Musical Intrustments commanded before, why not today?

Discussion in 'A capella Exclusive Psalmody' started by Semper Fidelis, Apr 10, 2006.

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  1. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Andrew,

    Exegeting Psalm 150, do you believe that the Psalm refers to worship within the confines of the Sanctuary alone?
     
  2. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    More quotes of interest on this subject for consideration:

    Charles Spurgeon on Psalm 150.3:

    John Calvin on Ps. 33.2:

    John Calvin on Ps. 81.3:

    Quotes of interest from Old Light on New Worship by John Price:

     
  3. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    Psalm 150 is the climax, if you will, of the Psalter. It calls upon all of creation using all faculties and members to praise God. I have no problem with the understanding that it has immediate reference to public worship (as Matthew Henry and others say, although John Girardeau says otherwise), but whether this is so or not, it is clearly not confined to the Temple, but rather is universal in its scope and application, and certainly fit to be sung by Christians in praise to our Lord in the solemn assembly of the saints, which is the true Sanctuary. The instruments are symbolic, it seems to me, as Spurgeon has noted, of all faculties being employed in the praise of God. And as Chrysostom says of this psalm: 'As the Jews praised God with all kinds of instruments, so are we commanded to praise him with all the members of our bodies.'

    [Edited on 4-14-2006 by VirginiaHuguenot]
     
  4. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    All:

    I really don't want to get into this, but the discussion has shifted from EP to "no instruments", leaving the EP thread alone. But the very same principle applies. I feel that these threads indirectly touch on the very substance of my disillusionment of the Presbyterian system. This is why I so utterly reject Girardeau's argumentation. I find Presbyterianism so rife with this, that it is distressing. You are citing what men say, but not what God says; or you are pretending to cite God after you have consulted what men say. You think that citing godly men alleviates the obvious, but it doesn't. Who says that the the OT synogogue worship was the norm? Did they do what God told them? Is it really possible that a command, an important command, is missing from Scripture?

    You are stretching the realm of reason. It is not that hard, and right worship is not for the erudite, only for those who can cite the men of the past. It is plain, and it is clear. You are adopting a style of reasoning that tries to circumvent the fact that there are some things we just don't know. Filling in those voids with men's speculations does not fill that void. We need one thing only: God's Word. These discussions centre on muddying up the texts with all kinds of speculative interpretations, calling into question the clear texts, claiming thereby that the field of interpretation is wide open, and then resorting to the men of the past to fill the voids made by these speculative interpretations; creating voids even where there are none.

    Those whom you cite would have nothing to do with this kind of thing; none except Girardeau who champions this methodology. I reject it outrightly. I will have nothing to do with it. I find it repugnant to the objective Word of God theology that our Confessions are supposed to be conveying to us. We have made it into a Presuppositional document, placing all our eggs into a basket of nothing any more substantial than our own presuppositions, trying to find objectivity in the presuppositions of renowned men of faith. Nonsense!!! If you build a house of straw, it does not become bricks by adding more straw. A theology that has as its base the presuppositioins of men will yield nothing more solid than presuppositions of men.

    The only concern of the great men of the past was to preach the objective gospel to us, not to have us hang on to their own opinions, points of view on matters, or presupppositions. They were pointing us to the Word, to Christ, not to themselves. Can't we read the Bible for ourselves? There are so many versions, all the Greek and Hebrew helps, topical analyses, scholars coming out of the woodwork, and we still don't know what the Word of God says? God help us!. Even the plain texts are made unclear by adding our own presuppositions. These men show us the continuation of the same gospel, the same faith, the same Church. That is our comfort in having their works handed down to us. We are to judge their works by the Word, but instead we are judging the Word by their works. Can you see why I reject this? It is backwards, with all the outward look of submission to the Word.

    I am not rejecting a thorough knowledge of the history of the church. In fact I fully support and encourage it. But not to this end, of seeing nothing of the objective gospel that is present throughout unless first subjected to men's presuppositions.

