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"Boswell-Hardeman Discussion on Instrumental Music in the Worship"

February 5 2005 at 4:31 PM
Dr. Bill Crump 
from IP address

In June 1923, the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville was the scene of a now-classic debate on the subject of using instrumental music in worship. The proposition was: “Instrumental music in church worship is scriptural.” Representing the affirmative was Ira Boswell, a minister for the Christian Church; representing the negative was N. B. Hardeman, a minister for the Church of Christ, after whom Freed-Hardeman University was named. Over five nights, thousands packed the Ryman to hear a total of 22 speeches, evenly divided between the two orators. By the mid-point, however, it was clear that all salient points had been covered, and the remaining speeches consisted of rehashing previous arguments. Neither man yielded to his opponent, and neither side was “converted” to the other. Nevertheless, this debate allows the reader to weigh the arguments for and against instrumental music in worship and to determine what is scriptural and what is not. The debate, so titled above, is published by the Guardian of Truth Foundation as a 239-page, soft-cover edition and may be ordered through the Gospel Advocate Company. Boswell’s and Hardeman’s principal arguments will be presented in forthcoming, separate installments.

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Dr. Bill Crump

Ira Boswell's Principal Arguments

February 5 2005, 7:21 PM 

Boswell based his premise on the meaning of the Greek verb “psallo,” which appears five times in the New Testament (NT). He quoted from numerous Greek lexicons and Bible scholars, most of which or whom implied that the word meant to touch or strike, regardless of what was struck, either literally or metaphorically, but that it did include plucking an instrument. To Boswell, “psallo” always implied use of an instrument, and especially singing with instrumental accompaniment. But because he had “liberty” in Christ, it was scriptural to worship with or without musical instruments, and that Paul allegedly gave apostolic example of resisting encroachment upon liberty in Christ. Boswell, who based most of his arguments on a book by O. E. Payne, “Instrumental Music Is Scriptural,” also claimed that Jesus worshiped in the temple where there were musical instruments. If they had been wrong, He would have driven them out like He did with the moneychangers.

Here are a few examples of scholars whom Boswell quoted. It is clear that he relied heavily on human scholarship:

From Prof. Maurice Hutton, University College, Toronto: “This general truth is certain: ‘psallein’ does not only not preclude a musical instrument, but it necessarily implies one, and most naturally a harp, though the word might cover less naturally a flute, or even a modern organ or piano, since it means to strike with the fingers.” He is talking about the classical and Christian use of the word as accompaniment to the stringed instrument.

From Benjamin W. Bacon, Prof. of New Testament Criticism and Exegesis at Yale: “Of the meaning of the word ‘psallein’ at the time [when the NT was written] there can be no question. The meaning, ‘play a stringed instrument,’ is primary; the application to ‘sing,’ secondary. If the revisers knew Greek, they must have known the word in New Testament times did allow the use of the instrument. If not, their opinion is valueless.”

From Prof. John H. C. Fritz, [then] Dean of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis: “The word ‘psallo’ in Greek originally means to play on a stringed instrument, and then it also has the meaning to sing, especially to sing praises to the Lord. It can, therefore, mean to sing with or without musical accompaniment. We know that in the Old Testament service musical instruments were used. It is, therefore, likely that he who used the world ‘psallo’ rather had in mind singing with musical accompaniment.”

From Dean Alford: “The word [psalmos] properly signified those sacred songs which were performed with musical accompaniment. ‘Hymn’ is the word for a song without accompaniment. James 5:13: ‘Psaletto,’ let him sing praise; literally, let him play on an instrument; but used in Romans, First Corinthians, and elsewhere of singing praises generally.”

Boswell believed that there could not be the shadow of a doubt about the proper meaning of “psallo” and of its original use in the apostolic age. He agreed with Dean Alford, who believed that it came to be carelessly used and generally as “songs of praise”; but it properly means melodies, tunes of praise played on an instrument, and, naturally, upon the harp in particular.

He asked these questions: 1. Since Ephesians, which mentions making melody in the heart, was written in the year 62-63, some years after James (44-60), Romans (58-59), and 1 Corinthians (57) were written, the latter three of which mention only “singing,” how could those earlier Christians have known anything about making melody in the heart? 2. All sincere worship comes from the heart, but that does not exclude using mechanical instruments. What wrong is there in using them? 3. What makes them bad?

