A discussion of music (outside of the worship)June 10 2006 at 12:02 AM
|Mark F (Login markfl)|
from IP address 188.8.131.52
Instrumental Music for God IS sinful: the bible Tells me so.
Instrumental Music in Worship. people have stolen the worship word to make it listening to self-speak preachers, singers and instrument players.
As a seeker of God's truths, I always have questions. Now, I want to be clear about the question that I am posing. I am not talking about instrumental music in the worship, I am talking about our every day lives outside of the corporate worship.
Can instrumental music contain a postive reference to God? For example, when I was younger, I enjoyed the Garth Brooks song "Unanswered Prayers." The chorus says;
Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remeber when you're talking to the Man upstairs
That just because he may not answer doesn't mean he don't care
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers
O.K., If you anwer yes, music can contain a positive reference to God, then when does the music become "wrong?" Is it when we begin to address God directly in the lyrics?
On the other hand if you answer no, to mention God at all and use an instrument is wrong, then is music inheritly evil?
Am I treating this too simply?
|This message has been edited by Ken.Sublett from IP address 184.108.40.206 on Jul 25, 2013 12:47 PM|
Outside of the Assembly for Exhortation and Teaching
|June 10 2006, 11:05 AM |
First, I would like to point out that the assembly of the saints is NOT about MUSICAL WORSHIPthe postmodern thinking that has become pervasive in todays religious culture. Rather, it is about commemorating the suffering and death of our Savior; it is about exhortation, teaching and admonishing one another, letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly (Acts 11:26; Acts 20:7; Heb. 10:25; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16).
And outside of the assembly!?! Hmmm! There are positive aspects that can be learned out there. I listen to Rush Limbaugh and other conservative political commentators[Oops
now you know Im a right-winger
and notice the word right ]but I also listen to find out about many of the ludicrous liberal viewpoints, both in politics and in religion. (O.K. enough of politics to point out that we have our choices between the positive and the negative.)
On my way to and from work, I listen to BBN (Bible Broadcasting Network), which I believe is Baptist-affiliated. The network does play both instrumental and a cappella music, but not Contemporary Christian Rock Music. I find out easily how much I miss the great hymns of decades and centuries past. I also know the instruments do nothing for me whatsoeverin fact, they hinder and obstruct. BTW, Mark, and this is just my personal view that I prefer references to our heavenly Father with reverence in hymns to those in other music categories.
Instruments can do no wrong for themselves in and out of the assembly of the saints. After all, theyre inanimate objects, right?
Re: Outside of the Assembly for Exhortation and Teaching
|June 10 2006, 12:00 PM |
Dear Bro. Donnie,
I appreciate your response to the qustion.I am
glad that there are some members of the churches
of Christ who view this particular issue this way.
I think it is a healthy viewpoint. Maybe why I have
such a hard time with the curches of Christ is because
some members are so fanatical about instrumental music
with reference to God. When I was a young teenager I
remember a time that an elder took several of us in
the youth group to hear an evangelist 80 miles away.
On the car ride over there I noticed a Jim Nabors
cassette tape of gospel music, A friend of mine said
'hey can we listen to the tape ?' The elders response
was, and I am not making this up, Where two or three
are gathered together, there am I also'. And since there
were four of us in his car he considered it a sin to
listen to a casette tape that had instrumental music.
My friend who is pretty smart aksed the elder if he would
like to hear a parable like what Jesus taught in the bible.
The elder said yes and this is the parable:
"Once there was a man who was single and wanted so much to
have female compaionship. One Thursday evening he went to
the movies and then to a coffeshop afterwards. The place was
full put a pretty lady offered to share a table with him.
The hours seemed like minutes as they had so much in common
including spiritual values. At daybreak there were still in
the coffeshop but he was getting late for work and had to leave
abrutly. He forgot to get her phone number. All day long he
was thinking about her but he didn't know how to find her. He
thought, 'well if I go to the same coffee shop maybe she will
be there. Sure enough she was there. They both knew they were
meant for each other and wanted to get married that day and
a quick weekend honeymoon trip afterwards.
The following Monday the man went to work and was excited to
come home and see his new wife. He bought flowers and candy
to bring home to her. She spent all day cooking a delicious
meal for him. When he came home he was so happy. He then turned
on a radio to a music station that played romantic songs.
