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False Worship and Well Intentioned Idolatry Brings God's Wrath and Even Death Sometimes (For Violation Of the Second Commandment or the Regulative Principle of Worship) by Jim Dodson (Free MP3)
And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. - 2 Samuel 6:6-7, KJV
"By all which, you see where the idolatry of worship lies. The instituting of any, though the smallest part of worship, in and by our own authority, without scripture-warrant, makes it idolatrous, as well as if we worshipped an idol" (Ex: 20:5). - The Works of John Flavel, Vol. 4, p. 527 (on the Puritan Hard Drive).
If you love the Bible, then you may well be Reformed. If you think of yourself as Reformed, but you have seldom or have never read older Reformed literature, prepare to be challenged. The Puritan Hard Drive provides primary sources and depth of theological and spiritual insight which is lacking in much of what is passed off as genuine Reformed theology. If you think of yourself as conservative, the older Puritan and Reformed authors will help you sort reality from myth in your quest to be truly Reformed. There are more solid resources for less money here than anywhere else. I highly recommend you take responsibility for your soul and spend a few shekels for this cup of cold water in the midst of the modern religious desert. - Jim Dodson, Reformed Presbyterian Scholar, https://www.covenanter.org/
"The Regulative Principle of Worship declares that God alone is sovereign in worship. The Regulative Principle of Worship simply applies the principles of Calvinism (i.e. God's sovereign Lordship) to worship, whereas the view that what God doesn't forbid in worship is permitted is applying the principles of Arminianism (i.e. man's sovereign lordship) to worship. Just as fallen man naturally seeks to impose his will in salvation (e.g. "I can cooperate with God in salvation", or "I have a natural freedom to choose Christ"), so fallen man naturally seeks to impose his will in worship ("I can cooperate with God in worship by adding what I desire so long as God doesn't specifically forbid it"). But just as God condemns a man-centered salvation, so God condemns a man-centered worship (Col. 2:23 specifically condemns all will-worship, i.e. all worship instituted by man)." - Greg Price, Foundation for Reformation: The Regulative Principle of Worship, p. 10, free at https://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/REFORMATION-RPW-GP.htm or on the Puritan Hard Drive
"All worshipping, honoring, or service invented by the brain of man in the religion of God, without His own express commandment, is idolatry." - John Knox cited in Greg Price, FOUNDATION FOR REFORMATION: THE REGULATIVE PRINCIPLE OF WORSHIP, free at https://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/REFORMATION-RPW-GP.htm
"All things considered, certainly it is no small condemnation of us to behold what an ardent zeal the holy martyrs had in the past, especially in comparison with the nonchalance we demonstrate. For as soon as a poor man of that time got so much as a little taste of the true knowledge of God, he did not hesitate to expose himself to the danger involved in confessing his faith. He would have preferred to be burned alive than to go so far as to commit some outward act of idolatry." - John Calvin
War Against The Idols: The Reformation of Worship From Erasmus to Calvin (and Separation from False Worship) by John Calvin (Free MP3)
John Calvin on the Regulative Principle of Worship
"... which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart."
"... God here cuts off from men every occasion for making evasions, since he condemns by this one phrase, "I have not commanded them," whatever the Jews devised. There is then no other argument needed to condemn superstitions, than that they are not commanded by God: for when men allow themselves to worship God according to their own fancies, and attend not to his commands, they pervert true religion. And if this principle was adopted by the Papists, all those fictitious modes of worship, in which they absurdly exercise themselves, would fall to the ground. It is indeed a horrible thing for the Papists to seek to discharge their duties towards God by performing their own superstitions. There is an immense number of them, as it is well known, and as it manifestly appears. Were they to admit this principle, that we cannot rightly worship God except by obeying his word, they would be delivered from their deep abyss of error. The Prophet's words then are very important, when he says, that God had commanded no such thing, and that it never came to his mind; as though he had said, that men assume too much wisdom, when they devise what he never required, nay, what he never knew."
