Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

December 8th, 2010, 5:12 am #11

Brother Cruz,

I believe you misunderstood my point. Our elders have not had to "take a stand" because no one is pursuing or pushing change.

A conservative number would be 30% of adult members who have no problem with instruments. In fact, we have several couples who used to worship where there were instruments. They did not come to our church because we did or did not have them, but for other reasons. Our church teaches to be Christians only. In fact, we have couples with Baptist, Methodist, and even 3 with Pentecostal backgrounds. I know we aren't the only ones so I am not bragging, but just answering your question. The ages of those neutral on IM range from a few in the 50's to several in their 40's and 30's. Definitely to the 20's and teens it is a non-issue, but they all like to sing and I have not heard anyone in the youngest ages expressing change or being disgruntled, nor anyone older.

While I do not believe Scripture condemns directly nor indirectly (through "law of silence/exclusion"), I would actually be against our congregation changing on this matter.

Finally, I agree with you that changing a view or "growing" does not mean or imply that one was a legalist.

I was one because I made laws where God did not and bound those on others, like the Pharisees. They were very pious and religious and their teachings very rigid and strict.

Matthew 23:4 - "They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders..."

Matthew 23:13 - "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You youselves do not enter nor will you let those enter who are trying to."

Matthew 23:15 _ "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are."

I think the C of C is good at helping people practice both self-righteousness and self-condemnation because we do not teach grace. Not as a license - we do not teach it for what it is. The good news is the gospel of grace.

-Sonny
Sonny,

I didn't think I misunderstood your point regarding your congregation's mixed viewpoints on instrumental music. I was not implying that a segment of the membership was pushing change or that change agents were intruding or interfering with the affairs of the congregation to push their agenda. But I agree that a no-action on the part of the elders was a good thing, considering that they're knowledgeable of the varying positions on IM among the members. To me this would be an indication that the elders, along with the membership, are united -- "of the same mind and of the same judgment" for the sake of the church. I must say, though, that your congregation's situation is not that unique. This has gone on throughout the history of the RM churches, including and even during the period when the religious census of 1906 made the "split" official. It's been more pronounced in the last few decades because of the popularity of the Charismatic, Contemporary Christian Music and Change Movements among the youth in our churches.

I did mention the Madison congregation's experience because in pursuing the agenda of the change agents to "transform" the church into Community Church-ism, the elders were divided even at the decision of whether or not to incorporate the "Praise Team" scheme into the worship assembly.

Thanks for the stats you provided. They're about what I had expected. Also, there will always be guests from other religious faiths present in our assemblies. Those are opportunities for evangelism outside the church family.

I'll have to disagree with your stance that "Scripture [does not condemn the use of musical instruments] directly [or] indirectly...." Why would you seek a "thou shalt not use musical devices" just as you would expect a "thou shalt have no other gods before me"? In the latter case, God had already directed His followers to worship Him as: "I am the LORD thy God." On the other hand, God has never directed His followers to worship Him with the operation of mechanical music.

On legalism, would you explain your assertion: "I was one [a legalist] because I made laws where God did not and bound those on others, like the Pharisees...."

Could you be more specific or provide an example(s) regarding which "laws" you made "where God did not and bound those on others"?

Please answer this one particular question that I have for you -- "Did you label yourself as a 'legalist' at the time that you were aware [say 15 or 20 years ago] that you made 'laws' and bound them on others?"

The reason I am curious to know is that the expression "legalist" or "legalistic" or "legalism" has been more widely used in reference to being in opposition to "inherited" beliefs, teachings and practices from preceding generations. You will hear "ex-church-of-Christ" members say the following: "I was a legalist" or "... the cofC is a legalistic denomination" or "I have left legalism." Go check out their website.

What did you mean by "because we do not teach grace"? How so? How would/do you teach "grace"?
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Sonny
Sonny

December 9th, 2010, 4:58 am #12

Here are a few examples of laws I made based on my interpretive slant that God does not in Scripture:

It is wrong to clap hands with a song.
It is wrong to worship God with instruments.
It is wrong to raise hands during prayer/worship.
It is wrong to have children's worship during a sermon.
It is wrong to have move than 1 person leading worship.
It is wrong to have a woman lead songs with the children at VBS.
It is wrong to for women to have speaking parts during a skit at VBS.
It is wrong for a church to have something different on a Sunday evening (meeting in homes, serving people).