She then went berserk. "Don't ever play instrumental music in
this house when you are making refernce to me. I love to hear
you tell me that you love me but not while there is instrumental
music going on while you make refernce to me. You can play music
outside the house when you make refernce to me but not while we
are inside the house. " The man thought he married a crazy woman.
You see God is not a schizophrenic God who listens to instumental
music in the Old Testament times, then, goes a period of time
without instrumental music, the when we get to heaven have
instumental music back again. No if he accepts instrumental music
he does not change, but he is the same person age to age.
I thought the parable by my friend was very interesting.
|Dr. Bill Crump|
Re: Outside of the Assembly for Exhortation and Teaching
|June 10 2006, 2:31 PM |
So after the c of C elder heard the parable, did he go back to his church and tell everybody to start using instrumental music in congregational worship? The parable is really a pitch for using instrumental music in worship, is it not? Be reminded that God is not a person just like you and I, but He is Spirit, and His ways are not our ways (Isa. 55:8). Therefore, we cannot transfer our thoughts and preferences onto Him. God does not change His principles (Mal. 3:6), but He did "change" from the Mosaic Law to the Law of Christ (planned from the foundation of the world, however), the latter of which only authorizes vocal music in worship (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16). Why is this? That is for God to know and for Christians to obey. God does not tell us everything in His mind.
When I was a student at David Lipscomb (then) College in the late 60s, one of my Bible professors was Leo Snow. The course was titled "Worship." During the discussion about music in worship, one student (not I) wanted to know what Snow thought about singing hymns with instrumental accompaniment at family gatherings and places outside of the congregational worship. Snow, a very quiet and gentle man, simply stated that if he was in attendance and a group started to sing hymns while someone played an instrument, then he would not sing, for he was of the conviction that when we sing hymns and praises to God anywhere, then we are worshiping Him. And to Snow, vocal music in praise to God was to be offered a cappella. Neither a Pharisee nor a legalist, Snow simply stated his convictions based on New Testament principles. He did not go beyond the limits of Scripture, unlike too many today, who have a penchant for doing just that.
|June 10 2006, 3:28 PM |
The missed point is that the ekklesia is a synagogue is a "school of the Bible." One does not need a direct command NOT to play an instrument when God is speaking through HIS word when we speak "that which is written" using ONE MIND and ONE MOUTH to educate, glorify God and KEEP THE UNITY.
That is why you cannot even HALLUCINATE "music" in the spiritual worship of a Spirit God throughout the Bible. The word SPEAK as in the "ekklesia" is defined as "in a whisper or conversatonal tone." Another word for speak means SPEAK which is the OPPOSITE of Music. The "music" word always pointed to the worship of Apollo who is the Abaddon or Apollyon of Revelation and the MUSES were his "team" called LOCUSTS.
Most of us have been taught "a law of singing" which is not Paul's message: we know for a historical fact that SINGING as an ACT in the assembly began about the year 373 to combat heretics using singing OUTSIDE of the assembly to teach the heresy of Arius and others. Most false teaching was OUTSIDE of the assembly as the Arians marched through the streets. They focused on teaching even sailors so that they went into all the world denying the Deity of Jesus Christ.
Not even the Catholics engaged in "congregational singing with instrumental accompaniment." So, we are looking at a latter day heresy.
Now, since you are not holding CLASSES I don't see the problem with singing hymns: I have watched it at social gatherings all of my life. Guitar etal. I still listen to the MIDI versions of the Psalms which are MUCH LESS destructive to the emotions than "a capella" (ala pope's castratos) with a highly-honed COMPLEX harmony which ONLY churches of Christ can do to perfection and to its own destruction.
That said, too many of the AUTHORIZED songs violate the direct command which the Restoration Movement BROKE as they removed from the Presbyterians who had always been PSALM SINGERS ONLY. Almost without exception CCM has a Voodoo beat and teaching false doctrine. It would dangerous to listen to them with or without instruments: you can teach ANYTHING if you put it to a tune and even Classical writers knew that it was "easier to sell a lie if you made it into a song."
Back to my question
|June 10 2006, 7:15 PM |
O.K. This is exactly what I DID NOT WANT! Please refer back to the question in my original post.
