WHAT IS A “DENOMINATION”? 1.recognized autonomous branch of the Christian Church: a branch of any religion. 2.the face value of a banknote, coin, or postage stamp: [as modifier]: high-denomination banknotes the rank of a playing card within a suit, or of a suit relative to others. 3.formal a name or designation. [mass noun] the action of naming or classifying something http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/denomination 3
ISSUES OF “DENOMINATIONALISM”? 5.Organization: Intra-denominational and inter- denominational institutions – hospitals, missionary societies, schools, social programs, seminaries, etc. 4.Fellowship: Acceptance of most other denominations – “agree to disagree”, “unity in diversity”, tolerance. 3.Liberalism: Acceptance of all not expressly forbidden. 2.Standard: Erosion of diligent individual Bible study – unnecessary and Holy Spirit assistance. 1.Salvation: Justified by faith only (Calvinism, watered down) – obedience unessential or minimized, grace overly emphasized. 4
“AXE LAID TO THE ROOT …” “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln “If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success.” (Ecclesiastes 10:10) Luke 3:9 5
ISSUES OF “DENOMINATIONALISM” 1.Salvation: Justified by faith only (Calvinism, watered down) – obedience unessential or minimized; grace overly emphasized. 2.Standard: Erosion of diligent individual Bible study – unnecessary and Holy Spirit assistance. 3.Liberalism: Acceptance of all not expressly forbidden; Taking liberties with God & His Word – instrumental music, intra-denominational organizations. 4.Fellowship: Acceptance of most other denominations – “agree to disagree”, “unity in diversity”, tolerance – inter-denominational institutions. 6
“CASTING DOWN ARGUMENTS” For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ … (II Corinthians 10:3-5) 7
BIBLE ON CHURCH ORGANIZATION Definition: “church” – any assembly, congregation [Gr., “ekklesia” - “called out”] (Acts 19:32, 39, 41; 7:38) Number: One single universal body of all the saved in Christ (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4-7; 5:23-27; Hebrews 12:22-23) Necessity: One must be in the church to be saved (Acts 2:47; 20:28; Galatians 3:26-27) Membership: The church is comprised of individuals, not denominations, local churches, or any other intermediary institution (Acts 2:41, 47) 8
BIBLE ON CHURCH ORGANIZATION Control: None can prevent or guarantee salvation, but the Lord (II Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10-12; III John 9-10) Locale: Localized fellowships of saints are called “local churches”, in contrast to the one “universal church” (II Thessalonians 1:1; I Corinthians 1:2; 14:19; Romans 16:16; Revelations 2-3) Autonomous: Bible pattern for churches is autonomy: Benevolence – Sent to elders of needy congregation (Acts 11:27-30; I Cor. 16:1-4; Romans 15:25-27; II Corinthians 8-9). Evangelism – Sent directly to evangelist (II Cor. 11:8; Philippians 4:14-18). Oversight – Elders’ rule limited to local flock of membership (Acts 14:23; I Peter 5:1-3). 9
BIBLE ON CHURCH UNITY Importance: Unity is a critical goal at both the local and beyond (I Corinthians 1:10-13; John 17:20-23; Ephesians 4:1-7) Standard: Neither can division be resolved nor unity be enjoyed, where clear departure from God’s Word is tolerated (I Timothy 4:1-3; I Corinthians 11:18-19; 14:33; I Peter 4:11) Delineation: Fellowship should not to be extended to false teachers or to those stubbornly living in sin (II John 9-11; I Corinthians 5:1-13; Romans 16:17-18; II Timothy 3:1-8). 10
INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC COMMON DENOMINATIONAL ERRORS
DIVISION OF MATERIAL I.Advocate a Positive Position. II.Offer Historical Icebreakers. III.Answer Negative Arguments. 12
WHAT HAS GOD SPECIFIED? Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16) … be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, (Ephesians 5:18b-19) God has specified vocal praise and the heart as the instrument. Who are we to add to God’s command? 13
PEER PRESSURE 1.“But, everybody uses instrumental music to worship God?” Everybody is the standard? (I Pet. 3:20; Mat. 7:13-14) Fact: Instrumental music has been added to most Protestant churches within the past 200 – 150 years! Historically, the instrumentalist would be associated with a rebellious minority, instead of a popular majority! 14
