Covenant Theology, RPW, and Musical Instruments

Discussion in 'Covenant Theology' started by Backwoods Presbyterian, Jul 26, 2008.

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  1. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Where is your scriptural proof for this? Excepting John's visions of angles in heaven in Revelation and descriptions of Temple worship the New Testament does not speak once as to Musical Instruments in worship at all.
     
  2. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    BP - you asserted that fear of imitating the Greeks was not a concern of the early church fathers as it regards utilizing instruments. I presented proof that you were in error.

    Again - they are not "pro"scriptive, that is, showing what is forbidden in terms of worship, they are "pre"scriptive in that they are a guide to what is acceptable - per the command of the apostle.
     
  3. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    I did not say it was not a concern I said that is not why they did not allow instruments into Christian worship.

    As far as the Psalms being "pre"scriptive for worship again if they are why do you not follow all that they teach? We cannot just select the parts that are prescriptive. We must, if they are prescriptive, then follow their decrees to the fullest.

    Here are some of what the Psalms command for worship:

    Psalm 29:2 "...Worship the LORD in holy array."

    Psalm 95:6 " Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker."

    Psalm 96:9 "Worship the LORD in holy attire..."


    Why or why not should we do these things in worship, as the Psalms command?
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  4. Casey

    Casey Puritan Board Junior

    [friendly note]
    Brother, I believe this is inappropriate. If you go back and re-read JD's posts, you'll see that he's not arguing for "what is ultimately culturally conditioned to be toward the 'liking' of the modern Church." The nature of his argument is from the Scriptures, not cultural sensitivities. Now you may think his use of Scripture is wrong, and if you do, then argue against that. :)
    [/friendly note]
     
  5. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Thanks Casey. I'll re-write to make it more friendly.
     
  6. RTaron

    RTaron The Grandpa (Affectionately Called)

     
  7. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    Submitted for your consideration...

    Here is a survey of the references to musical instruments in worship throughout 1 and 2 Chronicles...

    1. The use of musical instruments in the OT worship was a function of the Levites, who presided over the sacrificial system.

    2. The specifically appointed function of these Levites was to minister before the ark of the LORD.

    3. Those appointed to play musical instruments were specifically-named members of the priestly family, who were charged to employ the "instruments of God" in connection with the burnt offerings "according to all that is written in the law of the LORD."

    4. Within the order of the priests and Levites there were 4,000 appointed to play musical instruments made by David himself for the purpose of praising God.

    5. In addition to ministering before the ark of the LORD and praising in connection with the burnt offering, some of the priests and Levites were set apart to prophesy with musical instruments.

    6. The employment of the instruments was a function of the priests, arrayed in white linen.

    7. The use of the musical instruments by the Levites was carefully done according to the prescription of God through His prophets - only Levites, and only the specific instruments appointed by God.

    8. The Levitical function of employing the musical instruments commenced with the offering of the burnt offering.

    9. The Levitical funtion of employing the musical instruments stopped at the completion of the burnt offering.

    10. When the burnt offering was finished, the instruments were put away, but the singing of praises continued in reverent worship to God.

     
  8. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Popping in quickly from work...:)

    Good point - except the use of the trumpet in this example is contextualized as an alarm, a noise maker, a signal, like a siren, not as melody making musical accompaniment.

    Numbers 10

    1The LORD spoke further to Moses, saying,

    2"Make yourself two trumpets of silver, of hammered work you shall make them; and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for having the camps set out.

    3"When both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the doorway of the tent of meeting.

    4"Yet if only one is blown, then the leaders, the heads of the divisions of Israel, shall assemble before you.

    5"But when you blow an alarm, the camps that are pitched on the east side shall set out.

    6"When you blow an alarm the second time, the camps that are pitched on the south side shall set out; an alarm is to be blown for them to set out.

    7"When convening the assembly, however, you shall blow without sounding an alarm.

    8"The priestly sons of Aaron, moreover, shall blow the trumpets; and this shall be for you a perpetual statute throughout your generations.

    9"When you go to war in your land against the adversary who attacks you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the LORD your God, and be saved from your enemies.

    10"Also in the day of your gladness and in your appointed feasts, and on the first days of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be as a reminder of you before your God. I am the LORD your God."
     
  9. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    We do.

     
  10. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Revelation 3:4-6 is speaking of the time to come:

    See Matthew Henry:

     
  11. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Nope - falls under the "now, not yet" distinction.

    How about this?

    Galatians 3:27
    For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  12. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Matthew, Doug - I am not overlooking your posts :) - will respond when I have more time, thanks for the interaction! :D
     
  13. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Thinking of a book title: The Psalms Triumphant: the supremacy of the Psalms as ultimate guide to the worship of God in spirit and truth.

    :D
     
  14. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    So you are saying that the call in the Psalms to clothe oneself with "holy attire" is figurative and not normative?
     
  15. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Nope - the holy attire is normative, but we have a greater and holier "attire" in Christ.
     
  16. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    So what exactly is holy attire?
     
  17. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Well, since you brought it up, I'll give you first shot at defining it. :)
     
  18. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    I am not the one trying to say the Psalms are prescriptive for NT worship (thereby proving somehow that instruments are commanded for NT worship.)
     
