The Regulative Principle: An Introduction

The regulative principle is often times mentioned exclusively within the context of congregational singing. Most would convey that congregational singing may be the best way to apply the regulative principle.

But is it? 

Most theologians, at least the ones I’ve read, only relate the regulative principle to congregational singing and how we are to methodize it in our gathered assemblies. And often times, it focuses mainly on music style rather than the actual principle itself – that is, how the Scriptures require a whole Bible approach to congregational singing – from the instruments to the songs; from the density of lights to the one who is leading.

A Comprehensive Principle

It’s time for believers to take the regulative principle to a new level and reclaim its worth in the church. Instead of the regulative principle being solely dedicated toward how we sing praises to our God, an issue that most definitely demands the attention of the principle, the regulative principle should apply to every area of the Christian life.

Over the course of the next several blog posts, I’m going to introduce the regulative principle through a number of different facets of the Christian life. Most of them will deal with the assembled body of believers on a given Sunday. However, this will not be exclusively the setting for which the principle is to be applied.

The regulative principle is a helpful principle by which to live as a Christian. To be a Christian, you need to know – or should want to know – what the Bible says about all things. This is the most basic definition of the principle itself: “only doing that which the Bible prescribes.” To do that which the Bible prescribes is to already possess the knowledge of what the Bible has warranted. Therefore, it takes study and rigorous meditation and application on the part of the believer to relate the regulative principle to more than congregational singing (I use the words congregational singing instead of “worship” to avoid confusing the two).

Journey Together

So, let’s take this journey together. As we look at different facets of the Christian life, let’s be open to what the Bible says, warrants, and prescribes. But let us also be aware, through our study, of what the Bible disapproves, warns against, and even condemns.

Be on the lookout for a new blog post every week for the next several weeks on a different aspect of the regulative principle with the title:

The Regulative Principle of ________________.


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