Exclusive Psalmody...

Discussion in 'A capella Exclusive Psalmody' started by kceaster, Mar 8, 2004.

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  1. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    Has anyone ever heard it argued in the contra position that in order to correctly sing the Psalms, they need to be sung in their inspired language of Hebrew?

    Just curious.

    In Christ,

    KC
     
  2. JonathonHunt

    JonathonHunt Guest

    Without wanting to upset exclusive psalmodists on these boards, that has always been one of my arguments against insistence upon exclusive psalmody. It seems logical to me that 'psalms-only' folk should sing in hebrew otherwise... *fill in the rest*
     
  3. Guest

    Guest Puritan Board Freshman

    That is the best argument for all Exclusive Psalmnody.

    Actually it is an interesting dillemma for the tr/Reg priciple also. ie. the Bible never commands us to translate it into other languages.
     
  4. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    Doesn't it?

    [quote:0f9ef8cb70][i:0f9ef8cb70]Originally posted by Visigoth[/i:0f9ef8cb70]
    That is the best argument for all Exclusive Psalmnody.

    Actually it is an interesting dillemma for the tr/Reg priciple also. ie. the Bible never commands us to translate it into other languages. [/quote:0f9ef8cb70]

    Re 14:6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth--to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people--

    Ro 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    Seems like translation is pretty implicit to me. However, we must still maintain that the Scriptures are only immediately inspired in their original tongues.

    In Christ,

    KC
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Puritan Board Freshman

    I am not TR or RP so I have no problem translating the scriptures.

    But it seems to me if it is not explicitly commanded, would not the Regulative priciple see the scriptures more narrow in their meaning of the verses you quoted ? ? (honest question)

    Seems like the best thing to do for them would be to pray for the gift of tongues at that point.
     
  6. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    kevin:
    I too don't want to step on toes here, for I am against Esclusive Psalmody too. But I do not oppose it to the point that I make it an issue. My church practices it, and I am content to abide by the majority's scruples.

    It is my view that the argument you make does not hold. What holds for inspired words does not have to hold for inspired notes. At least that has not been shown yet, to my knowledge.

    I am of the opinion that Exclusive Psalmody breaks the RPW, by imposing what is not directly stated, nor [u:069904b9b4]necessarily[/u:069904b9b4] inferred, in Scripture. I can see that some are convinced that it is, and I would not step on that. I see it as a matter of choice by the church; and I can live with that. As long as the pulpit doesn't get involved in it by asserting that I sin by not agreeing with it, it will remain a peaceful agreement among parishoners. But if it goes to the point of demanding adherence on the principle of doctrine instead of unity, then it is no longer a matter of Exclusive Psalmody alone.

    That's my take on it.
     
  7. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    John,

    I am not looking to dismantle EP at all. I would be perfectly content in singing the Psalms alone.

    But I would dismantle the argument that EP is the only possibility given in the RPW. I do not agree with those who would look down upon people who sing hymns as less holy. Further, if one of their major points were the fact that the Psalms are inspired and hymns are not, I would have to ask them to be consistent and only sing the words from the Bible, not the ones from the psalter, and that they should sing them in Hebrew.

    The divines would be terribly inconsistent if they argued for the inspired psalter, yet they claim that only the original languages are immediately inspired. Those two do not marry.

    Therefore, I would use this argument for a more correct interpretation of the RPW and say that they did not forbid the use of hymns. Unless they claim that their psalter is inspired, they cannot claim to be singing the inspired psalms.

    Mark,

    We also have the command to, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." We cannot do that without translation. And, since the gifts have ceased, we cannot pray for the gift of tongues either. How do I know they are ceased? Because since the Apostles died, men have had to learn languages in order to speak them. I guess you could go ahead and pray for it, though.

    We need a Luke on this board so that we could have the gospel writers all represented in name. Come to think of it, we have two Phillip's, a Paul, a Joseph, I'm pretty sure a James, and probably a host of other OT names, like Benjamin and Joshua.

    I don't fit, though and neither does Fred. We're going to have to change our names to Bartholomew or Theophilus.

