Music in Worship-Jeff Walling

Servant
Servant

December 3rd, 2006, 7:14 pm #11

If I can take a shot at this from 2 different directions.


Scriptural - The important one.

I won't start rattling them all off, because I know Ken will follow up with a multicolored, Brittanica sized response anyway. Let me say one thing, though. This non-instrumental worship is not something that the restoration movement guys just came up with in the 1800's. It has its root in scripture. We have become far too accepting of any variation and spin folks want to put on these issues. There is no New Testament pattern to support using instruments in worship. They are mentioned quite a bit in Psalms. I believe their absence from the NT is relevant (in every version). There is one Old Testament principle that I would like to see applied to our worship today. Followers of God in the OT wouldn't have dreamed of adding to or taking away from the example God put out there for them. Cain tried with his sacrifice. Nadab and Abihu tried and it didn't turn out too well. We should prepare ourselves for the possiblity that this actually DOES matter to God. The focus of worship is God, not us. I would imagine if God wanted the instruments, he would have asked for them. As for the songbooks and pitch pipes...it's apples and oranges.

Practical/Logical - Just think about it.

If it's about a desire to change the churches of Christ, there are PLENTY of denominations out there that already have instrumental music. Most of them differ with us on other significant points of scripture, but a few are pretty similar to us. Why do people want to force a change in the churches of Christ, when they can find a church that is already there? This to me is like the pro-abortion Catholics that get mad because the pope has taken a pro-life stance with the Catholic church. You can get mad if you want, but that is not what your church says. Period. Are you Catholic first or pro-abortion first. If it's about our condemning other denominations, we waste too much time on that as it is. Although God provides us with some good indicators of who's going to heaven and who isn't, he will not consult any of us on the eternal fate of Billy Graham or any other person. If we use that to help us decide who needs to be evangelized, it's a great help. If we use it to remind others that we're going to heaven and they're headed for hell, then shame on us. The reputation for thinking we are the only ones going to heaven has not served us very well over the years. (Then again, neither has the reputation for in-fighting). A reputation for thinking others are lost and actually trying to do something about it might work a little better.
Whether you post this or not, it really doesn't matter to me. You probably will not, because it pretty much sinks your boat on the subject of usage of instruments during the worship service.

Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."

You notice there that the command is to "go." Would it be alright if we went out by train? Would it be ok if we went out by foot? What about if we drove a car to spread the Gospel, or by boat, etc.'
God does not tell us how to go, now does He?
God commands us to sing. Does He tell us how to sing?
NO!
The shame is to be on those who try to say that everything during that 'sacred' hour has to be authorized.
For the song books, the amplification, etc. there are those who categorize it under "Generic Authority" for doing things well and in decent order.
You want order? Give a pianist music, and he/she will keep time and better pitch than ANY songleader could acappela.
There are those who will try to say that a piano drowns out the voice. Those people are only fooling themselves if they can say that they have never heard a singer being accompanied by a beautiful instrument that is ONLY supporting the singer with LOW background instrumental music. I have heard acapella congregations where the amplification was so loud that the singer drowned out the congregation. Hmmmmmmmm.
In all of Ken Subletts rants which he suggests to be historical data and information, I have never ever seen one ounce of proof that there was EVER any proof that the first century church did not use instrumental music. He can't prove it because the proof simply isn't there. He can tell you about historians of the church who did not prefer it and did not use it in their time but the fact remains is that we are not sure if the apostle and Jesus used or did not use instrumental music.
By the way......please someone show me the scripture backing Generic authority. I still haven't found it. Please don't quote scripture about doing things all things decently and in order......Refer back to previous paragraphs.

I prefer acapella and have never worshipped at a congregation that uses it, but to condemn something that God does not IS SIN. Hence, the term PREFER....as in PREFERRENCE.