    This will be my only post in this thread. I have read enough of it. It says nothing new, but just rehashes what has already been said. It does not change my belief in the objective Word of God, which blesses the gifts given to men by God, for use to the praise of God. What other use could these things have? An instrument that can produce perfect pitch can have no other evidential purpose but to point us to the maker of perfect song. I utterly reject the Girardeau/Bahnsen methodology of argumentation: it is far too shallow to do justice to the Word of God.

    I really need to stop posting. It is clear that if I am ready to be excommunicated for upholding my faith against the prevailing emphases on presuppositional methodology, which even violates the first principles of Church without any conscience, and threatens those who oppose it with excommunication; it is clear, then, that my beliefs are drawing me ever more into conflict with my brothers here on this Board, and creating disunity thereby. I will not do that any longer. I love you all too much for all that you have benefited to me, namely the love of Christ Himself. I thank you all with all my heart.

    My heart is and has been broken for a long time. It is not you that broke it. I am a churchman, and I expect the highest respect for the church from my children. But the church has broken my family and my heart. But I will no longer wear my heart on my sleeve to your discomforts.

    I am signing off. Good-bye to you all.

    [Edited on 4-14-2006 by JohnV]
     
  5. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    That's really sad John. I've never thought of you as one who sows discord here. I really hope and pray that God will heal your family and your heart.
     
  6. Robin

    Robin Puritan Board Junior

    For crying out loud...Patrick....there are only Ten Commandments (thank God!)

    Only ten. And there's a reason for that.

    (exhasperation)

    Since God did not, we can never go so far as to say musical instruments are "allowed or not."

    The overall point of Biblical mandated worship is about object; attitude; content and style. And these elements are quite clear as to what's required.

    r. :um:

    [Edited on 4-14-2006 by Robin]
     
  7. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    You may be correct. I was just pointing out that the verse you referenced doesn't apply to the topic at hand :)
     
  8. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    I think John and Robin have some very reasonable criticisms of the issue.

    Granted, I am not nearly as well read as others on this board and have much to learn but I had no idea that many EP folks were also for no instrumental music. It wasn't until this thread that I realized that many used Calvin and the Puritans to support and "enforce" this view. I guess you learn something new every day but this was a shock.

    I think Robin hits the nail on the head. I believe it is one thing to come to the issue of instrumental music and, after much study, come to the inference that musical instruments were ceremonial. It is quite another to take such a debatable issue and then claim it is perspicuous such that men are without excuse for not accepting the view. In Church History, was there ever a time before the Puritans where the use of instruments in worship was so roundly condemned by Church consensus? Seriously, we're talking about an issue of something that some would argue is akin to offering "strange fire". You have to do better than finding that Augustine may have agreed.

    I mean, really, it is one thing for Nadab, Abihu, or Uzzah to put two and two together and figure out how they had violated the RPW but does God make instrumental music, and its abrogation in the New Covenant, equally obvious? Hardly. As serious as this issue is, I cannot believe the Apostles would not have been clearer on this as the consequences are so dire.

    In fact, I've yet to see anyone here articulate how the Scriptures spell the issue out. I've seen appeal to Reformers (who I love) as well as appeals to Rabbinical and Temple patterns. What I've yet to see is somebody explaining and standing on Scriptures to show us how such a thing has been put aside. I understand that the case may have been built by others who stood on Scripture but if you don't understand the issue well enough for yourself to be able to articulate it then how can you possibly bind the consciences of others within the Church?

    Recently, in the Baptism forum, I got in a long discussion with the man who posts by the name of Martin Marprelate on the subject of immersion. One of the things I got after him (as a representative for Baptists everwhere :)) for was binding the consciences of believers on mode when mode is such a debatable issue. I think Baptists have firmer ground to stand on, based on plain word meaning, to insist on immersion than those who are appealing to a weak, debatable inference that musical instruments are ceremonial. If we insist that musical instruments are abrogated and have the right to bind the conscience by such a debatable exegesis then I owe Martin an apology.

    [Edited on 4-15-2006 by SemperFideles]
     
  9. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    For those that have never studied this issue before, or have emotional investment in musicial instruments, as some do, I understand that even to raise an objection to the use of instruments in worship can be a shock and even appear to be questioning something so fundamental that most today just take it for granted. That said, the weight of church history is entirely against the use of instruments in worship, and not just the Puritans.

