Musical Instruments in Worship – how the conversation could go

A fictional episode of one of the local CofC programs. Also a primer on one way to approach their arguments condemning the use of musical instruments in worship.

Fictional CofC TV host:

“Do you use mechanical instruments of music in worship?”

Fictional CofC TV caller:

“Yes.”

CofC host:

“By what authority do you play musical instruments in worship?”

CofC caller:

“Well, Psalms 150 says…”

CofC host:

“Woah, woah, woah. Which covenant are you under…the Old or the New?”

CofC caller:

“What? Well, I guess the New…”

CofC host:

“You guess. Hmm. Do you practice everything in the OT or pick what you like? Do you sacrifice animals?”

CofC caller:

“Well, no of course not. But in the New Testament it says that you should worship with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs…”

CofC host:

“Okay, but by what authority can you play musical instruments, when it only says to sing?”

CofC caller:

“Well, where does it say we can’t use instruments?”

CofC host:

“Exactly! The New Testament is silent on the subject. And so how can we presume to say that God gave us permission?”

CofC caller:

“Now wait a minute. The Bible is silent on lots of issues dealing with worship. By what authority do you have song leaders, song books, pitch pipes, PowerPoint, PA systems, and so on?”

CofC host:

“Well, now… um… those are worship aids.

CofC caller:

“And where do you find the authority to use these aids?”

CofC host:

“Let me ask you a question. Do song books, PA’s and things replace or change the command ‘sing’?”

CofC guest:

“Well, let me ask you a question. Does the use of musical instruments replace or change the command ‘sing’?”

CofC host:

[uncomfortable pause]

“Er… do you know that the Baptist denomination is not found anywhere in the New Testament?”

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35 thoughts on “Musical Instruments in Worship – how the conversation could go

  1. The Bible says Jesus is not just a priest, but He is our High Priest.

    Hebrews 6:20; 7:1 – Jesus has become High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (both king and priest). [Cf. 5:6-10; 7:17]

    Hebrews 8:1 – The main point of the passage is that we have a High Priest seated at the right hand of the throne of Majesty in Heaven. But this is exactly what Psalm 110 predicted: a priest ruling as king at God’s right hand. [4:14]

    Hebrews 10:12,13 – When did Jesus sit down at God’s right hand? When He had offered sacrifice for sin, just as stated in Acts 2 and Ephesians 1! He is now waiting till all enemies are made His footstool, as in Psalm 110:1ff!

    Is this what you are asking?

  2. rey, if some in the early church sold all of thier things and gave to the poor, should we?? Why or why not?

    rey, when Jesus was on earth, he used one cup at communion, can we use one or many? Why or why not?

    rey, when Jesus was on earth, on a “weekday” He said “as often as” you eat this bread and drink this cup…so should we do this “as often as” or on every Sunday? Why or why not?

    rey, in Acts 7:20 they met on the first day of the week “men only”. Can we have the Lords supper with woman? Why or why not?

    rey, are we bound to each and every example or only ones we like? Why or why not?

    I look forward to your reply
    Randy

  3. Clearly I overestimated the Biblical literacy of this blog’s adherents. The question I gave may have been in the form of a question, but it was also an almost exact quotation of Scripture.

    It’s part of the narration that begins in Hebrews 7:12 and continues on into chapter 8, where we find our phrase in 8:4.

    (Heb 7:12-15) “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,……For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:”

    Jesus could not be a priest while he was on earth. Although he was God incarnate, the second Person of the Trinity, he was barred from being a priest while he was on earth. Why? “Moses spake nothing” concerning anyone of his tribe being priest on earth. In other words, Jesus, God in the flesh, submitted himself to the authority of the silence of his Scriptures. Because Moses didn’t say anyone of the tribe of Judah could be priest on earth, he was not a priest on earth. His priesthood had to wait till he left the earth.

  4. “rey, when Jesus was on earth, he used one cup at communion, can we use one or many? Why or why not? ”

    Answer your own question. Jesus said “this cup is the New Testament (established) by my blood.” (1 Cor 11:25) How many new testaments are there? twenty or thirty? So are there twenty or thirty ways to God?

  5. Thanks rey,for the the kind reply. I hope to be as smart as you with the scriptures one day. I will not stoop down low to a fight with words, but you know perfectly well the reason I commented on the one and many cups. And there are many other pratices that “some” church of Christ people pratice….that the scriptures are silent about. Here you must say “these are matters of judgement” Thanks again “rey” .

  6. hey rey,

    The proponents of the so-called “Law of Silence” declare this is “proof positive” that “silence excludes and prohibits.” Moses was silent about priests coming from any other tribe than Levi, therefore all other tribes are excluded by silence. Is this a logical, rational, reasonable conclusion to draw from this passage?

    Was God silent with respect to which of the tribes would be the “priestly tribe”? No. God SPOKE. God SPECIFIED. The tribe was to be Levi …. and only Levi. “The Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to serve Him and to bless in His name until this day. Therefore, Levi does not have a portion or inheritance with his brothers; the Lord is his inheritance” (Deut. 10:8-9). See also: Numbers 3:5-10; 8:5-26; 18:1-7. “Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the sons of Israel, and the Levites shall be Mine” (Numbers 8:14). “They are wholly given to Me from among the sons of Israel” (Numbers 8:16). “I am giving you the priesthood as a bestowed service, but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death” (Numbers 18:7).

    God had made it very, very clear that no one from any tribe other than Levi would ever be allowed to serve in the priesthood. God had SPOKEN. God had SPECIFIED. He was NOT silent. Thus, the tribe of Judah was excluded from serving in the priesthood NOT because God was silent about Judah serving as priests, but rather because He had specified that only those from Levi could serve as priests.

    This brings us to the Hebrews 7:14 passage. Judah was a tribe “with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests.” Why was Moses “silent” about Judah with reference to priests? Because God had SPECIFIED the tribe of Levi. There was no need for Moses to say anything about Judah for the simple reason GOD HAD SPOKEN. God had specified. Judah is excluded from the priesthood NOT because Moses was “silent” about them serving in that capacity, but rather because God had specified that priests would come solely from Levi. Thus, it is NOT silence that excludes or prohibits, it is specificity. This passage has nothing whatsoever to do with “silence,” much less any so-called “Law of silence.” When God has SPOKEN, there is no silence.

    The proof-texters have only succeeded in proving their own ignorance and inability when it comes to sound biblical exegesis. Their wresting and manipulation of this text in a failed attempt to prove an untenable theory is a prime example of the “dogmatic model” of biblical interpretation. It is deplorable, and it is rejected by reputable, responsible scholars of the Word.

  7. Hi Rey,

    Thank you for joining into the discussions we are having on our little blog. It’s nice to finally have someone to discuss with!

    This is an interesting assumption that you make – that this passage in Hebrews is proof against the use of musical instruments in worship, by saying that it is proof of the “silent where Scripture is silent” theory of interpretation.

    I think Randy answered that well, but let me follow his answer with a question.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California, has political aspirations. Yet he won’t run for President. Why is this? Is it because the constitution doesn’t say that someone from Austria can seek the highest office in the land? Is he obeying the silence of the constitution?

  8. Yes. It is nice indeed to have a two-sided conversation. I look forward to hearing more from “rey”.

    Great reply Nathan!

  9. Maybe “Rey” is from here and not wishing to use his/her real name. If that be the case, that is fine, as we are welcoming dialogue. We, however, do not wish to engage in name calling, nor lifting ourselves to a level above another, as if we have some perfect understanding of all scripture. I will be the first to acknowledge, that I do not understand the entire written word. You are free to make such statements toward me as you done when you said “Clearly I overestimated the Biblical literacy of this blog’s adherents” with the understanding that I will not do the same towards you, because I do not profess to know all, and will openly admit, I do not understand everything in the bible and that’s why I welcome dialogue, that I might learn more and that others can learn. I hope we can have dialogue, without having to attack each others character, or short comings, but if you desire to do so, that is fine.

  10. Authority has everything to do with how we worship. Look at the OT examples of those who tried to do good in serving God but then used unauthorized means to do so. Examples such as the strange and unauthorized fire offered by Nahab and Abihu, the touching of the Ark by Uzzah and then Moses’ striking the rock. God’s wrath was stirred even though these men thought they were doing good.
    Since you agree we now are only bound by the NT, then we must live within it’s authorized boundries. A warning was given to those in the times of Amos. (see Amos 5:22-23, Amos 6:4-6)
    This warning shows clearly God’s anger towards those who sought to worship him according to “how they desired”. God tells them to take away the “NOISE” of their song. Then in Amos 6 he points out how they used the viol and invent ed instruments to “THEMSELVES”. Pleasing them selves and not God.
    Historically, the early christians did not use instrumental music (IM)for many centuries after the NT church had begun (approx 600 yrs). Thus the term ” Acapella ” resulted in meaning “as done in the churches”.
    Some religious sects still do not use instruments to this day, such as the Eastern Orthodox and of course the true church of Christ as was established by the APOSTLES.

