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Kevin DeYoung on the Freedom of the RPW

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The Regulative Principle of Worship (RPW) usually gets a bad rap. This is probably due to the fact that when held up to the RPW much of what happens in many churches is ruled "out of order." Since we would rather do in worship what we want to do instead of what God wants us to do, the RPW is dismissed outright. Kevin DeYoung recently wrote a post about the freedom that actually comes with following and taking seriously the RPW.

"The Freedom of the Regulative Principle"

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  • Guest - Carlos Campos Rey

    Poor King David...he didn't know anything about the RPW when he just let loose and danced naked in the streets of Jeruslem with his whole heart and soul just praising the Lord caring less about what people thought and more about what God approved.

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  • Guest - Camilo Toro

    @Carlos: You've just made a huge strawman. The RPW is at its core concerned with what God approves.
    Your statement sounds like this: "Poor King David…he didn’t know anything about what God approved in worship and worshipped caring less about what people thought and more about what God approved."
    Lord's blessings.

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  • Guest - DTK

    One problem with RPW is that it can lead to legalism and hinder Christian freedom.

    Also, who gets to decide what is allowed or not?

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  • N.N.U.T.S. even at a Worship Service, Please .Thanks Kevin for that reminder. oh that Word, Water, Bread and Wine couldnt be enough ?

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  • Guest - Carlos Campos Rey

    @Camilo: brother, your response is what is known as a circular argument which fails to address the point. The whole concept of "regulating" how believers worship our God "with all our hearts, all our minds, and all our strength" (but of course, within the bounds of Biblical norms and precedents) is counter-intuitive. The clear excesses of our charismatic cousins (having been one myself) should not hinder the genuine (non-chaotic) spontanaity of our worship. As for regulation of which musical instruments an genres are "holy" or "'RPW" oriented, that's totally subjective since God's Word does not address the electric guitar (though it does specify and approve the pre-electric era "lyre and harp", as it also encourages loud clanging cymbals and making a joyous noice unto the Lord (Psalm 150, et. al.). RPW is just oneof those archaic legalisms that brother Calvin veered upon as he did in wronglyfully establishing a legalistic theocracy in Geneva which was bismirched by thew wrongful execution (capital punishment) by the "church" of dissenter Michael Servetus.

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  • Guest - Michael Horton

    Anything can be turned into legalism. However, the point of the RPW is to say that God alone is Lord of the conscience. Where God does not speak, the church doesn't bind. Historically, it was a cry for Christian liberty: the freedom from the belief that a host of non-scriptural ceremonies are necessary for true worship. There are countless issues where Christians have a diversity of convictions. Let each be convinced in his or her own mind, but the public service should be restricted to Scripture's commanded elements.

    The Westminster divines distinguished helpfully between elements and circumstances. Where the specter of legalism arises, it's usually a result of making disputable matters essential elements.

    For example, whether we use instruments (and if so, which ones) is, I believe, a circumstance. It's in the same category of the time of our services, the order of the liturgy, and whether the minister wears a robe. (I realize some brethren regard the question of instruments as an element, but I'm not convinced that this has scriptural warrant.)

    Bottoom line: the goal of the RPW is to free us from the preferences of others, binding our conscience so that we have trouble participating in the service. It's to limit us to that which Christ the King has determined explicitly or by good and necessary consequence from his Word.

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  • Guest - Carlos Campos Rey

    @ Micheal HOrton: Brother and recognized "elder" of the reformed NT church of Jesus Christ, I must respect your valuable perspective and give this matter more thuoght and more study following your much appreciated post. I guess I'm having troub;e reconciling the words "regulative" with "freedom in Christ". Unfortunately, the term "frozen chosen", as generally applied to our brethren Presbyterians and other reformed denominations, comes from a dry, although theologically sound, liturgically heavy, form of worship in song and service. I believe that enthusiastic praise and worship is clearly modeled in scripture and that attempts to regulate these risks quenching the Spirit as He moves among His people while we lift up joyful praises to His Name in worship. Of course, the preaching and hearing of the Word of God is the center of our "worship" order but Biblically faithful lyrics (put to music) are akin to singing the gospel and surely the good Lord has used, does use, and will use this medium for His good pleasure in the calling out of His elect. I am convinced that my journey from devout, superstitious Roman/Mexican Catholicism, through agnosticim and borderline atheism, followed by tinkering with indigenous paganism, and finally, and clearly against my will) being called and chosen by a merciful and gracious God like Yahweh of Israel, was linked to my instinctual love of music, through which God caught me and lured me (using 1970's contemporary Christian music)into being exposed to the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. I will study this issue in more detail. I appreciate your wisdom and experience. Your books were also utilized by God to lead me out of charismatic Arminisnism (decisional regeneration) to the faith once deliverd unto the saints.

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  • Guest - Carlos Campos Rey

    errata: "Arminianism"

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