I do not agree with all of the arguments that we have used to support acapella music, however I am thankful that I do not need an instrument (or a building, song leader, preacher) to worsip God. I am thankful that if the Dr., Mr Cruz and myself found ourselves in a field in West Texas, we could worship God and God would find it pleasing.
On an aside, I take care of the Audio Visual at church and it is a headache just keeping things going with the pulpit mic and the mic that the preacher uses. I can not fathom the effort that it would take to run a sound board for an entire band at church!
BACK TO MY TOPIC
I could quote song after song from the country charts that refers to God in a positive way. This seems to be O.K. to most, however, if it is O.K. to refer to God in a positive way, when does this combination of positive words and instrumentation become wrong?
I'll leave it at that and see if we can stay on topic.
Topic: Music Outside of the Assembly
|June 12 2006, 3:06 AM |
Marks topic is about music outside of the assembly.
If you re-read my initial response, you will note that I tried not to deviate from his question. I made it clear in my introductory statement that my understanding of the assembly of the saints is that it is not about musical worship (in the first place).
Then, I went on to explain what I usually do when Im not in the assembly, such as while Im driving to and from work. Rather than listen to hard rock music or some other worthless programs, I listen to BBN or to some conservative political commentator. I specifically said that musical instruments do nothing for me
that, instead, they impede my ability to hear the words correctly.
I realize that you are now affiliated with another religious group of your preference, and you seem too preoccupied with justifying the use of instruments in the church you now attend.
So, Im here to ensure that my earlier comment was not misconstrued and that Im not endorsing the use of instruments in the assemblywhich, according to the scriptures, is designed for exhortation, teaching and admonishing one another.
Re: Topic: Music Outside of the Assembly
|June 16 2006, 11:21 PM |
The older I get, the more this issue bothers me. Not the musical instrument part outside the worship service, but the songs I listen to. I will admit that I loved punk rock as a college kid, still love industrial and alternative rock. And yes, I'm a woman in my 40's. Go figure! I also love old rock and country. I played in an orchestra for years in high school and college.
Music is important to me. But as I've grown older and watched my children react to the music they hear, I've come to notice a few things that never really crossed my mind before: The impact of lyrics and rhythm.
I really notice the words to songs now and wonder why I ever listened to some of them. Where was my mind at that time? Not centered on Jesus! Cussing, sex, immorality of all kinds...Some of my favorites I have to literally turn off now when they come on. Why didn't I do that when I was younger? That really bothers me. It seems we all just accepted it without thought.
As to rhythm, I now realize how it can impact more than just my mood - it can truly make my body move to a different beat. When I see an MTV video (only when surfing through the TV!!!!), I'm disgusted. The music and beat has two objectives - sexual movement and sales. The two go hand in hand. It is well known that certain beats are meant to ignite one's sexual drive. There are studies on the impact of native ritual music and the sexual libido. I used to laugh at that thought, but now I realize I was just young and stupid. It is a true issue. Now I know why some of the early Church elders wrote Apologies on this very subject and why they considered many instruments to be "Satanic", "disorderly" and "immmoral". It wasn't so much the instrument as it was the type of songs created by that particular instrument. The vibrations, sounds, etc...
Now I find myself doing a lot of surfing on the radio or just playing my own CD's. I actually find myself enjoying some of my kid's cds. There is this Veggie Tales song that I just love! I still don't like "Christian Rock". I don't like the hard beats, slamming rhythms, etc in conjunction with my singing to God. I don't find the lyrics or the music to be orderly or somber or worshipful. I find Christian Rock to be a cop-out for the younger generation that can't FULLY turn away from the "wordly" music.
As for musical instruments in conjunction with Christian songs...I find that the instruments take away from the beauty of the words and seem to overshadow them. Christian songs are the only songs in which the words really are the song. There is real meaning to them and when I sing them, I want the simplicity of that meaning to come through. Instruments break through my thoughts and weaken the meaning. There is a time and place for instruments; but for me, that will never be in conjunction with songs I sing to God.
|Dr. Bill Crump|
Re: Topic: Music Outside of the Assembly
|June 18 2006, 10:02 AM |
Two books by Kimberly Smith address the very issue of music having a "langauge" of its own, independent of the lyrics. The books are Oh, Be Careful Little Ears and Let Those Who Have Ears to Hear, both from WinePress Publishing. Although Smith is a Baptist and a church musician, her focus is the negative impact that contemporary Christian hard rock music has on human behavior and the fallacies of combining such music with Christian lyrics to make the Church more attractive to the unchurched. Her books debunk Rick Warren's assertion that all music is sterile or amoral, hence "Christian" music as such does not exist, only "Christian" lyrics. She also refutes the myth that Martin Luther's hymns were set to barroom tunes of his day, a myth which many in the Change Movement use as an excuse for ultilizing controversial music in worship.