Edit away Bill Crump...
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

December 4th, 2006, 12:36 am #12

I'm not sure why Servant wants to resurrect the IM issue, since it's been hacked to death here and at FaithSite, and no one's mind has ever been changed on either side. Maybe Servant is not quite sure about his position and has to keep talking about it to convince himself that IM is OK, when a close study of the New Testament (NT) shows that it is not. BTW, since I am not a moderator here, I cannot “edit” or remove any post, something vjo just can’t seem to understand. Well, I can’t help that. Now since it would be futile to try to convince Servant of anything about IM, I’ll address a few brief remarks to the general reader who may be sitting on the fence, then for their benefit I’ll reproduce an excellent essay by John Waddey about why churches of Christ reject IM.

Liberals take a typical stance in trying to rationalize God and make God think like man. It should be clear to the faithful that the silence of God is not permissive in matters of doctrine and worship, especially when God has already laid down specific guidelines about certain matters. Singing and making melody in the heart is just one of them. As another example, we can see that God’s silence is not permissive by considering the issue of snorting cocaine in worship. God in the NT is silent about snorting cocaine in worship. Does His silence thus grant us permission to snort cocaine in worship? If snorting cocaine were legal, given its foul effects when it's abused, would God's silence still grant us permission to snort cocaine in worship? Of course not! God speaks of singing through the apostle Paul in Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16 but is silent about mechanical instruments. Does God's silence thus grant us permission to use mechanical instruments in worship? Of course not! And that should satisfy the faithful, who aren't looking to satisfy themselves with worldly pleasures in worship.

Frankly, if preferences be had, I would very much prefer to have services with a giant pipe organ. In fact, I was foolish enough to have been organist for a Southern Baptist church for a few years, until I saw the light. But as I said before, if God had never specified the type of music Christians are to give Him in worship, then we would have been free to do as we please and have all the instruments, praise bands, rock groups, Broadway performances, and chorus girls we wanted. But since He HAS given specific directives about music through the apostle Paul, then we are NOT FREE to use any kind of music that we please. To go beyond what God has specified is rebellion and second-guessing Him. Talk about removing God from His throne, those who insist on having instruments in the Christian age do just that; they put themselves ahead of God and are not content to follow exactly the mandates as laid out in the New Testament. Of course, liberals and the rebellious typically call this "legalism," but in reality it is merely their way of saying, "We don't want to be obedient, because we are 'free,' we hates rules, and NOBODY's gonna tell us what to do, let alone some stuffy New Testament!"

Now here's an excellent essay by John Waddey, editor of Christianity: Then and Now on the subject of instrumental music:

Dear Fellow-Christian: Today's lesson deals with the central issue of the change movement. Change agents have decided that we are wrong in insisting on a cappella music in our worship. Some of them are ready to embrace the use of instruments of music in worship and the rest see no harm in so doing. The lesson following explains why we and our predecessors in the faith have rejected them. Please share this lesson with your friends and neighbors in Christ.

- John Waddey

***************

WHY WE REJECT INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IN WORSHIP

"Bro. Waddey: If Jesus did not condemn the use of instruments in worship, how can we?"
- Mitchell.

Dear Mitchell:
The conclusion we reach will depend upon the concept we hold about how God authorizes a thing. Luther, with others following, argued, “I can do anything the Bible does not condemn.” Zwingle and others correctly argued, “we can only do what God has authorized in his word.” Churches of Christ have followed the Biblical approach of Zwingle. Those who became the Christian Churches and accepted such items as instrumental music in worship followed Luther's concept. Zwingle was right since the Bible lays down that proposition. Note the following:

Jesus instructed us to teach disciples to "observe all things whatsoever (he) commanded" the apostles to do (Matt. 28:20). Anything he taught them, personally while here or through his emissary the Holy Spirit, I am authorized to teach. That which he did not command, I cannot teach with his approval. I can read where we are instructed (thus authorized) to sing unto God, but I cannot read a line about the use of instruments of music in worship. (See Eph. 5:19 and Heb. 2:11-12).

