question for my pro hymnody brethren

Do you believe it would be sin if your current congregation sang the Psalms exclusiv

  • YES

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • NO

    Votes: 22 91.7%
  • I DONT KNOW, NOT SURE

    Votes: 2 8.3%

  • Total voters
    24
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Croghanite

Puritan Board Sophomore
The poll question is for all pro hymnody brethren but mainly to those that believe we are commanded to sing new songs and that new songs are interpreted to be uninspired songs.

Do you believe it would be sin if your current congregation sang the Psalms exclusively without instruments? Say they changed their practice to exclusive Psalmody.

Non poll question: Could you continue as a member in good conscience?

-----Added 12/30/2008 at 06:44:44 EST-----

The poll question was too long to see.
The poll question is:


Do you believe it would be sin if your current congregation sang the Psalms exclusively without instruments?
 

Theognome

Burrito Bill
Our congregation sings mostly psalms with an occasional hymn (many services don't have hymns at all). If we went exclusive, it wouldn't bother me, for I do not feel this to be a sin issue or an issue worth dividing over.

Theognome
 

Croghanite

Puritan Board Sophomore
Am I wrong in thinking that the pro hymnody view is that we are commanded to sing uninspired songs and therefore they must be sung?
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Didn't give much time for the original poll to vet before moving to a different subject. Do you really want to derail the OP and focus on a new issue?
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
I think the CCM stuff is more of a 'sin'...and no, Psalms exclusively without instruments isn't close to a sin...

'un-inispired' needs to be metled out. The man-centered CCM songs I'm subjected to are different than God-centered hymns. They are two different species of songs.
 

Croghanite

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think the CCM stuff is more of a 'sin'...and no, Psalms exclusively without instruments isn't close to a sin...

'un-inispired' needs to be metled out. The man-centered CCM songs I'm subjected to are different than God-centered hymns. They are two different species of songs.
uninspired = anything but the Psalms.
 

jambo

Puritan Board Senior
I dont see how it could possibly be a sin to sing Psalms unaccompanied (or accompanied)
 

Croghanite

Puritan Board Sophomore
The OP question has to do with the lack of the hymns being sung. See the first sentence in the OP please.

If it is believed that we are commanded to sing a new song ie. uninspired song, then wouldn't it be sin to neglect that command?
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Clarifying question - Does error=sin?

-----Added 12/30/2008 at 08:10:49 EST-----

Also - shouldn't this thread be in the EP sub-forum?
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
As someone who believes we should sing both hymns and psalms, I don't think it would be a sin to sing Psalms only. I do think, however, that the congregation would be missing out.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
The poll question is for all pro hymnody brethren but mainly to those that believe we are commanded to sing new songs and that new songs are interpreted to be uninspired songs.... Do you believe it would be sin if your current congregation sang the Psalms exclusively without instruments?
IF - and I mean IF - we are commanded to sing new, uninspired, songs - as your question asks, then of course it would be sinful to exclude them.

The answers I've seen above seem to imply that folks don't think the Bible commands them to sing uninspired hymns, but rather that the Bible "merely" permits them to do so. IF the Bible doesn't command us to sing uninspired songs, but "just" gives us the flexibility to do so if we so choose, then of course it wouldn't be sin to NOT sing them.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
It would depend on whether on believes that the content of song is an element or a circumstance.

I can clearly answer the second part (without instruments): no it would not be sin, because instrumentation is a circumstance, not an element.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
The poll question is for all pro hymnody brethren but mainly to those that believe we are commanded to sing new songs and that new songs are interpreted to be uninspired songs.... Do you believe it would be sin if your current congregation sang the Psalms exclusively without instruments?
IF - and I mean IF - we are commanded to sing new, uninspired, songs - as your question asks, then of course it would be sinful to exclude them.

The answers I've seen above seem to imply that folks don't think the Bible commands them to sing uninspired hymns, but rather that the Bible "merely" permits them to do so. IF the Bible doesn't command us to sing uninspired songs, but "just" gives us the flexibility to do so if we so choose, then of course it wouldn't be sin to NOT sing them.
Good point, Ben.

The only permissible answers, it would seem would be:


  1. If the content of song (i.e. words, form, tune, etc.) is an element, like the reading of Scripture, then it would be a sin to exclusively sing psalms (per Col 3:15; Eph. 5:19).
  2. If the content of song is a circumstance, like prayer, then it would not be a sin. It would be a matter of Biblically informed wisdom.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I personally think this is a mute question because I don't see anyone who holds to singing good theologically sound hymns neglecting them. If there is a command to sing New Songs that are theologically sound then why phrase this question and neglect the singing of them.

This in my opinion is a question to strawman someones beliefs. I attended an EP church back in the late 80's and early 90's. I had no problem bearing with that congregations convictions out of love. And I still love them dearly.

If the Lord told Peter to eat meats that were unclean and he didn't for the conscience of those around him, would he be in sin? Paul exhorted us in 1 Corinthians 8 about meat offered to idols. I think you could use that as a possible guide.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I do believe that bearing with the weaker brother is probably an appropriate response, either way. That's not to say one shouldn't work to reform the error, as one's scruples demand :)
 

Hamalas

whippersnapper
The OP question has to do with the lack of the hymns being sung. See the first sentence in the OP please.