Re: Topic: Music Outside of the Assembly
|June 19 2006, 5:10 PM |
I didn't know I had a former rock n roller on
board as myself. These days I'd rather listen
to talk radio than a music station. I don't think
that I've heard but maybe three or four old songs
this year. I have no problem with a fellow believer
listening to whatever music he or she wants. That is
between the believer and the Lord. I have learned a
long time ago that there are issues critical to
faith and there are many issues that fall into the
catagory of preferences. In the first century it
was meat sacrificed to idols. Today it is issues
like social drinking. Nothing inherently wrong one
way or another as long as it doesn't make your
brother or sister stumble. I include instrumental
music as part of the same catagory. I wouldn't dare
enter a church of Christ and play instrumental music
because that would be a sin against a fellow believer
whereas I have no problems with my own church having
You wrote that you yourself have a preference to not
have instrumental music in association with God or
other spiritual topics but yet you still listen to
some of the old rock songs. I would think that if
anything you would rather hear uplifting christian music
instruments than worldly songs on the radio. Well
I am not the one to judge; to each his own.
P.S. Do you think we might have bumped into one
another earlier in our lives and just didn't know
that we would later be christians ??
Re: Topic: Music Outside of the Assembly
|June 20 2006, 11:53 PM |
Good thoughts, but I have to admit that once instruments are added, I don't really listen to the message - so the words are lost on me. If I listen to rock, it's got to be clean and really is just background noise for me. Though I do still crank up some old Queen or Boston.
I really have to have the simplicity of the words to keep my mind on track. Otherwise, I get into the instruments, what's playing what melody, etc. I love music and I loved being in orchestra. Instrumental music takes me to another place - I feel it down to the bones - and words get lost.
Hmmm. Where you discussing a "past life" or just our younger days?
Unless you lived in TX, probably not.
My best friend is Methodist (modern branch). Though we study together and talk about our beliefs, we cannot spend a lot of time on some subjects. It makes for some lively debate as we are both very hard headed and very outspoken! Though as people, our morals/ethics are the same. Of course, there is the big issue of infant baptism vs. believer baptism. Won't go there!
Anyway, she is in a church group/band and we discuss this issue every once in a while. And though she agrees that instruments were not used in the early churches, she likes them in her services. Funny thing, neither one of us feels that Christian Rock brings out a "christian spirit" in us. It's kind of ironic that we would agree on that subject, but we do. She's younger than me - so it's not an age thing...
Re: Topic: Music Outside of the Assembly
|June 24 2006, 9:45 AM |
Interesting that you enjoy Queen. About
five years ago I watched an interview with
Brian May and he said that as much as a
year before Freddie Mercury learned that
he was infected with AIDS that they had
collaborated on a musical opera (like the
WHO's TOMMY) based on the book of Jeremiah ?
They worked on the concepts and a rough sketch
of some songs but it never went anywhere on it.
It seems like Freddie's father was a minister
but I forgot what denomination it was. Freddie
Mercury knew the Bible. I have learned to leave
judgement up to God.
Now to my main point. When I was in my early 20s
and still attending churches of Christ I visited
an old church out in the country and there was a
family from the Methodist church visiting also.
The minister preached a "You're going to hell
if you worship with instrumental music" sermon
just because he knew there were methodists in
the audience. That really irked me and it started
my path to examine what is really the truth and
to follow it instead of some denominational teaching
against instrumental music. This is how I feel about
If you have a prefernce to worship acapella; thats fine
do it to your heart's desire. I applaud your zeal to
worship in that way. Anyone who judges another person
who worships with instrumental music is taking God
off his throne sitting in His place and propagating
an eleventh commandment "Thou shall not worship
with instrumental music". You can find absolutely no
scripture explicitely stating your position. It is
solely based on human reason, which in many cases is
fallable. To put a burden of an eleventh commandment
that you made and not God is tanatamount to the
Pharisees Jesus spoke of in Matthew 23:2-3. That
is why I responded to the first post on this thread
that this issue is personal preference and outside
of any doctrinal boudaries. If anyone wants to worship
God with music or without music; inside a church or
listening to country music with reference to God; let
your own conscience be your guide.
|Dr. Bill Crump|
Re: Topic: Music Outside of the Assembly
|June 24 2006, 5:49 PM |
Wordkeeper: "Anyone who judges another person who worships with instrumental music is taking God off his throne sitting in His place and propagating an eleventh commandment 'Thou shall not worship with instrumental music.'"
