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14264Re: Calvin's Preface to the Psalter (EP)

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  • Edgar A. Ibarra Jr.
    Jan 2, 2006
      >Don Nelson <donstudybible@y...> wrote:
      > > > Do the Scriptures allow for man-made hymns?
      > I am perplexed. It seems to me that if such hymns were
      > included in the Scriptures, then that would make them
      > inspired. There are many songs in the Scriptures other
      > than in the Book of Psalms, and singing is encouraged
      > in places where specific content is not recorded.

      Alas, the dilema for supporters of singing man-made hymns. They
      would not argue so anyways. If God allowed man to write their own
      songs to offer up as a sacrifice of praise in the public worship of
      God we would have some form of indication of that in the NT, but we
      do not. Do not mis-understand me, I believe there are many
      beautiful and wonderful hymns, my favorite was "Christ shall have
      dominion" which is a parapharse of a Psalm. Now for those who would
      argue that we can sing the song of Mary, for example, then that line
      of argumentation is still not an argument in favor of man-made
      hymns, but of inspired hymnody and you are still limited as to the
      number of hymns outside of the Psalms. Many in Geneva did sing
      other songs besides the Psalms, but they were INSPIRED hymns. The
      counter to singing such hymns is this, were those hymns intended for
      public worship or just an expression of the people overtaken by the
      Holy Spirit and the work of God that was upon them? The Psalms were
      meant for worship, but the "inspired hymns" were not. As for the
      hymns before the Psalter, that was allowed as God was still
      revealing Himself (i.e. progressive revelation was occuring) to man
      and until He settled things, there was some liberty in certain
      areas. HOWEVER, when the Psalter was completed, that was it, no
      more were to be added, like the closing of the canon of Scripture.
      We see the Song of Moses for example incorporated into the Psalter.

      > Consider an analogous situation: man-man speaking.
      > Hours of sermons are included in our public worship. I
      > do not understand how a comparatively few minutes of
      > singing is such a problem. Logically then, the
      > forbidden thing is the singing voice. Would it be OK
      > to recite a hymn as long as we do not sing it?

      Now man-made sermons are allowed in the public worship of God as God
      states that His ministers are to teach and instruct and open the
      Word of God unto His people. That is part and parcel of the office
      of the Teaching Elder or Pastor. Examples of this are replete in
      the NT, especially in the book of Acts, starting in Ch. 2. It would
      not be ok to recite hymns as a means to get around the prohibition,
      that is dishonest at best and blasphemous at worse. The only
      elements of worship that are allowed to be man-made are prayer and
      sermons. Just like we would not read a chapter out of Calvin's
      Institutes followed by a chapter out of the Bible, we cannot sing a
      man-made hymn followed by a Psalm (now even one wants to get cute
      and reverse the order it is still not acceptable).

      Keep it simple and stick to the Word of God and all will be well.

      > Don N

      Thank you Don & Whit for your questions and I hope they are
      helpful. Although my answer(s) are short and therefore may not
      totally satisfy I hope they aid in some way. If you want to study
      the issue more there are great resources on this subject on
      www.truecovenanter.com and sermons by Pastor Greg L. Price via

      Sola Scriptura,

      Edgar Ibarra
      Albany, NY
      RPNA-Covenanter in belief & practice
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