If it is believed that we are commanded to sing a new song ie. uninspired song, then wouldn't it be sin to neglect that command?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't we all, whether EP or not, believe that we are to be writing new songs? From my understanding the real issue is where those songs are sung and how they are viewed. The debate is really a matter of what is acceptable in corporate worship. Would we not all be fine with singing Rock of Ages, (or whatever hymn) while weeding the garden or cleaning the garage? Am I misunderstanding the issue? :think:
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
Although I embrace a capella EP (and therefore I didn't vote), it seems to me per the RPW -- whatever is commanded is required -- that new songs, being an element and not a circumstance, are required for those who believe that verses such as Col. 3:16 or any of the psalms saying "sing a new song" command uninspired songs. To be consistent with the pro-hymnody position and the RPW, one must find biblical warrant for hymns, and if one finds biblical warrant for hymns, then one is required to sing hymns. The RPW does not make elements optional.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Although I embrace a capella EP (and therefore I didn't vote), it seems to me per the RPW -- whatever is commanded is required -- that new songs, being an element and not a circumstance, are required for those who believe that verses such as Col. 3:16 or any of the psalms saying "sing a new song" command uninspired songs. To be consistent with the pro-hymnody position and the RPW, one must find biblical warrant for hymns, and if one finds biblical warrant for hymns, then one is required to sing hymns. The RPW does not make elements optional.
Ben, see my above post about elements and circumstances. The distinction (which is not always easy to apply in many cases, like the one at hadn) is at the heart of the RPW.
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
Although I embrace a capella EP (and therefore I didn't vote), it seems to me per the RPW -- whatever is commanded is required -- that new songs, being an element and not a circumstance, are required for those who believe that verses such as Col. 3:16 or any of the psalms saying "sing a new song" command uninspired songs. To be consistent with the pro-hymnody position and the RPW, one must find biblical warrant for hymns, and if one finds biblical warrant for hymns, then one is required to sing hymns. The RPW does not make elements optional.
Ben, see my above post about elements and circumstances. The distinction (which is not always easy to apply in many cases, like the one at hadn) is at the heart of the RPW.
Haha, sorry about that. I opened up this thread about three-four hours ago to read then left to play some basketball. I was completely unaware of all the new posts. I need to remember the good ol' refresh button.
 

Hamalas

whippersnapper
Although I embrace a capella EP (and therefore I didn't vote), it seems to me per the RPW -- whatever is commanded is required -- that new songs, being an element and not a circumstance, are required for those who believe that verses such as Col. 3:16 or any of the psalms saying "sing a new song" command uninspired songs. To be consistent with the pro-hymnody position and the RPW, one must find biblical warrant for hymns, and if one finds biblical warrant for hymns, then one is required to sing hymns. The RPW does not make elements optional.
Ben, see my above post about elements and circumstances. The distinction (which is not always easy to apply in many cases, like the one at hadn) is at the heart of the RPW.
Wait, which Ben are you talking to? :scratch:
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
Although I embrace a capella EP (and therefore I didn't vote), it seems to me per the RPW -- whatever is commanded is required -- that new songs, being an element and not a circumstance, are required for those who believe that verses such as Col. 3:16 or any of the psalms saying "sing a new song" command uninspired songs. To be consistent with the pro-hymnody position and the RPW, one must find biblical warrant for hymns, and if one finds biblical warrant for hymns, then one is required to sing hymns. The RPW does not make elements optional.
Ben, see my above post about elements and circumstances. The distinction (which is not always easy to apply in many cases, like the one at hadn) is at the heart of the RPW.
Wait, which Ben are you talking to? :scratch:
Haha, he was talking to me. There are three Bens in this thread!

-----Added 12/30/2008 at 11:15:00 EST-----

Rev. Greco, can you briefly explain why instruments are circumstances and not elements, given the fact that God commanded specific instruments in OT worship (e.g. two silver trumpets), and -- correct me if I'm wrong -- that there was no instrumentation in Jewish worship until 1810? Those are very broadly speaking the two reasons why I see instruments as elements.
 
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Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
Here's a bit taken from a position paper on RPW taken from the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America.

One of the great privileges of the people of God is that we are invited to sing praises to our great
and glorious God. God has commanded that we sing praises to him, because it is pleasing to Him
and in being pleasing to Him brings great pleasure as well to us. The elements of public worship
do not appear because they please the worshipers but are included because they please God and
yet in coming into His presence and fulfilling that which is pleasing to Him, we experience
fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. In determining what music is acceptable in worship,
we must acknowledge that the words that we sing ought to be as biblical as the prayers that we
pray and the words that we preach. As we study the psalms we generally note that they possess
certain qualities: God-centeredness, dignity, biblical ideas, theme, order, resolution, etc. The
hymns and songs we sing should follow that pattern. The Statement of Principle for Music in the
Church, taken from the Christian Reformed Psalter Hymnal (Grand Rapids: CRC Publications,
1988, pp. 11-15) gives some very useful guidelines in this regard. It states the following:
i. The music of the church should represent the full range of the revelation of God.
ii. The service of music should contribute to the service of the Word.
iii. The poetry of the songs should be good poetry; it should not have to rely upon the music
to carry it. The music of the songs should be artistically defensible as good music; it
should not have to rely upon the words to carry it.
iv. The poetry of the songs should be true to the inspired Word. Such poetry at the same
time must be vital—free from the defects of artificiality and sentimentality.
v. The poetry should be genuinely expressive of religious experience, but should be in
harmony with the whole counsel of God.
vi. The music should be suitable to the liturgical text to which it has been adapted.
vii. Music of the church. . .[should not] suggest places and occasions other than the church
and worship. . .lest a secular association with the music interfere with the worshiper’s
service.
viii. The music of the church should be expressive of our Reformed tradition.


This is what I was saying in making a distinction of the Contemporary Worship stuff and God Centered Hymns. EP doesn't violate these principles, but alot of Contemporary Worship stuff does.
 
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