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Archive for the ‘Musical Instruments’ Category

“Psalmos and Instrumental Music”

One of the most popular arguments used to justify instrumental music in worship is an argument drawn from the word “psalms” (psalmos) in Eph. 5:19. The argument made is that in the Old Testament psalms were sung to the instrument of music. It is claimed that the instrument of music is inherent in the singing of psalms. Several authorities can be produced which state that psalms (psalmos) were to be sung to the accompaniment of an instrument of music. (See Vine & Thayer on psalmos.)

Let us momentarily assume that their argument is correct, that the instrument of music is inherent in the word psalms. If this is true then it would be sinful, if not impossible, to sing psalms without an instrument of music. Immersion is inherent in the word baptism. Would it not then follow that it would be sinful, if not impossible, to baptize without immersing? Since all are commanded to sing psalms (Eph. 5:19), would it not also follow that all singing psalms would be required to play an instrument of music? If the instrument of music is inherent in the singing of psalms, then the instrument of music is not optional to the singing of psalms; it is demanded. Where is the authority for one person to play an instrument of music for all of the congregation, if the instrument is inherent in the singing of psalms?

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The Church: Its Worship

By Paul Williams

One of the first things strangers notice when they assemble with a church of Christ to worship God is the absence of man-made musical instruments. The second is that every Lord’s Day the Lord’s Supper is served. And the third is that except on the Lord’s Day there are no collections taken.

These three things distinguish the worship of the Lords church from the worship of most denominations. They are not things devised by men for the purpose of making the church different, however. They are the result of following what Christ has given the church to do.

Must Have Authority

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Instrumental Music and the Silence of the Scriptures

There is the story of the gospel preacher who was approached after a service by an obviously affluent visitor, who offered to make a contribution sufficiently large to help the church purchase the piano or organ which they seemed to be unable to afford. If a typical ending to this story was told, it would probably represent the rich visitor as going away in puzzlement over a group of people who would go to the radical extreme of making an issue out of what seemed to him to be a trivial matter. Because the custom of using instruments of music in worship is almost universal, the churches of Christ have been judged by ignorant men to be everything from "poor" to "radical" for failing to include them.

Our contentment to sing without the accompaniment of musical instruments in our worship is not a matter of personal preference, however. It is reasonable to assume that many worshipers in the churches of Christ might prefer to employ instruments in supplement to our singing, if given a choice. But, if they are grounded well in truth, all of them recognize that the absence of mechanical devices of music in our meeting houses serves as a witness to our adherence to a respected principle of Bible interpretation, the prohibition of divine silence.

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When Was The Instrument Of Music First Introduced Into Christian Worship?

Brooks Cochran
Memphis, Tennessee

The story is told of a new husband who was watching his wife prepare her first ham for the oven. He noticed that she cut off a few inches from the end. When asked her reason for doing such, her only reply was that her mother always did it that way. Upon calling her mother they found she could give no other reason except that her mother had always prepared her hams that way. Finally, they called the grandmother, who told them she always cut a few inches off because her pan was too small.

This story reminds us of the fact that people may do things a certain way simply because they have always been done that way; i.e., they do things out of tradition. This is especially true in matters of religion. Many times the only reason a person can give for believing or practicing a certain thing is, "That's the way we've always believed or done things." Jesus, in Mark 7:6-9, warns us against following the customs and traditions of men.

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