Using organ in the church is a sin!

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by ScottEmerson, May 17, 2003.

  1. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
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    It is clear that all of those who use an organ to worship are in serious sin! Anyone with access to musical history can see that the only reason the organ was allowed in the first place was due to a corrupt Pope!

    John Girardeau states, "Christ and His apostles ordained the musical worship of the New Dispensation without any sort of musical instrument, enjoining only the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Hence such instruments are excluded from Christian worship. Such has been the creed of all churches, and in all ages, except for the Popish communion after it had reached the nadir of its corruption at the end of the thirteenth century, and of its prelatic imitators."

    In fact, the piano should be excluded as well. We should have none of it! Piano and organ music were welcomed in the church only because the congregation was asking for it - to make music more like what they were hearing in the streets and in the concert halls! How DARE we as Christians cozy up to such humanistic culture such as instrumental worship... even four-part harmony! Jesus and his pals used monophonic worship, so by us using soprano, alto, tenor, and bass parts in our hymns, we are acquiecing to culture instead of remaining pure in our zest for God.

    How dare Isaac Watts and Martin Luther write the songs they did! They were so like their culture of that time they HAD to be sinful!

    So, I'm burning all of my Southern Gospel albums and all of my sheet music. I'm going to sell my guitar. Only non-accompanied, non-harmonied music for me.

    Oh, shoot. I have to learn Hebrew and Aramais. Me singing in English is another example of giving into the rest of the world.

    I wonder if even me talking in English is a sin? WHere does it stop?

    Shalom,

    ----------------

    ** Note that this post is, indeed, a satire. However, please also note that this is a similar argument to the anti-CCM crowd - the whole separation of culture argument that is used now was used even back then! If the anti-CCM crowd is right, and giving in to the culure is a sin, then they MUST come to the conclusion that what was done 500 years ago, when hymns were being written with instruments and harmony, must ALSO be a sin.

    Funny how that works, huh?

    PLease challenge this post, if you can. Somehow I doubt it'll see much response from those who would use such argmuents. Aaron? S.W.?
     
  2. Aaron

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    A question before I respond. Do you believe the Girardeau quote or do you believe that the use of instruments was common practice for the church in the first centuries of Christianity?
     
  3. Pete

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    There is nothing like a capella, I would almost consider trading my guitars on some singing lessons...if I thought there was any chance of them working... ;)

    The more I think about it the more I wonder if maybe Mr Watts and co were wrong and we should have stuck with the Psalms [​IMG]

    Pete
     
  4. SaggyWoman

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  5. ScottEmerson

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    Doesn't matter if there were or not. The Bible is silent on that issue. That is not the point, though. Pianos nor organ even existed back then. They weren't invented. Neither was harmony of any kind. So why do we use them now? We secularized the hymns by adding piano and organ accompaniment and by adding harmony.
     
  6. dianetavegia

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    Well I know for a fact that using a Radio Shack drum machine to accompany serious hymns is a sin! That went over very poorly Easter Sunday and has NOT been repeated! Ug! LOL :D
     
  7. Aaron

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    Doesn't matter if there were or not. The Bible is silent on that issue</font>[/QUOTE]Oh but it does matter. It is excellent evidence that the application of the Psalms in defense of modern worship styles is an application wholly foreign to the doctrines of the Apostles and the Early Church.

    You will not find one authority on the history of the church in the first centuries who did not state the the use of instruments was shunned as antagonistic to spiritual worship.

    Irrelevant. The piano is a kind of harp. The harp is classified as a percussion instrument because the strings are struck (not plucked) with the fingers. A piano merely strikes them with a hammer. The psaltery is related to the harp in that its strings were also stricken with the fingers. The words "psaltery" and "psalm" are taken from a word which means "to strike" with the fingers. In the first century there were also flutes, horns, cymbals, and viols, all of which when played upon skillfully can rival the sound of any organ or piano, yet the Early Church used none.

    That is simply not true. Plato spoke of several kinds of harmonies and the moods they inspire 400 years before Christ.

    Men have used them in every age.

    So, you see, your problem is that you base your conclusions upon a host of unfounded assumptions about what music may have sounded like 2000 years ago—assumptions no doubt influenced by the Darwinsitic overtones saturating Hollywood.

    I probably won't visit again very soon, so let me say simply that the CCM group has only one argument, and one argument only—Gospel liberty. Of course, no one would argue that a Christian's liberty concerning meat is a license for gluttony, neither is it a license to indulge the flesh in the area of musical pleasure.
     
  8. Yelsew

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    OH PUHLEEEZE Mr preacherman, don't take the organ away, our church mouse will be homeless if you do!
     
