The Regulative Principle of the Church

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NaphtaliPress

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The rule governing the Church in doctrine, government and worship, is what does the Lord require? We have no rights to invent, doctrine for what Christ's church ought to believe, nor how God is to be worshiped, nor how Christ's church is to be governed in its structure and its offices. All are of jus divinum, of divine right--Christ's rights, which He as ordered as head of His church by His Word. Summary of Girardeau's Discretionary Power of the Church. https://www.naphtali.com/articles/worship/girardeau-discretionary-power/
 

jwithnell

Moderator
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Question: I recall James Bannerman referencing a then-current change in the Articles of the Church of England to encourage aberation in worship practices. I can't find the reference. It was in his first volume of The Church of Christ.

The Oxford Movement overlapped his life by about a decade, so I wonder if that prompted the innovation? Is there a place to find this change in the articles themselves?

This has significance because it might have prompted all the Christmas Eve "lessons and carols,"passing candle flames, and other practices that many Presbyterisns now promote as "traditions" of the church.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Question: I recall James Bannerman referencing a then-current change in the Articles of the Church of England to encourage aberation in worship practices. I can't find the reference. It was in his first volume of The Church of Christ.

The Oxford Movement overlapped his life by about a decade, so I wonder if that prompted the innovation? Is there a place to find this change in the articles themselves?

This has significance because it might have prompted all the Christmas Eve "lessons and carols,"passing candle flames, and other practices that many Presbyterisns now promote as "traditions" of the church.
I don't know; I don't recall anything like that. It is certainly true that in this country the observance of the church calendar in the PCUSA began by the introduction of 'innocent' December parties in the Sunday School in the latter half of the 19th century and crypt in to the point the PCUSA included the observance of the main holy days in their new worship book (I forget the year but before 1910 I think).
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Today I had an nice conversation with a visitor who has been coming for a few months. He asked in passing if we had a Christmas service. That opened the door to bringing this topic up. After I explained how we try to only do what was commanded in Scripture, I noted that Christmas didn't fit in with that.

His response, "Oh! Cool! This is very interesting. I've never heard of that before."
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Sophomore
Today I had an nice conversation with a visitor who has been coming for a few months. He asked in passing if we had a Christmas service. That opened the door to bringing this topic up. After I explained how we try to only do what was commanded in Scripture, I noted that Christmas didn't fit in with that.

His response, "Oh! Cool! This is very interesting. I've never heard of that before."
Can you expand on this? Are you saying your church believes it is a sin to have a service on Christmas? Or, are you saying it's wrong to do a mega church type themed service that is more about entertainment rather than worshipping God? If the first, the OPC, and I would imagine the PCA as well, do services on certain holidays and do not consider it a violation of the RPW.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
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Can you expand on this? Are you saying your church believes it is a sin to have a service on Christmas? Or, are you saying it's wrong to do a mega church type themed service that is more about entertainment rather than worshipping God? If the first, the OPC, and I would imagine the PCA as well, do services on certain holidays and do not consider it a violation of the RPW.
If the Lord's Day happens to occur on December 25, we gather for the Lord's Day. We proceed as we do on any Lord's Day. We do not have special observances for Christmas, Easter, birthdays, or whatever.

I am not going to call other church gatherings "sin." As our confession (LBCF) states: "The purest churches under heaven are subject to mixture and error...." Nevertheless, we believe that once we have heard and understood the regulative principle, we cannot do anything else.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Sophomore
If the Lord's Day happens to occur on December 25, we gather for the Lord's Day. We proceed as we do on any Lord's Day. We do not have special observances for Christmas, Easter, birthdays, or whatever.

I am not going to call other church gatherings "sin." As our confession (LBCF) states: "The purest churches under heaven are subject to mixture and error...." Nevertheless, we believe that once we have heard and understood the regulative principle, we cannot do anything else.
So, is it your church's position that worship can only happen on Sunday? Or, is it more about worshipping on holiday's that are considered Christian?
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
So, is it your church's position that worship can only happen on Sunday? Or, is it more about worshipping on holiday's that are considered Christian?

Following our Confession, Chapter 22, we see "He hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a Sabbath to be kept holy unto him, which...from the resurrection of Christ was changed into the first day of the week....

So normal worship occurs every Lord's Day as appointed.

Special circumstances may call for additional worship services, e.g., prayer services. We don't oppose gathering on other days for regular prayer meetings or Bible studies, etc., but the Lord's Day always is a time for gathering.

The reason for not gathering for so-called holidays (holy days) is that they are not commanded. Again, from Chapter 22: "He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures."

Reflecting on it, it really is a simple way to approach worship. Simplicity is good in this context.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Sophomore
Following our Confession, Chapter 22, we see "He hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a Sabbath to be kept holy unto him, which...from the resurrection of Christ was changed into the first day of the week....

So normal worship occurs every Lord's Day as appointed.

Special circumstances may call for additional worship services, e.g., prayer services. We don't oppose gathering on other days for regular prayer meetings or Bible studies, etc., but the Lord's Day always is a time for gathering.

The reason for not gathering for so-called holidays (holy days) is that they are not commanded. Again, from Chapter 22: "He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures."

Reflecting on it, it really is a simple way to approach worship. Simplicity is good in this context.
Ok. Thanks for the clarification.
 
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