If I abide in the teaching of Christ, I enjoy the blessings of the Father and his Son. If I go beyond that doctrine in my teaching and practice I have not God (II John 9). I can sing praises in worship within the boundaries of Christ's teaching, but to add instrumental accompaniment, I must go outside the teaching of Jesus for my authority. Notice how some go to the Old Testament, some to tradition, some to human wisdom. But no one can find its authorization in the New Testament of Jesus.

Paul warns us in 1 Corinthians 4:6 "not to go beyond the things that are written" in our religious practices. If I abide by his instruction, I can only sing in worship, for that is all that is written. We freely grant that the New Testament nowhere forbids by name the use of instruments, but it does not approve or authorize the practice by the principles stated above.

To argue for instrumental accompaniment on the grounds that it is not specifically forbidden proves too much. Scripture nowhere forbids me to use soft drink for the communion or catsup on the holy bread. Yet all would immediately take exception if I did so. Why? Because Scripture plainly tells us what to use; bread and fruit of the vine (Matt. 26:26-29). If I should not go beyond what is written in the communion worship, on what grounds should I go beyond what is written in the song worship?

Remember, Christ did not condemn instrumental music, burning incense, counting beads, holy water, infant baptism, sprinkling for baptism, clerical uniforms and a hundred other items of humanly originated religious practices. If that justifies us in the use of musical instruments, then it must of necessity approve the other items as well. Few would follow this logic to its end.

As to the matter of church buildings and song books, we must remember that God authorizes things in two ways: (1) Specifically, and (2) Generically. When He instructed Noah to build an ark we see both of these illustrated. The ark, its dimensions and materials were specified. Noah was not free to change the number of decks, windows and doors, not to use any other material than gopher wood (Gen. 6:14-16). The kind of tools, the number of helpers and the schedule of work were not stated. God left this to Noah's judgment. He was authorized to use whatever tools, helpers and schedule he needed to fulfill the general command to build the ark. In like manner, the charge to assemble and worship authorizes Christians to secure a suitable place so as to comply with the command. The command to sing authorizes such incidentals as songbooks, song leaders and pitch pipes.

God's command to build an ark could not be stretched to cover building a permanent temple. It took another command to do that. The authorization to sing cannot be construed to cover a different kind of music such as the instrumental variety.

Of course, since we are under the New Covenant of Christ, the fact that the Hebrews were authorized to use instruments in their temple worship is of no consequence to us. Their use of instruments is in the same category as their use of animal sacrifices, incense and the Levitical priesthood. All were authorized by a former law not currently binding upon us.

Faithful Christians are committed to doing what Christ authorized, in the way he prescribed and for the reason he gave. That is the meaning of restoring New Testament Christianity.

- John Waddey

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Servant
Servant

December 4th, 2006, 7:14 am #13

Bill:
The one about the snorting of cocaine was awful. I can't describe it any other way.
It is as bad as the Simon says thing. Simon says...(God says to sing, but we fail the test or game if we add to that with an instrument)....which negates once and for all the man made saying that the silence of God is not permissive.
Bill, I know that you saw my previous post about the great commission and going. God was silent on HOW to go, so He leaves the HOW to us. Now all of sudden you want to change it up with singing??? You can't do that just because you want to hold sacred a long long tradtion Bill.
Remember the saying (since you like these man made sayings)...Be slient where the Bible speaks, and Speak where the Bible is silent.
It really doesn make sense if you think about it Bill, which I know you want, because a liberal bias has overtaken your thinking to produce a huge prejudice against what you don't prefer. That is why you grasp at anything to mask it.
If God tells us something, we listen and obey.....when He doesn't then we use God given common sense, and any examples given. If none given, then we use preferrence.
Bill, back to your snorting. God tells us that our body is a holy temple, and then there is that thing called KNOWING RIGHT FROM WRONG. We KNOW that cocaine is bad for us. So please Bill, you are supposed to be an MD and want to use that line of thinking? That should be a bit embarrassing for you.
Your explanation of the generic authority contained no scriptures....only preferrence.


