Immanuel Chapel, Dayton TN – RPCNA

From the church website:church-sign-2

Who we are
Immanuel Chapel is a ministry of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America – a Bible-believing, Christ-centered Reformed and Presbyterian denomination with a heritage that goes back to 1798 in America and even further back in Scotland, with roots in the Scottish Reformation (John Knox) and later the “Covenanter” (a term used to identify the Scottish Presbyterians) era, in the latter 1600s, the Protestant church of Geneva Switzerland of the 1500s, and ultimately from the apostles of Jesus Christ as ordained and set forth in the New Testament. See the website for more information. As a group, we have been meeting together since 2011.

We are under the oversight of the Southern Church Extension Committee of the Presbytery of the Great Lakes-Gulf of the RPCNA.

Rev. HP McCracken, Chair.

Dr. Kevin L. Clauson
Phone: (423) 775-8852 or (434) 444-0344

We meet at the Dayton Community Chapel, 184 Mulberry Ave, Dayton, TN 37321. This is on Hwy 30 east of Hwy 27, second road on the right after the old entrance to Bryan College.

184 Mulberry Ave, Dayton, TN 37321


Reformation Church of Blue Bell, PA (RCUS)

Adding Reformation Church of Blue Bell, PA to the directory. The church is a member of the Reformed Church in the United States (RCUS) and it sings predominantly Psalms. This church would be a good one to add to your contacts if you are traveling in the area.

From their website:

We cordially invite you to join us for worship or at our regular mid-week meeting

1215 Union Meeting Rd
Blue Bell, PA 19422

Morning Service

Morning worship begins at 10:00am

Evening Service

Evening worship begins at 4:00pm

Mid-week Meeting

7:00 p.m. Wednesdays at the church

Our Worship

Worship of the Triune God is central to the practice of a true, living faith. Serving God in worship is so serious that the Christian may not exempt himself from meeting with the God of his deliverance together with the congregation once called through the officers of the church. The operations of the church are all to be done decently and in good order and, much more, the elements and ordering of corporate worship (liturgy) are to be done in accordance with God’s Word, the Bible. The elements of worship include the reading and preaching of the Word, confession of sins, prayers of adoration and supplication, Psalm singing, baptism and the Lord’s Supper and various acts of covenant renewal (as defined by Scripture). Worship is covenantal dialogue between God and the congregation; that is, God speaks and His people respond accordingly. It is both a joyful privilege and a solemn obligation to come before our loving Father and Almighty God. It is not an interaction between equals and the congregation must give vigorous attention to the acts of liturgy. Any concession to novelty—no matter how sincere — or being entertained or being merely a spectator has no place in Christian worship.

Reformation church sings out of the “Book of Praise,” an Anglo-Genevan Psalter. This Psalter contains all 150 Psalms set to music, as well as 65 Hymns. Visitors may find extra copies of these Psalters in the cupboard immediately to the right when entering through the main front door.

To assist in following along with the liturgy of the worship service, “bulletins” for both Lord’s Day services can be found immediately to the left when entering through the front door of the auditorium. These bulletins include the prayers that the congregation reads out loud and indicate when the congregation stands and sits at various points throughout the worship service.

Reformation church celebrates communion once each month in the afternoon service. Visitors from sister congregations, if desiring to participate in the celebration, must provide a written attestation of being a member in good standing from the officers of their home congregations to an officer of Reformation church prior to the worship service (preferably, prior to the Sunday they visit).

“A Most Important Text” by Rowan Murphy

IMG_3964A Most Important Text by Rowan Murphy is available here (for Europe here).

I received a copy this week for review. This work is a good reminder of the role of Scripture in worship. Murphy structures this pamphlet around his central text, 2 Timothy 3:16-17,

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Murphy begins by discussing two reformations that are recorded in God’s Word, that of King Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29:30) and King Josiah (2 Kings 22-23). These reformations are of worship and the things pertaining to worship, and so they are rightly compared to the presumptuous worship of Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1-2). Murphy says, “this passage should cause us all to examine our doctrines and practices, and in particular, our offerings of worship. Is every single element of your offerings of worship definitively and specifically commanded in Scripture? Is it fire from heaven? Is it directly according to His commands, and of His wisdom, and so defined by Him as to contain only what He has specifically called for?” I appreciate this direct challenge to me and to all who worship God. May we issue this same challenge to our dear friends and loved ones who have been distracted by modern theories of worship. May we call them back to a worship that is regulated by God’s Word.

Amazingly, the modern church rarely even acknowledges this clear Biblical warning that reveals just how much God cares about the way we worship Him. But the problem extends beyond worship, as Murphy notes, because 2 Timothy 3:16-17 also applies to “every good work”. The Bible is then sufficient to direct our preaching, our marriages, our families, and to show us how to love our neighbor. Worship, though severely neglected, is but a part of the eternal wisdom that is given to us in the Word of God.

