Rules for Public and Private Worship

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Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
A recent thread reminded me of a question that I have struggled with.

Regarding the Regulative Principle, what are the rules for distinguishing between Public, and Family Worship? Where do we get the rules? Is it context of the commanded elements?

For example, how do we know that Psalms only are permitted in public worship, but other songs are ok in family worship? The same question could be applied to instruments or catechising.

Some elements are self-explaining, such as preaching and the adminstration of the sacraments (i.e. only a pastor can adminster, therefore it is meant for the public assembly). But what about the rest?
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
What makes you think other songs are okay in family worship?

VI. Neither prayer, nor any other part of religious worship, is now under the Gospel either tied unto, or made more acceptable by any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed: (c) but God is to be worshipped everywhere,(d) in spirit and truth;(e) as in private families(f) daily,(g) and in secret each one by himself;(h) so, more solemnly, in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly or wilfully to be neglected, or forsaken, when God, by His Word or providence, calls thereunto.(i)

(c) John 4:21.
(d) Mal. 1:11; I Tim. 2:8.
(e) John 4:23, 24.
(f) Jer. 10:25; Deut. 6:6, 7; Job 1:5; II Sam. 6:18, 20; I Pet. 3:7; Acts 10:2.
(g) Matt. 6:11.
(h) Matt. 6:6; Eph. 6:18.
(i) Isa. 56:6, 7; Heb. 10:25; Prov. 1:20, 21, 24; Prov. 8:34; Acts 13:42; Luke 4:16; Acts 2:42.

:pilgrim:
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by WrittenFromUtopia
What makes you think other songs are okay in family worship?

VI. Neither prayer, nor any other part of religious worship, is now under the Gospel either tied unto, or made more acceptable by any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed: (c) but God is to be worshipped everywhere,(d) in spirit and truth;(e) as in private families(f) daily,(g) and in secret each one by himself;(h) so, more solemnly, in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly or wilfully to be neglected, or forsaken, when God, by His Word or providence, calls thereunto.(i)

(c) John 4:21.
(d) Mal. 1:11; I Tim. 2:8.
(e) John 4:23, 24.
(f) Jer. 10:25; Deut. 6:6, 7; Job 1:5; II Sam. 6:18, 20; I Pet. 3:7; Acts 10:2.
(g) Matt. 6:11.
(h) Matt. 6:6; Eph. 6:18.
(i) Isa. 56:6, 7; Heb. 10:25; Prov. 1:20, 21, 24; Prov. 8:34; Acts 13:42; Luke 4:16; Acts 2:42.

:pilgrim:

I'm actually not sure that is the case. It just seems to be the general opinion of the EP subscribers that I have talked to. I want to know why they think this.

Aside from this, there are other elements that provide the same difficulties.
 

Augusta

Puritan Board Doctor
I addressed this in a way in the other thread that was just closed. When we are before the throne of God in the solemn assembly it is different than when you are just at home and going about your regular vocations.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
The elder's office takes on an official role with certain duties during corporate worship. Those duties do not materially extend to families outside of corporate worship, but can practically (i.e. the pastor asks "Harry" if he is reading his bible, praying, etc. during devotions). But the official ministry of the Word and Sacraments, done by a lawfully ordained minister during the worship of God (not simply non-chalauntly at the mere whim by a "group" of beleivers) distinguishes what is Regulated during worship corporatly, and then outside of that time. From the time the Call to Worship begins until the benediction, everything taking palce in that frameset should reflect the elder's leading and the Regulative principle.

Our entire lives, for that matter, is worship before God (Rom. 12:1-2). But those instnaces are not regulated in the way. God has set up "solemn assemblies" in which certain regulations take place.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
EPers must sing in only hebrew or greek. Period. In Public or private worship. That is the reductio of their position.

Otherwise, we are at liberty to translate the Psalms, which is NOT commanded. If we are at liberty to translate them, then how do we know which translation is approved by God ? (I can hear the footsteps of KJV only soldiers approaching the door now) Therefore I can sing any translation that is true to the original, which includes the concepts behind the words, and I can mix and match truths from different Psalms to make worship hymns.