There are more than just the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament. When Christ told us to observe all things whatsoever He commanded us (Matt. 28:20), He was referring to the commands of the Gospel and what He would later reveal to the apostolic writers: for example, baptism for remission of sins and salvation, repentance, confession that Jesus is Lord, the Lord's Supper, divorce only for adultery of the other spouse, a cappella music, etc. All of those, and more, are not part of the Ten Commandments, but commandments they are, nonetheless.
Wordkeeper: "...this issue [music] is personal preference and outside of any doctrinal boudaries."
Sorry, but since Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16 specify using only vocal music (a cappella), this goes beyond personal preference. Vocal music must be regarded as a command. After all, the apostle Paul stated that what he preached was revealed to him by Christ (Gal. 1:11-12). Everything that Paul wrote came to him from Christ. Only in rare instances did Paul insert personal opinions into his epistles, and when he did, he flagged them accordingly so that people would not mistake them as commands from Christ. An example is 1 Cor. 1:12, in which Paul gives a personal opinion about a disbelieving wife, and he flagged his words as opinion. Paul did not give a personal opinion about vocal music, because it is a command that he received from Christ.
It is a mistake to assume that because God hasn't specifically forbidden something by name, then it's OK to use it, especially when it pertains to doctrine and worship. Would we have God list every conceivable "Thou shalt" and "Thou shalt not" known to man? The list would be virtually endless. What God has written and specified in the New Testament should be sufficient unto itself. The silence of God is not permissive, and Christians have no authority to go beyond what is written in Scripture, regarding doctrine and worship. What does not conflict with doctrine, worship, or other biblical principles, Christians may implement. In the case of music, God through Paul has specified vocal music by name; to assume that instrumental music is also OK is to second-guess God, which is dangerous. Since we don't have that authority, it's far better to leave instruments alone. And no one is "judging" anybody. We are simply urging people not to allow their personal preferences to supercede what is specified in the New Testament.
Re: Topic: Music Outside of the Assembly
|June 26 2006, 12:21 PM |
Over my life I've held many different
jobs, one of which was a counselor at
a trouble youth center. I've seen many
sad cases of child abuse but, one stands
out in particular. We came across a five-
year old boy whose father wouldn't tell
him before hand his expectations of what
to do and what not to do. He left it up
to the boy himself to figure it out.
He wouldn't say, " Johnny, don't play
with the curtains. He would just catch him
playing with the curtains and without any
warning he would punish him excessively.
Is this the picture of our heavenly Father ?
Without any say so or explicit instruction
just waiting for churches to play instrumental
music in worship and bam sent straight to hell.
We know where God stands on such issues such as
murder and idolatry. He is silent on the issue
of instrumental music in church. Don't you think
that if it is an important enough issue he would
give us explicit instructions on this matter and
not leave it up to guess work ?
If you do not see this you have bigger issues than
whether there should be instrumental music in
church and examine why you have a view of God as
a capricious Being.
|June 26 2006, 6:44 PM |
O.K. Dr. Crump and Wordkeeper, this is not about musical instruments in a public worship setting. (Although I admit the lines between cross so easily)
PBB, I too find myself embarased when I really listen to the words of the songs that I grew up loving. But I enjoy music, all types, rock, jazz, country, classical. The music itself can lift your spirits or make you pause.
God has given me the talent of playing the guitar and other musical instruments. I have to recognize that talent as being from God. Last time I checked, Satan does not give you talents.
O.K. Let's use bluegrass as an example since it's rythyms are not as provocative as Pop/Rock can be. O.K., it is easy to see that I, as a christian, should not play and sing "ROCKY TOP" where they brag about moonshine (Corn don't grow... that's why we get our corn from jars...)and killing revenuers (Once two strangers climbed up rocky top lookin' for a moonshine still, strangers ain't come down from rocky top, recon they never will). But is it o.k. for me to sit on my backporch with my guitar while I play and sing one of the old hymns?
