A discussion of music (outside of the worship)

PPB
PPB

June 21st, 2006, 3:53 am #11

Wordkeeper,

Good thoughts, but I have to admit that once instruments are added, I don't really listen to the message - so the words are lost on me. If I listen to rock, it's got to be clean and really is just background noise for me. Though I do still crank up some old Queen or Boston.

I really have to have the simplicity of the words to keep my mind on track. Otherwise, I get into the instruments, what's playing what melody, etc. I love music and I loved being in orchestra. Instrumental music takes me to another place - I feel it down to the bones - and words get lost.

Hmmm. Where you discussing a "past life" or just our younger days? Unless you lived in TX, probably not.

My best friend is Methodist (modern branch). Though we study together and talk about our beliefs, we cannot spend a lot of time on some subjects. It makes for some lively debate as we are both very hard headed and very outspoken! Though as people, our morals/ethics are the same. Of course, there is the big issue of infant baptism vs. believer baptism. Won't go there!

Anyway, she is in a church group/band and we discuss this issue every once in a while. And though she agrees that instruments were not used in the early churches, she likes them in her services. Funny thing, neither one of us feels that Christian Rock brings out a "christian spirit" in us. It's kind of ironic that we would agree on that subject, but we do. She's younger than me - so it's not an age thing...
Quote
Share

Joined: February 27th, 2006, 10:01 pm

June 24th, 2006, 1:45 pm #12

Interesting that you enjoy Queen. About
five years ago I watched an interview with
Brian May and he said that as much as a
year before Freddie Mercury learned that
he was infected with AIDS that they had
collaborated on a musical opera (like the
WHO's TOMMY) based on the book of Jeremiah ?
They worked on the concepts and a rough sketch
of some songs but it never went anywhere on it.
It seems like Freddie's father was a minister
but I forgot what denomination it was. Freddie
Mercury knew the Bible. I have learned to leave
judgement up to God.

Now to my main point. When I was in my early 20s
and still attending churches of Christ I visited
an old church out in the country and there was a
family from the Methodist church visiting also.
The minister preached a "You're going to hell
if you worship with instrumental music" sermon
just because he knew there were methodists in
the audience. That really irked me and it started
my path to examine what is really the truth and
to follow it instead of some denominational teaching
against instrumental music. This is how I feel about
the issue:

If you have a prefernce to worship acapella; thats fine
do it to your heart's desire. I applaud your zeal to
worship in that way. Anyone who judges another person
who worships with instrumental music is taking God
off his throne sitting in His place and propagating
an eleventh commandment "Thou shall not worship
with instrumental music". You can find absolutely no
scripture explicitely stating your position. It is
solely based on human reason, which in many cases is
fallable. To put a burden of an eleventh commandment
that you made and not God is tanatamount to the
Pharisees Jesus spoke of in Matthew 23:2-3. That
is why I responded to the first post on this thread
that this issue is personal preference and outside
of any doctrinal boudaries. If anyone wants to worship
God with music or without music; inside a church or
listening to country music with reference to God; let
your own conscience be your guide.

Thank you,

Wordkeeper
Quote
Like
Share

Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

June 24th, 2006, 9:49 pm #13

Wordkeeper: "Anyone who judges another person who worships with instrumental music is taking God off his throne sitting in His place and propagating an eleventh commandment 'Thou shall not worship with instrumental music.'"

There are more than just the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament. When Christ told us to observe all things whatsoever He commanded us (Matt. 28:20), He was referring to the commands of the Gospel and what He would later reveal to the apostolic writers: for example, baptism for remission of sins and salvation, repentance, confession that Jesus is Lord, the Lord's Supper, divorce only for adultery of the other spouse, a cappella music, etc. All of those, and more, are not part of the Ten Commandments, but commandments they are, nonetheless.

Wordkeeper: "...this issue [music] is personal preference and outside of any doctrinal boudaries."

Sorry, but since Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16 specify using only vocal music (a cappella), this goes beyond personal preference. Vocal music must be regarded as a command. After all, the apostle Paul stated that what he preached was revealed to him by Christ (Gal. 1:11-12). Everything that Paul wrote came to him from Christ. Only in rare instances did Paul insert personal opinions into his epistles, and when he did, he flagged them accordingly so that people would not mistake them as commands from Christ. An example is 1 Cor. 1:12, in which Paul gives a personal opinion about a disbelieving wife, and he flagged his words as opinion. Paul did not give a personal opinion about vocal music, because it is a command that he received from Christ.

