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Can musical instruments be used in Church services?

COMMENT #4:

Do you believe it is o.k. to clap your hands or tap your foot when you sing?

That is no different than playing a drum.

You are just keeping time.  And I know that many of the Churches of Christ use a pitch finder before they sing.  What is the difference in playing 1 note or 25 notes?  This is a knit-picking, moot point That may hender many people from going to the Churches of Christ.  This is just a silly arguement that needs to be dropped.

                                                                                                                                 

CLARIFICATION #4:

Thank you for your comments. I’m going to clarify each comment individually and not all the comments and once.  First to answer your question “Do you believe it is o.k. to clap your hands or tap your foot when you sing?” No, it’s not ok to clap your hands, hum, whistle, stomp your feet or make any other noise other than that which has been commanded. The commandment is to sing and make melody in your heart. You must understand the commandment giving us authority to allow expediencies (aids in which to fulfil a command).

1Co 6:12  All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1Co 10:23  All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

This gives us authority to use an expedient, but it must only be used to help fulfill a command and it must be lawful first, this means not to add or remove from the command. To add another sound, other than singing is going beyond the command and is not an acceptable expedient. The song leader is an acceptable expedient so long as he is sing with one another and not a sole.

Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves 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.

The pitch finder, is as you described “before they sing” and is not adding to the singing. This is only used to help the song leader who is helping us all to keep the singing in a descent order

1Co 14:40  Let all things be done decently and in order.

One thing about your comment on this being a “knit-picking, moot point”

James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 

Using a man made instrument to worship God is as close to idolatry as you can possible get. History shows that the idea for use of instruments in service came from the fact they were being used in the worship of idols. Then later it was used in the denominational churches for worshiping God. Mechanical instruments were not used until over 600 years after the first church meet.

American Encyclopedia, Volume 12, p. 688

Christians did not use instrumental music from the time of the apostles until 670 AD when organs were first introduced sparingly and with great opposition. The Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches split in 1033 AD in part over instrumental music. The Orthodox church, even today, has never used instruments. No Protestant church used instruments before the 1700’s. “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 AD.” (American Encyclopedia, Volume 12, p.  688).

We are to teach and admonish one another. How can playing a musical instrument teach or admonish? You are glorifying yourself and the person playing, not God.

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.

Do you think God is less satisfied with singing only. What about when Paul and Silas sang while in prison, do you think God had a cold experience because they had no mechanical instruments.

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

Your comment “This is just a silly argument that needs to be dropped.”  

This is as backwards as any comment I have every heard. This reminds me of many bible stories where the guilty are blaming the righteous. The same thing happened when Ahab blames Elijah for troubling Israel, when in fact he was the one causing trouble. 

1 King 18: 17 “ And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?  18. And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalam.”

I’ll let the scripture answer you on this comment. 

Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”

Your comment:  “This is a knit-picking, moot point That may hinder many people from going to the Churches of Christ.”

I agree with the latter part of this comment “That may hinder many people from going to the Churches of Christ.”

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

I hope you don’t shoot the messenger. I have given scriptures for every thing I’ve said. If you responded to this, I hope you also will use scriptures

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COMMENT: #4 REPLY #1 

I could understand your comments better if musical instruments were always considered evil and used for idol worship.  What you fail to note is that God commanded musical instruments in the old testament worship!  And David, a man after God's own heart, was a writer and creator of music.  So, music was, at one time, a very enjoyable to God.  Did God change?  I don't think so.  Look, you better hope God gets rid of the Harps before you get to heaven.  You might feel out of place.  

                                                                                                                                 

CLARIFICATION: #4 REPLY #1 

God has not changed, but the law has changed. Not just the sacrifices of Animals, but all things have decayed and became old and have vanished.

Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old.Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. 

 What about circumcision, the day of the week we worship, prayer, giving of our money. The Old Testament did have musical instrument. This is because God commanded what instrument to use and who were to play them.

2 Chronicles 29:25 And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the LORD by his prophets. 26 And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.

 In the Old Testament if you where not a Levite playing a cymbals, psalteries, and harps, or a priests playing the trumpets, you where not authorized to play.

How can you possible know the mind of the Lord to add or transgress his law in playing anything not commanded in the word of God.

