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In 1835, Hendrik DeCock, a minister and leader of the 19th centurySecession churches of Holland, wrote a pamphlet against the use of uninspired hymns in public worship entitled, The So-Called Evangelical Hymns the Darling of the Enraptured and Misled Multitude in the Synodical Reformed Church and even by some of God’s children from blindness, because they are drunk with the wine of her fornication, further tested, weighed and found wanting, Yes, in conflict with all our Forms of Unity and the Word of God. Though a catchy title, it would probably not attract much positive attention in the Reformed and Presbyterian churches of the 21stcentury, since upon initially reading it most would immediately dismiss and reject it as nothing more than the mad ravings of a cranky internet blogger; however, in DeCock’s day, it caught the attention of a wide Reformed audience in Holland and was received with hearty affirmation. Cursory examination of the title would clue even the most inattentive reader in to the fact that DeCock was no fan of uninspired songs in public worship, that he believed exclusive canonical psalms alone had support from the history, practice, and confessions of the church, and that he believed using uninspired songs in worship was a violation of God’s law. As one might imagine, based upon the title of the tract, it is very negative in tone, and it would probably catch the typical 21st century Reformed reader off guard since its rhetoric is very salty and its attack on man-made hymns is highly vociferous. A series of quotes from the tract provide a quick sampling of the fiery and bellicose tone that pervades the work:
Hymns were never introduced into the church, except to cause degeneration and contempt for the welfare of the church
We see as well, amongst other things in the New Covenant, that in the best of times, and in the purest churches, hymns are never found or tolerated
Where, therefore, were the hymns, or other whorish songs ever used in the days of the apostles in the congregations of the Lord?
History alone is sufficient to acquaint us with the stinking source from which they i.e. hymns flowed forth, and so we are able to judge them shameful and abominable
I am not sure that there was "more fear before the eyes" of Watts or Wesley than is the case with Metallica since both Watts and Wesley preached a false gospel and Watts was essentially a Unitarian. It seems that Scripture teaches judgment is worse for those who profess faith and reject Biblical teaching than it is for those who profess no faith at all (which I believe is the case for most of the members of Metallica at least at this time). As for the music a believer listens to during the week, it is not regulated by the RPW and we ought to allow for the fact that brothers and sisters in the Lord will have tastes that vary and we should not sit in judgment upon them if the music does not violate their conscience or the Law. As for whether the apostle Paul would like Metallica, I cannot say for sure, but I imagine he would find their music at least as good as Watt's paraphrases or Wesley's revivalistic hymns.
This is a very important subject. But I am shocked and disappointed that the blogger in his blog confesses to liking Metallica as favorite music. I believe that is entirely contrary to what the Psalms teach about the fear of God, reverence, holiness, all of which stands against the wickedness and culture of the heathen world where "there is no fear of God before their eyes". Would the apostle Paul like Metallica? Would David? Truly this makes liking Watts or Wesley look much better. Are we to be "unregulated" in principle the rest of the week? This is a symptom of a bi- frocated modern Pop Calvinism (New Calvinism) which walks in a Facebook world during the week but talks about the Holiness and Justice of God, from the Psalms, on Sunday.