle disputes in their own right.
     
  8. Kiffen

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    As a Calvinist myself, I find that the Regulative Principle of Worship AS practiced by most Reformed people tends to lean towards legalism. I mean that respecfully.

    Personally I find that Thomas Cranmer's BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER provides a more balance view of Worship than the Regulative Principle of Worship. The BCP was designed where lay people could lead Worship if no minister was present. It's Morning and Evening Prayer services offer what I consider the best worship format a Church could follow. Of course some Reformed Anglicans will probably argue that the BCP could be considered Regulative.
     

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