Instrumental Music in Worship

Andrew Isbell
March 21, 2021

Note: The transcript below is automatically generated and will contain errors.


The sermon this morning following our all the singing that we’ve done is about singing.

All with ask a question. That made me

Think maybe it was time that we talked about this again. It’s a good subject. It’s something that comes up a lot because through our practice of old things. Sometimes we become peculiar in New Times. And so Alton Christians will get the question. Why do Christians sing without instruments in our worship? So that’s what I was going to talk about this morning.

I don’t know that in the time allotted I can really do the subject full justice. So I’ve tried to cover as much ground as I can as quickly as I can if anybody wants to discuss any of the things that I bring up in more depth certainly there’s countless additional verses that could be used and countless additional discussions. It could be had.

So back to this question of why do Christians seeing without instruments in our worship?

There’s a lot of questions that follow that up. Is it because we can’t afford them. Is it because we can’t play them is it because we personally dislike the sound of them.

A lot of people aren’t Christians like instrumental music wouldn’t it help you to grow if you gave them what they liked what they used in the Old Testament and worship.

Where did God say we couldn’t use them? So I will go through those questions this morning and I’ll start with the first three the Brethren everywhere. I have been I have been are I’ve been around are very good about always funding whatever is necessary in their love for God as to the question of do we not include them because we can’t afford them money has not been an issue that has ever come up or it’s not been an issue. I’ve

Ever seen any any any of the Brethren used for why they didn’t include instruments in the worship. So I would say that this is certainly not the issue especially amongst the churches in the United States, which is where I have the most experience and I would say from what I know even in places where people are poorer they still when they want when when when worship wants to include instruments they do

Christian or non-Christian in the poorest places in the world if they want an instrument, they tend to find one they may not be as fancy as the ones who use here. But I go back again. I don’t think Finance is the obstacle and I know of no individual or congregation that makes that the obstacle I would take this opportunity to point out this before moving on. However that it is an obstacle to worship. Its

It may not be an insurmountable obstacle, but it is an obstacle that I don’t find impose anywhere in the New Testament and that as an obstacle there are financial and logistical burdens surrounding it when instruments are desired to be used that are in addition to anything that that we find in the New Testament.

So I’ll move on to our second question, which is is it because we can’t play them is it is is it because we have no instrumental Talent amongst the Brethren first. This is again not a reason I’ve ever heard given for not using instruments in worship. I personally know many talented musicians among the brethren. We have talented musicians amongst us here this however is not to my knowledge why anyone

Has avoided the use of instrumental music in worship again, I would mention here though that the need for musicians is an obstacle that I do not find in the New Testament worship and the problem faced by many of those who attempt to employ it. I’ve listened to countless discussions amongst religious worshippers who incorporate musical instruments about some of the difficulties that

they face in finding people to play the instruments that are expected to have funding the playing of the instruments. So there’s a lot of obstacles that arise surrounding it when it’s employed. It does result in many new issues. Can I pay someone to worship? I’ve heard that conversation had several times where they talk about. Well in order to get somebody can play the instrument they need to pay them and when they pay them to participate in the worship.

And that causes some issues because other people say well, why are they being paid to worship God and and other times they can’t find a Believer to play so they hire someone who’s not a Believer. So who’s playing presumably as part of the worship but doesn’t believe in God or love God, it does result in those things. So the other thing is the inability to seeing when using particular instruments.

I know that for example when bone instruments would exclude singing by the individual that was playing that instrument. So that that has to be then addressed having to resort to hire non-believers and other Financial adjustable problems. All these things come up as a result of the initial decision. So when when it is utilized there are a lot of logistical and other issues even

Scriptural issues that would then have to be addressed following up on it that the Bible doesn’t lend a lot of help too because it doesn’t talk about it at all next as to our personal preference to the sound of instruments accompanying singing again have never heard there may be but I have never heard that being a reason given for four including or not including including instruments in the worship.

Europe everyone. I know personally all the Brethren I know there may be those that don’t and no foul against them everyone that I know personally. Enjoy some form of instrumental music. There is some sort of a tune somewhere that they like that is instrumental music and voice accompanied rather that be bluegrass music or whether that be rock and roll or whatever that maybe there are people that are

Enjoy both together and it’s not the sound that is offensive ever. As a matter of fact as we will discuss later. We are intentionally setting aside when we don’t include instrument music our personal wants and desires and making the decision to work by the instruments. There may be some that prefer to have unaccompanied or accompanied singing as a personal.

Preference however, as we will begin to discuss our personal preferences are not the guiding principle in our worship. So what about those outside the church who like instruments we could use instrumental music to lower them in and keep them. It also may make it easier to create a better sounding service because many have hard time singing without having an instrument to guide them and to cover the rough edges. This is an argument that’s also used for

In the vein of mr. Music what is now modern Lee referred to as praise teams? So I would take you to Luke 4 and 8 and I would read this to you and says Luke 4 and 8 and Jesus answered him. It is written you shall Worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve so I would begin by saying this that our worship is not given to please men but to please the

Lord that is who we are worshipping that is why we’re worshipping there’s some more that there that we have to say about singing and its effect on those others that we sing with but the purpose of worship is clearly to please God. We’re not attempting to please men in our worship. But God as to converting the world consider this so this idea that by using a sarong music to lure people in

And then try to keep them once we get older it in that that’s going to be a tool that we can use. Let’s consider this first Corinthians 1:21 First Corinthians 1:21 reads this for since in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom it pleased God through the Folly of what we preach to save those who believe people are saved by the word not their worldly desires.