No, I did not think of myself as a legalist. I had a good heart while I was mistaken. I saw myself as someone standing for the truth. I just did not see how my traditions were affecting (and I'm sure they still do) my understanding of Scripture.

Two things influenced me with the IM issue.

1. When I was convinced that clapping is o.k. then I noticed an inconsistency between my interpretation for clapping and instruments. To be consistent, either both are permitted or both are not.

2. A while back when I mentioned the story about the elder who said to me IM is o.k. at home but not at a church building. I started thinking (uh oh, don't think) how this was his opinion and conscience based on whatever, including our tradition, and is not in Scripture. In fact, we are to worship God in our homes. Therefore, to be consistent, IM is either acceptable in homes and church buildings or neither.

How does grace fit into the Christian equation and experience? Great question. I wish I had this one completely figured out for every possible scenario.

-Sonny
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

December 9th, 2010, 7:28 am #13

If God gives a specific command and outlines the parameters that are to be met in that command, must God then turn around and say, "OK, now I'm gonna give you an exhaustive list of everything that is forbidden under that command"? God doesn't work that way. He expects us to take His commands and follow them without adding to them or taking from them.

For example, Jesus has given us instructions about what we are to use as emblems for the Lord's Supper. He doesn't need to condemn other food and drink, because He is quite clear about the acceptable emblems we are to use. Had Jesus said, "Eat and drink whatever pleases you to remember My body and blood," we would be free to have pizza and soft drinks, for example. Can we not take Jesus at His Word and follow His directions faithfully without tweaking (abusing) them to suit our personal pleasures and preferences?

The same applies to music to praise God. God through Paul told us in Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16 to sing and make melody in the heart. That is, praise music is to be through the human voice without instrumental accompaniment. God doesn't need to condemn instruments in the New Testament, because He is quite clear that we are to use vocal music to praise Him. Had God said, "Worship Me with music," then we would be free to add IM to our singing. Can we not take Him at His Word and follow His instructions faithfully without tweaking (abusing) them to suit our personal pleasures and preferences?

It's an old argument, yet people will still find ways in their own eyes to change God's commands and absolve themselves of wrongdoing.
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

December 9th, 2010, 3:25 pm #14

I single out one example of "laws" Sonny made based on his interpretive slant of laws that God does not state in [New Testament] Scripture (according to Sonny's viewpoint):

It is wrong to worship God with instruments.

That statement, according to Sonny, is a man-made law that has no basis in New Testament Scripture. Further, Sonny implies that since God does not explicitly condemn instruments in the New Testament, then we are free to use them in worshipping Him. Such reasoning is the same as saying, "God didn't say not to use instruments in worship." That is a dangerous assumption man is quite willing to make in view of Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16, yet man conveniently ignores the fact that "God didn't say not to" appears nowhere in the New Testament.

As I said previously, we must be willing to follow God's New Testament Word faithfully and not tweak (abuse) it to suit our own personal pleasures and preferences. If we do not follow His Word as He has directed, how can we expect to receive His grace?
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Dave
Dave

December 9th, 2010, 7:24 pm #15

William Crump said...."Further, Sonny implies that since God does not explicitly condemn instruments in the New Testament, then we are free to use them in worshipping Him. Such reasoning is the same as saying, "God didn't say not to use instruments in worship." That is a dangerous assumption man is quite willing to make in view of Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16, yet man conveniently ignores the fact that "God didn't say not to" appears nowhere in the New Testament."

