Covenant Theology, RPW, and Musical Instruments

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

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  1. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Please demonstrate where in the sacrificial system prior to David that the Levitical priesthood was ordained to rejoice with singing accompanied by instruments. There is a distinction.

    The scripture I quoted clearly associates what types and shadows were abrogated. The Davidic custom of rejoicing and singing accompanied by music has not been abrogated; it has been expanded into the priesthood of believers. Thus the aposlte's mandate that we utilize David's Psalms as our guide for NT worship.
  2. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    I don't need to demonstrate any such thing. God ordained the Levitical priesthood through Moses. God augmented the function of the Levitical priesthood vis-a-vis the use of musical instruments in connection with the animal sacrifice through David. Christ fulfilled all of the types and shadows of the Levitical priesthood through His once-for-all sacrifice, whether instituted under Moses or David.

    What has been committed to us as the priesthood of believers is what is stated in Hebrews 13:14-15 - "For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come (i.e., no more central Temple with all of its appointed ceremonial rites). Therefore (since these things have passed away) by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice (our priestly work) of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips (not musical instruments), giving thanks to His name."
  3. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    In post #30, Ben has a quote from John Calvin, in which Calvin says that 1 Corinthians 14:13 bans the use of musical instruments in worship. Unfortunately for Calvin, neither the verse nor its context say any such thing.

    "Therefore, let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret." (1 Corinthians 14:13, NASB)

    In its context (1 Corinthians 14:13-19), Paul is speaking of intelligent worship, where the mind and the heart must be connected - something that was threatened by speaking in tongues.

    It is perfectly possible to praise God in song and worship while speaking in a known tongue AND using musical instruments. It's done every Lord's Day in thousands of churches.

    It is simply not possible to prove from Scripture that musical instruments are banned in public worship.

    John Calvin, eisegete...

    See Matthew Henry's commentary for an excellent interpretation of this whole passage. Not once does he mention musical instruments.
  4. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Well Calvin would disagree. Can you understand what an instrument says? Does not an instrument speak in a foreign tongue?
  5. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Just because you say it is so does not make it so. DComin has provided ample Biblical evidence as to why instruments have been abrogated by the end of Temple worship. It cannot be stated and restated enough that the usage of instruments in worship is a complete novelty in the Christian tradition, including Jesus and the Apostles themselves who did not use instruments in worship.
  6. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    With all due respect, I have sought to carefully ground my position in the Scriptures and have cited many passages in support of my view on musical instruments. It would be great if an argument could be won by simply declaring by fiat that the opposite position is not possible to prove. I, for one, however, would prefer that those who wish to refute would deal with the multitude of texts that I have cited.
  7. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Acts 16:25, "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God."

    Major: they sang praises to God without mechanical instruments.
    Minor: they did not breach prescribed worship.
    Ergo: Psalmic prescription of mechanical instruments is null and void.
  8. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    No, the Temple worship has ceased because the soteriological reason for it has disappeared - the sacrificial system has been fulfilled in the one true sacrifice of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the important point. Because the theological reason for Temple worship has been abrogated, it does not follow that the use of musical instruments in worship has also been abrogated.
  9. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Matthew, your major premise is an assumption on your part. It could be true (especially as they were in a prison at the time) but it doesn't have to be true. Also, if Paul and Silas were singing without instruments, that doesn't automatically mean that they disapproved of them or never used them themselves in any worship context.
  10. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Richard, They are commanded. So either the command has been abrogated and therefore provides no warrant for the use of mechanical instruments in NT worship, or the command is still in force and we are bound to observe their full use. I don't know anyone who would suggest Paul and Silas had access to musical instrumentation.
  11. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Doug, regarding your 10 points: all you've proven is that the use of musical instruments was incorporated, in great detail, with the Old Testament Temple worship. But that doesn't mean that instruments are banned for us just because the Levitical system is no more.

    As I posted before, the Levitical system ended because its theological and soteriological purpose ended. It does not follow that the use of instruments also ended.