    I'm pretty sure Pvt. Bouncy will have to change his name, too. How do you spell it in either Hebrew or Greek?

    :bouncy:

    In Christ,

    KC
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Puritan Board Freshman

    KC:

    I'm with you. My point was for the RPW guys. I think it is obvious by deduction that we should translate the bible into every tongue.

    How does our conclusion here then nullify the argument for Hebrew-Only Psalms being sung ? ?
     
  9. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Kevin:
    If you're playing, I'll be singing.:biggrin:

    I would think that the same thing holds here as the counter to Bahnsen's insistence onthe Postmillennial view. The more that it is proven that the Westminster Assembly was persuaded about it, the more credence we can place on the fact that it was not included into the Standards deliberately. Or, the more they thought that EP was right, the more they realized that they could not necessitate it from Scripture. It's a dilemma of differing views, and that's all it is; and that is how it must remain unless it can be shown from Scripture that it must be otherwise. Neither side ought to impose their will on the other.

    Having said that, I believe the opposed side has more weight to it. What I mean is that if a church wishes to sing hymns, and push comes to shove in a struggle over it, the side that wants to sing hymns should come out on top, ideally (assuming that all they do is try to follow Scripture. )

    But I still think that it has not been shown that inspired words automatically involve inspired notes. The words have been given us, but not the notes. If the argument for EP holds, that we have a Psalter in Scripture, and that we ought not to add to it, but we are not given the notes to sing by, (nor is our cultural musical setting the same by any means ) this does not diminish the argument at all.

    I know what you mean; either do it all the way or not at all. If it means anything, it means the whole thing, or it doesn't mean anything. But I don't think that this is true. It is not as though it can be adopted legalistically, for that alone is enough to topple the argument. Nor do I believe it ought to be viewed that way, even if it is argued that way.

    The question, as I see it, is if the Bible
    has a preference that we sing the Psalms only? If it does, we ought to embrace it. Not only do I not see the Bible imposing EP, I don't even see that the Bible has a preference for it. But to put it in legalistic terms predetermines the outcome, and is not helpful.

    But that's my :wr50: worth. And considering that they probably have the queen on them rather than Lincoln, I guess that you can't even take it at face value. Oh well.

    [Edited on 3-8-2004 by JohnV]
     
  10. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    [quote:457ad4116b][i:457ad4116b]Originally posted by Visigoth[/i:457ad4116b]
    KC:

    I'm with you. My point was for the RPW guys. I think it is obvious by deduction that we should translate the bible into every tongue.

    How does our conclusion here then nullify the argument for Hebrew-Only Psalms being sung ? ? [/quote:457ad4116b]

    The RPW does not require a direct command, but allows also for inference such as KC has suggested.

    Compare WCF 21.1 "But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture"

    with

    WCF 1.6 "WCF 1:6 The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is [b:457ad4116b]either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture[/b:457ad4116b]: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men."
     
  11. Guest

    Guest Puritan Board Freshman

    [quote:a8de527303]
    WCF 1.6 "WCF 1:6 The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men."
    [/quote:a8de527303]

    Excellent.

    I was talking to someone who said this was not so. Thanks.
     
  12. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    [quote:586ef1246d][i:586ef1246d]Originally posted by JohnV[/i:586ef1246d]
    Kevin:
    If you're playing, I'll be singing.:biggrin:

    I would think that the same thing holds here as the counter to Bahnsen's insistence onthe Postmillennail view. The more that it is proven that the Westminster Assembly was persuaded about EP, the more credence we can place on the fact that it was not included into the Standards deliberately. Or, the more they thought that EP was right, the more they realized that they could not necessitate it from Scripture. It's a dilemma of differing views, and that's all it is; and that is how it must remain unless it can be show from Scripture that it must be otherwise. Neither side ought to impose their will on the other.

    Having said that, I believe the opposed side has more weight to it. What I mean is that if a church wishes to sing hymns, and push comes to shove in a struggle over it, the side that wants to sing hymns should come out on top, ideally (assuming that all they do is try to follow Scripture. )

    But I still think that it has not been shown that inspired words automatically involve inspired notes. The words have been given us, but not the notes. If the argument for EP holds, that we have a Psalter in Scripture, and that we ought not to add to it, but we are not given the notes to sing by, (nor is our cultural musical setting the same by any means ) this does not diminish the argument at all.