    Are you saying that I have only the Puritans on my side? If so, I would encourage you to read some of the articles that have been cited. I gather that this issue is altogether new for you. That's fine, but I would encourage you to refrain from this line of argument until you have researched it further. It has been shown in these articles that the early church opposed instruments on the grounds that they were part of the ceremonial worship. Numerous church fathers said so, as I have shown. The council of Laodicea (367) and the council of Carthage (416) both banned the use of musical instruments. The Eastern Orthodox Church has never (through to the present day) allowed musical instruments to be used. An organ was first introduced into a Catholic church by Pope Vitalianus (this can be confirmed by reading Philip Schaff and many other historians) in around 670 AD. Another was introduced around 812. A few more were introduced over the next several centuries but even by the time of Aquinas he made the claim that the church does not use instruments that she may not seem to Judaize. The use of instruments did become popular in the Catholic church after Aquinas, but almost all Reformers and Puritans except for Luther and Baxter opposed the use of instruments in worship. It is an historical innovation. Even Isaac Watts, of all people, opposed the use of instruments in worship.

    The understanding that instruments in worship may not be perspicuous today but it was for most of the Christian era.

    We have a different view of the RPW, perhaps. The RPW requires a specific command for all elements of worship. There was such a specific command in the OT to use instruments in Temple worship. Temple worship has been abolished however by the NT. While specific commands to pray, sing psalms, preach, read the Scriptures, etc., can be found in the NT, no such Biblical/apostolic warrant from the NT to use instruments exists. The argument for the use of instruments, then (with the exception of Revelations) rests on the silence of the Lord and the Apostles, and while that may be persuasive for those who don't adhere to the RPW, for those who do it is not an option.

    As you pointed out in your first post, and as I affirmed earlier, if OT commands to use instruments are binding, then using them is not an option, and we are bound to use those specific instruments commanded and not others. Anyone not doing so, by your standard, is violating the command of God. If that is indeed your position, which itself binds the consciences of all Christians, then most on the Puritan Board if not all stand condemned by not using the instruments commanded for specific psalms. Your position is just as binding on the conscience as mine, and it seems to me to be quite an imposition on the consicences of believers.

    My posts on this thread have been in the vein of answering specific questions to the best of my ability, and pointing out that this issue has been discussed numerous times on the Puritan Board. No one has asked me to provide a full-fledged Scriptural argument, so it should not come as a surprise that I have not provided a dissertation on the subject. I have however provided references to treatises on the subject, and so has Gabe, where the full Scriptural argument can be found. It is based squarely on the Second Commandment from whence the RPW derives and a study of what is ceremonial and what is abiding in terms of appointed worship for Christians.

    The case is also made by the Westminster Standards to which I adhere. The Westminster Assembly opposed instruments in worship and in listing the elements of worship specifically excluded instruments on the grounds of the RPW.

    I would also point out that no one here has made a full Scriptural case to include instruments in worship. This argument works both ways. An appeal to Rev. 14 (selah) does not constitute a full Scriptural argument. To appeal to Rev. for how Christian worship should be conducted is extremely, highly debatable exegesis, in my opinion, involving one's view of eschatology.

    I have yet to find an issue (with the possible exception of the existence of God) that is not debatable, at least here on the Puritan Board. For every position taken, there is a contrary position that will be argued. That includes ecclesiastical polity, apologetics, worship, Christian liberty, you name it. There will always be someone to disagree with something no matter what the Bible or Confessions says or do not say about it.

    The pro-instrument side can only appeal to the OT and Revelations to justify using instruments in Christian worship. The silence of the NT in this area is deafening but understandable if we look at what it means that ceremonial worship was abolished at the cross.

    The popular position in this thread binds the conscience to use instruments in worship, as commanded in the OT. This is one of the traditions of men and unBiblical intrusions of ceremonial worship that the Church has witnessed against for 2000 years, and my own church testifies against by adhering to the Westminster Standards. To argue against it (ie., in favor of instruments in worship), is to bind my conscience to a Jewish ceremonial and Popish innovation as to worship.

