Unscriptural Devices to Advance the Movement

Dr, Kennedy on the innovations Arminians brought into worship to advance their gospel:

In connection with unscriptural devices resorted to in order to advance the movement, Dr. Kennedy mentions first excessive hymn-singing as one of these. “The singing of uninspired hymns even in moderation, as part of public worship, no one can prove to be scriptural; but the excess and the misdirection of the singing in this movement were irrational as well. Singing ought to be to the Lord; for singing is worship. But singing the gospel to men has taken the place of singing praise to God…. Many professed to have been converted by the hymns.

“The use of instrumental music was an additional novelty, pleasing to the kind of feeling that finds pleasure in a concert. To introduce what is so gratifying there, into the service of the house of God, is to make the latter palatable to those to whom spiritual worship is an offence. The organ-sounds effectively touch chords which nothing else would thrill….

“And yet it is not difficult to prove that the use of instrumental music, in the worship of God, is unscriptural, and that therefore all, who have subscribed to the [Westminster] Confession of Faith, are under solemn vow against it. There was a thorough change, in the mode of worship, effected by the revolution, which introduced the New Testament dispensation. So thorough is this change, that no part of the old ritual can be a precedent to us. For all parts of the service of the house of God there must be New Testament precept or example. No one will pretend that for instrumental music, in the worship of God, there is any authority in New Testament Scripture. ‘The fruit of the lips’ issuing from hearts that make ‘melody to the Lord,’ is the only form of praise it sanctions….

“But we use the organ only as an aid, it is said. ‘It is right that we should do our best in serving the Lord; and if the vocal music is improved by the instrumental accompaniment, then surely the organ may be used.’ On the same ground you might argue for the use of crucifixes and pictures, and for all the paraphernalia of the Popish ritual. ‘These,’ you might say, ‘make an impression on minds that would not otherwise be at all affected. They vividly present before worshippers the scenes described in Scripture, and if, as aids, they serve to do so, they surely cannot be wrong.’ To this, there are three replies, equally good against the argument for instrumental music. (1) they are not prescribed in New Testament Scripture, and therefore they must not be introduced into New Testament worship. (2) They are incongruous with the spirituality of the New Testament dispensation. (3) These additions but help to excite a state of feeling which militates against, instead of aiding, that which is produced by the Word. An organ may make an impression, but what is it but such as may be made more thoroughly at the opera? It may help to regulate the singing, but does God require this improvement? And whence arises the taste for it? It cannot be from the desire to make the praise more fervent and spiritual, for it only tends to take attention away from the heart, whose melody the Lord requires. It is the craving for pleasurable aesthetics, for the gratification of mere carnal feeling, that desires the thrill of organ sounds, to touch pleasingly the heart, that yields no response to what is spiritual. If the argument, against the use of the organ, in the service of praise, is good, it is, at least equally so against its use in the service of preaching. If anything did ‘vanish away,’ it is surely the use of all such accessories in connection with the exhibition of Christ to men. [Hebrews 8.]

~Rev. William MacLean, M.A., “Arminiamism: Another Gospel”

Source: http://www.truecovenanter.com/gospel/arminianism_another_gospel.html

Advertisements

Review: Exclusive Psalmody or New Covenant Hymnody? By Lee Irons

Reno Presbyterian:

“The beginning of the article starts with the definition of the regulative principle: “One of the most important aspects of Reformed worship is its insistence that whatever God has not commanded to be done in worship is forbidden. This is known as the regulative principle of worship, a principle that is warranted by the second commandment” (Irons).  Here we should commend Irons for getting most of this right. The regulative principle, to an extent, is “whatever is not commanded is forbidden” (Irons). In other words, there must be warrant for anything we do in worship. This does not just include what we do and use but how we do these acts…

Read more: https://renopres.com/2016/04/10/review-exclusive-psalmody-or-new-covenant-hymnody-by-lee-irons/

Badges of Idolaters

John Knox to the English Bishops in 1565:

“If surplesse, cornett-cap and tippet and I would include here the hymns, HDC, have been badges of idolaters in the very act of their idolatry, what has the preacher of Christian liberty and open rebuker of all superstition to do with the dregs of that Romish beast; yea, what is he that ought not to feare either to take in his hand or forehead, the print and mark of that odious Beast? … If the commandment of the Authority urge the conscience of you and of our brethren farther than they can bear, we unfeignedly crave of you that ye remember ye are called the ‘light of the world,’ and ‘the salt of the earth.’ All those called to authority have not the light of God always shining before the eyes in their statutes and commandments; but their affections savour over much of the earth and of worldly wisdom, and therefore we think ye should boldly oppose yourselves to all that power that will or dare burden the consciences of the faithful, farther than God has burdened them in his own word.`17

Source: http://www.fpcr.org/blue_banner_articles/DeCockonHymns.htm [footnote link broken and a Google search turned up no further sources]

Completely Done Away With

“Hymns were never introduced into the church, except to cause degeneration and contempt for the welfare of the church, or perhaps in cases of incomplete Reformation”

“…where Reformation has broken out in its purest form, the hymns are completely done away with.”

