I am still learning, and I have a question

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dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I read this week on another Protestant site 'Preach the Word" that John Calvin admitted that the meeting of the New Testament Church was spontaneous in its features. So what we're saying is that there is no biblical structure, there's no order of service that's laid down for us in the New Testament as to how we do a church meeting.

My question is how did the order for church meeting and worship evolve both in the Presbyterian fold and in the Baptist fold? I am still new to Reformed Protestantism, so some of my more knowledgeable PB brothers please be patient with me I am still learning.
 

Osage Bluestem

Puritan Board Junior
I read this week on another Protestant site 'Preach the Word" that John Calvin admitted that the meeting of the New Testament Church was spontaneous in its features. So what we're saying is that there is no biblical structure, there's no order of service that's laid down for us in the New Testament as to how we do a church meeting.

My question is how did the order for church meeting and worship evolve both in the Presbyterian fold and in the Baptist fold? I am still new to Reformed Protestantism, so some of my more knowledgeable PB brothers please be patient with me I am still learning.

Actually, the Presbyterian liturgical type worship came from the Roman mass. I think the Baptists just kind of made theirs up and then got used to it until it turned into tradition, but I'm not sure. I have never heard of anyone detailing the beginings of Baptist practice and how their order of worship came about. I've noticed that all of the Baptist services are similarly structured as what is called a low church structure, but I believe that is really at the discretion of the autonomous local church. I was raised baptist and am now presbyterian with a few years of catholicism in between..so I'm just speaking from experience, not necessarily quoting text books.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I believe the Puritans in both the Reformed and Particular Baptist traditions looked to the Scriptures and the Regulative Principle of Worship for their meetings. I can not speak to any periods after that. To assume that the Baptists just made theirs up is rather naive David. The Particular Baptist Church was Puritan also. In fact they probably sang the Psalms exclusively as that was the common practice back then.

I think the Baptists just kind of made theirs up and then got used to it until it turned into tradition, but I'm not sure. I have never heard of anyone detailing the beginings of Baptist practice and how their order of worship came about. I've noticed that all of the Baptist services are similarly structured as what is called a low church structure, but I believe that is really at the discretion of the autonomous local church. I was raised baptist and am now presbyterian with a few years of catholicism in between..so I'm just speaking from experience, not necessarily quoting text books.

Please David, don't sling your naive comments about Baptists because of your assumptions, experiences, and biases.

Here is the London Baptist Confession of Faith....

CHAPTER 22 - RELIGIOUS WORSHIP, AND THE LORD'S DAY

1. THE light of nature shows that there is a God who has dominion and sovereignty over all.* He is just and good, and He does good to all.* He is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, invoked, trusted and served by men with all their heart and soul and strength.* But the only acceptable way of worshipping the true God is appointed by Himself, in accordance with His own will.* Consequently He may not be worshipped in ways of mere human contrivance, or proceeding from Satan's suggestions. Visible symbols of God, and all other forms of worship not prescribed in the Holy Scripture, are expressly forbidden.
Exo_20:4-6; Deu_12:32; Jer_10:7; Mar_12:33.
2. Religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to Him alone.* It is not to be given to angels, saints, or any other creatures.* Since man's fall into sin, worship cannot be rendered to God without a mediator; and the only accepted mediation is that of Christ.
Mat_4:9-10; Mat_28:19; Joh_5:23; Joh_14:6; Rom_1:25; Col_2:18; 1Ti_2:5; Rev_19:10.
3. God requires all men to pray to Him, and to give thanks, this being one part of natural worship.* But to render such prayer acceptable, several things are requisite: it must be made in the name of God's Son, it must be Spirit-aided, and it must accord with the will of God.* It must also be reverent, humble, fervent and persevering, and linked with faith, love and understanding. United prayer, when offered, must always be in a known language.
Psa_65:2; Psa_95:1-7; Joh_14:13-14; Rom_8:26; 1Co_14:16-17; 1Jn_5:14.
4. Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and for men of all sorts now living or as yet unborn.* But prayer is not to be made for the dead, nor for those who are known to be guilty of 'the sin unto death'.
2Sa_7:29; 2Sa_12:21-23; 1Ti_2:1-2; 1Jn_5:16.
5. The reading of the Scripture, the preaching and hearing of the Word of God, the instructing and admonishing of one another by means of psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with heartfelt thankfulness to the Lord, the observance of baptism and the Lord's supper-these are all parts of divine worship to be performed obediently, intelligently, faithfully, reverently, and with godly fear.* Moreover, on special occasions, solemn humiliation, fastings, and thanksgivings ought to be observed in a holy and reverential manner.