    I understand that most people on the Puritan Board have no problem with instruments in worship. I understand why they are considered an important part of praising God. I have not attempted to disparage anyone. I have stated my opinion (which is based on careful study of the Scriptures) and shown that many people who ought to be respected for their interpretive abilities of God's Word have agreed, and made the case quite compellingly. The witness of Church history for 2000 years is a strong point, I think, but I definitely believe in the Berean principle. Search the Scriptures yourself. Read what Calvin, Augustine, Aquinas, Rutherford, Dabney, Girardeau, Spurgeon, the early councils, Dutch Synods, Westminster Assembly, et al. have said. Isaac Watts too. It's not just a Presbyterian thing. A cappella is not the innovation, instruments are the innovation. Frankly, I think the burden is on the pro-instrument camp to show why the Apostles didn't command the use of instruments if their use was to be continued from the Temple. Be that as it may (each side will argue the burden of proof is on the other side, although the RPW puts the onus on the one who would add to God's worship to show where in the NT it is commanded), I think it is time for me to bow out of this discussion.

    There is a lot of emotion and misunderstanding in this thread. That is evident in my friend John's post, and it is evident elsewhere. I can see in myself a defensiveness that I don't like to see. I am not here to persuade people. I am merely testifying to my conviction that a cappella praise to God is what the Bible teaches. I began by pointing out that this has been discussed before extensively and providing some further reading. I hope those who have argued so passionately against a cappella worship will take the time to study the issue if they have not already done so. The history of a cappella is so much of the essence of Christian worship that a cappella itself means "church music." The silence of the NT as to the use of instruments in Christian worship should count for something for those who want to only bring in elements which God has appointed. If God has not appointed it for Christian worship, then it does not belong in Christian worship. Selah.

    I wish only grace and peace to everyone on this thread. I am not interested in debating anything, and if anything I have said has been construed amiss, I deeply regret that. I have only tried to state my opinion and answer questions. I encourage everyone to not hold the a cappella position to account for any faults in my statements, but rather to give this Biblical position a fair hearing, and consider whether indeed the Scriptures teach that these things are so. God bless.
     
  10. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Andrew,

    My time is brief (it's 2330 here). A few thoughts:

    1. Thanks for the info on the previous councils that banned their use. That's useful.

    2. The OP was a break-off of another thread. I initially presented this as a polemic against EP to the effect of "...if you guys are going to be really EP then you must have the harp, lyre, and cymbals,..., in worship...." It was then that, in this thread, I was surprised to find the idea of a capella singing of the Psalms.

    I'll consider what you said further.

    Grace and peace to you as well. I challenge directly and you are up to the task of defending the issue. I respect that you can defend your position and are graceful about it.

    Blessings,

    Rich
     
  11. Arch2k

    Arch2k Puritan Board Graduate

    Good post Andrew. :handshake:

    I personally have benefited from Brian Schwertley's 3 part audio series on Musical Instruments in Worship. He is very zealous, but his arguments are very good.

    Most importantly, I think it is good that people reflect on the context of instruments in the O.T in particular, and Revelation secondarily. Mr. Schwertley makes the case that every single time musical instrumentation is used in the O.T., it was either civil, or directly a part of the ceremonial worship. If this is true, it should cause all to pause and ask if God requires this of men in the New Covenant. He says:

    Another thing to remember is that Instruments were an actual element of worship in the O.T., not merely an aid (i.e. to help people keep on pitch etc.). They were commanded to be used by the Levites, and God would justly charge them with sin if they did NOT play their instruments.

    Psa 6:1 To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. On an eight-stringed harp. A Psalm of David.

    Psa 33:2 Praise the LORD with the harp;
    Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.

    Psa 57:8 Awake, my glory!
    Awake, lute and harp!
    I will awaken the dawn.

    The question then becomes, if God commands his people to use instruments, specific instruments (i.e. and instrument of TEN strings), then do we have a right to use other instruments that he has NOT commanded? What about the 6-stringed guitar? The Piano? The trap-set?

