OT Elemental use of musical instruments ceremonial and gone in NT or not?

Discussion in 'A capella Exclusive Psalmody' started by bookslover, Sep 19, 2019.

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  1. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    The debate (or discussion - we have had nothing comparable to the "worship wars" on the a capella side) would only be similar in that one respect: "finding the line". Practically, things would look very different, as I stated earlier.

    You did not quote the second part of my post, in which I mentioned that one contributor to this thread favoured a full orchestra in corporate worship.

    If you cannot see the plain difference in "finding the line" then I don't know how I can help you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
  2. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    I find a whole orchestra about as helpful as highly melismatic music. I think neither are practically appropriate for worship and thus would not be decent or in order.

    Thanks for the discussion, I do appreciate your thoughts and time.
     
  3. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    If I understand you right, you’re saying that praise is an element of worship, and musical instruments if used are a subset of praise?

    Also do you mean that when an instrument is played with singing in worship that the instrument is praising God? Just clarifying.
     
  4. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    The idea of praising God with instruments was necessary under the ceremonial (1 Chron. 23:5) and can be part of our praise now, though not an essential part (Psalm 98:4-6, 149:2-3, 150:2-5).

    The person playing the instrument is praising God as part of a corporate action. The praise that is offered consists of the collective whole-- words being the central and essential part of that praise. I don't believe that I necessarily need to be singing the words while playing an instrument (though sometimes I do) since I am not offering praise individually, but corporately (which addresses an earlier concern of @NaphtaliPress ).

    Hope that clarifies...
     
  5. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    Once again, could you direct us to any sources on this view? Or is this a view that you have developed yourself?
     
  6. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    This is what we believed and did in the charismatic church. We consciously were looking back to and modeling our worship on the Temple worship (waiting for the glory to fall, you know). It seems quite contrary to the Bible’s command to “speak to one another in Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs...” a command given to the members as individuals, I would think.
     
  7. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    But, if something is a 'subset' of a necessity, then isn't also a necessity?
     
  8. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    Only if the part was essential. I am not arguing that instruments are an essential part of singing praises. I'm not sure what else to say on this matter...
     
  9. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    Here are two piano recordings I made that demonstrate the difficulty of some our congregational music to verbatim Psalms. Singing these without an instrument would be difficult, though congregants sing out with the help of the piano.

    Psalm 56
    Psalm 119 Beth
     
  10. G

    G Puritan Board Junior

    Tim,

    What are you saying? Is the Psalm itself too complex to sing... or are your selected tunes making it before difficult?

    All of the Psalms can be set to a simple “easy to pick-up on” tune. If your selecting difficult and complex tunes, then is that not evidence that the selection is serving the instrument vs. choosing something that the congregation and visitors can easily pick up on?

    The voice of the saints singing is the element. Your justification here seems fallacious.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
  11. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    @timfost

    I'd appreciate a reply to Post #215.

    Where can we learn more about the doctrine of worship that you are expounding here (elements, parts, subsets of parts)? What theologians have written on it and in which books?
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
  12. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    That cannot be an argument for the use of instruments. Surely there are other options! You could have a precentor. Or the church could practice the psalms together after the service. One church I know did this with the psalms of the Genevan Psalter.
     
  13. G

    G Puritan Board Junior

    Is that a future prediction?
     
  14. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    Oh! Let's hope not. We're already at 8 pages.
     
  15. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    Pssst you probably meant post 215.
     
  16. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    I think I have argued from Scripture how instruments were used to praise God. As to some of the distinctions, these are very technical arguments and I have not found a huge amount written in-depth concerning this exact conversation. I am trying to combine a number of different thoughts, many of which I think are assumed in the practices of conservative Reformed churches.

    Some resources that may be helpful a are Thomas Hirst's book Music of the Church and Robert Rayburn's O Come Let Us Worship. Hirst has an excellent discussion on instruments in worship and how particularly the one playing an instrument is also praising God from the heart. He also speaks to instruments being an "auxiliary to the human voice." Rayburn speaks in some detail how singing is a corporate action.
     
  17. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    I'm fairly disappointed in your post here.

    First, the reference to charismatic, I cannot even conceive how you are connecting the dots.

    Second, let's use your reference of Eph. 5:19 with it's counterpart in Col. 3:16. If a) these verses are relevant to public worship and b) they are primarily instructions to individuals in public worship, and c) this instruction applies to women as well as men, then d) Paul is instructing women to both speak (Eph. 5:19) and teach (Col. 3:16) in public worship, diametrically opposed to his instructions that women are to be silent in church (1 Cor. 14:34) and women are not to teach in church (1 Tim. 2:12). If we apply Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16 to public worship, it must be understood in terms of the corporate, otherwise we make Paul contradict himself.
     