~Rev. Hendrick DeCock’s Case Against Hymns, http://www.fpcr.org/blue_banner_articles/DeCockonHymns.htm

We DO Sing Jesus’ Name In The Psalms

Reformed Books Online:

“We often sing of ‘salvation’ in the psalms.  The Hebrew word for salvation is ישועח  yeshua, which, transliterated into Greek, is Ιησους, or ‘Jesus’.

(Yeshua, or ‘Joshua’, see Heb. 4:8, is the shortened form of Yehoshua, or ‘Jehoshua’, which is an abbreviated form of ‘YHWH is Salvation’, or ‘YHWH saves’.  See Thayer, Greek Lexicon, p. 300, et al.)

Thus, ‘his name [is] Jesus: for He shall save his people from their sins.’ (Mt. 1:21)

Yeshua (Jesus) can also be translated as ‘deliverance’, ‘rescue’, ‘safety’, ‘welfare’ and ‘victory’ (c.f. B.D.B., Hebrew Lexicon, p. 447).  Hence we sing Jesus’ name translated into English under these terms 43 times in the Psalms.  For all of the instances, see Wigram, Hebrew Concordance, pp. 575 (the English is the K.J.V.)…

…This interestingly, is more than in most hymn-books.  In the first 100 hymns of the Trinity Hymnal (ed. 1990), ‘Jesus’ is only mentioned 8 times, and that in only 4 of the hymns (4%).  ‘Christ’ is elocuted 10 times in 8 hymns (8%), and ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ’ are only used in the same hymn (though not together) in 1 hymn (1%).”

Read more: https://reformedbooksonline.com/do-we-sing-jesus-name-in-the-psalms/

Against the Eternal Rubric

“Every time any form of worship by procession, celebration, or ceremonial of man’s invention is offered to God, it is offered in defiance of this word of Christ, and cannot and will not be received; however earnest people may be they have violated the imperative canon of God’s Word; and in fighting for rubrics they have gone against the eternal rubric that God as a Spirit must be worshipped in spirit and in truth.”

~ C.H. Spurgeon

Source: quoted in the sidebar of https://xmassh8trsblog.wordpress.com/

Singing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land

Rev. Matthew Winzer’s critique of Iain Murray’s “The Psalter-The Only Hymnal?”:

http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/24063-Singing-the-Lord-s-Song-in-a-Strange-Land

God Doesn’t Need Us To Worship Him As We Want To

“God knows what balance we need in our theology and instruction, and has provided that balance in the Psalter. The Psalms contain a much greater variety of theological material than all the merely human compositions. God gave to the entire Church throughout much of its history what it needs to sing. We must remember that God doesn’t need us to worship him as we want to. He wants us to worship him as we need to. We want to worship him with our own offerings. We need to worship him with the compositions that he has given us.”

~James R. Hughes, In Spirit and Truth: Worship as God Requires

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/86683-Psalmody-and-Other-Songs-in-Scripture, Comment #1

Song Can Be Dangerous

Sean Anderson:

Early Christians were known for their singing of psalms not only in congregations, but also in private devotions and in the marketplaces (according to Basil the Great). These Christians were also wary of uninspired hymns which were often a means of propagating heresy, especially employed by the Gnostics (in the same manner that we ourselves are vulnerable today to the infiltration of Arminianism, dispensationalism and the prosperity gospel through contemporary music in our churches) . Song, which so easily resonates with the human mind, can be as dangerous in its potency as much as it can be beneficial to our souls.

Read more: https://solascripturachristianity.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/what-happened-to-psalmody/

Only Authorized Psalmody in Praise

“Of course there are many other arguments for the use of hymns, as, for instance, that the Psalms are unsuitable for New Testament worship, breathe a spirit of revenge, and so forth, which borders, we think, on blasphemy; or that, as we are at liberty to pray in our own words, so we must be at liberty to sing praise in our own words in answer to this is that our liberty depends altogether on God’s revealed will, not on what we may think reasonable and further, that men were at liberty to pray in Old Testament times in their own words, but were required to employ only authorized psalmody in praise; and there is no reason for change in the matter now, and no reason for supposing that men are able now to frame suitable ones of praise, when they were considered so unable then that God furnished them with songs from heaven. Besides when people sing a hymn, they are not singing in their own words, but in the words of the hymn-writer, or in the words of an ecclesiastically authorized hymn-book. And if congregations are to take words other than their own in any case, one would think they would be safer with God’s words than with man’s.”

~ James Dick, ‘Hymns and hymn-books’ in Original Covenanter, iii, no. 12 (Dec. 1883), pp 357-8.

HT: http://reformedcovenanter.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/james-dicks-refutation-of-the-excuses-of-hymn-mongers/