ANTE-NICAEAN FATHERS “The one instrument of peace, the word alone by which we honor God is what we employ. We no longer employ the ancient psaltery, the cymbal, the flute...” (Clement of Alexandria, 2 nd century) “The unison voices of Christians would be more acceptable to God than any musical instrument. Accordingly, in all the churches of God, we send up a unison melody.” (Eusebius of Caeserea, Comments on Psalm 91, 3 rd century) “It was only permitted to the Jews as sacrifice was for the heaviness and grossness of their souls. God condescended to their weakness because they were lately drawn from idols. But now instead of organs, we may use our own bodies to praise Him with all.” (John Chrysostom, 3 rd century) 15
DARK AGES & CATHOLIC CHURCH “Our church does not use musical instruments as harps and psalteries to praise God withal that she may not seem to Judaeize.” (Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas, 1250 A.D.) “Although Josephus tells of the wonderful effects produced in the Temple by the use of instruments, the first Christians were of too spiritual fibre to substitute lifeless instruments for or to use them to accompany the human voice. Clement of Alexandria severely condemns the use of instruments even at Christian banquets (P.G., VIII, 4440). St. Chrysostom sharply contrasts the customs of the Christians at the time when they had full freedom with those of the Jews of the Old Testament (ibid., LV, 494-7). Similarly write a series of early ecclesiastical writers down to St. Thomas (Summa, II-II, Q.xci,a.2)” (“Music”, The Catholic Encyclopedia, X:651) 16
THE REFORMATION ERA – 1 “The churches of the city were purged of pictures, relics, crucifixes, altars, candles, and all ornaments. The pictures were broken and burned. The bones of saints were buried. Even the organ was removed, and the Latin singing of the choir abolished, but fortunately afterward, replaced with congregational singing of psalms and hymns in the vernacular.” (Schaff, Church History, vol.8) “Musical instruments in celebrating the praises of God would be no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting up of lamps, and the restoration of the other shadows of the law. The papists, therefore, have foolishly borrowed this, as well as many other things, from the Jews. Men who are fond of outward pomp may delight in that noise; but the simplicity which God recommends to us by the apostle is far more pleasing to Him.” (John Calvin on Psalm 33) 17
THE REFORMATION ERA – 2 “I have no objection to instruments of music in our chapels provided they are neither heard nor seen” (John Wesley, quoted in Adam Clarke’s Commentary at Amos 6:5) “The Christian worship consisted in hymns, prayers, the reading of Scriptures, a discourse addressed to the people, and concluded with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper” (Mosheim, Ecclesiastical History, I:303, published AD 1755) “Church psalmody, also passed over from the synagogue in the Christian Church. The Apostle Paul exhorts the primitive churches to sing spiritual songs. For this purpose were used the psalms of the Old Testament, and partly hymns composed expressly for this object, especially hymns of praise and of thanks to God and to Christ, such having been known to Pliny, as in customary use among the Christians of his time” (Neander, 1789-1850; General Church History, I:414) 18
THE REFORMATION ERA – 3 “It is heresy in the sphere of worship” (Giradeau, Instrumental Music in the Public Worship of the Church, p.179, 1888) “psallo never occurs in the New Testament, in its radical signification, to strike or play upon an instrument.” (Giradeau, Music in the Church, pp.116-118, 1888) “‘Praise the Lord with the harp.’ Israel was at school, and used childish things to help her learn. But in these days, when Jesus gives us spiritual food, one can make melody without strings and pipes. We do not need them. They would hinder rather than help our praise. Sing unto Him! This is the sweetest and best music. No instrument is like the human voice.... We might as well pray by machinery as praise by it.” (Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, comment on Psalm 42:4) 19