  11. I agree, athority does have its place in NT worship. But when one “infers” something and binds that upon everyone as law, that’s not athority of God, but man taking an example or something he infers and making it law binding. I also love the fact that church of Christ folk will be quick to tell someone they cant go to the book of Psalms and then they will go to other OT scriptures to prove their position. In the NT, did Paul say sing or did he say you cant have PA’s, song leaders, music, song books, pitch pipes, PowerPoint. Does Pauls silence prohibit one from using the aids of singing I just spoke of…or can we pick the ones we like and kick aside what we dont like? I think anyone can see that silence( speak where the bible speaks) isnt truly practiced by those in the church of Christ. There are many flaws with CENI and the law of silence and many in the church of Christ see this and have dropped this hermeneutic.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California, has political aspirations. Yet he won’t run for President. Why is this? Is it because the constitution doesn’t say that someone from Austria can seek the highest office in the land? Is he obeying the silence of the constitution?

  12. The Constitution of the United States, Article II, Section 1, Clause 5:

    No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President;

    By stating that one must be a natral born citizen, then that eliminates anyone born in another country of non citizen.
    It is the same principle that when Paul wrote to sing, that it eliminates mechanical instrusments.

  13. Does the NT say anything at all like that?

    Where does it say, “no worship except singing shall be God-ordained worship.”?

    Illogical reasoning, my friend. But, thanks for posting!

  14. …there are a number of aids that can be used with “singing”. Why does everyone want to just pick on music?? If the silence rule is to be used(CENI), use it fully. If Paul was saying sing only as some suggest, what gives one the right to say song books, PA’s, pitch pipes,song leaders,ect..are ok, but you better not have any music….it’s quite illogical indeed. On another note, was Paul even addressing “a worship service”??

  15. You are absolutely correct in saying that when one “infers something and binds that upon everyone as law,
    that’s not athority of God, but man taking an example or something he infers and making it law binding.”
    I could not agree more. Therefore, be careful what you add or infer, making sure that it is authorized.
    Man has tried to add to God’s word many times with disasterous results as we are warned in NT many times.
    I appreciate the comments from “J.C.”, as he makes a very valid point ! Under your Logic anything goes unless it is specifically ruled out…talk about illogical !!!?? Can we add mud wrestling to our service…it does not say we can not !!
    If I were to bake a cake, I would look at the whole recipe and follow it….I would not have to say “It does not say not to add this or that”. If I want the same results as prescribed by God and want him to accept it as he designed it, I need to follow his written recipe and not add my own flavoring to please myself.
    If you are saying instruments are authorized….you are inferring and obtaining the authority outside of God’s
    written word as we have no written example or authority within his word. To add a PA system or song book is not an addittion to God’s command that we sing but only serve as an aid to accomplish the command to sing. Obviously, these things do not add or take away from this act of worship. In Col 3:16 we are commanded to teach and admonish one another and an instrument can not accomplish this. Walk up to someone and hum (or play) the tune of “O Happy Day” ( which is a well known song of praise). They will not know for sure if you are huming “O Happy Day” or the old drinking song “How dry I am”. Am I praising God ior just wanting to take a drink??? How can a mechanical instrument admonish or teach and therefore fulfil the commandment of Col. 3:16 ?? IF the word used in Eph 5:19, PSALLOS, meant an instrument then clearly everyone in the whole worship service must use an instrument out of commandment. Scholars agree the true meaning of this word ito be “the plucking of the vocal cords”. Therefore Again, review church history to see when the first instrument was used…it was long after apostles had died (about 400 to 500 yrs).
    Whoever has told you that the church of Christ will not go to the book of Psalms, was in ERROR !!
    The NT refers to the OT as our “schoolmaster”. It brings us to Christ………….The OT provides great examples of men and the consequences of their actions, history, prophecy of Christ….
    I am currently attending a Bible class each Wednesday where the church of Christ is conducting a study in great depth of this book. (verify your story prior to posting)
    Hebrews 8:6-13 tells us of how now with Christ we have a better covenant (Testament), a more excellent ministry replacing the old that contained fault.
    PLEASE see this internet site listed below for more documentation and study references from men who are much smarter than I am and have spent many hours of study and debate on this topic.

    http://foracapella.org/acappellaarticles/index.php

    One last comment…Arnold can not run for president BECAUSE it is not AUTHORIZED within our constitution !!!
    For him to do so would be in vain and not acceptable to our governing body (authority)……………

  16. There is no question that God desires His people to SING. As you say,it is specified. Thus, it is ordained and approved and authorized. But what about instruments of music? What is God’s feeling about these in the context of corporate worship today? The reality is — in the NT writings there is a deafening silence with regard to their use. Nothing is specified one way or the other. Therefore, must we conclude that they are forbidden by God? Does silence equate to sin? We obviously cannot conclude they are commanded for the church today, for they are not. But, on the other hand, neither are they specifically forbidden. Thus, silence alone is neither permissive nor prohibitive.

    If you MUST be authorized for each and everything, you corner yourself and have to come up with excuses that grant you permission on issues of silence. If the verses are to be taken as some suggest, you just ruled out everything NOT authorized. Are you serious when you state that music isnt an aid to singing? It doesnt replace singing, not unless its done alone. If I ask someone to come and sing “O Happy Day” and they use a song book, PA and a piano to aid them, does not this still admonish?? The aids of singing, i.e, song books, music, PA’s did not prevent this at all. But if I ask you to come and sing “O Happy Day” and you just read the song book out loud or just played the piano, then you have indeed done something other than “sing”. Anyone can see that music does not replace singing when its used WITH singing, just as one uses pitch pipes, song books, song leader with singing…

    The reality is, as acknowledged by both sides of the debate: God has neither condemned nor condoned the use of instruments in worship in the New Testament writings. Thus, those who promote the use of instruments, as well as those who prohibit their use, must do so largely from assumptions drawn from the silence of the text and from extra-biblical appeals. For example, many will point out that there is little or no historical evidence that the early church employed instruments in their public worship. Thus, it is asserted by some, such use today violates their example. Yes, that is most likely true. But, there is a greater question here that demands a hearing: Is their example, as best we can determine the true nature of that example from our deductions from the biblical text and extra-biblical sources, determinative with regard to the establishment of ultimate Truth? May the assumptions of fallible men regarding those examples then be elevated to the status of divine law? May such laws then be declared normative for all men for all time, and may lack of compliance be punished by forfeiture of fellowship and the threat of eternal damnation? If so, where in the New Covenant documents is such ever specified in unequivocal terms?

    My own personal conviction in the matter, for what it is worth, is that when God Himself, in the NT writings, chose neither to specifically permit nor prohibit instruments of music, I should wisely follow suit rather than try to fill in the legislative gaps left by His silence! Thus, I personally shall neither condone nor condemn the use of instruments of music in worship. If my GOD chose not to, it is rather presumptuous of ME to do so! Yes, I do indeed have my personal preferences regarding the issue at hand, but human preference does not equate to divine precept! I may choose to order my own life by these convictions, but I have no authority to bind them upon others. For me to attempt to do so is not only arrogant, but divisive.

    We can argue at length the meaning of the word “psallo” during its different historical phases, we can engage in lengthy debate as to why the early disciples of Christ may have chosen not to employ instruments in their worship (and there are numerous possible reasons), we can quote ad infinitum the church “Fathers” and enumerate the perspectives and practices of various denominational groups throughout the history of Christendom, but in the final analysis both sides of the issue are left with the same stark reality: If “authority” either for or against the practice is to be established, it must be established apart from an appeal to clear command in NT Scripture ….. i.e., by an appeal to examples, inferences, deductions, assumptions, history, church “Fathers,” lexicons, and the like. Thus, again, the matter is truly reduced to a hermeneutical issue, rather than a theological issue; one where subjectivity is a key factor. As such, we must exercise great caution lest we invest our deduced assumptions with such an aura of divine authority that they come to be regarded among us as tests of fellowship and conditions of salvation. When we carry our convictions this far, then in my view we have carried them too far.

    My personal conviction on the matter — once again, for what it is worth — is that the use or non-use of an instrument as an accompaniment or aid to singing in worship is NOT an issue that affects one’s ultimate salvation. Therefore, neither shall I make the use or non-use of an instrument in worship an issue that affects my fellowship with my brethren in Christ Jesus. I have found not one single passage in the entire Bible where the Lord Himself has specifically linked either fellowship or salvation to the use or non-use of instruments. Indeed, I do not even find a single hint of such from any inspired biblical writer. If it is there, I have yet to discover it (if any of you have discovered it, please write and share it with me). Thus, it is my firm conviction based on my study that it would be rather presumptuous for me to declare God’s disapproval of something about which He Himself has never expressed disapproval … or even hinted at such disapproval. What gives me that right? Sorry, but I’m just not bold enough to put words into His mouth that way. That’s not my place! I figure if GOD had wanted to make an issue of this, He easily could have … and would have. Since He didn’t, He obviously doesn’t need me to come along and “correct His cosmic oversight!”

