I am a member of the Church of Christ and have been for over 20 years. As I have read your article on 'Can Musical Instruments be Used to Worship God?' with an open mind I hope you will do me the same honor of reading mine. I take it (although not stated in your article) the use of mechanical instruments of music in worship is a sin? Not sure if that is your take on it?
Now I am all for calling sin, sin as God calls it, but no where in the Bible does God call worship with an instrument sin. Yes like all things we can abuse, but to call worship with the instrument sin is to condemn many (including myself) who have no problem with it, a strong judgment indeed. And with these judgments we will ourselves be judged.
This is long so I hope you will take the time to read it and please reply to any comments I have made.
Just a question: if the instrument was wrong it would be wrong all the time?
"It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;  So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God." (2 Chron. 5:13-14).
If musical instruments used to worship God were okay and approved by God then, when did they suddenly become evil in the new covenant? If it is godly and sanctioned by God, as it was in the Old Testament, is it not godly all the time? Bible is very clear as to what is sin. Nowhere in any list of sins in the New Testament is any kind of music, singing or instrument mentioned as sinful much less a sin that will send you to "hell". In fact it is quite the opposite as we shall see.
It’s not just that “instrumental accompaniment is not prohibited” – but it is authorized in the Old Testament, and that authorization is never removed. Never. So, musical instruments were a part of past worship. Not only that, but it’s bookended. Musical instruments will be a part of future worship. Thanks to the Apostle John for giving us Revelations 5:8,9; 14:2,3; 15:20 and 18:22. Yes, Revelation is symbolic, but why give us the symbolic-ness of sin?
You cannot find any Scriptural justification for judging your brothers and sisters in Christ who choose to worship with instruments. None.
1. We are commanded to praise God with instruments
2. God’s people have used instruments to praise Him
3. The use of instrumental praise begins in Genesis and continues on to Revelation
4. Examples of instrumental worship extend outside of the Levitical priesthood and Old Testament Temple worship
5. Therefore it is proper for God’s people to use instruments to praise Him.
6. There is no command to refrain from using instruments to worship God in the New Covenant.
7. Therefore it is proper for God’s people under the New Covenant to use instruments to praise Him
8. There is no explicit teaching forbidding the use of instruments in the Christian assembly.
9. Since it is right to worship God with instruments Monday through Saturday and since there is no explicit teaching forbidding the use of instruments during the Christian assembly on Sunday, then it would be proper to infer that the use of instruments to praise God’s name during the Christian assembly is valid.
Interestingly enough the soothing music of the harp in the hand of David, caused the evil spirit to depart from Saul.
"And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him" (1 Samuel 16:23).
The Apostle Paul is using instruments to teach: The scripture is very helpful in this area. The Apostle Paul would never consider using the sin of adultery in a positive way for an example for some other practice or teaching. However, Paul does in fact use the instrument to make a point in 1 Corinthians 14:7. Here is the verse with additions to show more of the true Greek meaning.
"And even things without life giving sound (tone), whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds (musical notes), how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound (tone), who shall prepare himself to the battle?" (1 Corinthians 14:7-8).
There are examples of the harp being used in Revelation. The twenty four elders are praising God with harps in Revelation 5:8. How can this be without sin if the use of the instrument in praise to God is sin in worship for us? Even if this is all symbolic you will never find scripture use something that is a sin as an example to show a righteous act. Remember God's morals do not change and his laws are not arbitrary.
This is just a side note to which I know is true for those who oppose the instruments and yet use a pitch pipe. We have a Master Key Chromatic Pitch Instrument commonly known as a pitch pipe. Note both words that are associated with the device, instrument and pipe. It is described as both a musical instrument and a pipe. It can be used to play a tune. Now, would there be anxiety among the pews one Sunday morning if I were to substitute the pitch pipe for an Irish whistle playing only one note to obtain the correct key for the song we were about to sing? What would be the difference if I substituted a guitar? How about if I played one note at the start of each verse to make sure we were still on key? You see we have made an exception that really only amounts to a technicality. We do use an instrument in most churches, but we have created a special method that makes it's use acceptable to those in the pews. It is just a matter of how we were taught. I wonder if the pitch pipe was resisted among the southern churches after the split after it was first introduced?