- John Calvin, Commentary on Jeremiah 7:31
Take heed of all occasions of idolatry, for idolatry is devil-worship. Psalm 106: 37. If you search through the whole Bible, there is not one sin that God has more followed with plagues than idolatry. The Jews have a saying, that in every evil that befalls them, there is uncia aurei vituli, an ounce of the golden calf in it. Hell is a place for idolaters. 'For without are idolaters.' Rev 22: 15. Senesius calls the devil a rejoicer at idols, because the image-worshippers help to fill hell. - Thomas Watson, The Ten Commandments (emphases added), on the Puritan Hard Drive.
Colossians 2:8,20-23. The emphasis of the great apostle throughout this chapter is on forsaking the traditions and commandments of men, and rather clinging to Christ and His commandments, for "in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge . . in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power" (Col 2:3,9-10). Dear ones, you are not complete in yourself or in any man-made ceremonies in worship. You are complete, made full and acceptable through His work on your behalf. He is the head of the church, not you or me. He is our Prophet, Priest, and King. He alone directs our worship and presents it acceptable to the Father. Paul infers that to practice any "will-worship" (or "self-imposed religion" Col. 2:23) "according to the commandments and doctrines of men" (Col. 2:22) is to undermine the finished work of Christ (Col. 2:11-23) and to seek to usurp the headship over the church that rightly belongs to Christ (Col. 2:8-10,18-19). Self-imposed worship (i.e. any religious act, gesture, symbol, or ceremony in worship) is expressly condemned by Christ and His apostles. It is in fact false worship which no Christian should tolerate in the house of God without a verbal protest to the leadership and separation from this false worship until there is biblical reformation in worship ("The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counselling, commanding, using, and any wise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself" (The Larger Catechism, Question 109). - Greg Price, Foundation for Reformation: The Regulative Principle of Worship, free online at https://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/REFORMATION-RPW-GP.htm
"Christmas was not celebrated by the apostolic church. It was not celebrated during the first few centuries of the church. As late as A.D. 245, Origen (Hom. 8 on Leviticus) repudiated ...the idea of keeping the birthday of Christ, "as if he were a king Pharaoh." By the middle of the 4th century, many churches in the Latin west were celebrating Christmas. During the 5th century, Christmas became an official Roman Catholic holy day. In A.D. 534, Christmas was recognized as an official holy day by the Roman state.The reason that Christmas became a church holy day has nothing to do with the Bible. The Bible does not give the date of Christ's birth. Nowhere in the Bible are we commanded to celebrate Christmas. Christmas (as well as many other pagan practices) was adopted by the Roman church as a missionary strategy." - The Regulative Principle of Worship and Christmas by Brian Schwertley FREE BOOK at https://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/CHRISTMAS.htm or on the Puritan Hard Drive.
The Regulative Principle of Worship is God's ordained law for worship... You see there is no neutrality in the way in which we approach God in worship. Either we approach the living God according to His revealed Word (i.e. the Regulative Principle of Worship), or we approach Him according to our revealed word. Someone's word is going to expressly guide us in worship. The only question is, whose word will guide us? God's or man's? - Greg Price, Foundation For Reformation: The Regulative Principle Of Worship, free online at https://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/REFORMATION-RPW-GP.htm.
"The regulative principle of worship has clear implications for those who want to promote the celebration of Christmas. The Regulative Principle forces those who celebrate Christmas to prove from Scripture that God has authorized the celebrating of such a day. This, in fact, is impossible." - From the free online book The Regulative Principle of Worship and Christmas by Brian Schwertley.
There are 547 Reformation resources (books, MP3s and videos) under the category "Reformed Worship, The Regulative Principle, Etc.," and 126 Reformation resources (books, MP3s and videos) under the category "Psalters, Psalm Singing and Music," on the Puritan Hard Drive.
