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Setting a brother aright

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  • raging_calvinist
    Jason, Please forgive the delayed response. Here s my take on the questions you raised:1. I m no expert in Hebrew (the language from which Calvin [if
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2002
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      Jason,<br><br>Please forgive the delayed
      response. Here's my take on the questions you raised:1. I'm
      no expert in Hebrew (the language from which Calvin
      [if I'm not mistaken, it was actually Merot and Beza
      who did most of the work] translated the Psalter),
      nor am I an expert in French (the language into which
      the Psalter was translated), so I'd rather not
      comment on the accuracy of the Genevan Psalter based
      simply on the English copy I can read. However, I can
      only assume that accuracy was very important to them.
      And even if it is a sloppy translation (something I
      simply am not able to judge), a sloppy translation of
      the Psalms are still better than singing something
      other than the Psalms in worship. Just as reading a
      sloppy translation of the Bible would be better than
      reading War and Peace during worship.<br><br>Regarding
      the use of uninspired tunes: God did not supply us
      with a book of tunes, nor did He provide us with the
      sheet music for each Psalm. However, light of nature
      tells us that in order to obey the command to sing
      together, we must have a tune to follow. The tune, then, is
      not an element of worship, but a circumstance of
      worship. God does not tell us the time of day which we are
      to meet each Lord's Day, but light of nature tells
      us that there must be an agreed upon time to meet in
      order to meet. The time is not an element of worship,
      rather it is a circumstance of worship. So it is
      regarding the tunes used in the singing of the Psalms. So,
      no, Calvin as not an hypocrite in this area, nor was
      he in error.<br><br>2. You wrote, "if what Calvin
      wrote is true then a large number of the Psalms
      themselves are written in vain because many of them command
      musical praise that is pleasing to God." Nothing in
      Scripture is written in vain. The commands to use musical
      instruments may be regarded in the same way as the commands
      found in the Psalms to sacrifice animals. The
      sacrifices were pleasing to God only in the sense that He
      has commanded them. They are not in and of themselves
      pleasing to God, and so if we are no longer commanded to
      do them, the aspect of them which was pleasing to
      God is no longer attached to them. Calvin is not
      guilty of poor exegesis, and is far from guilty of sin
      against God's commands found in Psalm 150. Would you say
      the same of Calvin for not sacrificing animals in
      obedience to the commands to do so found in the
      Psalms?<br><br>You wrote, "If Calvin is correct then the LORD
      created birds to sing beautiful melodies which were not
      pleasing unto Him." The birds sing in obedience to their
      Creator, and therefore it is pleasing to Him. Besides, the
      birds are not our rule for how we are to worship God,
      God's Word is our rule. <br><br>3. That the use of
      instruments in worship passed away with the Levitical
      priesthood just as animal sacrifices IS Calvin's argument.
      With the destruction of the of the Temple in A.D. 70,
      the Levitical Priesthood along with Temple worship
      was put away forever. We need not look for a specific
      example of Christ fulfilling the use of musical
      instruments anymore than we need to look for Christ
      fulfilling the use of the bells and the "curious girdle" the
      priests had to wear. The point being that the use of
      instruments in worship is spoken of as "prophesying" and was
      done by the Levites. The Levites are gone, and unless
      you think Miss Sournote who plays the organ at church
      is a prophet, we have no reason to continue the
      practice.<br><br>Next, you ask, "if the use of instruments has indeed
      passed away with ceremonial law then why has not
      exclusive use of inspired song in worship also passed
      away?" Because we are commanded to sing Psalms in the
      New Testament, and because we have the example of our
      Lord singing Psalms in worship, though we have no
      example of musical instruments being used in the ordinary
      public worship of God in the New Testament. <br><br>I
      sincerely hope that this is of some help to you. God bless
      you as you study these things for the glory of
      God.<br><br>gmw.
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