The exterior implications of reformed theology are a new revelation to me. I have not been REFORMED reformed for very long. (I have accept the doctrines of grace for some time now, to some that would classify me as reformed, but that is not so.) These new ways of looking at, well, everything is quite a burden on me. First, because there is so much to read, evaluate, and understand. Two, we have fallen so far away from the attainments of our spiritual forefathers.
The issue of pride has come into my mind much now, due to these revelations. Not just my pride, but the pride in worship. The churches of our day seem to be breeding grounds for this sin. For instance, the charismatic churches emphasis on the external reactions of a “spirit filled” believer is quite intense, and due to the fact that most of these “spiritual gifts” produced by them are actually produced by the flesh. This gives the fleshly (which we all are to some degree, being wrapped in the flesh) the opportunity to gain the attention they desire. One act of babbling gains the attention of the whole congregation and now they're a prophet! One vague prediction of the future (which must be vague in order to somewhat come to fruition) and suddenly they have the appearance of being more in tune with God then the rest! This, I believe, is one of the reasons why this obvious fallacious so-called sign-gift is still accepted in these charismatic churches. The ego of the “prophet”.
The rest of us non-charismatics, us cessationists, are not free from this folly however.
The churches of our day love their professional singers, their celebrity pastors, and their worldly means of impressing the lost world. These may seem like problems that effect only the modern evangelical churches, yet, the reformed love their choirs and priestly garb.
There are women (and men), I've noticed, who love to make much of themselves in worship, who love the stage, love the attention, they love to raise her voice above the rest of the congregation that we all might adore there vocal performances. What can we say if we reject the regulative principle? Not much at all. What can we say about the priest who “make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long,"(Matthew 23:5), nothing really. Yet, these things, many of them, have been done away with the Levitical priesthood.
Look, we can never totally erratic ate sin in the church. Discipline will always be necessary and some things are just not clear enough to make judgments on. We don't know people. We don't know their hearts or why they do the things they do. However, if we don't take advantage of the biblical and historical models set before us, how can we even begin to strive for purification in our churches?