Boswell also stated, “While Hardeman has consistently told you what Paul says, what God says, at no time has he made any effort to prove that his interpretation is correct.” (This implies that materials other than the Bible are necessary to prove that Paul in Eph. 5:19 means to sing and make melody in the heart without using musical instruments.)

Another interesting Boswell statement: “About our playing the organ during Communion: Grant that it is wrong, grant that it is sinful, grant whatever you please about it, that would not prove that the New Testament does not give us the right to use the instrument in the worship.” (This implies that even if you openly agreed that mechanical instruments were sinful, you still couldn’t prove that the NT denied the use of them.)

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Dr. Bill Crump

N. B. Hardeman's Arguments

February 5 2005, 9:55 PM 

Hardeman initially posed 13 questions to Boswell, who often evaded them or gave little attention to answering them:

1. “Can Eph. 5:19, 1 Cor. 14:15, Rom. 15:9, and James 5:13 be obeyed without using an instrument?” ANSWER: “The affirmative position is: ‘To sing with or without instrumental music.’” Boswell said that the scholarship of the world had answered by saying that “psallo” meant to sing with or without a musical instrument.

2. “Do you agree with Bro. H. L. Calhoun, [then] president of Bethany College, West Virginia, when he says: ‘It will be admitted that the New Testament nowhere mentions the use of an instrument in connection with the singing in the church. This fact settles, beyond all dispute, that the use of an instrument in connection with the singing in the church cannot be an act of acceptable worship, for it fails to fulfill one of the essential conditions of an act of acceptable worship, and that condition which it fails to fulfill is the thing that differentiates an act of acceptable worship from an act which is not acceptable. Worship by means of instruments to-day is not in truth, and, therefore, cannot be such as God seeks or accepts’?” ANSWER: “I do not agree with him.”

3. “Do you believe that instrumental music is demanded, commanded, or authorized in Christian worship?” ANSWER: “I believe that it is scriptural.”

4. “Is it authorized by God or man?” ANSWER: “Answered in # 3.”

5. “(a) If by God, can the instrument be omitted with impunity? (b) If by man, is it, therefore, scriptural?” ANSWER: “Answered in # 3.”

6. “Is instrumental music a part of the worship?” ANSWER: “Answered in my definition at the beginning of the discussion; that is, ‘instrumental music is in the worship only in the sense of being an item to the public service or ritual of worship.’”

7. “Do you agree [with those who say]: ‘Instrumental music is in the church, but not in the worship’?” (For answer, see # 10).

8. “Do you agree with O. E. Payne, in whose compilations numbers of lexicons have been quoted, when Bro. Payne says, ‘It is impossible to “psallein” without a musical instrument,’ and that ‘if we forego musical instruments, we cannot conform to the divine injunction to “psallein”’?” (For answer, see # 10).

9. “Was the ‘Christian Standard,’ the paper representing Bro. Boswell’s side of the question, right when it said, regarding Payne’s book, that it leads to the ‘overwhelming conviction that not only was instrumental music allowed in the worship of the primitive church, but that it was positively enjoined’?” (For answer, see # 10).

10. “Do you agree [with those who say] of Bro. Payne: ‘The author intended and aims to prove that instrumental music in Christian worship is scriptural; and when I say his effort is a complete success, I state that case conservatively. He demonstrates (and I use the term advisedly) that when the New Testament was written “psallo” carried with it the idea of the instrument of music.’ Was this as a ‘privilege’ or as a ‘duty’?” ANSWER: “It is not germane to this discussion whether I agree with them or not.”

11. “Does the instrument inhere in ‘psallo’?” ANSWER: (Boswell quotes from an M. C. Kurfees.) “‘Baptizo’ means to dip, to immerse, regardless of the particular element in which the action takes place; and the word ‘psallo’ means to touch or strike, regardless of the particular object touched or struck. These are the inherent ideas in these words, running through all their varied uses, and are the key to their meaning in every instance, whether the word be used literally or metaphorically.”

12. “Is the use of the instrument in the worship to please God or man?” ANSWER: “It depends upon the attitude of the worshiper.”

