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church-of-the-redeemer-cross-candle-bibleWhat about all of the other items not covered by command, example, or principle? Such as the chairs, the pews, the air-conditioning, and the building itself?

These “other items” not addressed by the command, example, or principle of Scripture are called “circumstances.” Since the days of John Calvin Christians have understood the importance of these items to worship while unashamedly admitting they are not prescribed for us in Scripture. This is not to say that Scripture is incomplete or an untrustworthy guide for worship. It only means that Scripture gives us the elements which must be present for acceptable worship to God but not the circumstances which aid but are not essential to worship. These circumstances are given through God’s gift of common sense. This is what the authors of the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Second London Confession of Faith, and the Philadelphia Confession of Faith all recognized with this exact wording, “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.” (Chapter 1, Paragraph 6)

So yes, keep the chairs, the pews, the air-conditioning, and the building itself!

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