  18. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    Have you considered the possibility that you might be developing arguments in order to support what is already established practice?
    From what I can find, it appears Hirst was a Wesleyan Methodist (a search for the book you mentioned brings up another book authored by a Thomas Hirst, A Further Apology for Wesleyan Methodism). If it's the same author, his support of the use of musical instruments in worship should come as no surprise. What would surprise me is if he argues from the Regulative Principle. I can't seem to find that book easily available online, however. If you have any excerpts that might be of value to this discussion, I'd sincerely appreciate them.

    I'll try and check out Rayburn's book. Does he go into instrumental accompaniment in any depth?
     
  19. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    I'm curious about this. Do you have a fuller quotation?
     
  20. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    Here is the beginning of the most relevant section.

    Unfortunately, not very much, though he supports it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
  21. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    It's at the beginning of the chapter I linked. The RCA website also makes this point.
     
  22. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    I'm not seeing any link. Problem on my end?
     
  23. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    Sorry, just edited.
     
  24. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    Thanks, I'll make time to read it.
     
  25. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    I don’t think there are any dots to connect; simply, again, in charismatic circles playing upon a musical instrument was a valid way to praise the Lord in worship. I don’t agree with that of course but I now see it’s probably a common view outside charismatic churches.
     
  26. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    But, the vocabulary you have chosen muddies the water. I am not arguing against the use of instruments, but I don't see how a set of something within a necessary set is not itself necessary. For example, hydrogen and oxygen are a subset of water. Water is necessary to life. Therefore, hydrogen and oxygen are necessary to life.

    What are the other parts of the subset of praise? Vocal cords? Ear drums? (unintentional pun). If vocal cords, ear drums, and musical instruments are part of the subset of vocal praise, and vocal praise is necessary to worship, then aren't vocal cords, ear drums, and instruments necessary to worship?

    I think it is better to stick to the Reformation categories of 'element' and 'circumstance' (especially on the PB ;) )
     
  27. G

    G Puritan Board Junior

    Tim,

    Women should sing with the congregation. Women can also be encouraged to teach; HOWEVER, that has to be qualified with the other instructions Paul gives in scripture. Jeri is not pitting Paul against himself but rather trying to take him at his word. Can women not teach younger women at Church in a SS setting (public gathering) Can women not teach Children (public gathering)? Or are you claiming that my wife has to zip her lip as soon as we pull into the parking lot (Rhetorical as I know that is not what you expressly said)?

    Further, there certainly is a sense when the congregation is singing that we are all teaching and admonishing one another as we worship God by singing Psalms corporately. Maybe my week sucked (in my eyes) and I get reminded by the joy in my daughters voice that I have no reason not to be joyous in my singing and my motives are corrected (that’s just one example). Just like when my daughters were baptized, this served in a way as an visible admonition to the witnesses in the congregation.

    For anyone new to this topic: R. Scott Clark deals with instruments and also the above passages here:
    https://heidelblog.net/2019/08/making-melody-with-instruments-versus-making-melody-in-the-heart/
    :detective:
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  28. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    Grant,

    I agree. Jeri was arguing against me saying that our singing praises was a corporate action. I'm showing that if it's not, we make Paul contradict himself if we think these verses apply to public worship.
     
  29. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    In my free time today I've been coming back to the chapter you linked. I've now read through a good chunk of it.

    Early on, Hirst demonstrates what little he thinks of the Regulative Principle. Here is a quotation (italics in original):

    We are not aware that in the discourses of Jesus Christ, any explicit direction or commandment is put forth, as it respects their [musical instruments'] religious use. Certainly those who advocate their use, are justified in claiming the benefit of our Lord's silence. For it is fair to presume, that if their use be so repugnant to the spirit of the gospel, and so destructive of its operations, the great head of the church, who saw the conflicting opinions of distant ages as present, would have left on record some expressions of disapprobation... We say it might have been expected that if our Saviour had disapproved of the practice, in some of his explanatory discourses, or altercations with the Jews, he would have made us acquainted with the fact. And if these considerations will not avail, for want of our Lord's affirmative authority for instrumental music, vocal music will be in jeopardy for want of the same support. We gather from the sacred historians, that on one occasion, and but one, our Saviour with his disciples sung an hymn. In fact, it seems that the Redeemer did not intend to disturb the principle, or lawfulness of the practice in question at all, but to leave it open to the church, to follow or not, to a greater or lesser extent, as their circumstances, qualifications, and Christian judgment might decide.​
     
  30. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    Tom,

    You asked for a source. I'm not saying that I agree with the author on every point. I simply think he makes some good arguments that are relevant to our conversation.

    This is my last post in this thread. I want it to end before 250 posts. :rofl:

    Thanks again for discussing!
     
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