WHENCE CAME THE WORSHIP TEAM?

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

April 29th, 2008, 7:51 am #1

<font face=arial>Dear Friends in Christ:

Worship or Praise Teams are part and parcel of the change agenda. In today's lesson I share some interesting information about their origin. This information will help us understand those who want such things and where the idea originated. In dealing with this matter as with all others we must exercise discretion. We must uphold that which is good, oppose that which is evil and be tolerant of that which is in the real of opinion. If you find this lesson helpful, please forward it to Christians in your email directory. Feel free to make copies to share with others. Remember that the only church God will bless is the church that is submissive to and obedient to his will.

— John Waddey</font>

___________________________________
    • <font size=5>
      WHENCE CAME THE WORSHIP TEAM?
      </font>


      <font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>In churches committed to the change agenda, you will usually find a "worship team." Our wandering brethren sometimes called these "praise teams." Perhaps you, like me, have wondered, where did such ideas originate? In reading the book, Pagan Christianity, by Frank Viola and George Barna, I found the following information regarding the origins of the worship team. He opens his discussion by noting:
      • "In many contemporary churches...the choir has been replaced by the worship team" (p. 164).
      • He continues, "The standard worship team includes an amplified guitar, drums, keyboard, possibly a bass guitar and some special vocalists" (Ibid).
      • "Word are usually projected onto a screen... There are rarely songbooks or hymnals" (Ibid).
      • "The worship team will ...lead a lively, hand-clapping, body-swaying, hand-raising, (sometimes dancing) congregation... Typically the focus of the songs is on individual spiritual experience. First person singular pronouns –I, me, my–dominate a good number of the songs" (p. 164-165).
      • "The revolution (in Christian music) came when rock and roll was adapted into Christian music with the coming of the Jesus movement. This reform set the stage for the revolutionary musical changes to take root in the Christian church..." (Ibid).
      • "The origin of the worship team goes back to the founding of Calvary Chapel in 1965. Chuck Smith, the founder of the denomination, started a ministry for hippies and surfers. Smith welcomed the newly converted hippies to re-tune their guitars and play their now redeemed music in church" (Ibid).
      • "Since the advent of contemporary Christian music, the `worship wars' have begun constituting a divisive force that has balkanized the Christian church into `old styled-traditional-music' lovers vs. `new-styled-contemporary' music lovers. Not a few churches have been splintered right down the middle over what form of music is to be used during the church service" (Ibid. ft. note)
      • "The Vineyard (a contemporary charismatic denomination)....followed suit with the worship team.... Since that time, the Vineyard has probably had more influence on establishing worship teams and worship music..."
      • "In due time the guitar replaced the organ as the central instrument that led worship in the Protestant church. Although patterned after the rock concert of secular culture, the worship team has become as common as the pulpit" (p. 166).
      We recognize that not all congregations that have introduced praise teams have the instrumental band. Some however do. You should understand that those preachers and elders who have introduced worship teams into their worship did not discover them "after a long and prayerful study of the Bible." They have borrowed them from various denominational sources, hoping to have the same kind of enthusiasm and growth they have observed in their mega churches. The wish to have something new and different preceded the implementation of worship teams and other new aspects of the progressive churches. Concern about the scripturalness of such things or the harm they might cause the church are of little concern.

      We understand that the problem is not in having a committee or group of brethren to plan the worship service, nor is it in having more than one song leader before the congregation. The problem arises when such innovations are used as wedges to open the door for the use of instruments of music in worship (Eph. 5:19), to put Christian women in leadership roles in the worship (I Tim. 2:11-12), or other changes that do violate the sacred standard of Scripture (II John 9-11). The danger is seen when confusion and division occur (Rom. 16:18). By then the damage is done and the church has suffered great harm. Think of it this way. Say for 10 years you had taken the same medicine for your high blood pressure and it had worked fine. You go to a new young doctor and he insists that you need to change to a new kind of medicine. Against your better judgment, you take the medicine and become desperately ill. Thankfully you survive, although some did not. The young doctor was sure his prescription for a new medication would work wonders. In fact your old medicine was fully adequate for your needs. The new was a near disaster. So it is proving to be where the change agents insist on implementing their agenda in congregations that had done well prior to their coming.</font>

