Article #1 - December 22, 1993 Instrumental Music in Worship Before reading ANYTHING that

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Article #1 - December 22, 1993 Instrumental Music in Worship Before reading ANYTHING that I say you must realize that while I am a member of the Church of Christ denomination I do not claim to be speaking for all of the members of my congregation or denomination. In fact, what I say regarding this topic if probably FAR from what the majority of my fellow members believe, but I pray daily that their eyes will be opened to God's Word and His Will instead of their own blind traditions. Furthermore, I apologize for not making the first article about something more positive and encouraging, but there have been many questions put to me on this topic which I felt this might be a good medium for attempting to shine God's Light on the answers. - J.D. First of all, let's take a moment to clarify something that is vital to understanding my basic interpretation. I hope to the belief that the Word of God (Bible) is the source from which we should get our answers, not preachers, teachers, and any other man. God took the time to write (author, inspire) the scriptures and everything that we need for salvation is in there (or the instruction we need anyway, much takes place in our own hearts but the Bible instructs us on how we should do that). I believe that God is perfect, and that Christ also is perfect. I believe that the Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I believe that God never changes and is the single consistent factor in life since the beginning. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, correction, rebuke, etc. Interesting is this verse, I think, because it doesn't say that the Bible shows us the wrong way to do things so that we can know not to do things that way, it shows us the CORRECT way, a perfect way. The Secret Service trains its officers to spot counterfeit money not by showing them counterfeit money, but by having them study the REAL THING and knowing it so well that when a bad dollar passes by them they can spot it in a heartbeat. That's how we should view our study of the Bible. We are studying the Perfect Way. In doing so, we can learn the RIGHT way to do things. We can learn the truth and in doing so when a 'false prophet' or a bogus tradition or doctrine come along we can spot it in a heartbeat because we've studied the REAL THING and we know what the whole truth is. Okay, I guess I've given my 'background' so I can get on with the topic at hand... (you'll see how all of this fits together later)... Instrumental Music. This is a long-debated topic which, quite frankly, I don't see all the hoopla about personally. I personally believe that men who say that it is wrong are wrong and misusing the Bible because the Bible says NOWHERE that it is forbidden. I believe that men who say it is absolutely CORRECT and NECESSARY are wrong also because it is nowhere commanded for Christians (or Jews). I personally have studied this objectively and come to the conclusion after much prayer and study that it is simply a 'disputable matter' (Paul warns us about arguing over these matters in Romans 14, as well as other scriptures). Kind of like 'eating meat,' I personally believe that if it is wrong for me then it would be a sin for me to take part in it. Likewise, if it is not wrong for me then it would not be a sin for me to participate. But regardless, any and all judgement of souls or Christian walks should be made ONLY by Jehovah God. Instrumental music was utilized IN WORSHIP in the Old Testament and God found it pleasing. In fact, it was SO pleasing to God in one story that His Spirit filled the temple in the form of a cloud (2 Chronicles 5:14). I encourage you to pray and read this story for yourself and see how this speaks to you. Then I ask you to consider: Since God is the same God, Jehovah God, God of Abraham, Isaac, David, Joseph and Mary, then why would he suddenly find it displeasing after years and years of finding it to be acceptable form of praise to Him? David was considered a man 'after God's own heart.' David played his harp (and other instruments) to the Master in praise. God found this pleasing and David found favor in God's eyes. Again, consider this. One "Church of Christ" answer for not having instrumental music in worship is that Eph. 5:19,20 and Col 3:16,17 both state that we are to "speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs... making melody in our hearts" unto God. Well, in my understanding of the Word of God, this is an highly flawed interpretation of these scriptures. By Biblical example (and Hebrew traditional definition) a Psalm can have instruments played along with them. In fact, many scholars believe that some of the notations in the book of Psalms are where instrumentals were performed (Selah, Ashta, etc.). David's example, as the master psalmist, shows us that psalms do and CAN have instrumental accompaniment. A spiritual song on the other hand seems to be (from the Greek Bible) a song which is more spontaneous which may or may not have instrumental accompaniment with it. A hymn, by all occurances in the Bible is sung without instruments and A Capella (in the jail they didn't have instruments with them and they sung a hymn, not a psalm or spiritual song... on the mount they didn't have any instruments with them so they sung a hymn, too...). Literal interpretation of this verse actually implies a COMMANDMENT to sing in THREE (3) forms of music: Psalms, Hymns and (AND!) Spiritual Songs. All three! Not just hymns and spiritual songs as the Church of Christ does it, but ALL THREE! And it is not "choose one of these three" but "speak to one another in psalms, hymns AND spiritual songs." If we were told to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, would we just baptize in the name of the Holy Ghost and skip the other three? I highly doubt it! So then why do we dismiss ourselves from a form of worship that is commanded in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16?! (Okay, so this is an extreme argument, but is it not valid?) Be at peace! Nowhere in the New Testament are we told that we must NOT use instrumental music in worship. God took the time to tell us everything else that was important enough to Him to mention and yet He didn't instruct us NOT to use instrumental music. God finds praising Him and worshipping Him with OR without instrumental music pleasing in His sight. We have Biblical example of this and unless God changed overnight during the Stone/Campbell movement, He is still the same Jehovah God who filled the temple with a cloud and His Spirit because he was so pleased in 2 Chronicles. He is the same Lord God who found David's music pleasing. And is the same God who commanded us to worship Him in THREE (3) forms of music: Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs. "Make melody in your heart!" Anyone who has ever played an instrument and sang a heart-wrenching song while they did it know that you can play and sing in your heart at the same time. Any anyone who tells you that it's impossible obviously missed the entire message. God is the ONLY one who can judge your heart. Strive to live your life FOR GOD and to praise and worship Him in everything you do. He is the only one who can judge you and He will judge HARSHLY anyone else who tries to judge you for how you worship Him. Be at peace and live for Christ! Joel Davenport 1017 Elaine Trail Chattanooga, TN 37421-4015 The Fountain BBS (615)490-0998

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