Exclusive psalmody in a hymn singing church

Discussion in 'A capella Exclusive Psalmody' started by Andrew David Short, Aug 14, 2019.

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  1. Andrew David Short

    Andrew David Short Puritan Board Freshman

    I am an exclusive psalmody person in a hymn singing church

    Any advice for me? One man is mad at me about it
    All this stuff about how I am ashamed of the gospel by hiding it under psalms

    Hymns are better for praising Christ for his passion, and objections like this

    Note: I have no disrespect for folk on this forum who have these objections
  2. alexandermsmith

    alexandermsmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    Sounds like it's the guy who has the problem. Sounds like he has a very shallow understanding of the psalter. I would recommend just not singing along but not make a "thing" out of it. It's a hymn singing church so you don't want to be divisive. I'm assuming attending a solid psalm singing church is out of the question?
  3. Andrew David Short

    Andrew David Short Puritan Board Freshman

    I have friends in the free Presbyterian Church of Scotland one night I called mrs n Morrison to get my subscription to the magazine thanks for posting
    I am never attended a psalm singing church
    Send me a private note if you want to chat about theology by email
  4. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    I know the feeling.
    Ignore him.

    I stand, usually, and remain silent. I'll often have my psalter open in front of me, so I can read those words instead of the ones on the screen.
  5. Andrew David Short

    Andrew David Short Puritan Board Freshman

    Do you sing psalms to same meter silently
  6. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    My church sings modern worship songs from Hillsong or Bethel, so no.
  7. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Professor

    I am in the same situation. I made the mistake of pointing out Psalms are commanded in scripture and was looked at as if I was usurping the authority of my elders. No matter how one nicely tries to point out such one will be looked at like a schismatic,especially to those who never have sung psalms before. That is why I have taken the road of encouraging the practice to try a "new thing" in worship.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  8. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Unless you find you must find another church then the only thing is to humbly work according to your place and station to promote singing some psalms. If singing them is completely foreign it will be a long hard and likely multi generational effort. Happily, my own hymn singing church, the pastor long worked to introduce psalms and they love the psalms, sing them often more than hymns and the pastor and I worked to produce a full psalter to use in the pews (along with the Trinity hymnal) after using photo copies for years and years. Just be sure you are not contributing to the problems; have a good attitude, answer the hostile fellow humbly, and don't agitate for exclusive psalmody. In a church already committed to hymn singing, the aim is to start singing psalms and do it more and more and more.
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  9. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    My advice is to not raise the issue. Remain silent during worship, do not yield to the pressure to sing, do not submit to any attempt to both bind your conscience and cause you to violate the law of holy God.

    If ever anyone asks why you do nor sing with the congregation, be prepared to give an answer. Speak with grace.

    It feels lonely, though, doesn't it? Remember that you're not alone, either as a psalm-singer or as a psalm-singer in a congregation that sings no psalms. You are in very good company.

    Resist temptation. Do not be puffed up. (Perhaps you were not always a psalm-singer. If so, remember it.) In humility and with charity, pray for your church, for your pastor and brethren, and for reformation according to the Word of God.

    Sing psalms in private every day. On the Lord's Day, sing psalms before you go to church and sing psalms when you come home. It helps to bear it.
  10. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    I would concur with what Chris and Tom have said. I would avoid raising the issue with the person who is antagonistic. I do not mean to sound cynical, but, in my experience, many people are not willing to be ruthless with their liturgical sin and have no intention of ever changing their position. The issue is often one of the heart rather than an intellectual problem. When people in church ask me about the subject after a service, I usually try to tell them to raise the matter with me at another time and place.
  11. hammondjones

    hammondjones Puritan Board Sophomore

    If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
  12. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman


    I attend a CRC in Canada and I hold to the EP position.

    During non-psalms, I typically remain silent, unless I recognize that a line from the song is from (or approximately from) a Psalm, in which case I sing that line. Sometimes I cave to the pressure and sing a hymn, but I try not to.

    I have been privileged to be placed on the "worship committee" where I may have increased influence in my church. However, even there I will not try to "slam-dunk" EP on those people, but might slowly try and point them in the right direction (probably starting with a good understanding of the holiness of God and the RPW).

    Interestingly, I was asked to pick the songs for the evening service for this sunday coming up. I happened to pick only Psalms. haha. They are all to tunes that we know. My congregation knows the Psalter Hymnal quite well so we are familiar with a lot of the more popular Psalm selections.
  13. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    That's good that you care about this to seek wisdom. I'll just say, as noted above, we are to live at peace, and also, we are commanded to be in unity of mind in all things. It sounds like this is becoming an issue in the church for you. You could leave the church over it, or continue doing what you're doing, or here's what I would probably do: I would participate in every part of the liturgy, as God has sovereinly placed these shepherds in your life to lead you. I would personally submit and wipe my hands clean of the issue and entrust myself to who God has placed over me. I know I'll probably get push back for this, but that's my opinion.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  14. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    You will get push back because, as noted in an earlier thread, this approach is tantamount to an implicit faith and making men lords of your conscience. If the ecclesiastical powers that be are asking you to participate in modes of worship not sanctioned by scripture, then we must dissent from what they are requiring of us - as they are demanding that we participate in will-worship.

    What you are advocating is tantamount to popery. Seriously, Ryan, I urge you to rethink this whole approach to church authority, as it is completely wrong. Christ did not tell his disciples to submit to the invented traditions of the elders simply because they sat in Moses' seat.
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  15. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman

    What if your elders told you to go into the street and smash in the windows of the nearest car? Is this any better or worse than a 2C violation?
  16. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    I completely get what you're saying, but I would say there is a big difference between clearly unbiblical practices, and those that are founded upon Scripture alone but yet have varying views.

