Musical Instruments in Christ's church

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by defenderofthefaith, Dec 22, 2008.

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  1. defenderofthefaith

    defenderofthefaith
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    All religious groups that I am aware of acknowledge that 'music' has a place in Christian worship, but are extremely diverse in whether it is to be solely vocal or vocal accompanied with instrumental.
    This question has generated extensive interest on the part of people. You can go on a home bible study and you will frequently encounter a question about instrumental music.

    My prayer is that we will always abide by the principle "SPEAK WHERE THE BIBLE SPEAKS AND BE SILENT WHERE THE BIBLE IS SILENT".

    The Kind of Music set for in the New Testament

    - Matt 26:30 "And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives." (KJV)

    - Acts 16:25 "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them." (KJV)

    - Rom 15:9 "And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name." (KJV)

    - 1 Cor 14:15 "What is it then? 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." (KJV)

    - Eph 5:19 "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;" (KJV)

    - Col 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)

    - Heb 2:12 "Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee." (KJV)

    - Heb 13:15 "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." (KJV)

    - James 5:13 "Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms." (KJV)


    Arguments Used in favor of Instruments Use.

    1. Some people have the talent to play the instrument. Should we not let them use their talents?

    - Some also have the talent to dance, juggle, do gymnastics, ride horses, etc. Should we allow them use their talents in Christian worship?

    2. We have instruments in our home; so, why can we not have them in our worship services?

    - In the first place I do not believe the singing of sacred songs with the instrument is proper anywhere, in the worship or at home.
    - For the sake of argument, grant that it is proper to sing scared songs with the instrument in the home, this doesn't justify it's use in the worship of the church. We have pets in our home, but we do not have pets in the church. We wash feet at home, but, we do not put feet washing in the church as an act of worship etc.

    3. There will be instrumental music in heaven,
    Rev 14:2 "And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:" (KJV)
    so, why can't we have such in worship? Doesn't the Bible teach the Lord's will is to be done on earth as it is in heaven?

    - If there will be instruments of music in heaven, it will be because God has willed it. The reason we do not have them in the worship of the church is because God has not willed it.
    Revelation also speaks of incense being in heaven; we also read of a white horse being there. (Rev 5:8, Rev 19:11)
    We recognize that these are figures of speech. Such is also the case with the harps in Rev 14:2.

    4. People used instruments in the Old Testament in worship.
    - That is true, but, they also burned incense (Psalms 66:13), and the males went to Jerusalem three times a year (Exodus 23:17).
    Is such advocated today?

    Also, the Old Testament has been removed or abrogated.
    Col 2:14 "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;" (KJV)

    Eph 2:15 "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;" (KJV)

    Rom 7:1 "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God." (KJV)

    5. God did not specifically condemn the use of musical instruments.

    - The Bible does not specifically say thou shalt not "baptize a baby", "Thou shalt not sprinkle for baptism", "Thou shalt not use corn bread and buttermilk on the Lord's table" etc. Are we going to permit these because they are not specifically forbidden?
    If I told you to get me a coke would I also have to tell you to not get me a sprite, mountain dew, pepsi, dr. pepper, 7-up, powerade, milk, tea, ect ect - or would you come back with all of those and say "well you never specifically told me not to!"

    Also, we are to do in religious matters only that which is authorized.

    Col 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." (KJV)

    6. Isn't the instrument inherent in the word "Psallo"?

    - The standard lexicons of our day say the word in the New Testament means to "sing a hymn" or "sing, make melody".
    - If the instrument is inherent in the word Psallo, then it becomes mandatory rather than optional.

    Arguments Used in Opposition of Musical Instruments Use in Worship.

    - Instrumental music in the worship is sinful because it constitutes an addition to God's word.

    - All the passages in the New Testament says "sing, sang or sung" with one exception in Heb 13:15 which says "the fruit of our lips". None of them say "played".

    The scriptures specifiess singing, man says sing and play. In singing and playing we:
    - Add to God's word and thus stand condemned (Rev 22:18).
    - Renders our worship vain (Matt. 15:9)

    Instrumental music in worship is failing to abide in the doctrine of Christ.

    1. To fail to abide in the doctrine of Christ is to sever fellowship with God.
    2 John 9-11
    "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
    If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
    For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."
    (KJV)

    2. Sufficient warning has been given not to go beyond the things that are written.
    1 Cor 4:6
    "Now these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes; that in us ye might learn not (to go) beyond the things which are written; that no one of you be puffed up for the one against the other." (ASV)


    Instrumental music in worship is engaged in without divine authority.
    1. Col 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." (KJV)

    Lev 10:1
    "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. 2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD." (KJV)
    (Serves as a warning regarding doing that which is not authorized.)

