WHAT IS WRONG WITH
INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IN WORSHIP?
1. Is the use of the mechanical instrument of music in the worship of God during the New Testament dispensation right, or wrong?
(1) This important question ought to be of interest to all seekers of the divine truth.
2. Some have never questioned their use.
3. The all-important question is: "Does Jesus Christ authorize the use of instrumental music as a means of worship?" -- Matt. 28:18; Heb. 1:1 - 2
4. In our study, let us do as the apostle Paul said -- Rom. 3:4; I Thess. 5:21.
5. Instrumental music in the worship is wrong because it:
I. VIOLATES THE BASIC LAW OF FAITH.
1. Christianity is basically a religion of faith -- 2 Cor. 5:7.
2. Without faith we cannot please God -- Heb. 11:6.
3. This faith comes from the Word of God -- Rom. 10:17.
(1) What has not been authorized by the Word is not of faith, therefore not pleasing -- Heb. 11:6.
(2) If not of faith, it is of opinion.
1. Difference in faith and opinion -- John 3: 1 - 5 -- by night, faith -- why? opinion.
4. Application -- I Cor. 14:15; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; James 5:13; Acts 16:25; Matt. 26:30; Rom. 15:9; Heb. 2: 12.
II. VIOLATES THE LAW OF WORSHIP.
1. The fundamental principle of worship is the same as that of faith -- Must be authorized by the Word.
2. The principle of acceptable worship is specifically stated in John 4:24; 17:17.
3. Instrumental music is not found in the Word of truth.
4. Singing is.
5. The converse of acceptable worship is vain worship -- Matt. 15:9.
(1) Instrumental music is vain.
(2) It is the doctrine of men -- Col. 2:23
III. IT VIOLATES THE LAW OF UNITY.
1. The law of unity is stated in I Cor. 1:10:
(1) Unity of mind and judgment is a requirement of the gospel.
(2) This is brought about by following the same standard -- John 12:48; 17: 20 - 21.
2. Men are not divided over what the Bible says, but what it doesn't say.
3. Examine the principle of unity:
(1) Two kinds of music -- vocal and instrumental.
(2) Vocal authorized -- unity here.
(3) Instrumental not authorized.
IV. OBJECTIONS CONSIDERED.
1. "Found in the Psalms, and Psalms is not part of the Law."
(1) John said Psalms are part of the Law:
1. John 10:34 -- Psa. 82:6
2. John 15:25 -- Psa. 35: 19
2. " Instrumental music is not expressly forbidden in the New Testament."
(1) This puts a premium on the silence of the scriptures.
(2) It creates a respect for what the Bible does not say, rather than what it does say.
(3) That argument being so, the field would be open wide:
1. Praying through Mary -- I Tim. 2:5
2. Observing the Sabbath -- Acts 20:7
3. Baptizing babies -- Mk. 16: 15 - 16
4. Ham on the Lord's table.
(4) We are not to go beyond that which is written -- II John 9; I Cor. 4:6; Rev. 22: 18 - 19.
3. "It was practiced under the Law of Moses in the Old Testament."
(1) This same argument would introduce incense, infant church membership, animal sacrifices, polygamy, and everything else in the Old Testament.
(2) We are not under the Law of Moses today -- Col. 2:14; Gal. 5:4
4. "It is only an aid in the worship."
(1) It is not an aid -- it is an addition of another kind of music.
(2) Not on par with a song book; when a song book is used we have done nothing more than sing.
(3) Difference between aids and additions:
1. Specific and generic commands:
(1) Specific -- gopher wood -- Gen. 6:14
(2) Generic -- Go -- Matt. 28:19
5. "Practiced at home."
(1) Many things are morally right but religiously wrong.
1. Washing of hands -- Mark 7: 3 - 7
2. Washing of feet -- I Tim. 5:10
(2) Instrumental music is not wrong within itself.
(3) Many things right in the home are wrong to have in the church -- baby, cook stove, etc.
6. "In most congregations there are members who have the ability to play on instruments of music. Why not use this talent in the worship to the glory of God?"
(1) There are women who can bake good pies and cakes.
(2) Why not use that talent?
By Donald Townsley
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