Ro 11:34  For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

II John 9: Whosoever TRANSGRESSES, 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.

This is a serious violation of God’s will. The Old Law was a physical law the New Law is a spiritual law. The Old Law used physical instruments, cymbals, psalteries, Harps and trumpets, The new Law use the spiritual heart.

Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

 

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COMMENT: #4 REPLY #2 

you failed to respond to my last e-mail.  I think you may have swallowed your tongue or something.  You took your time to write all of that hog-wash about how music is evil and you didn't even know how much God loves music.  God doesn't mention sitting on pews in the new testament neither but I bet you do it.  The fact is, you have been sold a bill of goods by your denomination.  This garbage has been handed down from generation to generation.  God's views on musical instruments in the church has never changed.  So, clap your hands and stomp your feet and make a joyful noise unto the Lord.  Stop being a stick in the mud! 
The Gospel is suppose to set us free from bondage not put us in bondage! 

 

                                                                                                                                 

 

CLARIFICATION: #4 REPLY #2 

First of all, be patient, all my comments are reviewed by the preacher and elder before they are submitted. I’m not speaking for myself, I'm speaking for the local church (Rivermont church of Christ). This is the work of the church, not my personal work. All comments are posted without names on the comment/clarification page. I fear that I might misinform someone so I seek the knowledge of the scriptures first and the knowledge of our elder second. This is why all my comments have scripture with them. This is also why it takes me a bit longer to replay than you.  

Next, I would like to thank you for the persecution. I’m sorry that you don’t know any scripture you can give with your comments as I have given to you and ask you to do the same. I find it humorous that you include sitting on pews as compared to using musical instruments. You obviously do not know how to determine between lawful and unlawful expedients.

1 Corinthians 10:3  All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

1 Corinthians 6:12  All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any

An expedient must first be an aid to help fulfill a command and it must not add, remove, change or contradict any other commands. It must edify and we must not bind it on anyone.

Now if we have an example we do not need an expedient. The New Testament is full of examples of what type of music is to be used. Singing making melody in the heart.

I also found a lawful scripture for the use of the pew  as an expedient.

Acts 20:9  And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.

 I don’t think it would be expedient to have a window for everyone coming together.

 Your comment The fact is, you have been sold a bill of goods by your denomination.”  

We are not a denomination nor do we answer to anything other than Gods word. We are local to ourselves in our rule which is by the Elders. We have no creed, no organization nor any other form that can not be found in the New Testament churches. There are some churches of Christ who have fallen to the denomination thinking. As we read in Rev. 1:20 – 3:22 not all churches are pleasing to God.

 Your comment “This garbage has been handed down from generation to generation.”

 The first generation did not have musical instruments, so I have to assume you are talking about the using of musical instrument is what has been handed down.

 Your comment “God's views on musical instruments in the church has never changed.”

This is true. When talking about the church which was started after Christ died, which is the same time the old law died and the New Testament started, his view has not changed. Now you tell me what that view is. Use only the New Testament, and find all the commands and examples relating to the type of song service authorized. Please don’t waste my time anymore with your words, use Gods words.

 

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COMMENT: #4 REPLY #3

You can't speak for yourself?  That's ridiculous! 

This arguement on musical instruments came about because you claimed that musical instruments were evil because they were used in idol worship.  I was merely correcting your short sidedness.  Musical instruments were never, ever evil and no where in the bible does God ban them from worship.  I can show you where god commands them in worship.  Furthermore, everything that is created was created by God.  Just because men have perverted musical instruments doesn't mean that they are evil.

                                                                                                                                 

 

CLARIFICATION: #4 REPLY #3

You miss quote me. I never said musical instruments were evil. I said using a man made instrument to worship God is as close to idolatry as you can possible get. I believe this because you are adding to the worship of God with something made by man.

Psalms 115:4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.

Isaiah 2:8 Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:

I said history shows that the idea for use of instruments in service came from the fact they were being used in the worship of idols and how this later inspired the denominational churches to use them in worshiping God. Also how mechanical instruments were not used until over 600 years after the first church meet and sang without musical instruments.