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Servant
Servant

December 6th, 2006, 11:27 pm #14

If I can take a shot at this from 2 different directions.


Scriptural - The important one.

I won't start rattling them all off, because I know Ken will follow up with a multicolored, Brittanica sized response anyway. Let me say one thing, though. This non-instrumental worship is not something that the restoration movement guys just came up with in the 1800's. It has its root in scripture. We have become far too accepting of any variation and spin folks want to put on these issues. There is no New Testament pattern to support using instruments in worship. They are mentioned quite a bit in Psalms. I believe their absence from the NT is relevant (in every version). There is one Old Testament principle that I would like to see applied to our worship today. Followers of God in the OT wouldn't have dreamed of adding to or taking away from the example God put out there for them. Cain tried with his sacrifice. Nadab and Abihu tried and it didn't turn out too well. We should prepare ourselves for the possiblity that this actually DOES matter to God. The focus of worship is God, not us. I would imagine if God wanted the instruments, he would have asked for them. As for the songbooks and pitch pipes...it's apples and oranges.

Practical/Logical - Just think about it.

If it's about a desire to change the churches of Christ, there are PLENTY of denominations out there that already have instrumental music. Most of them differ with us on other significant points of scripture, but a few are pretty similar to us. Why do people want to force a change in the churches of Christ, when they can find a church that is already there? This to me is like the pro-abortion Catholics that get mad because the pope has taken a pro-life stance with the Catholic church. You can get mad if you want, but that is not what your church says. Period. Are you Catholic first or pro-abortion first. If it's about our condemning other denominations, we waste too much time on that as it is. Although God provides us with some good indicators of who's going to heaven and who isn't, he will not consult any of us on the eternal fate of Billy Graham or any other person. If we use that to help us decide who needs to be evangelized, it's a great help. If we use it to remind others that we're going to heaven and they're headed for hell, then shame on us. The reputation for thinking we are the only ones going to heaven has not served us very well over the years. (Then again, neither has the reputation for in-fighting). A reputation for thinking others are lost and actually trying to do something about it might work a little better.
Hey B:
You mentioned in your post...."Followers of God in the OT wouldn't have dreamed of adding to or taking away from the example God put out there for them. Cain tried with his sacrifice. Nadab and Abihu tried and it didn't turn out too well. We should prepare ourselves for the possiblity that this actually DOES matter to God. The focus of worship is God, not us. I would imagine if God wanted the instruments, he would have asked for them."

If that is so about the followers of God not dreaming of adding or taking away from the example, then certainly instrumental music should never be condemned. Do you really believe that God would have allowed the Psalms printed with something the He did not condone? Yes, the focus of worship is God...>ALWAYS. That being so, then should not we use the example of a David when using EVERYTHING within and without our being to Praise our God??? When David worshiped God, he left nothing out. It was heart and soul totally only for God. He said "praise him with cymbals, harps, lyres, etc." because he felt like these instruments were beautiful sounding, and ANYTHING that sounded beautiful, inluding our voices should praise Him., THUS... Psalm 150: 6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.

Hey B.....did God EVER ask David to use instruments to praise Him?
If you think about it B, doesn't it go along with the parable of talents? To not use ALL of our talents for God is not acceptable. Will God point out to us everything that we must do in order to please Him???
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

December 7th, 2006, 12:12 am #15

Bill:
The one about the snorting of cocaine was awful. I can't describe it any other way.
It is as bad as the Simon says thing. Simon says...(God says to sing, but we fail the test or game if we add to that with an instrument)....which negates once and for all the man made saying that the silence of God is not permissive.
Bill, I know that you saw my previous post about the great commission and going. God was silent on HOW to go, so He leaves the HOW to us. Now all of sudden you want to change it up with singing??? You can't do that just because you want to hold sacred a long long tradtion Bill.
Remember the saying (since you like these man made sayings)...Be slient where the Bible speaks, and Speak where the Bible is silent.
It really doesn make sense if you think about it Bill, which I know you want, because a liberal bias has overtaken your thinking to produce a huge prejudice against what you don't prefer. That is why you grasp at anything to mask it.
If God tells us something, we listen and obey.....when He doesn't then we use God given common sense, and any examples given. If none given, then we use preferrence.
Bill, back to your snorting. God tells us that our body is a holy temple, and then there is that thing called KNOWING RIGHT FROM WRONG. We KNOW that cocaine is bad for us. So please Bill, you are supposed to be an MD and want to use that line of thinking? That should be a bit embarrassing for you.
Your explanation of the generic authority contained no scriptures....only preferrence.

