Head Covering is about Glorifying God

The Sound of an Alarm on 1 Corinthians 11 and the symbolism in Christian worship:

“It is the glory of God which must be seen in the house of God. The house of God is not place for giving glory to anyone or anything else. The man is deemed to be the image and glory of God, v7. He is not therefore to cover his head. But the woman who is described as the glory of the man is to cover her head so that in God’s house, in public worship, God may have all the glory.”

Source and read more about the theology of head covering in public worship: http://soundofanalarm.blogspot.ca/2017/08/headcovering-for-women.html

Note: It should not have to be spelled out here but because there is so much misinformation out there today, the idea that women represent the glory of man in public worship is not to be taken as implying that women have lesser worth or value than men (cf. 1 Corinthians 11: 11,12 and commentary on those verses).


God Stands Upon Little Things In The Matter Of His Worship

“The second note is this: In the matters of worship, God stands upon little things.

Such things as seem to be very small and little to us, yet God stands much upon them in the matter of worship, for there is nothing wherein the prerogative of God more appears than in worship. Princes stand much upon their prerogatives. Now God has written the law of natural worship in our hearts. But there are other things in the worship of God that are not written in our hearts, that only depend upon the will of God revealed in His Word, which would not be duties except that they are revealed in His Word. And these are of such a nature as we can see no reason for them except this, that God would have them. As now, there are many kinds of ceremonies to manifest honor to princes that have no reason at all, but merely because it is a civil institution so appointed. So God would have some ways of honoring Himself that the creature should not see the reason for, but merely the will of God to have them so.

Now God stands much upon little things, though men would think it a little matter whether this fire or that fire, and will not this burn as well as that? But God stands upon it. And so for the ark. When Uzza did but touch the ark when it was ready to fall, we would think it no great matter, but one touch of the ark cost him his life. There is not any one small thing in the worship of God but God stands mightily upon it.

In the matter of the Sabbath, that’s His worship. For a poor man to gather a few sticks, what great matter is it? But God stands upon it. And so when the men of Beth-shemesh did but look upon the ark, it cost the lives of fifty thousand threescore and ten men. If it is a matter of a holy thing that concerns His worship, He would not have it abused in anything. Let us learn to make conscience of little things in the worship of God and not to think, “Oh, how nice such are, and how precise and nice in such small things!” You do not understand the nature of Divine worship if so be that you are not nice about it. God is nice and stands upon little things in the matter of His worship.”

~Jeremiah Burroughs, Gospel Worship

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/history-of-instruments.93085/page-2, Comment 50

We Must Reject All Other Instructors

Calvin on Isaiah 8:20:

Hence we learn that everything which is added to the word must be condemned and rejected. It is the will of the Lord that we shall depend wholly on his word, and that our knowledge shall be confined within its limits; and therefore, if we lend our ears to others, we take a liberty which he has forbidden, and offer to him a gross insult. Everything that is introduced by men on their own authority will be nothing else than a corruption of the word; and consequently, if we wish to obey God, we must reject all other instructors. He likewise warns us that, if we abide by the law of the Lord, we shall be protected against superstitions and wicked modes of worship; for, as Paul calls the word of God “the sword of the Spirit, ” (Ephesians 6:17), so by the word, Satan and all his contrivances are put to flight. We ought therefore to flee to him whenever we shall be attacked by enemies, that, being armed with it, we may contend valiantly, and at length put them to flight.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/sola-scriptura.91225/, Comment 1

Worship Wars

“Worship wars”–the Bible is full of them. The first one involved Cain and Abel, leading to the first murder in the history of the world. Aaron presided over one that involved a golden calf that the people insisted on worshipping in a similar fashion to the pagans around them. The question asked by the Samaritan woman of Jesus (John 4), to judge between the competing Jewish and Samaritan worship claims, represents still another worship war. Today, after skirmishes of varying durations, many churches have traded in a simple, reverent and Bible-centered liturgy–preaching, congregational singing, prayer and offerings of thanksgiving—for a worship format conforming as closely as possible to contemporary culture–talk-show format, preaching to felt needs, drama, entertainment provided in a soft-rock format to passive audiences.

Does The Way We Worship Really Matter?

