Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dr. Peter Masters' False Identification of "Worldliness" with a Multiplicity of Instruments

Should we worship with bands and instruments and rhythm and loud, many decibels, modern songs, modern style of praise? Or should we worship in the historic, reverent manner with a distinctive style of song and praise and thoughtfulness and reverence? What is right: that we should cover the platform with instruments and put on a performance for God, or that we should worship Him with words, from our hearts? (Dr. Peter Masters, Morning Teaching Service, 21 June 2009)

With the above rhetoric, Dr. Masters condemns everything from Handel's Messiah to Sovereign Grace Music as inherently "worldly." Dr. Masters gives a false identification of a multiplicity of instruments with worldliness, and a false dichotomy: should we worship God with many instruments, or should we "worship Him with words, from our hearts"? Many Christians would affirm, "both."

Elsewhere in his sermon, Dr. Masters asserts that only four instruments are biblically mandated in worshiping God [although he should say four types of instruments and it should be noted that none of the biblically-mentioned instruments are used at Metropolitan Tabernacle: they only use an organ in their Sunday service], and he asserts that the instruments used in worship in the Old Testament would be barely audible. Both of these assertions, as well as his identification of a multiplicity of instruments with worldliness, are contradicted by Scripture. In 1 Chronicles 25, David establishes 24 orders of musicians for the service of the temple; should the reader imagine that this number of musicians was barely audible? That many instruments were used in temple worship seems inescapable from an examination of Old Testament texts.

In this regard, Psalm 150, which mentions many different kinds of instruments, is also relevant. Later in the sermon quoted from above, Dr. Masters seeks to avoid the relevance of this text (he charges those who think Psalm 150 relevant to this matter as being biblically ignorant), but the way that he seeks to avoid Psalm 150 is quite unacceptable- leading him to posit contradictions in the Scripture that aren't there and to take up an allegorical mode of interpretation- as will be seen in subsequent posts.



Blogger Jonathan Hunt said...

Have you read the book in which he backs up his claims?

You quote one scripture and then continue as though you have disproved what he has said.

What on earth in 1 Chronicles 25 disproves what he says? The fact that there were 24 groups of musicians to play instruments does not indicate that they all played at the same time, rather that it was a duty roster as with other temple functions. They cast lots for their particular duty.

And the instruments listed, strings and harps - noisy, them. And cymbals, which were clashed at specific times in the ceremonies...

Do not assume which 'side' I am taking in this whole matter, I just think you could do a bit better than this. As it is, you seem to be fighting against sweeping assertions with sweeping assertions of your own.

6:19 PM  
Blogger ajlin said...

There are three features that Dr. Masters specifically identifies, and attempts to defend biblically, as marking out contemporary worship as it is practiced in many American Reformed churches as "worldly." These three features are: (1) multiplicity of instruments, (2) rhythm, and (3) volume.

I concede that this post is not a full refutation of Dr. Masters' definition of worldliness, but it does offer some evidence that begins to undermine Masters' definition.

12:14 PM  

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