    Would I submit to leaders who pray to saints? Absolutely not. It's clear that this is man-made unbiblical wisdom. Would I be rebaptized as a confessing believer if the only solid church around was a Baptist church? I sure would, for the sake of peace, unity and believing in God's providential wisdom in my life.
  17. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    You are funny, brother. I can give you clear verses that would condemn such a practice as hatefully destroying another's property, along with every solid leader's wisdom. On the other hand, the most sound scholars have various opinions on what 2nd commandment violations are, and they all stand on the Scriptures alone.

    I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
    1 Corinthians 1:10
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  18. G

    G Puritan Board Junior

    Ryan would you have given this same advise to God’s people under Aaron in Exodus 32?

    While your position does not see a 1:1 with your advise and Exodus 32, you must realize that from an EP perspective that is exactly how your advise would be received. From an EP perspective your advise comes across as “even if your Elder ask you to violate the 2 commandment, just wipe your hands and do it with a clear conscience”.

    Make sense?

    Further if you are going to say “well we should submit on this matter because it is “less clear”..... we’ll that becomes extremely relative as again many EP proponents feel it is clear. Further, to use your own example, many Christians might not see it with as much clarity as you or I to avoid praying to saints. So by your own standard, if an EP person sees the matter as clear from scripture then he should remain silent even if asked to do otherwise by an approved liturgy.:detective:
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  19. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    Of coarse Exodus 32 is clearly wrong. Here's the command to the Israelites that God gave them:
    "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me. Exodus 20. There's a big difference between what is clearly sin and what is providentially left to interpretation, as much as we wish all things were either black or white.

    Sadly things just aren't that clear. Many things are opinions and dogmas, and we should be careful of breaking peace and unity over which we might be idolizing as absolute truth when there is no way to know in this life.

    If someone cares that much they should find a new church, as they would see that church as worshipping a golden calf in a sense, and the Lord's judgment would be upon them (according to some, I don't believe this though). Who would stay at an idolatrous church with the like practices of Rome? Again, I do not believe this.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  20. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman

    That's what many in the CRC said about having women as pastors and teachers. Ah but of course, you will say that is clear!

    The funny thing, if you work hard enough, almost anything can be made to be unclear, including what used to be clear.

    In the 1800's, many reformed denominations thought Psalm singing was pretty clear. Now all of a sudden in the 1900's and 2000's it isn't clear anymore. My own denomination is an example of this.
  21. G

    G Puritan Board Junior


    All congregations offer up worship that likely violates the first table of the law inwardly or outwardly in some way. Humans are involved. Your advise above contradicts itself regarding your initial plea for unity. Further your comments thus far have shown a flippant attitude towards those that may hold EP. Specifically when you say “they should find a new church”. Really is that your advise? Do you not see how hurtful that might be for an EP brother or sister desiring to please God and pursue unity in the family of God? My last advise to you on this thread is to take a breather, spend time trying to fully understand the position before you tell EPers "just leave". If you do that, even if you disagree, I think you would be much less likely to just say “they should leave”.

    When you or I or a congregation worship God in a way he has not commanded we commit the same sin recorded in Exodus 32. What was the result? Did God disband them? No he was patient, long-suffering, and stayed with his people.

    P.S. I would have given you the same above advise even before I was convinced of the EP/AO position. If the positions were reversed, I would want you to stay.:detective:
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  22. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    I know brother, it's tricky stuff with depravity added to it.
  23. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    The part about leaving isn't what I would do. Please reread my first post. But if someone truly sees singing hymns as idolatry, how could they be a part of it? Again, I don't belive it is so I wouldn't break unity. If I were at an EP only church, I would submit. Not a problem for me.
  24. G

    G Puritan Board Junior

    Obviously, but that was your advise to those actually holding EP with integrity in a non-EP congregation. Singing hymns in corporate worship and claiming to be EP is inconsistent.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  25. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    I'm done talking about this stuff here, friends. We all know where it leads and how it ends. Much blessings to you on this day!
  26. Kinghezy

    Kinghezy Puritan Board Freshman

    We have to keep in mind that of the person's conscience, and those holding to an EP would be sinning if they did sing non-psalm song. That is applicable for any scruple.

    (I did not see this brought up, so I apologize if I missed that being stated, in a different way. )
  27. Afterthought

    Afterthought Puritan Board Junior

  28. Andrew David Short

    Andrew David Short Puritan Board Freshman

    Please can I say what makes this serious is 1st table sins are worst than 2nd sins I am told i offend people by not offering what I think is sinful worship, this is as serious and worst than smashing car windows

    All we are saying is give sin no chance
  29. chuckd

    chuckd Puritan Board Sophomore

    Off topic, but can PCA churches use the new Trinity Psalter Hymnal?
  30. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    Do not make the mistake of surrendering liberty of conscience to the ordained authorities. See WCF, Chapter XX. Ministers are not ordained to be lords of men's consciences.

    What you advocate is an "implicit faith". This is not merely unwise, it stands in opposition to the Scriptures (ie. 1 Thess. 5:21). I certainly hope this is not something that your church advocates.

    Further, I would ask you to consider the propriety of your post here. A brother with strong convictions abour worship comes to say that he's in a bit of a difficult spot, and your advice to him is, in effect, "Brush aside those convictions, ignore the pangs of conscience, and sing the songs that you believe you shouldn't."

    Please, show a little more charity and respect.
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