13. “Please state your position so clearly and define it so accurately that there can be no dispute or possibility of misunderstanding.” ANSWER: (Boswell directs attention to a large chart before the audience that reads, “The New Testament Meaning of Psallo, the Word of God for Instrumental Music. The Affirmative Position: To sing with or without instrumental music.”) “My position is stated on the chart. What is written can be easily read.”

Hardeman argued that “psallo” from the lexicons was defined under two headings: first, its classical or primary meaning; second, its NT or applied use. Since “psallo” meant to sing to the accompaniment of an “instrument,” it was necessary to define the instrument applied from NT context. In Eph. 5:19, Paul said we were to sing to God and “psallo” with the heart, not the fingers or anything else. Whereas worship in the Old Testament was physical and from without, worship in the NT is spiritual and from within. Therefore, the “instruments” of worship are not physical but metaphorical and spiritual. Without the heart there can be no “psallowing,” and beyond that, the NT gives no other authority. Hardeman further argued that “psallo” always carried the idea of plucking something, but that the word itself did not define that which was specifically plucked. “Psallo” alone could mean to pluck the hair, to pluck a bowstring, to pluck a chalk line, or to pluck a musical instrument. Application in the NT is to pluck the metaphorical strings of the heart. Is the instrument to be made by the hands of men, as Boswell suggests? Paul specifies that the instrument is the heart.

Since Boswell argued that one could worship with or without a mechanical instrument, Hardeman countered that if by definition “psallo” demanded a mechanical instrument, and you could not obey God without it, then how could anyone worship with OR without an instrument? When Boswell said that “psallo” meant to accompany with a mechanical instrument, he said that which no living man could prove, and it is not recorded that any dead one ever did. No man could historically show where the apostles ever used a mechanical instrument. Hardeman further argued that if Boswell could worship with or without mechanical instruments but did not omit them, he was guilty of causing division of unity by insisting that mechanical instruments be a part of the service. But if “psallo,” allegedly God’s word for instrumental music, demanded mechanical instruments, then Boswell sinned if he omitted them.

What did “psallo” really mean? According to the translators of the KJV and the RSV, most of whom supported instrumental music as such, “psallo” meant to sing God’s praise, to make melody in the heart, to sing with the spirit and with the understanding. As far as James, Romans, and 1 Corinthinians being written before Ephesians, Paul said in 1. Cor. 14:15 “…I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” That is the “how.” Here, Hardeman speculated that it would be difficult to believe that all the apostles earlier had not taught the other churches the same concepts about singing as Paul did the Ephesians and making melody in the heart. The word “sing” was based on the Greek noun “psalmos” [psalm], which conformed with that of the verb “psallo,” which may or may not refer to instrumental music. Its proper meaning was determined by biblical context; in Ephesians and Colossians, it was the strings of the heart upon which melody and music were made.

Regarding the temple, if Christ had participated in instrumental music there, it would be no semblance of authority, for it would only prove that we should continue to burn incense and animal sacrifices, as under the Law of Moses. When pressed repeatedly to name a biblical source authorizing instrumental music in worship, Boswell did not quote Ephesians or Colossians but 2 Chronicles 29. Hardeman immediately countered that this was under the Mosaic Law, which had allowed polygamy, infant membership in the temple, burning incense, and offering animal sacrifices. Since none of the latter are practiced in Christianity, neither should instrumental music.

Hardeman also made reference to the Greek Church, which never had any instrumental music in all its history and still does not, because they know the precise meaning of “psallo.” “Professor Sophocles, a native Greek himself, of high standing, defines [psallo] as it is used in the New Testament, and suggests that it means ‘to sing the praise of God, to chant the songs thereof.’” Hardeman brought written evidence from a Greek Christian, who after conferring with his priest, submitted a letter stating that the American Revised Version provided a faithful translation of “psallo” as “sing” and “psallendi” as “to make melody.” (By that, the KJV is also faithful, for the same translation is present there.) Boswell’s representatives privately confronted the Greek Christian and presented him a Greek lexicon for him to translate “psallo” in English. He produced “to pluck, to touch, to twitch, to play with the fingers, as a stringed instrument, singing to the cithara, to play and sing.” Then Hardeman revealed that this man had privately told him, “I don’t believe that the lexicon is right,” and that the man said that he had told the same to Boswell’s representatives. This they earnestly denied, and a major argument erupted. The man was in the audience and confirmed publicly what he had told Hardeman privately. So one or more people were outright liars. Boswell contended that the Greek Church broke from the Roman Catholic Church and, to be different from the Catholics, abstained from instruments.