  19. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    I'd say, based on a search of the scriptures, it is attire which is set apart to God. What that may have meant to the OT worshiper, I am not sure, but I can reasonably discern what it now means to the NT worshiper, since there is scripture to apply to it.
     
  20. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor


    Though going to this discussion is :offtopic: I must say that it seems that "Holy Attire" is nowhere commanded by the NT nor is it even remotely covered under the RPW.
     
  21. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    It's commanded through the Psalms and perfectly fulfilled in the NT through Christ.

    1. We are commanded to use the Psalms as our guide for worship.
    2. The Psalms command X and unless X is abrogated or fulfilled by the NT, it is still valid for the NT believer.
     
  22. timmopussycat

    timmopussycat Puritan Board Junior

    So you don't think Eph. 5:19 establishes the point that the psalms and only the psalms are normative for NT worship?
     
  23. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    I think the word "normative" needs some clarification. Are the Psalms "normative" in the sense that they are the only divinely appointed book of praise and worship songs to be used in the church? Yes. But the word "normative" is usually used in a different sense - namely, that everything mentioned is to be implemented as part of the normal practice of the church. In that sense, the Psalms are not "normative." Many Psalms speak of practices which were part of the OT cultus (i.e., sacrifices) and which are not to be put into practice in the NT church simply because they were mentioned in the Psalms. When we sing them with the greater light that we have in Christ, we understand that the symbols have been fulfilled and we sing them in light of that fulfillment.

    I think Backwoods Presbyterian means that the Psalms are not prescriptive and normative in this latter sense. We can't say that everything mentioned in the Psalms was intended to be practised and implemented in NT worship.
     
  24. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    But we can say that everything concerning worship in the Psalms not abrogated or fulfilled in the NT is prescriptive and normative.

    Not EP or IP, but PP - Prescriptive Psalmody - certainly fits the command of the apostle :)

    Colossians 3:16
    Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
     
  25. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    From where I stand, there is no difference between EP and PP. The Psalms themselves instruct us to sing the psalms, as do other parts of Scripture. Since the singing of Psalms was not abrogated or fulfilled in the NT, the command of the Psalter to sing the Psalms is normative and prescriptive.

    But the use of musical instruments is abrogated and fulfilled. Thus the references to using instruments in the corporate worship of the people of God found in the Psalms are not normative and prescriptive, any more than the references to the sacrifice.

    There are references to the use of musical instruments in the Psalms that refer to their use in other settings besides the corporate public worship of the church, and these I would agree are normative and prescriptive, since they simply charge us to demonstrate our joy and thanksgiving to God with appropriate musical expression.

    No one has yet responded to the references I posted from 1 and 2 Chronicles which demonstrate that the liturgical use of musical instruments in the OT was a particular function of the priests and Levites - connected with the sacrifice and the ark of the covenant - and therefore part of the ceremonial order that has been fulfilled by the Priestly work of Christ.

    RE-POSTED FOR EMPHASIS...

    Submitted for your consideration...

    Here is a survey of the references to musical instruments in worship throughout 1 and 2 Chronicles...

    1. The use of musical instruments in the OT worship was a function of the Levites, who presided over the sacrificial system.

    2. The specifically appointed function of these Levites was to minister before the ark of the LORD.

    3. Those appointed to play musical instruments were specifically-named members of the priestly family, who were charged to employ the "instruments of God" in connection with the burnt offerings "according to all that is written in the law of the LORD."

    4. Within the order of the priests and Levites there were 4,000 appointed to play musical instruments made by David himself for the purpose of praising God.

    5. In addition to ministering before the ark of the LORD and praising in connection with the burnt offering, some of the priests and Levites were set apart to prophesy with musical instruments.

    6. The employment of the instruments was a function of the priests, arrayed in white linen.

    7. The use of the musical instruments by the Levites was carefully done according to the prescription of God through His prophets - only Levites, and only the specific instruments appointed by God.

    8. The Levitical function of employing the musical instruments commenced with the offering of the burnt offering.

    9. The Levitical funtion of employing the musical instruments stopped at the completion of the burnt offering.

    10. When the burnt offering was finished, the instruments were put away, but the singing of praises continued in reverent worship to God.

     
  26. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    If I'm not mistaken, this is the exact argument used with regard to the abrogation of instruments.
     
  27. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    :up::up::up::up:
     
  28. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    I am certain it is, if you buy the non-instruments reasoning and the key text of the rationale utilized, that is Hebrews. But the rationale of Hebrews is focused on the Law of Moses and all its sacrificial, dietary and cleanliness accoutrement, not the rejoicing and singing with instrumental accompaniment of the order of David (that Doug has so helpfully pointed out). That is never abrogated.

     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  29. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Yes exactly. Thanks!!!
     
  30. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    The phrase, "according to the order of David" in this verse simply refers to the command of David to implement the priestly function of the Levitical musicians who employed their instruments in connection with the burnt offering according to the commandment of God. The "order of David" does not refer to an institution separate and distinct from the "Law of Moses."

    The rationale of the author of Hebrews is that Christ, as the High Priest of the good things to come, fulfilled and put an end to the types and shadows of the OT priestly office. The passages I've cited from 1 and 2 Chronicles demonstrate plainly that the use of musical instruments in connection with the sacrifice was an integral part of that OT priestly and Levitical office and function. Thus they are now put away, having been fulfilled by Him.
     
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