With Presbycast On The Regulative Principle of Worship

It is always a joy to talk about what Scripture says and what the Reformed and Presbyterian Churches confess about worship and never more so than when it is with the redoubtable Chortles Weakly and Presbycast. His partner in crime, Wresbyterian, was MIA for this episode. It was something to do with Silent Topher and a broken down car in the woods. I do not quite understand what happened but here is 94 minutes of Presbycast magic on what Calvin called "the rule of worship" or the regulative principle of worship.

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Resources on the Rule of Worship

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  1. Dr. Clark – with history and confessions being clear that psalms are to be sung rather than uninspired songs and that instruments were related to animal sacrifice which is now abrogated (as well as being a 13th century Popish addition – at the height of their corruption) what are the lay reformed folk to do?

    Who’s to hold general assemblies & consistories to account for abandoning biblical, confessional worship?

    Are we to write new confessions that clarify further and start new churches that confess them?
    I think educating is a big part of it – the Reformed and Presbyterian churches are so far removed from it at this point – people look at you strange when you mention it. And it’s for lack of education and understanding.

    EP folks like me are painted as divisive but I don’t see it – I think it’s are biblical, historical, confessional and on the contrary the binding of mens’s consciences with that which is not commanded and that which is written by say a Wesleyan is worse than divisive.

    And people don’t even have to take exception to the confession about it anymore – it’s just – “oh you think hymns are keen too…”

    As an EP member of the OPC I asked my wife a week or so ago “when was the last time you felt like we worshipped God in spirit and in truth at church?” – and I can’t remember when. We are all commmanded to sing – but I can’t, my wife and children can’t – bc I am fearful of my creator for violating the 2nd commandment and violating the regulative principle of worship.

    I’m sad, frankly mad and generally dismayed by it all.

    Asking for a friend;)

    • Tyson,

      It took the church a long time to get here and it will take a long time to bring Reformation. Recognizing where we are, that things have not always been this way, that we have to disagree practically with the original understanding of the rule of worship (if not the theory) is where we must begin. The church is not ours. It is Christ’s.

      As I’ve been saying since the publication of RRC, the original intent and understanding of the confession, of the implications of Heidelberg 96 and WCF 21 may be wrong but most moderns simply assume that or make arguments to which the framers long ago replied.
      so it’s a long-term project.

      We must be gracious and patient. Yes, you are worshiping the Lord in the Spirit and in the Truth, because the Spirit is always with his people and you are worshiping God in Christ, who is the truth (on this interpretation of John 4, see RRC).

      I my mind, the key is to recover the principle, the rule of worship. My experience is that some people can sometimes articulate it but it seems to become the normative principle right away. Many, however, I suspect are entirely unaware of the principle or rule of worship. So, that’s where it starts.

      30 years ago very few, outside the RPCNA, were talking about this. When Mr Murray dissented from the OP majority report on worship, he was ignored and remains so today.

      Here is an appreciation of the Minority Report by Messrs Murray and Young. They wrote it a long time ago and now there is a psalter-hymnal forthcoming and, I think a growing appreciation of the Psalter. When I entered this world c. 1980 there was little. it was all non-canonical hymns all the time. That’s some progress.

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