How could the Ephesians and the first-century Christians know anything about the organ, when it wasn’t introduced until hundreds of years later by the Catholics? The Restoration Movement began in 1801-1804, yet the organ didn’t infiltrate this Movement until 1869. Boswell’s brethren learned of the organ from the denominational world, who got it from the Catholics, who first got it from the heathen.

Regarding “liberty,” how can “psallo” and “liberty” both be authoritative? Boswell believed that he could do as he pleased, could act according to this own will and pleasure. Hardeman argued that liberty is in harmony with the “law.” We are at liberty to serve God under His authority, or we are at liberty not to. Beyond that, there is no liberty. Hardeman further charged that Boswell lacked the spirit to take God at His word, believe just what He said (especially regarding Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16), become just what He required, live inside the authority of God’s directions, and trust Him for guidance, rather than to exercise his own preferences regarding sacred matters. If God had simply said “make music,” then liberty would grant that any kind of music would suffice, because He would not have been specific. But of the two general kinds of music, vocal and instrumental, God said “sing,” and the man who uses instrumental music in worship is in rebellion against God.

Regarding what is wrong with mechanical instruments, there’s nothing inherently wrong with them, just like there’s nothing inherently wrong with crucifixes, rosary beads, and incense, until you bring them into Christian worship, for the NEW TESTAMENT DOES NOT AUTHORIZE THEM. Hardeman: “If God says have it, it is right; if He doesn’t say have it, it is wrong. But the Bible doesn’t specifically forbid instruments. Neither does the Bible forbid infant baptism. Why is it excluded? God says to baptize believers, which forbids babies by the ordinary law of exclusion. When God says ‘sing’ and ‘make melody in the heart,’ that forbids using mechanical instruments.” How can anything be scriptural and left to man’s fancy at the same time? Can anything that is scriptural be omitted? Absolutely not.

Hardeman also made the analogy between “circumcision” and “psallo.” In Abraham’s day, “circumcision” meant to cut physical flesh with a physical knife. In the Gospel age, “circumcision” is used metaphorically of the heart, as in Col. 2:11. So it is with “psallo,” which means singing to the metaphorical instrument of the heart.

This message has been edited by ConcernedMembers from IP address on Feb 6, 2005 1:41 PM

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Dr. Bill Crump

Debate Wrap-Up and Comments

February 6 2005, 5:04 PM 

An on-line biography of N. B. Hardeman contains the following comments:

“The Boswell-Hardeman debate…broke the back of digression in Tennessee, and was the greatest single factor in ending all further efforts by Christian Church preachers to justify scripturally their innovations.” “Every gospel preacher should have the Boswell-Hardeman discussion in his library, and should thoroughly familiarize himself with the arguments made.” “Although he was well versed in the American Standard Version, and most of the modern translations, Professor Hardeman always stuck to the King James Version when quoting from the Bible. He was well aware that quite a few words in the King James Version were archaic, but he was equally aware that many modern translations are not translations at all, but rather a commentary on, or else a substitution for, the original.”,nb.htm

Not only preachers, but all Christians are encouraged to read this classic debate, so that they may become more discerning about whether instrumental music is scriptural or not. Many, like Boswell, will obstinately maintain that their “liberty in Christ” (“do as we please”) permits them to use mechanical instruments, or, as he also did, they will fixate upon the classical definitions of “psalmos” (“psalm”) and “psallo,” while ignoring how those words fit metaphorically into biblical context (Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16). That is true narrow-mindedness. To deny this metaphor is to deny other New Testament metaphors, such as Jesus’ metaphor about making his disciples “fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19) or the metaphor about circumcising the heart; that is, “circumcision made without hands” (Col. 2:11). Ignoring Scripture also applies to Mark 16:16 and baptism for salvation. Many argue that, because Jesus omitted “baptism” in the second half of the verse (He did so, because the subject is pointless with unbelievers), then baptism is unnecessary for salvation. They choose to ignore the first half of the verse, which clearly says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” When we are determined to ignore God’s Word and “do as we please,” we can bend and twist the Scriptures to fit our every desire and seem “right in our own eyes,” whether it pertains to instrumental music, baptism, or anything else.

