If God Had Willed More Holy Days

“If it had been the will of God, that the several acts of Christ should have been celebrated with several solemnities, the Holy Ghost would have made known to us the day of his Nativity, Circumcision, presentation to the Temple, Baptism, Transfiguration, and the like… If the principal works of God advance some days above others, all the days of the year should be holy. If we should honour the memory of Christ’s acts, all days likewise should be holy, because every one of them is full of his miracles. Christ by his actions did no more consecrate the times wherein they were wrought, than his body did the manger or the cross. Not Christ’s action on a day, but his institution makes a day holy. If Christ’s actions advance and consecrate the days whereon they were wrought, the days ought to be known…

(Perth Assembly, cited from https://purelypresbyterian.com/2016/11/03/8-reasons-holidays-should-not-be-observed/)

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/no-holy-days-except-by-the-lords-institution.94510/, Comment 1


Reformed versus Evangelical Worship

W. Robert Godfrey, “Worship: Evangelical or Reformed?” (OPC):

One area in which the differences between evangelical and Reformed can be examined is the matter of worship. At first glance, we may see more similarities than differences. The orders of worship in Reformed and evangelical churches can be almost identical. Certainly, both kinds of churches sing songs, read Scripture, pray, preach, and administer baptism and the Lord’s Supper. But do these similarities reflect only formal agreement, or do they represent a common understanding of the meaning and function of these liturgical acts in worship?

If we look closely, I believe that we will see the substantive differences between evangelicals and Reformed on worship. That difference is clear on two central issues: first, the understanding of the presence of God in the service; and second, the understanding of the ministerial office in worship…

Read more: http://www.opc.org/new_horizons/NH02/04e.html

Did Charles Spurgeon Support Instruments in Worship?

Scott J. Shifferd:

Baptist churches would not have become so numerous if were not for preachers like Charles Spurgeon, but Spurgeon’s beliefs regarding the use of musical instruments in singing would not be well-received today. Most Baptist churches today conduct their Sunday worship assembly with the use of musical instruments. Here are some of Spurgeon’s statements in his commentary on Psalms concerning the matter of music in worship:

“David appears to have had a peculiarly tender remembrance of the singing of the pilgrims, and assuredly it is the most delightful part of worship and that which comes nearest to the adoration of heaven. What a degradation to supplant the intelligent song of the whole congregation by the theatrical prettinesses of a quartette, the refined niceties of a choir, or the blowing off of wind from inanimate bellows and pipes! We might as well pray by machinery as praise by it” (Commentary on Psalm 42:4)...

Read more: https://godsbreath.net/2008/03/17/charles-spurgeon-about-church-music/

Translations, Paraphrases, and Psalms

Daniel Kok:Do Exclusive Psalmodists Sing Psalms?

What may seem at first glance to be a tautology is, in substance, an actual objection raised against exclusive psalmody. The objection goes as follows: the exclusive psalmodist (EP) want Christians to sing only psalms in worship but he does not follow his own creed. For what EP sings the psalms as written? Do they not use translations and paraphrases? So if they do not obey their own rules for worship, why should the rest of us?

 In reply let us consider the following points:…

Read more: https://kingandkirk.com/kings-songs/appendices/do-exclusive-psalmodists-sing-psalms/

The Dutch Churches Originally Wanted To Abolish Manmade Holy Days

The Distinction of and the Abiding Importance of the 10 Commandments

King & Kirk:

Summarizing Turretin, Witsius etc., the moral law (or 10 commandments) is distinctly found in scripture as follows:

1) They are written by the finger of God (Exodus 31:18 & Deuteronomy 9:10) to establish their permanence (as opposed to the law of the heart which was effaced by the fall).
2) The stone tablets upon which they are written are placed in the ark (Exodus 25:21, Deuteronomy 10:2,5), the place of God’s presence.
3) They are rewritten after the rebellion indicating their continued importance place as a moral guide (Exodus 34:1ff)…

Read more: https://kingandkirk.com/2018/03/17/the-abiding-importance-of-the-10-commandments/

Holy Days in the Dutch Reformed Churches

A note from Naphtali Press about why they were historically retained:

“Generally speaking the churches were curtailing the calendar of old pretended holy dasy more and more but magistrates tended to view things differently, either for ill or practical reasons (they were the only days off for servants is about the best reason you can find) reimposed or retained them. By the time next century of the Nadere Reformatie when such things were being re examined, I guess it was basically too late for significant change. I cover some of this in a look at Calvin in the introductory piece I wrote to a translation of two of his letters that will appear in the 13th issue of The Confessional Presbyterian, due out in about two weeks.

