Music/Worship/Praise inside and outside of Church.

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Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Junior
But here's what I don't understand: Psalm 5, for example, the title says "For the Flutes." So with this logic, if we are not using flutes when singing Psalm 5, then we are not obeying God. Or Psalm 150 says "praise Him with trumpets, harps, pipes, cymbals, lutes, tambourines and dance." If this is a command that was not revoked in the NT, then our worship is way off. I think there is more too it. Just my opinion though.
 

timfost

Puritan Board Senior
But here's what I don't understand: Psalm 5, for example, the title says "For the Flutes." So with this logic, if we are not using flutes when singing Psalm 5, then we are not obeying God. Or Psalm 150 says "praise Him with trumpets, harps, pipes, cymbals, lutes, tambourines and dance." If this is a command that was not revoked in the NT, then our worship is way off. I think there is more too it. Just my opinion though.
Ryan,

This is precisely what I find confusing about instrument prohibitions. If it is to promote heart-worship, shouldn't we focus on the state of the heart and not set up prohibitions on musical instruments?

"Let everything that has breath praise the LORD."

Unless Psalm 150 is promoting that musical instruments breathe, it does teach that those who have breath use them to praise the Lord. Are we truly edified by singing a Psalm about OT use of musical instruments no longer applicable to NT worship? Or should we continue to worship God from the heart, even while using musical instruments?
 
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StephenG

Puritan Board Freshman
But here's what I don't understand: Psalm 5, for example, the title says "For the Flutes." So with this logic, if we are not using flutes when singing Psalm 5, then we are not obeying God. Or Psalm 150 says "praise Him with trumpets, harps, pipes, cymbals, lutes, tambourines and dance." If this is a command that was not revoked in the NT, then our worship is way off. I think there is more too it. Just my opinion though.
Ryan,

This is precisely what I find confusing about instrument prohibitions. If it is to promote heart-worship, shouldn't we focus on the state of the heart and not set up prohibitions on musical instruments?

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord."

Unless Psalm 150 is promoting that musical instruments breathe, it is promoting that those who have breath use them for this purpose. Are we truly edified by singing a Psalm about OT worship that is no longer applicable to NT worship?

I hope not!
Here's my 2 cents:
"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord." The organ is a mechanical way of moving 'breath' through pipes, if you will. Maybe a bit of a stretch, but I agree with brother Ryan.
 

brendanchatt

Puritan Board Freshman
I understand it that the commands to use instruments are no longer valid in the literal sense, just like other things that are commanded in the Old Testament.
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
Did God regulate what was done in OT worship? And now under the new covenant does he no longer regulate what is done? David and the other prophets didn't do or incorporate anything, including any musical instrument, unless God had commanded its use. They feared the Lord and would never have introduced something into his worship that he had not commanded. So now what is his will for the NT church when we gather for corporate worship? Our speculations don't matter. God has a will about it. We know that the public worship of God changed dramatically, right? The apostles, who are the NT equivalent of the OT prophets, revealed God's will under the new covenant. Dance and musical instruments, among other things, aren't commanded by the apostles and so they're not prescribed. It's still wonderful to sing the Psalms that reference harps and lyres and cymbals and dance because we understand the significance of them. Just as it's still wonderful to sing about Mt Zion and Jerusalem, and about binding the festal sacrifice to the horns of the altar. Those things still have meaning, even more meaning, really, but we have put aside their physical use. I recommend John Price's book Old Light on New Worship- it's been a while since I read it but my memory is that he does a good job on helping to understand these issues.


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brendanchatt

Puritan Board Freshman
I think that instruments show us about the effect of the Holy Spirit on the heart. To say that instruments were a type or shadow, means that the Spirit has come in his fullness. Consider Christ sending the Spirit and Pentecost.
(I'll fix my signature when I get to a computer)
I thought the sermon was good and a very convincing argument. I just didn't quite understand his stance on Psalm 150 and the like. It seemed as if he was saying Psalm 150 refers to types and shadows. I thought it referred to praising God outside of corporate worship. Any clarity would be great. Thanks!
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
On a personal note (from an older sister in Christ who has so often fallen so far short, both in love and in service): I began searching out God's will for our singing together in the Scripture because I saw how impossible if God has not left his church specific instructions on worship. I saw it was up to each pastor, each congregation, whether they would employ extremes of silliness and frothiness in their worship, or whether they would keep to one sedate organ or piano or guitar. Apart from God's revealed will on the matter, "every pastor or worship leader does what is right in their own eyes." So I realized that God must have made it clear to his church what he would have us do.

We reform(ing) Christians come to the doctrines of election and predestination and eventually embrace them as beautiful, once we see it. Brothers and sisters around us may vilify those doctrines (and us), convinced that we are in gross error, feeling sorry for us, etc. But what once seemed impossible to us, that God actually elected us before the foundation of the world and predestined us to be his own, now is, for us, the most wonderful and comforting doctrine.

Differently (yet similarly) the doctrines of our singing together are not immediately apparent in Scripture to so many in our day. One must search the Scripture, desiring to know God's will and asking the Lord for his help. There are sermons, books, articles, etc. to help. Even so, one may not be able to grasp it easily, due to the hold that the long history and concept of hymnody and musical accompaniment has on our thinking.

