Thanks, a helpful point. I either hadn't heard of or had forgotten the tie in with the prophetic function to the musical instruments until Rev. Kok in the above linked thread (and now you too) mentioned it. I think it provides the missing piece towards making a "positive" interpretation of the passage (as opposed to a "negative:" whatever it means, it doesn't provide a precedent). We have a national, civil celebration during which a specific act of worship is performed. This celebration is directed by the prophets, which makes sense since the Lord was their deliverer and their deliverer in an extraordinary way. The prophets direct the singing and the actions, and the usual actions that are associated with a civil celebration (women dancing and playing musical instruments) are incorporated into this celebration. Additionally, these musical instruments (most of them) are the same used in the prophetic guild later on, and so they may serve the additional purpose of playing a role in the prophetic action. In any case, it is either a non-ceremonial use of instruments taken into a prophetic action or additionally a "ceremonial" use as well, in the sense of being part of the delivery of a prophet's message.MW said:"Miriam the prophetess" indicates the prophetic nature of the action. The women went out after her, thus participating in the same action. If one uses this as a precedent for worship he or she should demonstrate evidence that he or she is exercising a prophetic gift.
Interesting. I heard a secular choir perform a psalm once. It was in Latin, but having known something of the members' lives, it was a bit of an uncomfortable experience for me, especially when they sang Latin words that I recognized.Cymro said:If I remember correctly, Dr Begg would not countenance the Messiah being sung because it was a performance, and he opposed the word of God being performed. When you think of it, probably most of the artists and the choirs would not be converted anyway.
As for the argument, it is similar to that given by those who say stage plays/movies should not portray people doing religious activity (e.g., prayer) because it is a taking the Lord's name in vain to pretend to worship him. The argument by Dr. Begg (if your memory is correct) would also prevent one from performing psalms. Not saying anything for or against the argument; it's just interesting what other applications it has.