[Edited on 10-18-2005 by Saiph]
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Matt, can a head of household serve the eucharist to his family ? ?

Just a curiosity, not going to attack you here.
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by Saiph
EPers must sing in only hebrew or greek. Period. In Public or private worship. That is the reductio of their position.

Otherwise, we are at liberty to translate the Psalms, which is NOT commanded. If we are at liberty to translate them, then how do we know which translation is approved by God ? (I can hear the footsteps of KJV only soldiers approaching the door know) Therefore I can sing any translation that is true to the original, which includes the concepts behind the words, and I can mix and match truths from different Psalms to make worship hymns.

You don't get to define the terms for a position you don't hold to or completely understand. That is logically fallacious.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Gabriel, brother.

Seriously, where in the Bible does it command us to translate the bible ?

[Edited on 10-18-2005 by Saiph]
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
It is the foundation for RPW, which is in turn the source of the private/public distinction.
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by Saiph
It is the foundation for RPW, which is in turn the source of the private/public distinction.

Just so I don't misunderstand, you are asserting:

The foundation for the RPW is whether or not we have the command to translate the Bible into English.

?
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Originally posted by Saiph
Matt, can a head of household serve the eucharist to his family ? ?

Just a curiosity, not going to attack you here.

No problem -

- no he would not be able to do that. Ministry of the Word and Sacraments is given to the officers of the church. (cf. Ques. 156, 158 WLC, and 169 for the Sacrament of the LS).

Mark - also be sure you take into consideration that the singing of psalms in any language as translated is by good and necessary inference through God's command to teach and baptize "the nations."

Joel 3:11 Assemble and come, all you nations, And gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O LORD.

Psalm 86:9 All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.

Zephaniah 2:11 The LORD will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen.

Revelation 15:4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested." (manifested = to make know, for example).

Revelation 14:6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth -- to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people --

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

and like ideas.




[Edited on 10-18-2005 by webmaster]
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Reductio ad absurdum:
If EP demands singing the Psalms in only Hebrew or Greek, then Sola Scriptura demands reading the Bible in only Hebrew or Greek.

If you don't make the latter demand of Protestants, don't make the former demand of EP'ers.

Incidentally, I would point to the passages which say we are to read, and understand, the Scriptures (similar to "I will sing with understanding"), and ask whether the common people to whom the Scriptures come, can read the Scriptures without the Scriptures being translated into their language. I would point also to Christ and His apostles' use of the Septuagint translation, as a justification for translations of the Bible into the common language.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
I agree with you guys, on "good and necessary inference", that is why I read bible translations.

Now, to the point of Jeff's original question:

For example, how do we know that Psalms only are permitted in public worship, but other songs are ok in family worship? The same question could be applied to instruments or catechising.

I do not have this dilemma, because I believe we are commanded to sing songs that are reverent, directed towards God, and doctrinally correct, by "good and necessary inference". So I DO sing the same songs in private worship as I sing in public worship.

But I know EP advocates that sing only Psalms in church, and hymns and other folk tunes in private.

That was part of my calling the translation into question.
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Yes, back to the original discussion. As I said, certain things are specific to the officers of the church, and take on different aspects in public worship, like preaching. Preaching is commanded in public worship, but not in family worship. One could argue that this is of necessity because Preachers can not be everywhere, and not everyone can be a preacher.

Let's take something that isn't "role" specific, like catechising then. The Westminster Directory for Family Worship states that catechising is to be done as a part of Family Worship, but the Directory for Public worship completely leaves it out. Why is this?

Or what about the use of instruments? Same thing there.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Let's take something that isn't "role" specific, like catechising then. The Westminster Directory for Family Worship states that catechising is to be done as a part of Family Worship, but the Directory for Public worship completely leaves it out. Why is this?

