Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Which approach?

A popular modern approach to Biblical practice seems to advise "if the Bible doesn't command us to not anoint a candidate with chocolate syrup before baptism, then we can't say its unbiblical."

Is this the best approach? Are we to conclude that the apostles failed in their commission to teach the baptized disciples all things that Jesus had commanded them? And even if apostolic practice were not normative for the entire church age, on what basis would we surmise that their instituted practices are inferior to those devised later by other men?

Whatever we need to inform us on faith and practice is found in the New Testament. The Bible is our all-sufficient rule for doctrine, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete. Those who accept New Testament practice as normative will find proof in guiding principles and the consistent New Testament application of those principles through apostolic practice. “For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church."


amity said...

I believe the Bible is a "thorough furnisher." It gives a complete pattern, and adding or subtracting anything alters the scriptural pattern away from what God ordained.

That still leaves a lot of room for creative interpretation on things not specified. For example, the type of singing that is to take place in public worship. it does not say "psalms only" although some take it that only "inspired songs" i.e. psalms should be used. If I diagree with the psalms only folks (and I do), then I have to reluctantly admit that the Bible also does not rule out rap music, does it?

Some people used to say four-part harmony was the prescribed way, because 4 is the number of earthly praise! So I suppose there must necessarily be room for interpretation. I just appreciate it when people do try to root worship, and lives, in the Bible. Right or wrong, the intention counts.

R. L. Vaughn said...

There is probably a need to make some clarifying comments on the subject of my blog, as indicated by some good correspondence I received via e-mail. I will hope to get around to it. In the mean time, just a few comments on what you wrote.

"the type of singing that is to take place in public worship." Does the Bible rule out rap music, rock, CCM, etc. for Christian worship? It is here that I "feel" these are wrong, and certainly they don't "feel" right to me in/for Christian worship. But to build what I believe is a compelling Scriptural argument against certain forms/genres of music, I am hard pressed. To me some of the arguments seem a lot like the way people argue for what is an ordinance -- first decide what they believe are the ordinances, then build an argument that supports only those. Anyway, I guess that's why I usually fall back to principles when it comes to worship music.

I also believe that we need to agree at the basic foundation -- to root our worship (and all else) solidly in the Bible. Those who do so at least possess a common ground on which to seek unity in those areas in which they disagree.