      ___________________________________

      **Pagan Christianity is a 2008 publication of Tyndale House Pub. Inc.
___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
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Stanley Cook
Stanley Cook

April 29th, 2008, 7:57 pm #2

Brother Waddey,

The article you quoted stated that many of the contemporary songs and hymns referes to "I, me, my, etc...", yet one of the greatest contemporary hymns: "The Heart Of Worship" says: "It's all about YOU, all about YOU, JESUS". Other examples: "Ah, Lord GOD, THOU hast made the heavens and the earth by THY great power..."; In "As The Deer", the chorus says "YOU alone are my strength and shield, To YOU alone may my spirit yield..."; Then there's "Our GOD is an awesome GOD, HE reigns from heaven above...". In "Be Exalted, O God", it begins with "I will praise YOU, O LORD among the nations, I will sing of YOU among the peoples, For great is YOUR love, reaching to the heavens, YOUR faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted O GOD above the heavens, Let YOUR glory be over all the earth..."; Yet another song says: "Bless the name of JESUS, Praise the name of JESUS..." and another says "Blessed be YOUR name YOUR glorious name, may it be exalted over all names. YOU alone are LORD and YOU made the heavens, All of the heavens and the starry host. YOU made the earth and all that is on it, YOU made the seas from coast to coast. YOU give life to all of the living, and the multitudes in heaven worship YOU." Ane believe me, this list could go on and on and on....".

On the other hand when I compare these contemporary songs to traditional hymns such as "Tempted and tried we're oft made to wonder, why it should be thus all the day long..." or "Trials DARK on every hand and we cannot understand..." and the many more songs which sound like complaints instead of praise, I'll take the contemporary ones over those any time. I will admit that the CLASSIC HYMNS such as "A Mighty Fortress is our God" and "How Great Thou Art" are certainly exceptions.

It's a false statement to think that the contemporaty songs make the worship about "me" or "us", but it's a pouring out of praise to a great and awesome God.

As far as the "Praise Teams" go, the denominations are complaining about them replacing the choirs. What difference does it make if there are six people on stage or sixty? If it's acceptable for sixty, it's acceptable for six, and if it's wrong for six, then it's wrong for sixty. Incidentally, churches with choirs often have many songs that are sung by the choir alone, yet "praise teams" are there to engage every congregant to sing out. It's almost like having a "leader" for every part. And whether we in the CofC admit it or not, while saying that having a woman "leader" for the singing is wrong, it's been done for as long as I can remember. The only difference is, a few women in the audience sing out louder and the other women wanting to sing those parts have followed them. What makes it any more "scriptural" for her to stand with the congregation in the audience facing the stage vs. standing on the stage facing the audience? The primary "worship leader" is usually a male and she is not "usurping authority" unless she gets up there on her own accord against the wishes of the male leaders (elders, deacons, preachers). This almost leads me to another subject that concerns me concerning the CofC teaching on the role of women in the church, so I had better close this part for now.

Just one other thing. "Song Books", "Hymn Books" or "Hymnals" are all just mere tradition. It matters not whether the song is in a book or projected onto a screen. And it doesn't really matter what religious group started using song projection, just like it doesn't matter which religious group had the first "song books", because even the "hymn book" didn't originate with churches of Christ. The church we attend, a fairly conservative church projects songs onto a screen, but also has the notes projected with them, but there are also song books available and a hymn number is called out for those wishing to use the book, though very few do.

The majority of the objections to "praise teams" and "contemporary songs" is more about people trying to preserve THEIR OWN MAN-MADE traditions. Do we not realize that at one time, some of the tunes to classic hymns were tunes that came from music used in pubs, and that at one time hymn books were a "modern innovation"? And even back then, some people rejected it because it went against their traditions. We must learn to distinguish what is really traditions vs. what is scriptural. We've done certain things certain ways for so long that we've come to equate our traditions with scripture and many of us don't even know the difference anymore.
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Dave
Dave