    I know what you mean; either do it all the way or not at all. If it means anything, it means the whle thing, or it doesn't mean anything. But I don't think that this is true. It is not as though it can be adpted legalistically, for that alone is enough to topple the argument. Nor do I believe it ought to be viewed that way, even if it is argued that way.

    The question, as I see it, is if the Bible
    has a preference that we sing the Psalms only? If it does, we ought to embrace it. Not only do I not see the Bible imposing EP, I don't even see that the Bilbe has a preference for it. But to put it in legalistic terms predetermines the outcome, and is not helpful.

    But that's my :wr50: worth. And considering that they probably have the queen on them rather than Lincoln, I guess that you can't even take it at face value. Oh well. [/quote:586ef1246d]

    John,

    While I disagree with the EP position on RPW grounds (I believe that the Bible commands us to sing hymns), it is actually very clear that the Westminster divines were EP. That is why the Confession at 21.5 lists "singing of Psalms with grace in the heart" as an element and yet cites Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16. Just because we have chosen to ignore the Confression at this point and "pretend" that hymns are included, does not make our position right. That is why I take exception to that portion of the Confession, and I would like to see it changed.
     
  13. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    [quote:662fe95dc9][i:662fe95dc9]postd by Fred Greco[/i:662fe95dc9]
    John,

    While I disagree with the EP position on RPW grounds (I believe that the Bible commands us to sing hymns), it is actually very clear that the Westminster divines were EP. That is why the Confession at 21.5 lists "singing of Psalms with grace in the heart" as an element and yet cites Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16. Just because we have chosen to ignore the Confression at this point and "pretend" that hymns are included, does not make our position right. That is why I take exception to that portion of the Confession, and I would like to see it changed. [/quote:662fe95dc9]

    Me too. If I were to suggest that in our church, though, I think I'd have trouble. I tend to be more careful where I am. I think that in some places we need to overcome more than just the notion of Biblical obscurity on the issue. Before we can show it from Scripture we have to overcome some prejudices.

    Meanwhile, I remain convinced that we should sing hymns, while I am confined to the man-made psalter. (In reality, the Psalter we now use is the same thing as having hymns: they are versifications, put in modern poetic form, with allowances for artistic freedom, and using Scripture as the basis, exactly as hymns are, except the hymns are not confined to the Psalms. )



    [Edited on 3-8-2004 by JohnV]
     
  14. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    Fred...

    I want to see more documentation before (or if ever) I make my vow. Did the divines never sing 'Ein Feste Burg'? Did they never sing the Gloria Patri? Did they never sing 'Of the Father's Love Begotten'? How can they site passages that say, "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs," without placing them in the context of their day? Surely hymn meant the same thing in the middle of the 17th century as it does now. Or, maybe not.

    I need more to read like I need another hole in the head, but can you give me a title to read on this?

    In Christ,

    KC
     
  15. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    [quote:48c1462ea0][i:48c1462ea0]Originally posted by kceaster[/i:48c1462ea0]
    I want to see more documentation before (or if ever) I make my vow. Did the divines never sing 'Ein Feste Burg'? Did they never sing the Gloria Patri? Did they never sing 'Of the Father's Love Begotten'? How can they site passages that say, "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs," without placing them in the context of their day? Surely hymn meant the same thing in the middle of the 17th century as it does now. Or, maybe not.

    I need more to read like I need another hole in the head, but can you give me a title to read on this?

    In Christ,

    KC [/quote:48c1462ea0]

    KC,

    You need to look at Davies' [i:48c1462ea0]Worship of the English Puritans[/i:48c1462ea0]. You can also read any number of Puritans on the subject (Burrough's [i:48c1462ea0]Gospel Worship[/i:48c1462ea0] for example). You will never find a divine or even for that fact very many puritans at all who sang hymns.