Servant is right: That analogy about snorting cocaine in worship was just awful!

Likewise, John Waddey's analogies about substituting cola and using ketchup during the Lord's Supper were just awful!

Christ never authorized snorting cocaine in worship. He did authorize worshiping Him in spirit and in truth.

Christ never authorized using cola for the cup. He did authorize drinking the fruit of the vine.

Christ never authorized using ketchup during the Lord's Supper. He did authorize eating the bread.

Christ through Paul never authorized using mechanical instruments during worship. He did authorize singing and making melody in the heart.

Just goes to show that adding to, substituting, or removing what God has previously authorized in matters pertaining to worship and doctrine is just awful.
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Grace
Grace

December 16th, 2006, 5:58 pm #16

As I read one post condemning Jeff Walling on his view that "music in worship is an gray area and one that is a matter or opinioin", I find myself disturbed. I mean ... isn't it? Can 2 people not disagree on this topic and still serve the same God? I am disturbed that one is comdemned for such a view. The whole argument presented in that posting was that "music in worship in not authorized". Well, now that you mention it, using a song book is not authorized. Using a pitch pipe to remind the song leader of the tune is not authorized. Meeting in Church Buildings is not "authorized" as the early church met in homes! Neither is mid-week bible study, and for the record, the passages we read in I Corinthians 11 where Jesus breaks the bread and passes the cup if from when Jesus instituted the Lords Suppper (Last Supper) on a THURSDAY night **NOT SUNDAY** (passover Thursday) before his crucifiction. I'm not arguing that either of these practices we have is wrong, just the opposite. But tell me, is Sunday night bible study "authorized"? Or did someone decide that once per week was not enough. Let me say that I have grown up in the Church of Christ, and been a member since my baptism at 12 years of age, and I frankly am not ready for them to roll in a piano or organ or guitar in for the Sunday worship, but all we've really got to go on is "sing and make melody in your heart to God". And you and I might not be able to do that with a piano "distracting you", but can you look at your buddy George who sings with the accompanyment of a piano and tell if he's "glorifying GOd in his heart" or not? What about your contemporary Christian musicians? Are they doing Satan's work by getting the message out there in verse with (for heavens sake) instruments in the background? But I read the NIV, which is apparently authored by Satan according to some of the posts on this site, so my thinking is all backwards, right. I just wish someone could answer all my points. Where in this chat room is the love that Christ talks about in His teaching?
On the topic of music...I'd be interested in hearing your responses to this article I found.

http://www.christianchronicle.org/modul ... le&sid=555
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Joined: December 16th, 2006, 6:04 pm

