Just Saying wrote: John, Thank you for the verse. Very helpful. By the way, I didnâ€™t say Godâ€™s blessing meant my church was right, just that he wonâ€™t stop using a church because they sing hymns.
You're welcome, Just Saying.
I will try to explain my concern as best I can. Of course, it is biblical that God can draw a straight line with a bent stick. If he couldn't do that, wherever should we be?
God can also save a multitude through the preaching of the Good News Bible or the NIV.
The Holy Spirit can presence himself in meetings where no psalms are sung, only emotive hymns and songs (witness the 1904/5 revival in Wales).
But what is happening in these churches over time? Changes occurring only slowly are hardly noticed, if the changes are made over fifty years. What will today's churches look like in fifty year's time? Will pastors be wearing a pair of shorts, women dressed immodestly, rock band on stage, ice machine for ambience, words of the CCM projected on every wall, no actual preaching from the Street Bible, just hyping it up and all the rest of it. It's happening already all over the world. How come? Simple. No regulation.
I must tell you that I was mighty blessed reading through your post and noting how observant you have been, and how you are prioritizing issues into important and less important and so on.
There will be occasions when one man will preach or teach a congregation who are all facing him (see Paul at Ephesus), but as I see it, this is not the norm for an assembly gathering, where it appears each one is to be involved in order to edify one another, and for this to happen, the pulpit/pew system will never work. The only churches I have seen who have this correct are the Brethren churches (of the George Mueller of Bristol fame).
One answer to your question is 1 Corinthians 14:26 ff which makes this very clear.
The only part of your post which I didn't agree with is your acceptance of pragmatism as a means of evaluation. This is never wise and can lead up the proverbial garden path. "God is blessing me, therefore I must be doing it right!" Or even worse, "God isn't blessing me, therefore I must be doing something wrong!" This method can cause us Christians a whole lot of difficulties.
Just Saying wrote: Iâ€™m not sure what exactly those principles are but my pastor uses traditional hymns that use major emphasis on melody (which stirs the soul) and harmony (which stirs the spirit) and little emphasis on rythym (which stirs the flesh) I do believe God had given instruction on how to worship him. God gave Moses directions on how to worship him, including singers, but I see no record of the songs he told them to sing. Or when they came out of Egypt, God had not given them any song to sing yet they did sing and God was very pleased by it. So much so that he references it later in Hosea 2:15. They made up music to praise God. So did Deborah and Barak. If God was pleased with it then, why not now?
Just Saying, so far I have only been talking about corporate worship in the assembly, for which we have instruction in the NT.
A harder question is regulative v normative and you can see the basic difference here:
I can assure you that if you were to time travel back to the early church assemblies, you would be amazed to hear only the psalms being sung in worship. Today, it is a rarity to ever hear a psalm sung in worship. Why is that?
Just Saying wrote: John UK 1. If we pray from our hearts with our own words is it wrong?
2. If not, is it wrong to put the same prayer to music?
1. It can be very wrong. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us what our heart is like. But we are to ask in accordance with his will. We are to pray in the Spirit on all occasions. "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss..."
It can also be very right, and I am a firm believer in both extempore praying and preaching, notwithstanding the taint of sin in both. There is biblical warrant for this, which is the main thing, as far as I am concerned.
2. What? Musical Prayers? Who have you been talking to?
Just Saying wrote: I believe that singing psalms is wonderful and special but I still see no scripture that says to only sing psalms. Can you answer this one question for me please with a simple yes or no. Do you believe it is a sin to sing anything other than a psalm to praise God?
The answer to your first query has to first deal with the overriding question: has God given us instruction how his creatures are to worship him? If no, you may do exactly how you please. If yes, you have to decide whether the regulative principle or normative principle is the correct way to go. All churches use one of the three, including your own church. Do you know which one?
To the second vague question, you want a simple yes or no answer. So I will give you what you want - a vague "no". __________
Sister B, at the time when Paul wrote about psalms and hymns, everyone knew what he meant, because those terms were used regularly in his day.
I have heard some people say that "psalms" were Psalm 1-150, hymns were for example John Wesley's 'O for a thousand tongues to sing', and spiritual songs were singing in tongues - an unknown heavenly language.
It is a fact that when a young person sees an older person, they imagine that person has always been old. In the same way, when you see me standing for PO you imagine it has always been that way from my birth. Not at all.
Around 2005, when I was almost a KJV-onlyist but not quite, I had a huge argument in Oulton Broad Free Presbyterian Church with a Baptist who claimed that the 'psalms, hymns and spiritual songs' in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 actually all referred to psalms. I lifted up my voice and shouted at him (to my shame) and stormed out of the building, thinking him to be some Bible corrupter. This was due to my lack of knowledge, simple as that. I phoned him some years later to apologise, as I found that he was correct all along. But you will never find this out by the simple reading of the Bible, because there is nothing wrong with the translation.
The subject is massive, and takes much digging into, but if you wish to make a simple start, I've dug out for you a suitable very short article which will help you along the narrow road which leads to life.
