“We live in a day in which the concept of worship has taken on many different meanings among evangelical churches in America and around the world. The worship services of many so-called ‘seeker-sensitive’ churches are designed to appeal to the unbeliever on his own terms, thus tending to give the worship services of those churches a very distinctive ‘entertainment’ flair. The worship service of the typical charismatic church is long on music, loud, rhythm-driven music that is designed to stir the emotions, but short on the exposition of Scripture which should be the foundation of true religious emotions. Even many of the more conservative evangelical churches include activities in the worship service that make a Reformed believer who cherishes the regulative principle uncomfortable.

“Is there a difference between the typical evangelical worship service, even those of a conservative nature, and the worship service of a scripturally ordered Reformed Baptist church? We believe there is. That difference is rooted not in methodology, but in theology. We believe that theology must be the driving force behind methodology. For instruction in that theology, we turn to that compendium of theology which, as Reformed Baptists, we believe best sets forth that faith once for all delivered to the saints, the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 (LBC). There we find a theology of worship commonly known as the regulative principle of worship. It is from that principle of worship, derived from the Scripture, that we deduce what is acceptable and unacceptable in the public worship of God in our churches. Central to the theology of worship set forth by the LBC is the belief that all true Christian worship is to be from the heart by faith. The regulative principle of worship delineates how we worship from the heart by faith…”

These words are taken from the introduction of A Position Paper Concerning the Regulative Principle of Worship: A Report by the Theology Committee of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (formally approved by the General Assembly, March 8, 2001). To continue reading, go to the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America website and select the article listed as “Regulative Principle of Worship.”