The implication by William Crump is that since we are instructed to sing, then we are instructed to sing without instruments that would accompany our singing. The implication here, also, by William Crump, is that since God hasn't told us that instrumental music is sinful, then any man can add to the Word of God and make instrumental singing sinful.
The ONLY implication that would be pleasing to God is this.....as long as man SINGS, whether he uses an instrument to accompany that singing or not is irrelevant, then he is doing what God would have him to do. Singing to please God, to worship Him, and worship God only is our purpose.....this can be done with an instrument or without. The instrument would only AID the singing. Just as King David did......he chose to use all of himself to Glorify God. He used his ability and talent to PLAY for God....and and sang to Him also. Oh yea, and when that wasn't enough.....David danced for our Lord also. What it comes down to is this.....no man can presume to know whether another man is able to please our Lord with his worship to God. So talk about the sangy clappy style....make fun of it, talk about whether or not the praise team has the authority to lead singing, but think about this.....a man needs not be stupid and presume that he can take the place of God and Judge a man's heart. Only God can do that.
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Sonny
Sonny

December 11th, 2010, 4:26 pm #16

I single out one example of "laws" Sonny made based on his interpretive slant of laws that God does not state in [New Testament] Scripture (according to Sonny's viewpoint):

It is wrong to worship God with instruments.

That statement, according to Sonny, is a man-made law that has no basis in New Testament Scripture. Further, Sonny implies that since God does not explicitly condemn instruments in the New Testament, then we are free to use them in worshipping Him. Such reasoning is the same as saying, "God didn't say not to use instruments in worship." That is a dangerous assumption man is quite willing to make in view of Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16, yet man conveniently ignores the fact that "God didn't say not to" appears nowhere in the New Testament.

As I said previously, we must be willing to follow God's New Testament Word faithfully and not tweak (abuse) it to suit our own personal pleasures and preferences. If we do not follow His Word as He has directed, how can we expect to receive His grace?
Brother Crump,

The Bible actually DOES say to praise God with instruments and clapping. Directly in the OT, and instruments can be a "necessary inference" (CENI) from the NT when it says to sing "with psalms".

Concerning the OT vs. NT argument that you and others so often make, Jesus did not come to abolish the OT law but to fulfill it. Thus, things like sacrificing animals is no longer necessary because Jesus is the sacrificial lamb. There is no longer a need for a High Priest because he is, and so forth. It is the C of C that says all in the OT is abolished. I love the one people use about how all 10 Commandments were abolished, but then 9 of them "carried over". If this is the case, why could clapping and instruments not be "carried over". There is singing in the OT which is obviously carried over.

If you believe it is wrong to worship God with instruments and clapping then you definitely should not. I do not, or very rarely, even though I no longer believe it is wrong.

But much of the "patternism" mentioned by those in the C of C is not from Scripture but man.

For example, Scripture teaches baptism. This would not be man-made. However, Scripture does not address how many worship leaders or speakers. The text that provides the clearest insight is 1 Corinthians 14:26ff about people taking turns with hymns and prophesying.

-Sonny
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Joined: July 29th, 2010, 2:32 pm

December 11th, 2010, 5:07 pm #17

I missed something? Where in The Law of Moses is there any command to play instruments?
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

December 11th, 2010, 6:29 pm #18

Brother Crump,

The Bible actually DOES say to praise God with instruments and clapping. Directly in the OT, and instruments can be a "necessary inference" (CENI) from the NT when it says to sing "with psalms".

Concerning the OT vs. NT argument that you and others so often make, Jesus did not come to abolish the OT law but to fulfill it. Thus, things like sacrificing animals is no longer necessary because Jesus is the sacrificial lamb. There is no longer a need for a High Priest because he is, and so forth. It is the C of C that says all in the OT is abolished. I love the one people use about how all 10 Commandments were abolished, but then 9 of them "carried over". If this is the case, why could clapping and instruments not be "carried over". There is singing in the OT which is obviously carried over.

If you believe it is wrong to worship God with instruments and clapping then you definitely should not. I do not, or very rarely, even though I no longer believe it is wrong.

But much of the "patternism" mentioned by those in the C of C is not from Scripture but man.

For example, Scripture teaches baptism. This would not be man-made. However, Scripture does not address how many worship leaders or speakers. The text that provides the clearest insight is 1 Corinthians 14:26ff about people taking turns with hymns and prophesying.

-Sonny
Since Christ fulfilled the Old Law, animal sacrifices and all the other rituals are no longer practiced in Christianity. Therefore, it seems odd that, of all those Old Testament practices that were connected with the Old Law, instrumental music should be selectively carried over into Christianity. From 2 Chron. 29, we know that IM accompanied the animal sacrifices, yet there is nothing in the New Testament that states we are to continue with instruments. On the other hand, we have explicit instructions in the New Testament telling us to sing and make melody in our hearts. People will continue to do as they please, of course, but it seems more wise to follow the New Testament's instructions without allowing personal preferences to tweak (abuse) those instructions.

