Six implications of the Regulative Principle of Worship (RPW) from Rev. Shane Lems of the URC in Sunnyside, WA, summarized excellently on his blog “The Reformed Reader.”

The Reformed Reader

Based on the 2nd commandment and other biblical texts and stories, historic Reformed and Presbyterian churches have taught and practiced the Regulative Principle of Worship: we are to worship God in no other way than he has commanded in his word (HC Q/A 96, WLC Q/A 109).  There are several different applications and implications of the RPW.  Here are a few based on Exodus 32 and some other verses.

1) True worship is not a democratic endeavor.  What is right and proper in Christian worship is not based on what a majority of people think is right and proper.  Many Israelites approved of the golden calf but it was still blatantly disobedient and offensive to Yahweh.

2) True worship does not cater to the consumer.  What people want or are looking for should not determine how Christians’ worship God.  True Christian worship isn’t based on what attracts people…

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2 Responses to “”


  1. 1 Larry Bump September 2, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    As posted on the other blog:
    The main point that people miss, and that leads to all of these other failures and sins you mention is really simple, really basic, and usually really lost.

    The question we need to ask is “Who is our worship meant to primarily benefit?”
    The answer is Jehovah. Not us. We do not worship (or should not) for what it brings to us, how it makes us feel, or any other man centered concept.

    Our worship’s main and central purpose is to praise and honor our God. That is the purpose for which He created us. Not to be fed, uplifted, entertained, or honored.

    With that in mind, and well and truly understood and owned; the Regulative Principle makes much more sense. It is not a limitation, but a guidebook to how to do what we came here for; i.e. to offer to our Lord worthy praise and honor.


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