03 December, 2014


The Puritan/Presbyterian wing of the Reformation accomplished a purity 
in worship not seen since the apostolic church. This purity was attained 
by making the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments the only infallible 
standard and authority in determining worship ordinances. Any ordinances 
solely based on church tradition or man's authority were discarded. 
However, this purity attained by our spiritual forefathers has, with 
the passage of time, been cast aside. Pragmatism, tradition and human 
opinion are exalted in determining how God's people are to worship 
Him. The attitude among many in church leadership positions is to 
give the people what they want, rather than to submit to God's divine 

The purpose of this booklet is to show that God does not leave it 
up to man to make up his own rules regarding worship. Christians are 
to learn and submit to what God says in this area. The first part 
of this booklet discusses the "regulative principle" of Scripture 
and worship. God has set down in Scripture how He is to be worshipped. 
Man is not to add to or detract from what God says. The second part 
of the booklet examines the keeping of Christmas. Christmas is a good 
example of how many people violate this regulative principle of worship. 
It is celebrated almost universally, even by those who claim to adhere 
to the regulative principle.


The Regulative Principle

The Regulative Principle of Scripture - Sola Scriptura

Because of man's sinful nature, God's covenant people often stray 
from the truth. Men often pervert true religion by eliminating elements 
in it they find unpleasant. They also pervert it by adding their own 
ideas to it. This very tendency to corrupt true religion, by addition 
or subtraction, is why God warned Israel not to add to or subtract 
from His Word. "Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes 
and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye 
may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your 
fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command 
you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the 
commandments of the LORD your God which I command you" (Deut. 

This passage of Scripture, and others like it, forms the basis for 
the Protestant reformers' doctrine of sola Scriptura. That is to say, 
the Bible alone is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. 
"The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own 
glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, 
or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: 
unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations 
of the Spirit, or traditions of men . . . and that there are some 
circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, 
common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light 
of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, 
which are always to be observed."1 Therefore, everything that man does is to 
be based on either the explicit commands of Scripture, deduced by good and 
necessary consequence (e.g., historical example,2 implication, etc.) 
or, if circumstantial, to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, 
according to the general rules of the Word (e.g., time or place to meet, etc.). 
Moses' command in Deuteronomy 4:2 is God's regulative principle, in a broad 
sense. Man's ultimate authority and blueprint for life is revealed in the Bible.

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