As far as the Ten Commandments are concerned, they are a set of basic, moral laws that are universal and would apply to virtually any monotheistic religion. Those commandments are unique neither to Judaism nor to Christianity. Many other religions have laws concerning murder, theft, lying, adultery, respect for parents and authority, only one deity, a hallowed day(s) or time period for worship, etc.

Therefore, an argument for IM doesn't wash when it is based on the premise that the Ten Commandments were unique to the Old Law, and since they were "carried over" to Christianity, then IM can be carried over as well. No, it doesn't wash at all.
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Joined: October 7th, 2010, 12:36 am

December 11th, 2010, 7:12 pm #19

"Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming."

What is this verse saying? Does the context reveal that the being tossed back and forth is addressing a specific false teaching?






I personally believe the answer is "no", that it is not addressing one specific error but any teaching that causes Christians and the Church to drift from Jesus Christ. Thus, when Christians (preachers, elders, other teachers) cause others to get off of Christ and on to matters of opinion or the latest fad and hold this up as a must ("thus sayeth the Lord") that it is what this verse is warning.

If this is a correct interpretation, then all of us need to heed the warning.

"Progressives", "conservatives", "moderates", or whomever can all unintentionally get side tracked from the actual teachings of Jesus Christ and fight and even divide over matters for which the spiritually mature ("no longer infants") will not permit to happen.

We need to keep the main thing (Jesus) the main thing.

We do not need to make people think the main thing is _____________.

What would be in your blank?

As an example, at my congregation we worship God in the assembly with only acappella singing. There are several who believe that instrumental would likewise be acceptable to God, however, they do not and have never made it an issue as it would likely be divisive within the congregation and definitely within the community. The church is unified in reaching the lost and fulfilling our mission and keeping Jesus the main thing and not music, etc.

However, as a negative example, at my congregation a few (2 or 3 families) are attempting to make the preaching minister position a conflict and replacing him based not on teachings or lifestyle but personality and wanting a style that is more charismatic. Could this be a pitfall for which Ephesians 4:14 would apply?

-Sonny
<font> That we may be no more children. <font>Having spoken of that perfect manhood, towards which we are proceeding throughout the whole course of our life, he reminds us that, during such a progress, we ought not to resemble children. An intervening period is thus pointed out between childhood and man's estate. Those are "children" who have not yet advanced a step in the way of the Lord, but who still hesitate, -- who have not yet determined what road they ought to choose, but move sometimes in one direction and sometimes in another, always doubtful, always wavering. Those, again, who are thoroughly founded in the doctrine of Christ, though not yet perfect, have so much wisdom and vigor as to choose properly, and proceed steadily, in the right course. Thus we find that the life of believers, marked by a constant desire and progress towards those attainments which they shall ultimately reach, bears a resemblance to youth. At no period of this life are we men. But let not such a statement be carried to the other extreme, as if there were no progress beyond childhood. After being born to Christ, we ought to grow, so as "not to be children in understanding." (1 Corinthians 14:20.) Hence it appears what kind of Christianity the Popish system must be, when the pastors labor, to the utmost of their power, to keep the people in absolute infancy.

<font>Tossed to and fro, and carried about. <font>The distressing hesitation of those who do not place absolute reliance on the word of the Lord, is illustrated by two striking metaphors. The first is taken from small ships, exposed to the fury of the billows in the open sea, holding no fixed course, guided neither by skill nor design, but hurried along by the violence of the tempest. The next is taken from straws, or other light substances, which are carried hither and thither as the wind drives them, and often in opposite directions. Such must be the changeable and unsteady character of all who do not rest on the foundation of God's eternal truth. It is their just punishment for looking, not to God, but to men. Paul declares, on the other hand, that faith, which rests on the word of God, stands unshaken against all the attacks of Satan.

<font>By every wind of doctrine. <font>By a beautiful metaphor, all the doctrines of men, by which we are drawn away from the simplicity of the gospel, are called winds. God gave us his word, by which we might have placed ourselves beyond the possibility of being moved; but, giving way to the contrivances of men, we are carried about in all directions.