What changed that made instruments an offense? Can anyone provide any scripture at all that shows why God would decide that instruments or the use of them was righteous one day and sin the next day and then righteous again in the future? Do you know of anything in the Bible that God was totally arbitrary about when it comes to what is sin? The bible tells us that we should sing Psalms. Can anyone explain how we are to sing Psalms with out an instrument when some of them state to use a certain instrument when they are sung? Also the Psalms contain verses about worshiping God with an instrument. Can we sing about worship to God with an instrument but not use the instrument?
"The New Testament is silent concerning musical instruments"
One of the main arguments against using musical instruments in church goes something like this:
"The New Testament is silent about using musical instruments in church, and therefore musical instruments are forbidden in church."
Those who use this argument are usually not against musical instruments in general, they are simply trying to be true to the Scriptural principles that they see in the New Testament. But we should be careful about assuming that something is forbidden just because it is not directly mentioned in the New Testament. For example, if you visit churches where they believe that musical instruments must not be used to assist in worship (because of the above argument), you will find that they usually use microphones, hymnbooks, song leaders, and so on, to assist in worship. There's nothing wrong with any of that, but the irony is that we can use their own argument to "prove" that these things are forbidden in church:
"The New Testament is silent about using microphones in church, and therefore microphones are forbidden in church."
"The New Testament is silent about using hymnbooks in church, and therefore hymnbooks are forbidden in church."
"The New Testament is silent about using song leaders in church, and therefore song leaders are forbidden in church."
People who use the above argument against playing musical instruments in church are sincerely trying to do what they believe is right, but they might not recognize that they are often being inconsistent in their application of this argument. Notice that when we selectively apply this argument in one area (such as musical instruments) while ignoring other areas where this argument also applies (such as hymnbooks, song leaders, etc.), it shows that we really don't believe that this is a valid argument after all.
The argument that instruments are not allowed in church (because the New Testament is "silent" about instruments) also applies to pitch pipes, microphones, hymnbooks, song leaders, etc. (because the New Testament is "silent" about these things as well). So people are sometimes inconsistently applying their own argument against using musical instruments in worship.
The point is that if the New Testament does not directly mention a particular activity, that's not a proof that the activity is forbidden in church. By using microphones, pitch pipes, song leaders, hymnbooks, and so on in church, people are implicitly agreeing with this point, even while they argue that musical instruments are forbidden in church.
As we have seen, some people argue that since the New Testament is silent concerning musical instruments in church, this means that instruments are forbidden in church.
First of all, in the ancient world you didn't just go down to the music store and buy a harp. Most musical instruments were hand-crafted and very expensive, painstakingly hand-crafted by master artisans who didn't come cheap. Most people couldn't spare the money for one.
Secondly even then some will argue that those who are wealthy who came to Christ had these instruments in their household already, which the early church who didn’t build buildings to worship in, were meeting in their households Phil 4:22 Acts 16:14- 15 etc
Thirdly remember the church had to deal with persecution, the destruction of Jerusalem A.D. 70 etc the last thing they would worry about is quick grab the instruments.
And finally the New Testament is NOT SILENT concerning musical instruments: Luke 15:25 (prodigal son returning to dancing and music), I Cor 14:7-8 (using instruments as an illustration in dealing with worship) Rev 5:8-14, 14:2-3, 15:2-4 worshiping God in heaven with instruments and finally the greatest event in history the second Coming of Christ accompanied with AN INSTRUMENT 1 Thess 4:16
"speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord" (Eph 5:19).
Some will argue that is say ‘Sing and make music from the heart..’ that means you cannot accompany with a instrument, or that you can’t truly sing from the heart with an instrument but David would completely disagree.
My heart is steadfast,O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. Ps 108:1-2
Why do I bring all this up: not to cause controversy or anger, or strife that would be so wrong. But one because it is a reality amongst us, to the point where it has caused divisions. The church faces enough challenges and struggles in this world without dividing amongst ourselves. The other is to seriously look at what we believe and why? To look at how we interpret Scriptures and make things a salvation issue and non salvation issue. The other is to engage in the debate with Christ likeness and maturity. Rather than this is what I believe or I don’t really want to get into this so let’s just agree to disagree?
I ask you to think about think about all the things we do in worship and ask yourself do we have a specific command from the Bible for everything we do?
