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

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Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
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?
This list is in neither in any way exhaustive nor comprehensive, but are the ones I have noted in the hymnal here at the house. I am more than willing to be corrected if I am misguided on any of these.

#702
#698
#697
#693
#672
#629
#577
#512
#492
#468
#445
#351
#326
#282
#264
#234
#218
#211
#199
#181
#163
#116
#74
#69
#23
 

au5t1n

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?
I think early church historians are agreed on that, whatever their position on instruments in worship. If I'm not mistaken, their primary reasoning is that all the early church fathers who mentioned them were against them, e.g. Clement of Alexandria, with no contrary voice. I don't think we even saw organs in services at all until the 600s, and as late as Thomas Aquinas they weren't common. That's about the limit of my knowledge. Sorry.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
something so trivial as music during a pause in the service.
This may be the basic issue underlying the tension. A worshipper of God might believe that there should be nothing trivial about divine service.
Surely there is, Matthew, in the sense of circumstance? Lighting? Time of service? Arrangement of the pews?

But even if it was something of substance, such as the particular Scripture read (OT or NT, a chapter or a few verses), would it be permissible to so derogatorily describe it, given that the direction of worship belongs not to the individual congregants, but to the elders? This is not (in my opinion) a matter of worship, but of church authority.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Surely there is, Matthew, in the sense of circumstance? Lighting? Time of service? Arrangement of the pews?

But even if it was something of substance, such as the particular Scripture read (OT or NT, a chapter or a few verses), would it be permissible to so derogatorily describe it, given that the direction of worship belongs not to the individual congregants, but to the elders? This is not (in my opinion) a matter of worship, but of church authority.
Fred, If it is not considered by a worshipper as a mere circumstance, the bare appeal to eldership authority is going to cause concern over tyranny. That is why I suggest that this is the actual point of tension. And it is probably worth considering that filling up sound waves has not generally been considered a circumstance of worship in the reformed tradition. A circumstance is usually defined as that which "necessarily" attaches to the performing of an act of worship. I suspect that the elders might find it rather difficult to explain the "necessity" of it as a reason for "imposing" it upon the worshipper, were they to conscientiously give an account of their oversight. Blessings!
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Surely there is, Matthew, in the sense of circumstance? Lighting? Time of service? Arrangement of the pews?

But even if it was something of substance, such as the particular Scripture read (OT or NT, a chapter or a few verses), would it be permissible to so derogatorily describe it, given that the direction of worship belongs not to the individual congregants, but to the elders? This is not (in my opinion) a matter of worship, but of church authority.
Fred, If it is not considered by a worshipper as a mere circumstance, the bare appeal to eldership authority is going to cause concern over tyranny. That is why I suggest that this is the actual point of tension. And it is probably worth considering that filling up sound waves has not generally been considered a circumstance of worship in the reformed tradition. A circumstance is usually defined as that which "necessarily" attaches to the performing of an act of worship. I suspect that the elders might find it rather difficult to explain the "necessity" of it as a reason for "imposing" it upon the worshipper, were they to conscientiously give an account of their oversight. Blessings!
Matthew,

You raise a good point, and I appreciate your tone. I guess my point would be that if the matter is in dispute (as it surely must be, since the elders have determined to have worship in a certain manner), one should not publicly criticize one's elders. How would it be if the comment was "I can't believe my elders made me sing unaccompanied!" or "I can't believe I am made to only sing Psalms!" In that instance, my response would be the same - an internet forum is not the place for taking one's elders to task.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
You raise a good point, and I appreciate your tone. I guess my point would be that if the matter is in dispute (as it surely must be, since the elders have determined to have worship in a certain manner), one should not publicly criticize one's elders. How would it be if the comment was "I can't believe my elders made me sing unaccompanied!" or "I can't believe I am made to only sing Psalms!" In that instance, my response would be the same - an internet forum is not the place for taking one's elders to task.
That is a fair statement, and shows that there is a very fine line here which will warrant caution. Thanks for pointing it out.
 

RTaron

The Grandpa (Affectionately Called)
I guess my point would be that if the matter is in dispute (as it surely must be, since the elders have determined to have worship in a certain manner), one should not publicly criticize one's elders.
Pastor Greco, you are right, I should not have used a personal experience to illustrate my point. Please forgive me and know that I have learned a basic fundamental lesson about internet form discussions. I could have easily made my point without sharing a personal experience.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
I guess my point would be that if the matter is in dispute (as it surely must be, since the elders have determined to have worship in a certain manner), one should not publicly criticize one's elders.
Pastor Greco, you are right, I should not have used a personal experience to illustrate my point. Please forgive me and know that I have learned a basic fundamental lesson about internet form discussions. I could have easily made my point without sharing a personal experience.
Rick, thank you for that. You are forgiven and may the Lord bless you.

Once again, I apologize for my earlier sarcastic remark. Please forgive me.
 

RTaron

The Grandpa (Affectionately Called)
Thank you Fred and no problem I forgive you too.
Live and learn, I always say.

You can catch me on the next one. ;)
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Edward, you might also look into the following resource: Our Own Hymnbook versus God's Own Hymn Book: A Critique of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster Hymnal. It is very thorough and covers many hymns which are common across denominational lines.
Thanks, but if the argument was going to be that it's bad because it isn't EP, then I wouldn't need to explore further. But the argument above seems to be that there are songs not suitable in a non EP church I will look into the matter in more depth. I haven't had an opportunity to review the Rev. Glaser's list yet.
 

Dearly Bought

Puritan Board Junior
Edward, you might also look into the following resource: Our Own Hymnbook versus God's Own Hymn Book: A Critique of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster Hymnal. It is very thorough and covers many hymns which are common across denominational lines.
Thanks, but if the argument was going to be that it's bad because it isn't EP, then I wouldn't need to explore further. But the argument above seems to be that there are songs not suitable in a non EP church I will look into the matter in more depth. I haven't had an opportunity to review the Rev. Glaser's list yet.
While Rev. Stewart does argue for exclusive psalmody, I recommended the link above particularly because he provides a wealth of background and analysis of many popular hymns. His specific concern is to examine the plethora of hymns which contain false doctrine and/or were composed by blatant heretics. Non-EPers can benefit from this essay as well.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
While Rev. Stewart does argue for exclusive psalmody, I recommended the link above particularly because he provides a wealth of background and analysis of many popular hymns. His specific concern is to examine the plethora of hymns which contain false doctrine and/or were composed by blatant heretics. Non-EPers can benefit from this essay as well.
Yes; it should be very useful for non-EPers, especially those who advocate non-inspired hymnody on the basis of the teaching function of the church. What "teachers" are you allowing into your churches? Rev. Stewart mentions a whole range of "composers" and "errors" that no reformed minister would allow into his pulpit if he had the choice.
 
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