  17. When God says sing …. WE SING. Replacing it, deleting it, negating it, invalidating it are forbidden. Specificity excludes our substituting something else in the place of that which our God specified. Thus, it is not silence about dancing that excludes dancing in this case, rather it is specificity about singing. If I tell my son to go to the store and buy a gallon of milk, I would be disappointed if he came home with a gallon of grape juice instead. True, I was silent about grape juice, but the fact that I specified milk excluded all other items in that category. Thus, it was specificity, not silence, that was determinative.

    What if the store was having a special promotion where they were giving away a box of cookies with every gallon of milk purchased? Would that be a transgression of my “silence” if he came home with cookies as well as milk? After all, he obeyed my command …. he brought home milk. He did exactly as I said. He obeyed fully. Would the addition of something NOT specified thereby NEGATE or INVALIDATE the command to bring home milk? Of course not. And this would especially be relevant if I had previously expressed to my son, in times past, that I loved cookies. Since he had no reason to believe I had changed my mind on that matter, he would be doing this out of love for his Dad.

    God has previously expressed His approval of instruments of music in corporate worship. That is a fact. Nowhere has God ever stated He has changed His mind. That too is a fact. Yes, His covenant with mankind has changed with the sacrifice of His Son, but aspects of our heartfelt expressions of love and devotion are just as relevant today as they were under previous covenants. He still appreciates prayer. He still approves singing. Loving one another transcends the atoning elements of specific covenants. Although offering bulls and goats is no longer needed, since Christ (the substance) has replaced those daily sacrifices (the shadows), nevertheless worshipful expressions remain valid. Hebrews 9:1-10 informs us that “regulations of divine worship” have now been removed under the new covenant (this “time of reformation”). Thus, matters of “self-made religion,” such as decrees like “don’t do this and don’t do that” are abolished (Colossians 2:20-23).

    God has specified singing. Thus, we sing. We don’t replace it with something else. However, musical accompaniment is not a replacement of singing. Jesus pointed out the distinction quite clearly in Matthew 15:4-6. God commanded that one’s parents be shown certain considerations by the children. Some religionists were seeking to avoid their responsibility here by replacing the command with one of their traditions. Jesus condemned them, saying, “And thus you INVALIDATED the Word of God for the sake of your tradition” (Matthew 15:4-6). Was there anything wrong or sinful about their tradition? Of course not. In fact, had these religionists done both (God’s command and their tradition) they would have been commended. It was that they sought to REPLACE the former with the latter that constituted the sin and drew the rebuke. Their tradition did not accompany God’s command, it invalidated it. That was the problem.

    The use of musical instruments as either accompaniment or as an aid to SINGING in no way whatsoever invalidates or negates or replaces singing. Singing still occurs. It is still just as heartfelt as before, whether “Bertha tinkles the ivories” in the background or not. The case of the “four cups of wine” added to the Passover feast, and the fact that Jesus and the disciples embraced this addition, clearly demonstrates that additions are not necessarily wrong in themselves IF they do not replace, negate, invalidate or diminish that which is commanded. Musical accompaniment does none of these, thus there is no biblical justification for its prohibition. On the other hand, neither is there any justification for commanding its use. Since God Himself, in His NT documents, has neither commanded nor prohibited its use, it thus falls under the umbrella of “biblical silence.” It is thereby relegated to the realm of responsible judgment. If it can be employed without replacing or negating or invalidating what God HAS prescribed, if it can be employed in such a way as to bring glory to God and uplift His people, then there is no just cause to exclude it. Those who choose to employ musical instruments as an accompaniment or aid to their singing are just as approved by God as those who choose not to employ it (Romans 14). It is purely a personal preference, nothing more.

    Fellowship in the ONE BODY should never be severed over personal preferences with regard to worshipful expression. As long as one is complying with God’s specification — SING — then preference with respect to accompaniment should be honored among brethren. As the old saying goes, “You don’t have to be my twin, to be my brother.”

    To sum up, specificity does indeed exclude all that would seek to replace, negate or invalidate that which is specified. If God says “sing,” He doesn’t expect us to “dance” in its place. Silence, however, neither proscribes nor prescribes. It merely calls for the exercise of responsible judgment in light of that which has been specified.

    Let me close with one last illustration. If I am the host of a Country Music show, and I spot my brother-in-Christ Randy Travis (a well-known country recording star, and a member of the churches of Christ) sitting in the audience, I might say, “Randy, would you come up here on stage and sing us a song?” I’m sure Randy would comply. If he gets up on stage, grabs a guitar which is sitting in a corner of the stage, and then sings one of his hits while accompanying himself with the guitar, has he complied fully with the request I made of him? Of course he has. I asked him to “sing a song,” and Randy sang a song!! Did the fact that he played a guitar as accompaniment invalidate his compliance with my request? Of course not. Using the guitar in no way whatsoever negated, replaced, invalidated or diminished the SINGING of that song by our brother Randy Travis.

    If, on the other hand, Randy had come up on stage and never opened his mouth, but played an instrumental piece on the guitar instead, he would NOT have complied with my request. I had requested that he “sing a song,” and he “played a piece of music” instead. That would have constituted an invalidation of my request. Why? Because he replaced what I asked for with something different.

    In this example it was not silence that excluded, it was rather specificity. Playing an instrumental piece was not contrary to my will because I was “silent” about playing an instrumental piece, rather it was contrary to my will because I had “specified” that he “sing a song.” However, my silence about playing a guitar did not prevent him from using a guitar as accompaniment or an aid in fulfilling what I had specified. Whether he used the guitar as an aid, or whether he chose to sing a cappella, would not have mattered. As long as he sang a song, he was in compliance with the request.

  18. In looking at the initial offering, (the “fictitious” conversation), I marveled that none of the scriptural arguments were even given. In fact, in my initial contact with this blog, I found much of the same. The fact is that human reasoning will not stand against the wisdom of God. It is HE who said, “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. (1 Corinthians 1:21 NKJV)

    The wisdom of men will not answer God. What needs to be looked at, in ALL the so-called “arguments” being given as “answering the church of christ”, is NOT what the “church of Christ” teaches, but rather what the BIBLE teaches about ALL these subjects.

    The “Bible silence” adherents, as we are being called, are simply saying exactly what God Himself said in places like Hebrews 7:14. What has been largely ignored is that, even though God “specified” concerning Levi, He also “spoke nothing” regarding Judah. That God “spoke nothing” removes ANY authority from the use of such in His kingdom.

    This is also what Paul was talking about in Col. 3:17. To do something “in the name” means to do it “with their authority”. When we HAVE authority, we CAN do it. If no Bible authority exists, then we simply cannot, acceptably to God, do a thing. Paul put the authority issue plainly when he said, “And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.” (1 Corinthians 4:6 KJV) We are not even to THINK beyond what is written. Why? Because it is ONLY within the realm of God’s word that we will be judged. (John 12:48) He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (KJV) When we add something to His word, or take from it, we are in grave danger (Rev. 22:18-19)

    Where does the authority exist for the use of instruments of music in the New Testament church? NOWHERE. There is no Bible authority for such in the New Covenant. In fact, even in the Old Testament, there is evidence that this was not a part of God’s original plans AND that God allowed such under the law even when it did not originate with Him. Such is the force of Paul’s statement on Mars Hill, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:” (Acts 17:30 KJV). Amos gives a stinging rebuke IN the Old Testament against those who would follow the path of David (Amos 6: 5) when the Bible obviously illustrates that the ONLY instruments that David “invented” were those used in worship (and even THEY were not truly used in Temple worship but rather as a “call” to worship).

    It is also of interest that the founders of virtually every denomination have struck a blow AGAINST the use of the very instruments of music now being used in the denominations they founded. Thus, it is not only the “church of Christ” that teaches this doctrine. So did Barnes, Calvin, Clarke, Dickinson, Knox, Luther, McClintock, Robertson, Schaff, Spurgeon, and Wesley, as well as several Catholic sources. Thus, if the “churches of christ” are in the wrong on this issue, so are the founders of most of the denominations of today.

    Let’s also examine the Bible silence issue again. It was formerly said that since God “specified” Levi, that is what eliminated all others from the priesthood. Though there is some force in that statement, there is also the problem of silence. If silence is permissive rather than restrictive, what prevents me from playing golf on Sunday and calling it worship? God said nothing about it. The other problem with this argument is the failure to recognize that, with regard to music, God DID SPECIFY. (Ephesians 5:19) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (KJV) Here God “specified” singing, speaking, and melody in the heart. WHERE IS THE INSTRUMENT? It is nowhere. (Colossians 3:16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (KJV) Here God “specified” singing, and the kind of music that “teaches” and “admonishes”. WHERE IS THE INSTRUMENT? It is nowhere to be found.

    Every New Testament example we have of the church making music is singing only. There is no instrument EVEN THOUGH SUCH WERE AVAILABLE. The writings of the early church fathers, dating back to the first century, speak about a cappella singing ONLY. In fact, the Latin words “a cappella” date back to the first century and mean “as the church”.

