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Donnie mentions the purpose of this website. The real purpose of this website is clearly obvious and is referred to in the scriptures often, always in the negative:[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]Ray,
I was expecting you to discuss specifically the subject of instrumental music in the assembly -- that an elder of a local congregation was asking John Waddey about. Instead, you made a list of accusations and attacked him personally while you're not brave enough to identify yourself except as one of the Rays. What are you afraid of, Ray ____________?
The provision for you to be able to post here is a privilege; the right to edit out personal attacks and accusations totally unrelated to the discussion of subject matters is an OBLIGATION. Remember that this a moderated forum, even though your constant negative and critical comments and misjudgments of this site have been allowed to be posted.
Now, the truth of the matter regarding the Restoration Movement -- and you must stop distorting its history -- is that John Waddey is closer to God's truth, to the principles of the restoration process, to the great men and leaders of the era THAN you and the change agents.
Another truth of the matter -- and stop ignoring this fact -- is that only around 20 of the thousands of congregations of the church of Christ worldwide use those inanimate, lifeless musical devices in their assemblies, either part of the time or all of the time. Go figure. The majority, 99.99888% of the churches, does not induldge in such type of musical idolatry. In reality, it's virtually all faithful congregations do not use IM. And how is that? It's because those very few congregations that do have either aligned themselves with the Christian Church denomination or have affiliated themselves with the WCACC (Willow Creek Association of Community Churches).
So, now, just who is attacking the Lord's church? John Waddey? Or, you and the change agents and their disciples like you? Did the early or first century New Testament church use mechanical musical objects in their assemblies? NO!!! Did Christians in the early centuries use IM? NO!!! Not until the Roman Catholic Church initiated the idolatry. Were the great men of the Restoration Movement in opposition to the use of musical objects? Of course, yes!!!
So, Ray, you are the one distorting the history of the church. You're behaving just like the change agents who desire so much to restructure the church that Christ established and so much to modify God's directives for His church. Why don't the change agents and you start your own church? From scratch? Instead of disturbing peaceful congregations?
The burden is more on you providing us with scriptures or passages that direct the New Testament church of our Lord to use musical idols in the assembly than on us providing a "thou shalt not" command. You and the change agents misuse and abuse the "law of silence" by making this ludicrous claim your guide: "Where the Bible does not say 'NOT TO,' God approves or authorizes."
That guide amounts to: "Where the Bible does not say, 'Thou shalt not worship the Virgin Mary, Mother of God,' God approves or authorizes."
With regard to the directive from God for Christians assembling together to teach and admonish one another in "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," you already know but still reject the truth in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. Those passages are explicit enough for me and many other Christians. And speaking of "in context" or "out of context," where are you going to hide now that or since you want to add or include musical devices in the text? Let's see. Which of the following specific instruments would you like to add to the text? The timbrel and dance, pipes, organs, stringed instruments, trumpets, psalteries, cymbals, cornets, tabrets and all of King David's other instruments?[/color]
"Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved...Do not grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall." (1 Corinthian 10:6, 10-12, NASB)A REVELATION OF THINGS TO COME(Note: Below is a letter received from a brother who has fully embraced the change agenda. It is both informative and chilling. For those who have not yet encountered this movement, this will help you see just what we are up against. JHW)
Brother John, It is my opinion that instrumental praise is not sinful. I pray that more and more people of the Church of Christ will come to what has been an enlightened understanding for me. I was brought up in the Church of Christ denomination ( yes, TODAY the "Church of Christ" is a denomination), and I have served as a deacon (3 years) and an elder (9 years), so I know the scriptures that are used to support the position against the use of instrumental praise.
I now consider those arguments a case of faulty reasoning and misapplied scripture. It is also my opinion that a staunch stand against instrumental praise is divisive to the body of Christ and detrimental to the salvation of the lost. The unsaved, the broken, those searching for meaning in their life are not concerned about whether a praise service is a cappella or instrumental; nor should we be. By the way, add Creekside Church of Christ to the list of C o C congregations integrating instrumental praise into their schedule of congregated praise. Creekside is a 400 to 500 member congregation in Midlothian, Texas. Creekside's Sunday evening praise is referred to as Turning Point. It is a contemporary instrumental praise service.
Sir, you might be surprised if you knew how many "closet instrumentalist" that exist in the Church of Christ. The congregation that I served had three elders. We all agreed with our preacher, that instrumental praise is just as pleasing to God as non-instrumental praise. It was not implemented at New Life Church of Christ because of fear of change. I suspect that there are other congregational leaders that are of the same opinion but are fearful of change.
Finally sir, if you are still reading and haven't already deleted my correspondence, let me inform you of Creekside's Sunday morning praise. Singing is a cappella and is conducted by a praise team that includes women. One of the ladies is an exceptional soloist. Someday I hope to walk into a Church of Christ praise and worship service and witness a talented woman leading instrumental praise and hear a thought provoking lesson brought by some spiritually inspired young lady.
My brother, though I'm sure that our interpretation of various scripture differ, I still respect your understanding of scripture and your sincerity. Please afford me and others the same courtesy. May the Lord bless your effort to bring the lost to Christ.
