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Musical instruments...

Discussion in 'Churches of Christ DIR' started by Linus, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    That's in heaven, my friend, not on earth. Those elders are also wearing white robes and golden crowns (Rev 4:4). Is this what we are to wear when worshipping God? Also, angels don't marry (Matthew 22:30 and Mark 12:25). Does that mean we must refrain from marriage as well? Using Heaven and heavenly creatures as an example of how to worship here on earth is not a good idea. Especially when the descriptions of heaven that we have come from the most symbolic book of the Bible. Besides, those images are borrowed from Old Testament worship as evidenced by Revalation 15:5.

    1 Corinthians 4:6 - Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.

    What else is written on this subject besides Ephesians 5:19 and Colosians 3:16?
     
  2. Daniel Burbank

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    I won't argue this anymore, but let me say one last thing: I know that we can't follow everything written in the Old Testament, but I don't see where anything in the New Testament tells us that we should not play musical instruments while worshipping God. Though the bible may say not to exceed what is written, it IS indeed written. And I personally believe that the purpose of that verse was so that christians wouldn't be swayed by someone telling them something that isn't in the bible (kind of like a warning against false prophets), and therefore not encounter a division. This is a warning against what happened several hundred years ago: God did not want the church to separate like it has. God would rather us be unified, so that we wouldn't come across as conflicting. Something like whether or not churches should allow musical instruments during worship isn't really something to split a church over. But if you're church doesn't allow musical instruments, I respect that, and if it's fine with you, then it's good enough for me.
     
  3. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    That's fine. I'm just trying to figure out where it says that we can use them. Where does God say that we are allowed to use them? The answer I have come up with thus far is: nowhere. Since when was God's silence a source of authority for anything? Again, I refer you all to the story of Nadab and Abihu I mentioned earlier.
     
  4. Daniel Burbank

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    Apparently it isn't mentioned anywhere else in the bible, but I would only think that the reason it isn't mentioned is because it wasn't an issue God had to adress with the churches back then. They had to deal with issues of turning astray, accepting false prophets, etc. and musical worship wasn't really that big an issue.

    Therefore I'm going to make a bold claim and say that the proof really does lie in what the New Testament DOES NOT say. The New Testament is a new issue of commands for God's church, and it basically tells the churches what not to do.

    I'll elaborate more later. But if you're looking for a command in the bible to worship with musical instruments, then you're not going to find it.
     
  5. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    I bet it was bigger deal than you think...especially when all the Jews who converted to Christianity were used to using and hearing musical intruments, right? ;)

    That's not how I see it at all. To me it would seem a bit forward to presume that we can do anything for God without knowing for sure that it would be acceptable to Him. We can't know God's will unless He reveals it to us, can we? It seems a little presumptuous to me

    Exactly. That's why I'm wondering how we come to the conclusion that we can do it...
     
  6. Daniel Burbank

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    Shoot, it's been a while and I completely forgot what I was going to "elaborate". Maybe I'll remember later. Sorry!
     
  7. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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  8. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that link Dawny. Sorry I haven't posted nearly all weekend. I have been out of town with little access to a computer. There's quite a lot in that article, so hopefully I can read through it a little more in depth and then post about it later this afternoon.
     
  9. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so I've read the article, but (as if you were surprized) I don't really agree with it. I think that some of the conclusions drawn by the author are based on some faulty logic and need some explaining. He has obviously done his research and presents some compelling arguments, but I think his logic needs some work. Now, an article of this length makes it difficult to comment in a medium such as this, but I will nonetheless try, providing scriptural and logical backup for all my arguments.

    The Old Covenant

    The author makes the bold claim that just the Law of Moses was cancelled out at the cross. That only the 613 laws and ordinances contained within the Pentatuch were nailed to the cross, therefore, the Psalms are still in effect and are still the will of God for us today. If this is the case, using the author's logic, we should still be making sacrifices to God.

    Psalm 50:14 - Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High
    Psalm 50:23 - He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me;And to him who orders his way arightI shall show the salvation of God
    Psalm 51:19 - Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices,In burnt offering and whole burnt offering;Then young bulls will be offered on Your altar
    Psalm 54:6 - Willingly I will sacrifice to You;I will give thanks to Your name, O LORD, for it is good
    Psalm 107:22 - Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,And tell of His works with joyful singing
    Psalm 116:17 - To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving,And call upon the name of the LORD

    Additionally, I have found a lionk on this very subject. Here it is:

    http://www.christiancourier.com/questions/psalmsMusicQuestion.htm

    Hopefully later I will write more about that article you posted, Dawny. What are everyone's thoughts so far?

     
  10. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    Also, I was wondering if there are any other churches that don't believe musical instruments should be used in worship.
     
  11. kmorvant

    kmorvant New Member

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    I have had this struggle for some time as I was baptized into a musical Church of Christ, but have worshiped with the nonmusical churches most of my Christian life. I struggled with this very question internally for a long time. I have come to the conclusion that it is not authorized for our worship now. We are the temple of God, and there were no musical instruments in there. We worship in the spirit and in keeping with that, singing alone in worship of God makes perfect sense as well as in keeping the commands to sing to one another. We must remember that the original sin committed in the Garden was the sin of disobedience. I do not want to disobey God. When we take it upon ourselves to do something that is not authorized we no longer can say that we will not come under God's judgment for that act. In other words, by what authority can I tell someone, "go ahead and do that, God won't judge you for that." I haven't the power to save myself, so I can't say that going outside of the Word is OK or will be forgiven. However, I never saw the benefit of making the instrument evil because of what some did with it. In the O.T. they were circumcised and did not eat pork. Being uncircumcised and eating pork were not evil under the Natural Law, but they were commanded to do, or not do certain things according to the Law. Bottom line for me is that our worship is spiritual in nature, singing is the word used in scripture, I can't go beyond the scripture without wondering if I will still be in God's graces and there will be circumcised and uncircumcised in Heaven. For more detail and scriptural references see the Why We Believe What We Believe Section of:
    http://www.climaxchurchofchrist.org
     
  12. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    What the Bible doesn't say can be a slippery thing to base doctrine on. The NT doesn't say to sit in pews during worship, either. But I'll bet most CofC people do. There's also no mention of wearing suits and ties, or pantyhose.