    When is the last time someone has praised the Lord with "the lute"??? :lol:

    [​IMG]

    Now some might object and say that the modern form of the "lute" is the guitar. But the fact remains, that God commanded "lutes" and not guitars, so if we are to obey him, we should pawn our guitars and buy some lutes. :sing:

    So, it is conclusive that it would be sinful for O.T. Levites not to offer their sacrifice of instrumentation to the Lord. Is it the same for the New Covenant? Would we be willing to say that a person is in sin for singin a cappella?
     
  12. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    Still reading and learning on this topic so not wanting to "argue" but merely get your response.

    General Equity? Same principle with railings around houses and now fences around pools. Was the lute not part of the culture that changes as we would argue in many of the judicial law cases? I understand that the whole ceremonial law is abrogated so if it is abrogated then it is not an issue what type of instrument is played because no instrument is to be played if it is ceremonial. I guess I'm just looking at the one plank of the argument about the type of instrument being played and thinking that is not the strongest argument - more of a secondary one if none at all.

    Thoughts?

    BTW, lute master pic was hilarious!

    [Edited on 4-15-2006 by crhoades]
     
  13. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Ha! I have a solution - The Electric Lute:

    [​IMG]

    Dude! Imagine how Stairway would sound on one of those!
     
  14. Arch2k

    Arch2k Puritan Board Graduate

    Chris,

    That's an interesting question. My response would be that if you mean by "general equity" what the Westminster Divines mean by the term (and I assume so since you are the Theonomic Conquistador :D), then the term does not apply to ceremonial worship which has expired altogether, but he civil law which has a general equity that remains.

    Note also that the rules for worship are set down in a seperate chapter from this, which does not seem to allow for such a "general equity" in the realm of elements of worship.
     
  15. Arch2k

    Arch2k Puritan Board Graduate

    :lol:
     
  16. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    :handshake:
     
  17. Nomos

    Nomos Puritan Board Freshman

    Jeff Bartel said:

    "Mr. Schwertley makes the case that every single time musical instrumentation is used in the O.T., it was either civil, or directly a part of the ceremonial worship. If this is true, it should cause all to pause and ask if God requires this of men in the New Covenant. He says:"

    Do proponents of the a cappella position distinguish between ceremonial and non-ceremonial acts of worship in the OT? If so, can I have some examples of non-ceremonial acts of worship? I'm guessing that by 'ceremonial worship' is to mean temple worship which symbolically pointed to Christ. Ceremonial worship would then be one of those shadows that point to Christ and thus are now abrogated.

    If every instance of OT instrumental usage was ceremonial in nature, and all that is ceremonial in nature has been abrogated in Christ, then I think we would all have to agree that instrumentation is abrogated. The problem for me is that labeling something as 'ceremonial' often appears ad hoc. Though perhaps that's because I am ignorant of what precisely distinguishes something as ceremonial and something else as non-ceremonial-exclusively.

    Jeff mentioned Schwertley's designation of some OT instrumentation as 'civil' in nature. If I understand what it is meant by this classification, then I would have to assume Schwertley is not a theonomist (though I would have thought he was), as where do we conclude that civil prescriptions, prohibitions, and practices have been abrogated?

    Are there works that exist that exegete every OT example of instrumental use and conclusively prove that they were instances of temple/ceremonial use exclusively? I'd think such a work would be helpful. If not, perhaps we could start a thread that tackles this project. :p

    When God called me, I found myself in a Plymouth Brethren church where instruments were never used. When I was led to reformed convictions, my fellowship/membership was with the RPCNA, so I've been conditioned in some sense to have a preference for a cappella worship (and the exclusive use of the psalms for that matter). I'm presently a member in a PCA church where I've had my first (uncomfortable at first) exposure to the use of instruments in worship. I'd value any insight or book recommendations on the topic.

    blessings,
    Ryan Jankowski
    Member Rincon Mountain Presbyterian Church, PCA
    Tucson, Arizona
     
  18. Nomos

    Nomos Puritan Board Freshman

    Chris Rhoades said:

    "General Equity? Same principle with railings around houses and now fences around pools. Was the lute not part of the culture that changes as we would argue in many of the judicial law cases? I understand that the whole ceremonial law is abrogated so if it is abrogated then it is not an issue what type of instrument is played because no instrument is to be played if it is ceremonial. I guess I'm just looking at the one plank of the argument about the type of instrument being played and thinking that is not the strongest argument - more of a secondary one if none at all."