    Instrumental music in the church is a recent invention, comparatively. In fact, I was in England last month and toured Westminster Abbey. The organ lofts in the Abbey, as well as St. Margaret’s next door, were obviously late add-ons. The buildings were not built to house instruments. The one in St. Margarets even had to cover up some of the carvings on the far wall in order to add the instrument.

    That is the appropriate statement as well. Instruments are an “add” and NOT an “aid”. A songbook merely aids the act of singing. The instrument is a separate act as and of itself, and is NOT necessary to singing.

    Another point that needs to be seen is that of the reciprocal nature of singing. Like the use of the instrument, there is no scriptural authority for solos, choirs, or any other kind of “performance” music in worship. The fact is that we are to speak to “one another”, or sing to “ourselves”. No-one can do this for us. It is each Christian that MUST do it. If there is authority for the instrument in worship, then eveyone MUST play, not just those assigned to such a task.

    Simply put, before we presume to tell God how He should be worshipped, we must find out what God has said and DO THAT. This is the force of what Jesus said in John 4:24. It is Jesus who said we MUST worship “in spirit and in truth”. The ONLY truth there is that is real and objective is God’s word.

  19. I wonder how Randy would have felt if his son had BOUGHT that box of cookies instead of just been given them for free? Would that have made a difference in his thinking?

    Randy wrongly assumes that the use of instrumental music ALONG WITH vocal music is acceptable since, in his thinking, it is only wrong if one “replaces” an item of worship with another item. Such is simply NOT true. There are numerous examples where ADDING something (without replacing something else) was proven to be wrong in the sight of God. In fact, this is the very thing that is addressed in Rev. 20:18.

    Randy also suggests that instruments are “just an aid”. Really? Do we NEED them in order to sing? If they are an “aid” then we would have a need for them, yet we do not. Others have said that songbooks, pitchpipes, intercoms, etc. are also “adds” to the singing. I would argue that they are not. The only thing one will be able to do with the use of songbooks, pitchpipes, and intercoms is SING. Will one be only “singing” when the instrument is “played”? In fact, is not instrumental music a “stand alone” kind of music from vocal music?

    Though Randy Travis may very well come up and “play” while singing, this in no way would do more than ADD to that singing. Randy could just as well sing without the guitar. Thus is it an addition and NOT an aid.

    Randy writes: God has previously expressed His approval of instruments of music in corporate worship. That is a fact. Nowhere has God ever stated He has changed His mind. That too is a fact.

    Skip here: The fact is that God has expressed his “disapproval” for what David did (Amos 6:5) and HAS “changed” the covenant under which such previous “approval” existed. This was “nailed to the cross” and thus is no longer our “judge”. One cannot go back and get things out of the Old Testament to justify a practice under the New, anymore than one should try to justify a practice under the US Constitution by making reference to the Magna Carta.

    Randy wrote: aspects of our heartfelt expressions of love and devotion are just as relevant today as they were under previous covenants. He still appreciates prayer. He still approves singing. Loving one another transcends the atoning elements of specific covenants.

    Skip here: The fact is that things like prayer, singing, giving, the Lord’s supper, et. al., are not merely things that God “appreciates”, they are demanded by Him in our worhsip. Randy seems to be laboring under the false conclusion that we are not under law today simply because the Old Testament law is no longer our “tutor”.

    Randy writes: Hebrews 9:1-10 informs us that “regulations of divine worship” have now been removed under the new covenant (this “time of reformation”).

    Skip here: Randy should take a class in hermeneutics. Context matters and this passage in no way suggests what Randy is making of it. In fact, this passage only tells us that the Old Testament ordinances preconceived the New Testament itself. Notice expressions like “EVEN the first covenant had ordinances” (Heb. 9:1) This indicates a comparison. In verse 9 it says that this is “symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered”. It does NOT say that “regulations of divine worship” have been done away, but only the physical forms that have given way to the spiritual kingdom. Again, Randy’s conclusion wipes out the very statement of Christ when He said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24 KJV) Jesus said MUST and we MUST. Anything that is not of “truth” is NOT the principle of divine worship that God has established.

    Randy wrote: Thus, matters of “self-made religion,” such as decrees like “don’t do this and don’t do that” are abolished (Colossians 2:20-23).

    Skip here: Randy falsely concludes that a cappella singing is “self made” religion when it is entirely the opposite. The ONLY command given in the New Testament that tells us HOW to sing is given in Col. 3:16 and Eph. 5:19 and there is NO INSTRUMENT in any of it.

  20. Hello Skip!

    Glad to have another voice on the blog. I hope you’ll visit us often, and give your feedback. Even though I disagree with you, I still appreciate you and your thoughts and opinions.

    I’ll answer your thoughts in turn, and it’s rather long, so bear with me:

    1) You wrote:
    “The fact is that human reasoning will not stand against the wisdom of God.”

    I don’t disagree with you. But it’s not God’s wisdom that is being debated. It’s man’s ability to interpret God’s wisdom. I could apply 1 Cor 1:21 to any Biblical argument with which I disagreed.

    2) You wrote:
    “What needs to be looked at, in ALL the so-called “arguments” being given as “answering the church of christ”, is NOT what the “church of Christ” teaches, but rather what the BIBLE teaches about ALL these subjects.”

    Again, the problem here is NOT what the Bible teaches – it is how man interprets the teachings. That is what we are discussing here in response to the television programs that were responsible for the creation of this blog in the first place.

    I don’t have a problem with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ interpreting tertiary issues differently than I do. I do have a problem when they sit in the place of God and condemn me for my different interpretation.

    But see? Even there, you are probably thinking that these are not “tertiary” issues. See? Different interpretations of the same Holy Word. What do you do with that?

    3) You wrote:
    “The “Bible silence” adherents, as we are being called, are simply saying exactly what God Himself said in places like Hebrews 7:14. What has been largely ignored is that, even though God “specified” concerning Levi, He also “spoke nothing” regarding Judah. That God “spoke nothing” removes ANY authority from the use of such in His kingdom.”

    But God isn’t silent on the use of music! The issue here is that you (and your fellow adherents) seem to think that God didn’t have anything to do with the books Genesis through Malachi. The Old Testament is full of music being used to glorify God.

    Throughout the Psalms, David made mention of praising God with instrumental music. Notice a few examples:

    “Praise the LORD with the harp; make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.” (33:2)
    “…on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.” (43:4)
    “The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the maidens playing timbrels.” (68:25)
    “Sing to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of a psalm, with trumpets and the sound of a horn; shout joyfully before the LORD, the King.” (98:5-6)

    Now, I know the next argument to follow: That what was authoritative for us in the Old Testament is not necessarily authoritative for us in the New.

    But, you must see that those of us who are pro-instruments in worship are not arguing from a vacuum.

    You wrote:
    “In fact, even in the Old Testament, there is evidence that this was not a part of God’s original plans AND that God allowed such under the law even when it did not originate with Him. Such is the force of Paul’s statement on Mars Hill, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:” (Acts 17:30 KJV).”

    I’m not sure how you connect this passage to music in worship. Paul is talking about idolatry in that passage. This is the problem with this kind of argumentation – verses taken out of context. The verse right before the one you mention puts it in context: “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.” (Acts 17:29)

    Context is such a bother sometimes.

    You wrote:
    “Amos gives a stinging rebuke IN the Old Testament against those who would follow the path of David (Amos 6: 5) when the Bible obviously illustrates that the ONLY instruments that David “invented” were those used in worship (and even THEY were not truly used in Temple worship but rather as a “call” to worship).”

    Again, I’d ask you to check out the context of Amos 6:5. Amos was coming down hard on the Israelites for lounging around, getting drunk and fat, and trusting in their possessions rather than in Him. When I read this passage, I see that the argument can be made that Amos is simply comparing what the Israelites are doing wrongly to what David did rightly. After all, the overwhelming Biblical evidence is that David was, even with his faults, a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22), and when Paul mentioned this, he didn’t say “except for the instruments in worship bit”.

    You wrote:
    “Paul put the authority issue plainly when he said, “And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.” (1 Corinthians 4:6 KJV) We are not even to THINK beyond what is written.”

    Context, context, context. Context tells us that Paul was writing about the Corinthians’ throwing up of divisions based on their lack of trust in his leadership, and that the point was that the Corinthians shouldn’t go “outside the lines”. Besides, in the KJV, it says we are not to THINK OF MEN above that which is written. It’s a completely different subject.

    You wrote:
    “Why? Because it is ONLY within the realm of God’s word that we will be judged. (John 12:48) He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (KJV) When we add something to His word, or take from it, we are in grave danger (Rev. 22:18-19)”

    I agree with you here. The only way we have to know and understand God is through His word. But, as I said before, God’s word consists of both the Old and the New Testament.

    You wrote:
    “Where does the authority exist for the use of instruments of music in the New Testament church? NOWHERE. There is no Bible authority for such in the New Covenant.”

