Published November 24, 2005
In regards to the article "Stained Glass and Starbucks," I would like to offer the following three short observations.
First, Baptists would do well to remember the historical position of our forefathers and our reformed cousins, for it served them well for centuries. Baptist should hold to the regulative principle in worship. If "what's not forbidden is allowed" is our view of worship, then we have become no better than the papist with their superstitions and priestly vestments.
The church very capably functioned under the regulative principle for centuries and she does best when she keeps herself to those things that she is scripturally authorized to do i.e. sing, pray, reading of the word, preaching, and holding the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper. We should not tolerate Christian mimes, magicians, liturgical dance, and praise teams any more than our forefathers did the popish and scripturally unauthorized practices of their day.
Second, Baptists should rethink using music as evangelism. Many of the leaders interviewed, and a popular justification given for contemporary worship, is that it is a good way to reach those who would not respond to traditional methods. Again Scripture must be our only guide and rule of faith. Singing is for the church family to use during corporate worship; it is not for evangelism.
No example can be found in Scripture where anyone witnessed or evangelized by singing. Many Baptists today, in their rush to accept every new idea that comes down the drain, forget that our ancestors had to borrow a word from the contemporary movement, a radical devotion to God's word. Many of them were devoted to the point of martyrdom.
Third, contemporary music must be judged by the company it keeps and its effects on God's people. No song or idea should be brushed aside just because it is new, but much of the contemporary music movement and its associated trappings have their roots in the charismatic and ecumenical movement.
Many, indeed most of the contemporary songs I've forced myself to listen to, consist of "cotton candy" theology when compared to the old standards of the past, and most of the churches I have witnessed attempt to introduce contemporary practices have had breaks in fellowship.
In our rush to keep our pews as full as the no-standards zero-separation non-denominational community church we have cast aside the tried and proven practices of years gone by. "Yes Virginia there still are Baptists who believe in standards and separation."
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