You cannot save a person through luring them the word saves people.

The the word and as we’re going to talk about in just a moment is a very important to what we do as Christians and everything. We do in converting in our own conversions to Christianity in the converting of others and then our worship the word is Central the truth is Central and will see that many times. I’ll touch upon that many times as I move forward. So the next verse I would like to read is a fission is 5 and 18.

Ephesians 5:18 and we’re going to read through verse 20.

And do not get drunk with wine for that is debauchery, but be filled with the spirit addressing one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs singing and making Melody to the Lord with your heart giving thanks always and for everything to God the father and the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Any teaching any admonishment any address as you go through and pick these things out from what we talked about earlier or it talks about addressing one another it talks about teaching it talks about it management any encouragement in any truth is all in the word.

And therefore only in a song where the words reflect the truth.

The instrument cannot offer or even enhance the word of the truth.

To argue that an instrument enhances. The truth of God is not a argument that’s found anywhere in the scripture.

The instrument and its sound can save no one.

The idea that focusing our worship on meeting the desires of man will please God is not a thought to be found anywhere in the scriptures.

If you are encouraged by a tune even so I thought about that one time. I heard a tune right you can hear tune sometimes with no voice accompanied, right so you can hear a tune wherever you’re at. You hear the melody, maybe even find yourself humming a Melody, right? And it may be to a song that’s a him or or something that makes you think of God because you’re humming it or

You know, the tune is not the thing that makes you think of God it is your remembrance of what the tune is about as a person who was an alien sinner who had never heard the words to the song and only heard the tune is not going to communicate the Lord to them. It’s the words that communicated the Lord to them and it recalls those words when you hear that tune sometimes.

If you were encouraged by tune from a song it is your memory of the words that encourage the words. We sing with our voices that we don’t have to buy carry or pay for our voice is given to us by God that proclaim the truth and of which we don’t need to be ashamed or attempt to cover or smooth or change with somebody’s man-made instrument.

As to the use of instruments in the Old Testament consider what it means to invoke any item or form of worship from the Old Testament.

Find it very interesting that many people run quickly to the Old Testament. There is a reason that we call it old.

It was replaced.

Everything that was not carried over in the New Testament everything in our worship and practice not delivered to us by the New Testament has has gone Colossians 2 and 14 Colossians 2:14. Am going to read several verses here in a row to address sort of that point Colossians. 2:14 says by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands this he set aside nailing it to the cross.

Romans 7 1 Romans 7 1 through 7 or do you not know Brothers for I’m speaking to those who know the law that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives for a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives but if her husband dies she is released for the law of marriage accordingly. She will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is a lie, but if her husband dies she is free from that law and if she marries another man, she is not an adult.

Iris likewise, my brother’s you also have died to the law through the body of Christ so that you may belong to another to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God for while we were living in the flesh are sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in the members to bear fruit for death, but now we are released from the law having died to that which held us captive so that we serve in the new way of the spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

What What then shall we say that the law is sin by no means yet. If it had not been for the law. I would not have known sin for I would not have known what it is to covet in a law and not has said You shall not covet.

Hebrews 9 and 16 he resigned 16 through 17 for where a will is involved the death of one who has made it must be established for a will takes effect only at death since it is not intend to enforce as long as the one who made it is alive.

The Old Testament of then he added behold I come to do your will he does away with the first in order to establish the second?

The second being the new test what we refer to as the New Testament, right? The Old Testament has been done away with as Christians. We know that we are not living under it any longer and that Christ has died and it has been replaced many things were not included in the New Testament Practice. We could go into great detail and that Great Lengths to go through this list. And this list is Not By Any Means any stretch of the imagination complete but

That were included in the Old Testament that weren’t included in the New Testament the burning of incense golden vessels colorful tapestries dancing before the Lord bitter herbs animal sacrifice the physical Temple the priest class and instruments. He kept unleavened bread the fruit of the vine prayers and singing

this was some people say an oversight he meant to bring those things forward the fact that he didn’t mention them again doesn’t mean that he didn’t intend for us to continue in some of those things maybe not all of those things and we must have an argument over which of those things came board on which of those things didn’t which is where you end up you end up trying to justify why you want to bring some things for another thing it’s not and so I would say to those people this that this was not an accident or an oversight and look at the same verse.

Has that many quote to use the Old Testament of Justified their desired practice. Laura was always very clear and detailed which is why they find evidence of what was done is because the Lord was being clear and detailed back then about what he wanted done.

