XVI. That God is to be worshipped according to His own will, and that only in and through Jesus Christ.
A New Confession of Faith (1654) in James T. Dennison Jr., ed., Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation: 1523–1693, vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2008–14), 431.
The more I think about it the more I see how the Reformed made a complete break with previous corruptions. Worship really effects doctrine and visa versa. The too are connected. The Reformed confessions really are marvelous, breaking where needed and yet retaining catholicity.
It could not be any more true or to the point, but dare to suggest that might rule out singing anything except Scripture, or singing without musical instruments, in worship, prepare for fight or flight, or at least duck to avoid assault from verbal projectiles.
So you can sing about using instruments in worship, Psalm 150, but you can’t use them.
Yes, Timothy, just as we may sing about killing Gentiles in Ps 68 or Pss 149-50 (probably, originally, one psalm) without actually doing it. We are at a different place in redemptive history, when the types and shadows have been fulfilled.
N. H. Ridderbos and P. C. Cragie explain:
This is how the Reformed understood 2 Chron 29:25. The instruments mentioned in 2 Chronicles were associated with the sacrificial, priestly ministry and, as such, were inherently typological. Indeed, this was the universal understanding of the ancient church until the 8th century (c. 754) and remained the dominant understanding as late as the 13th century when Thomas Aquinas called their use in worship “Judaizing.” The Reformers returned the church to its original, apostolic, understanding of the history of redemption.
Just as the holy wars and Levitical sacrifices expired with the death of Christ so too did the instruments.
Here are resources on this:
I am so late in my reading the History of Reformed Worship that I will probably be in heaven, seeing it all, before making even a tiny dent in all of the amazing works of my brothers. But for now, thank you for posting Beza’s work on the Lord’s Supper. Thank you for devoting your life to recovering confessional Reformed Theology. I am grateful.
In a previous post, on the question of whether musical instruments could become idols, you quote someone as saying, “when I hear the organ, I feel the presence of God.” Yikes! Is that why people get so defensive? Their emotional
response to the sound of instruments becomes so important to them that it has become a quest for illegitimate religious experience.
The insidious thing about QIRE is that it draws us away from dependence on the Word, and into worship that caters to our sinful desire to experience God in a way He has not authorized.