    Another good set of resources is the OPC report on Psalmody/Hymnody, as well as any of the online essays promoting exclusive psalmody. They are historically accurate. The "dirty little secret" of American Presbyterianism is that hymnody was not really introduced until a good while after the Confession was written, and even then it met with extreme opposition.

    Again, I'm not arguing that the Confession is right at this point - just for words meaning what they say. The same tactic is used with respect to the days of creation (ignoring the divines' original intent).
     
  16. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    Fred...

    Thanks for the suggestions. I will get to those.

    Do you know whether or not I would have to expressly state this for my exams in the OPC?

    Or, do I have to state it at all? I don't disagree with the confession, really. I would be perfectly fine for singing just the psalms in corporate worship.

    Did you have to express an exception?

    In Christ,

    KC
     
  17. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    [quote:68b7007a76][i:68b7007a76]Originally posted by kceaster[/i:68b7007a76]
    Thanks for the suggestions. I will get to those.

    Do you know whether or not I would have to expressly state this for my exams in the OPC?

    Or, do I have to state it at all? I don't disagree with the confession, really. I would be perfectly fine for singing just the psalms in corporate worship.

    Did you have to express an exception?

    In Christ,

    KC [/quote:68b7007a76]

    KC,

    It is completely dependent on the Presbytery. I did express it as an exception in one, and the in a second they refused to take it (they disagreed that it was an exception).

    I don't think you get the idea of the Confession here - it is not enough for you to "be ok" with only singing psalms. What that position means is that you would have to believe it was sinful to sing hymns (cf. the Larger Catechism on interpreting the commandments)
     
  18. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    Fred...

    Really?

    I don't know if I could go that far. Do the Scriptures call it a sin to sing hymns?

    I guess I'll have to do more digging.

    In Christ,

    KC
     
  19. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    [quote:7530b57b32][i:7530b57b32]Originally posted by kceaster[/i:7530b57b32]
    Really?

    I don't know if I could go that far. Do the Scriptures call it a sin to sing hymns?

    I guess I'll have to do more digging.

    In Christ,

    KC [/quote:7530b57b32]

    KC,

    Do the Scriptures call it a sin to have drama in worship? We are talking about the RPW here. If you take the position that ONLY psalms are commanded (as the WCF does), then hymns are forbidden, aren't they?
     
  20. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Do any of you think it is fair that the WCF left out refercnes by which they quote to make thier point in this section:

    "singing of psalms with grace in the heart"

    Proofs:
    Col. 3:16, "in psalms [b:a9b3c24a10]and[/b:a9b3c24a10] hymns [b:a9b3c24a10]and[/b:a9b3c24a10] spiritual songs, singing with
    grace in your hearts to the Lord."

    Eph. 5:19, "speaking to one another in psalms [b:a9b3c24a10]and[/b:a9b3c24a10] hymns [b:a9b3c24a10]and[/b:a9b3c24a10] spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord."

    James 5:13, "Let him sing psalms."

    I Cor. 14:15, " I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding."

    In studying the various Greek words of Eph and Col I find them to be different, not the same. What interpretation one puts on them, (i.e. are spiritual songs psalms, are psalms hymns, etc.).

    I do not think one would need to say "I take an exception" to this, if all three words were in fact different. You interpretation of that section would still lead you to say I agree with it, and so would, say, Burroughs or Gillespie in their EP.

    It is emphatically true, though, that the Puritans and framers of the WA were in fact Exclusive Psalmodists.

    Would I be bothered to sing just the Psalm, yes, with Edwards, "Why woudl I want to walk back behind the veil?"
     
  21. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    Fred...

    [quote:86ff09548a]KC,

    Do the Scriptures call it a sin to have drama in worship? We are talking about the RPW here. If you take the position that ONLY psalms are commanded (as the WCF does), then hymns are forbidden, aren't they? [/quote:86ff09548a]

    Wow! I guess I never looked at it that way because singing a hymn is a perfectly scriptural thing to do. How could they forbid a hymn being sung when Christ did so and so did the apostles and encouraged the practice in the NT?

