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Only Psalms

The Reformed Presbyterian Church believes that every form of worship not commanded by God is forbidden. This ‘Regulative Principle’ is in line, we believe with the clear teaching of the Bible, as well as The Westminster Confession of Faith XXI.II.

In the Bible we are commanded to sing ‘Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs’ to God (Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:19).

However we should not assume that the words ‘hymn’ and ‘spiritual songs’ mean what people often mean when they use them today. At the Last Supper, for example, we are told that the Lord Jesus Christ and his disciples sang a ‘hymn’ (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26). Almost every commentator accepts that this refers to the great Hallel (Psalms 113-118) which were normally sung at the Passover. In the Old Testament, the words ‘psalm’, ‘hymn’ and ‘song’ refer to the Book of Psalms (for a further discussion of this, see the chapter ‘How should our churches worship today?’ by David Silversides in the book mentioned below, or listen to the audio version.

This belief is in line with the Westminster Confession of Faith, which teachers that we should praise God by the ‘singing of psalms with grace in the heart’ (XXI.V).

Read more:
Malcolm H. Watts and David Silversides, The Worship of God (Edinburgh: Marpet Press, 1998). [audio version online here]

David Silversides – The Case for Total Psalmody


Only Psalms
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