It is a mistake to assume that because God hasn't specifically forbidden something by name, then it's OK to use it, especially when it pertains to doctrine and worship. Would we have God list every conceivable "Thou shalt" and "Thou shalt not" known to man? The list would be virtually endless. What God has written and specified in the New Testament should be sufficient unto itself. The silence of God is not permissive, and Christians have no authority to go beyond what is written in Scripture, regarding doctrine and worship. What does not conflict with doctrine, worship, or other biblical principles, Christians may implement. In the case of music, God through Paul has specified vocal music by name; to assume that instrumental music is also OK is to second-guess God, which is dangerous. Since we don't have that authority, it's far better to leave instruments alone. And no one is "judging" anybody. We are simply urging people not to allow their personal preferences to supercede what is specified in the New Testament.

Quote
Share

Joined: February 27th, 2006, 10:01 pm

June 26th, 2006, 4:21 pm #14

Over my life I've held many different
jobs, one of which was a counselor at
a trouble youth center. I've seen many
sad cases of child abuse but, one stands
out in particular. We came across a five-
year old boy whose father wouldn't tell
him before hand his expectations of what
to do and what not to do. He left it up
to the boy himself to figure it out.
He wouldn't say, " Johnny, don't play
with the curtains. He would just catch him
playing with the curtains and without any
warning he would punish him excessively.

Is this the picture of our heavenly Father ?
Without any say so or explicit instruction
just waiting for churches to play instrumental
music in worship and bam sent straight to hell.

We know where God stands on such issues such as
murder and idolatry. He is silent on the issue
of instrumental music in church. Don't you think
that if it is an important enough issue he would
give us explicit instructions on this matter and
not leave it up to guess work ?

If you do not see this you have bigger issues than
whether there should be instrumental music in
church and examine why you have a view of God as
a capricious Being.

Thank you,

Wordkeeper
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 10th, 2006, 3:36 am

June 26th, 2006, 10:44 pm #15

Wordkeeper: "Anyone who judges another person who worships with instrumental music is taking God off his throne sitting in His place and propagating an eleventh commandment 'Thou shall not worship with instrumental music.'"

There are more than just the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament. When Christ told us to observe all things whatsoever He commanded us (Matt. 28:20), He was referring to the commands of the Gospel and what He would later reveal to the apostolic writers: for example, baptism for remission of sins and salvation, repentance, confession that Jesus is Lord, the Lord's Supper, divorce only for adultery of the other spouse, a cappella music, etc. All of those, and more, are not part of the Ten Commandments, but commandments they are, nonetheless.

Wordkeeper: "...this issue [music] is personal preference and outside of any doctrinal boudaries."

Sorry, but since Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16 specify using only vocal music (a cappella), this goes beyond personal preference. Vocal music must be regarded as a command. After all, the apostle Paul stated that what he preached was revealed to him by Christ (Gal. 1:11-12). Everything that Paul wrote came to him from Christ. Only in rare instances did Paul insert personal opinions into his epistles, and when he did, he flagged them accordingly so that people would not mistake them as commands from Christ. An example is 1 Cor. 1:12, in which Paul gives a personal opinion about a disbelieving wife, and he flagged his words as opinion. Paul did not give a personal opinion about vocal music, because it is a command that he received from Christ.

It is a mistake to assume that because God hasn't specifically forbidden something by name, then it's OK to use it, especially when it pertains to doctrine and worship. Would we have God list every conceivable "Thou shalt" and "Thou shalt not" known to man? The list would be virtually endless. What God has written and specified in the New Testament should be sufficient unto itself. The silence of God is not permissive, and Christians have no authority to go beyond what is written in Scripture, regarding doctrine and worship. What does not conflict with doctrine, worship, or other biblical principles, Christians may implement. In the case of music, God through Paul has specified vocal music by name; to assume that instrumental music is also OK is to second-guess God, which is dangerous. Since we don't have that authority, it's far better to leave instruments alone. And no one is "judging" anybody. We are simply urging people not to allow their personal preferences to supercede what is specified in the New Testament.
O.K. Dr. Crump and Wordkeeper, this is not about musical instruments in a public worship setting. (Although I admit the lines between cross so easily)

PBB, I too find myself embarased when I really listen to the words of the songs that I grew up loving. But I enjoy music, all types, rock, jazz, country, classical. The music itself can lift your spirits or make you pause.

God has given me the talent of playing the guitar and other musical instruments. I have to recognize that talent as being from God. Last time I checked, Satan does not give you talents.