“In Translatiōne: John Calvin’s Letters to the Ministers of Montbéliard (1543–1544): The Genevan Reformer’s Advice and Views of the Liturgical Calendar,” The Confessional Presbyterian 13 (2017 forthcoming): 198-220.

Demarest puts the best spin from their perspective on it.

At first it was clearly the intention to abolish these days entirely. Then it was deemed better (as the people continued to take them for holidays), to turn them to a good account by the holding of religious services, and finally their observance was enjoined, doubtless on the ground of edification. Probably the magistrates, who are continually referred to as having authority in the matter, did not, for reasons springing out of the circumstances of the times, and the genius and habits of the people, deem it expedient to abolish, them. While they continued by authority, the Church, rightly aimed to make them promotive of piety.”​

David D. Demarest, History and Characteristics of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, 2nd ed. (New York, Board of Publication of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, 1856), 175.

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/the-dutch-reformation-and-special-days.93902/, Comment 2

Discriminatory Preaching

From https://www.monergism.com/preaching-god’s-word:

“Experimental preaching must in the first place be discriminatory preaching. Discriminatory preaching defines the difference between the Christian and the non-Christian. Discriminatory preaching is the key by which the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers and shut against unbelievers. Discriminatory preaching promises the forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who by a true faith embrace Christ as Savior and Lord; it likewise proclaims the wrath of God and eternal condemnation as God’s judgment upon the unbelieving, unrepentant, and unconverted. Such preaching teaches us that unless our religion be experiential, we shall perish-not because experience itself saves, but because the Christ who saves sinners must be experienced personally as the rock upon which the house of our eternal hope is built (Matthew 7:22-27; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2).”

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/discriminatory-preaching.93641/, Comment 2

Ephesus and the Septuagint

Scott Aniol, Chair of the Worship Ministry Department of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and non-EP proponent:

If you were in Ephesus when Paul’s letter arrived, and you had a Bible in your church, it was a Septuagint. As you browsed through the Book of Psalms three terms would keep appearing in the titles and you would be quite familiar with them – psalmos, humnos and ode. In 67 Psalms the word psalmos is found eg Psalm 23; in 6 titles the word humnos appears eg Psalm 8; in another 35 Psalms ode is in the title eg Psalm 45. Furthermore, in 12 Psalms the words psalmos (psalm) and ode (song) are found together in the title e.g. Psalm 65, and in 2 titles psalmos (psalm) appears with humnos (hymn) eg Psalm 6. If you had studied the title of Psalm 76 all three terms are found in the Septuagint title, ‘For the end, among the hymns, a psalm for Asaph; a song for the Assyrian’. The Ephesian Christian would know that one Psalm could be a psalm and a song, or even a psalm and a song and a hymn together. All three terms were found in the titles of the Psalms and even in the title of one composition in the Book of Psalms. Paul exhorted them in biblical terms they were familiar with.


Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/singing-inspired-songs-ep-answers-only.93584/page-2, Comment 31

God Commands Believers to Uphold the Principles of Worship He Sets for Their Age

RPCNA Covenanter:

The basic premise is that God commands believers to hold to the principles of worship He sets forth for the age in which they live. When God commands the building of the tabernacle and institutes sacrifices in this specific location, He changes worship in Israel. The people are not permitted to use the standards of worship previously followed by Abraham. When David adds singing of the Psalms and additional musical instruments to worship in the tabernacle and in the temple by the command of God, the people are not permitted to revert to the more simplified worship under Moses. Similarly, the people living in the time of David and Solomon could not look ahead and adjust their worship to conform to the new age ushered in by Messiah. They were not permitted to forsake principles of worship ordained by God for their time. In like manner, believers today are required to maintain the standards of worship God gives them for this present age. It is not their prerogative to appropriate into the worship of today aspects of worship from another age, whether earlier or later. This argument is another way of stating the regulative principle of worship.

Source and read more: https://rpcnacovenanter.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/objections-to-exclusive-psalmody-pt-2-sing-a-new-song/