"Hymns of human composition are used so commonly now in public worship by Presbyterian churches that it is difficult to believe that the practice is not a hundred years old, and that in some of the churches it is of very recent date. On the supposition that it is good and dutiful and wise to sing such hymns in worship, it is equally difficult to account for the neglect of the churches at the time of the Reformation, and for generations afterwards. What could have so blinded the reformers as to make them reject hymns and sing the Psalms alone? How could the Westminster Divines, in framing their Confession of Faith and Directory for Worship, have been so unanimous in the blunder that the service of praise is to consist of the 'singing of Psalms?' And apart from the aspect of duty, how could the Presbyterian churches, for about a hundred and fifty or two hundred years after the Westminster Assembly, have been so insensible to the power of hymns as an attractive addition to their public services? We cannot by any means understand how it was that, if it was dutiful to use hymns in worship, the reformers did not discover the Scriptural warrant for the duty, especially as hymns had been used for centuries by the Church of Rome. Nor can we understand how they rejected the hymns and used the Psalms alone, unless on the supposition that they believed the use of hymns to be part of the will-worship of Rome. If they were wrong on this point, then Rome and our modern Presbyterian churches are right. In that case, the Puritans and Covenanters were fanatics, and Romanists were truly enlightened! And most of our Presbyterian churches of the present day were fanatical too, and did not become truly enlightened and liberal till they got back to the Romish practice!" - James Dick, Hymns and Hymn Books (1883), on the Puritan Hard Drive.
Gradual Reformation Intolerable: Luther and Calvin On Reforming the Church Against False Teaching and False Worship By Dr. Matthew McMahon, Greg Price, Dr. Steven Dilday, Brian Schwertley & Others (Free Reformed MP3s, Videos, Articles, Books)
"Gradual reformation is not the matrix in which the church has functioned since its inception in the Garden of Eden... It would be wise imitating Hezekiah, Josiah, Luther, Calvin and the Lord Jesus Christ in the achievement of immediate reformation. Compromise is a lie. Gradual reformation in this regard is intolerable; both for the people of God who are deceived as to what real reformation and truth are about, and to the minister who compromises his beliefs, and neglects the honor of God's desire in true spiritual worship." - Dr. C. Matthew McMahon, from Gradual Reformation Intolerable
The Regulative Principle of Worship (which is really just sola Scriptura in worship - ed.) as found in God's Word is accurately summarized for us in the Westminster Confession of Faith 21:1:
But the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture.
In like manner, carefully note the answer given to question 109 of the Larger Catechism ("What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?"):
The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counselling, commanding, using and any wise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; tolerating a false religion; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever... corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretence whatsoever... all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed.
A short summary of the Regulative Principle of Worship is simply this: What Scripture does not authorize it forbids. Most churches (Romish churches, Orthodox churches, Anglican churches, Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Evangelical, and most Reformed and Presbyterian churches) are operating on an altogether different principle from the one just stated. The principle they are operating on is: What Scripture does not forbid, it permits. Since Christ in the New Covenant has not expressly forbidden drama, dancing, candles, incense, musical instruments, uninspired hymns, crossing oneself, banners, crosses, images, etc. within the house of God, the vast majority of churches today permit these (to lesser or greater degrees) and many more practices into their worship services.
However, the Regulative Principle of Worship would prevent all the above practices into the worship of God because they are all without the authorization of Christ, the mediator of the New Covenant. In other words, every religious practice or symbol in the worship of God's people must have a divine warrant from God's Word either by (1) command; or by (2) authorized example of the apostles; or by (3) good and necessary inference.