O.K. Let's use bluegrass as an example since it's rythyms are not as provocative as Pop/Rock can be. O.K., it is easy to see that I, as a christian, should not play and sing "ROCKY TOP" where they brag about moonshine (Corn don't grow... that's why we get our corn from jars...)and killing revenuers (Once two strangers climbed up rocky top lookin' for a moonshine still, strangers ain't come down from rocky top, recon they never will). But is it o.k. for me to sit on my backporch with my guitar while I play and sing one of the old hymns?

I'd like some more discussion on this.

In Christ,

Mark F
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: February 27th, 2006, 10:01 pm

June 27th, 2006, 9:08 pm #16

Mark F.,

If you have noticed that I have been
consistent in all of my posts in this
thread. The point that I make is that
it is a non-issue. God has not given
us any specific commandments as far
as instrumental music in reference to
Him. Any commandments pertaining to
instrumental music with refernce to
God is man-made from human reasoning
which is often fallable. Only a capricious
God would be silent on a matter and then
on judgement day lower the boom . So
I say it is go ahead and play your
instrument to the glory of God. It is
never wrong to give him praise and
worship no matter where you are or what-
ever circumstances you face.

P.S. I would someday like to meet you
and hear some spiritual music. I hope
you take requests.

Wordkeeper
Quote
Like
Share

Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

June 28th, 2006, 2:10 pm #17

Wordkeeper: "Any commandments pertaining to instrumental music with refernce [sic] to God is man-made from human reasoning which is often fallable. Only a capricious God would be silent on a matter and then on judgement day lower the boom."

God's ways and thoughts are not man's ways and thoughts (Isaiah 55:8 KJV). We cannot rationalize and speculate over what God might, might not, would, or would not do. We must go strictly by what is written in the New Testament. God through Paul has specified vocal music in Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16. Yet if God had merely said, "Make music unto me," then we would have had the freedom to use instruments. Because He specified vocal music, we have only the freedom to sing.

Man would have God to list every single "Thou shalt" and "Thou shalt not" for every possible, conceivable situation on the face of the earth. Such a list would be endless. Yet God has chosen not to do that. Is He capricious for not doing so and not making everything just "crystal clear"? Instead, we are to take God at His Word. What He specifies, we do. We don't add to or take from what He has written in matters pertaining to His doctrine and worship. However, we may implement that which does not conflict with what He has written in matters of His doctrine and worship. Examples: bathrooms, podiums, song books, kitchens, etc. Those are incidentals that do not conflict with God's commandments. Instruments, on the other hand, conflict with God's command, because He has commanded vocal music only.

Therefore, Wordkeeper's original statement above may be reworded to say, "Any additions to commandments pertaining to vocal music with reference to God is man-made from human reasoning which is definitely fallable. God is hardly capricious, for He expects us to take Him at His Word."



Quote
Share

Joined: February 27th, 2006, 10:01 pm

June 29th, 2006, 9:28 pm #18

Well Dr. Crump, I don't think we'll ever be
in agreement on this issue and personally, I
find your argument to be weak. It just doesn't
hold up. I knew that we would eventually get
to this impasse and that it would actually help
me make my point that relates to this web site.
The churches of Christ are really no different
than any other denomination holding on to pet
doctrines even when the doctrines do not hold up
to scripture. You all are so adamant to what
day of the week to have the Lord's Supper but
on Sunday evenings you all actually are partaking
communion on the second day of the week and yet
you all heavily criticize others for a doctrine
that you all do not even follow correctly.

Then, on the issue of instumental music in church
you all blast others based on the absence of scripture
and yet one of your strongest criticisms is that other
denominations add to the word of God. You all yourselves
put in an eleventh commandment that God has not spoken.

You may disagree vehemntly with the "change agents"
at Madison Church of Christ but, I ask you, could
you be wrong in your view towards these people ?
My goodness, I am often wrong on many areas including
Bible interpretation, so is the churches of Christ, and
really everybody else. Instead of focusing on where
they are wrong maybe a little self-examination would
make you a stronger believer. Meanwhile, you may disagree
with others (like the "change agents" at Madison) but we
are all fellow believers and still part of God's family.
Maybe it is time to start anew with a new congregation
and use this as an opportunity to evangelize the unbelievers
and do good works in your community.

I am sorry for using this thread as a pulpit for my sermon.
Dear Mark F. play to your heart's desire. May God be glorified.

