Compare the scriptural support for canonical hymnody with the no instruments practice

Which practice has the best scriptural support: canonical hymnody or no instruments?


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JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
from Scott
I'm not quite sure I understand what you are getting at. Are you saying that the two positions are independent? I believe that is the case, which is why two of the options are for a person who holds one position but not the other. I think we will find, however, that very few people only subscribe to one of the two practices. One thing I am interested in finding out is of those who only subscribe to one practice, which one is more popular.
Scott:

I'm only saying that one side is put up against the other, and it doesn't have to be that way. It seems to me that the way you put the questions, asking for "best support", is wrong. I don't agree with it.

My point is that EP or NI often go where I cannot follow because of my commitment to the faith. They are saying something is so without the authority to do so, and make it a point of orthodoxy, just like the Reconstructionists did in the OPC, and just like the women-in-office and theistic evolution people did in the CRC. I can't go with you if that is where this is taking me, whether you come up on the anti-EP and anti-NI sides or in favour of them. I believe in an objective Bible, and I cannot let the doctrines of Biblical perspicuity and sufficiency to be put against each other.

I am creating, as a matter of fact, a separate option to the ones you've given for us to choose from. I am opting for "non of the above". There is no "surely you can choose for one of them", for I can't. This is the type of thing that I'm against. It was that way with women-in-office and theistic evolution, it was that way with Reconstructionism, and it is that way with this issue too. You're asking me to make a choice that puts me at odds with my confession no matter which way I choose.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
***edit***

The simple response is that in the New Testament we are commanded to sing psalms but not to use musical instruments. Since it seems clear that musical instruments were tied to Old Covenant worship (which can be seen in the development of their use under the instruction of Moses, the prophetical type of Christ and David, the kingly type of Christ) that they have passed away along with other types and shadows of the old covenant (like prophets and earthly kings of the Church) and elements of worship that receive no command to continue their use in the New Testament.

It may seem confusing with the texts of certain psalms but I don't really see how that's much of a point. If mentioning of instruments in a psalm means we have to play those instruments, why shouldn't we perform animal sacrifices that are mentioned in the psalms we sing or in the portions of the Law we read from the Pentateuch? It would be easier, I admit, to get out of a situation that requires carefully studying the purpose and usage of musical instruments throughout the scripture by simply proof-texting Psalm 150 and being done with it. However, this is the same thing I used to do as a Charismatic with regard to certain gifts of the spirit. I would point to a verse in 1 Corinthians 14 and say "ah ha! obviously we're supposed to still speak in tongues and prophesy" but I was completely ignoring the meaning and usage of those gifts throughout the course of redemptive history. Since that time was not so long ago it still makes reading 1 Cor 12 and 14 difficult for me sometimes, but the fact that it becomes difficult for me doesn't mean that I shouldn't read, understand and apply them the way I do now.
My point is simply that you are using the Psalms, which is as much a part of the Old Covenant worship as using instruments. Personally, I just feel it's sad that out of adherence to the regulative principle, you feel that you need to only sing from songs that are so tied tied to that Old Covenant and the types and shadows that you cannot express in song in public worship any of the realized and fulfilled types: of the coming of the Holy Spirit, of Christ himself, and his resurrection.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
My point is simply that you are using the Psalms, which is as much a part of the Old Covenant worship as using instruments. Personally, I just feel it's sad that out of adherence to the regulative principle, you feel that you need to only sing from songs that are so tied tied to that Old Covenant and the types and shadows that you cannot express in song in public worship any of the realized and fulfilled types: of the coming of the Holy Spirit, of Christ himself, and his resurrection.
In what way are Psalms "so tied to Old Covenant worship" when we are commanded in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 to sing them?

You continue to change the direction of the discussion by focusing on EP. I was under the impression that we were discussing the use of instruments in New Covenant worship, not Exclusive Psalmody. Trying to prove to me that Exclusive Psalmody is not consistent with New Covenant worship has no bearing on the usage of instruments, since the two can be mutually exclusive, as recent posts have shown.

But even if your argument were valid and you weren't denigrating the psalms by saying that Christ, His resurrection, and the Holy Spirit are not to be found all over them, you would still be proving more than you want to prove because you have not shown that instruments, being obviously tied to Levitical worship and not reinstated in the New Testament, should continue to be used. All you would have proven is that Psalms are like instruments in that they are tied to Old Covenant worship and should not be used, a position I don't think anyone here would advocate, and one which doesn't answer the argument I've been trying to make which you've been circumventing by attacking Exclusive Psalmody, that instruments have no place in New Covenant worship.
 

Augusta

Puritan Board Doctor
Don, we are commanded in two places to sing the psalms. Even if you don't believe that all three terms are the psalms you at least believe that one of them is. The apostles sang the psalms, Jesus sang the psalms. In order to get the gospel out to the masses the Jesus and the apostles found it necessary to quote the Psalms more than any other OT book. The psalms are called the songs of Zion. We are come to Mt. Zion the city of our great King. Let's then sing the songs of Zion.