Addressed in Love,
[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]Dear Bro. Hightower:
Thank you for writing and sharing with me your new found faith and your hopes for the future of the Lord's church. That which you view as a new and wonderful transformation of your congregation, I view as a sad and shameful situation. It is sad because one of the Lord's congregations has departed from the narrow way that leads to life and shameful because her leaders should know better.[/color]
[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]I write with prayer and hope that you will turn back to the old paths of God,
- [color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]You say that is it your "opinion" and that of your fellow elders that instrumental music in worship is not sinful. It is impressive that you offer not a single scripture to justify your conclusion. I remind you that God's ways are not man's ways, nor his thoughts our thoughts (Is. 55:8-9). From Scripture we read that we are to sing an make melody with our hearts (Eph. 5:19). From Scripture we learn nothing about musical instruments in Christian worship. Historically we know that early Christians offered vocal praise without instrumental accompaniment. The use of instruments in Christian worship originated within the corrupt Roman Catholic Church of the Middle Ages.[/color]
- [color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]You say the lost are not concerned about the use of instruments in worship. The lost know little or nothing of the will of Christ for his church. But my brother have served as an elder, you above all, should know what the Lord's expressed will is and be strong in following it. It is your duty as the mature leader who should be holding to the faithful word (Tit. 1:9) to teach those who come to salvation the Savior's will in this and all other matters.[/color]
- [color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]You confidently say that "Church of Christ is a denomination." I do not question that your Creekside Church is indeed a denomination. But the church of which I am a member is certainly not a denominational body. We are a band of baptized believers who worship and serve Christ the head of the church in spirit and in truth. We are an autonomous body under the exclusive authority of Christ and His Word. We have no part in any denominatonal governing body. WE have no creed or written standard of faith save our confession of Jesus as God's Son and his New Testament as our guiding and governing document. Individually, we identify ourselves as Christains (I Pet. 4:16). Since Christ purchased the church with his blood (Acts 20:28); founded the church (Matt. 16:18) and is head and savior of the church (Eph. 1:22; 5:23) we like Paul speak of our congregation as a church of Christ (Rom. 16:16).[/color]
- [color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]I find it remarkable that you have served as a deacon and elder of the Lord's church for more than ten years and yet you do not find it important to worship as He has directed. Only men who hold fast (to) the faithful word are qualified to fill the sacred office of elder (Tit. 1:9). You fail to recognize the sole authority of Christ to prescribe the faith, worship and practice of His church. That you wish to put women in the public leadership of the church is a clear example of your rejection of Christ's will that they not teach nor usurp authority over the men (I Tim. 2:11-12). Such rebellion against his authority God does not wink at. "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft..." (I Sam. 15:23).[/color]
- [color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]If your heart craves to worship with instruments of music and with women leading the assembly, I recommend that you seek out the nearest Christian Church or Disciples of Christ church. There you will find people of like mind with you. Their fathers, a century ago traveled the same road you are pursuing today. You will be right at home with them.[/color]
- [color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]It is strange that you and others wish to change the faith and practice of our people, who for the last 200 years (here in American ) have followed the ancient faith and practice of the first Christians. But you charge us with causing division because we do not yield to your efforts to introduce changes based not on Scripture, but on your opinions. Can you not see that you are driving the wedge into our brotherhood?[/color]
- [color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]In true worship, autonomous man gladly submits his will to that of Jesus (Heb. 5:9). In "will worship" (Col. 2:23), autonomous man does what he wants to do; what feels right and good to him, regardless of what the Scripture says. I neither cannot nor will not seek to force you to worship according to the revealed will of God. I do however plead with you to consider your ways (Hag. 1:7), to remember your first love (Rev. 2:4-5), to repent and return to the simple faith and worship you learned and practiced when first you tasted the good word of God and the glorious salvation of Christ (Heb. 6:4-5).[/color]
[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]Ray,Donnie,
You have failed to produce one quotation from God's Holy Word that specifically and explicitly says that instruments are 1) Sinful, or 2) Displeasing to God, or 3) Will put you in danger of Hellfire, or 4) where Jesus said anything against using them, or 5) any apostle in the NT saying anything against using them.
You have proven in your own answer that your are speaking here the sciptures are silent, you are passing judgement where God has not, and you are building a doctrine on your own interpretation.
John's personal attack on the elder in the church of Christ was also based on his own opinion and not on the specific and explicit word of God. His personal attacks on the many independent and autonomous congregations of the Lord's Church are based not on the specific and explicit word of God but only on his own opinion. It was John, and not I, who told an elder of a church of Christ to leave the church of Christ if that elder did not agree with John's opinion.
I believe his history is relevant because he does not show the grace shown to him.
You claim I am attacking the Lord's Church? Prove it from God's word, not from your opinion.
You claim I am ignorant of and changing Restortation Movement history? Prove it from actual facts and not your's or John's distorted and self-serving generalizations.
And finally, produce one quotation from God's Holy Word that specifically and explicitly says that you are authorized to condemn where God has not condemned, where you are authorized to speak where God is silent, where you are authorized to pass judgement where God has not, where you are authorized to call something a sin that God has not called a sin.
Let it be known to all that this website speaks opinions only and not the pure specific and explicit Word of God.
[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]Ray,Donnie mentions the purpose of this website. The real purpose of this website is clearly obvious and is referred to in the scriptures often, always in the negative:
"Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved...Do not grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall." (1 Corinthian 10:6, 10-12, NASB)
"for the LORD hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him. And what are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the LORD." (Exodus 16:8, NASB)
"How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel, which they are making against Me. Say to them, 'As I live,' says the LORD, 'just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you; your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me." (Numbers 14:27-30, NASB)
"Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain." (Philippians 2:14-16, NASB)
"Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door." (James 5:9, NASB)
"It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, "In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts." These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit." (Jude 1:14-19, NASB)
It is the grumblers that sin and cause division, not the ones who are grumbled against.