While I’m on the Reformation, I’d just like to make a comment about worship music in general.
Channeling some of what James Jordan has pointed out in the past: you can probably identify some of the most potent practices in the church by following how they get distorted or marginalized in the history of the church, repeatedly pushed aside by the devil so that God’s people are not in full strength.
One example of this is congregational singing. This is one of the hallmarks of the Reformation: the people of God singing the praises of God together loudly.
The captivity of the Roman church had included a perverse professionalism that relegated all the most important stuff to the front of the church where only the special people could handle the “holy stuff.” Thus, the liturgy was done almost entirely by the pastor and a deacon or two or maybe a highly trained choir while the congregation watched and listened. Frequently the clergy were the only ones who actually partook of the sacraments, and if anybody actually understood the Latin Mass, it would have been a few of them. The Roman church had effectively passed a weapons ban on the people of God and locked all the most effective assault weapons of the Spirit in a vault in the front of the church where they were occasionally taken out of the case and lifted up for everyone to look at and pray to.
When the Reformers busted out of the Roman prison, they ransacked the altar area of the church and gave all the weapons that the priests had been hiding up there back to the soldiers of God: normal men, women, and children. They opened the word of God by putting it back into the language of the people, they gave all professing Christians the sacraments (both bread and wine), and they put the war-psalms of David back into the mouths of the army of Jesus, His saints. Continue Reading…