April 30th, 2008, 2:26 am #3

Amen Stanley. As far as the me, my, I-mentality it is just a personal twitch of JW. He doesn't know the hearts of those people singing. He just doesn't like praise teams.
He believes if he says it enough, that praise teams are sinful, then people will eventually believe him.
Here at Concerned Members, they love to give him ample credence to exhibit his trinkets. They love him here.
That pretty much sums up the Concerned Member's attitude.
To know JW Stanley is to look over his last paragraph. The theme is about praise teams, yet he bounces around (in that last paragraph) from sinful change agents, to sinful instrumental music, and women sinning by not staying quiet in the church.
He nails them all.
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Alarmed
Alarmed

April 30th, 2008, 3:46 pm #4

<font face=arial>Dear Friends in Christ:

Worship or Praise Teams are part and parcel of the change agenda. In today's lesson I share some interesting information about their origin. This information will help us understand those who want such things and where the idea originated. In dealing with this matter as with all others we must exercise discretion. We must uphold that which is good, oppose that which is evil and be tolerant of that which is in the real of opinion. If you find this lesson helpful, please forward it to Christians in your email directory. Feel free to make copies to share with others. Remember that the only church God will bless is the church that is submissive to and obedient to his will.

— John Waddey</font>

___________________________________
    • <font size=5>
      WHENCE CAME THE WORSHIP TEAM?
      </font>


      <font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>In churches committed to the change agenda, you will usually find a "worship team." Our wandering brethren sometimes called these "praise teams." Perhaps you, like me, have wondered, where did such ideas originate? In reading the book, Pagan Christianity, by Frank Viola and George Barna, I found the following information regarding the origins of the worship team. He opens his discussion by noting:
      • "In many contemporary churches...the choir has been replaced by the worship team" (p. 164).
      • He continues, "The standard worship team includes an amplified guitar, drums, keyboard, possibly a bass guitar and some special vocalists" (Ibid).
      • "Word are usually projected onto a screen... There are rarely songbooks or hymnals" (Ibid).
      • "The worship team will ...lead a lively, hand-clapping, body-swaying, hand-raising, (sometimes dancing) congregation... Typically the focus of the songs is on individual spiritual experience. First person singular pronouns –I, me, my–dominate a good number of the songs" (p. 164-165).
      • "The revolution (in Christian music) came when rock and roll was adapted into Christian music with the coming of the Jesus movement. This reform set the stage for the revolutionary musical changes to take root in the Christian church..." (Ibid).
      • "The origin of the worship team goes back to the founding of Calvary Chapel in 1965. Chuck Smith, the founder of the denomination, started a ministry for hippies and surfers. Smith welcomed the newly converted hippies to re-tune their guitars and play their now redeemed music in church" (Ibid).
      • "Since the advent of contemporary Christian music, the `worship wars' have begun constituting a divisive force that has balkanized the Christian church into `old styled-traditional-music' lovers vs. `new-styled-contemporary' music lovers. Not a few churches have been splintered right down the middle over what form of music is to be used during the church service" (Ibid. ft. note)
      • "The Vineyard (a contemporary charismatic denomination)....followed suit with the worship team.... Since that time, the Vineyard has probably had more influence on establishing worship teams and worship music..."
      • "In due time the guitar replaced the organ as the central instrument that led worship in the Protestant church. Although patterned after the rock concert of secular culture, the worship team has become as common as the pulpit" (p. 166).
      We recognize that not all congregations that have introduced praise teams have the instrumental band. Some however do. You should understand that those preachers and elders who have introduced worship teams into their worship did not discover them "after a long and prayerful study of the Bible." They have borrowed them from various denominational sources, hoping to have the same kind of enthusiasm and growth they have observed in their mega churches. The wish to have something new and different preceded the implementation of worship teams and other new aspects of the progressive churches. Concern about the scripturalness of such things or the harm they might cause the church are of little concern.

      We understand that the problem is not in having a committee or group of brethren to plan the worship service, nor is it in having more than one song leader before the congregation. The problem arises when such innovations are used as wedges to open the door for the use of instruments of music in worship (Eph. 5:19), to put Christian women in leadership roles in the worship (I Tim. 2:11-12), or other changes that do violate the sacred standard of Scripture (II John 9-11). The danger is seen when confusion and division occur (Rom. 16:18). By then the damage is done and the church has suffered great harm. Think of it this way. Say for 10 years you had taken the same medicine for your high blood pressure and it had worked fine. You go to a new young doctor and he insists that you need to change to a new kind of medicine. Against your better judgment, you take the medicine and become desperately ill. Thankfully you survive, although some did not. The young doctor was sure his prescription for a new medication would work wonders. In fact your old medicine was fully adequate for your needs. The new was a near disaster. So it is proving to be where the change agents insist on implementing their agenda in congregations that had done well prior to their coming.</font>

      ___________________________________

      **Pagan Christianity is a 2008 publication of Tyndale House Pub. Inc.
___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
Copied from: "I am Music and I write the songs."