    I think you have a valid point *if* instrumentation is exclusively prescribed in ceremonial use and that the general equity of ceremonial prescription can be broadened in NT use, then incorporating the use of other instruments would probably be acceptable (except for the synthesizer, that's just too 80s). However, I think adherents to both views would agree that the ceremonial ordinances have been done away with in Christ, and thus we wouldn't incoporate their general equity in NT worship. The issue, to me, seems to hinge upon the successful argument that every use of instruments in the Bible were ceremonial in scope and if they're ceremonial, then we are no longer to incorporate them into our worship (much like incense or other seemingly more obvious OT ceremonial objects/acts of worship).

    blessings,
    Ryan Jankowski
    Member Rincon Mountain Presbyterian Church, PCA
    Tucson, Arizona
     
  19. Nomos

    Nomos Puritan Board Freshman

    Andrew Meyers said:

    "For those that have never studied this issue before, or have emotional investment in musicial instruments, as some do, I understand that even to raise an objection to the use of instruments in worship can be a shock and even appear to be questioning something so fundamental that most today just take it for granted"

    It probably goes without saying, but this works both ways. Most adherents to a cappella singing in my experience (as limited as that obviously is) are not prepared to give a defense for their position, yet react just as emotionally as those that want their instruments (such as myself, I don't like instruments but am not prepared to give a convincing argument as to their prohibition).

    The emotional attachment, when it lacks strong exegetical evidence, is probably reflective of our attitudes toward worship - something we perceive as *receiving* rather than *giving* to God. We really shouldn't have any emotional investment when we've got no exegetical capital. I'd think the concern should be over what God wants and how we can please Him and when we're committed to that task, then I suspect we'll obtain that understanding we desire. I find it repulsive when nominal christians expound (with passion) their views on worship as if a proper understanding of how to do it was sufficient in itself or even pleasing to God.



    blessings,
    Ryan Jankowski
    Member Rincon Mountain Presbyterian Church, PCA
    Tucson, Arizona
     
  20. Nomos

    Nomos Puritan Board Freshman

    Robin said:

    "For crying out loud...Patrick....there are only Ten Commandments (thank God!) Only ten. And there's a reason for that. (exhasperation)
    Since God did not, we can never go so far as to say musical instruments are "allowed or not."
    The overall point of Biblical mandated worship is about object; attitude; content and style. And these elements are quite clear as to what's required."

    The decalogue is a summary of God's law and so in a sense there are only 10 commandments (since each of the 613 commandments in the pentateuch fall under these in some sense as do the commandments given in the NT, for instance, the commandments that regulate the Lord's Supper). I don't see the prohibition of musical instruments in our worship as adding to God's commandments if the inference can be made in His word that instruments are not allowed in NT worship. If the ceremonial ordinances have been abrogated in Christ and if instrumentation is prescribed in the OT as solely a ceremonial ordinance, then God does not command (and inferentially, prohibits) the use of instruments in our worship.

    I doubt anyone would see it as adding to God's law when we prohibit animal sacrifice in our worship - though animal sacrifice generally is not contested to be solely ceremonial in nature.

    As Robin said:

    "The overall point of Biblical mandated worship is about object; attitude; content and style"

    If it is mandated, then to violate that mandate is sin. What would instrumentation fall under if not 'content' or 'style'? 'Mandate' is just a synonym for an authoritative command, so Robin's point appears to be inconsistent to me or perhaps I have misunderstood her/him.


    blessings,
    Ryan Jankowski
    Member Rincon Mountain Presbyterian Church, PCA
    Tucson, Arizona
     
  21. Nomos

    Nomos Puritan Board Freshman

    Andrew Meyers said:

    "I have no problem with the understanding that it has immediate reference to public worship (as Matthew Henry and others say, although John Girardeau says otherwise)"

    Gill says: "And not the Levites only, whose business it was in the temple service to praise the Lord with musical instruments, are here exhorted to it, as R. Judah the Levite thinks, but all people; not the people of Israel only, as Kimchi; but the Gentiles also, even all that have breath, Ps. 150:6."

