Special Music in Worship

Discussion in 'Worship' started by thbslawson, Mar 13, 2012.

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  1. thbslawson

    thbslawson Puritan Board Freshman

    Note: This is not a debate. I would like the following questions addressed according to the verse that's listed below.

    I have often heard it argued that the Regulative Principle of Worship precludes having choirs or soloists in corporate worship. Yet, we find in 1 Cor 14:26,

    "What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up." - ESV

    This verse seems to indicate that there can be individuals that present elements of worship during corporate worship, even song (hymns), so long as they are done in an orderly manner and are edifying to the body.

    What are your thoughts on this verse?

    Also some other questions to take into consideration. If it is permissible for an individual to be called upon to pray out loud and lead a congregation in prayer how would this be different from him singing a written prayer? Or if an individual can be called upon to read Scripture, how would this be different from him singing a musical setting of Scripture?

    Again, I do not wish to debate, I simply am asking for other's thoughts in relation to the 1 Cor 14:26 verse, and the reasons why you would either support or reject a soloist or choir singing special music in worship.
  2. Poimen

    Poimen Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Does this verse describe the indicative (the fact of what is going on at the current time), the imperative (a command to do these things) or the subjunctive (giving permission to do these things)? I believe it it is the first since Paul never commends the Corinthians for their spirit of unity. In fact this verse is very similar to vss. 20-21 of 1 Corinthians 11 where Paul describes or summarizes the current practice of the Corinthians with regards to the Lord's Supper but does not say that this is normative, nor even permissible.

    In accordance with the verse itself, edification is order and order is unity. For every person to come to worship with the intent to 'do their own thing' would strike at the unity of the church. That is why the RPW is as free and liberty granting as it is meant to be restrictive and binding. When worship becomes about me and my needs (wants) then worship for other's must necessarily bow to my interests and desires. Instead we all do what God commands. And God commands us to sing, and God commands us to sing together (Ephesians 5:19 & Colossians 3:16) but He does not command us to sing apart from one another.

    As far as reading of scripture and praying, we should note first of all, that they are not individual efforts. We read together, even if only one reads; we pray together as a congregation even if only one speaks. Furthermore a person out of necessity reads the Bible and prays for others because it is commanded or prescribed by example (Jesus and the apostles). Anything more would be chaos (or against unity and in order - 1 Corinthians 14:40) but not so with song which is an effort of all the people.
  3. rbcbob

    rbcbob Puritan Board Graduate

    The matter being dealt with in the first century church at Corinth by the apostle was not RPW; he was dealing with the abuses of the (then) current operation of the σημεῖον (semeion), the revelatory sign gifts wherein God, by direct and immediate revelation conveyed His Word to His people.

    The completion of the Canon of Scripture and the corresponding cessation of the σημεῖον make the point moot.
  4. J. Dean

    J. Dean Puritan Board Junior

    Isn't the general context of I Corinthians 14 concerning corporate order in the church, and that it's not about a "look at me and my gift" attitude?
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