MUSIC IN WORSHIP PSALMS 135:1-3. Most of us who have been around long enough have heard the sayings about the church of Christ and instrumental music. The church of Christ is too poor to buy an organ.
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MUSIC IN WORSHIP
Most of us who have been around long enough have heard the sayings about the church of Christ and instrumental music.
The church of Christ is too poor to buy an organ.
Nobody in the church of Christ knows how to play a piano or an organ or any instrument for that matter.
People in the church of Christ don’t believe in the use of instruments in worship, in their homes or anywhere.
These statements are
One mark of identification of the church of Christ is that we do not use mechanical instruments in worship.
It is always acappella—
The question is always asked
We Are Commanded To Sing
This is one of our acts of worship.
We also have examples of people singing praises to God.
Matthew 26:30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Acts 16:25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
Romans 15:9 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
I Corinthians 14:15, 26 What is the result 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.
How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
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 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.
Hebrew 2:12 Saying: "I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will sing praise to You.''
James 5:19 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
This is one of our acts of worship.
It should never be con- sidered as just singing.
Why Do We Not Use Instrumental Music In Worship?
It is not a question of having music in the worship service.
The question is should this music be
Vocal accompanied by instrument(s)
It is not authorized.
Speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent.
The New Testament says nothing about using instrumental music in our worship to the Lord.
If we stick to this principal there will be no reason to use instrumental music in our worship.
Acceptable worship must be done by divine authority.
John 4:23-24 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.''
A plea for first century Christianity.
All honest church historians will tell you that the first century church did not use instrumental music in their worship.
When did it start?
The first organ was introduced into the worship of any body claiming to be Christians was around 670 AD by Pope Vitilan.
This caused division in the Roman Catholic Church and it was removed to preserve unity.
It was later reintroduced in the 800’s AD with opposition from the Monks, but it finally won out.
643 years after
The Ascension of Christ
The beginning of the church
The organ came into worship.
The only safe Christianity is a first century Christianity.
The Meaning Of The Greek Word “Psallo”
This is the only serious attempt to justify instruments of music in worship by New Testament authority.
“Does not the Greek verb ‘psallo’ include playing?
If psallo means sing with instrumental accom- paniment in Ephesians 5:19, then instrumental music is commanded; there is no choice in the matter.
One could not praise God without it.
It would be wrong to worship without it.
Also if all are commanded to sing then all would be commanded to play.
Anyone who would attempt to worship God in praise would be in rebellion to God’s command if they had no instrument.
M.C. Kurfee, in his book “Instrumental Music In Worship” gives a summary of the definitions of the word psallo as given in 17 Greek-English lexicons.
It has carried five different meanings over the course of time.
To pluck the hair.
To twang the bowstring.
To twitch a carpenter’s line.
To touch the chords of a musical instrument, that is, to make instrumental music.
To touch the chord’s of the human heart, that is, to sing to celebrate with human praise.
Which one is the New Testament meaning?
Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with (in) your heart to the Lord;
So its not:
To pluck the hair;
To twang the bowstring;
To twitch a carpenter’s line.
To touch the chords of a musical instrument.
It is however, to touch the chords of the human heart.
The heart is the instrument in which the melody is to be made.
Not a musical instrument.
Arguments To Justify The Use Of Musical Instruments In Worship
Instrumental music had its part in Old Testament worship.
This is true.
David worshipped with a musical instrument.
Those who make this argument do not understand the difference between the Old and New Testament.
Also to be consistent with this argument we would also have to add
The burning of incense
We are not under the old law.
Colossians 2:14 Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Hebrews 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.
Hebrews 8:13 In that He says, "A new covenant,'' He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
The Old Testament, including the 10 commandments, were given to the Jews only.
It is right to use instrumental music in worship because there will be harps in heaven.
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.
If the harps are a part of our worship shouldn’t the golden bowels of incense also be part of our worship.
There is question if this verse should be taken literal or figurative.
Whether they are in heaven or not, God still has not authorized bowels of incense or harps in our worship to him.
It is alright to use it because it aid our singing.
As to whether or not the instrument aids the singing depends on the purpose for which we sing.
Are we singing to entertain?
To appeal to those who have no desire to worship in spirit and in truth?
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teach- ing and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord
Our singing should be to God.
We teach and admonish one another when we sing.
Often the instruments being used drown out the words where there can be no teaching and admonishing.
Is not a pitch pipe, tuning fork, or even using a song book adding to the worship?
Are tuning forks or pitch pipes instruments of music?
Perhaps this quotation will be helpful.
Whatever is essential to doing a command is involved in the command; pitching the tune is involved in the command to sing…when a tuning fork is used to pitch the tune, nothing is done in singing, that is not done without it…but when a musical instrument is used with the singing something is done that is not done without it…another kind of music is simultaneously being made with that made by the human voice. It is praising God with two kinds of music, where God Himself has chosen and appointed only one kind.
You have it at home.
We have and do many things at home that we do not have or do in worship.
The Lord commanded us to make vocal music in worship.
The Bible does not say not to have it.
This is an argument from silence and silence can prove nothing.
To accept this argument would open the door to all sorts of things being added to our worship.
I Corinthians 4:6 I have applied all this to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brethren, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what iswritten, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.