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Choosing a Musical Instrument For Your Kid

I have long said: If someone tries to argue with you from the regulative principle of worship it is definitely recommended to question them what they are likely to put in its place (making sure they give Scriptural proof for all those "liberties" and ceremonies which they conjure up out of their very own brains). Also ask them: By what standard have you been binding my conscience to your forms and ideas regarding worship? Where does God institute this? Or, have you been just making this up yourself? Because for individuals who are familiar with the humanistic systems that have already developed in opposition to the Scriptural law of worship, it will be apparent "that there's nothing new under the sun."

These "new" ideas regarding worship vary little (in practice), and not at all (in principle), with the ideas set forth in opposition to the Reformers throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. There is no neutrality! You will buy into a system (whether you understand it or not); and the system you get into is guaranteed *not* to be new (at the amount of principle). You will either worship God based on His appointment or you are vee_lok going to do so at the behest of men (Matt. 15:9).

That John Calvin and John Frame hold to diametrically opposed views on worship is obvious to those familiar with both authors. One clear exemplory case of a certain point of divergence between Calvin and Frame is visible in their views of the application form of the regulative principle since it concerns bear on the question of the usage of musical instruments in public areas worship (though application to Frame concerning the differences between his and Calvin's conception of worship could fill a book in and of themselves).

I'm deliberately choosing a location that seems insignificant to many Christian's today (instrumental music) to produce this aspect, for we have seen (in Eire's book, "War Contrary to the Idols") that Calvin "constantly warns it is dangerous to just accept even the absolute most insignificant form of material worship in the Church." I'm choosing the instruments question to illustrate Frame's rejection of the regulative principle because the most important point to keep in mind is not present in the specific practice which I will note (though it is just a sin to use instruments in public areas worship), in the prior abandonment of the regulative principle which must first take place before this idolatrous practice can be performed.

Frame believes that "we are free to make use of instrumental music, even without words," to cover other distracting noises during worship (p. 130). Furthermore, as worship leader in his congregation he encourages individuals in the congregation "to clap, whistle, tap tambourines, or else use their gifts to boost worship" (p. 148). He also plays instrumental solos, but would in principle "like to see more instrumentalists" than just himself (p. 148). Finally, like to totally thumb his nose at the Reformers and the regulative principle (and embrace an outright popish heresy), Frame states he does "not believe that individuals are restricted to the instruments mentioned in Scripture, however in considering how to set hymns to music, the biblical instrumentation will give us some clues."

In comparison to Frame's view Calvin says, "To sing the praises of God upon the harp and psaltery, unquestionably formed a part of the training of regulations and of the service of God under that dispensation of shadows and figures; but they're not now to be used in public thanksgiving." (Calvin on Ps. lxxi. 22).He says again: "Regarding the tabret, harp, and psaltery, we've formerly observed, and will discover it necessary afterwards to repeat the same remark, that the Levites, under the law, were justified in utilizing instrumental music in the worship of God; it having been his will to coach his people, while they certainly were yet tender and like children, by such rudiments before the coming of Christ. Nevertheless now, once the clear light of the gospel has dissipated the shadows of the law and taught us that God is to be served in a less complicated form, it is always to act a foolish and mistaken part to imitate that that the prophet enjoined only upon those of their own time" (Calvin on Ps. lxxxi. 3).

I have often said that we (as Protestants) would no more use instruments in worship than we vee_lok would take a sheep or goat around leading of our meeting house and slaughter it, as if that had some religious significance for today. Both instrumental music and animal sacrifice were ordained parts of worship originating in the now abrogated Old Testament ceremonial law. If you don't think that is an exact statement consider this question: Were musical instruments the main ceremonial or moral law? -- and why? This is the reason the utilization of musical instruments in public worship was often called "the badge of Popery" by the Reformers (cf. R.J. George's "The Badge of Popery: Musical Instruments in Public Worship"). It had been also considered a denial of the task of Christ (bringing back those ceremonial shadows which disappeared in the light of the job of Christ).

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