Wes White on the Regulative Principle of Worship

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Pastor Wes White’s blog post on the Regulative Principle of Worship (link). Obviously, Pastor White and I would disagree over some minor aspects presented in his article, but on the major points of the article, he hits the nail right on the head.

Pastor Wes White wrote:

Second, even if we only sang psalms, there would still be problems. You could still do a light, happy-clappy type worship just singing psalms. Indeed, many of the modern praise choruses are simply portions of psalms. Thus, I think that trying to use the RPW to solve everything is a dead end.

Indeed, that is so! RPW is the second commandment, but “happy-clappy type worship” that disrespects God is a violation not of the second commandment but of the third commandment. Just as it would be God-dishonoring to practice Exclusive Psalmody (EP) in a church that denied the Trinity (violation of the first commandment) or in a church that refused to meet weekly on the Lord’s Day (violation of the fourth commandment), so also it would be God-dishonoring to practice EP in a way that loses sight of the fact that worship is to be directed Godward, and to be suitably respectful to our great God and King.

Following the Second Commandment doesn’t get you off the hook with respect to the other three commandments of the first table!


2 Responses to “Wes White on the Regulative Principle of Worship”

  1. natamllc Says:

    I was brought under some Apostolic thinking and teaching in the mid revival years of the late 1960's and early 70's.During that period the Holy Ghost brought out some outstanding creatively filled "glorifying" worship and praise and singing, and also some "happy-clappy" songs.Also, by the power of the Spirit of God in the Psalms of David and several in particular, we came to rightly divide the Scripture on this matter of Worship.We are spirit. We are soul. We are body. We are housed in the flesh.Psalm 40,Psa 40:1 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. Psa 40:2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. Psa 40:3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. Psa 40:4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! Psa 40:5 You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told. Psa 40:6 In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. Psa 40:7 Then I said, "Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: Psa 40:8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart." Worship for me, if, as this Psalm indicates, does not have in it:"Your Law within my heart"… is just a bunch of noise.Happy-clappy singing with God's Law within my heart brings about a "color" or "flavor" of True Worship in my soul.Happy-clappy singing without God's Law within my heart brings me here at Psalm 42:11a everytime:::>Psa 42:11a Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?… . There is no True Worship or the Life of God in it!It is not my "spirit" or really my "body" or "flesh" that brings out True Worship. It is my "soul", that part of me that resonates in my mind, will and emotions His Life, as we see David admonition us here:::>Psa 42:11b Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.Worship is birthed out of the salvation of God that He provides us freely through the Lord Jesus Christ.Because the "commission" of Christ to die for all the sin of Their elect was given "before" the foundation of world, we can be refreshed and renewed by God's Words out of antiquity, and especially the Psalms and by them we can have such inspiration from God's Holy Ghost, it will inspire true creative Spirit filled Worship within, songs of Worship and Praise and singing!

  2. Turretinfan Says:

    I should point out that we can have (and often ought to have) joyful worship – I’m not equating reverant worship with dour worship.

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