Exo_15:1-19; Est_4:16; Psa_107:1-43; Joe_2:12; Mat_28:19-20; Luk_8:18; 1Co_11:26; Eph_5:19; Col_3:16; 1Ti_4:13; 2Ti_4:2.

6. In present gospel days neither prayer nor any other aspect of religious worship depends for its efficacy on the place where it is performed or towards which it is directed, for God is everywhere to be worshipped in spirit and in truth; as, for instance, in the daily worship carried on in private families, in the worship in which individual Christians engage in secret, and in the worship of the public assemblies.* Such assemblies are convened in accordance with God's Word and providence, and believers must neither carelessly neglect them nor willfully forsake them.

Psa_55:17; Mal_1:11; Mat_6:6; Joh_4:21; Act_2:42; Act_10:2; 1Ti_2:8; Heb_10:25.

7. As it is a law of nature, applicable to all, that a proportion of time, determined by God, should be allocated for the worship of God, so, by His Word, He has particularly appointed one day in seven to be kept as a holy Sabbath to Himself.* The commandment to this effect is positive, moral, and of perpetual* application. It is binding upon all men in all ages.* From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ the Sabbath was the last day of the week, but when Christ's resurrection took place it was changed to the first day of the week, which is called the Lord's day.* It is to be continued to the world's end as the Christian Sabbath, the observance of the seventh day being abolished.

Exo_20:8; Act_20:7; 1Co_16:1-2; Rev_1:10.

8. Men keep the Sabbath holy to the Lord when, having duly prepared their hearts and settled their mundane affairs beforehand, for the sake of the Lord's command they set aside all works, words and thoughts that pertain to their worldly employment and recreations, and devote the whole of the Lord's day to the public and private exercises of God's worship, and to duties of necessity and mercy.

Neh_13:15-22; Isa_58:13; Mat_12:1-13.

Please David don't sling your naive comments about Baptists because of your assumptions and biases.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I would also recommend you guys read Jeremiah Burrough's Gospel Worship. I do not think the Reformed nor Particular Baptist took their cue from the Roman Church. They are miles apart. Read the Confessions. They are very illuminating.
 

Osage Bluestem

Puritan Board Junior
I believe the Puritans in both the Reformed and Particular Baptist traditions looked to the Scriptures and the Regulative Principle of Worship for their meetings. I can not speak to any periods after that. To assume that the Baptists just made theirs up is rather naive David. The Particular Baptist Church was Puritan also. In fact they probably sang the Psalms exclusively as that was the common practice back then.

I think the Baptists just kind of made theirs up and then got used to it until it turned into tradition, but I'm not sure. I have never heard of anyone detailing the beginings of Baptist practice and how their order of worship came about. I've noticed that all of the Baptist services are similarly structured as what is called a low church structure, but I believe that is really at the discretion of the autonomous local church. I was raised baptist and am now presbyterian with a few years of catholicism in between..so I'm just speaking from experience, not necessarily quoting text books.

Please David, don't sling your naive comments about Baptists because of your assumptions, experiences, and biases.

Here is the London Baptist Confession of Faith....