 I don’t think musical instruments are evil, I enjoy listen to the radio. I use to play the guitar and trumpet, but not for worshiping God. I’m sure the music in your church is entertaining and pleasing to man, but how can you know if God is pleased with it. 

Romans 11:34  For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

He was specific on what instruments to play in the Old Law. Why would he not specify more than singing and making melody in are hearts in the New Law if He wanted it. I think it is because he wants to hear what we are saying not something one person in the assemble can play. What kind of since does it make to pick one person to make a noise louder than anyone else. A noise which has no heart nor no words which can edify one another.

 The New Testament is based on faith which is spiritual not physical. The Old Testament was a physical Law, with physical requirements. The sacrifices were physical blood. The temple was a physical place. The holy of holy was on earth. The high priest was a man. How can you try to make your music using a physical instrument and not a spiritual gladness of the heart.

 Your comment “I can show you where god commands them in worship.”

Please show me where God commands musical instrument in OUR worship!  

 

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COMMENT: #4 REPLY #4  

The Lord instructed Moses to use the Trumpet for two purposes 1) The calling of the assembly (Joel 2:15-17)  And 2) The journeying of the camps (Jeremiah 4:5).

So this leads me to believe that God loves Jazz music too!  He may not like rap music though.  Rap music doesn't include trumpets or cymbols as far as I know.
Anytime God changed his views on something, we were told.  A good example is we are no longer under the law.  And God told us why.  By God remaining silent, in the New Testament about music, means that he holds the same view as he did in the old testament.  So you need to get out of that dred up, dead, desert of a church and get a new regenerated life in a living God!
Your church is so dry I bet if I came to your church, I would see tumbleweed blowing around in the aisles.  Why would you even think God would want us to be so reserved in worshipping him?
We are to make a joyful noise unto him!

 

                                                                                                                                 

 

CLARIFICATION: #4 REPLY #4

Your comment Anytime God changed his views on something, we were told” Lets look at an example of God changing his view.  

Below are scriptures in the Old Testament telling how to deal with someone trying to lead someone else away for Gods truth.

Deuteronomy 13:6  If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;  7  Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; 8  Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: 9  But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

Where in the New Testament does God change this command?

He doesn’t change it, but instead he gives us a new command for dealing with this.

2 Corinthians 10:4  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Now using this same understanding lets apply it to musical instruments.

Below is scripture in the Old Testament giving authority to use musical instruments. 

2 Chronicles 29:25 And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the LORD by his prophets.

Where in the New Testament does God change this command?

He doesn’t change it, but instead he gives us a new command for dealing with this.

By the way, God does not remaining silent in the New Testament about music as your comment says.

Ephesians 5:19  Speaking to yourselves 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.

Another example is circumcision. This was a command in the Old Law, the New Law did not change it. When the Jews tried to bind it on the Gentiles the apostles said “We gave no such commandment.

Acts 15:24  Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

Here they did not have to say “circumcision is on longer a command”, it was understood by the apostle that it was no longer a Law. When the Jews tried to blind it and say God required it in the Old Law, the apostles set them straight and told them it had not been commanded in the New Law. 

Can you imagine how huge the New Testament would be if it had to undo all of the old commandments and then add the new ones. The entire old law was done away with.

Hebrews 8:13  In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

A new covenant, he hath made. Some of the Old Law is reestablished in the New Law, but you can not pick just anything you want from the Old Law and justify it as New Law.

Your comment “Why would you even think God would want us to be so reserved in worshipping him?"

Here again you can not think for God. You can only do what He commands us to do. The New Testament plainly tells us what God commands us to do.

Matthew 26:30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

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

1 Corinthians 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.

Ephesians 5:19  Speaking to yourselves 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.

Hebrews 2:12  Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

James 5:13  Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

Your comment We are to make a joyful noise unto him!”

A mechanical instrument can not make a joyful sound. Do you think the trumpet playing taps at a solders funeral is a joyful sound. How about the instruments sometimes used at others funerals? These same instrument can be used at weddings and the sound is the same notes. It’s not making the sound joyful, the person playing it is the substance of whether or not the sound is joyful. It still comes from the heart.

God has commanded us to make the melody for our songs and hymns from our heart and not a mechanical instrument

 

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