On a personal level, this particular line of reasoning, that the Scriptures are sufficient for worship, was the final convincing argument that won me over to Exclusive Psalmody. I am reminded here of the central place that this “most important text” should have, to show us in part that the Psalms are sufficient for our worship. This argument is presented as a pamphlet, so the only negative is that it’s very brief. Readers may be left with additional questions about the details of how to structure worship with only the Bible as a source or perhaps some counterarguments might be left unanswered. The particulars, of course, can be found in an abundance of resources that are available in defense of EP, but perhaps the author will expand in future editions.

Though short, this work provides us with a direct reminder that we need not look beyond the Word of God for direction in worship. Certainly the inspired Psalms are superior in every possible way to the uninspired poems of mere men, and of this wonderful truth we can’t be reminded often enough.


Rowan Murphy is a member of Arann Reformed Baptist Church, which is an exclusive psalmody church in Dublin pastored by Mark Fitzpatrick. More information can be found on their Youtube page and on Sermonaudio

Do We Sing Jesus Christ’s Name in the Psalter?

Do We Sing Jesus Christ’s Name in the Psalter? Rev. Travis Fentiman of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) has posted a very thorough article to answer the question.

An impressive list of online Psalters…

Travis Fentiman of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) has compiled an impressive list of 56 [and growing] online Psalters at Reformed Books Online.

New addition to the site: Heart and Voice, Instrumental Music in Christian Worship not Divinely Authorized by James Glasgow, 1873

I found a great review of this book from The Original Secession Magazine January 1873-1874, Vol XI, Publisher J. Maclaren, p 387-388 and there is historical context provided below as well. As you will see, the students in the church were gradually carried along to reject a cappella singing. “Most of the students sympathized with the party of liberty, which, year by year, grew stronger as these young men were licensed and ordained.” It was in this context that Glasgow wrote Heart and Voice.

Heart and Voice: Instrumental Music in Christian Worship not Divinely Authorized” By James Glasgow, D.D., Irish General Assembly’s Professor of Oriental Languages. Belfast: C. Aitchison.

“This is a learned and laborious work. Indeed, from the amount of textual criticism it contains, we fear that superficial readers will be disposed to vote it dry. They may insinuate, too, as one critic of the book whose notice we have seen actually does, that so much digging about Hebrew and Greek roots is not productive enough to repay the labour. But the ready and sufficient answer to such shallow and flippant animadversions is, that the real teaching of Scripture on any subject can only be ascertained by a critical investigation of its meaning; and that, particularly, when the advocates of instrumental music betake themselves to the original text of Scripture, and profess to find an unanswerable argument for the organ in the meaning of this and that Hebrew and Greek word, it becomes absolutely necessary to follow them there, and to shew that their philological argument is as baseless as any and every other argument they employ.

The learned professor does all this, and more. Anxious to get to the very bottom of this important and recently much-debated question, he goes through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and subjects to a thorough critical examination every passage which bears, or may be supposed to bear, on the subject of instrumental music. Then, gathering up and summarizing the results, he makes it plain beyond all reasonable question that, while instrumental music was sanctioned under the Davidic dispensation, and in connection with the ritual and symbolic worship of the temple, the whole testimony of Scripture combines to shew that it is no part of moral-natural worship, that it passed away with the old ceremonial system of which (for a time) it formed a part, and that it is simple Judaism to attempt to re-introduce it into the spiritual worship of the gospel day. In the concluding chapters, he reviews and refutes the leading arguments for the use of instruments in public worship; states some subordinate objections to it; and gives a very valuable summary of opinions against it, from the testimonies of the early Fathers and of the Reformers down to those of recent writers on the subject.

On the whole, this is not a book to gallop through at a sitting. Nor is it a book which critics of the calibre who think it enough to ask you, “Does not David say, ‘Praise the Lord with a harp'”? are capable of judging. But all who are competent to follow the author through his inductive investigation of the teaching of Scripture on the subject, and who are prepared to accept of Scripture as the sole and sufficient rule of worship as well as of faith and morality, will rise from its perusal, feeling that he has proved the use of organs in the public praise of a Christian congregation to be as purely a piece of will-worship as the incense and the images of Romanism.”


The sad historical context of the book is found in A History of the Irish Presbyterians by William Thomas Latimer:

“The growth of an emotional form of worship in the Irish Presbyterian Church was now exhibited by the introduction of instrumental music to the public services of the sanctuary in some town congregations which boasted of their culture. This matter came before the Assembly in 1868, by a reference from the Synod of Armagh and Monaghan regarding the use of a harmonium in the congregation of Enniskillen.

