Mark Driscoll taught a lesson answering this question: “Do you believe that the Scriptures not only regulate our theology but also our methodology? In other words, do you believe in the regulative principle? If so, to what degree?
Normative principle (Do things you want until the Scripture says no):
a. Sees the bible as principles and gives flexibility for methods.
b. Allows cultural contextualization
c. It treats gathered and scattered worship the same – same set of rules for life. When you live throughout the week you live by the normative principle (brushing teeth, wearing pants, driving cars – We don’t live at home saying I can’t do that unless the bible says so)
a. It can go too far and allow to pagan syncretism
b. It can make our enjoyment and not God’s pleasure the object of our worship
c. It can elevate unbiblical elements to the point where they squeeze out biblical elements
Regulative principle (Do not do something until there is Scriptural warrant to do so):
a. It seeks to define worship by God and his Word
b. It tries to honor the Bible and hold it in high esteem
c. It draws a ditch between the world and the church keeping out syncretism, worldineess and paganism out.
a. It separates gathered and scattered worship flipping the switch as soon as you gather as if Jesus is not Lord over all of your life – that is very peculiar
b. It’s not sufficient – it doesn’t answer the questions about announcements, technology, and seating.
c. It becomes legalistically applied making goofy rules sometimes with extreme applications that are not in the bible (like no instruments or like Psalms only worship)
Mark Driscoll says he does both.
Missional worship principle: “All of Christian life is ceaseless worship of God the Father, through the mediatorship of God the Son by the indwelling power of God the Spirit, doing what God commands in Scripture, not doing what God forbids in Scripture, in culturally contextualized ways for the furtherance of the gospel when both gathered for adoration and scattered for action in joyous response to God’s glorious grace.” (worship as we perceive it biblically at Mars Hill Church)
I’ll post some of my thoughts later on.