I understand most professing Christians that are a proponent of livestreaming will disagree with me. But I’m not trying to change their minds, nor will I argue with them on social media. If it’s God’s will, He will change their minds. And if I’m wrong, then perhaps He’ll change mine. If you disagree with me, that is fine we can agree to disagree on this matter. I am not legislating my conviction upon others. I’m simply using this platform to push back, saying enough is enough, as I go on record here being an opponent of livestreaming services. Take note, that I am not saying livestreaming is a sin, but I am saying that forsaking the gathering of the saints is sin.
We live in a time when so many professing Christians feel it necessary to share their liberties online, but where are their convictions? Nonetheless, it is my personal opinion, conviction, and matter of conscience that Churches who livestream their services perhaps are unknowingly and unintentionally;
- Being contrary to the Biblical elements of public worship.
- Enabling people to stay at home (“pandemic” or not).
- Enabling fear and/or cowardness.
- Enabling others to violate the Fourth Commandment (to keep the Lord’s Day Holy).
- Going against what the Scriptures command (Heb 10:25).
- Going against a regulative principle of worship (more on that below).
- Being contra confessional.
- Being heterodox rather than orthodox.
- Undermining what orthodox non-livestreaming churches are attempting to accomplish or maintain.
Back to the aforementioned regulative principle of worship (RPW), and the confession.
I’m aware that there are different views, interpretations, or applications of what an RPW is, and is not. There are the required elements of worship and the tolerated circumstances of worship. There’s a narrow definition and a broader definition, or even a loose interpretation. Nonetheless, I hold to a conservative (or strict) view of what an RPW is. To better help us understand the differences between elements of worship and circumstances of worship, please first read this short post here.
If you’ve have read it, please read on.
It is my opinion that livestreaming a worship service is contrary to a regulative principle of worship, and is contra confessional. That it is neither a required element of worship, nor a necessary circumstance of worship, but rather, it is more like pragmatism, or a pragmatic way of reinventing worship. And it’s more harmful than helpful.
I have seen professing Christian’s post on Facebook that they are satisfied and content with watching livestreamed services, and therefore they have no need to fellowship with their local church body. And worse, some of them are being fed online by electronic messages contrary to the messages (or doctrines) preached by their own human pastors. We should not allow our electronic gadgets be an alternative or substitute for Biblical fellowship, and we should never make a habit out of it.
My position is certainly a minority opinion, even amongst our reformed brethren. But if I’m in err, then as another said “it is better to err on the side of interruptive restraint, rather than interpretive excess.”
Lastly, please read the below position paper ‘A Position Paper Concerning the Regulative Principle of Worship,’ by the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches. Though it was not written in the context of livestreaming, we can certainly apply it to livestreaming.
Grace, peace, and love to you.
A Position Paper Concerning the Regulative Principle of Worship, by ARBCA
Click here https://www.arbca.com/regulative-principle