CHAPTER 22 - RELIGIOUS WORSHIP, AND THE LORD'S DAY

1. THE light of nature shows that there is a God who has dominion and sovereignty over all.* He is just and good, and He does good to all.* He is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, invoked, trusted and served by men with all their heart and soul and strength.* But the only acceptable way of worshipping the true God is appointed by Himself, in accordance with His own will.* Consequently He may not be worshipped in ways of mere human contrivance, or proceeding from Satan's suggestions. Visible symbols of God, and all other forms of worship not prescribed in the Holy Scripture, are expressly forbidden.
Exo_20:4-6; Deu_12:32; Jer_10:7; Mar_12:33.
2. Religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to Him alone.* It is not to be given to angels, saints, or any other creatures.* Since man's fall into sin, worship cannot be rendered to God without a mediator; and the only accepted mediation is that of Christ.
Mat_4:9-10; Mat_28:19; Joh_5:23; Joh_14:6; Rom_1:25; Col_2:18; 1Ti_2:5; Rev_19:10.
3. God requires all men to pray to Him, and to give thanks, this being one part of natural worship.* But to render such prayer acceptable, several things are requisite: it must be made in the name of God's Son, it must be Spirit-aided, and it must accord with the will of God.* It must also be reverent, humble, fervent and persevering, and linked with faith, love and understanding. United prayer, when offered, must always be in a known language.
Psa_65:2; Psa_95:1-7; Joh_14:13-14; Rom_8:26; 1Co_14:16-17; 1Jn_5:14.
4. Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and for men of all sorts now living or as yet unborn.* But prayer is not to be made for the dead, nor for those who are known to be guilty of 'the sin unto death'.
2Sa_7:29; 2Sa_12:21-23; 1Ti_2:1-2; 1Jn_5:16.
5. The reading of the Scripture, the preaching and hearing of the Word of God, the instructing and admonishing of one another by means of psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with heartfelt thankfulness to the Lord, the observance of baptism and the Lord's supper-these are all parts of divine worship to be performed obediently, intelligently, faithfully, reverently, and with godly fear.* Moreover, on special occasions, solemn humiliation, fastings, and thanksgivings ought to be observed in a holy and reverential manner.

Exo_15:1-19; Est_4:16; Psa_107:1-43; Joe_2:12; Mat_28:19-20; Luk_8:18; 1Co_11:26; Eph_5:19; Col_3:16; 1Ti_4:13; 2Ti_4:2.

6. In present gospel days neither prayer nor any other aspect of religious worship depends for its efficacy on the place where it is performed or towards which it is directed, for God is everywhere to be worshipped in spirit and in truth; as, for instance, in the daily worship carried on in private families, in the worship in which individual Christians engage in secret, and in the worship of the public assemblies.* Such assemblies are convened in accordance with God's Word and providence, and believers must neither carelessly neglect them nor willfully forsake them.

Psa_55:17; Mal_1:11; Mat_6:6; Joh_4:21; Act_2:42; Act_10:2; 1Ti_2:8; Heb_10:25.

7. As it is a law of nature, applicable to all, that a proportion of time, determined by God, should be allocated for the worship of God, so, by His Word, He has particularly appointed one day in seven to be kept as a holy Sabbath to Himself.* The commandment to this effect is positive, moral, and of perpetual* application. It is binding upon all men in all ages.* From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ the Sabbath was the last day of the week, but when Christ's resurrection took place it was changed to the first day of the week, which is called the Lord's day.* It is to be continued to the world's end as the Christian Sabbath, the observance of the seventh day being abolished.

Exo_20:8; Act_20:7; 1Co_16:1-2; Rev_1:10.

8. Men keep the Sabbath holy to the Lord when, having duly prepared their hearts and settled their mundane affairs beforehand, for the sake of the Lord's command they set aside all works, words and thoughts that pertain to their worldly employment and recreations, and devote the whole of the Lord's day to the public and private exercises of God's worship, and to duties of necessity and mercy.

Neh_13:15-22; Isa_58:13; Mat_12:1-13.

Please David don't sling your naive comments about Baptists because of your assumptions and biases.

I didn't mean any offense at all. I can worship in baptist churches in good conscience. I love baptists actually. I worshiped in a baptist church last sunday when I was out of town. I will admit that there are piles of things I don't know, but I really did think they just made it up, since there really isn't any direction in scripture. It mentions singing songs. reading the word, having communion..etc But doesn't say how to do it. So, I thought that they just kind of got together and made it up whereas we know the presbyterians inherited the basic order from the mass. I meant nothing offensive at all. Thanks for pointing out my foolishness. :eek:
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
So, I thought that they just kind of got together and made it up whereas we know the presbyterians inherited the basic order from the mass.

I guess I didn't know that the Puritans inherited their basic order of worship from the RCC mass. Can you direct me to where this is proven? BTW, the Presbyterian's were not the only Puritans who followed the Regulative Principle of Worship. The Westminster Assembly was made up of both Congregationalists and Presbyterians. There were also Anglican Puritans and reformers. I would suggest that maybe the Anglicans would have followed the mass a bit but I would be reluctant to say that the Presbyterians and Congregationalist did.
 

