The Scripture Speaks
Bible Study: 10:00 AM
Worship: 11:00 AM
Evening Worship: 4:00 PM
Wednesday Bible Study
9871 Big Creek Road
Ellijay, GA 30536
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I have just heard the statement repeated that I have heard before. It is this: The use of instrumental or mechanical music in the worship of the Lord’s church is not a test of fellowship. If the manner in which we worship God and the manner in which one obeys the gospel is not a test of fellowship, then what is a test of fellowship? Let us remember and be aware that God decides the test of fellowship. God has not invited man into the discussion of what is acceptable or unacceptable. God alone has given the pattern for fellowship. God alone has given the pattern of worship. God alone has given the pattern of what man must do in order to be saved. Either we do as God has directed or we will be lost eternally.
As far as instrumental or mechanical music is concerned, there is not a single passage of scripture in the new covenant of Jesus Christ that would allow the use of such. Those who desire to use such music contend that they can do so due to the silence of the scripture. But God has never been silent on those conditions that would affect our salvation. There are only two categories of music—instrumental and vocal. All New Testament passages teach that the music which God desires is indeed vocal. Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. Let me write but one and you read the other. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” No person who desires to be pleasing unto God can find a mechanical instrument in that passage nor in any other passage of scripture.
Early church history informs us of many departures from New Testament teaching. The first departures from the faith included infant baptism and one bishop or elder overseeing the church. But you cannot find an instance of mechanical music. No mechanical instruments were used until hundreds of years after the close of the New Testament. Why not? The church of Christ, the one body of Christ, has maintained a vigilance against the instrument. The first instance of mechanical music in the Lord’s church was in 1859 in Midway, Kentucky. This caused a split in the Lord’s church and gave birth to that body that we now know as the Christian Church. The Christian Church has continued to depart farther away from the teaching of the New Testament.
Many protestant scholars have opposed the instrument. Among them are John Calvin of the Presbyterian faith, Adam Clarke of the Methodist faith, and Charles Spurgeon of the Baptist faith. The religious denominations which follow the teachings of these men all use mechanical instruments in their worship.
But, people continue to argue for the support of mechanical instruments of music in worship. One argument is that such music was used in the Old Testament. The burning of incense and animal sacrifices were used in the Old Testament. Another argument is that the New Testament does not explicitly condemn the instrument. The New Testament does not explicitly condemn praying to Mary or baptizing infants. Some argue that harps will be used in heaven. Revelation 5:6 sees in heaven a Lamb having seven horns and seven eyes. Is the Lamb a literal lamb or a figurative lamb? But in the midst of the church today, there is no such Lamb. Another argument is that we use air conditioning and song books. Neither of those alter worship. The instrument does.
The music which is taught in the New Testament in the worship of God is congregational singing. Read again Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. Choirs and solos are not acceptable for such would violate the teaching of these passages.
Is mechanical music a test of fellowship? Indeed, it is. Is mechanical music in the worship of the church sinful? Indeed, it is. God told Cain in the long ago after his worship had been rejected, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” Genesis 4:7.
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