    Is OT public worship ceremonial as OT temple or tabernacle worship? If so, could you please make that argument? I think it would go far in understanding the general conclusion (seemingly) that all OT worship was solely ceremonial in nature and therefore has been abrogated.

    Would OT instances of public dancing or clapping hands parallel this argument? What is Girardeau's position on Psalm 150 and are you familiar with his line of reasoning or Matthew Henry's?

    "it is clearly not confined to the Temple, but rather is universal in its scope and application, and certainly fit to be sung by Christians in praise to our Lord in the solemn assembly of the saints, which is the true Sanctuary"

    What is the basis of its continuity in NT worship? Is it because it is not confined to the temple? You say it is "certainly fit to be sung by Christians" but I couldn't determine how you came to that conclusion. If it is because it is a public act (meaning, not confined to temple worship), then wouldn't that also allow instrumentation in NT worship based upon your understanding of the context of Ps. 150? If not, how does one distinguish between continuity in OT public, non-temple worship and NT corporate worship (or private worship)?

    On a somewhat related note, should we then prohibit circumcision today? Or is cicumcision acceptable for medical reasons and as long as it's not implemented in a 'religious' sense? If the latter, what are the premises to that conclusion? I suspect most adherents to the a cappella position use this sort of reasoning to allow for instruments outside of religious purposes (whatever that distinction happens to be, as if our lives had non-religious modes).

    "The instruments are symbolic, it seems to me..."

    Why do you believe that? Doesn't that beg the very question?

    "so are we commanded to praise him with all the members of our bodies"

    Does that include clapping and dancing , or is 'all the members' symbolic in a sense too? I really don't like clapping and dancing, so I have hope you're going to provide reasoning I find adequate for these conclusions. :p

    blessings,
    Ryan Jankowski
    Member Rincon Mountain Presbyterian Church, PCA
    Tucson, Arizona
     
  22. shelly

    shelly Puritan Board Freshman

    For me, this whole topic has been on the back burner for the last three years and didn't even exist before then.:)

    So I have a question. Is the use of musical instruments outside of formal worship in the church permitted or commanded?

    As a family we like music. We listen to CCM and avoid the fluff songs; my daughter has played piano since she turned 5 and she's 10 now and she's good at it; my husband plays piano and guitar by ear and we sing songs of worship at home with music and sing along with CD's and the radio. Are we wrong?

    The music we sing and play at home is not what is used in our church, but in my mind that's okay because it's a different situation. What's appropriate in a formal church setting isn't the same as what's appropriate in my casual Monday- Saturday life. I do separate Sunday as a different type of day and therefore the music is different and so are our activities. BTW my church does use a wide variety of instruments.

    Anyway, we are studying the differences and the spirit of them and trying to figure things out. I know there are books and articles that "explain it all" but I don't know who to listen to. If I just "read the Bible" without direction I could be old and dead and still not know anything. I'm not good at connecting the dots and seeing how this relates to that. How do you learn how to do that?

    thanks for any help,
    shelly

    [Edited on 4-24-2006 by shelly]

    [Edited on 5-6-2006 by shelly]
     
  23. Kaalvenist

    Kaalvenist Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'm RPCNA, and I took piano lessons for eleven years (admittedly, I was Baptist and Evangelical Free when I took the lessons...but I kept taking lessons after I had become convinced of unaccompanied exclusive psalmody). A couple ladies in our church teach piano lessons to a lot of the little kids, and we even have a piano in our church (from the church that we bought the building from). They're not about to get rid of it, because a lot of people are taking lessons and using that piano. We just don't use it during services.

    I highly encourage everybody to take some kind of music lessons (preferably voice or piano, or both: piano is a good place to start if you want to learn other instruments). It's a good discipline to learn. But that has no relevance to the question of the place of musical instruments in worship.

    [Edited on 5/22/2006 by fredtgreco]
     
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