Presbyterianism had, at one time, been strong in County Fermanagh. Under Captain M’Carmick and the Rev. Robert Kelso, a movement was originated by the leading Presbyterians which saved Enniskillen from King James, and rendered it possible to defend Londonderry. Burdy, in his life of Skelton, admits that in the middle of the next century Presbyterians were still a substantial body in County Fermanagh; but the Synod failed to establish a number of churches sufficient for their accommodation, and they were gradually absorbed by Episcopacy. Even when a revival came, it was Methodism which annexed that district. From 1837 the Rev. Alexander Cooper Maclatchy had been in charge of our Enniskillen congregation, and being somewhat Episcopal in his tendencies, he introduced a harmonium to improve the congregational psalmody. Mr. Maclatchy’s action was opposed in Presbytery, Synod and Assembly, by the Rev. James Gardner Robb, an exceedingly ready and logical debate. When this matter came before the Assembly in 1868, it was proposed to refer it to a commission, but an amendment of Dr. Cooke was carried to the effect, that ” the common law” of the Church excluded the use of instrumental music in the public worship of God, and that Presbyteries should be instructed to see that congregations conform to this ” law.”

The injunction was disobeyed, and, as an excuse for their disobedience, the “liberty” party asserted that no “law” had been passed by the Assembly, either then or previously, which prohibited an instrumental aid from being employed in the congregational psalmody. Thus the controversy was continued. Year by year resolutions were passed by the Assembly ordering disobedient congregations to abstain from using instruments in the service of the Sanctuary; but these resolutions were disregarded, and the “purity” party, although able to carry prohibitions, were unable to induce the Church to punish those who disobeyed her orders.

In these debates and in the war of pamphlets and newspaper articles, the Revs. Dr. William Dool Killers, John Macnaughtan, Henry Wallace, Dr. Robert Watts, Dr. H. B. Wilson, Dr. Thomas Y. Killen, and Dr. R. Workman, were among those who advocated the principle of permitting congregations to introduce an instrumental accompaniment in the service of praise; while the Revs. Dr. Nathaniel M. Brown, Dr. Corkey, Dr. Glasgow,* Dr. John Kinnear, George Magill, Dr. Petticrew, Dr. Robb, Dr. Robinson, and Dr. James Maxwell Rogers, advocated the principles of purity in the worship of God, and obedience to the injunctions of the Assembly. The great majority of elders were on the same side, but Mr. Thomas Sinclair lent his powerful aid to those who advocated what they termed “liberty.” Most of the students sympathized with the party of liberty, which, year by year, grew stronger as these young men were licensed and ordained.

When the purity party had a majority in the Assembly, they might have easily passed a law, with penalties annexed, prohibiting any congregation from employing an “instrument” except for the defined purpose of aiding the congregational psalmody, and only when sanctioned by a very large majority of voters. But the opportunity was neglected, and “instruments” are now introduced by “Sessions” when often there is a considerable proportion of the people against the innovation.

When Dr. Johnston was moderator, he carried a resolution pledging the Assembly, in 1873, to pass no law on the question, and binding the congregations which employed instrumental music to give up its use. But this resolution failed to settle the matter in dispute. Several of the offending ministers denied that they had entered into any agreement, and they continued to defy the authority of the Assembly.”

* Rev. James Glasgow, D.D., appointed Missionary to India in 1840, and Assembly’s Professor of Oriental languages in 1865, died in 1890. Dr. Glasgow was modest, kind-hearted, and possessed of great learning.

Is God jealous in the matters of his worship? Yes

From Matthew Henry’s A Scripture Catechism in the Method of the Assembly’s 

Matthew henryQ. 52. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment, are God’s sovereignty over us, his property in us, and the zeal he has to his own worship.

1. Is there good reason why we should take heed of idolatry? Yes: Turn ye not to idols, neither make to yourselves molten gods, I am the Lord your God, Lev. 19:4. Has God a sovereignty over us? Yes: for he is a great God, and a great King above all gods, Ps. 95:3. Ought we therefore to worship him, as he has appointed us? Yes: O come let us worship, and bow down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker, Ps. 95:6. And not to worship idols? Yes: for they can do neither good nor evil, Isa. 41:23.

2. Has God a property in us? Yes: for we are the people of his pasture, Ps. 95:7. Ought we therefore to worship him? Yes: He is thy Lord, and worship thou him, Ps. 45:11. And not to worship other gods? Yes: for hath a nation changed their gods? Jer. 2:11.

3. Is God jealous in the matters of his worship? Yes: The Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God, Exod. 34:14. Is he much displeased with those who corrupt it? Yes: They provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities, 1 Kings 16:13. Do those who do so hate him? Yes: Idolaters are haters of God, Rom. 1:25, 30. Will he visit their iniquity? Yes: In the day m when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them, Exod. 32:34. Will he visit it upon the children? Yes: Our fathers sinned, and are not, and we have borne their iniquities, Lam. 5:7. And is it just with him to do so? Yes: for they are the children of whoredoms, Hos. 2:4. But will he visit it for ever? No: but to the third and fourth generation, Exod. 34:7.

4. Will those who love God keep his commandments? Yes: If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, John 15:10. Will he show mercy to such? Yes: for he hath said, I love them that love me, Prov. 8:17. Will he show mercy to thousands of such ? Yes: for the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, Ps. 103:17.