Frozen Chosen or Thawed by God?

The regulative principle of worship is the idea that we must worship God the way He wants to be worshiped, and that He tells us how He wants to be worshiped in His Word.  The Bible, either by explicit command or by principles we can properly deduce from it, tells us how to worship God.

In 2000 our pastor wrote a paper for seminary on the regulative principle of worship, and in 2002 taught a Sunday School class on the same topic.  The same ideas rattled around in his head for a few years, until he updated the paper in late 2014.  We hope it is edifying for you.  Feel free to download it and share it with others:

Frozen Chosen or Thawed by God?

One response

  1. I think you made some faulty analysis. Seems Moses writing the Pentateuch would not feel the need at that late date to have to explain the sacrifices of Cain and Abel. The error would be understood as well as that of Spurious fire.
    Since we are not proof texters, I think it is wrong not to use our minds and say, what would the Jewish reader of the day have understood this to mean. The readers of course would be rulers elders and priests primarily, who all had a good understanding of the sacrifices and what was right ad wrong about them.
    We should not be bound because there is no proof text that says, there is no specific command to only do what is commanded. That is proof texting.

    Over all I do find this a helpful work and caused me to have to rethink some scriptures and issues. I am still persuaded that the stricter practice is best for the church, but I would not be so dogmatic as to say it is absolutely clear in scripture that we are commanded to be this way. I simply do not see any benefit in bringing the ways of the heathen into the church. Secular or religious holidays, Christ Mass Trees, State flags, and things not specified. I am sure that I and our children would not be harmed or less holy if we never sang a hymn in church or if we only sang hymns and had the evergreen in our homes and not in the sanctuary. There is no benefit to the church to bring these things into it.

    Do you really think a synagogue would have allowed the green grove to be brought in or even a few boughs of it?
    Who was it that brought idolatry to the Jews? It was their rulers and kings. When the king built the groves or let the foreigners live, the people followed the weak leaders into their idolatry. It is the weakness and worldliness of the ministers who lead the sheep astray. They are responsible and should therefore be most careful of all people. The people have settled for weak undereducated elders and ministers. And now the vicious cycle seems incurable.

    The elders should use more care to preserve the church from exposure to the world and be most sanctified as an example and a place of retreat or sanctuary from the world, not a christianized version of the world. You don’t need a tree in there to tell people to go make use of the ChristMass season to evangelize and remind people of Christ.

    So not being legalistic on the issue and coming from the non-strict perspective, I would say it serves the church best to follow the strict practices. And seeing not one benefit to bringing these things in, why do it?
    The main answer from most honest ministers would be to appease the people. That is the wrong reason. Therefore from the looser position, I still see the stricter behavior being the safest for the sheep, and does not interfere with evangelistic efforts considering a presuppositional apologetic.
    God says the foolishness of preaching is His means and He will save. We don’t need hymns and trees to get people saved or sanctified of to fully comprehend the scriptural understanding of advent.

    So to hold to the strict ideal may not be clear in scripture and perhaps should not be held forth as commands of scripture, but the strict practices would be the better choice of all serious loose perspective ministers. So I exercise my liberty to from a place of liberty choose the strict practices as best for the sheep and in that way also avoid a slippery slope.

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