The Pen

What is the Regulative Principle of Worship?

Smoke machines. Laser shows. Strobe lights. Confetti canons. Easter egg helicopter drops. Welcome to church in evangelical America.

Long gone are the days of hymnbooks stacked in wooden pews, a single pianist or pipe organ, and the blinds pulled open on Lord’s Day morning. Did the people back then worship in such a simple way because they simply didn’t have access to such things, or was it an intentional matter of theology for them? Historic Protestantism has always – in fact – denounced the necessity of ornated aesthetics, intricate stained glass, and the “smells and bells” of the Roman or Greek priestcraft. Even the simple design of the traditional American church meeting house speaks to an undergirding theological premise.

That premise is called the “Regulative Principle of Worship.” This clip is from Sam Waldron, explaining the concept. And while it will seem boring at first, we assure you, if you understand the importance of the Regulative Principle and why it is the most Biblical understanding of worship, it will change your life and church forever. Please watch.