RESPECTING BIBLE SILENCE 2.“But, the Bible does not forbid using mechanical instruments to praise God! You are arguing from silence, and nothing can be proved by silence.” God was not silent. He commanded vocal music. How well did presumption work for others in the past? Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1-3; Exodus 30:9, 34-38) – “by those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy” David’s plan to build a temple for God (II Sam. 7:1-7; I Kin. 8:18-19) Pharisees (Matthew 19:3-8) – “therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate”. King Saul (I Samuel 15:22-23) – “to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” 20
“WHERE HAVE I EVER SPOKEN A WORD?” RIGHTLY INTERPRETING THE SILENCE OF SCRIPTURES
GOOD TO BE REMINDED, LEST WE FORGET “For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you” (II Peter 1:12-13) “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!” (Philippians 3:1-2)
GOOD TO BE REMINDED, BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE “My hindsight is clearer than my foresight! I am in no position to boast, because I was not among the wise ones who saw the danger … at first. … We failed to do that which should have been done very effectively in those early days. … Enough teaching before … could have immunized the church against … substitutes for God’s pattern. We had the opportunity; but, in our simple ignorance, we failed in this significant way. … Our opportunity to do effective teaching was before the powerful machines were set up and thrown into high gear. … The floodgate was opened, and none could close it. It has not been closed, and it will not be closed in time …” (Preaching In A Changing World, Irven P. Lee, p.43-44)
GOOD TO BE REMINDED, LEST WE STUMBLE “I have been a member of a ‘Church of Christ’ for over 20 years. However, I am beginning to have my doubts. For example, the following question is fundamental because several of the traditions that we are very dogmatic about depend on this teaching. … Is Biblical silence prohibitive? I believe that we have missed the point on this topic.” “If this so-called ‘law of silence’ were to be followed ‘religiously,’ then our PA systems, Powerpoint usage, song books, and other things which we commonly use in worship would all be outlawed. It really is time to apply some common sense to this ‘law,’ and the way it is applied by so many....” “You would think someone who is so interested in following the New Testament Pattern would have followed it … Does the Bible authorize a church to have a Facebook page? …”
WHAT IS THE QUESTION? Silence – What does it mean? Here’s Merriam-Webster: 1.forbearance from speech or noise 2.absence of sound or noise 3.absence of mention Occurrence – Some things are not specifically mentioned in Scripture! Interpretation – Does God’s silence prohibit or permit? By Definition – Silence means nothing, because it is nothing! Misnomer – Is God ever truly and absolutely silent on any matter? Conclusion – Erroneous to presume that God’s silence necessitates His approval or authority. Silence cannot authorize! Demonstration – One inspired example can eliminate presumption.
DO NOT PRESUME! “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” (Deuteronomy 12:32; 4:2; Joshua 1:7; 23:6; Proverbs 4:26-27; 30:5-6; Revelation 22:18-19) “… learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.” (I Corinthians 4:6; Numbers 22:18; 24:13; II John 9; Matthew 7:21-23) “My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.” (Psalm 89:34; Galatians 3:15; Matthew 5:18-19; John 10:35-36; I Peter 1:22-25; Galatians 1:6-9) 26
“WHERE HAVE I EVER SPOKEN A WORD?” David was declared by God to be “a man after His own heart” (I Samuel 13:14) Often exhibited the noblest of intentions (I Samuel 24:1-22; I Chronicles 11:18-19; 21:22-25) “Walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked …” (I Kings 3:14; 9:4; 11:4-6; II Kings 22:2; II Chronicles 7:17; 17:3-4; 34:2-3) But, he was not perfect (II Samuel 11:1-12:23) – even presumptuous on occasion (I Chronicles 13:1-14; 15:1-15; II Samuel 6:1-8)
“WHERE HAVE I EVER SPOKEN A WORD?” “Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies all around, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.” Then Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.” But it happened that night that the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Would you build a house for Me to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’ ”’” (II Samuel 7:1-7) Compare to the Pattern – Exodus 25:9-27:21 – no prohibiting verse!