Hardeman mentioned the “law of exclusion,” which is derived from principles of logic, common sense, and scriptural examples. It is expressed as follows: “When a general command is given, everything embraced within that general command is authorized (unless a specific thing is expressly prohibited). When a command is specific, only that which is specified is authorized. Everything else is automatically excluded.” An Old Testament example: God commanded Noah to build the ark specifically from gopher wood; any other kind of wood would have been in rebellion against God. A New Testament example, besides that regarding music: the Lord’s supper specifies bread and fruit of the vine; nothing else may be substituted. Another New Testament example: In the Great Commission, Christ gave the general command to "go," which grants us the “liberty” to use any means of transportation at our disposal.

Today, the law of exclusion is called the “law of silence,” yet many erroneously conclude that it is a man-made doctrine, an invention of the Restoration Movement and the Church of Christ to justify any negative bias about the Bible. This “law” seems to be odious particularly to the Change Movement today, which insists that whatever is not specifically forbidden in Scripture may be freely incorporated into worship at will. An abuse of Christian “liberty,” it becomes “we shall do as we please.” Could God, Who is so concerned about absolute detail that He has numbered all the hairs on our heads (Matt. 10:30), be that unconcerned about how we worship Him that He would approve of worldly fancies and fads to embellish worship? Take Hardeman’s words to heart: “How can anything be scriptural and left to man’s fancy at the same time?” Of course, some will argue for the sake of argument that hymnals, public address systems, podiums, heating/cooling units, and so on are not specifically mentioned in the New Testament and thus are not “scriptural.” If a church feels this way, then by all means do not have them, for they have indeed become stumbling blocks. They would not be scriptural if they violated specific moral or doctrinal principles as presented in the New Testament. Some would then say, “Mechanical instruments don’t violate any moral principles.” True, and, as Hardeman said, they are not bad in themselves, until they are brought into worship, for God was quite specific about the kind of music to be used (vocal) and how it was to be carried out (melody made in the heart). We need to take God exactly at His Word and not try to second-guess Him to suit our own carnal desires and pleasures.

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Jimmy Wren

Boswell-Hardeman Discussion on Instrumental Music in the Worship

April 22 2005, 9:24 PM 

Dr. Bill

You really did an outstanding job putting this lesson together.

I will be directing other to this site in the future.

In christian Love,


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Concerned Christian

Psalm 150

February 1 2006, 10:13 PM 

Per Dr. Crump's Request to Post here;

Where in the OT is it a command to Worship with an instrument? Where in the Mosaic Law are you quoting? (Please continue to read before you start responding)

So are you saying that Christ had to specifically go down a checklist of do's and don't in order to not confuse one.

You said "That Jesus worshiped with instruments in the Temple has no semblance of authority for the Christian age, for He too was bound under the Mosaic Law until He fulfilled it and laid it to rest with His death, burial, and resurrection. This now brings us to a discussion of the OT/Mosaic Law and Christians."

Why all of sudden would it be wrong to worship with an instrument on the previous week to Jesus death, but after his resurrection it is no longer ok to do this? The Great Commission should have been "making disciples of all men and clear up the issue of instruments very quietly."

The argument made about instruments can go on and on, but as I grew up and came out of this stupor (for me), I realized that it was a moot point. The argument that I long had defended had no real substance to it. Even your posting about it has fear all in it. You basically are saying that you can believe in Jesus and trust him with all your heart, but if I put an instrument into my worship he just might send me to hell. I just can't understand that anymore. I go to an acapella church of Christ, but have tons of friends (including my family) that go to instrumental churches and their fellowship with the Lord is not as “off beat” as I once suspected. They love the Lord and praise him for salvation, and the ironic thing is they are no longer enslaved to fear because of a letter written some 2,000 years ago and how some interpret may it.

Dr. Crump I once to was captivated by how people could honestly believe that instruments were ok, and was truly concerned for their soul. I then got to know them and realized they were God's Children and was doing the best they could (just like you and me).