    To prefer the Psalms is one thing. But to say that something that is an imperative of Scripture is a sin is something different. I guess I never put hymn-singing in a category of will-worship since it is a scriptural imperative.

    In Christ,

    KC
     
  22. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    [quote:d74e8945a4][i:d74e8945a4]Originally posted by kceaster[/i:d74e8945a4]
    [quote:d74e8945a4]KC,

    Do the Scriptures call it a sin to have drama in worship? We are talking about the RPW here. If you take the position that ONLY psalms are commanded (as the WCF does), then hymns are forbidden, aren't they? [/quote:d74e8945a4]

    Wow! I guess I never looked at it that way because singing a hymn is a perfectly scriptural thing to do. How could they forbid a hymn being sung when Christ did so and so did the apostles and encouraged the practice in the NT?

    To prefer the Psalms is one thing. But to say that something that is an imperative of Scripture is a sin is something different. I guess I never put hymn-singing in a category of will-worship since it is a scriptural imperative.

    In Christ,

    KC [/quote:d74e8945a4]

    KC (and Matt),

    You are still missing the point. The drafters of the Confession would say that it is NOT commanded in the Bible (including the NT) to sing anything other than psalms, so that it would not only not be a bad thing to forbid them, but it is the Biblical thing to do.

    First, the "hymn" sung by Jesus and the disciples is basically universally (even by pagans) acknowledged to be a Psalm, or rather one of the series of the psalms of ascent. It is not a hymn as we think of it.

    Second, the words used in both Eph 5.19 and Col 3.16 are the exact same words. They are "psalmoi, hymnoi and odai pneumatikai." These have been interpreted by some (in the EP crowd) to refer to the same thing - in a Hebraism of triple repitition (not unlike Paul's asking three times to be rid of the thorn in the flesh). Alternatively, they have been linked to superscriptions in the LXX Book of Psalms, which refers to one section of the psalms as "psalmoi" another as "hymnoi" and a third as "odai."

    The "let him sing psalms" of James and "sing with the spirit" of Corinthians is simply the verbal form of "psalmoi" - "psallo."

    Now I have heard the LXX argument before, and while interesting, I don't buy it. I think that there is sufficient Classical Greek usage of hymnoi and odai (especially in the context of letters to the Greek and Gentile churches of Colosse and Ephesus) that they would not have been thought of first as "types of psalms."

    But having said all that, we need to be critical in our thinking. It really is insufficient to simply twist the words of the Confession because "everybody sings hymns." Kind of like the "living document" theory!
     
  23. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Fred:
    Is praise by singing part of freewill worship, such as freewill offerings?

    Do we have any proof of "content" in any of the references to the singing of psalms? Do we know what they sang with any certainty, that it was exclusively from the Psalter?

    What I'm trying to get at is the times that we are addressed to sing "a new song" with all kinds of instruments, and that the creation itself, just by doing what it is doing, is praising God. Praise is praise, and praise is worship too.

    I see some EPers playing hymns outside the formal worship situation. That seems inconsistent to me. Is there such a thing worship which is acceptable outside of formal worship and yet unacceptable inside formal worship? Isn't it rather that it is either OK or it isn't, regardless of the circumstance?

    I'm beginning to see your point, I think, about taking exception to that line of the Confessions. It is awkward more than it is clear, though. The EPers would have to take a legalistic stance on it in order to impose it like that. But to me that's questionable. It is still imposing upon parishoners what isn't of necessity from Scripture.
     
  24. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    John,

    I see your point. I agree that EP is unbiblically restrictive. But we must be careful not to let the draft of skits, powerpoint slide shows, music videos and other garbage into the door as we open it up to throw out EP. The reason that EP is unbiblical is that we are commanded to sing hymns - Eph. 5:19, Col 3:16. It is not because we really would like to sing hymns, or because we can't imagine that God would be so restrictive without a positive command.

    We also need to be very careful about making the sort of analogy you do with conflating corporate worship and life. Do you really want to give up the theatre? How about dance? The argument you put forward - which is put forward with far more brazenness by John Frame - puts you in the place of everything goes or nothing goes. It is dangerous.
     
  25. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    Fred et al...