Psalm 137:3
For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

Hebrews 12:22-24
22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23and to the assembly[a] of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

Isaiah 28:16
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Isaiah 35:10
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Psalm 48:2
Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

Psalm 14:7
Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

Psalm 9:11
Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.

Psalm 74:2
Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.

Psalm 125:1
They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.

Psalm 132:13
For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.

Isaiah 46:13
I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

Isaiah 51:11
Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
In what way are Psalms "so tied to Old Covenant worship" when we are commanded in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 to sing them?

You continue to change the direction of the discussion by focusing on EP. I was under the impression that we were discussing the use of instruments in New Covenant worship, not Exclusive Psalmody. Trying to prove to me that Exclusive Psalmody is not consistent with New Covenant worship has no bearing on the usage of instruments, since the two can be mutually exclusive, as recent posts have shown.

But even if your argument were valid and you weren't denigrating the psalms by saying that Christ, His resurrection, and the Holy Spirit are not to be found all over them, you would still be proving more than you want to prove because you have not shown that instruments, being obviously tied to Levitical worship and not reinstated in the New Testament, should continue to be used. All you would have proven is that Psalms are like instruments in that they are tied to Old Covenant worship and should not be used, a position I don't think anyone here would advocate.
Right. My argument is that consistency leads to absurdity.

Sorry to mix Exclusive Psalter and instruments, but they both derive from the Regulative Principle, so my argument crossed over, and I didn't know you were only concerned about instruments.

Regarding the "Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs," if "Psalms" means just the Psalter, then what are the hymns and spiritual songs? Also the Psalter? Of course Christ is in the Psalms, but they are veiled in shadows.

It is still edifying to sing them, but I don't think we should sing only Psalms in the same way that we shouldn't only preach from the Old Testament. God has given us further revelation to teach and preach from, so why should we not also sing about those things? There is a sense in which, in terms of musical worship, those who practice exclusive Psalter are singing about the types and shadows.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
Don, we are commanded in two places to sing the psalms. Even if you don't believe that all three terms are the psalms you at least believe that one of them is. The apostles sang the psalms, Jesus sang the psalms. In order to get the gospel out to the masses the Jesus and the apostles found it necessary to quote the Psalms more than any other OT book. The psalms are called the songs of Zion. We are come to Mt. Zion the city of our great King. Let's then sing the songs of Zion.
Can a song be a psalm and not part of the Psalter? If not, why? I'm not saying that it's not good to sing from the Psalter, but David and others wrote psalms, but not all of them ended up in the Psalter (2 Samuel 22, 23 among others). A psalm is just a type of song. I don't see why "psalms" in "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" must mean the Psalter, and I don't see why Christians today can't write a "psalm" (non-canonical, of course) any more than they can't write a hymn or a spiritual song.
 

CDM

Puritan Board Junior
Right. My argument is that consistency leads to absurdity.

Sorry to mix Exclusive Psalter and instruments, but they both derive from the Regulative Principle, so my argument crossed over, and I didn't know you were only concerned about instruments.

Regarding the "Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs," if "Psalms" means just the Psalter, then what are the hymns and spiritual songs? Also the Psalter? Of course Christ is in the Psalms, but they are veiled in shadows.

It is still edifying to sing them, but I don't think we should sing only Psalms in the same way that we shouldn't only preach from the Old Testament. God has given us further revelation to teach and preach from, so why should we not also sing about those things? There is a sense in which, in terms of musical worship, those who practice exclusive Psalter are singing about the types and shadows.
Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs = different headings in the Pslater. The terms are synonomous. See Dr. Bacon's very short article here.

You said, "...Christ is in the Psalms, but they are veiled in shadows..." Well, not to to the born again my friend. :D To the unregenerate - sure.

Also by Dr. Bacon, see this article about your types and shadows remark.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs = different headings in the Pslater. The terms are synonomous. See Dr. Bacon's very short article here.
I am familiar with the concept of synonymia, and I'm even willing to grant that this applies. However, I think that they all mean all kinds of worship songs, not that they all mean the Psalter.

You said, "...Christ is in the Psalms, but they are veiled in shadows..." Well, not to to the born again my friend. :D To the unregenerate - sure.
I'm absolutely with you on that one. But it is revealed not just by the Holy Spirit in our hearts, but also because we have the New Testament revelation to identify the shadows.

Also by Dr. Bacon, see this article about your types and shadows remark.
I read it. He seems to get hung over that people object to Jesus' name not being used and doesn't address the broader picture of the Psalms only pointing to Christ in shadows. You can sing about Christ in the Psalms, and you can even sing about his sufferings and his death. It's much harder to find his resurrection proclaimed in the Psalms, though, and it is an essential to the gospel. There is further revelation in the New Testament for which I believe it is helpful to praise God in song.
 

AV1611

Puritan Board Senior
I would say that both are Scriptural and I hold to Exclusive Psalmody and no musical instruments.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
New Songs?

Hay:

TrevorJohnson wrote:

The inhabitants of heaven in Revelation will sing a new song..why can't we?
What makes you think that the "new song" is uninspired?

Grace and Peace,

-CH
 
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