'I’m one of those that think (right or wrong) that the use of the instrument in worship is not a fellowship issue because it is not a salvation issue. (That’s part of the debate, isn’t it?) I would say that God went to a lot of trouble to get us into the church—which is the body of Christ—and if someone wants to exclude us from it (say, for using an instrument) they need to be very sure of their grounds. I don’t think the use of the instrument is as serious as the motives for bringing it in where the established custom has long excluded it and unity is enjoyed. I find it difficult to imagine God at judgment saying to someone that "worshiped with an instrument" that he had a serious matter he wanted to talk to them about. But I have no difficulty at all in imagining him wanting to speak to some leader or leaders about their underlying motives for introducing something that generated disunity and loss.' Jim McGuiggain
Acts 15:1 making it salvation issue:
One of the biggest dangers we face in the churches it to take something which is not biblical and make it biblical to the point it becomes a salvation issue. Take for instance the situation in Acts 15 some where making circumcision a salvation issue, ‘you must be circumcised in order to be saved.’ Of course this was totally wrong. Totally wrong in making a salvation issue. There is nothing wrong in being circumcised. Ironically Paul circumcised Timothy in the next chapter 16:3 but for a completely different reason. The point being that it’s OK to circumcise but never OK to teach one must be circumcised. The thing with the instrument sadly is that some have made it a salvation issue. Doing exactly what those who wanted to with circumcision. Both binding things on man where God has not bound. You must be circumcised, you cannot use an instrument. At least those who wanted circumcision could present a case from the Law of Moses (granted easily disputed the law is clearly no longer in effect, but again just because it is no longer in effect you can still do things under the law, just no bind them and make them into a salvation issue) Even the Apostle Paul would still take certain vows under the old Law
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.  And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.  And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord began also with the trumpets, and with the instruments ordained by David king of Israel.  And all the congregation worshiped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. (2 Chron. 29:25-28).
According to the above scripture, The Lord himself had commanded David, through the prophets, to make these instruments and to bring them into the house of the Lord!
I think the Church of Christ has to seriously look at issues that divide us. We have to work them out and unite, for the sake of Christ and eternity. There are issues which really don’t have any biblical base, yet we hold to them like doctrine. I do not believe in autonomy (I see no biblical authority for it). Why would we want to? Don’t we all follow the same Savior? Aren’t we all members of the Body of Christ? Don’t we all have common goals?
Now I understand that certain congregations do things differently and that’s fine. Things that are done not with biblical backing but with freedom in certain area’s were the bible has no instructions for. Things that are done with a Christ like mind. Christ like attitude. With a Christ Spirit dwelt purpose. For example: order of worship (praise teams, power points, several bible studies on Sunday mornings etc.) building buildings (and adding to them, kitchens, gyms etc.) Selection of songs (contemporary, old style) Lord’s Supper (one cup, multiple cups. In this area I think there are far more serious things to worry about concerning the Lord’s Supper, that’s another book) Bible versions (King James, N.I.V. etc.) Clapping and raising hands.
Let me say that I don’t have a problem with this, but a problem can exist when it is forced on the members, to the point that they really need to ‘show’ that they are worshiping. Although in prayer we might want to seriously consider I Timothy 2:8 ‘I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer without anger or disputing.’ Couple of things to consider: is it a direct command? Does it only apply to prayer? And only in worship? These and several others the brotherhood needs to recognize and accept that if one congregation does one of these and another doesn’t, that’s fine! Fellowship should not be broken. This leads me to two points I want to deal with. One is the instrument. The other is the teaching about Christ and the Father being separated at the cross. Certainly (and sadly) the instrument has divided us. But is it clear from the Scriptures that one shouldn’t use them?
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn -- shout for joy before the LORD, the King. (Ps 98:4-6 NIV)
Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God. (Ps 43:4 NIV)
Again to the point is using instruments in worship sinful? Well there are many who will say yes it is. And sadly as I have said, this is one of these issues that has divided the church. But those who take such a strong stand of not using the instrument do they in fact have a biblical case for it? This is not to drive the wedge further in the division, but to get us to seriously examine the issue at hand. At the end of the day we need to be in sackcloth and ashes over division, not carry on as though the Lord accepts our decision.
Here is Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 copied out of the King James version with each main word replaced with the primary Strong's definition.
Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in a set piece of music or sacred ode (accompanied with the voice, harp or other instrument; a "psalm") and celebrate or sing non-carnal songs, singing and playing on a stringed instrument in your heart to the Lord;
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of the anointed inhabit in you copiously in all wisdom; teaching (learning) and putting in mind (caution or reprove gently) one another a set piece of music, that is, a sacred ode (accompanied with the voice, harp or other instrument; a "psalm") and celebrate non-carnal songs, singing with graciousness in your hearts to the Lord.
It is basically from these two verses that it is taught that using an instrument in a worship service would be a sin. However, the context of these verses does not indicate that a worship service is the subject being discussed. If this is correct then would any use of an instrument at any time be sin?
Did God intend for the instrument to become a salvation issue?
‘Sing and make melody in your heart..’ (Eph 5:18). As yet I haven’t meet a musician who plays and sings with an instrument and claims he cannot sing from the heart with it. There is nothing more beautiful than the human voice. But can the beauty of that voice still be pleasing to God accompanied with an instrument?
Interestingly in Lenski commentary on Ephesians 5:18 he translates the verse ‘singing and playing with your heart to the Lord'. He makes these comments:
‘Singing is done by means of the voice; playing by means of an instrument. Means to let a string twang and thus play a lyre or a harp. And then to play any instrument as an accompaniment to the voice. He goes on to say “Giving utterance” means: by singing with the voice and by playing on instruments. But this is never to be only mechanical; it is to be done “with your heart to the Lord” and not merely with lips and fingers for men. He wants no lip service from us. We must sing and play to him “with our heart,” and he ever looks to the heart.’
Of course there are those who will argue strongly with Mr Lenski’s approach. But what if someone who has no opinion on the matter has actually come to this conclusion by studying Ephesians? What if he is right? As much as those who hold making melody means only voice, what do they do with speaking to one another? Interestingly enough ‘... with psalms’ which are full of praising God with the instrument.
As much a staunch position that those take on verse 19 (which really is the only verse to try and use in the Bible to make claim that we shouldn’t use instrumental music) in the same context I’m wondering if they are as equally staunch in using other verses “Be imitator of God 5:1 ‘there must not be a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed..’ 5:3 ‘..be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ 5:18 ‘wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord’ 5:25
These and more from the same context are direct and straight commands. But how much will we hold to these and proclaim them boldly from our pulpits?
If the instrument is sinful, is it sinful only in worship? Can a Christian play a instrument? Can a Christian sing with the instrument to the Lord outside worship? Can a Christian listen to hymns with the instrument playing in them?
I think things should be done in reverence and order. Things should be done according to what God has deemed. But as we look to New Testament in the assembling of the saints, are all the details given as to what is appropriate and not appropriate in worship?
I have spoken to brothers who would see that big buildings, sound systems, power points, big screen, worship teams, are all necessary additions to enhance worship, and see nothing wrong with these things. But would adamantly say the instrument is not. Even though these things are not in the bible (and there is nothing wrong with them), some would even argue these are all given under the ‘authority of the Church.’ I asked one brother is the ‘power point’ in the bible? He confidently said yes, and proceeded to tell my about the ‘authority of the Church.’ I understand that we are at liberty do things in our worship, because they are not spelled out for us in the Scriptures. But if we have the mind of Christ and are set in pleasing God, not ourselves, these things will be acceptable to the Father. I’m sure every father would like their kids to come to the right conclusions about things, even when they are not specifically told about them.
Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe. Praise Him with loud cymbals; praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD! (Ps 150:3-6 NAS).
If the instrument is sinful (in worship or in any other use) why does the Apostle Paul use them as an example in addressing worship and the gathering of the saints?
And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? (1 Cor 14:7 KJV).
And if it is sinful to have instrument in our buildings at worship, why does John show us what he saw in HEAVEN
And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, (Rev 5:8-9 NAS)
Elders with harps singing songs to the Lamb of God. Yes I know it is only a vision, but why reveal something that we deem is sinful on earth in our assemblies?
I’m not advocating that we should use it. Personally I don’t think we need the instrument. But I don’t have a problem if I venture into a church were they are using it. There are bigger things to worry about than should we be using a instrument, living like Jesus, holiness, loving, serving, preaching the gospel.’ What amazes me is that we can preach whole sermons on why we shouldn’t have an instrument and not have any biblical authority behind it. And what does it do anyway? Will it bring us closer to God knowing whether we should us it or not. And God forbid if we think we are justified to divide over it.
Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality." The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them. (Acts 21:24-26 NIV)
Those who make argument that instruments were used under the Old Testament and we are now under the New. Can we really state that everything under the Old is not to be carried into the New? I think if we take a close look we will find that is not true. We teach, preach, learn from the Old Testament (as we should Rom. 15:4). The example here in Acts 21:24-26 and also in Acts 15:19-21, 16:3 dealing with Old Testament law. Now I understand these were done possibly for political reasons, appeasing Jewish Christians, or simply for the interest of the gospel. The point is they not only went to the Old Testament, but used the laws and regulations in them. We know that the ‘written code, with it’s regulations’ were nailed to the cross Col 2:14. ‘There are certain things under the law which were not demanded legalistically as conditioning to salvation but simply kept as aids to the Christian life’. Lenski. So when certain laws and regulations are only kept as tradition, would this be accepted in Churches? Of course the danger is to force these on other brethren as conditions of salvation. So in to days age is it wrong for a Jewish Christian to observe the Passover?
Think of it today, we as the Church of Christ don’t we hold on to traditions that have been passed on down through the decades? Can we point to Scripture on everything we do? Ironically we have no Scripture for things we deem are essential to our faith instruments, not supporting children’s homes, having certain bible versions, to name but a few.
Let me give just one example of a tradition that the Church of Christ holds on to with extreme seriousness, ‘the invitation song.’ Is it wrong to have it? No! Am I in favor of it? Personally no. We have no biblical basis for it. Yet it is almost done with biblical authority. It’s almost done to the point that if it wasn’t done it would be wrong. It has become so ingrained in our churches there are at certain times when I know there are no unbelievers present and still the call is given to ‘respond to the gospel’. I remember one brother coming over to Scotland and insisting that we do it. Incredibly he placed it with great importance of that equaling the Lord’s Supper. And I know that if I were to preach in some congregations and request that the invitation song not be given there would be an outrage. Another reason I’m not in favor of the ‘invitation’ is sometimes it cheapens the gospel. A brother could be up there preaching for half an hour on the dimensions for the Ark and at the end proclaims, ‘if someone wants to be baptized’. What message are we sending to unbelievers when we spend so much time on ‘why we shouldn’t use the instrument.’ And then at the end throw in ‘believe Jesus and be baptized’.
I’m saying all this to say we haven’t been using the instrument and that’s fine. Again I don’t really see the need to. But at the same time if some other congregation is, that’s fine to. I have no authority whatsoever to tell them they are sinning. I think we are crossing a very dangerous line to call a certain practice sin, which is not. To bind law which is not bound by God. And to divide over an issue that has no biblical basis for being an issue in the first place. I do hope you will take these thoughts with careful consideration and please reply to any of the points I have made.
Amazing. Twenty years without learning the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament. "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15). See Why We Don't Follow the Old Testament. Yes, the Law of Moses had instrumental music at the command of God. It also had a temple, altars, burning of incense, circumcision, dietary laws, and yearly festivals. What suddenly changed all of these things? Christ's death on the cross. "But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter" (Romans 7:6). If we are to use instrumental music because it was in the Old Law, then we must practice circumcision. Yet Paul said, "Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace" (Galatians 5:2-4). Please note verse 4. By justifying your religious practice by the Old Law, you are no longer under grace.
Yes, Revelation mentions musical instruments as symbols to describe heaven. Revelation 5:8-9 talks about the twenty-four elders holding harps before the throne. Revelation 14:2-3 says the voice from heaven sounded like many harps being played. Revelation 15 doesn't have 20 verses. I assume you meant Revelation 15:2 where it says that martyrs approached the throne of God, each holding a harps of God. Revelation 18:22 bemoans the fact that when Babylon fell, the sound of instrumental music would not longer be heard in Babylon's streets. Not one of these verses illustrate instrumental music being used by the church on earth to worship God. Not one of these verses give authorization to having instrumental music in Christian worship. I would have thought that after twenty years would have learned not to take verses out of context.
In a similar way you took Paul's illustration of why speaking in a language that no one understands is useless (I Corinthians 14:7-8) and then claim that this proves that Paul used instruments in worship. I must conclude that you no concept of context, meaning, or establishing authority. It is no wonder you promote false teachings in the church.