    If it were true that the use of instruments is forbidden, then why didn't Paul, in the various places where he speaks of worship, take the opportunity to tell his readers, or remind his readers, that instruments may not be used. It is significant that he never does so. You'll say that they didn't need reminding; I say that he didn't mention them because, with the passing away of the Levitical system, musical instruments became categorized as part of the "matters indifferent."
  12. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Well, then, since there is no passage in the NT that abrogates the command, then musical instruments are still to be used in worship.
  13. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Have you purchased a harp for next Lord's day service?
  14. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Yes; exactly. Folks need to decide if they are arguing for musical instruments in worship as a circumstance or as a command that has not been lifted in the NT; if the latter, we all must use them in worship. It is not optional.
  15. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    That is of course Chris if one actually follows the RPW.
  16. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Not optional in the sense that they are not banned. The frequency of use, since we have examples of unaccompanied singing, is a matter of liberty.
  17. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    What other parts of the Levitical system remain in the NT era?

    What about incense? Did the theological and soteriological purpose of incense end?

    You mean like here...

    Gal. 4:9 - "But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?"
  18. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    I already have a stringed instrument :)

  19. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    But the Psalms nowhere command a guitar.
  20. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    from here


    I am certain you don't read from a scroll...
  21. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  22. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    You are begging the question that instrument usage in worship was equal to and included with circumcision in terms of the Law of Moses. It wasn't.
  23. Bygracealone

    Bygracealone Puritan Board Sophomore

    JD, when do you think you'll find the time to respond to Matthew's and Doug's posts? They've provided Scriptural arguments to show that musical instruments were tied to ceremonial worship. I look forward to reading your response.

    What about synagogue worship? It's generally understood that NT worship is modeled after synagogue worship. Well, musical instruments were never used in synagogue worship. You see, it was well understood that the musical instruments were only to be used in the temple services, by the Levites, during the sacrifice. So, it’s no surprise that they weren't used in synagogue worship since none of these things are present.

    In fact, even today, the Orthodox Jews don't use musical instruments in their services. Why? Because they still recognize the difference between synagogue and temple worship. Musical instruments are only to be used in the Temple, by the Levites, during the sacrifice. No temple, no sacrifice; no sacrifice, no instruments...
  24. Rev. Todd Ruddell

    Rev. Todd Ruddell Puritan Board Junior

    With all respect, the question asked in the last paragraph "asserts the consequent" by assuming that instruments were employed in places other than the Temple at Jerusalem for worship. I assume from a lack of commandment thereto, and from the fact that instruments were employed *only* at Jerusalem, specifically by way of Divine commandment through the Davidic establishment, and that exclusively during the offering of sacrificial animals, that it woud have been unnecessary for the Apostle to forbid instruments in the New Covenant synagogues (churches) because the Old Covenant synagogues out of which these grew did not employ them in the first place, seeing no animals were (rightly) sacrificed there.
  25. timmopussycat

    timmopussycat Puritan Board Junior

    Your syllogism is missing a necessary premise in order to be valid.
    That is: Paul and Silas had musical instruments with them in prision.
    As it is your syllogism proves nothing.

    In the Psalms, praise is commanded to be sung both without instruments (Ps. 147:1) and with instruments (Ps 149:1-4).
  26. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    I'm sorry, I thought I had already responded here in that the proof texting utilizing Hebrews did not address singing and playing instruments. While David added the singing and playing of the instruments to the ceremony, they were not inherent to ceremonial worship.

    I responded to this objection here with answers from Orthodox Jews.

    from here

    and from this article - you can see that instruments were prohibited by extra biblical mandate that Christians are not held to.
  27. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    We might also add:

    "But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them..." (Acts 2:14)

    Major: Peter preached to God without mechanical amplification
    Minor: he did not breach prescribed worship.
    Ergo: use of mechanical amplification is null and void.

    It would be just as fallacious.
  28. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    JD... I'm not "begging the question"... I have cited Scripture after Scripture to demonstrate that the musical instruments used in OT worship were appointed by God for particular use in the temple ritual in connection with the sacrifice. Please don't say I haven't marshalled the Scriptures to support my position. Just say that you don't agree with me. But "begging the question"???? Give me more credit than that brother...
  29. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    If Peter preached unamplified to 3000+ people outdoors, surely anyone indoors can handle your average Reformed church. Lift up that voice!
  30. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    ow! - begging your forgiveness - you know I give you MAXIMUM respect my brother, just not your rationale in this instance. :)

    They were certainly tied to the ceremony by David, but not initially required by the Law of Moses. And the writer of Hebrews, as well as Paul, never tied them to their rationale or forbade the use of singing and instruments.
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