ANSWERING OBJECTIONS: DAVID’S GOOD HEART “David was commended, not condemned for this attitude!” “But the LORD said to my father David, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a temple for My name, you did well that it was in your heart. Nevertheless you shall not build the temple, but your son who will come from your body, he shall build the temple for My name.’” (I Kings 8:18-19) David sought the Lord’s glory – not His own (“for My name”) Regardless, it was contrary to God’s will (“you shall not build the temple”) – Good intentions do not justify! Ultimately succeeded in bringing the ark to Jerusalem (I Chronicles 15:1- 16:43) But, failed at first, “because we did not consult Him about the proper order” (I Chronicles 15:13) Good intentions may err grossly if they ignore the “proper order”!
ANSWERING OBJECTIONS: DAVID’S BLESSING “David was blessed by God in this context (II Samuel 7:8-17)” However, that blessing did not justify any of his mistakes, much less his sins (Bathsheba, Uriah, numbering the people) “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (I Thess. 5:21-22) The blessing does not erase God’s correction! Neither, David nor God link God’s blessing to David’s desire. Furthermore, David was chosen by God before and apart from His desire to build the temple (II Samuel 7:8-9; I Samuel 13:14) David’s desire to build a house for God was coincidental, providing the occasion to reveal God was building David a house.
“WHAT GOD HAS JOINED, LET NOT MAN …” The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.” (Matthew 19:3-8) Compare to the Pattern – Genesis 1:27; 2:18-24 – No prohibiting verse!
ANSWERING OBJECTIONS: A DIRECT VIOLATION? “Divorce directly violates command to join or cleave!” This assumes the pattern must be observed indefinitely. Where does God say to be joined for life? What keeps a man from being joined to one wife and then to another and then to another …? The revealed pattern excludes divorce until God reveals otherwise. This embodies the attitude of respecting God’s pattern and rejecting authority upon silence!
“HOUSES TO EAT AND DRINK IN?” Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.... Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come. (I Corinthians 11:20-22, 33-34) Where does the pattern prohibit eating a common supper?
“HOUSES TO EAT AND DRINK IN?” For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes. (I Corinthians 11:23-26)
ANSWERING OBJECTIONS “The Corinthians exhibited a multitude of problems: selfishness, divisiveness, drunkenness, etc.” These sins are not approved in any location (II Corinthians 8:13- 15; Acts 2:44-45; 4:34-35; I Corinthians 1:10; Galatians 5:19- 21)! So, how does relocating the meals solve those problems? “The Corinthians were not adding but replacing!” Then, why did Paul not add back what was missing? “Fellowship meals were authorized (Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7, 9; Jude 12)” Refer to individual acts of hospitality and the Lord’s Supper.
OTHER EXAMPLES God’s promise to “seed”, singular, not “seeds”, plural (Galatians 3:15-17; Genesis 22:18) – Requires addition to misunderstand. Jews added commerce to temple’s mission of payer (Mark 11:15-17; Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11). Nadab and Abihu used “strange fire”, which God “commanded not” (Leviticus 10:1-3; 16:1-13; Exodus 30:7-10, 34-38). Jesus served as a priest from tribe of Judah, not Levi (Hebrews 7:11-14). … Only needed 1 to disprove that silence authorizes!
CONCLUSION Silence does not authorize, permit, or approve anything! Examples: Instrumental Music, Church Sponsored Colleges, Church Community Cook-outs, etc. Also, silence does not necessarily prohibit! Examples: Church Building, PowerPoint, Facebook, etc. Specific aspects of God’s pattern exclude alternatives. Generic aspects of God’s pattern authorize multiple unspecified options or expediencies. Respect God’s pattern in all things!