<font size=3 face=times new roman>Who is the author of the following?
  • “. . . ‘How shall I bring the Ark of God home to me?’ Second Samuel 6:9 or First Chronicles 13:9. Home to ME! It was not the Ark of David, it was the Ark of God! In much of the CCM [Contemporary Christian Music] dancing, singing, praising, etc. the big ME gets in the way of doing things God’s way! Spurgeon commented on this verse, ‘Thus religious joy was interrupted because it had not been sufficiently seasoned with holy awe….’”
Interesting—the <font size=4>BIG</font> <font size=5>ME</font> = <font size=4>NOT</font> sufficiently seasoned with HOLY AWE.</font>
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Stanley Cook
Stanley Cook

April 30th, 2008, 10:07 pm #5

<font face=arial>Dear Friends in Christ:

Worship or Praise Teams are part and parcel of the change agenda. In today's lesson I share some interesting information about their origin. This information will help us understand those who want such things and where the idea originated. In dealing with this matter as with all others we must exercise discretion. We must uphold that which is good, oppose that which is evil and be tolerant of that which is in the real of opinion. If you find this lesson helpful, please forward it to Christians in your email directory. Feel free to make copies to share with others. Remember that the only church God will bless is the church that is submissive to and obedient to his will.

— John Waddey</font>

___________________________________
    • <font size=5>
      WHENCE CAME THE WORSHIP TEAM?
      </font>


      <font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>In churches committed to the change agenda, you will usually find a "worship team." Our wandering brethren sometimes called these "praise teams." Perhaps you, like me, have wondered, where did such ideas originate? In reading the book, Pagan Christianity, by Frank Viola and George Barna, I found the following information regarding the origins of the worship team. He opens his discussion by noting:
      • "In many contemporary churches...the choir has been replaced by the worship team" (p. 164).
      • He continues, "The standard worship team includes an amplified guitar, drums, keyboard, possibly a bass guitar and some special vocalists" (Ibid).
      • "Word are usually projected onto a screen... There are rarely songbooks or hymnals" (Ibid).
      • "The worship team will ...lead a lively, hand-clapping, body-swaying, hand-raising, (sometimes dancing) congregation... Typically the focus of the songs is on individual spiritual experience. First person singular pronouns –I, me, my–dominate a good number of the songs" (p. 164-165).
      • "The revolution (in Christian music) came when rock and roll was adapted into Christian music with the coming of the Jesus movement. This reform set the stage for the revolutionary musical changes to take root in the Christian church..." (Ibid).
      • "The origin of the worship team goes back to the founding of Calvary Chapel in 1965. Chuck Smith, the founder of the denomination, started a ministry for hippies and surfers. Smith welcomed the newly converted hippies to re-tune their guitars and play their now redeemed music in church" (Ibid).
      • "Since the advent of contemporary Christian music, the `worship wars' have begun constituting a divisive force that has balkanized the Christian church into `old styled-traditional-music' lovers vs. `new-styled-contemporary' music lovers. Not a few churches have been splintered right down the middle over what form of music is to be used during the church service" (Ibid. ft. note)
      • "The Vineyard (a contemporary charismatic denomination)....followed suit with the worship team.... Since that time, the Vineyard has probably had more influence on establishing worship teams and worship music..."
      • "In due time the guitar replaced the organ as the central instrument that led worship in the Protestant church. Although patterned after the rock concert of secular culture, the worship team has become as common as the pulpit" (p. 166).
      We recognize that not all congregations that have introduced praise teams have the instrumental band. Some however do. You should understand that those preachers and elders who have introduced worship teams into their worship did not discover them "after a long and prayerful study of the Bible." They have borrowed them from various denominational sources, hoping to have the same kind of enthusiasm and growth they have observed in their mega churches. The wish to have something new and different preceded the implementation of worship teams and other new aspects of the progressive churches. Concern about the scripturalness of such things or the harm they might cause the church are of little concern.

