What should the URCNA do? Are they practicing tyranny? R.S. Clark thinks so.

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Gage Browning

Puritan Board Freshman
Rev. Winzer,
I would presume since it is your position, that there is no office for composing, that you wouldn't sing a "metered" psalm, since they are "composed"? Only accapella would be allowed in light of the RPW? Just asking for clarificaiton of the position.
 

mvdm

Puritan Board Junior
our committee seems to have hit something of an impasse
The committee has produced a Proposed Hymnal and the consistories are presently tasked to evaluate the proposal. Suggested changes are to come via overture to Synod 2012. What impasse are you talking about?

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I doubt that the church assemblies are the place to begin simply because there's so much ignorance about what we confess regarding worship.
This unfortunate statement displays its own ignorance. The church assemblies are a prescribed place for churchmen to bring grievances against unbiblical practices.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I would presume since it is your position, that there is no office for composing, that you wouldn't sing a "metered" psalm, since they are "composed"? Only accapella would be allowed in light of the RPW? Just asking for clarificaiton of the position.
The Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit and is translated by men according to the forms and customs of the language in which it is to be read. The difference between the two is well accepted. Likewise, the Psalms were composed by the Holy Spirit and are translated into metre for singing.
 

Gage Browning

Puritan Board Freshman
The Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit and is translated by men according to the forms and customs of the language in which it is to be read. The difference between the two is well accepted. Likewise, the Psalms were composed by the Holy Spirit and are translated into metre for singing.
Thanks Rev. Winzer- Would you say then the translation into metre was "infallable" or at least "preserved" thus the musicality of the metre is permitted, and no other "musicality" is allowed? Or would you say the metre is not "infallable" therefore you would allow for other variations of metre or rhyme if the words were not changed?

---------- Post added at 08:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:52 PM ----------

I guess I'm looking for the "warrant for the composers to translate into metre for singing."
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Thanks Rev. Winzer- Would you say then the translation into metre was "infallable" or at least "preserved" thus the musicality of the metre is permitted, and no other "musicality" is allowed? Or would you say the metre is not "infallable" therefore you would allow for other variations of metre or rhyme if the words were not changed?


I'm inclined to utilise the old distinction between "vox" and "verba" with respect to the quality of the word in relation to the translation. It contains the inspired and infallible voice even where the words might admit of a better rendering.

On preference -- the poetical culture has had a dominant impact on the choice of metrication since Reformation times. The issue was one of functionality and intelligibility. Being acquainted with metre the people could sing the psalms without complication whereas chanting was difficult to learn and follow. I suppose one could gain better accuracy through chanting, but if it harms congregational participation and leads to select choirs it will prove counter-productive. So the controlling factor appears to be the corporate nature of the command to sing. I don't think anyone would argue that metrication is of divine right, infallible, or unalterable. It just seems to be the most appropriate "rhythm" of the language into which the psalms are being translated for the purpose of congregational singing.
 

jogri17

Puritan Board Junior
2) Those who profess adherence to the RPW but who reject the historic understanding. I call these folks "conservatives." They want to conserve aspects of the modern settlement. It's interesting that my old friend Joey Pipa (with whom I served at WSC) insists on 6/24 creation as a mark of orthodoxy but defends hymns.
I still don't get that how you can advocate a view of creation outside the boundaries of the confessions, but when it comes to worship demand we stay with the the 16th and 17th century understanding. I much prefer John Frame's view... a regulative principle that permits everything and a view of genesis that permits just about anything. Must it does seem like you both pick and choose.
 