His pattern for worship was was laid out very clearly in the Old Testament. It was a very detailed in the Old Testament exactness was given from the construction of the art to the days of worship to the priest Etc. Do not expect me to believe he accidentally forgot to carry over instruments the same argument could be made for any of the other items, but one might say not quite

No, he replaced the other items with something new.

So he didn’t really get rid of them. They just replaced him with something new for example Christ and his sacrifice, right?

To which I will reply. Yes. He did.

That is true. He replaced many of them with something new not all but yes he did and that’s why we sing.

Why was it okay for him to replace other things and change other things in the worship, but not okay for him to change scene.

Not okay for him to change the musical instrument the company.

So we worship God his way. There is no mention of an instrument being used in the Christian worship by the New Testament Church anywhere in the Bible. We also know what God thinks about unauthorized worship Genesis 4

Genesis 4437 and Abel also brought I’ll say this before I start reading this. There are numerous the Old Testament is filled with examples of people doing something slightly different than the way God told him to do it both in worship and in practice his his reaction is pretty uniform across the board. I’ll just give one for sake of time Genesis 4 4 through 7 and Abel also brought off the firstborn of his flock.

Like and of their fat portions in the Lord have regard for Abel and his offering but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So King was very angry and his face fell and the Lord said to Cain. Why are you angry and why is your face falling if you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well sin is crouching at the door its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it Matthew 15 7 through 9, Matthew 15 and 7 through 9.

You Hypocrites. Well, did Isaiah prophesy of you? When he said this people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me in vain do they worship me teaching as doctrines the Commandments of men.

The one-time music is used Luke 15 25. It’s not in that and that particular area is not even talking about worship. So I’m at a party that’s being held a few verses mentioned pipes and harps. I’ll give those Matthew 11 17.

Matthew 11 and 17 First Corinthians 14 Revelations, 14 and 15

But none in the context of church worship or none of the context of worship by Christians in the New Testament Church singing is talked about several times in that context Acts 16:25.

acts 16 and 25 Romans 15 and 9

Romans 15 and 9 First Corinthians, 14 and 15

First Corinthians 14 and 15 Ephesians 5:19 Ephesians 5 and 19 Colossians 3:16

Colossians 3:16 Hebrews 2:12

Hebrews 2:12 and James 5:13

It’s James. 5:13 is the final singing is definitely something that is used. It’s definitely there. It’s definitely something that there were instructed to do. It’s commanded in Ephesians 5:19. You can see that there are examples of Christian singing all through the New Testament acts 16:25 First Corinthians, 14 and 15.

It is in the principle of offering when you look at Hebrews 13 and 15. You see it talking about the fruit of our lips singing certainly fits within that on the other hand in the New Testament is silent on playing songs for God. It’s not commanded. I can’t find any example of it in the early not even in the early church.

Vivian historically, we see acapella singing used for New Testament.

Worship and insurance not being used not only during the scriptures but during all the history that we have of the early church all the way up through the 6th or 7th century.

It’s a matter of fact the Catholic Church split with the Eastern Orthodox Church over the issue.

in about the 7th century

So you have not only the the Bible’s example in the Bible’s which is the most important in the key, but you also have this torrico pointing the other way so matter-of-fact something we use the term acapella singing now to refer to singing without instruments on music. It’s very common, but the term originally the back in the Latin it just meant as in the church.

That’s what acapella actually means. It doesn’t have anything to do with.

Instrument in there, right? So it’s odd that we’ve assumed that as in the church implies no instruments of music, but we have why have we because that’s what they meant by it when they said in the church, they meant without instruments music. So the New Testament as we have just discussed is not silent on scene.

I would go to this the next question is so where did God say we couldn’t use them?

Again, the New Testament is not silent on scene it is however sound on instruments used in worship. So to silence allow freedom to do what we want or prohibit us from doing what we want.

The answer in general and this may confuse some initially is that silence can do both?

but don’t let it confuse you it’s fairly simple when God gives us a way it is the way

When God is silent away, then we must choose a way that doesn’t bother what violate any of his ways.

First Corinthians four and six I have applied all these things to myself and apologize for your benefit brothers that you may learn by us. Not to go beyond. What is written that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one another.

one against another when it is written then it is his way it is the way

We do not argue that God didn’t say we couldn’t include fried chicken and the Lord’s Supper.

We know where he is given away. It is exclusive.

We have example in command to Worship in song just as Noah was told to build with gopher wood Noah followed the way he did not say to himself but I am partial to Cedar it smells good. Maybe more people will join with me. If I know was a lonely guy who was just him and his family maybe more people will join with me if I used it because the ark would be more attractive and smell better. Certainly. He did not know of followed the way.

So I’ll end with this a simple answer to a simple question. We don’t use instruments because we also follow the way.

Thank you for your attention. I know that we haven’t spoken it about it at Great length, but if there’s any here who need the prayers of the congregation who have learned the way through the word.

Who know that they have sinned? I want to be baptized for the repent and be baptized for the remission that sin and be added to the Lord’s church. We asked you to come as we sing.