Frank wrote: Hey Pilgrim, I am so happy that my wife and I appear to be safe; praise the Lord. Now if the Lord takes this storm out into the Atlantic and it self destructs without causing any more damage, my prayers would be fully and completely answered.
The big text for two weeks running has been Luke 18:1 bro.
Christopher000 wrote: I don't think I'd say, incorrect, but like I've said, to me, exclusivity makes Psalms only, incomplete, when it comes to praise and worship through song, by excluding the incarnation, death, resurrection, and more.
Christopher, a good PO Presby would be able, at the drop of a hat, to provide you with a Psalm for each of the above doctrines. You would be amazed at how much new covenant doctrine is found there in the Psalms.
It has to be experienced to be believed. It is rather like doubting Thomas, whom Jesus loved, and who was willing to show him the wounds in his hands and side to assist him in believing the resurrection. So it is with Psalm singing. Mockers will never know the joy of it; arguers will never know the truth of it; "I did it my way people" will never grasp the importance of the Bible in showing us what God wants us to do.
Your other main question is similarly answered, the one where you gave me several alternatives and wanted me to tick a box of four options. No bro, you don't start there. The question is: Does God give us instruction in the Bible how he wishes us to worship him? Once you have that answer, you go on to show from scripture how.
Christopher000 wrote: John, I have more typed up as a followup from your previous post, but won't be able to finish it until tomorrow.
That's okay Christopher, whenever you are able.
Just Saying, I refer you to the answer I have have given several times over the last few years concerning the words 'psalms, hymns and spiritual songs'. You have to remember when reading the Bible to ensure you understand what is being said. For example, when you read 'trumpet' it does not mean a Boosey & Hawkes 3 valve trumpet that men like Satchmo would play, which are capable of a 13 note western chromatic scale.
Christopher000 wrote: â€śJesus, thou joy of loving hearts,â€ť
Christopher, I don't know if it helps any, but here on YouTube is an example of this particularly wonderful hymn being played three times through by a pianist who seems to have dedicated much of his life to recording a huge number of hymns and uploading them on YouTube. To my mind it is partly spiritual in its composition, the tune is extremely spiritual in its arrangement of notes, and it is being played by seemingly a very spiritual man. I don't think it would be really appreciated except by spiritual people or Roman Catholics. It is in that rarer 3/4 time, and when played this slowly, there is nothing to excite the flesh; rather there is time to focus on the words, which is what worship is all about - words. Don't worry about the references to the mass, it is an uninspired hymn after all, and most hymns have some false doctrine within them.
The words are up on the screen, so that you can follow them, and I think there are six verses. See what you think.
Dr. Tim wrote: If the pope truly got saved, John, and started telling people that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, his life expectancy would drop to just about nothing. The other nuts in Catholicism might tolerate a lot of stuff from him, but to them that would be the unpardonable sin.
Hi Christopher, yes my point is that no matter how far you have got, your aim ought to be to possess the truth of God's word, rather than aiming to have an opinion concerning God's word which may be right or wrong.
Your point of interest concerning the lack of breadth of theology within the Psalms, I would answer like this: theology is not ever to be taken from one portion of scripture, but the whole book (which is a collection of books - biblia).
Lastly, you say, "Also, an exclusive psalmody forbids the church to sing â€śJesus, thou joy of loving hearts,â€ť...."
The way you word this, it's almost as if you are saying it is a manmade device called "exclusive psalmody", therefore it is to be discounted as incorrect. However, if you were to say, "God forbids the church to sing uninspired hymns", you are saying, "This is not found in scripture."
By asking many questions about this, I have reached the conclusion that if "exclusive psalmody" is biblically correct, it is designed for the assembly of the church together and not for private or separate worship of God. In other words it is for the corporate worship of the church. I don't know if that is true, because no-one ever answered my questions on that, and I'm still working on it.
Matthew 11:25-27 KJV (25)Â At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. (26)Â Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. (27)Â All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
Christopher000 wrote: Sorry, one last comment...I should mention that, to be fair, I've been researching the regulative principle, as opposed to just winging the topic, based upon nothing but personal opinion. I'll always go where scripture takes me, no matter what, and no matter how personally painful it might be. I've been researching the regulative principle itself, as well as its historical context, Westminsters view of it, the practice and views of the reformed churches, prior to 1643, the biblical arguments against exclusive Psalmody, the scope of the revelation that the Psalms includes, and excludes, what exclusive Psalmody forbids and requires, and so on, so I'm doing my due diligence, and it's an interesting topic.
Christopher, it needs to be more than "an interesting topic". Let me explain.
Let us say God calls you to pioneer a small fellowship in Rhode Island, just a tiny fellowship beginning with six other Christians. You are to lead. Do you think a fellowship meeting just plans itself, just writes itself out? What will you sing to God? Who will pray, you or everyone? What if the seven Christians have seven different preferences concerning what to sing? How do you deal with it?