Read more: http://frcna.org/messenger/messenger-articles/item/7438-

The Church Calendar v. Biblical Worship and Biblical History

This whole cyclical liturgical view of worship is wrong. Fesko writes albeit too briefly on this, observing,

The Church Calendar conflicts with the biblical view of worship and what the Reformed tradition calls the regulative principle. There is the constant theme in Scripture that God sets the standards for worship, not man (Deut. 12.32; Matt. 15.9; Lev. 10.1-2; 1 Cor. 14.1ff). For this reason the Westminster divines write that “the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will” (WCF 21.1b). God has not instituted the Church Calendar. Paul exhorts Timothy to “preach the Word” (2 Tim. 4.2); he does not give him a schedule to follow. Moreover, the previously cited author claims that the Church Calendar would bring about unity that nothing else can bring about. If this was the case, why did God in all of His wisdom not command the Church to do this? Moreover, the argument that the entire Church body needs to follow the same schedule flies in the face of the occasional nature of the New Testament epistles. A Church Calendar will not bring about greater unity, only Christ can bring unity through the work of the Holy Spirit and the means of grace. If this is how the Church Calendar conflicts with the biblical view of worship, how does it conflict with the Bible’s view of history?​

Note the language that is used to describe the Church Calendar: “In the liturgical year the various aspects of the one Paschal mystery unfold. This is also the case with the cycle of feasts surrounding the mystery of the incarnation” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, p. 303, § 1171; emphasis). Notice that the church calendar operates on a cyclical pattern. It is ancient pagan religions that have a cyclical view of history: “The world-cycle runs its course, obeys it stars, absolves its round, and then the end links on to a new beginning, ushering in a repetition of the same sequence” (Geerhardus Vos, Pauline Eschatology, p. 334). A cyclical view of history is at odds with the biblical view, which is linear—a definite beginning and end, not an endless repetitive cycle. The Church should not expect “a quasi-consummation, which would bear on its face the Sisyphus-expression of endless toil” (Vos, Pauline Eschatology, p. 334). In other words, the Church Calendar repeats the same endless cycle, Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, only to start over again with Advent. The biblical view, on the other hand, recognizes that the events of Christ’s ministry are in the past and that we are moving forward to a goal—the consummation of history, the return of Christ, the final judgment, and eternity with our triune Lord.​

God reminds us of this linear understanding of history, a beginning and an end, by the Sabbath. For example, the author of Hebrews writes: “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God” (Heb. 4.9). He reminds his recipients that just as God concluded His creative work and entered His Sabbath rest (Gen. 2.2; cf. Heb. 4.1-11), so too we must desire to enter God’s Sabbath rest. We get a foretaste of that final eschatological rest each and every Sunday. For this reason, OPC Minister and professor at Westminster Seminary, Richard Gaffin, notes that “the pattern of six days of activity interrupted by one of rest is a reminder that human beings are not caught up in a meaningless flow of days, one after the other without end, but that history has a beginning and ending and is headed toward final judgment and the consummation of all things” (“The Sabbath: A Sign of Hope,” OPC Position Paper, p. 6). In a sense, God has given the Church a calendar—observe a Sabbath rest and worship Him on this day (Exo. 20.8-11; cf. Acts 20.7; 1 Cor. 16.2). On the Sabbath we recall the great redemptive events of the past, namely Christ’s first advent, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension, and look forward to the consummation of the age and His second advent.​

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/real-easter-sunrise-services.92617/, Comment 5

The Simplicity of Reformed Worship

Scott Manetsch:

“Historic Reformed churches worship the Lord in simplicity.  That is, Reformed churches do not include ceremonies, festivals, crucifixes, processions, incense, relics, images, vestments, altars, and so forth in their worship services.  Reformed worship simply consists of the Word (read, preached, sung, confessed, prayed) and the sacraments (the Lord’s supper and baptism).

The main reason for the simplicity of Reformed worship is the teaching of Scripture”…

Read more: http://theaquilareport.com/simplicity-reformed-worship/

The RPW Protects Sola Scriptura

“For Reformed and Presbyterian Christians the question is not, “does the Bible allow the church to practice it” That’ is not the biblical principle of worship. The biblical principle, the question is: “Has God commanded it?” Thus, there is, at this point, a great gulf between the Anglican and Lutheran principle and the Reformed. The Anglo-Lutheran question (“is it forbidden?”) is an unintentionally conscience-binding principle that effectively undermines sola Scriptura.”

