Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Seasonal Resources on the Regulative Principle
A few years back, before I had come better to understand and then to embrace Reformed confessional Christianity, my conscience was not much bothered by "Advent" and "Christmas" observances in the church. Like many other Calvinistic evangelicals I promoted the Advent season as connecting our worship with the historical Christian liturgy and the "Christian year." I also oranized Christmas Eve services and even Christmas day services (when they did not fall on Sundays). I also saw the observance of the Christmas holiday as a way to promote Christian influence and ideas in the secular culture.
Even now I understand that different folk hold different views on these matters. There is a distinct historical difference between the "continental" approach (of Calvin, et al) and that of the English Puritans. Men of good faith and good will might hold different opinions. I also believe that we can make a distinction between innocent private practices where Christian liberty must be allowed and what is approved for the public exercise of God's worship on the Lord's Day. In short, I'd like to keep the Lord's Day relatively uncluttered from the Christmas connection. This way folk of various peruasions (whether they approve of Christmas family holiday traditions and celebrations or not) can find a common ground and grant liberty to their brethren to hold their own personal convictions.
I included this note in last week’s issue of the Vision, CRBC’s e-newsletter:
The approach of the Christmas holiday season raises questions about Reformed views on worship and personal practice. Here are a few resources on these topics:
Sermon on the Second Commandment (a basis for the Reformed doctrine of the Regulative Principle)
The 16 part Blog Series on The Westminster Directory of Worship, including this post “Touching Days and Places for Publick Worship” (Part 16) [click the label “The Directory for the Publick Worship of God” at the end of the post to read the others in the series].