    Things which are in Christian worship which are without divine authority are things which are sinful.

    Col 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." (KJV)

    2 John 9 "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." (KJV)

    Instrumental music in Christian worship is without divine authority.
    Therefore instrumental music in Christian worship is sinful.


    Let us take heed not to go beyond that which is written.
    1 Cor 4:6
    "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." (KJV)
     
    #1 defenderofthefaith, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2008
  2. Tom Butler

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    Psalm 33:2 Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.
    33:3 Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.

    Psalms are to be sung with stringed instruments.

    "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom teaching and exhorting yourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." Colossians 3.16

    Paul instructed the congregation at Colossi to sing psalms--songs which are sung with stringed instruments. These are New Testament Christians getting New Testament instructions.
     
  3. Ed Edwards

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    See my personal testimony on the other topic you started. Thank you.
     
  4. DHK

    DHK
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    I don't see any instruction for Psalms to be sung with stringed instruments. I believe that is reading into the passage that which is not there. I am not saying instruments are wrong. But to use that as a passage to defend them is very weak.
     
  5. DHK

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    From purely a historical perspective:

    http://www.pb.org/pbdocs/music.html
     
  6. BTM

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    Most denominational groups used to be staunchly opposed to instrumental music in worship. I've read quotes from several such as John Calvin (Presbyterian), Adam Clarke( Methodist), and Charles Spurgeon (Baptist), all of whom opposed and abhorred the use of musical instruments.

    Not that these or any other man is a source of authority, but the opinions of these men on the subject of instrumental music in worship is more in line with churches of Christ than with the denominational bodies they are associated with.

    Where these and other denominational bodies have given in, the church of Christ is still holding her ground, though sadly, the instument is gaining ground even amongst the brethren.
     
  7. billwald

    billwald
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    Most of the modern so-called "Christian" is pure garbage. Inane lyrics to mindless ditties endlessly repeated. The "Church" my kids go to would be shut down if it came under OSHA rules. I expect them to be stone deaf in 10 years. If I ever see a drum set on the altar of my local church I'm walking out.
     
  8. defenderofthefaith

    defenderofthefaith
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    Concerning the Old Testament.

    In the OT they also burned incense (Psalms 66:13), and the males went to Jerusalem three times a year (Exodus 23:17) Is this advocated today?

    The Old Testament has been removed or abrogated.
    Col 2:14 "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;" (KJV)

    Eph 2:15 "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;" (KJV)

    Rom 7:1-4 "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
    For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
    So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
    Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."
    (KJV)


    Examination of the verse (Colossians 3:16)
    1) Word of Christ dwell in you [richly]
    2) Teaching
    3) Exhorting/Admonishing
    4) Singing Psalms/hymns/[spiritual]songs

    No where does it say playing but it does say singing which in the original Greek (ado) does this word, in any stretch, mean playing any type of musical instrument.

    And then I'll quote DHK here:
     
    #8 defenderofthefaith, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2008
  9. Salty

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    The question is: does the Bible PROHIBIT the use of musical instruments in church?

    And using your reasoning, (let me use the good ole stand by arguments) by what authority do we have indoor plumbing -including a baptistery, kitchens (and this is a major issue down South), air conditioning and ect in our churches
     
  10. defenderofthefaith

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    A very weak argument indeed.

    We must have authority in worship to God.
    Churches use musical instruments in worship to God and have no authority for it.

    Indoor plumbing, kitchens, and air conditioning have nothing to do with worship to God.
    Simple as that.
     
  11. DHK

    DHK
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    Do you worship in a church building built for that purpose?
    If so, where do you get your authority from?
    Not the Bible.
    If you followed the example of the Bible, you would be worshiping in the synagogues until they tired of you and kicked you out. Then you would worship in homes, open fields, the courtyards of simply made homes (brick and mud), or just in the home itself (if the congregation is small enough), or in the cemeteries, or perhaps in a barn (Acts 20). These were the meeting places of the early Christians. They never met in "church buildings" such as you did. The early believers had no such things until approximately 300 years A.D., or perhaps even later.
     
  12. Amy.G

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    Since it was accceptable in OT times to worship with instruments, when did it become a sin? Does anyone have scripture for that?
     
