Should someone who is Exclusive Psalmodist, sing hymns in public worship for pragmatic reasons?

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Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
2. God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in anything contrary to his Word, or beside it, in matters of faith or worship. So that to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience; and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also.
But, don't EP churches require a bit of blind obedience to sing songs that may or may not be accurate (enough) metrical translations of Hebrew Psalms just because they are in a book that says "Psalter"? I am assuming that most do not have an adequate knowledge of Hebrew to decide for themselves.

I am honestly not trying to argue against EP. I am not sure I understand how the average conscience is bound by singing out of a book that says "Hymns" but not by singing songs out of a book that says "Psalms". The average churchgoer does not have all of the Psalms memorized in order to tell whether a song is a Hymn or a Psalm except what is on the cover. At some point, the average churchgoer must blindly obey the Pastor in the choice of songs.

I have never been to an EP church. Maybe the Pastor explains how each song is an adequate translation of the Hebrew before requiring it to be sung?
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
But, don't EP churches require a bit of blind obedience to sing songs that may or may not be accurate (enough) metrical translations of Hebrew Psalms just because they are in a book that says "Psalter"? I am assuming that most do not have an adequate knowledge of Hebrew to decide for themselves
This is no different from any other translation of Scripture.
The average churchgoer does not have all of the Psalms memorized in order to tell whether a song is a Hymn or a Psalm except what is on the cover.
Trust me, you can tell the difference between a God-breathed psalm and a hymn written by a man.
I have never been to an EP church. Maybe the Pastor explains how each song is an adequate translation of the Hebrew before requiring it to be sung?
Sometimes a pastor will read through the selection to be sung and explain its meaning. Sort of a short exposition so the Christian knows what he's singing.
 

G

Puritan Board Senior
Sometimes a pastor will read through the selection to be sung and explain its meaning. Sort of a short exposition so the Christian knows what he's singing.
Very true. Our Pastor does this as we introduce a new Psalm each month during the evening service.
 

EvanVK

Puritan Board Freshman
An anecdote: my church recently added a “psalm” to its Lords Day service. I was pleased to hear it until it came time to sing it. It was immediately apparent that it wasn’t a psalm at all. I did some research after and found out it was one of Watts mutilated version of a psalm. The point being it was recognizable (at least to me) right away as ‘not Gods word’ even though it was advertised as such.
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
But, don't EP churches require a bit of blind obedience to sing songs that may or may not be accurate (enough) metrical translations of Hebrew Psalms just because they are in a book that says "Psalter"? I am assuming that most do not have an adequate knowledge of Hebrew to decide for themselves.
There is a pretty bad translation of the Psalms, the 1912 Trinity Psalter, which stands out as an example of a Psalter to avoid. I don’t know the translation story behind it. But now people are paying more attention, and information is accessible on translation decisions. One still may or may not agree with certain translation choices in a Psalter translation, but this is true of prose Bible translations as well.

In other words, it’s very similar to any Bible translation. You do your research and learn about the translation you’re considering for private use (or learn about the Psalter your denomination or congregation is using.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
There is also a vast difference between singing an imperfect translation of something that we have been commanded to sing, and singing something that we have not been commanded to sing. There is a difference between something being divinely sanctioned and something being practised perfectly.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
An anecdote: my church recently added a “psalm” to its Lords Day service. I was pleased to hear it until it came time to sing it. It was immediately apparent that it wasn’t a psalm at all. I did some research after and found out it was one of Watts mutilated version of a psalm. The point being it was recognizable (at least to me) right away as ‘not Gods word’ even though it was advertised as such.
That's pretty sad. Watts's "psalms" are nothing like the real thing.
 
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