RESPECTING BIBLE SILENCE, AGAIN 3.“Romans 4:15 and 5:13 teach that there is no transgression, where there is no law. God has no law against instrumental music, so it cannot be considered a transgression.” “… where there is no law there is no transgression.” (Ro. 4:15) “… sin is not imputed when there is no law.” (Rom. 5:13) This is previous question, just reworded. Assumption: God’s law does not include respect for His silence. If God expects us to respect His silence, then there is law! 38
OPTIONAL ADVICE ONLY? 4.“Paul’s words are not commanded, because they are not preceded by the phrase, ‘Thou shalt’ or ‘You must’. Since Paul did not strictly command us to sing, we are not obligated to avoid mechanical instruments.” Assumption: Commands are always clearly identified as commands (John 15:12; Acts 17:30; I Thessalonians 4:11) Bible commands us to follow approved NT examples (Philippians 3:17; 4:9; II Thessalonians 3:7). Bible exemplifies using necessary inference (Mathew 19:3- 8; 22:23-33; Acts 2:25-36; II Samuel 7:1-7; Heb. 7:11-14) 39
OPTIONAL ADVICE ONLY? 4.“Paul’s words are not commanded, because they are not preceded by the phrase, ‘Thou shalt’ or ‘You must’. Since Paul did not strictly command us to sing, we are not obligated to avoid mechanical instruments.” Command can also be identified by grammar (imperative), not necessarily the presence of the word, “command”. “These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: ‘Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.’” (Matthew 10:5) See also: Matthew 22:35-40; 15:3-9; 17:9; 21:1-6; 28:18-20 Apostolic writings are commands by default (I Cor. 14:37-38) Exceptions are clearly noted – I Corinthians 7:1-8:1 40
ARE THESE ALSO OPTIONAL? Examine context preceding “command” to sing found in Colossians 3:16: 3:1 – “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above...” 3:2 – “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth....” 3:5 – “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry...” 3:8 – “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.” 3:9 – “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds...” 3:12 – “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;” 3:13 – “bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” 3:14 – “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” 3:15 – “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” 3:16 – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” 3:17 – “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” 3:18 – “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” 3:19 – “Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.” 3:20 – “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.” 3:21 – “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” 3:22 – “Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God.” 3:23 – “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,...” Is Colossians 3:13 the only true command in this chapter? Clearly, not! 41
AUTHORITY OF OLD TESTAMENT? 5.“The Hebrews used mechanical instruments in their praise to God. In fact, the Bible commands us to use instruments (Psalm 147:1, 7; 149:1, 3, 5; 150:3-4)!” They also offered sacrificed, danced, burned incense, etc. – “What proves too much, proves too little.” 42
AUTHORITY OF OLD TESTAMENT? 5.“The Hebrews used mechanical instruments in their praise to God. In fact, the Bible commands us to use instruments (Psalm 147:1, 7; 149:1, 3, 5; 150:3-4)!” #1: They also offered sacrificed, danced, burned incense, etc. – “What proves too much, proves too little.” #2: Mosaic law limited instrumental music to temple worship. Patriarchal Age: Exodus 15:1-21, Miriam and timbrels. Pre-Davidic Mosaic Age: Numbers 10:1-10; 31:6, signal trumpets; Deuteronomy 31:19-22, singing. Post-Davidic Mosaic Age: I Chronicles 13:1-13; 6:31-32; 16:1-42; II Chronicles 29:25-28, authorized and commanded by God’s prophets. 43
COMMANDED IN OLD TESTAMENT! And he stationed the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of 1 David, of 2 Gad the king’s seer, and of 3 Nathan the prophet; for thus was the commandment of 0 the LORD by His prophets. The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. … And when the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD also began, with the trumpets and with the instruments of David king of Israel. (II Chronicles 29:25-28) If a command from the Lord’s prophets was required to introduce the instrument in the OT, why would a command from the Lord’s prophets not be required in the NT? 44