RTaron

The Grandpa (Affectionately Called)
If the nub of his argument is "the URCs need to repent of an unbiblical position on hymnody", then it would seem he also has a responsibility to seek a remedy through readily available ecclesiastical means.
I think Mr. Van Der Molen hit the nail on the head here. May the the Lord soften the hearts of his people, that we may be able to see that we might not have everything right. Church isn't a social game where we gather in groups of the most like minded. We serve the Living God as a society aiming to please Him, no ourselves.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
One point is certain, the text says to sing, not compose. Another point is certain, there was a man raised up in the Old Testament to compose psalms; there is no office provided for composing hymns in the New Testament. A third point refutes all supposition of new hymns, and that is the fact that without the gift of inspiration it is impossible to create songs which are entitled to the description of spiritual according to the way that word is usually used in the New Testament.
This point can be used to refute the "no musical instruments" position, which some hold. Since David was raised up to compose psalms (as were others, of course) and since David composed his psalms to be sung to instrumental accompaniment, then the importation of the psalms into New Testament worship also means the importation of the use of musical accompaniments, as well, since this is how the psalms were composed in the first place.
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
One point is certain, the text says to sing, not compose. Another point is certain, there was a man raised up in the Old Testament to compose psalms; there is no office provided for composing hymns in the New Testament. A third point refutes all supposition of new hymns, and that is the fact that without the gift of inspiration it is impossible to create songs which are entitled to the description of spiritual according to the way that word is usually used in the New Testament.
This point can be used to refute the "no musical instruments" position, which some hold. Since David was raised up to compose psalms (as were others, of course) and since David composed his psalms to be sung to instrumental accompaniment, then the importation of the psalms into New Testament worship also means the importation of the use of musical accompaniments, as well, since this is how the psalms were composed in the first place.
Tread carefully here. This argument suggests that instruments are commanded in NT worship, not merely allowed, and thus incriminates the Apostles and the NT church, which didn't use them.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
This point can be used to refute the "no musical instruments" position, which some hold. Since David was raised up to compose psalms (as were others, of course) and since David composed his psalms to be sung to instrumental accompaniment, then the importation of the psalms into New Testament worship also means the importation of the use of musical accompaniments, as well, since this is how the psalms were composed in the first place.
See 1 Chronicles 25, where the musical instruments are appointed principally for those who should prophesy. If the musical instruments were appointed for the composition of the psalms, as you seem to acknowledge, the cessation of composition would mark the cessation of the musical instruments.
 

RTaron

The Grandpa (Affectionately Called)
Musical instruments in the worship and uninspired hymns do seem to go hand in hand as we slide downward away from purity in public worship. Today, during the administration of the Lord's Supper, we were made to hear the sounds of the electric piano/organ. This was presumably to aid the worthy receivers with help in prayer and meditation.
If this is not a human invention or will worship, I would like to hear your argument for it's institution.
 

CIT

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Tread carefully here. This argument suggests that instruments are commanded in NT worship, not merely allowed, and thus incriminates the Apostles and the NT church, which didn't use them.
Out of ignorance, can you please show where the Apostles and NT church did not use instruments?

---------- Post added at 12:37 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:35 AM ----------

Today, during the administration of the Lord's Supper, we were made to hear the sounds of the electric piano/organ. This was presumably to aid the worthy receivers with help in prayer and meditation.
Did they say that was the reason for using the keyboard? Or could it possibly be that they were using the keyboard to fill silence?
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
This may need its own thread and feel free to cut it out mods if that be your pleasure but I posted this comment over at Rev. Keister's blog that was responding to Dr, Clark and thought it germane to this discussion here.

This may be a non-sequitur but something I would like to hear is that if what we are arguing for is hymnody that is biblical and confessional why are the hymnals that 99.9% of those of use in non-EP congregations (speaking here specifically about the red Trinity Hymnal) full of so many hymns that are out of touch with our confessional documents and by extension what we believe the Scriptures to teach? I will not speak for others here but I know when I sit down to lay-out the liturgy each week and I am looking for hymns to place in the order of worship I skip over a number of hymns that contain serious theological error. (which is one reason why I usually select psalm paraphrases or psalms from the Trinity Hymnal).

Why should that be in a hymnal that was specifically produced for P&R churches?
 

