Defenses of instrumental music in worship
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Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship. Answered. Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship. Some claim to find authorization in the Old Testament. It is true that the Old Testament authorized the use of man-made musical instruments in Jewish worship.

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Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

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Defenses of instrumental music in worship

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

Answered


Defenses of instrumental music in worship1

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • Some claim to find authorization in the Old Testament.

  • It is true that the Old Testament authorized the use of man-made musical instruments in Jewish worship.

  • But neither Moses nor the Old Testament prophets have any authority, today.


Matthew 28 18

Matthew 28:18

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."


Luke 9 28 31

Luke 9:28-31

Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.


Luke 9 32 33

Luke 9:32-33

But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"--not knowing what he said.


Luke 9 34 36

Luke 9:34-36

While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!" When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen. 


Hebrews 1 1 2

Hebrews 1:1-2

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;


Defenses of instrumental music in worship2

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • Some claim to find authorization in the Old Testament.

  • It is true that the Old Testament authorized the use of man-made musical instruments in Jewish worship.

  • But neither Moses nor the Old Testament prophets have any authority, today.

  • Christians are to worship according to the New Testament.


Galatians 1 6 9

Galatians 1:6-9

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. 


Colossians 3 17

Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.


Hebrews 2 1 3

Hebrews 2:1-3

Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him...?


Defenses of instrumental music in worship3

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • Some claim to find authorization in the New Testament book of Revelation ("After all, there are going to be harps in heaven, aren't there?").

  • The book of Revelation contains several visions in which harps are prominent.


Revelation 5 8

Revelation 5:8

Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.


Revelation 14 2

Revelation 14:2

And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps.


Revelation 15 2

Revelation 15:2

And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.


Defenses of instrumental music in worship4

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • Some claim to find authorization in the New Testament book of Revelation ("After all, there are going to be harps in heaven, aren't there?").

  • The book of Revelation contains several visions in which harps are prominent.

  • But these are highly figurative visions, apparently of things occurring (whether now or in the future) in heaven.


Defenses of instrumental music in worship5

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • Even if the harps are somehow literal, they are certainly not man-made.

  • If, when I get to heaven, God hands me a harp, I will play it to the best of my ability.

  • But where in the New Testament are Christians authorized to use harps in worship while on earth?

  • Besides, specific authority for a harp would not provide generic authority for all other instruments.


Defenses of instrumental music in worship6

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • Some claim that the Greek words, "psallo" and "psalmos," necessarily imply the use of a musical instrument.

    • Psallo is variously translated as "sing", "sing psalms" and "making melody."

    • Psalmos is simply "psalms."


Romans 15 9

Romans 15:9

Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: "For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles,And sing to Your name."


1 corinthians 14 15

1 Corinthians 14:15

What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.


James 5 13

James 5:13

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.


Ephesians 5 19

Ephesians 5:19

speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,


Colossians 3 16

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.


Defenses of instrumental music in worship7

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • In Romans 15:9, Paul is quoting an O.T. Prophecy.


2 samuel 22 50 psalm 18 49

2 Samuel 22:50; Psalm 18:49

Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name.


Defenses of instrumental music in worship8

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • In Romans 15:9, Paul is quoting an O.T. Prophecy.

  • We must interpret O.T. prophecy in the light of N.T. fulfillment.

  • In 1 Corinthians 14:15, the singing is to be done "with the spirit and with the understanding."


Defenses of instrumental music in worship9

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • In Ephesians 5:19, the melody is to be made "in your heart." I know of no instrument (other than the human voice and the human heart) that is anywhere authorized for use in New Testament worship.


Defenses of instrumental music in worship10

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • Some argue that musical instruments are just aids such as songbooks.

    • However, songbooks can be an aid to either singing (vocal music) or playing (instrumental music).

    • When singers use songbooks, no other music is created, but when man-made instruments accompany the singers, playing is added to the singing.


Defenses of instrumental music in worship11

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • Since singing is authorized it may be aided.

  • But, since playing is not authorized, it may not be used, much less aided.

  • And, since playing is obviously more like singing than it is like songbooks, it cannot logically be considered an aid to the singing, but must be considered an addition or a substitution.


Defenses of instrumental music in worship12

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • Some, in a last ditch attempt to cling to the use of the instrument, but being unable to show authority for its use in N.T. worship, claim that they can use it at certain stated times (e.g., outside the formal, collective worship of a congregation), so long as they are not actually worshiping (e.g., they may be entertaining one another).


Defenses of instrumental music in worship13

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • But if they are singing without actually worshiping, are they not misusing the psalms, hymns and spiritual songs?

    • Would this not be like giving alms, praying and fasting "to be seen of men" like the hypocrites in Matthew 6:1-8?


Matthew 6 1 2

Matthew 6:1-2

"Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.


Matthew 6 3 5

Matthew 6:3-5

"But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. "And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.


Matthew 6 6 8

Matthew 6:6-8

"But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 


Defenses of instrumental music in worship14

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • If they are "singing and making melody in [their] heart to the Lord" it is worship.

  • If they are "singing with grace in [their] hearts to the Lord" it is worship.

  • If they are not "making melody in [their] heart to the Lord" or they are not "singing with grace in [their] hearts to the Lord," why are they not?


Defenses of instrumental music in worship15

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • And would they not be drawing nigh unto God with their mouth, and honoring God with their lips while their heart is far from Him?

  • And would this not be "vain worship" according to Matthew 15:8-9?


Matthew 15 8 9

Matthew 15:8-9

"'These people draw near to Me with their mouth,And honor Me with their lips,But their heart is far from Me.And in vain they worship Me,Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"


Defenses of instrumental music in worship16

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • As far as I have been able to determine, and I know of no defenses other than those dealt with here, there is no authority in the New Testament for instrumental music in worship, whether in or out of the congregational assembly.

  • Therefore, I refuse to use it, or to sing with those who do.


Defenses of instrumental music in worship17

Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship

  • Interestingly, the Italian Phrase, "a cappella" (which refers to singing without instrumental accompaniment), literally means "as in the chapel."


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