    You mentioned Ephesians 5:19 to bolster your argument, but I would say it is actually a plus to what I’m arguing. Eph 5:19 says, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”

    “psalms” is from the Greek “psalmos”, which means:
    1) a striking, twanging
    a) of a striking the chords of a musical instrument
    b) of a pious song, a psalm.

    If you are looking for authority from Scripture, that seems to be pretty cut and dry.

    You wrote:
    “It is also of interest that the founders of virtually every denomination have struck a blow AGAINST the use of the very instruments of music now being used in the denominations they founded…Thus, if the “churches of christ” are in the wrong on this issue, so are the founders of most of the denominations of today.”

    First of all, I wouldn’t say that the adherence to acapella music is wrong. What is wrong is insisting that anything else is sinful. And, there were many things the founders of various denominations were wrong about. They killed each other over doctrine, and that’s pretty wrong. But, their wrongness doesn’t bother me, because my allegiance isn’t to the human founders of my denomination – my allegiance is to Jesus Christ, and to the Father, and to the Holy Spirit.

    You wrote:
    “what prevents me from playing golf on Sunday and calling it worship?”

    This is like the mud wrestling argument. Is there any Biblical precedent for golf as worship? However, I would remind you that God gives us freedom. Look at Colossians 3:17: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” So, I think it is possible for a follower of Jesus to worship God on the golf course, under the right conditions. And the really interesting bit about this passage is that Col 3:16 mirrors Ephesians 5:19, with the reference to worshipping God with psalms.

    You wrote:
    “The writings of the early church fathers, dating back to the first century, speak about a cappella singing ONLY. In fact, the Latin words “a cappella” date back to the first century and mean “as the church”.”
    I don’t deny this. But, I want to see how consistent you are in this argument. Does your church permit acapella singing in harmonies?

    You wrote:
    That is the appropriate statement as well. Instruments are an “add” and NOT an “aid”. A songbook merely aids the act of singing. The instrument is a separate act as and of itself, and is NOT necessary to singing.
    Now, this is just a matter of opinion. Pure and simple.

    You wrote:
    Simply put, before we presume to tell God how He should be worshipped, we must find out what God has said and DO THAT. This is the force of what Jesus said in John 4:24. It is Jesus who said we MUST worship “in spirit and in truth”. The ONLY truth there is that is real and objective is God’s word.
    But you are telling God how He should be worshipped, by denying what He has permitted. Throughout the Old Testament, we see God permitting musical instruments. In the New Testament, we have Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, mentioned above.

    And the crowning point of view comes from the Lord Himself:

    When Jesus told his great parable of the lost son, he shows the father (who represents God) throwing a party for the returning son (representing the lost who have returned) and this is what the older son heard: “Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.” (Luke 15:25) This is, essentially, a picture of worship that Jesus himself painted.

    And if it was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me.

  21. Skip Says:
    Let’s also examine the Bible silence issue again. It was formerly said that since God “specified” Levi, that is what eliminated all others from the priesthood.

    Randy:

    I think we already went over this.
    Was God silent with respect to which of the tribes would be the “priestly tribe”? No. God SPOKE. God SPECIFIED. The tribe was to be Levi …. and only Levi. “The Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to serve Him and to bless in His name until this day. Therefore, Levi does not have a portion or inheritance with his brothers; the Lord is his inheritance” (Deut. 10:8-9). See also: Numbers 3:5-10; 8:5-26; 18:1-7. “Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the sons of Israel, and the Levites shall be Mine” (Numbers 8:14). “They are wholly given to Me from among the sons of Israel” (Numbers 8:16). “I am giving you the priesthood as a bestowed service, but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death” (Numbers 18:7).

    God had made it very, very clear that no one from any tribe other than Levi would ever be allowed to serve in the priesthood. God had SPOKEN. God had SPECIFIED. He was NOT silent. Thus, the tribe of Judah was excluded from serving in the priesthood NOT because God was silent about Judah serving as priests, but rather because He had specified that only those from Levi could serve as priests.

    This brings us to the Hebrews 7:14 passage. Judah was a tribe “with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests.” Why was Moses “silent” about Judah with reference to priests? Because God had SPECIFIED the tribe of Levi. There was no need for Moses to say anything about Judah for the simple reason GOD HAD SPOKEN. God had specified. Judah is excluded from the priesthood NOT because Moses was “silent” about them serving in that capacity, but rather because God had specified that priests would come solely from Levi. Thus, it is NOT silence that excludes or prohibits, it is specificity. This passage has nothing whatsoever to do with “silence,” much less any so-called “Law of silence.” When God has SPOKEN, there is no silence.

    Do you FULLY and COMPLETELY do what Col. 3:17 states on everything you do in worship? I know for a fact that you do not, seeing I attended the church of Christ. Please don’t think I am bashing you or the church of Christ…far from it ! I just disagree with you on some things. It seems that Paul and Peter disagreed at times…and others too, but were they called saints or sinners? We all do not understand every verse in the bible the same…does this mean because you understand something better than me, that I am hell bound for not being as smart as you?? Does our salvation hinge upon “perfect understanding” of ALL scriptures?? Can anyone be that prideful to think he has such understanding that he condemn others to hell, who dont have the same understanding??

  22. The use of musical instruments as either accompaniment or as an aid to SINGING in no way whatsoever invalidates or negates or replaces singing. Singing still occurs. It is still just as heartfelt as before, whether “Bertha tinkles the ivories” in the background or not. It is thereby relegated to the realm of responsible judgment. If it can be employed without replacing or negating or invalidating what God HAS prescribed, if it can be employed in such a way as to bring glory to God and uplift His people, then there is no just cause to exclude it. Those who choose to employ musical instruments as an accompaniment or aid to their singing are just as approved by God as those who choose not to employ it (Romans 14). It is purely a personal preference, nothing more. I almost laughed when Skip stated that music doesnt aid singing. I have read the same arguments as he has. But, to be honest, music is the biggest aid of all. Can a song book be ONE with the pitch of singng? Can the PA’s be ONE with…and find the pitch and tune of ones voice? Can a pitch pipe? Oh, thats right a pitch pipe can? I wonder if a pitch pipe is an aid or addition? Another thing you might notice is these guys will call “singing only” a command of God” because of an example. I think the early church sold all of their things too and gave to the poor. I dont see much of that today. But, I must give credit where its due, Johnny has done this three times. But does this mean we all by “example” do this?

  23. Sorry I haven’t been back in a timely fashion, but want to answer back, and to remind you of my comment, then your answer to me, and then I will attempt to answer.
    1. No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President;
    By stating that one must be a natural born citizen, then that eliminates anyone born in another country of non citizen.
    It is the same principle that when Paul wrote to sing, that it eliminates mechanical instruments.
    2. answeringchurchofchrist Says:
    November 24, 2007 at 2:58 pm
    Does the NT say anything at all like that?
    Where does it say, “no worship except singing shall be God-ordained worship.”?
    Illogical reasoning, my friend. But, thanks for posting!
    First since you said that my answer was illogical reasoning, let me quote Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary of the word logic.
    1: a science that deals with the cannons and criteria of validity of inference and demonstration: the science of the normative formal principles of reasoning.
    Let me start by saying that the Apostle Paul wrote in 2nd Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
    I draw my conclusions from the scripture.
    If all scripture is given by God, and it is, them I must use it as it is intended.
    Paul also wrote in Romans 15:4 “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
    Now to answer your “Does the NT say anything at all like that?”
    Revelation 22:18 “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book”
    Nothing shall be added.
    I have picked up that you don’t feel that we can use the OT for any reasoning in this matter, but using Rom. 14:4 then what was written in the OT for our learning.
    What learning, there are many lessons in the OT. Duet. 4:2 Moses speaking “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandement of the Lord your God which I command you.”
    Solomon wrote in Prov. 30:5-6 “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. 6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
    So friend my logic is based on scriptures, what is your logic based on?

  24. J.C., glad that you came back to join us. We will be glad to have your input and thoughts, even if we might not agree, we can at least discuss!

    Now, to your new post – nice attempt at the classic bait and switch. My post was in response to your post, which concluded with:

    You said:
    “By stating that one must be a natural born citizen, then that eliminates anyone born in another country of non citizen. It is the same principle that when Paul wrote to sing, that it eliminates mechanical instruments.”

    And you somehow infer that Scripture doesn’t inform my thoughts on this subject? What you put in the above quote, my friend, was your opinion, and I believe that you are not correct in your opinion, and that you are adding apples and getting oranges, and I think Randy did a good job answering that incorrect thought process.

    But, to put it in a nutshell, the constitution is not silent on the subject of non-natural born citizens holding office. It is plain that they cannot. Is it so plain that the church cannot use musical instruments? Nope. Nope. Nope. Read this very carefully: silence in Scripture doesn’t equate a command, especially not in this case.