Read more: https://heidelblog.net/2017/03/sola-scriptura-protects-christian-liberty/

Papist Pagan Pomp

Stephen Charnock (Works, Vol. 2, pp. 81–83):

[A]fter the divulging of the gospel, the corrupters of religion did not fling off, but preserved the institutions of God, but painted and patched them up with pagan ceremonies; imposed their own dreams with as much force as the revelations of God. Thus hath the papacy turned the simplicity of the gospel into pagan pomp, and religion into politics; and revived the ceremonial law, and raked some limbs of it out of the grave, after the wisdom of God had rung her knell, and honourably interred her; and sheltered the heathenish superstitions in Christian temples, after the power of the gospel had chased the devils, with all their trumpery, from their ancient habitations. Whence should this proceed, but from a partial atheism, and a mean conceit of the divine wisdom? As though God had not understanding enough to prescribe the form of his own worship; and not wisdom enough to support it, without the crutches of human prudence.

Human prudence is too low to parallel divine wisdom; it is an incompetent judge of what is fit for an infinite majesty. It is sufficiently seen in the ridiculous and senseless rites among the heathens, and the cruel and devilish ones fetched from them by the Jews. What work will human wisdom make with divine worship, when it will presume to be the director of it, as a mate with the wisdom of God? Whence will it take its measures, but from sense, humour, and fancy; as though what is grateful and comely to a depraved reason, were as beautiful to an unspotted and infinite mind. Do not such tell the world, that they were of God’s cabinet council, since they will take upon them to judge, as well as God, what is well pleasing to him? Where will it have the humility to stop, if it hath the presumption to add any one thing to revealed modes of worship? How did God tax the Israelites with making idols ‘according to their own understanding,’ Hosea 13:2, imagining their own understandings to be of a finer make and a perfecter mould than their Creator’s; and that they had fetched more light from the chaos of their own brains, than God had from eternity in his own nature!

How slight will the excuse be, God hath not forbidden this or that, when God shall silence men with the question, Where, or when did I command this or that? There was no addition to be made under the law to the meanest instrument God had appointed in his service. The sacred perfume was not to have one ingredient more put into it, than what God had prescribed in the composition; nor was any man, upon pain of death, to imitate it; nor would God endure that sacrifices should be consumed with any other fire, than that which came down from heaven: so tender is God of any invasions of his wisdom and authority. In all things of his nature, whatsoever voluntary humility and respect to God they may be disguised with, there is a swelling of the fleshly mind against infinite understanding, which the apostle nauseates, Col. 2:18 . . . . To conclude; such as make alterations in religion, different from the first institution, are intolerable busy bodies, that will not let God alone with his own affairs. Vain man would be wiser than his maker, and be dabbling in that which is his sole prerogative.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/papist-pagan-pomp.91665/, Comment 1

The Lord Hates a Mixture

[The Lord] hates a mixture. It is a mark put on Samaria (2 Kings 17:33), [that] They feared the Lord, and served their own gods. This is that which brings the stretched out arm of the Lord’s fury on the land (Zeph. 1:5), because they swear by the Lord, and by Malcom, and because the people halt between the Lord and Baal (1 King 18:21). And it is Jehu’s reproachful reformation (2 Kings10:28, 29). Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel. Nevertheless he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Oh how fearful to be under this? He is for the good cause, nevertheless, he knows nothing of the power of religion, so he is right in the house, nevertheless he complains much with malignants. It is known to you all when the whore of Babylon was cast out of the church, that she left behind her a gold ring, and some lover tokens, I mean Episcopacy, and human ceremonies. This was the whore’s policy to leave a token behind her that she might find an errand in the house again. And she was indeed returning to the house to demand her love token again, but it shall be heavenly wisdom to make a perfect reformation; keep nothing that belongs to Babylon, and let not a stone to be a cornerstone or a foundation be taken out of Babylon for building of the Lord’s house, for they are cursed stones [cf. Jer. 50].

~Samuel Rutherford, “Sermon Before the House of Commons, January 31, 1644,” on Daniel 6:26, Sermons Preached Before the English Houses of Parliament by the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly of Divines 1643–1645 (Naphtali Press, 2011) 409.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/the-lord-hates-a-mixture.91668/, Comment 1

Liturgy Is Too Confining

Keith W.:

The liturgical calendar also has an accompanying lectionary – a set of verses tied to each Sunday of the year, and to the extra celebrated days of the year of that denomination. A lectionary might be on a one year cycle, a three year cycle, etc. A lectionary by definition does not include all parts of the Bible. (Maybe there are ones which do.) It does not even have to include a lot of verses gathered together coherently on the same subject. This practice is too confining to the person who wants to learn from all of God’s Word.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/threads/do-the-sign-of-the-cross-and-the-liturgical-calendar-violate-the-regulative-principle.91824/, Comment 9