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Dr. Bill Crump

Music: The Never-Ending Argument

February 2 2006, 12:06 PM 

Yes, the arguments for and against using instruments in worship can and will go on and on ad infinitum, and nobody’s mind will be changed that hasn’t already been made up from the outset. A clear example of that is seen in the debate summary above. Boswell and Hardeman both gave strong arguments, but neither man yielded to the other side.

From the giving of the initial points of the Mosaic Law on Mt. Sinai to its expansion to more than 600 statutes throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites were bound to follow that Law. All ceremonial cleansings, sacrifices, and worship fell under the Mosaic Law, which included using instruments. Furthermore, God permitted the kings to make certain commands to the people regarding worship and instruments:

“Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the Lord” (2 Chron. 30:12 KJV).

Example of a command to use instruments in services:

“And he [Hezekiah the king] set the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet: for [so was] the commandment of the Lord by his prophets. And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord began [also] with the trumpets, and with the instruments [ordained] by David king of Israel (2 Chron. 29:25-27 KJV).

The Old Law, by God’s permission to the kings, commanded instruments in the rituals of worship.

I’m not sure what Concerned Christian meant by Christ going down a “checklist,” but since Christ was also bound by the Old Law, even HE had to conform to certain rules and regulations according to the Old Law, until He took that Law to the cross. For example, when Christ healed ten lepers, He commanded them to show themselves to the priest; that is, they still had to perform the necessary rites of purification according to the Old Law (Luke 17:12-14).

After Jesus’ resurrection, certain changes took place, as far as the new Christians were concerned. For example, the Old Law with ALL its rituals (including animal sacrifices, ceremonial cleansings, and worship with instruments) became null (Col. 2:14-15; Eph. 2:15; Romans 7:4; Hebrews 8:6-13). Also by scriptural inference, the Christian worship was changed from the Sabbath day, the seventh day, to the Lord’s day, the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1-2). Thus certain things were “scriptural” one day by the Old Law but were not “scriptural” the next day by the Law of Christ.

Instruments in worship are a “moot point” only to people like Boswell above who would follow their own desires rather than trust what the New Testament has to say about music, for the NT does have something to say. Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 specify that we are to use vocal music (singing) accompanied by melody made in our hearts. Thus Christian musical worship now comes directly from us to God, not accompanied by mechanical instruments, the latter of which the NT never even mentions. And I need not rehash psalmos, the meanings of which are covered in the debate summary above.

The final analysis: Does the NT specifically forbid instruments as such? No. Does the NT specifically authorize instruments as such? No. But does the NT have something to say about music in worship? YES. The NT specifically mentions singing and making melody in the heart to the Lord. As I said in another thread, singing and making heartfelt melody to the Lord (not to ourselves) is a form of worship, whether we are alone or with other Christians together.

Why is it necessary to try to get around what the NT says about music in worship? Can’t we just take the NT at face value, do what it says, and not let our personal preferences and desires make us second-guess it? Is it that important to have mechanical instruments in worship, when the NT only mentions singing from the heart? Since the NT specifies singing but doesn't mention instruments, the inference is that heartfelt singing is all that God desires from Christians as far as worship music is concerned; any other musical augmentation would be superfluous and would not please Him.

So will those who worship with instruments be damned to hell? I have no authority to say one way or another. All I can tell our readers is that since the NT addresses music in worship, it is by no means a “moot point.” We can argue and agonize about using instruments, but if we really want to please God, we should completely trust the NT at face value, neither adding anything to it, nor removing anything from it.

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Dr. Bill Crump

Still Feel Compelled to Argue?

February 2 2006, 1:59 PM 

After all that's been said, here's a reminder to those who still feel compelled to argue, argue, argue about instruments in worship:

Further arguments just won't change what the New Testament has written about music in worship. Neither will further arguments change the minds of those who are bound and determined to have instruments in worship, one way or another.

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February 2 2006, 8:06 PM 

Further arguments won't change what the New Testament has not said about the use of musical instruments in worship, nor will it change the minds of those who are determined not have musical instruments in worship.