    And, as I wrote in other places, if you look at the OT (where do you get that “I have picked up that you don’t feel that we can use the OT for any reasoning in this matter”? Did you read my former posts at all?), it is FULL of references to people using musical instruments as a part of their worship. So, the Scriptures, taken as a whole, are definitely NOT silent on the subject.

    Read back through my posts (especially the conversation with Skip), and I’ll be interested in your thoughts.

  25. J.C. says: Revelation 22:18 “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book”
    Nothing shall be added.

    Randy says: I won’t comment on much of what J.C. wrote, because it’s all pretty much covered in previous post. Above J.C. stated “NOTHING CAN BE ADDED” …J.C. where is the “invitation song” in scripture? Was this ADDED by the church of Christ or maybe Peter forgot the invitation song after his preaching in ACTS 2. You have went outside of scripture to have an “invitation song” but I have a feeling you will bend the rulues here and not apply the scriptures you gave above to this…

  26. Not to mention what is in the NT but not commonly practiced by any church. For example, our local Church of Christ TV hosts like to quote the 2nd half of Romans 16:16 all the time, but how many of them practice the first half?

    J.C., do you greet folks with a holy kiss?

  27. …spending some time with these men via emails and at the church of Christ in Martinsville, they will say that “Holy Kiss” was a custom of that day. Didnt some of the Christians in the early church sell their goods and give to the poor?? Didnt some of the Christians have the Lords supper on the first day of the week?? Are both of these examples of how the early church worshiped God?? My Point is that some people in the church of Christ pick and choose what they like. I don’t see them selling things and giving to the poor per the example, but they do take the example of the Lords supper and bind it upon people as law and as you stated they take part Romans 16:16 and use part of it and call the other part custom.

  28. Re: instrumental music, in order to understand the differences between the pro- and anti- camps, you have to understand the difference in core hermeneutics – that is to say, how we understand Scripture.

    The anti-IM position is predicated upon the belief that we cannot and do not understand God without revelation (Isaiah 55:8). Therefore, as humble slaves of God, we require His approval, either general or specific, in order to do anything. In the New Testament, we see nothing that in any way authorizes Christians to use IM in worship to God.

    The pro-IM position, on the other hand, begins with the belief that IM doesn’t matter to God because if it had, He would have objected to it. It is the more permissive hermeneutic, saying that unless God explicitly forbids something, it’s okay for man to do.

    There’s not much point in talking about IM without first talking about and resolving the differences in interpretive methods.

    Re: the Holy Kiss, several things should be noted.

    1) Even if someone is wrong in not practicing the “holy kiss” today, that does not disprove any other position they may take. It only shows they’re wrong in that one point.

    2) Odds are those bringing it up don’t practice it, either. If not, it strikes me as just a straw man to distract debate from the point under discussion.

    3) There are a number of first-century customs that don’t have the same significance in 21st-century America. This would include the veil/covering of I Cor. 11, foot washing (John 13), and the “holy kiss.” In these cases, where is the value in practicing an act foreign to us without the same meaning as the original recipients of the command? It’s generally understood that while the original principle applies to us today, the specific act does not. I would suspect everyone here would probably agree on this.

  29. I went back to read and must admit that you have used, and verify that the OT is God’s word, and I was incorrect in my assumption on that.
    I must let you know to start with that I am an older uneducated man, and I would even call myself a Hillbilly.
    As far as bait and switch, I find those merchants who use this are dishonest, and they must feel that they are smarter than the people who they are trying to sell to.
    I am dumber than a coal bucket, and I know it, so I couldn’t try this.
    Another reason I couldn’t use bait and switch is that it a dishonest thing. I am not dishonest, and I am highly insulted that you would imply that I am.
    When one studies the scripture, they must do so with an open mind. Not to prove a point, nor to disapprove a point.
    I will continue to use this mindset when I study.
    I may be wrong in what I understand Randy to be saying, but I understand it be that adding is only when we are adding another item to worship. So when an instrument is used it is not an addition.
    As for the invitation song, did they use it in the first century, I don’t know, I don’ find any reference to that.
    Do we sing harmony? If you would come to worship with me, you could say that he doesn’t. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket with a lid on it. But I sing making the melody in my heart, because it doesn’t come out sounding very melodious.
    I am not a scholar as I have mentioned before. But I do have a Strong’s Concordance to help in my study.
    Mr. Strong may have gotten the definition of Psalms wrong, may have gotten it right. I do not know, but I will give you his definition as used in Col. 3: 16.
    “psalmos, psal-mos’ from 5567; a set piece of music, i.e. a scared ode (accompanied with the voice, harp or other instrument; a “psalm”)
    This dumb Hillbilly is signing off, and will not rejoin this discussion again, knowing that I am not intelligent to take part.
    Also I know that nothing that I say, or write will sway a mind that is determined not to change. Matt. &:6.

  30. Hi J.C.,

    My apologies. The “bait and switch” idea was not the most appropriate way of saying what I was trying to say. I don’t think you were being dishonest, and it was wrong of me to imply that you were.

    As to your definition of “psalm”, exactly! Did you see how you defined it? “Accompanied with the voice, HARP or OTHER INSTRUMENT”!

    Strongs gives definitions based on the strongest meanings of the terms, based on historical evidence, scholarship, comparative study of other literature of the time, etc. And your definition takes away any notion that musical instruments are to be excluded from the “performance” of a psalm.

    And J.C., there’s no need to be so sensitive. Nobody called you a “dumb Hillbilly”. Perhaps I got a bit verbose in my desire to state my thoughts on your post(s), but that’s no reason to not rejoin our discussion. It’s your call, obviously, but I’d like to have your continued involvement.

    This is what I often do:

    “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same [is] a perfect man, [and] able also to bridle the whole body.” James 3:2

    This is what I long to do:

    “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17

  31. Here is an idea. I can just see Jesus dying on the cross and the great spiritual battle taking place for our souls and all of the fear and agony and then Jesus thinks to himself; O’ Father let them never use a mechanical instrument when they assemble to worship us as it will be against our very nature and spirit and put their souls in jeopardy that I am purchasing right now with my blood.

    I am sorry but his horse has been beat and whipped into 1000 pieces a long time ago. The amount of time, energy and money that the cofC has exhausted debating this and other ridiculous issues that have nothing to do with the cross, or the nature of God in three persons. It is the greatest self indictment of all! It is like a dog that can’t help but chase a ball when it is thrown. We (cofC) can’t help but argue, divide, blame and accuse over what can or can’t be done, and who can and can’t do it , and how it must or must not be done in a one hour assembly a couple of times a week. All of our religious friends and even atheist and agnostics can point this out to us but we can’t see the forest through the trees because we prefer the emotional security of being right over consistency, humility and brutal honesty. When our conclusions of the Bible don’t hold up to the lens of the cross we had better be careful. In the past 30 years more people in the cofC have studied themselves out of this “sacred cow” along with several others like (weekly communion only on Sunday) than have convinced themselves of these ridiculous conclusions.

  32. Most churches in Christendom today use mechanical instruments of music, either alone or to accompany their singing, in worship to God. In fact, so widespread is the practice that its verity, or its scripturalness, is not generally questioned. Churches which do not employ mechanical instruments in worship are looked upon as being eccentric groups, irregular in doctrine, freakish in custom and non-conformable to the rules commonly accepted by the majority. Besides comprising a kind of oddity, being abnormal and “out of tune” with the times, they are often accused of being narrow, bigoted, and fanatical. It seems strange and unorthodox that a minority could be so dogmatic and unreasonable as to find ground for objection to anything so beautiful, innocent, refined and elevating as an implement that could aid in praising and glorifying God!

    A Comparatively Recent Innovation

    May it be said here, however, that this has not always been the case. This position occupied by the majority today has not always been accepted. Present and general acceptance of a principle or a thing does not guarantee its genuineness or authenticity. The Lord once said, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil” (Ex. 23:2). Jesus said that the number that will be saved eventually will be relatively small (Matt. 7:13,14). If we were governed by the principle of following the majority, we would all be heathen idolaters!

    God’s Word is the Only Standard

    The most urgently needed lesson of our time is that the only rule for deciding what is right is the word of God. Men must be guided by the standard of the New Testament, perfect and authoritative, in all that they believe and practice. It behooves us, therefore, to inquire: “What does the New Testament teach upon the subject of music in the church?”

    “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19). “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto the Lord” (Col. 3:16). “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also” (I Cor. 14:15). “Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee” (Heb. 2:12). See also Matt. 26:30; Acts 16:25; Rom. 15:9; Jas. 5:13.

    Specifies Kind of Music

    From these passages, it is evident that the Lord authorized singing as the kind of music Christians are to render to him in worship and in honor of Christ. There are two distinct and separate kinds of music: vocal and instrumental. God specifies the kind we are to render – vocal. And when God specifies a thing in a command, everything else except that thing named is to be excluded. This is a simple principle recognized in other areas by all of us. For example, God commanded Noah to build an ark (Gen. 6:14ff). Doubtless, there were many kinds of wood which Noah could have used in the ark’s construction, but Jehovah specified one particular kind of wood out of which he was to build it – gopher wood. In thus stating definitely the wood which was to be put to this purpose to accomplish the end God intended, every other kind of wood was positively excluded. If Noah had disregarded this divine command, there is no doubt that he would have been lost, along with the whole antediluvian world. But it is very refreshing to read: “Thus did Noah according to all that God commanded him; so did he” (Gen. 6:22).