RTaron

The Grandpa (Affectionately Called)
Did they say that was the reason for using the keyboard? Or could it possibly be that they were using the keyboard to fill silence?
I assumed the former reason because our elders aren't those who think we need to be entertained with music to keep us in our seats.
 

CIT

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I assumed the former reason because our elders aren't those who think we need to be entertained with music to keep us in our seats.
Filling in dead space is not necessarily entertainment (or at least not in my mind).
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Filling in dead space is not necessarily entertainment (or at least not in my mind).
Okay, it is not for entertainment and it is not a means for edification, what is it?
I assume that you have raise this issue with your Session rather than merely slandering them on an internet board. You may want to suggest that they shut off the lights and air conditioning/heat while they are at it.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Whoa, easy!
Slander is a strong word.
Where did that come from?
Today, during the administration of the Lord's Supper, we were made to hear the sounds of the electric piano/organ. This was presumably to aid the worthy receivers with help in prayer and meditation.
If this is not a human invention or will worship, I would like to hear your argument for it's institution.
Right there, plain to see. You were compelled ("made to hear") to participate in "will worship" by your elders. If you did not mean to slander them, you should not have. Even cute turns of phrase have consequences.
 

RTaron

The Grandpa (Affectionately Called)
I am asking if this is not a human invention, I would like to know how it is not.
How is that slander? I appreciate you bringing this up, I don't want to sin by slandering.
Yes, I have spoken to the elders about this problem.
This doesn't have to be personal, I would wager a guess that most contemporary reformed churches URC's, PCA's, OPC's, CRC's use musical instruments during the Lord's supper.
There is cause for pause. Like what Dr. Clark is seeking to say, let's re-examine what we do and why. Does it square with the scriptures?
 

markkoller

Puritan Board Freshman
I assume that you have raise this issue with your Session rather than merely slandering them on an internet board. You may want to suggest that they shut off the lights and air conditioning/heat while they are at it.
This is not helpful language, brother. I would suggest a more respectful approach.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
I assume that you have raise this issue with your Session rather than merely slandering them on an internet board. You may want to suggest that they shut off the lights and air conditioning/heat while they are at it.
This is not helpful language, brother. I would suggest a more respectful approach.
I'm sorry, I missed your post asking the brother to be more respectful of his session and their authority over worship, earlier.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
This may be a non-sequitur but something I would like to hear is that if what we are arguing for is hymnody that is biblical and confessional why are the hymnals that 99.9% of those of use in non-EP congregations (speaking here specifically about the red Trinity Hymnal) full of so many hymns that are out of touch with our confessional documents and by extension what we believe the Scriptures to teach?
Anyone have a list of these hymns so I can study the issue on my own?
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
I'm sorry, I missed your post asking the brother to be more respectful of his session and their authority over worship, earlier.
Pastor, I don't mean to be picking nits, but I know that me yelling at my children is never justified by their behaviour, no matter how bad it may be.

Their bad behaviour never justifies mine, and you are unfortunately held to a much higher standard than I. I respect just about every word you type, but I can't respect the sarcastic ones you leveled at brother Taron, they're beneath you.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
I'm sorry, I missed your post asking the brother to be more respectful of his session and their authority over worship, earlier.
Pastor, I don't mean to be picking nits, but I know that me yelling at my children is never justified by their behaviour, no matter how bad it may be.

Their bad behaviour never justifies mine, and you are unfortunately held to a much higher standard than I. I respect just about every word you type, but I can't respect the sarcastic ones you leveled at brother Taron, they're beneath you.
You are correct, Kevin. I should not have made the crack about the air conditioning, etc. I apologize to Mr. Taron for that, as it was uncalled for.

But I am serious, and believe there is no need to apologize for calling him out on what was shameful treatment of his elders. The men who labor and sacrifice to watch after his soul deserve better than to be mocked in a public forum for something so trivial as music during a pause in the service.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Thank you, Pastor; I agree. And forgive me for being so forward and thank you for your humility - it's one of the many reasons we love you on this board.
 
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