LIMITED IN OLD TESTAMENT 5.“The Hebrews used mechanical instruments in their praise to God. In fact, the Bible commands us to use instruments (Psalm 147:1, 7; 149:1, 3, 5; 150:3-4)!” Patriarchal Age: Miriam and timbrels, Exodus 15:1-21. Pre-Davidic Mosaic Age: signal trumpets, Numbers 10:1- 10; 31:6; singing, Deuteronomy 31:19-22. Post-Davidic Mosaic Age: authorized and commanded by God’s prophets, I Chronicles 13:1-13; 6:31-32; 16:1-42; II Chronicles 29:25-28. Period of Exile: Only singing, Psalm 137:2-4. Temple Restoration: Instruments again, Ezra 3:10; Nehemiah 12:27. 45
MODERN ROLE OF OLD TESTAMENT #3: Not authoritative – not applicable as law (Rom. 7:1- 7; Galatians 3:19-25; Colossians 2:11-23; Hebrews 8:13; Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matt. 17:1-5; 28:18-20). #4: Keep one part, “debtor to the whole law” (James 2:10-11; Galatians 5:1-4). Consistency: Rebuild the temple!? (II Chr. 29:20-30). #5: OT passages “were written for our learning” (Romans 15:4; I Corinthians 10:6, 11-12). Teaches general, covenant-transcending principles regarding God’s nature, man’s nature, faith, hope, justice, wisdom, judgment… – respecting God’s silence! 46
“FOR OUR LEARNING” For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about? Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. (I Cor. 9:9-10) Modesty – Standard has not changed since creation! “Nakedness” is connected to anatomy (Genesis 3:7- 11, 21; Exodus 28:42; Isaiah 47:2-3 [to Gentiles]). “Nakedness” is connected with procreation (Leviticus 18:6-19; Song of Solomon 4-6). 47
THE GREEK, PSALLO, DEMANDS IT? 6.“Both Greek words, psallo and psalmos, are commanded in Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:19. Both of these Greek words include the idea of instrumental music associated with the Hebrews’ book of Psalms. Therefore, instrumental music is inherently authorized in the command to sing psalms!” 48
LIMITATIONS OF “PSALLO ” Ψ ά λλω [psallo]; (from ψ ά ω, to rub, wipe; to handle, touch); a. to pluck off, pull out: ἐ θειραν, the hair, … b. to cause to vibrate by touching, to twang: τ ό ξων νευρ ά ς χειρ ί, …; specifically, χορδ ή ν, to touch or strike the chord, to twang the strings of a musical instrument so that they gently vibrate …; and absolutely, to play on a stringed instrument, to play the harp, etc. … Septuagint forנִנֵן and much more often for זִמֵּר; “to sing to the music of the harp”; in the New Testament “to sing a hymn, to celebrate the praises of God in song.” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon) Original meaning, “to pluck hair or beard”. Generality of psalmos is limited by psallo. Ex: Does “reading a psalm” require mechanical instruments? 49
CONTRADICTION IN WORDS & PRACTICE? 7.“If your church really sings the OT ‘psalms’, and if we do not want to disrespect God’s Word by ignoring any one of them, would it not be a contradiction to sing about the ‘sound’ of an instrument praising God and then turn around and also argue for no instruments in worship? I suppose you could give a very lengthy explanation periodically to the congregation, but it would seem so strange to sing about it – especially since many of these OT verses are in the form of a command – but reject instruments in worship!” 50
3 ASSUMPTIONS OF QUESTION All 150+ psalms of the Old Testament must be sung. The commands of any psalm, which is sung, must be executed as sung. In other words, singing those psalms makes them authoritative and binding upon us. We must do what they say, if we are to sing them. For any psalm that was originally accompanied with mechanical instruments, the essential meaning of the psalm is lost without instrumental accompaniment. 51
ANSWERING ASSUMPTIONS Not say, “speaking to one another from every psalm”. Can assumption be executed consistently by all? All nations surrounded me, But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them (x3).... God is the LORD, And He has given us light; Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar. (Psalm 118:1-29) O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed, Happy the one who repays you as you have served us! Happy the one who takes and dashes Your little ones against the rock! (Psalm 137:1-9) If instrumental music is critical, why only words preserved? 150+ psalms in OT. We don’t know their music! 52
USE INSTRUMENTS IN HEAVEN? 8.“The New Testament book of Revelation contains numerous references to instrumental music being employed by the saints around God’s throne. If mechanical instruments will be used in heaven, why can they not be used now?” Instrumental music in heaven: Rev. 5:8-9; 14:2-3; 15:2-3 Heaven is very different: Mat. 22:30; Rev. 21-22 Book of figurative language – Rev. 1:1-3; 2:20; 9:17; 10:7, 11; 11:3, 6, 10, 18; 16:6, 13 … 53