- Greg Price, Foundation for Reformation: The Regulative Principle of Worship, on the PURITAN HARD DRIVE and free at https://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/REFORMATION-RPW-GP.htm
Instrumental Music in Public Worship: The Views of John Calvin
"To sing the praises of God upon the harp and psaltery," says Calvin, "unquestionably formed a part of the training of the law and of the service of God under that dispensation of shadows and figures, but they are not now to be used in public thanksgiving."1 He says again: "With respect to the tabret, harp, and psaltery, we have formerly observed, and will find it necessary afterwards to repeat the same remark, that the Levites, under the law, were justified in making use of instrumental music in the worship of God; it having been his will to train his people, while they were yet tender and like children, by such rudiments until the coming of Christ. But now, when the clear light of the gospel has dissipated the shadows of the law and taught us that God is to be served in a simpler form, it would be to act a foolish and mistaken part to imitate that which the prophet enjoined only upon those of his own time."2 He further observes: "We are to remember that the worship of God was never understood to consist in such outward services, which were only necessary to help forward a people as yet weak and rude in knowledge in the spiritual worship of God. A difference is to be observed in this respect between his people under the Old and under the New Testament; for now that Christ has appeared, and the church has reached full age, it were only to bury the light of the gospel should we introduce the shadows of a departed dispensation. From this it appears that the Papists, as I shall have occasion to show elsewhere, in employing instrumental music cannot be said so much to imitate the practice of God's ancient people as to ape it in a senseless and absurd manner, exhibiting a silly delight in that worship of the Old Testament which was figurative and terminated with the gospel."3
1. On Ps. lxxi. 22.
2. On Ps. lxxxi. 3.
3. On Ps. xcii. 1.
FROM: INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IN THE PUBLIC WORSHIP OF THE CHURCH By John L. Girardeau (Still Waters Revival Books,  2000), pp. 63, 64 (on the Puritan Hard Drive).
Are Easter, Christmas, Other Popish/Pagan Holy Days (Not Authorized In the Bible), Man-Made Hymns and Musical Instruments In Worship, Etc., Idols? - According To the Classic Reformed View Of The Second Commandment (Free Reformed MP3s, Videos, Books)
In 1899, the General Assembly of the PCUS was overtured to give a "pronounced and explicit deliverance" against the recognition of "Christmas and Easter as religious days." Even at this late date, the answer came back in a solid manner: "There is no warrant in Scripture for the observance of Christmas and Easter as holydays, rather the contrary (see Gal. 4:9-11; Col. 2:16-21), and such observance is contrary to the principles of the Reformed faith, conducive to will-worship, and not in harmony with the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." - Kevin Reed, Christmas: An Historical Survey Regarding Its Origins and Opposition to It (Free Online Book).
Pastor Greg L. Price Reviews and Recommends
the Puritan Hard Drive
Pastor Greg L. Price
I was one of those who had profited much from using the plethora of out-of-print Reformation materials offered by Still Waters Revival Books in the 62 CDs (Puritan CDs and Reformation CDs) for a number of years in my ministry -- works that I could only have found in select libraries (usually hundreds of miles away from my residence).
With the CDs, it took a little while to go to the index of each set, locate the documents I needed, and then find the correct CD. Of course, the time was always well spent in finding that particular document that I needed.
However, now that I have the Puritan Hard Drive, I am able to use my time much more efficiently in finding that particular document I need by quickly searching for it and finding it in a matter of seconds. It's like going from "dial up" to "high-speed" Internet!
And for all of those documents that have a font that are in block letters, I am able to simply cut and paste from the Puritan Hard Drive to my own document with ease.
Amazing surprises do come in small packages!
If you want to understand Reformed theology (i.e., the whole counsel of God) the Puritan Hard Drive is unsurpassed, outside the Bible itself. The First and Second Reformations gave us the most faithful Scriptural teaching and preaching since the time of the Apostles, and there is no other resource, outside Scripture itself, where you can find so much of God's truth as in the Puritan Hard Drive.
May the Lord continue to use this most profitable tool to promote a Third Reformation that encompasses the whole world (Isaiah 2:2-4)!
- Pastor Greg L. Price (Covenanted Presbyterian Pastor, Author, Theologian, etc.) Free online books, MP3s and videos by Greg Price at https://www.swrb.com/newslett/freebook/gprice.htm
VIDEO INTRODUCTION TO THE PURITAN HARD DRIVE
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