Objections to Singing of Psalms in Worship

Discussion in 'A capella Exclusive Psalmody' started by re4med, Apr 27, 2009.

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  1. re4med

    re4med Puritan Board Freshman

    I am currently writing a lengthy paper on the topic of "Music in the Worship of God" for my session to review and consider and will have a section on the leading objections to "Psalms in Worship". I have a few of them but would like the input of my more studied brothers and sisters on this topic.

    What objections have you encountered?

    This is not meant to be a debate on the topic (as we have the elsewhere on this board). I am simply seeking information.

  2. Knoxienne

    Knoxienne Puritan Board Graduate

    One objection I've heard is that the psalms are insufficient to tell us about Christ, since they are in the OT. Also that we should not be singing impreccatory psalms because we are under grace.
  3. Theognome

    Theognome Burrito Bill

    (Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy)

    Break their teeth in their mouths, oh, God, oh God, Break their teeth in their mouths, oh God...


  4. PresbyDane

    PresbyDane Puritanboard Doctor

  5. Kim G

    Kim G Puritan Board Junior

    Do you mean objections to singing Psalms at all, or objections to singing only Psalms?

    One objection I can think of is that the Psalms that are set to music are often paraphrases of the Psalm so that they will rhyme, and you are not singing the inspired text but rather thoughts.
  6. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    Another objection is that it strikes inquirers who have had some church background as strange. Although seeker-friendly churches go overboard and dilute the gospel, some policies of appeal to inquirers is legitimate. Although I prefer traditional hymns and psalms myself, I think that churches should have music that reflects the tastes of young people. Those of us who are older need to put up with it, not hard when one has the joy of seeing the young folks embracing the gospel.
  7. re4med

    re4med Puritan Board Freshman

    I guess the answer is BOTH since I have experienced both in my conversations with people (even in my own local church).
  8. ubermadchen

    ubermadchen Puritanboard <strong>Outlaw</strong>

    That's one of the things that has been keeping me from fully embracing EP. Many of the psalms I've heard put to song sound a lot like dirges. The hymns seem more approachable, both musically and lyrically. Right now, I'm trying to find psalms put to a more modern sound because I do think their inclusion in worship is vital.
  9. Ex Nihilo

    Ex Nihilo Puritan Board Senior

    Many of the psalms in The Book of Psalms for Singing are set to traditional hymn melodies, so maybe that would help!
  10. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Folks, this is border line. Keep the thread on the objections to singing Palms period, you've heard; keep EP off the radar or this will get moved, and locked, since we only have two EP threads open for posting right now.
  11. Skyler

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

    I have no objections to singing psalms. We do it every now and then.

    I don't even have an objection to singing only psalms in worship. Unlike some of my fellow believers, though, I don't see that the Bible limits us to singing psalms in worship. I suspect that's the biggest "real" objection you'll find.
  12. Johan

    Johan Puritan Board Freshman

    I am really amazed that in reformed circles we question the singing of the psalms. Since this is not a debate the only thing that I will do is to direct you to Calvin's preface to the Genevan Psalter. You can also read Peter Master's "Worship in the melting pot".
  13. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I'm serious; I'm not going to spend a lot of time deleting more posts. Any more EP related objections or advocacy, this thread is going to get locked.
  14. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm sorry. One of my posts was erased, and that's fine.
    But I wasn't trying to debate and I don't understand this thread. How can we answer the question without giving an objection to the singing of Psalms? What are we supposed to be writing here?
  15. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    The thread needs to give objections to singing the psalms period, as asked (no debate) not objections to exclusively singing the psalms. Otherwise it is going to get moved and locked.

  16. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Someone lists objections to eP and someone will want to answer. I've cut off the EP topic. We don't do EP outside the EP forum, and we only have two open threads there right now. List objections you have heard to singing the psalms, not to singing them exclusively.
    If this remains confusing I'm simply going to lock it folks.
  17. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    Thanks Mr. Coldwell: I deleted that post when I saw yours. I think the thread has been a bit confusing because both things were being asked for, and it wasn't clear to me whether answering with EP objections, or going on to argue them, was the issue: it's clear now! :)
  18. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    An [possible] objection to singing the Psalms:

    If singing in worship is really a means of prayer, the Psalms only allow you to pray in that powerful way for things that happened before Christ was born--since his birth, no new praises can be sung.

    I hope this is more along the lines of what's asked for in this thread♄
  19. Prufrock

    Prufrock Arbitrary Moderation

    As a Psalm-singer, these are the most common objections I've encountered are the following (sorry for any repeats from above). All of them pertain to singing psalms at all, whereas number 2 pertains to singing psalms exclusively.

    1.) The subject matter pertained to a different time and people: an earthly kingdom with its warfare; being under the law; sacrificial worship; etc.

    2.) (Edited out by poster)

    3.) Imprecatory psalms are not appropriate for today.

    4.) They do not mention Jesus, or acts of redemptive history after the time of David.

    5.) They do not fit with our current style and tastes in worship music; or, they are often hard for us to relate to. They are, in a sense, "worshipfully" inferior to modern songs which emphasize what God has done for me.

    6.) They can be obscure and hard to understand. They can lead to the believe that we are saved by works (e.g., Psalm 7). It is not easy to discern Christianity in them.

    7.) They can drive visitors away.

    Oops. I just noticed Chris's post above. Number 2 has been edited out, since it was an objection raised against only Psalms.
  20. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    This is an exercise in futility. I think Bill has some answers though. Locking and moving.
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