    I am struggling with this because I don't want to take an exception. I found out from my pastor, who just took his exams last year in preparation for us to become an OP church, asked the same question about EP. The answer from our presbytery is that there is no exception, just as you said, Fred.

    It just bothers me that the divines interpreted the Scripture in that manner. I think it is perfectly sound, because hymns are different today (even in the last few hundred years) than during their time or even the time of the apostles. I understand that hymn should not be looked upon as "Rock of Ages," read back into the text, because the text did not know that one.

    Also, I think one of the key Scriptures in this debate for me is I Chron. 25:7. This passage refers to the songs of the LORD obviously talking about the Psalms.

    I can see their point, and I am not so strictly tied that I cannot agree with them.

    But I think this goes to our own preferences. I love singing the great hymns of the church. But they are not for me. I am not worshipping myself. I am worshipping God and it should be the way He has prescribed.

    I think I understand now. I just have to figure out how I apply this understanding.

    In Christ,

    KC
     
  26. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Kevin:

    Something has been nagging me a while. You being a musician can maybe help me think through this.

    There has always been a spectre of music being unique that has tinted my view of EP. Music has a way of speaking, or communing if you will, that is like no other. Songs have to be fresh and free, both musically and lyrically. Yet some songs, like [u:b2cc619746]Be Thou My Vision[/u:b2cc619746] never seem to lose their freshness and appeal.

    The fact that songs ought to stay within the bounds of Scriptural soundness doesn't limit the range at all. But new lyrics and new music are always welcome, musically speaking.

    I think that this has a bearing on the EP discussion, but I don't know where to fit it in, or what weight it has. It's just fluttering around in my mind. And it bears a lot of weight for me, as far a EP is concerned. Not that it rules it out, but that the Psalms may be and ought to be re-lyricized, and re-arranged so that we may seek and find those arrangements that keep their freshness and ability to commune the way music ought to. This goes for hymns too.

    I guess I'm poking around with the concept of music itself, and how it relates to the worship that God desires.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  27. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    John...

    As one who struggles with this as well, I hear your heart.

    But to my thinking, we must remember whom we worship. Does God get "tired" of hearing the same praise? I hate to put it in such human terms, but think of it for a moment.

    If we had just 150 songs to sing to God, would He still be worshiped afresh and anew every time?

    I am for as much simplicity as possible. I would love to get down to just a couple songs in every worship service. This does not mean we praise God less. For the Word would be more in the main if we sang less. We would have more time for preaching, more time for prayer, more time for the sacrament.

    But if it came right down to it, is God praised more in His Word, than in our inventions or alterations of it? Since it is the closest and nearest thing to the attribute of God, even in its vulgar form, should that not extol with greater magnitude the God we worship than the worship of our own invention?

    I really do struggle with this because God gives us voice to praise Him. He has given me, personally, the ability to write music and the words to go with it. But all of the greatest music the world has ever known pales in comparison with the Word and its faculties.

    I have not written a tune for a Psalm yet. Because I do not really know how to approach that. I can write alternate tunes for hymns or write simple melodies for children, or even music for words of my own mind. But how far short do they, because they are uninspired, fall from the Word of God.

    I guess I would be okay with it if we were commanded to praise God in our own way. But I don't believe that, nor do I presume to tell God how He should be worshiped.

    I am leaning more and more to the Psalter every day, but even then, it is still short of the actual Word of God, because it is uninspired.

    I will never advocate the nonuse of music because it is scriptural to sing. But I think music for me is becoming less and less as I grow in the Word of God.

    EP is growing on me. I will not divide with my church over it. But my convictions are growing stronger in that arena.

    In Christ,

    KC
     
  28. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    [quote:6188d67c73]I will never advocate the nonuse of music because it is scriptural to sing. But I think music for me is becoming less and less as I grow in the Word of God. [/quote:6188d67c73]
    Kevin:
    I guess my point was that as the Word becomes more and more, so should proper music. It should result in voluntary praise, which in Scripture is expressed in singing.