      We understand that the problem is not in having a committee or group of brethren to plan the worship service, nor is it in having more than one song leader before the congregation. The problem arises when such innovations are used as wedges to open the door for the use of instruments of music in worship (Eph. 5:19), to put Christian women in leadership roles in the worship (I Tim. 2:11-12), or other changes that do violate the sacred standard of Scripture (II John 9-11). The danger is seen when confusion and division occur (Rom. 16:18). By then the damage is done and the church has suffered great harm. Think of it this way. Say for 10 years you had taken the same medicine for your high blood pressure and it had worked fine. You go to a new young doctor and he insists that you need to change to a new kind of medicine. Against your better judgment, you take the medicine and become desperately ill. Thankfully you survive, although some did not. The young doctor was sure his prescription for a new medication would work wonders. In fact your old medicine was fully adequate for your needs. The new was a near disaster. So it is proving to be where the change agents insist on implementing their agenda in congregations that had done well prior to their coming.</font>

      ___________________________________

      **Pagan Christianity is a 2008 publication of Tyndale House Pub. Inc.
___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
Brother Waddey, you conclude your article with this illustration:

"Say for 10 years you had taken the same medicine for your high blood pressure and it had worked fine. You go to a new young doctor and he insists that you need to change to a new kind of medicine. Against your better judgment, you take the medicine and become desperately ill. Thankfully you survive, although some did not. The young doctor was sure his prescription for a new medication would work wonders. In fact your old medicine was fully adequate for your needs. The new was a near disaster. So it is proving to be where the change agents insist on implementing their agenda in congregations that had done well prior to their coming."

You should know that such a comparison will not hold water! While it's true that may have happened in the medical field, it's also true that young medical professionals have discovered new medications that are often more effective than the older medications. There was a time in history when there were no such thing as vaccines for certain deadly diseases. There was also a time when there was no chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer. And, while these medications may not always be effective and on rare occasions they may cause adverse reactions, for the most part, they have improved and even extended the lives of those receiving treatment.

And, while we don't have a new "cure" for man's sin problem as that rests entirely in the grace of God, in the Gospel, there may be new ways of getting that soul-saving message to the masses. Just one more medical example here before closing. I have a disease which requires injections in my head, neck and back and they hurt only very little, but for the nurses to attempt to draw blood from me has always been a nightmare. However, in more recent years, they've developed different types of needles to do this in a manner that's less painful, and am I ever grateful! The same job is still getting done. It's only a matter of implementing better methods of doing it. The same is true with saving the souls of mankind.
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Alarmed
Alarmed

May 1st, 2008, 5:24 pm #6

Amen Stanley. As far as the me, my, I-mentality it is just a personal twitch of JW. He doesn't know the hearts of those people singing. He just doesn't like praise teams.
He believes if he says it enough, that praise teams are sinful, then people will eventually believe him.
Here at Concerned Members, they love to give him ample credence to exhibit his trinkets. They love him here.
That pretty much sums up the Concerned Member's attitude.
To know JW Stanley is to look over his last paragraph. The theme is about praise teams, yet he bounces around (in that last paragraph) from sinful change agents, to sinful instrumental music, and women sinning by not staying quiet in the church.
He nails them all.
<font size=3 face=times new roman>Dave,

Your summing up of the “Concerned Members’ attitude” is a personal twitch of yours. Another twitch of yours is your personal dislike of John Waddey—but/although he is one of the great supporters of the Restoration Movement principles, of New Testament Christianity and of the NT church of which—I would presume [and this may be to your credit]—you, Dave, are still/claim to be a member. (Are you still a member of this NT church?)

John W. never claims to “know the hearts of those people singing.” Rather, you’ve missed the crux of the issue that the use of the professional services of “praise teams” has caused unnecessary confusion among members and division in the congregation.

If you don’t recognize the historical background of such charismatic, rock-and-roll musical production—and its destructive and divisive nature—then, you are the one with the problem.</font>
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

May 2nd, 2008, 9:17 pm #7

Thank you, Alarmed, for your wise comments. If people really realized the direct, historical ties of charismatic, rock-and-roll-type "Christian" music with secular rock-and-roll and the latter's ties to illicit sex, would people shun such music like a hot potato, or would they more likely say, "Who cares?"