I'd like some more discussion on this.
|June 27 2006, 5:08 PM |
If you have noticed that I have been
consistent in all of my posts in this
thread. The point that I make is that
it is a non-issue. God has not given
us any specific commandments as far
as instrumental music in reference to
Him. Any commandments pertaining to
instrumental music with refernce to
God is man-made from human reasoning
which is often fallable. Only a capricious
God would be silent on a matter and then
on judgement day lower the boom . So
I say it is go ahead and play your
instrument to the glory of God. It is
never wrong to give him praise and
worship no matter where you are or what-
ever circumstances you face.
P.S. I would someday like to meet you
and hear some spiritual music. I hope
you take requests.
|Dr. Bill Crump|
|June 28 2006, 10:10 AM |
Wordkeeper: "Any commandments pertaining to instrumental music with refernce [sic] to God is man-made from human reasoning which is often fallable. Only a capricious God would be silent on a matter and then on judgement day lower the boom."
God's ways and thoughts are not man's ways and thoughts (Isaiah 55:8 KJV). We cannot rationalize and speculate over what God might, might not, would, or would not do. We must go strictly by what is written in the New Testament. God through Paul has specified vocal music in Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16. Yet if God had merely said, "Make music unto me," then we would have had the freedom to use instruments. Because He specified vocal music, we have only the freedom to sing.
Man would have God to list every single "Thou shalt" and "Thou shalt not" for every possible, conceivable situation on the face of the earth. Such a list would be endless. Yet God has chosen not to do that. Is He capricious for not doing so and not making everything just "crystal clear"? Instead, we are to take God at His Word. What He specifies, we do. We don't add to or take from what He has written in matters pertaining to His doctrine and worship. However, we may implement that which does not conflict with what He has written in matters of His doctrine and worship. Examples: bathrooms, podiums, song books, kitchens, etc. Those are incidentals that do not conflict with God's commandments. Instruments, on the other hand, conflict with God's command, because He has commanded vocal music only.
Therefore, Wordkeeper's original statement above may be reworded to say, "Any additions to commandments pertaining to vocal music with reference to God is man-made from human reasoning which is definitely fallable. God is hardly capricious, for He expects us to take Him at His Word."
|June 29 2006, 5:28 PM |
Well Dr. Crump, I don't think we'll ever be
in agreement on this issue and personally, I
find your argument to be weak. It just doesn't
hold up. I knew that we would eventually get
to this impasse and that it would actually help
me make my point that relates to this web site.
The churches of Christ are really no different
than any other denomination holding on to pet
doctrines even when the doctrines do not hold up
to scripture. You all are so adamant to what
day of the week to have the Lord's Supper but
on Sunday evenings you all actually are partaking
communion on the second day of the week and yet
you all heavily criticize others for a doctrine
that you all do not even follow correctly.
Then, on the issue of instumental music in church
you all blast others based on the absence of scripture
and yet one of your strongest criticisms is that other
denominations add to the word of God. You all yourselves
put in an eleventh commandment that God has not spoken.
You may disagree vehemntly with the "change agents"
at Madison Church of Christ but, I ask you, could
you be wrong in your view towards these people ?
My goodness, I am often wrong on many areas including
Bible interpretation, so is the churches of Christ, and
really everybody else. Instead of focusing on where
they are wrong maybe a little self-examination would
make you a stronger believer. Meanwhile, you may disagree
with others (like the "change agents" at Madison) but we
are all fellow believers and still part of God's family.
Maybe it is time to start anew with a new congregation
and use this as an opportunity to evangelize the unbelievers
and do good works in your community.
I am sorry for using this thread as a pulpit for my sermon.