  9. ScottEmerson

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    Talk to the Church of Christ people or the Primitive Baptists. They are sure convinced of it!

    So where does organ come in? Why not stick to the harp instead of moving to the more worldly piano or harpsichord? If Psalm really means strike with fingers, why use a type of lever machine to assist in the production of music? Why, if you're serious about removing all worldliness from worship, you MUST return to the same harp that David talks about. Using modern techniques are quite simply sinning, as they are not Scriptural.

    Their harmony was built upon two people singing two different things together. It was nothing like what we have now. For years and years and years, as far back as we know about CHristian music, it was all one part - one vocal line. Why corrupt it by using worldly sensual harmonies?

    And why use Plato as evidence that the Church used harmonies? Wouldn't the Church want to run away from such fleshly devices? Harmony is literally an extra-Biblical device!

    Or it could be that I took a class in early music history at a Baptist University.

    But the organ is not? People at the time of the introduction of the organ said the exact same thing you are saying now. How are they wrong and you are right?

    What about using the vulgar (re: vernacular) language instead of keeping with the tradition of the church in using Hebrew, Greek and Latin?

    Our argument for Contemporary Christian music is the same as yours is. We want to worship Jesus Christ. It sounds like if you enjoy a hymn you're sinning. Do you hate your hymns that much?
     
  10. Larry in Tennessee

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    So where does organ come in? Why not stick to the harp instead of moving to the more worldly piano or harpsichord? If Psalm really means strike with fingers, why use a type of lever machine to assist in the production of music? Why, if you're serious about removing all worldliness from worship, you MUST return to the same harp that David talks about. Using modern techniques are quite simply sinning, as they are not Scriptural.</font>[/QUOTE]While we're at it, don't we need to remove the electricity and indoor plumbing from our churches? After all, these are modern techniques that are not permitted by Scripture.

    If we really want a Church that is EXACTLY like the first century church, then we all need to sell everything we have, and move into a commune. (Read Acts 4-5). Isn't this just legalism?
     
  11. TomVols

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    Truthfully, I hate the sound of an organ. Banish it from the church and I'll sleep just fine [​IMG]
     
  12. ScottEmerson

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    Exactly. And we've all got to speak Aramaic or Greek, too. I'm just taking the anti-CCM to its logical, (although absurd) conclusion!
     
  13. JonathanDT

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    [​IMG] Agreed, it's right up there with the harpsichord and your average bagpipes.
     
  14. ScottEmerson

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    [​IMG] Agreed, it's right up there with the harpsichord and your average bagpipes. </font>[/QUOTE]I love the organ in certain situations. I can't see a good church wedding without one. And a prelude of "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" is fantastic. I'm just not a big fan of the organist trying to keep up during some of our praise songs!
     
  15. Eric B

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    As was discussed before, the earliest "authority" in the church to make that claim was Justin, a century and a half after the apostles, and by that time, the Church was heavily influenced by gentile philosophy, which looked down on the Jews as "infantile" or some other deragatory term, and saw spirituality in dead Platonic style somberness and intellectualism. This is no more spiritual that the so-called "sensual" worship. If the scriptures do not forbid instruments, then we are not to try to use the later authorities to authoritatively fill in its blanks (remembering that the scriptures prophesied the corrupting of the faith that was begining even as they wrote). Scripture then, would not be our sole guide.
    If it is true that there were no instruments in the first century church, then perhaps it was because of the money required for skilled musicians and instruments. The point is, regardless of instruments, scripture nor history supports the idea that only somber music or rigid marching styles or whatever other traditional element were acceptable to God, and that anything lively and rhythmic was rejected as bad. If the rhythm and instruments were as bad as people are saying, God wouldn't have allowed it in the OT "infantile"/"of the flesh" worship either.

    Huh :confused:
    What does Darwinism and Hollywood have to do with this? The historical evidence for Biblical music is much better than the platonistic post-apostolic overtones your assumptions of what music sounded like back then are based on.
     
  16. Dr. Bob

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    An argument from something NOT BEING MENTIONED is faulty logic and invalid.

    The early church did not use instruments? Says who? Just because no instrument is mentioned in the NT does not mean there were no instruments.

    I can see Peter with a guitar, can't you? Singing Kumbaya? :rolleyes:

    This kind of logic would earn you an "F" in my logic class. [​IMG]
     
  17. ScottEmerson

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    I wasn't sure if this was to me or not. I never said that there weren't instruments back then. I think there were. There are many Christians, though, who believe that musical instruments are some sort of addition to worship and are sinful.

    The Bible is, indeed, silent on the issue, but we can rest assure that they didn't use the piano or the organ, as they weren't invented yet. Christian music acquieced to culture in using them, obviously! So shouldn't we get rid of them?
     