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Dr. Bill Crump

RE: Conversely

February 3 2006, 7:59 AM 

To follow what the New Testament has definitively written about singing with melody from the heart in worship is to stand on firm ground. To second-guess the New Testament and add instruments when the New Testament has written absolutely nothing about them is to stand on unstable ground. Furthermore, using instruments adds to the NT what is not written in the NT, thus violating Rev. 22:18. Rejecting instruments neither adds to nor takes away from what is written about music (singing) in the NT. Christians have no authority to implement in worship musical alternatives to what the NT has specifically written about music (singing) in worship.

Be safe. Don't gamble. Stand firm on what is written in the NT about singing, not on what is absent from the New Testament about instruments.

Any minds changed? I thought not.

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David Rhoades

Back to the "Fruity Loop"

February 3 2006, 9:17 AM 


They want to get you in what I have heard called the "Fruity Loop".

When you debunk the lies of the "Fruity Loopers" they slide to a different lie each time, unitl they arrive back at the original lie, and claim you never debunked it.

There is enough information out there now on this site and others for any truth seeker to discern the problems.

If they can't, it just means they can't discern or don't want to.

The latter being a sure way to enter the "Fruity Loop"

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Cereal Killer

February 3 2006, 5:22 PM 

Mr. Rhoades,

I am not trying to "get" anyone. I was just stating the converse of what Dr. Crump stated. I said on another thread the the best we can get from the N.T. on instrumental music is tacit non-endorsement.

Lighten up and don't judge motives of people you don't know.


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Concerned Christian

Re: Conversely

February 3 2006, 9:55 AM 

Please do not take Revelation 22 out of context. It is pertaining to the Book of Revelation. This has long been taken out of context to mean the entire canon. I am not saying that we should go in and rewrite letters that Paul etc wrote, but to say that the Revelation 22 passage is a blanket statement for the entire Bible is not correct.

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Dr. Bill Crump

Rev. 22:18 and the Fruity Loop

February 3 2006, 2:31 PM 

I figured that a detractor like Concerned Christian would come up with a lame "argument" about Rev. 22:18. To imply that the principle of this passage or the lesson to be taken from it applies ONLY to Rev. and not to ALL of the NT is a dive to get around passages that detractors see as odious to them. Using CC's logic, anyone who preaches a gospel other than what Paul preaches is accursed (Gal 1:8-9), but not if the gospel is different from what the other apostles preach. Paul's warning applies ONLY to Paul by CC's logic, not the other apostles. We can't take Paul's warning out of CONTEXT and apply it to the other apostles, according to CC's logic. The ruse that CC weaves will be quite obvious to discerning readers.

David Rhoades was right: The Fruity Loop of detractors has come full circle.

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Context: Who needs it?

February 3 2006, 4:01 PM 

Concerned Christian said he didn't think we had the authority to change scripture, but NOT because of Revelation 22:18. He's right. No one is saying they want to add to or take away from scripture. BUT- it's ignorant to say that Rev. 22:18 is talking about the whole Bible.

Think about it. The New Testament as a collected canon DIDN'T EXIST when John wrote that. Duh.

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Concerned Christian

Re: Rev. 22:18 and the Fruity Loop

February 3 2006, 4:10 PM 

A detractor? LOL LOL LOL Very Christian like of you to call me names too. You guys crack me up! Please go back and re-read what I said about changing the words in Paul's letters etc. I believe I said that it would not be okay.

But I will warn you as you do others. That it is false teaching to take things out of Context as you did with Rev. 22. Please re-read Rev. 22 and then do some studying (exegetical studying) of verses like this one before you continue to take things out of context.

I won't call you names except Brother in Christ.

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Concerned Christian

Re: Still Feel Compelled to Argue?

February 2 2006, 8:48 PM 

I don't see it as arguing, yet more enlightening than anything.

Peter, John, Etc. went to the temple allot. If instruments were the norm in Jesus time (Mosaic Law) as you said, then why would they continue to worship in a place that had no meaning to their "new" religion and also had the "forbidden" (law of exclusion) instruments in the Temple? Wouldn't it stand to reason that they may have had some tolerance or better yet would be completely blown away that you and I and others are even having this conversation. Ohhhh the hurt and turmoil over instruments. How it must grieve the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit that we have been so divided over this ridiculous opinion.