Dear Mark F. play to your heart's desire. May God be glorified.
|November 7 2011, 9:03 PM |
This is my 1st post to this forum, but my thoughts on the instrumental music issue are these: Point 1. It is an historical fact that the early church did NOT use instruments of any kind. They were not introduced into the assembly for 500-600 years. I know all the NT verses that address singing and that the NT is silent in command, example or inference as to instruments during worship. However, the concept that persuaded me that using instruments during worship is sinful is the fact that Jesus promised the apostles that when he died and went to be with His Father in heave, He would send the Holy Spirit to guide the apostles into ALL truth. This He did in Acts 2 and they soon wetn about established churches in like manner under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. None of those apostle-built churches had instruments. Therefore, God did not want them used, otherwise the Holy Spirit would have guided the apostles to set churches up with instruments being used. And we all know the verses that teach that adding to or taking away from God's Word is sinful and anyone who does not abide in the traditions of Paul & the other apostles was to be accursed. So, I conclude and firmly believe that we cannot, must not, use instruments during the worship service.
Point 2. There is a difference between Worship and Praise. We are restricted in how we are to worship God, just as the church is restricted in how we can use money in the Lord's treasury. However, just like we have individual freedom to use our money as long as it is our possession on any number of things that are not permitted the church to do, we have individual freedom in the type of music we listen to outside of the assembly. God has given each of us an innate love of music and humans are going to listen to music of one type or another for our individual pleasure, enjoyment, edification, mental well-being, whatever. I find it hard to believe that He would give us this innate desire for music, the ability to build all kinds of instruments and write all types of songs and then expect us to only listen to secular, worldly, music outside of the assembly. Music affects our minds and our emotions and if we deny ourselves and our children wholesome music, we and they WILL substitute other types of mujsic in its place. Therefore, I conclude and believe that we can listen to "gospel" music in any form outside of the assembly. Personally, however, I don't like Christian Rock becauase I don;t think it's very good. The best "gospel"-type music out there, in my opinion, comes from country music - Elvis, Statler Brothers, etc. I like 60's & 70's rock the best. But my position is that God's wants our obedience in the manner we worship Him in the assembly, but we have freedom to praise Him outside of the assembly in any number of ways.
|November 8 2011, 2:44 AM |
I want to thank you for posting on this website. I could tell that you put a lot of thought into your comments and I think I understand your point of view. I agree with the point that there is no evidence that the early church used instruments in their worship. I disagree with the conclusion that using instruments during worship is sinful.
I once listened to a lecture by a Jewish Christian scholar. He talked about that about 100 years before Christ, the Jewish Rabbis forbid instrumental worship in the synagogues outside of Israel because they felt that they brought in pagan influences...instrumental worship was still allowed in the temple. Since the Christian movement blossomed in the synagogues, the Christian "services" held there would not have had instruments. So does this mean necessarily mean that God forbade instrumental music, or perhaps it was a tradition of men that caused for there to not be instrumental music in the early church?
My bigger argument against your conclusion is that I don't think God would have us have to make long reasoned arguments to determine a sinful act. I believe if this was important he would have specified it in scripture. God described in great detail the physical dimensions of the tabernacle and temple in the O.T., the O.T. "church building" you could say. There are intricate details of various rituals that should be done throughout the year.
How many detailed commands pertaining to N.T. worship services are there? The only aspect that is stated as a detailed command is the Lord's Supper. Every other aspect is mentioned in passing. The favorite passage used for acapella worship services "Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord" has no mention that it is about worship services...if it is, I guess we can get drunk on wine as long as it is not in a worship service (the previous passage) or we only have to give thanks to the Lord or submit to one another during a worship service (the next two passages).
If I accepted your argument about the Apostles setting a noninstrumental worship as God ordained, then would not singing in harmony be just as sinful? It is well documented that the N.T. worship sang only in chants, and that the introduction of harmony also caused division. Church buildings didn't come around for a couple hundred years as well. Shouldn't we worship in homes or synagogues? The New Testament has a clear example of using one cup for the Lord's Supper. Each of these arguments must be determined individually, but I really don't understand what is special about instruments over any of the other issues.
We spend so much time arguing over what is mentioned very little in the New Testament (the details of a formal worship service), and we tend to ignore what is mentioned in abundance in the New Testament (Loving one another, one of Jesus's last request: "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.")
I also do not understand what is special about a worship service. If it is sinful to sing with instruments during a worship service, then why isn't it sinful all of the time? I think we make a big mistake when we view a formal worship service different from our lives outside of the church building. I think God governs how we should we use money that has been given to the church, but he governs the money we spend ourselves just as closely. I believe that this type of thinking leads to people dressing the part on Sunday morning, but acting completely different during the week.
I welcome more discussion on this topic, but I ask that we keep it civil and we keep it on topic.