All too often, as long as "music" makes people "feel good" and makes them want to bob their heads, gyrate their hips, stomp their feet, and twist, shout, and have a good time (whether that be in church, at a rock concert, or in a brothel), most people could care less about the true history of a certain style of music.

Such an "I don't care" attitude is expected from "Christian" hedonists.
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Lisa Busby
Lisa Busby

May 2nd, 2008, 9:34 pm #8

<font size=3 face=times new roman>Dave,

Your summing up of the “Concerned Members’ attitude” is a personal twitch of yours. Another twitch of yours is your personal dislike of John Waddey—but/although he is one of the great supporters of the Restoration Movement principles, of New Testament Christianity and of the NT church of which—I would presume [and this may be to your credit]—you, Dave, are still/claim to be a member. (Are you still a member of this NT church?)

John W. never claims to “know the hearts of those people singing.” Rather, you’ve missed the crux of the issue that the use of the professional services of “praise teams” has caused unnecessary confusion among members and division in the congregation.

If you don’t recognize the historical background of such charismatic, rock-and-roll musical production—and its destructive and divisive nature—then, you are the one with the problem.</font>
I think our society has become so wrapped up in "man made traditions" that we forget which traditions WE started and which one's GOD set up for us. I think praise teams add much to the worship service. Who cares if the words are projected on the screen or we use a song book? These two things are CLEAR examples of MAN MADE TRADITIONS. If we TRULY want to go back to the BIBLE, we should be meeting in homes with none of the modern conveniences we enjoy today in our comfortable AIR CONDITIONED church buildings. The BIBLE also does not authorize Sunday school classes; If we are trying to follow the BIBLE to the LETTER and not add or take away anyhting, doesn't that make Sunday morning BIBLE classes a MAN MADE TRADITION? We should carefully consider these things before we go around condeming "traditions" simply becuase the BIBLE has not authorized it. This has become a toxic faith in that we are so caught up in praise teams, song books, and worship ministers that we forget why we are at church in the first place! If we truly love God, how can we spend so much time running other christians into the ground simply because they choose to have a worhip minister or praise team? We are NOT the holy spirit, and only God can judge the hearts of those who worship him.
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

May 3rd, 2008, 2:56 pm #9

First-century Christians utilized whatever "modern" conveniences they had for their time, such as transportation by ship, cart, wagon, camel, or other beast of burden. Their "air conditioners" consisted of hand-held fans, if that at all. The word "modern" applies to whatever era one is discussing, whether that era is the first century or the 21st century. To imply that "back-to-the-Bible" means that it is sinful for us in the 21st century to utilize whatever "modern" conveniences we have for our time is to miss the concept of what "back-to-the-Bible" means. That phrase implies nothing about physical accouterments associated with any particular era of time. That phrase means to follow the timeless teachings and principles of doctrines and commands as set forth in the New Testament.

Hand-held fans in the first century did not violate Christ's teachings. Riding a camel to assembly on the first day of the week in the first century did not violate Christ's teachings. Electric-driven air conditioners today do not violate Christ's teachings. Riding in a car to church on Sunday does not violate Christ's teachings. Neither do rest rooms, kitchens, church buildings, or a host of other incidentals violate any of Christ's teachings, for there is no New Testament doctrine about them.

Of course, many people who get on the "anti-incidentals" kick do so to argue for instrumental music in Christian worship. Their premise is, "God doesn't 'authorize' kitchens and air conditioners, yet we have them; so we should have instrumental music, even though God doesn't 'authorize' it.'" Such a premise mixes apples with oranges. We do have freedom to implement what God has not condemned, as long as what we implement does not violate God's existing doctrines and commands. To add instrumental music is to add to the vocal music or singing that God has already commanded for Christian worship (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). To add instruments is to add to the accompaniment that God has authorized to enhance the singing, and that authorized accompaniment/enhancement is making melody in the heart (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16).

For those who fixate on the physical aspects of "back-to-the-Bible," just remember that first-century Christians did not utilize instrumental music in worship, neither did they utilize "praise teams," rock bands, and dramatic productions in their worship.