    In two of the passages before us, Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, not only does he denote and particularize the sort of music we are to render vocal, but he designates the very class of that vocal music – psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. No other types of songs can we present to God in worship and expect to receive his approval. All other songs (however much we may enjoy and appreciate them) which do not come within this scope, these classifications enumerated by Paul, are prohibited. The learning of this simple principle would solve our problems and promote the unity of a divided Christian world.

    Respect for Authority of God’s Word

    If the principle and practice of promoting genuine ecumenism (cooperation, understanding, real unity, peace and harmony) among differing religious faiths ever become a reality, we must first learn well the lesson of respect for the authority of God’s word. We must speak where the Bible speaks; we must be silent where the Bible is silent. It is permitted for us to do only what is authorized in his word. From everything else we must abstain. “Whoever goes on and does not abide in the doctrine which is from Christ has not God” (2 Jno. 9). There is no more authority in the New Testament for the use of mechanical instrumental music in Christian worship than for the burning of incense, the offering of animal sacrifices, or the observance of Jewish religious days – such as the Passover, Pentecost and the Sabbath.

    Why Some Favor Its Use

    There are, as one would expect, many arguments offered in favor of the use of mechanical instruments in worship.

    The Bible does not specifically prohibit its use, we are told.

    The New Testament is not a catalogue of Thou shalts and Thou shalt nots. Rather, principles are laid down by which we are to be governed in our religious activities. “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…” (Col. 3:17). To do anything in the name of Jesus Christ is to do it by His authority; it is to do it by his divine approval and permission. To assert that God does not say, Thou shalt not use an instrument in worship, is begging the question. It assumes that this is proof of the very thing that needs to be proved. If one followed this principle, he could also say that God does not prohibit the observance of Jewish days of worship by saying, Thou shall not keep the Passover, the Pentecost and the Day of Atonement. Nor does he say, Thou shalt not offer animal sacrifices in worship to God On this ground, there is hardly anything one could not do in worship that he should choose to do; and this, you know, would open the floodgate to countless innovations nowhere referred to in the New Testament.

    The argument is made, David used instruments of music in worship, and David was a friend of God; so it would be permissible for us today to use them.

    It must be remembered that David lived under the law of Moses, but Christians live under the law of Christ, the New Testament. “He taketh away the first that he may establish the second, by the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:9,10). Christ is the mediator of the New Testament (Heb. 9:15). “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah…” (Heb. 8:7,8). To endeavor to justify a practice on the grounds that David did it, is a very insubstantial and dubious argument. Simply because David did it does not make it right. David had eight wives and took more, with concubines besides (2 Sam. 5:13). David took the wife of another man, committed adultery with her, got him drunk in an effort to deceive him, and finally sent him to the front lines of battle and commanded his own army to retreat so the man might be slain. It is pretty weak to say, “We can do it because David did it.” It sounds mightily as though David was condemned for the very thing in which so many people want to follow his example: “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria …. that lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; that chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of music, like David …. but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph” (Amos 6:I6). It is time for us to learn that David is not the standard nor the authority for worship in the New Testament church.

    Another postulation advanced in favor of the use of the instrument in worship is that the word psallo – make melody, Eph. 5:19 permits its use! The claim is even made that the instrument is in the word.

    Examination of the Word “Psallo”

    If this were so (that the instrument is included in the word), it would be absolutely necessary to use the instrument in order to carry out God’s injunction to make melody in this passage. Moreover, it would be imperative for every Christian to play an instrument to please God in worship, for this is a command, but inasmuch as making melody is a command of God to us, how can it be merely permissible? God’s commands are not permissible; they are mandatory; they are necessary. When God commands us to do something, it is required that we comply. It is not left to our discretion, or wishes, or volition, as to whether or not we will carry it out. There is no choice in the matter. So, if psallo (making melody) contains the instrument, every Christian is commanded to play an instrument in order to psallo, and there is no alternative. The plain fact is that the instrument was not named or included in the word psallo in the music of the New Testament church.

    Scholars on Meaning of “Psallo”

    To verify this statement, your attention is called to the findings of scholars and lexicographers of the New Testament language:

    J. W. McGarvey: “No scholar has ever taken the position that the singing of psalms requires the use of a mechanical instrument.”

    W. B. F. Treat: “It (psallo) simply means to pluck or its equivalent; and whether this plucking is of the beard, the hair, the bowstring, the strings of a musical instrument, or something else, must be determined by other words, and not by psallo. It determines nothing as to that, no more than baptize determines the subject and element of baptism.”

    J. S. Dunn: “Can we get instrumental music from this word psallo? It is only ignorance that would lead anyone to think that, as used in the New Testament, this word countenances the use of instruments in Christian worship.”

    Thayer: “I will sing God’s praises, indeed, with my whole soul stirred and borne away by the Holy Spirit; but I also will follow reason as my guide, so that what I sing may be understood alike by myself and the listeners.” In defining the word psallo, Thayer says, “In the New Testament to sing a hymn, to celebrate the praises of God in song.”

    Abbott & Smith: “In the New Testament to sing a hymn, sing praise.”

    Arndt & Gingrich: “Sing praise in spiritual ecstasy and in full possession of one’s mental faculties.”

    W. E. Vine: “In the New Testament to sing a hymn, sing praises.”

    Harper (Analytical Greek Lexicon): “In New Testament to sing praises.”

    Lidell & Scott (Classical Greek Lexicon): “Pluck, pull, twitch, twang. Send a shaft twanging from the bow. A carpenter’s red line, which is twitched and suddenly let go, so as to leave a mark.” (It may be noted that Liddell and Scott, being Classical lexicographers, do not give the New Testament meaning of the word Psallo, but show its original and literal meaning.)

    Robinson’s Greek Lexicon: “In the New Testament, a psalm, a song in praise of God.”

    Green’s Lexicon: “In the New Testament, to sing praises.” The noun form of the word “psalmos” he defines a sacred song, psalm.

    E. A. Sophocles, who examined all the Greek literature from a period before Christ of 150 years to 1100 years after Christ, did not find the instrument idea in a single passage. The only meaning he found to the word psallo was: “To chant, to sing religious hymns.”

    Harper’s Latin Lexicon: Psallo, I Cor: 14:15: “To sing the psalms of David.”

    The expression in Eph. 5:19 is: “psalming with the heart” – psallontes te kardia. This is instrumental case. It names the instrument with which we are to make melody, and that instrument is the human heart.

    Inasmuch as it has been plainly shown what the New Testament teaches on the subject of the use of mechanical instruments in Christian worship, let us examine other great and reputable scholars in their standard works.

    Record of Encyclopedias

    McClintock and Strong: “There is no warrant in the New Testament for their use.” (No scriptural example for their use; no command to use them; no direction for their use.) “Instruments were not used in the worship of the ancient synagogue.” “The early Reformers, when they came out of Rome, removed them as the monuments of idolatry.” “The instruments of the former economy were ceremonial.” “Instrumental music is incompatible with directions for singing given in the New Testament.” “The Greek word psallo is applied among the Greeks of modern times exclusively to sacred music, which in the Eastern Church has never been any other than vocal, instrumental music being unknown in the primitive church … But students of ecclesiastical archaeology are generally agreed that instrumental music was not used in churches till a much later date.”

    The American Encyclopedia, Vol. XII, page 688: “Pope Vitalian is related to have first introduced organs into some of the churches of Western Europe about 670; but the earliest trustworthy account is that of one sent as a present by the Greek Emperor Constantine Copronymus to Pepin, King of Franks in 755…”

    Chambers Encyclopedia, Vol. Vll, page 1 I2: “The organ is said to have been introduced into church music by Pope Vitalian in 666 A.D.”

    Catholic Authorities: (Music: The Catholic Encyclopedia, ol. X): Advent and use of organ: “In Carlovingian times, however, the organ came into use, and was, until the sixteenth century, used solely for the accompaniment of the chant…” page 651. The times referred to here began about 768 with the accession of Charlemagne page 349, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. III.)

    The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible: “Explicitly stated here (I Cor. 13:1) is the primacy of vocal performance over any instrumental music. Implicit is the contempt of all instrumental music, and the emphatic disparagement of gong and cymbals, two of the temple’s percussion instruments … Paul however denounced their usage on account of their role in the mystery cults … Paul himself a Pharisee of the Pharisees’ shared fully these views; in all his exhortations, he speaks only of “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16) … Occasionally Paul even speaks of an instrument, but like the DS, he uses it only for metaphorical or rhetoric purposes (as bugle in I Cor. 14:8). In general, however, he considers all musical instruments lifeless or soulless … Later Christian authorities had more cogent reasons for their antagonism against all instrumental music.”

