Quod Scriptura Non Iubet Vetat
(What Scripture does not command, it forbids)
“We may ask, as long as the day is cleansed from popish and heathen superstition, what could be wrong with the feast days? Is it not just another occasion to preach redemptive history? One issue is that of Christian liberty. When the church elders call a meeting, they expect the congregation to attend. This arguably binds the conscience of the congregation to a man-made tradition, thereby violating their Christian liberty. Another issue is that of the regulative principle of worship, that we should worship the Lord according to his will rather than our own… When it comes to public worship, we cannot justify a practice simply because we feel we ought to do it – without scriptural warrant – or because we simply think it is a good thing to do in order to honour God.”
“God knows what balance we need in our theology and instruction, and has provided that balance in the Psalter. The Psalms contain a much greater variety of theological material than all the merely human compositions. God gave to the entire Church throughout much of its history what it needs to sing. We must remember that God doesn’t need us to worship him as we want to. He wants us to worship him as we need to. We want to worship him with our own offerings. We need to worship him with the compositions that he has given us.”
~James R. Hughes, In Spirit and Truth: Worship as God Requires
Douglas W. Comin on Nadab and Abihu offering strange fire:
“Nothing should be more important and urgent to us than the worship of God, and no other consideration, however seemingly moving, should interfere with our performance of His required worship or induce us to lay aside what He has commanded.
Note also that the rest of the house of Israel… were to mourn, not so much for the tragic loss of their fellow Israelites, but for the offense which had been given to God, which had provoked His burning wrath. This command highlights the zeal that ought to be in the hearts of men for the glory of God, and the grief which ought to overwhelm every heart when God’s commands are set aside in favor of the presumptuous inventions of men.
How little of this mourning for giving offense to God exists among His people today! How little concern for the idea that what is done in the name of worship in so many churches has no warrant from the mouth of God! How little fear that man’s bold presumption in framing worship according to his own desires and interests kindles the wrath of the One who is to be regarded as holy and whose glory alone is to be magnified in the public assemblies of His people! Is it any wonder that the Church is so lifeless and impotent in the face of its enemies? She has forsaken her first and most urgent priority, and made the worship of the Holy God a mere show of the talents and ideas of men!
Surely the Church is under the judgment of God for its sins – chief among them being a disregard for the worship of God. If she is to be revived, and her glory restored, it must begin with bewailing the offenses she has given to God in worship.”
Read more and source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/24182-Strange-Fire, Comment #19
“That traditions of men should be obtruded unto us for articles of religion, and admitted for parts of God’s worship; or that any traditions should be accepted for parcels of God’s Word, beside the holy Scriptures, and such doctrines as are either expressly therein contained, or by sound inference may be deduced from thence; I think we have reason to gainsay; as long as, for the first, we have this direct sentence from God Himself, In vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men; and for the second, the express warrant of the Apostle, (2 Tim. 3:16,) testifying of the holy Scriptures, not only that they are “able to make us wise unto salvation,” (which they should not be able to do, if they did not contain all things necessary to salvation); but also that by them the man of God, that is, the Minister of God’s Word, unto whom it appertaineth to declare “all the counsel of God,” may be “perfectly instructed to every good work;” which could not be, if the Scriptures did not contain all the counsel of God, which was fit for him to learn, or if there were any other word of God, which he were bound to teach, that should not be contained within the limits of the Book of God. Ps. 19:7-10; Rev. 22:18,19.”
~James Ussher, Answer to a Jesuit, c. 2.
HT and Source: https://ilyston.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/regulative-principle-by-james-ussher/ (blog no longer available)
“If we desire, therefore, that he should approve of the honor which we confer upon him, we ought always to consider what he requires. And, indeed, they who venture to offer to God honors invented by themselves are chargeable with using some sort of force and violence towards him; for obedience is the foundation of true worship. Let us also learn from it with what reverence we ought to abide by the pure and simple word of God; for as soon as we turn aside in the smallest degree, the truth is poisoned by our leaven, so that it is no longer like itself.”
~John Calvin, Commentary on John 6:15
Because instrumental music was directly connected to the temporary aspects of temple worship by divine appointment, instrumental music was part of God’s worship only for a time. Like the rest of the sacrificial system of worship, instruments, along with the Levitical priests who played them, were temporary aspects of worship fulfilled in the New Testament. Just as sacrifices pointed to the sacrifice of Christ, the Levitical instruments were also typical of an aspect of true worship fulfilled in the New Testament worship service.
…Instrumental music was an outward sound symbolically representing the movements of the affections toward God. Now that Christ has come, we have no need of symbolic demonstrations of praise.
Interestingly, the French, Swiss, and Dutch Reformed churches all initially opposed instruments in worship.