Thank you,

Harry Smith
Quote
Like
Share

Richard B
Richard B

November 8th, 2011, 2:03 am #19

This is my 1st post to this forum, but my thoughts on the instrumental music issue are these: Point 1. It is an historical fact that the early church did NOT use instruments of any kind. They were not introduced into the assembly for 500-600 years. I know all the NT verses that address singing and that the NT is silent in command, example or inference as to instruments during worship. However, the concept that persuaded me that using instruments during worship is sinful is the fact that Jesus promised the apostles that when he died and went to be with His Father in heave, He would send the Holy Spirit to guide the apostles into ALL truth. This He did in Acts 2 and they soon wetn about established churches in like manner under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. None of those apostle-built churches had instruments. Therefore, God did not want them used, otherwise the Holy Spirit would have guided the apostles to set churches up with instruments being used. And we all know the verses that teach that adding to or taking away from God's Word is sinful and anyone who does not abide in the traditions of Paul & the other apostles was to be accursed. So, I conclude and firmly believe that we cannot, must not, use instruments during the worship service.

Point 2. There is a difference between Worship and Praise. We are restricted in how we are to worship God, just as the church is restricted in how we can use money in the Lord's treasury. However, just like we have individual freedom to use our money as long as it is our possession on any number of things that are not permitted the church to do, we have individual freedom in the type of music we listen to outside of the assembly. God has given each of us an innate love of music and humans are going to listen to music of one type or another for our individual pleasure, enjoyment, edification, mental well-being, whatever. I find it hard to believe that He would give us this innate desire for music, the ability to build all kinds of instruments and write all types of songs and then expect us to only listen to secular, worldly, music outside of the assembly. Music affects our minds and our emotions and if we deny ourselves and our children wholesome music, we and they WILL substitute other types of mujsic in its place. Therefore, I conclude and believe that we can listen to "gospel" music in any form outside of the assembly. Personally, however, I don't like Christian Rock becauase I don;t think it's very good. The best "gospel"-type music out there, in my opinion, comes from country music - Elvis, Statler Brothers, etc. I like 60's & 70's rock the best. But my position is that God's wants our obedience in the manner we worship Him in the assembly, but we have freedom to praise Him outside of the assembly in any number of ways.
Quote
Share

TMP
TMP

November 8th, 2011, 7:44 am #20

Richard,

I want to thank you for posting on this website. I could tell that you put a lot of thought into your comments and I think I understand your point of view. I agree with the point that there is no evidence that the early church used instruments in their worship. I disagree with the conclusion that using instruments during worship is sinful.

I once listened to a lecture by a Jewish Christian scholar. He talked about that about 100 years before Christ, the Jewish Rabbis forbid instrumental worship in the synagogues outside of Israel because they felt that they brought in pagan influences...instrumental worship was still allowed in the temple. Since the Christian movement blossomed in the synagogues, the Christian "services" held there would not have had instruments. So does this mean necessarily mean that God forbade instrumental music, or perhaps it was a tradition of men that caused for there to not be instrumental music in the early church?

My bigger argument against your conclusion is that I don't think God would have us have to make long reasoned arguments to determine a sinful act. I believe if this was important he would have specified it in scripture. God described in great detail the physical dimensions of the tabernacle and temple in the O.T., the O.T. "church building" you could say. There are intricate details of various rituals that should be done throughout the year.

How many detailed commands pertaining to N.T. worship services are there? The only aspect that is stated as a detailed command is the Lord's Supper. Every other aspect is mentioned in passing. The favorite passage used for acapella worship services "Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord" has no mention that it is about worship services...if it is, I guess we can get drunk on wine as long as it is not in a worship service (the previous passage) or we only have to give thanks to the Lord or submit to one another during a worship service (the next two passages).

If I accepted your argument about the Apostles setting a noninstrumental worship as God ordained, then would not singing in harmony be just as sinful? It is well documented that the N.T. worship sang only in chants, and that the introduction of harmony also caused division. Church buildings didn't come around for a couple hundred years as well. Shouldn't we worship in homes or synagogues? The New Testament has a clear example of using one cup for the Lord's Supper. Each of these arguments must be determined individually, but I really don't understand what is special about instruments over any of the other issues.

We spend so much time arguing over what is mentioned very little in the New Testament (the details of a formal worship service), and we tend to ignore what is mentioned in abundance in the New Testament (Loving one another, one of Jesus's last request: "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.")

I also do not understand what is special about a worship service. If it is sinful to sing with instruments during a worship service, then why isn't it sinful all of the time? I think we make a big mistake when we view a formal worship service different from our lives outside of the church building. I think God governs how we should we use money that has been given to the church, but he governs the money we spend ourselves just as closely. I believe that this type of thinking leads to people dressing the part on Sunday morning, but acting completely different during the week.

I welcome more discussion on this topic, but I ask that we keep it civil and we keep it on topic.

Quote
Share