A Brief History of the Covenanters and Psalm Singing
（義大利文 a cappella 直譯為英語是 in chapel, 意思是「在聖堂」）
關於「唯頌詩篇」 （EP: Exclusive Psalmody）在改革宗大家庭中持不同意見的雙方，有極為精彩的論述，請參考：「唯頌詩篇」－鼓勵和保存合乎聖經的敬拜（Exclusive Psalmody－For the Encouragement and Preservation of Biblical Worship ）。
On Public Worship
by Pastor John Sawtelle
An all too common mistake that Christians make in their thinking about public worship is to imagine that what they themselves find edifying must also be pleasing to God, as long as such worship is offered to God with sincerity and passion. The 16th century Protestant Reformed pastor and theologian, John Calvin, made a similar observation about much of what was passed off as Christian worship in his day when he said,
“I know how difficult it is to persuade the world that God disapproves of all modes of worship not expressly sanctioned by His Word. The opposite persuasion which cleaves to them, being seated, as it were, in their very bones and marrow, is, that whatever they do has in itself a sufficient sanction, provided it exhibits some kind of zeal for the honor of God.” – Necessity of Reforming the Church
Instead of such worship being honoring to God, Calvin candidly stated that it was “vain” and was nothing other than what the apostle condemned as “will worship” (Colossians 2:23). The question is, how could that assessment be described as fair or even charitable, after all, aren’t sincerity and zeal the most important characteristics of worship?
Without discounting the importance of heartfelt sincerity, the standard of worship expressed in Scripture prioritizes proper form above all other considerations. That is why the Reformed churches have confessed what is known as the Regulative Principle of Worship for the past several hundred years. Simply put, this principle of worship says that God may be worshiped in no other way than he has commanded in His word(Heidelberg Catechism Q & A 96). In contrast to most all of the contemporary churches, including Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, and Evangelicals, which all agree in principle that Christians are free to worship God in any way that they desire as long as it is not forbidden by Scripture, the Reformed have insisted that we may only do in worship what God expressly commands. Hardly a moment of reflection is required in order to isolate the basic difference in principle between these two contrasting views of worship. On the one hand, the Reformed maintain that Scripture teaches that the true worship of God consists only of what God has commanded in Scripture, while on the other hand, the opposite principle of worship is that the church may worship in any way not expressly forbidden by God in Scripture. In other words, one says “do only what God has commanded” and the other says “just do it unless God said not to.” Clearly, these two perspectives on worship are completely opposite in principle.
聖經所表明的敬拜標準，不是要把衷心誠意打折扣，而是把敬拜合宜的形式放在首要的位置。這就是改革宗的教會，幾百年以來，一直堅信所謂的「敬拜的規範原則」(RPW-Regulative Principle of Worship)。簡言之，此敬拜原則是說：除了神的話所命令的，不能用任何其他方法來敬拜神（海德堡要理問答，第96問）。當代大多數的教會，包括：羅馬天主教、英國國教、路德宗和福音派，都同意在原則上，只要聖經沒有禁止，基督徒可以按照自己的意思自由地敬拜神。改革宗教會則與此相反，向來堅持只有神所命令的，才能在敬拜中行使。幾乎不需費時，就可以把這兩個相對的敬拜觀點，不同的基本原則區分出來。一方面，改革宗秉持聖經教導，真正的敬拜神只限於神在聖經中所命令的；而另一方面，相對立的敬拜原則則是，教會可用任何形式來敬拜神，只要是神在聖經中沒有明白禁止的。換言之，一方說「只做神所命令的」；另一方說「做吧！除非神禁止」。清楚的是，兩種敬拜的觀點在原則上實是南轅北轍。
Beyond being opposite in principle, these two views are distinguished from each other in another way: one is clearly taught in Scripture and the other is not. Careful study of God’s word shows that it is impossible to find any Biblical support for the idea that God is pleased with worship which He has not commanded. Instead of teaching that the church is free to worship as it pleases, the Bible repeatedly teaches that God is properly worshiped only in accordance with divine commands (Deut. 12:28-32; Lev. 10:3; Matt. 15:7-8; Col. 2:16-23). Furthermore, Scripture records many examples of God expressly judging and condemning worship which He did not command, even though such worship was apparently offered in all sincerity (Genesis 4:1-5; Lev. 10:1-3; 1 Samuel 15:10-23; 2 Samuel 6:1-7).
Since we subscribe to this Regulative Principle of Worship, our aim is to insure that in worship practices conform to Biblical commands. The result of seeking to maintain faithfulness to God and His word is that our worship looks and feels much different than most other churches around us. In our praises, instead of using hymns and songs made by men, we use only the inspired Psalms and Songs composed under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit which are found in Scripture; and in the place of organs, pianos, or guitars and drums, we make melody with our hearts and mouths singing without any musical accompaniment at all (Ephesians 5:19).
Furthermore, rather than fostering a casual, entertainment oriented atmosphere which seeks to please men, we aim to cultivate an atmosphere of reverence and awe which is fitting for worship in the presence of the living God (Heb. 12:28-29). These distinct worship practices are not rooted in a desire to be intentionally different from other churches, or to carve out a market niche, or even to be traditional or “conservative” as opposed to being “contemporary;” rather, they represent a conscious effort to only do in our worship what we find commanded in Scripture. The great blessing of worshiping God in the way He prescribes in His word is that God’s people are edified, and above all, the church has the joyful confidence of knowing that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are actually glorified by its worship.