Question:

In doing some research for a book, I came across your web site. I was really surprised the bluntness of your home page. I grew up in several different churches of Christ, Christian and restoration movement churches. The instrumental churches and non-instrumental churches have always puzzled me. I've spent the last 1 1/2 hours reading the answers to questions people have posted. Every non-instrumental church I have worshiped in, the hymnals all have music notes in them. Now clearly these hymns were written with the aid of a piano. In keeping with the non-instrumental belief, shouldn't the songs arranged with the use of a piano or instrument be disallowed for use in worship? Shouldn't the only songs be sung in worship be the Psalms?

I personally have a hard time believing that God gave some people a talent for playing instruments and that the person cannot use that God given talent praise His name. I can understand the difference between the churches of Christ and the Christian Church and the denominations in regards to the truth of salvation, but the arguments noted in the six articles about instruments that I read on your web site are overreaching. Worship to God is a 24/7 thing. I believe that God wantsus in harmony with Him through the Holy Spirit, given to us through baptismso thatour hearts and minds sing praises to Him 24/7 as we live our lives. What the previous denomination churches did in worship of not using or not using instruments before the Restoration Movement is not important. Restoration Movement church is about the Truth of Salvation. We baptize people not hymnals!

I would like to know how a God given talent, being used to praise God is wrong. I guess a person whocouldplay a instrument but was a "mute", could not praise God in church with his or her talent?


Answer:

"Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5:19-20).

"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" (Colossians 3:16).

The command is how music is to be presented to God in worship. How the hymns were recorded or composed does not affect the fulfillment of these commands. Having musical notation does not require the use of a piano for composition. Pianos have only been around since the early 1700's but our current music notation dates back to about 1000 A.D. The music used in a capella singing (which means "in the style of the church"), is typically written in four-part harmony to match the range of male and female voices. This style is much simpler than the music intended to be played on a piano. Pieces composed for piano also tend to have introductions and interludes where the piano is played while no one sings. You don't find that in a capella singing because of its very nature. Your argument really has no merit. The hymns in our song books are clearly written with singing and not playing in mind.

Read Ephesians 5:19-20 and Colossians 3:16 again. There are three classes of songs being sung, of which the psalms is only one.

That you have a hard time believing God is quite clear, but your lack of acceptance doesn't make something true or false. "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. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ" (Galatians 1:9-10). God gives people talent to be blacksmiths and tailors; yet, you do not demand that forges and sewing machines be set up in assemblies so that these people can display their talents. See "If God gives us talent, then can we not use that talent to worship God?"

I'm sorry to say that I must inform you that worship is not a common, every day event. By your definition, people accidentally worship all the time. By God's definition, worship is something special and given specifically to God. See "Worship," especially the section at the end regarding whether all of life is worship.

Finally, you seem to have the mistaken notion that the church did not exist prior to the restoration movement. The restoration movement back in the 1800's was about people going back to the Bible to restore Christianity back to what it has always been.

What you are doing is subtracting from the words of God. You have decided that salvation is the only issue that is important to God. Therefore, you justify altering what God commanded in any area that you have decided does not fall in the category of salvation. I'm sorry, but being honest, partaking of the Lord's Supper, prayers, and singing are all commands of God. You have no authority to alter God's word.

"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. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ" (Galatians 1:6-10).