Lastly, those who condemn Sunday school or mid-week prayer meetings as "unscriptural" would hinder those who wish to read and study God's Word in a Christian environment. There is the command to observe the memorial to Christ's death, burial, and resurrection in the Lord's Supper (1 Cor. 11:20-29), and there is the example of the first-century Christians doing so on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). There is no command against groups of Christians meeting together informally to study God's Word as in Sunday school or in prayer meetings.

Is studying God's Word to be limited only to Sunday? Paul states, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15 KJV).


Is praying together to be limited only to Sunday? Paul states, "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17 KJV)
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Dr. Stanley Cook
Dr. Stanley Cook

May 3rd, 2008, 6:22 pm #10

Bill Crump wrote:

“To add instrumental music is to add to the vocal music or singing that God has already commanded for Christian worship (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). To add instruments is to add to the accompaniment that God has authorized to enhance the singing, and that authorized accompaniment/enhancement is making melody in the heart (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16).

For those who fixate on the physical aspects of "back-to-the-Bible," just remember that first-century Christians did not utilize instrumental music in worship, neither did they utilize "praise teams," rock bands, and dramatic productions in their worship.”

Dr. Crump does not know that instruments were not used. These "anti-instrumentalists" have been taught and assumed this for so long that they believe it to be true without really digging for the truth. I've written an article about the subject of instrumental music and the false teachings in the CofC surrounding it. The article follows.


Refuting The Anti-Instrumental Doctrine of The Church of Christ


Many Churches of Christ have made the issue of instrumental music (IM) paramount, almost on a level equal to the Gospel. Yet the traditional teaching on this subject by most Churches of Christ is false doctrine, pure and simple! It's "speaking where God has not spoken" in order to make a command that He has not made, thus those who take this liberty with God's word are really the "liberals".


Refuting the “No New Testament Authorization” Doctrine

The best way to know what the scriptures teach is to understand the original Greek language. The main scripture used to refute IM opposition is Ephesians 5:19. Consider this: the part of Ephesians 5:19 where Paul wrote: “…sing and make melody in your hearts…” can be misleading when read from the KJV. The original Greek says: “adontes kai psallontes”. Adontes means “singing”, then “kai” is a conjunction (also used in Acts 2:38 in “repent and [kai] be baptized”) meaning the joining of two separate actions. Obviously repenting and being baptized are not one and the same action, but two separate actions, which is also true in Ephesians 5:19: “singing” plus another action: “psallontes”, meaning to pluck a stringed instrument. By the way, it’s really stretching it to claim that the “plucking” here is plucking the heart strings, or the vocal chords. Therefore, the Christians in the first century, since they understood the original Greek language, would have read that as “Sing and pluck a stringed instrument”. (The MacArthur Study Bible also supports this understanding of this passage). But what do we do about the “in your hearts” part? Again, returning to the original Greek, it means to put your heart into those two actions. Now whether this is even referring to a worship assembly or not, whatever the case, they would have understood it to mean to do both actions as one praises God whether in private, personal worship, or in worship with others.


Refuting that the “Psalms Were Part of the Old Law" Doctrine

The Psalms may have been written while the Old Law was in effect, but they were not a part of the Law that was given to Moses (which was done away with). In Deuteronomy 31:24-26a, it says: “After Moses finished writing in a book the words of this law from beginning to end, he gave this command to the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord: ‘Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God’…”.

The Old Law never commanded or suggested using instrumental music, yet David stated in the Psalms that it, along with dancing was among the ways people were to praise God. (See Psalm 150). Now think: as harsh as the Old Law was, if it had been something God would oppose, since He had not commanded it in The Law, you can bet your boots they would have been struck dead for doing an “unauthorized act of worship”, but they were not! Therefore, since the Psalms were not a part of The Old Law (Law of Moses) that was “nailed to the cross”, it’s obvious that even the first century disciples would not have considered it an act that would have ended. The use of instrumental music in praise to God would have come naturally to those believers since that’s what they had been familiar with. Since the burnt offerings and incense were a part of the Old Law, they would have known that those laws had been done away with. So the argument that “if someone is going to use instrumental music, then they have to have burnt offerings“, is faulty at best.

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