    I wonder how many CofC churches use grape juice for the Lord's Supper? There was no grape juice in Biblical times -- the early Church (up until Welch's invented grape juice in the 1800's) drank wine. How many CofC churches use little pieces of bread, and little individual cups? Those were not available in NT times. How many actually break a real loaf and pour wine into a cup at the Lord's Supper? Jesus did these things. And Alexander Campbell, the movement's founder, insisted that these things be done.

    My guess is, if you really take a look at it, most CofC worship practices today are not only different than in Campbell's day, but much different than the NT describes.
    I happen to like a capella singing, if it's done well. It's a beautiful tradition for you all, and I don't scoff or disparage the practice. But I would hesitate to say that it's Biblically mandated by scriptural silence.
     
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  13. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    Good post!
     
  14. kmorvant

    kmorvant New Member

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    In the scripture it does say to sing and speak to each other. That is not silence, but a command. If the scripture had not even said anything about the type of music in worship, then I would say that you have a point. I will agree that total silence means that we have the liberty to do as we see fit. We observe the Lord's Supper as in the N.T. example, but it is silent on the exact details, and as such we observe it with cups and such. You are wrong on the grape juice issue as well. Grape juice as well as ferminted juice or wine were referred to in the scripture as just wine. I won't expand on it as this can be researched in many books.

    As to the "campbellite" term of insult created by the Baptists (Calvinites), even Alexander Campbell said he was not creating a new religion. See the site:
    http://www.traces-of-the-kingdom.org
    for churches of Christ that existed before Campbell was born.
     
  15. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    Sojourner, we have as much authority to worship in a church building as Noah did to use a hammer.

    This may be a lengthy post, but I feel it is the only way I can express, with any amount of precision, my feelings on the subject. So here goes…

    Pews, church buildings, pitch pipes, songbooks, etc. are things we call expediencies. Let me explain...

    When we have commands that are very general, I believe we have the authority to use expediencies. These general types of commands are commands that tell us what we need to do, but do not tell us how we need to go about doing it. For example, the Jesus tells us to, "go" (…therefore and make disciples of all the nations - Matt. 28:19). "Go" is a pretty general, encompassing, and broad command. He leaves the way we “go” up to us. We are able to use our own discretion. We can walk, drive, swim, run, fly, etc. as long as we are fulfilling the command “go.” Cars, planes, boats, roads, shoes, etc. are expedienices. Another example is God telling Noah to build an Ark. Yes, God did give did give Noah some specific instructions, but He did not say that Noah could use a hammer or a saw, but God didn’t expect Noah to build it with his bare hands, did He? Therefore, those things are expedients with which to fulfill a general command “build.”

    So, we know that we are supposed to gather together on the first day of the week just as the Apostles did. The New Testament doesn’t say where, or for how long, or at what time. It just says to gather together. So we determine these things through expediencies. Some churches use a building with pews and books full of hymns because it is expedient. Other churches gather in homes of believers because it is expedient for them.

    Do you see what I mean?

    Here’s another link to an article addressing the subject of musical instruments in the worship. It has other links to more material on the subject…

    http://www.christiancourier.com/penpoints/responseOnInstrumentalMusic.htm
     
  16. FaithHopeLove

    FaithHopeLove New Member

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    So we've established that using instruments in worship is wrong.. clearly it is by the New Testament's silence on the matter. We are to worship God and edify one another by speaking to each other in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.

    This is my question, what about listening to "Christian music" that is not a capella? Lots of my friends listen to it, but they don't necessarily believe it's right to sing with instruments. Is there a contradiction there? What are people's thoughts on this?
     
  17. kmorvant

    kmorvant New Member

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    This is where you will get lots of opinions. Most people I know will admit that the command is for worship times ("speak to one another") or assembly. So one could conclude that it is OK to listen to Christian Music with instruments at other times. However, there are those who would say that anytime you listen to a song that celebrates Jesus and God then it is worship. I feel certain, and safe, that we should not use the instrument in the worship assembly from the scriptures that are there, but I don't see a clear verse that would prohibit it from our general enjoyment at other times. I'm sure many would disagree, but I don't feel that it is a contradiction. Women are told to remain silent in the assembly. I would not regard that as a statement to remain silent at other times.

    Kenneth
     
  18. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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  19. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    Real audio player I believe.


    That's a good question, FaithHopeLove. It's one to which I do not know the answer, but I will investigate. I'll try and get back to you on later with my answer.
     
  20. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Of course I see what you mean.
    My point is this: You say Christ told us to "go," but didn't specify how, leaving that to our best discretion. How do you think that logic is different for being told to worship, but not particularly being told how?

    Again, I'm not dissing your practice. It's beautiful. I have a great deal of respect for C of C. In my own tradition, we take seriously the Psalms, where it says to praise God in God's sanctuary with timbrel, lute, harp, trumpet, cymbals, strings and pipe.

    I don't see how the Church justifies that NT silence on the use of instruments constitutes a commandment not to use them. Why is the use of instruments not seen as an expediency, in that case, much like wearing clothes in the rite of baptism?
     
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