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Musical instruments are heresy ..... say what?

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:08 pm
by JButler
I wasn't sure if I should tack this onto the other music related thread but it seemed to require a thread of it's own for discussion. The more I read and thought, the more I felt compelled to post this.

Years ago I read that Calvin had banished all music from worship services, based on as I understand it, to preserve the purity of worship. But later on he changed his mind and allowed congregational singing but no instrumentation. I didn't spend any time researching it being pre-internet IIRC. While perusing the forum today the other thread headline prompted this thought and I decided to actually look into it.

Bluntly speaking I'm not sure what I learned but I'm really scratching my head about what I read.

I did not expect to see Calvin/Calvinist theologians claim that musical instruments in worship were heresy!

The full quote is in the above link but this one jumped out....
"We are to remember that the worship of God was never understood to consist in such outward services, which were only necessary to help forward a people as yet weak and rude in knowledge in the spiritual worship of God. -"
I'm confused, does this mean King David was weak and rude in knowledge about how to worship?? How do you sing a psalm without knowing the cadence and such?

Reading through (or trying) the writings/quotations I kind of see a theme emerging. They have an intense hatred toward the Pope and all things related, including organ music. I understand why that is. So in the pursuit of "purity" they throw out everything connected to the RCC. In essence...they throw the baby out with the bath water or rather, throw the organ out with the church.

What Scripture passage(s) are they basing these ideas upon? I noted the lack of Scriptural citations in the linked site. Usually when someone is making a theological point they anchor it with at least one Scripture, even if they twist it's meaning.

There's a lot more about what I'm reading that really baffles me, actually it seems bizarre. Maybe I'm off plumb or am not seeing their statements through the correct filters. But I've around the law for decades and fairly good at sorting out complex sentences so I think I've a good handle on what they said, its just the why and how they back up their statements that stumps me.

I am so thankful that God is opening my eyes to the Scriptures and giving me discernment to sort through Scripture vs statements of people. I'm still a baby but already see things amazing & profound, but at the same time seeing some very disturbing things also.

In the past I would have never sought to learn more about a topic like this, since in Dutch Reformed you learn not to question or worse, argue a different view.

Re: Musical instruments are heresy ..... say what?

Posted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 4:09 am
by abelcainsbrother
It is good that you are learning and God is opening your eyes to the scriptures and giving you discernment to sort through scripture vs statements of people and you are correct in your discernment about Calvin being wrong about musical instruments and praise and worship.

Dancing With The Ark. For you