December 16th, 2006, 6:06 pm #17

As I read one post condemning Jeff Walling on his view that "music in worship is an gray area and one that is a matter or opinioin", I find myself disturbed. I mean ... isn't it? Can 2 people not disagree on this topic and still serve the same God? I am disturbed that one is comdemned for such a view. The whole argument presented in that posting was that "music in worship in not authorized". Well, now that you mention it, using a song book is not authorized. Using a pitch pipe to remind the song leader of the tune is not authorized. Meeting in Church Buildings is not "authorized" as the early church met in homes! Neither is mid-week bible study, and for the record, the passages we read in I Corinthians 11 where Jesus breaks the bread and passes the cup if from when Jesus instituted the Lords Suppper (Last Supper) on a THURSDAY night **NOT SUNDAY** (passover Thursday) before his crucifiction. I'm not arguing that either of these practices we have is wrong, just the opposite. But tell me, is Sunday night bible study "authorized"? Or did someone decide that once per week was not enough. Let me say that I have grown up in the Church of Christ, and been a member since my baptism at 12 years of age, and I frankly am not ready for them to roll in a piano or organ or guitar in for the Sunday worship, but all we've really got to go on is "sing and make melody in your heart to God". And you and I might not be able to do that with a piano "distracting you", but can you look at your buddy George who sings with the accompanyment of a piano and tell if he's "glorifying GOd in his heart" or not? What about your contemporary Christian musicians? Are they doing Satan's work by getting the message out there in verse with (for heavens sake) instruments in the background? But I read the NIV, which is apparently authored by Satan according to some of the posts on this site, so my thinking is all backwards, right. I just wish someone could answer all my points. Where in this chat room is the love that Christ talks about in His teaching?
On the topic of music in worship, I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on this news article I found.

http://www.christianchronicle.org/modul ... le&sid=555
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

December 16th, 2006, 11:52 pm #18

You DO know that the Christian Chronicle is the ORGAN of the change movement. All of the once "christian" colleges have been DIVERTED and you can no longer trust them. After all, If I were Satan and you built a college I would STAFF it and STIFF it with my oen "angels of light".

Dear Christian Chronicle:

It comes as no surprise that Rick Atchley lifts the 'proof texts' from writers like Tom burgess who quotes historical scholars where PSALLO is used. He does not tell you that all of these references point to very naughty older males. Google Tom Burgess, A. Ralph Johnson or Alfred Knowles to see how the STANDARD HANDBOOK misrepresents ever fact.

Secondly, I have begun posting a rebuttal on concerned Members which you can find just by googling Rick Atchley. Rick quotes tidbits in a very vocal way but each and every CONTEXT proves that the use of instrumental music was NOT approved anywhere in the Bible. Missing from bible 101a is that the king, kingdom and temple were DDED afte musical idolatry at Mount Sinai. The ELDERS picking a "senior pastor" to replace God has God pronouncing the final sentence on Israel and Judah to be carried out by the kings.

The temple sacrificial system was a NATIONAL system because Stephen tells us that god turned them over to worship the starry host (acts 7). At the same time, the Qahal, synagogue or church in the wilderness never met except for instructions: sabbath does not mean saturday but REST. On those holy days they werre to READ and REHEARSE the word from God.

The "civilians" were in fact quarantined from the sacrificial system where the "musicians" made noise and not music and their SERVICE means hard bondage.

We are caught with out literacy down and Rick uses a lot of harsh words while tall of his proof texts are NOT the Biblical truth.

Ken Sublett.

I suggest that everyone write them: not that the INSTITUTES have any relevance any more.
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Ralph Johnson
Ralph Johnson

December 31st, 2006, 8:28 am #19

Ken's claims that nowhere in the Bible was instrumental music commanded by God and that it was entirely from immoral sources is really strange. The Psalms repeatedly commanded and called instrumental music "good". An instrument was commanded to be played over the sacrifices in the tabernacle. It was plainly said to have been instituted in the Temple as a "command of Jehovah."

A. Ralph Johnson
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Servant
Servant

December 31st, 2006, 10:05 pm #20

Ralph:
You will truely see (if you spend any time on this site) that the word you used in "strange" is strange indeed when it comes to Ken Sublett.
Scriptures really don't matter to him. Scriptures just get in the way of the Truth.
He is out to battle the evil and the Good.
It really doesn't make sense.
He is not only against instrumental music, but also singing in general, which proves another point Ralph.
The regulars here (Jimmy Wren, Bill Crump, Donnie Cruz, etc.) laud that the command is "to sing", and sing without any instrumental music. They then ALLOW Ken to rant and rave that EVEN singing is evil.
There is no common ground even between the regulars here.
They can't even agree about what to agree on.
It borders on commical.
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