  13. DHK

    DHK
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    I don't believe it ever became sin Amy. But it is a fact that instruments in the church never became common in usage until after the Reformation. Relatively speaking they are a recent innovation of the church. Taking that into context, we need to be sure that what we do, in the area of music glorifies our Lord.
     
  14. Amy.G

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    Well, I agree with that 100%. A lot of so called music these days does not glorify Him. IMO.
    But a beautiful hymn played on the piano is glorifying to God, IMO (again :)).
     
  15. DHK

    DHK
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    Can't argue with that. :thumbs:
     
  16. Bro. Curtis

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    Try an acoustic guitar & a violin. Musical instruments are an extension of us, no reason a skillfull musician can't make use of them. But I don't believe you can glorify God, and drive people out of the church with volume, either.
     
  17. trustitl

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    John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    God is equally impressed with a hymn played on a piano, guitars, and sacrifices of dead animals.

    Psalm 51:16-17 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.


    The no piano, the piano only, and the loud piano crowd are all missing the point. Paul would say to them all "ye are so carnal".

    I would like anybody to show me where believers are told to get together to worship.

    "let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."


    How many churches get together to do vain worship and fail to do what we are really supposed to be doing with one another. Examine yourself on this issue not every other denomination that you disagree with.
     
  18. TCGreek

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    The NT documents are missional in nature and were never about outlining every detail of worship. We have the OT to teach on how to worship God (2 Tim 3:16-17).

    Let's not forget that we have instrumental music referenced in celestial worship (Rev 15:2, 3).

    And there's no need to bring the argument: So why don't we sacrifice animals like in OT times?

    Animal sacrifices pointed to Christ. He fulfilled them.

    Instruments in worship are to glorify and praise a holy God (read the Psalter).
     
  19. thomas15

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    I play in our praise band. We have a drummer, electric piano, violin, acustic guitar. I play the 5 string banjo. defenderofthefaith would probably like to take us out and stone us, saving me for last. But it is alas a small country church and we need everyone we can get so they put up with us.

    Tom
     
  20. defenderofthefaith

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    Again, a weak argument.
    Your confusing where you worship God, with how you worship God.
    Whether we were in the church building, someones home, the fields, synagogues, cemetery, ect ect - we would still worship God in the exact same way.
    The worship is what matters. Not the place.
    Matthew 18:20
    "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

    It became a sin when Christ died on the cross, nailing the OT to the cross, putting the New Testament into effect - and in the New Testament we have no authority to worship God with instruments.

    Amy, I will try to be kind here but in all honesty...
    When did it become your decision to decide what is glorifying God? Isn't worship about what God wants - now what we think glorifies him?
    He never said that a hymn played on the paino is what he wants - therefore is does not glorify him.

    A skillful musican can make use of them as much as Gods wants him too.
    God never said he wanted him to praise him with instruments, therefore we can conclude that God doesn't want him to and by saying "God never spoke against it" would be making up Gods mind for him.

    How do you come out with this conclusion?
    Because you want him to be impressed? You think he'll be impressed? Your impressed so he must be impressed too?
    Worship is about God and Christ Jesus, the audience is God - not us.

    But the New Testament did outline the acts of worship through commands and examples.
    (Singing, Prayer, Preaching/Teaching, Giving, Partaking of the Lord's Supper)
    You point out 2 Timothy 3:16-17
    "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."


    This verse says that is is useful in teaching (doctrine/reproof), correction, and instruction in all righteousness.
    This verse is not concerning worship - it is concerning teaching and preaching; not worship to God.


    If there will be instruments of music in heaven, it will be because God has willed it. The reason we do not have them in the worship of the church is because God has not willed it.
    Revelation also speaks of incense being in heaven; we also read of a white horse being there. (Rev 5:8, Rev 19:11)
    We recognize that these are figures of speech, symobolic uses of words so that we might understand. Such is also the case with the harps in Rev 14:2.

    It is true that they used instruments in the Old Testament, but, they also burned incense (Psalms 66:13), and the males went to Jerusalem three times a year (Exodus 23:17).
    Is such advocated today?

    The Old Testament has been removed or abrogated.
    Colossians 2:14 "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;"

    Ephesians 2:15 "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;"

    Romans 7:1 "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."

    Why do you speak such rediculous conclusions! Is is some kind of attempt to make me look like a horrible evil person?
    Firstly, the point of me posting this here is that atleast one may learn and accept the truth. If I was out to stone everybody who played an instrument to worship God, then I wouldn't even waste my time here!
     
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