SYMBOLIC LANGUAGE OF REVELATION Offering Incense – Revelation 5:8; 8:3-4 Dragon with Cosmic Dimensions – Revelation 12:1-4 Saved = 144,000 Hebrew virgin males – Revelation 7:4- 8; 14:1-4 John Eating a Book – Revelation 10:8-11 Fantastic Monstrous Beasts – Revelation 16:4-7 Cannot literally apply figurative language to this world, based on images of the next world. 54
IS THE INSTRUMENT JUST AN AID ? 9.“Mechanical instruments are just an aid to God’s command to sing. Therefore, the instrument is authorized as an expediency to the command to sing.” By definition, expediencies and aids only help in obeying a command. Expediencies and aids must not rival against, compete with, add to, or take away from specified command. 55
DO NOT PRESUME! “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” (Deuteronomy 12:32; 4:2; Joshua 1:7; 23:6; Proverbs 4:26-27; 30:5-6; Revelation 22:18-19) “… learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.” (I Corinthians 4:6; Numbers 22:18; 24:13; II John 9; Matthew 7:21-23) “My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.” (Psalm 89:34; Galatians 3:15; Matthew 5:18-19; John 10:35-36; I Peter 1:22-25; Galatians 1:6-9) 56
IS THE INSTRUMENT JUST AN AID ? By definition, expediencies and aids only help in obeying a command. Expediencies and aids must not rival against, compete with, add to, or take away from specified command. God specified the kind of music and the “instrument” – “sing and making melody in your heart” (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). Who are we to add to God’s command? If the Israelites were already commanded to sing, why did David need an additional command, if instruments are just an “aid” (II Chronicles 29:25-27)? 57
EMOTIONAL ESCAPES 10.“How can it be wrong to praise God using my gift given by God? I have seen people healed by the music that I have played unto the Lord. I have felt and witnessed the power of God’s Spirit through my music, and I know others have also. How can something so bad produce so much good?” Assumption #1: All abilities are gifts from God and are suitable for public worship. Any talent, gift, or ability from God that is obviously not suitable for public worship would eliminate the assumptions and disprove the argument … 58
EMOTIONAL ESCAPES Assumption #2: We can sense good and truth. “We walk by faith, not by sight” – II Corinthians 5:7 What about Mormons, Muslims, others who feel truth? Assumption #3: Good never comes from bad. God can bring good out of bad (Romans 11:28-33). What if an atheist doctor heals your child, will you become an atheist? Standard: We know God’s will through reading His Word (II Timothy 3:16-17; Ephesians 3:3-5) 59
CONCLUSION NT pattern for instrumental music is singing only – no mechanical instruments (Eph. 5:18; Col. 3:16). Presumptuous to add to the Lord’s specific command. Everyone is not our standard. The command is not optional. Old Testament is no longer authoritative. Instrument required a command in OT (II Chr. 29:25-28). Original Greek (psalmos, psallo) indicate we should sing. Heavenly symbols should not override literal instruction. Not an expediency, since it adds to command to sing. Truth is determined by God’s Word – not our feelings. 60
REFERENCES Harkrider, Robert, Basic Bible Doctrine, Book 2, Lessons 1-2, Impressive Image Production, Russellville, Alabama, 1987. Jenkins, Ferrell, The Early Church. Florida College Bookstore, Temple Terrace, FL. 1999, pp.61-66. Kurfees, M. C., Instrumental Music in the Worship or the Greek Verb Psallo, Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, TN, 1975, 1911, orig. Earnhart, Paul, Instrumental Music, Delivered at Church of Christ in Douglass Hills, KY, November 20, 1994, http://www.wordsfitlyspoken.org/audio/earnhart/1046A - Instrumental Music.mp3.http://www.wordsfitlyspoken.org/audio/earnhart/1046A - Instrumental Music.mp3 ADDITIONAL: http://insearchoftruth.org/articles/music.html http://insearchoftruth.org/articles/music_history.html http://insearchoftruth.org/articles/music_arguments.html http://insearchoftruth.org/articles/music_references.html http://insearchoftruth.org/articles/girardeau_instrumental_music.html 61
WHAT ABOUT “CHRISTIAN ROCK”? Dilemma: Such is either worship to God, or it is not. A.If worship, then it is unscriptural: Even the individual is commanded to “sing”, not “play” (James 5:13). B.If it is not worship, then it is blasphemous for taking God’s name in vain. 62
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