<font>By the cunning of men. <font>There will always be impostors, who make insidious attacks upon our faith; but, if we are fortified by the truth of God, their efforts will be unavailing. Both parts of this statement deserve our careful attention. When new sects, or wicked tenets, spring up, many persons become alarmed. But the attempts of Satan to darken, by his falsehoods, the pure doctrine of Christ, are at no time interrupted; and it is the will of God that these struggles should be the trial of our faith. When we are informed, on the other hand, that the best and readiest defense against every kind of error is to bring forward that doctrine which we have learned from Christ and his apostles, this surely is no ordinary consolation.

With what awful wickedness, then, are Papists chargeable, who take away from the word of God everything like certainty, and maintain that there is no steadiness of faith, but what depends on the authority of men! If a man entertain any doubt, it is in vain to bid him consult the word of God: he must abide by their decrees. But we have embraced the law, the prophets, and the gospel. Let us therefore confidently expect that we shall reap the advantage which is here promised, -- that all the impostures of men will do us no harm. They will attack us, indeed, but they will not prevail. We are entitled, I acknowledge, to look for the dispensation of sound doctrine from the church, for God has committed it to her charge; but when Papists avail themselves of the disguise of the church for burying doctrine, they give sufficient proof that they have a diabolical synagogue.

The Greek word kubei>a, which I have translated cunning, is taken from players at dice, who are accustomed to practice many arts of deception. The words, ejn panourgi>a|, by craftiness, intimate that the ministers of Satan are deeply skilled in imposture; and it is added, that they keep watch, in order to insnare, (proan th~v pla>nhv.) All this should rouse and sharpen our minds to profit by the word of God. If we neglect to do so, we may fall into the snares of our enemies, and endure the severe punishment of our sloth. [CALVIN].http://www.biblestudyguide.org/comment/ ... .v.iii.htm </font></font></font></font></font></font></font></font>
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Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

December 11th, 2010, 7:35 pm #20

Brother Crump,

The Bible actually DOES say to praise God with instruments and clapping. Directly in the OT, and instruments can be a "necessary inference" (CENI) from the NT when it says to sing "with psalms".

Concerning the OT vs. NT argument that you and others so often make, Jesus did not come to abolish the OT law but to fulfill it. Thus, things like sacrificing animals is no longer necessary because Jesus is the sacrificial lamb. There is no longer a need for a High Priest because he is, and so forth. It is the C of C that says all in the OT is abolished. I love the one people use about how all 10 Commandments were abolished, but then 9 of them "carried over". If this is the case, why could clapping and instruments not be "carried over". There is singing in the OT which is obviously carried over.

If you believe it is wrong to worship God with instruments and clapping then you definitely should not. I do not, or very rarely, even though I no longer believe it is wrong.

But much of the "patternism" mentioned by those in the C of C is not from Scripture but man.

For example, Scripture teaches baptism. This would not be man-made. However, Scripture does not address how many worship leaders or speakers. The text that provides the clearest insight is 1 Corinthians 14:26ff about people taking turns with hymns and prophesying.

-Sonny
[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]Sonny,

You know much, much better than to use the 10 Commandments and the carried-over argument in defense of instrumental music.[/color]

Hebrews 8:
[color=#FF0000" size="3" face="times][6] But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. [7] For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. [8] For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: [9] Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. [10] For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; . . . [13] In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. [/color]
[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]In the gospels (and you know it), it can be proven that the old covenant, including the 10 Commandments, was abolished. And the 10 Commandments, including the Sabbath, were abolished? Yes!!!

Correct, we do not need the 10 Commandments, including the sabbath, because the two great commandments mentioned in the gospels cover more than the other 9 commandments: [/color]
[color=#FF0000" size="3" face="times][30] And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
[31] And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12)[/color]
[color=#0000FF" size="3" face="times]When one loves God (the first of two great commandments), he will not have other gods, worship any graven images, etc.

When one loves his neighbor (the second of the great commandments), he does not kill, commit adultery, steal, lie, covet; plus, he does not other sinful things listed in the NT, but not in the OT.[/color]
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