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Concerned Christian


February 2 2006, 9:54 PM 

You see it as arguing and I see it as communicating with you. What is the point of a debate if you want everyone to "Amen" everything you put on here?

You stated your point and I am stating mine.

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Re: Arguing?

February 3 2006, 10:26 AM 

What does singing and making a melody in your heart have to do with instruments? I play several instruments around the house and perform for various things, and I can tell you whole heartedly I make a melody in my heart all the time with instruments or without. I do go to a church that worships a capella, but why get caught up in expending so much time and energy on worrying about something that others do that is based on nothing more than tradition.

Where does the bible authorize singing in 4 part harmony (4 part harmony was not introduced into churches until the past few hundred years)? Where does it authorize use of a pitch pipe (an instrument)? Where does it authorize to use songs books with songs that were mostly written by those not in a church of christ? These things are not authorized yet they are done not out of scriptural disobedience, but because they serve a purpose to make worship more meaningful.

It has been established that worshipping with instruments was the model under the old law. Do you not think that if God all of a sudden changed his mind on the issue that He would have explicitly stated so in new testament scriptures?? Don't quote the same verses always quoted. It's not there.

If you are truly concerned with following scripture to a "t", then I would be worried about your soul if you do not raise hands in worship and prayer. 1 Tim 2:8, "I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing." This is a specific request/command made in scriptures, and I don't see any request/command not to use instruments. Therefore, why would someone be adament about not using instruments, yet at the same time not follow scripture when it comes to lifting hands. It is not logical and it is not scripturally driven; it is traditional driven.

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A Legitimate Question

February 3 2006, 1:27 PM 

I have heard the instrumental vs. acapella debate my entire life. I know both sides of it in and out. I did switch sides by the way, from acapella to the evil instuments that God so clearly hates. The one question I have always asked, and never had answered is this:

I we can not use instruments in worship because they are not mentioned in the New Testament, WHY do we do other things, or use other items in worship that are also not mentioned in the NT?

The fact that no Church of Christ member, minister, or professor has ever been able to give me an answer to this is one of the primary reasons I changed my views on the issue.

By the way, Concerned Christian is right: Revelation 22:18 does not apply to the whole Bible. Don't feel bad, it's a common misuse of scripture.

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...........................THE BOOK

What Happened At the Madison Church of Christ?

There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

This book is only about one of those churches. It's about the Madison Church Of Christ. By studying the methods used here along with the resource references you might be able to inoculate your church. At the very least you will recognize the signs early on.

Many of the current members of the Madison Church of Christ still don't know what happened.
Some never will know! This book is for them as well.

Madison Church of Christ was a 60 year old church. At one time it was one of the largest churches in the US, and the largest Church of Christ.

It thrived for many years on the vision of it's elders and those of it's ministers. Those visions undoubtably came from the the inspired word of Jesus Christ.

At sometime in the last 10 years there was a deliberate plan by a majority of the elders to take the Madison Church of Christ into a more worldly realm.

They used secrecy, covert planning, and outside sources to scheme and to change the format and direction of the Madison Church of Christ.

The Elders knew that the membership would never approve such a plan. Using the tools of the "Community Church Movement"(consultants, books, seminars, meetings,planters,seeders) they slowly started initiating change so it was never noticed by the members until it was too late.....

At the heart of the plan was the fact that old members were going to be driven off so new techniques could be used to go out and reach the unchurched through new "Contemporary Holy Entertainment" methods developed by the "Community Church Movement"

Old members had to be kept on board long enough to get their plans ready, or the funds would not be there to pay for the new building. So by the plans very nature, it had to be secret.

The church had no plan in effect to renew or approve elders. There was never any need. The elders had always been "as approved by God". 10 of the last 15 elders would begin to shed some doubt on that.

The Elders did not even need a majority at first, because some of the elders went along unwittingly.

This edition starts shortly after some of the members begin to smell something strange in January 2001. Later editions may go back and fill in some of the timeline.

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Here is the list of players;

5 Godly Elders
10 Not so Godly Elders
120 "Deacons" (allegiance unknown)
2,800 - 4,000 church "members"
2 "teners" (people who have publicly confessed to have broken all ten commandments)
Unknown number of "sinners" (This is what the 10 elders call us.)
Unknown number of "demons" (Flying everywhere, to many to count)

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