They probably consider that under discipleship though. And I am sure the elders would teach new converts the catechism right ?
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Yes - the actual purpose of the catechisms was to teach disciples so that they could intelligently listen to the sermons (the Word Preached).
 

JOwen

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Kaalvenist
Reductio ad absurdum:
If EP demands singing the Psalms in only Hebrew or Greek, then Sola Scriptura demands reading the Bible in only Hebrew or Greek.

If you don't make the latter demand of Protestants, don't make the former demand of EP'ers.

Incidentally, I would point to the passages which say we are to read, and understand, the Scriptures (similar to "I will sing with understanding"), and ask whether the common people to whom the Scriptures come, can read the Scriptures without the Scriptures being translated into their language. I would point also to Christ and His apostles' use of the Septuagint translation, as a justification for translations of the Bible into the common language.

Not to mention EVERY time our Lord or one of the NT writers quote the LXX in the New Testament is a proof of the fact that translations are proper. Jesus used a translation.

Kind regards,
J. Lewis
Pastor -APC
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Several of you missed the point entirely. Which translation is EP approved ? ?

No matter which one you pick, they are often re-worked and paraphrased in almost every Psalter I have.

So what is the ultimate difference between singing a rhyming and metrical version of the Psalms, and singing a hymn whose doctrine and words can all be found within the Psalms, or bible as a whole ? ?

Moderator: Feel free to open a new thread on this one. . . . I do not know how.
 

JOwen

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Saiph
Several of you missed the point entirely. Which translation is EP approved ?

Like the LXX, any translation that is faithful to the text.

Jerrold
Pastor- APC
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
so in an EP church you could sing the Maranatha song "Give Ear To My Words", because it is faithful to the text ? ?

How about "Mighty Fortress". I could probably go line by line and find similar phrases in the Psalms.
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by Saiph
Several of you missed the point entirely. Which translation is EP approved ? ?

No matter which one you pick, they are often re-worked and paraphrased in almost every Psalter I have.

So what is the ultimate difference between singing a rhyming and metrical version of the Psalms, and singing a hymn whose doctrine and words can all be found within the Psalms, or bible as a whole ? ?

Moderator: Feel free to open a new thread on this one. . . . I do not know how.

Are you telling me you can translate Hebrew into English word for word??
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Are you telling me you can translate Hebrew into English word for word??

That is impossible.

Dialogue with me here.

1. Are the metered paraphrases of the Psalms being sung in EP churches still the Psalms ? ?

2. If I can paraphrase them, and make them rhyme, why not use the concepts and wording from several Psalms and write a hymn ?
 

Peter

Puritan Board Junior
I disagree with Matt here. My understanding is that all offering of praise to God is the subject of the RPW and I dont see any reason for limiting the scope of its application from scripture. As for the question of translations, besides necessary inference from the multitude of injunctions to know and understand the scriptures, I think its clear from Christ's and the Apostles' use of the greek OT translation of the scriptures that their use is approved.
 

Peter

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Saiph
Are you telling me you can translate Hebrew into English word for word??

That is impossible.

Dialogue with me here.

1. Are the metered paraphrases of the Psalms being sung in EP churches still the Psalms ? ?

2. If I can paraphrase them, and make them rhyme, why not use the concepts and wording from several Psalms and write a hymn ?

1. They're not paraphrases, they ARE the Psalms.

2. No.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Check this out from the Scottish Psalter:

Like as the hart doth pant and bray,
the well-springs to obtain;
So doth my soul desire alway,
with thee, Lord, to remain.
2 My soul doth thirst, and would draw near
the living God of might;
Oh, when shall I come and appear
in presence of his sight


The Real Psalm:

Psa 42:1 To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah. As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
Psa 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?

Note what was added:

BRAY ? ? ? God of MIGHT ??
Presence of SIGHT ? ?

If that is not paraphrase and translation liberty I do not know what is.

Note what was removed:

"To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah."

Is that part not inspired ? ?

Dude, just admit it, there is no consistent way to follow the EP idea unless you are singing literal translations.
 
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