  18. Jude

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    Ah...the old church camp days, singing around the campfire...how about "blowin' in the wind," or "where have all the flowers gone"? Did Peter, Paul AND Mary have a guitar too? (Oops, I forgot, Mary didn't play a guitar, she does sang along with Peter and Paul :D )
     
  19. Aaron

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    Just about every authority who ever commented on the subject. ;)

    Donald Grout in History of Western Music, a standard music history textbook: "Hymn singing is the earliest recorded musical activity of the Christian Church" (13).

    Emil Nauman in The History of Music: "There can be no doubt that originally the music of the divine service was everywhere entirely of a vocal nature" (I, 177).

    The New Oxford History of Music: "The Christian community held the same view, as we know from the apostolic and post-apostolic literature: instrumental music was thought unfit for religious services; the Christian sources are quite outspoken in their condemnation of instrumental performances. Originally, only song was considered worthy of direct approach to Divinity" ("The Music of Post-Biblical Judaism", I, 135).

    Lars Qualben in A History of the Christian Church: "Singing formed an essential part of the Christian Worship, but it was in unison and without instrumental accompaniment" (112).

    The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia: "There is no record in the NT of the use of instruments in the music worship of the church. In this regard, early believers followed the practice of the Hebrew synagogue music" ("Music", 1163).

    John Giradeau, professor at Columbia Theological Seminary (Presbyterian USA): "The church, although lapsing more and more into defection from the truth and into a corruption of apostolic practice, had no instrumental music for 1200 years . . . The Calvinistic Reformed Church ejected it from its services as an element of Popery [Catholicism], even the Church of England having come very nigh to its extrusion from her worship. It is heresy in the sphere of worship . . . The historical argument, therefore, combines with the Scriptural and the Confessional to raise a solemn and powerful protest against its employment" (Instrumental Music, 179).

    Justin Martyr (A.D. 139): "The use of [instrumental] music was not received in the Christian churches, as it was among the Jew, in their infant state, but only the use of plain song. . . . Simply singing is not agreeable to children [the aforementioned Jews], but singing with lifeless instruments and with dancing and clapping is. On this account the use of this kind of instruments and of others agreeable to children is removed from the songs of the churches, and there is left remaining simply singing."

    Thomas Aquinas "Our church does not use musical instruments, as harps and psalteries, to praise God withal, that she may not seem to Judaize" (Bingham's Antiquities, III, 137).

    Adam Clark (1762-1832), "I am an old man, and an old minister; and I here declare that I never knew them [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. This is the abuse of music; and here I register my protest against all such corruptions in the worship of the Author of Christianity" (Commentary, IV, 686, on Amos 6:5).

    Andrew Fuller, another Baptist scholar of the 1800s: "The history of the church during the first three centuries affords many instances of primitive Christians engaging in singing, but no mention (that I recollect) is made of instruments. (If my memory does not deceive me) it originated in the dark ages of popery, when almost every other superstition was introduced. At present, it is most used where the least regard is paid to primitive simplicity" (Complete Works, III, 520).

    Questions on the Confession of Faith and Form of Government of The Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (1842): "Question 6. Is there any authority for instrumental music in the worship of God under the present dispensation? Answer. Not the least, only the singing of psalms and hymns and spiritual songs was appointed by the apostles; not a syllable is said in the New Testament in favor of instrumental music nor was it ever introduced into the Church until after the eighth century, after the Catholics had corrupted the simplicity of the gospel by their carnal inventions. It was not allowed in the Synagogues, the parish churches of the Jews, but was confined to the Temple service and was abolished with the rites of that dispensation" (55).

    Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religions: ``In the Greek church the organ never came into use, but after the eighth century it became common in the Latin church, not however, without opposition from the side of the Monks -- the reformed church discarded; and though the church of Basil very early introduced it, it was in other places admitted only sparingly and after long hesitation.''

    American Encyclopedia: ``Pope Vitalian is related to have introduced organs into some of the churches of Southern Europe about A.D. 670, but the only trustworthy account is that of one sent as a present by the Greek emperor, Constantine Copronymus, to Pepin, king of the Franks in 775.''
     
  20. Aaron

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    Now, lest some churlish fellow erroneously assume that from my arguments that I think the use of instruments to be a sin I will say that I agree with Charles Spurgeon who said:
    The argument is not about the use or non-use of instruments, but about whether or not certain styles are sensual. By "sensual" I do not mean merely those things discerned with the five senses, but those things which appeal to our natural man, the animal apetites.

    If under liberty a man can eat any meat, does that give him license to be a glutton? Of course not. Gospel liberty is not a license for sensuality.
     

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