The fact that in the parable of the prodigal son that instruments were used at the celebration of the son's return does nothing to prove that God authorized instrumental music to worship Him in Christian worship. Nor does the sound of the trumpet of God at the end of the world prove Christians are to use instruments in their worship service.
Regarding the pitch pipe, it is not a musical instrument. You can't play a tune on it. In fact, it is purposely designed to not be playable as an instrument. See: Should pitch pipes be used before a song?
After twenty years, I would have thought you would have learned how to establish authority. You claim "We are commanded to praise God with instruments." Where? The Jews were commanded to use instruments. Where were the Christians commanded to do so?
You also state: "There is no command to refrain from using instruments to worship God in the New Covenant." This is an argument from silence. You are stating that silence is permission, something a person who claims to have been in the church for twenty years should know is false. "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son" (II John 9). If you cannot prove it is permitted, arguing that it wasn't excluded gives you no foundation. God is quite clear that His word is not to be altered and that would include not adding approvals that He never gave (Galatians 1:6-10). See: Biblical Authority and the "Silence" of the Scriptures: Does it Allow or Disallow?
It also appears that you missed learning about the scope of authority since you make the foolish argument that there is no permission for microphones, song books and the like. First off, if there is no authority for X, that is not reason to claim that we are permitted to also do Y. All the argument does is state that both X and Y should not be done. But there is authority for song books because it is a way to accomplish the command to sing. There is authority for microphones because it is a way to accomplish the command to teach. See: What Silence Says.
You ask if I have authority for everything I do in worship. The simple answer is "yes." I can show the authority for each thing I do in worship. But your rhetorical question implies that you think you don't. Thus, you are arguing that you act without authority. "And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:9).
The argument that the early church didn't use instruments merely because they could not afford them is false. Clearly the Jews managed to have instruments when God commanded them. Instruments were in society and many, such as flutes, were easily and cheaply made. Yet, history tells us that for about 1,000 years instrumental music was not a part of Christian worship. The cost argument is imaginary and false. You even contradict yourself by claiming that instruments were in the households of members of the church (without evidence by the way) and then claim that the church would have used what was available in the houses they met in. You can't have it both ways. See: The Amazing History of Instrumental Music in Christian Worship.
The argument that we should not make stands because it causes disagreements is about the worse thing you could say. By that argument Paul should not have stood against the keeping of the Old Testament, yet "And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them" (Acts 15:1-2). If it doesn't matter to you, then why are you arguing for it? By your misguided reasoning you should be silent and not cause controversy. Thus, you use arguments that you don't believe are true and that don't apply to you. Very sad.
Any alteration of God's word is an issue of salvation. "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" (Galatians 1:9). God made obedience to His commands a salvation issue. The tactic of trying to arbitrarily divide issues into important and non-important ones fails because you use your flawed judgment to make the division instead of listening to God. "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).
The laughable thing is that there is no division in the church over instrumental music. The church stands by the Bible and doesn't add what God has not authorized. There are people like you who are wanting to cause division by adding unauthorized acts to the worship and then foolishly think you can turn the tables and claim that the group staying with the Bible is the one at fault. How naive in your thinking! No, you don't have a common goal with faithful Christians. Read II Peter 2 some time.
You started out claiming that you read the lesson on whether psallo in the Ephesians 5:19 meant instrumental music. Yet, you proceed to make arguments that were answered in that lesson. Therefore, I must conclude that either you did not read the lesson, did not understand it, or don't care what anyone else thinks because you are going to do as you please anyway. Misuse of a dictionary does not prove your point.
I think I've covered all of your arguments except for the claim that since Paul had Timothy circumcised and at times kept Old Testament practices that this means anything from the Old Testament can be brought into the church. Paul had Timothy circumcised because of the Jews, not because it was required. See: Why have Timothy circumcised after the council in Jerusalem? Paul followed local customs so long as they did not conflict with God's laws. "For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be partaker of it with you" (I Corinthians 9:19-23). Though Paul had Timothy circumcised because of the need to preach among the Jews, Paul clearly stated it was not a part of Christianity (Galatians 5:1-4). None of this proves that God authorized the use of instrumental music in Christian worship.
"Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly -- and indeed you do bear with me. For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted -- you may well put up with it!" (II Corinthians 11:1-4).
"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).