Instrumental music

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Instrumental music

  1. 1. Doctrine: Instrumental Music Vocal Music OR Instrumental? Background of the problem Invalid arguments What the scholars have said Issues we face today
  2. 2. Background - History  L. L. Pinkerton – first instrument among churches of the Restoration Movement – Midway, KY – 1858- 1859  Pinkerton wrote articles to defend its use.  Issue smoldered during the Civil War  Thorpe Springs, TX – preacher insisted on using the instrument. His father presented a petition opposing the instrument. His son, the preacher, looked at the organist and said, “Play on, Miss Bertha.”
  3. 3. Background - History  J. W. McGarvey – “It is manifest that we cannot adopt the practice without abandoning the obvious and only ground on which a restoration of Primitive Christianity can be accomplished, or on which the plea for it can be maintained.”  The actual division was long and slow in coming.  By 1906 the division between churches of Christ (vocal) and the Christian Church (instrumental) was complete.
  4. 4. Invalid Arguments to Support 1 – Aid vs. Addition  Can the instrument be authorized the same way as a PA system, songbooks and pews are authorized?  Is instrumental music an aid to our singing – OR – Is it an addition to what God commanded?
  5. 5. Invalid Arguments to Support 2 – Used in the Old Testament  Psalm 149 and 150 encourage instruments  David played the harp –  1 Chronicles 23:5 four thousand were gatekeepers, and four thousand praised the Lord with musical instruments, "which I made," said David, "for giving praise."
  6. 6. Invalid Arguments to Support 2 – Used in the Old Testament  David played the harp –  What about Amos 6:5? Who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments, And invent for yourselves musical instruments like David;  2 Chronicles 29:25 And he stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, of Gad the king's seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for thus was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets.
  7. 7. Invalid Arguments to Support 2 – Used in the Old Testament  SUMMARY  David praised God with instruments – Psalm 149  God approved such use – 2 Chronicles 29:25  God condemned the “entertainment” instead of worship – Amos 6:5
  8. 8. Invalid Arguments to Support 3 – Used in our homes, play in band  Many things are morally right – but wrong in worship − Hamburgers are not wrong in life − In communion they are wrong − Musical instruments are not wrong in life − Musical instruments are wrong in worship  It is not the piano that is wrong  It is its use in worship that is not authorized
  9. 9. Invalid Arguments to Support 4 – They are in heaven  They had harps in heaven – Revelation 15:2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.  Read Revelation – there are horses, frogs, and fruit trees in heaven – But – they are not part of our worship – Horse jumping is not worship!
  10. 10. Invalid Arguments to Support 4 – They are in heaven  Revelation 14:2-3 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. 3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.
  11. 11. Invalid Arguments to Support 5 – Bible does not say Don't  Radio listener letter - “Why couldn't we have music with our singing? My Bible doesn't say don't!”  Two types of silence: − Generic commands – silence allows / includes − Build ark includes hammer − Go teach includes the mode of travel − Specific commands – silence forbids / excludes − Fruit of the vine excludes Dr. Pepper − Sing excludes instruments
  12. 12. Invalid Arguments to Support 6 – I like it. It makes me feel good.  Radio listener letter - “Maybe some people don't like music with their singing, but then, not all of us like peanut butter and jelly on our bread, but that doesn't mean it would be wrong for us to eat it with our bread.”  Who sets the rules (guidelines) for worship?  What is the direction of worship – us or God?  Who is the object of our worship? (John 4:24)  Is worship for my pleasure; what I like?
  13. 13. What the scholars have said about Instrumental Music in worship:  John Calvin (founder of Presbyterian Church) - “It is no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting of tapers, or the revival of the other shadows of the law. The Catholics foolishly borrowed it from the Jews.”  Martin Luther (founder of the Lutheran Church) - “The organ in the worship is the ensign of Baal.”  John Wesley (founder of the Methodist Church) - “I have no objection to the organ in our chapels provided it is neither seen nor heard.”
  14. 14. What the scholars have said about Instrumental Music in worship:  Charles Spurgeon (famous Baptist preacher) - “I had just as soon pray to God with machinery as to sing to God with machinery.”  Adam Clarke (Methodist commentator) - “Music as a science I esteem and admire, but instrumental music in the house of God I abominate and abhor. This is the abuse of music, and I here register my protest against all such corruption of the worship of the author of Christianity.”
  15. 15. What the scholars have said about Instrumental Music in worship:  Lyman Coleman (Presbyterian preacher) - “The tendency of this (instrumental music) was to secularize the music of the church.”  There are many others that I could quote here.  Notice that in the first hundred years of the reformation movement – no denomination used instrumental music in worship.
  16. 16. What the scholars have said about Instrumental Music in worship:  Benjamin Franklin (restoration preacher) - “If one had told us forty years ago, that we would live to see the day when those professing to be Christians; who claim the Holy Scriptures as their only rule of faith and practice; would bring instruments of music into the worshiping assembly and use it there in worship, we should have repelled the idea as an idle dream. They turn the very worship of God itself into an attraction for people of the world, an entertainment, or amusement.”
  17. 17. Issues we are facing today  Some congregations among us: − Have 2 services – 1 vocal, 1 instrumental − Include hand clapping, praise teams, special musical presentations − Have choirs, solos, quartets in worship − See nothing wrong with making these changes in the worship
  18. 18. Conclusion  Arguments made to justify the instrument are not valid and will not suppor their claim  Biblical scholars (of all religious backgrounds) agree that the instrument should not be used in worship  There was a major problem in the late 1800s.  We are facing the same challenge – again NOW!

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