    Schaff-Herzog: “But this argument would prove that it is as much a duty to play as to sing in worship. It is questionable whether, as used in the New Testament, psallo means more than to sing … The absence of instrumental music from the church for some centuries after the apostles and the sentiment regarding it which pervades the writings of the fathers are unaccountable, if in the apostolic church such music was used.” “In the Greek church the organ never came into use, but after the 8th century it became common in the Latin church, not, however, without question from the side of the monks…”

    Fessenden’s Encyclopedia: “That instrumental music was not practiced by the primitive Christians, but was an aid to devotion of later times, is evident from church history.”

    Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, J. N. Brown: ” Musical accompaniments were gradually introduced but can hardly be assigned to a period earlier than the 5th and 6th centuries. Organs were unknown in the church until the 8th or 9th century. Previous to this they had their place in the theater rather than in the church. They were never regarded with favor in the Eastern church and were vehemently opposed in many places in the West.” “That instrumental music was not practiced by primitive Christians, but was an aid to devotion of later times, is evident from church history. The organ was first introduced into the church service in the year 1290; and the first we know in the west, was one sent to Pepin by Constantinus, about the middle of the 8th century.”

    Evidence of History

    W. D. Killen – The Ancient Church: “It is not, therefore, strange that instrumental music was not heard in their congregational services … In the early church the whole congregation joined in the singing, but instrumental music did not accompany the praise.”

    E. S. Lorenz – Church Music: “Singing, (there was no instrumental accompaniment) was little more than a means of expressing in a practicable, social way, the common faith and experience … The music was purely vocal. There was no instrumental accompaniment of any kind … It fell under the ban of the Christian church, as did all other instruments, because of its pagan association.”

    Alfredo Unterseiner – A Short History of Music: It was exclusively vocal, the Christian had an aversion to instruments which served at pagan feasts.”

    Dr. F. L. Ritter – History of Music From The Christian Era to The Present Time: “Instrumental music was excluded, at first, as having been used by the Romans at their depraved festivities; and everything reminding them of heathen worship could not be endured by the new religionists.”

    Edward Dickinson – History of Music: “…while the pagan melodies were always sung to an instrumental accompaniment, the church chant was exclusively vocal.”

    Frank L. Humphreys – The Evolution of Church Music: “All the music employed in their early services was vocal…”

    George P. Fisher – History of The Christian Church: “Church music, which at the outset consisted mainly of the singing of the Psalms, flourished specially in Syria and Alexandria.”

    Dr. A. H. Newman – Manual of Church History: “The worship of the early Christians was very free and informal. It consisted of prayer, the singing of psalms, and the reading and exposition of the Old Testament Scriptures (prophesying).”

    Philip Schaff – History of The Christian Church, Vol. 1, age 463: “The Lord himself inaugurated psalmody into the New Covenant at the institution of the Holy Supper, and Paul expressly enjoined the singing of ‘psalms and hymns and spiritual songs’ as a means of social edification.”

    J. L. Mosheim – Ecclesiastical History: “The psalms of David were now received among the public hymns that were sung as a part of the divine service.”

    J. W. McGarvey – What Shall We Do About The Organ?: “To sum up these arguments, you can now see that this practice is one of recent origin among protestant Churches , adopted by them from the Roman apostasy; that it was one of the latest corruptions adopted by that corrupt body; that a large part of the religious world has never accepted it; that, though employed in the Jewish ritual, it was deliberately laid aside by the inspired men who organized the church of Christ; and that several precepts of the New Testament implicitly condemn it.”

    A Summary of Commentaries

    Layman Coleman (Noted Presbyterian author and scholar): “It is generally admitted that primitive Christians employed no instrumental music in their religious worship.”

    Charles H. Spurgeon (A Baptist preacher, preached for twenty years in the great Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle in London, England. Twenty thousand persons heard him every Sunday): “Instruments of music were never used in his tabernacle.”

    John Calvin (Founder of Presbyterianism): “Musical instruments in celebrating the praises of God would be no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting of lamps, and the restoration of other shadows of the law.”

    Adam Clarke (Methodist Commentator): “I am an old man, and an old minister; and I here declare that I never knew them (i.e. musical instruments) productive of any good in the worship of God; and have had reason to believe that they were productive of much evil. Music, as a science, I esteem and admire; but instruments of music in the house of God I abominate and abhor.”

    Albert Barnes – Ephesians 5:19: “Endeavoring to edify one another, and to promote purity of heart, by songs of praise … From the beginning, praise was an important part of public worship … The psalms of David were sung by the Jews at the temple, and by early Christians, and singing of those psalms has constituted a delightful part of public worship in all ages… The prevailing character of music in the worship of God should be vocal… The idea here is, that of singing in the heart, or praising God from the heart.”

    William Hendricksen – Ephesians 5:19: “But should edify each other, speaking to one another in Christian song, and doing so from the heart, to the praise and honor of their blessed Lord.”

    Pulpit Commentary – Ephesians 5:19: “Some have argued that while adontes denoted singing, psallontes (make melody) means striking the musical instrument. But psallo is so frequently used in a more general sense, that it can hardly be restricted to this meaning here. The great thought is that this musical service must not be musical only, but a service of the heart, in rendering which the heart must be in a state of worship. In Ephesians 5:19 we read, With our hearts, the instrument (here the region) of the song.”

    Macknight: “Instead of singing loud songs, like the heathens in the festivals of their gods, repeat to one another, in the seasons of your joy, the psalms of David, and those hymns and spiritual songs which are dictated to you by the Spirit, singing them, and making melody in your heart by accompanying them with devout affection, a melody most pleasing to the Lord. Colossians 3:16: Let the doctrine which Christ spake, and which He inspired his apostles to speak, be often recollected by you; and with the greatest prudence teach and admonish each other, by the psalms of David, and the other hymns recorded in scripture, and by such songs as yourselves or others have uttered by the inspiration of the Spirit; singing them with true devotion in your hearts to God.”

    F.F.Bruce: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. The voice must express the praise of the heart if the singing is to be really addressed to God.”

    David Lipscomb: “Some claim that psallo carries with it the idea of mechanical instrumental accompaniment, but if the word in the New Testament means to sing with a mechanical instrument, it is not only allowable but obligatory to it … the word psallo then would and did from the beginning, embrace the music of the voice as well as that made by stringed instruments of man’s invention. The voice is a stringed instrument of God’s make. Nor is it singular that as the use of the voice was so much more common and universal than that of any other instrument, the word should come to be applied exclusively to the music made by the voice, unless it was specifically said to be by some other instrument. This is what did come to pass. So the word unqualified in the New Testament times came to mean only to sing.”

    The Evidence of the Translations

    I have examined about sixty-five translations of the New Testament and their rendering of the word psallo. Out of the more than 200 times they translate it, 29 times it is translated sing. Other times it is rendered praise or make melody. Only once out of all of this host of scholars is it expressed play harp. This seems weak and insubstantial.

    The ground for belief that the New Testament church did not use mechanical instrument of music to accompany its singing in worship to God is so solid that it is not really disputable. The teaching of the New Testament itself and the almost limitless information from the lexicons, encyclopedias, commentaries and translations establish the New Testament practice beyond question. All are replete with the evidence that the early Christians, under the supervision of inspired men of God, sang with their hearts as they worshipped.

    As for songbooks, PA systems, song leaders, pews, etc. these things are to ensure that “all things be done decently and in order.”1 Corinthians 14:40 Without the book then one may not know the hymn to sing. Without the song leader then one may not know when to start and much confusion would take place. PA systems just amplify the voice to be heard. It does not change the nature of what is being done. Instruments add a new element to the worship. Now, can one honestly say that a microphone adds anything. If one sings “Amazing Grace” into the microphone acappella style you still are only hearing “Amazing Grace.” Nothing was added nothing taken away it is just amplified. The simple fact that can not be denied by any honest person is that the microphone changes the nature at no point. Also, this a question for all here. If we are allowed to have instruments of music in the worship service what style shall we have? Shall we have country, rock-n-roll, and why not even rap? Who picks the style, which by the way would be based on opinions. The younger crowd may want rap and the older traditional. Then even more division takes place. The fact is God’s plan is perfect and theres no need to decide he has already rid this problem and he has told us how to sing. Mans is self pleasing. The Bible is too be respected and studied. One can not just “feel” their way through. “I ‘feel’ God wants it this way or I know the God’s word says this but I ‘feel’ it should be changed.” Not our will but HIS will be down. It is time for everyone would stop upholding the traditions of men and honestly study the scripture and stop perverting them and twisting them to their own likings. Yes, this subject has been dicussed and debated over and over, but the lost still will not obey God’s will. Until that happens I suspect this simple teaching will continue to be “harped” upon.

    Just an extra tidbit the word acappella is Italian for “in the church style.”

    The subject can be easily and readily resolved today when we decide we shall have utmost respect for the authority of God’s word.

    With love and respect to all read this.

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