Yet a capella EP was, overall, the standard belief and practice of the church for around 1200 years, until organs began to be accepted under the Popes. Then, in the reformation, all such innovations were tossed back out (of the Reformed churches), and a return was made to a more apostolic practice. This held in the churches for a while, until around 250 years ago, when hymnody and then organs and pianos (not without great controversy) began to make their way back in.

How important is the doctrine of our singing together in the church? Very important, I believe. First of all, because it is important to our Lord. Read the passages in the Psalms and Hebrews about Christ singing with the brothers he has brought to the Father in the congregation. What will we sing with him and how will he have us sing it? The fear of God, in a good way, can come upon one as one considers this in all its weightiness.

Charity and patience with each other are also called for. For close to 300 years now the churches have embraced a different practice and way of thinking. I pray for reform in this area, and pray for pastors and elders. Only the Spirit of God can effect reform to God's will where there is a lack. He would have us love one another above all as these things are dealt with and as he is working.
 

timfost

Puritan Board Senior
Jeri,

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

Also, to be clear, I'm not advocating the normative principle.

I, along with many reformed churches, don't see grounds for such restrictions. Certainly we agree that singing is an appropriate part of worship. But I believe there is some flexibility in the circumstance of the music. For example, should we use modal theory as was probably employed by Greek culture in the days of the Apostles? Is four-part harmony acceptable? How about a pitch pipe for getting the starting pitch? Again, the circumstance of our worship, I believe, gives us some flexibility under the RP.

I'm going to try to leave it at that. I really appreciate your time in explaining you're convictions. I seriously only desire to promote unity and understanding, even as we have differing practices.

Blessings,
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
the RPW requires a positive, explicit command in order to introduce any element into the public worship of God.
Some of the Psalms have a positive, explicit command that they be sung to instruments. Show me where the New Testament amends or revokes this, and then we can go from there.
Show me any place in Scripture where someone who is not a Levite may play an instrument in worship.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
But here's what I don't understand: Psalm 5, for example, the title says "For the Flutes." So with this logic, if we are not using flutes when singing Psalm 5, then we are not obeying God. Or Psalm 150 says "praise Him with trumpets, harps, pipes, cymbals, lutes, tambourines and dance." If this is a command that was not revoked in the NT, then our worship is way off. I think there is more too it. Just my opinion though.
Ryan,

We have to remember that the Psalms were given in the context of OT ceremonial worship. The command for the Levites to use certain instruments should be understood in that light. In a similar way the Psalms say such things as, "Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar" (Psalm 118:27).
 

Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Junior
Ryan,

We have to remember that the Psalms were given in the context of OT ceremonial worship. The command for the Levites to use certain instruments should be understood in that light. In a similar way the Psalms say such things as, "Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar" (Psalm 118:27).
I think I am becoming more convinced that instruments shouldn't be in NT corporate worship. After I listened to that sermon, it really made sense, and it was such a simple argument. Tyler, are you exclusive with Psalms?
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Ryan,

We have to remember that the Psalms were given in the context of OT ceremonial worship. The command for the Levites to use certain instruments should be understood in that light. In a similar way the Psalms say such things as, "Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar" (Psalm 118:27).
I think I am becoming more convinced that instruments shouldn't be in NT corporate worship. After I listened to that sermon, it really made sense, and it was such a simple argument. Tyler, are you exclusive with Psalms?
Yes, sir. I believe that God has given us the songs we are to sing, and that we are never commanded to sing anything else.
 

louis

Puritan Board Freshman
Instruments forbidden in worship? Do you use microphones? Electric lighting? Come on people, focus on what's important.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Instruments forbidden in worship? Do you use microphones? Electric lighting? Come on people, focus on what's important.
Louis,

You may want to listen to the sermon I linked to in post #3. I think you may have missed the point.
 

louis

Puritan Board Freshman
Instruments forbidden in worship? Do you use microphones? Electric lighting? Come on people, focus on what's important.
Louis,

You may want to listen to the sermon I linked to in post #3. I think you may have missed the point.
Thanks Tyler, I haven't missed the point. I listened to the sermon but don't accept it. The sermon began by stating that tradition was not to be considered when exploring the topic, but funny how when it was convenient, the tradition of not using instruments from the time of the reformation to the great awakening was highlighted.

I'll bail out of the conversation, I don't belong here. I love music and instruments and a Capella singing. I just wonder how you can sing psalms commanding praising God with instruments mentioned, yet forbid them in worship.

May God bless you and keep you.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
The sermon began by stating that tradition was not to be considered when exploring the topic, but funny how when it was convenient, the tradition of not using instruments from the time of the reformation to the great awakening was highlighted.
Louis, I think you have misrepresented Rev. McCurley. He neither forbade taking tradition into consideration nor based his position on tradition. Instead, he pointed out that tradition is subject to Scriptural revision, and later he pointed out that the majority of the Reformed witness on the subject throughout history is against the use of instruments.

I just wonder how you can sing psalms commanding praising God with instruments mentioned, yet forbid them in worship.
As has been shown both on this thread, and in the sermon linked, the instruments mentioned in the Psalms were played by Levites in the temple. That being the case, we treat them the same way we treat the altars and sacrifices we find in the Psalms.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Come on people, focus on what's important.
Shorter Catechism:
Q. 50. What is required in the second commandment?
A. The second commandment requireth the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath appointed in his Word.

Q. 51. What is forbidden in the second commandment?
A. The second commandment forbiddeth the worshipping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in his Word.
 
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