Monday, April 14, 2008

Instrumental music & the regulative principle


While I was "taking a few days off," I received a couple of items which were of interest in regard to the use of instrumental music in church services.

One item was an inquiry from a gentleman who was interested in John Wesley's views. There is a "legend" of sorts, spawned by Adam Clarke (Methodist) in his commentary, to the effect that Wesley opposed instrumental music. It is constantly employed by Campbellites who obviously have no greater argument than one which they think they discover in someone other than a Campbellite, so they delight in quoting what Clarke erroneously alleged about Wesley. Just Google it on the Internet and see.

I furnished the gentleman the following reference, and also referred him to my book on instrumental music, Campbellites, Cowbells, Rosary Beads, and Snake Handling, which gives more quotes from Wesley which favor the use of musical instruments:

The comment is found in a footnote on the entry of Friday (Good Friday), April 29, 1782 of John Wesley's Journal, vol. 6, page 346, The Epworth Press, London, 1938 edition, Nehemiah Curnock, Editor:

"The organist was Aeneas Maclardie, the father of Dr. Bunning's wife. See Life of Dr. Bunting, vol. i. p. 130; W. M. Mag 1913, p. 137. It states (on the authority of the Meth. Rec. May 31, 1906, ed. notes) that after the service Wesley said, 'Mr. Maclardie, if I could ensure a similar performance to yours this afternoon, I would have an organ introduced into every one of our chapels.'"

The second item was an article by a Church of Christ minister whom I have debated, Stephen Wiggins, and Stephen is bewailing the "apostasy" of several large Church of Christ congregations which have adopted instrumental music. Referring to the Richland HIlls congregation of Fort Worth, Stephen says "It is a clear case of blind leaders leading the blind. Alas, the entire congregation has stumbled into the ditch"
(The Reasoner, March 2008).

The Campbellite argument against instrumental music actually derives from what the "Reformed" brethren call the "Regulative Principle." Campbellites are a breakaway movement with a Reformed (Presbyterian) background, and their hermeneutic of "command, example, and inference" is identical to what the Founders' promote in Ernest Reisinger's book, Worship, which expounds the "regulative principle" borrowed from the pedobaptists.

The same argumenst used by the Campbellites against instrumental music is used by the Flounders against public invitations, and it is based on the pedobaptist "Regulative Principle."


At Wednesday, April 16, 2008 10:21:00 AM, Blogger Rick said...

The biggest problem that Calvinists face is that their precepts are easily dispensed with. The ridiculousness of TULIP, the silliness of thinking they represent the christian ideal. All of these.

The easiest concept to slap down is the idea that they follow something, stupidly, called Regulative Principle. They proclaim that worship is relegated to scripture alone. Ah, no. The two guys they draw on the most are Augustine and Calvin--not scripture. Who do they think they're kidding?

At Wednesday, April 16, 2008 10:41:00 PM, Blogger Stephen Garrett said...

More good stuff! Your tongue is surely the pen of a ready writer! God bless you as you continue to expose these shenanigans.

God bless



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