Osage Bluestem

Puritan Board Junior
So, I thought that they just kind of got together and made it up whereas we know the presbyterians inherited the basic order from the mass.

I guess I didn't know that the Puritans inherited their basic order of worship from the RCC mass. Can you direct me to where this is proven? BTW, the Presbyterian's were not the only Puritans who followed the Regulative Principle of Worship. The Westminster Assembly was made up of both Congregationalists and Presbyterians. There were also Anglican Puritans and reformers. I would suggest that maybe the Anglicans would have followed the mass a bit but I would be reluctant to say that the Presbyterians and Congregationalist did.

Well, having experienced both and knowing the history of the western church I can say that the Presbyterian services I have been to and the Roman Catholic masses I have been to certainly have similar elements that obviously derived from a common source. We know that the reformers didn't want to destroy the church they wanted to reform it, so they cut out the problems and kept the good things. They all grew up Catholic. I can't point you to anything but church history and experience, but I can tell they are two branches of the same creek.

You are right that the Anglicans and Lutherans are even more mass like in their worship. But the presbyterians still have the flavor of it as well in there a bit.
 

A S

Puritan Board Freshman
I am not an expert on this at all, but I think the the key to this issue is the old testament Jewish synagogue... which is what I think early Christian gatherings were based on, so that also explains the liturgical similarities between various groups.
 

Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
I read this week on another Protestant site 'Preach the Word" that John Calvin admitted that the meeting of the New Testament Church was spontaneous in its features. So what we're saying is that there is no biblical structure, there's no order of service that's laid down for us in the New Testament as to how we do a church meeting. My question is how did the order for church meeting and worship evolve both in the Presbyterian fold and in the Baptist fold?

My first counsel would be not to get your information from a web site. You might take that as a starting point, but now go yourself and read what John Calvin actually has to say. One of the best of his works on worship would be On the Necessity of Reforming the Church.
Second, I find an illogical jump from saying that NT worship was "spontaneous" [again, where did Calvin supposedly say this?] and from that as-yet-unproven contention, then concluding that there was no structure or order to the service of worship in the apostolic church era. The Holy Spirit does not institute chaos.
Read deeply on the subject of God's sovereignty over His worship, commonly labeled the Regulative Principle of Worship. Again, that work by Calvin cited above would be an excellent starting point.
And to get to something of your last question, get a copy of Leading in Worship, by Terry Johnson.

Well, having experienced both and knowing the history of the western church I can say that the Presbyterian services I have been to and the Roman Catholic masses I have been to certainly have similar elements that obviously derived from a common source. We know that the reformers didn't want to destroy the church they wanted to reform it, so they cut out the problems and kept the good things. . .two branches of the same creek.

But the statement
the Presbyterian liturgical type worship came from the Roman mass.
would seem to have a problem of anachronism: what you've experienced has been what you've seen in the last few years. How do you know that what that church presented wasn't modeled, at least in part, on some contemporary pastor's infatuation with high liturgical worship, drawing from RCC or Anglican sources. By contrast, look at a Reformed Presbyterian service in some remote local like the Isle of Lewis, in Scotland. There you will find a service of worship that is very close to what you might have enjoyed in the 17th century. The tip-off for me is in your description of it as "liturgical type worship", as there is, here and there at present, an infatuation among some with that sort of thing (what some call the "smells and bells").

True to a point. In the reformation of the Church, the reformers looked back to Scripture as their guide, as they must, and as the RCC had failed to do over the centuries. The reformers concluded from Scripture that 1. God is sovereign over His worship--He determines how He is to be worshiped; and 2. there were certain features of worship, which we can label as elements, which are necessary to worship. Without these features, you don't have proper biblical worship.
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
wayne,

The following 2 statements were made by DD2009. "Well, having experienced both and knowing the history of the western church I can say that the Presbyterian services I have been to and the Roman Catholic masses I have been to certainly have similar elements that obviously derived from a common source. We know that the reformers didn't want to destroy the church they wanted to reform it, so they cut out the problems and kept the good things. . .two branches of the same creek.
But the statement"

"the Presbyterian liturgical type worship came from the Roman mass."

Wayne, I am in total agreement with you on Reformed worship. I would not want it to resemble the roman mass. The roman mass is a man made ritual and a blasphemy and abomination to Chirsts redemptive act for all who place their faith in Him alone for salvation.
 
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