    A joyful heart should erupt in music, at least if it is musically inclined. Song is the marriage of notes and words to make expression. I know that our prayers, our sermons, and our offerings too, are tainted with our sinful ways, but yet God is pleased with our worship of Him.

    Sometimes EP is expressed as if singing needs to be even more sanctified than the sermons. But preaching is a means of grace, the way God chose to present his gospel. And how often do we see the pulpit used to express men's opinions in reference to the Word's teachings. Human theories are superimposed on what is being preached at times, and it goes without redress too often. But where do you draw the line? So how can we exact a stricter line upon free worship?

    The way you put it, ([u:6188d67c73]and I know that you didn't mean it the way I am twisting it[/u:6188d67c73] but it does help me to express it better ) music seems to flag in true worship. And that seems wrong to me. And it is this that I would like to try to work through.
     
  29. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    John...

    [quote:9293eb98ab]Kevin:
    I guess my point was that as the Word becomes more and more, so should proper music. It should result in voluntary praise, which in Scripture is expressed in singing.

    A joyful heart should erupt in music, at least if it is musically inclined. Song is the marriage of notes and words to make expression. I know that our prayers, our sermons, and our offerings too, are tainted with our sinful ways, but yet God is pleased with our worship of Him.[/quote:9293eb98ab]

    I would agree to a point. That point is that God is pleased with our worship of Him that is done in Spirit and in truth. The point that does not please God is when our praise is misaligned with the Word. That is where I need help.

    It would seem to me that the Psalms are aligned, and where good hymns are, they [i:9293eb98ab]seem[/i:9293eb98ab] to be aligned. But so much the better the Psalms, because they are the songs of the LORD. He wrote them, therefore, He must be more pleased with them, than with anything else ever written.

    [quote:9293eb98ab]Sometimes EP is expressed as if singing needs to be even more sanctified than the sermons. But preaching is a means of grace, the way God chose to present his gospel. And how often do we see the pulpit used to express men's opinions in reference to the Word's teachings. Human theories are superimposed on what is being preached at times, and it goes without redress too often. But where do you draw the line? So how can we exact a stricter line upon free worship?[/quote:9293eb98ab]

    But there in preaching we are given a latitude that I do not believe goes for singing as well. It would be just as if we brought a camel to be sacrificed because we didn't have a ram. God didn't give latitude to that. But to preaching we have latitude to preach the Word as best our feeble tongues can do.

    [quote:9293eb98ab]The way you put it, ([u:9293eb98ab]and I know that you didn't mean it the way I am twisting it[/u:9293eb98ab] but it does help me to express it better ) music seems to flag in true worship. And that seems wrong to me. And it is this that I would like to try to work through. [/quote:9293eb98ab]

    Because the Spirit dwells in us, our praise is to the glory of God. If that praise is in song that the Spirit blesses with truth and light, then it is as God has intended. The music is secondary. It is a vehicle. But only the words praise God, which is why worship is to be done with intelligible words and in an orderly fashion.

    What we have to determine is what the Spirit will work in when it comes to our praise through song. It could be the most beautiful music in the world, yet without the Spirit and the truth, it is only sound that pleases us, but not God. He is extolled only by His own Spirit and the Truth of His Word.

    I hear your struggles, brother. I am right there with you.

    In Christ,

    KC
     
  30. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    [quote:ad2aea3bbd]
    Now I have heard the LXX argument before, and while interesting, I don't buy it. I think that there is sufficient Classical Greek usage of hymnoi and odai (especially in the context of letters to the Greek and Gentile churches of Colosse and Ephesus) that they would not have been thought of first as "types of psalms."
    [/quote:ad2aea3bbd]

    Right, exactly what I meant. The words are not the same such as "holy, holy, holy" or "truly, truly".


    [quote:ad2aea3bbd]
    But having said all that, we need to be critical in our thinking. It really is insufficient to simply twist the words of the Confession because "everybody sings hymns." Kind of like the "living document" theory!
    [/quote:ad2aea3bbd]

    We would have to say, then, if we are being honsest, that WE DO take exception to this in the Confession because the framers of the Confession meant one thing, and we take that same statement and meaning something other than that. There really would be no way to say anything other than that.
     
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