17 responses

  1. Adam Gonnerman
    December 6, 2010

    I’ve said it before and I’ll just keep saying it: I’m glad to be part of a congregation and segment of the movement where this is a non-issue.

    Reply

  2. brian
    December 6, 2010

    liberal

    (lol)

    Reply

  3. Vern
    December 6, 2010

    Just wondering if you use a microphone with your voice haven’t you crossed the line already? Assuming there was a line in the first place. If you are hearing an amplified, digital approximation of your voice, does that still count as a God created voice? So shouldn’t microphones be banned in the church as well. Many preachers of old, did just fine without amplification. God forbid we start talking about mp3 files.

    One could ask more questions to show this is not really a question we should be dealing with.

    Reply

  4. Tim Archer
    December 6, 2010

    Vern,

    Historically a difference has been made between what is merely an aid and what isn’t. The argument is made that singing and playing are different activities while singing with a mike is the same activity, just with an aid.

    Don’t want to pull you into our brotherhood’s fights, just want you to know that there has been a lot of thought put into this over the last few centuries. Many Churches of Christ, some Orthodox churches, etc. have decided that instrumental music is not God’s will for the church.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

    Reply

  5. K. Rex Butts
    December 6, 2010

    I’m with you Tim. I find the arguments made (which I used to make as well) to be unconvincing that instrumental worship is biblically wrong but it’s not my agenda necessarily to become instrumental for the sake of adding instruments. Further, I completely agree when you say “My fear is that we are starting from a conclusion, then working backwards to support it. ”

    I have a small clip of Francis Chan asking the question of whether or not Christians would really respond to the gospel by praying a Sinner’s Prayer is they just read the Bible without be taught a pre-assumption external to scripture about how those who believe in Jesus should respond to him (Chan believes we would only conclude that we are to repent and be baptized). I believe his question can also be asked to those who conclude that instruments are wrong…would they really arrive at that conclusion from just reading scripture without being taught any pre-assumptions eternal to scripture as to how scripture is to be read (hermeneutics) regarding silence, regulation, etc… And here is where I am increasingly passionate about criticizing because I believe that such pre-assumptions ultimately teach people to read the Bible not to be a follower of Jesus but to be a follower of a church that never existed based on proof-texting of scripture. The result has been an adventure in missing the point. For example, in Churches of Christ there was great division over “how” we should do missions and help orphans (missionary societies, supporting orphan homes) rather than just getting it done (sending missionaries, helping orphans). Jesus must be shaking his head…all those orphans in need of help and some of my people are busy arguing over how they should help them…folly!..all those nations in need of hearing the gospel and some of my people are arguing over how to send out and support missionaries.

    Grace and Peace,

    Rex

    Reply

  6. Clyde Symonette
    December 6, 2010

    Hi Tim:

    You said: “Not worth the fight to make people use instruments, not worth the fight to make them stop.”

    I appreciate your post. I don’t think the intent is to coerce anyone into using instruments. Aside from the pundits who obviously enjoy debating, I believe the question is this: Why can’t non-instrumentalists, instrumentalist and those who don’t care just all get along?

    Reply

  7. Keith Brenton
    December 6, 2010

    Oops. Sorry for trying to dominate the discussion at New Wineskins. :)

    Reply

  8. heavenbound
    December 7, 2010

    I have always thought instruments inhance the voice. The voice is the instrument used to express thought. Music played expresses thought and feeling of emotion even the psalmist talks about playing instruments in praise and worship. Psalm 149 verse 3
    Let them praise his name in the dance; let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.
    Psalm 150 :
    praise ye the Lord Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in the firmament of his power. V3 praise him with the sound of the trumpet; praise him with the psaltery and harp. V4. Praise him with the timbrel and dance; praise him with stringed instruments and organs. V5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals; praise him upon the high sounding cymbols V6 Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.
    Now how can we stand and say that the bible doesn’t instruct us how to praise the Lord with singing, praise aided by instruments made by man………

    Reply

    • Tim Archer
      December 7, 2010

      Gentlemen,
      Please don’t make me present the arguments for or against instrumental music. Let me just say that if you try to dismiss either side by a quick comment or by citing a passage here or there, you’re only showing that you haven’t understood the other side of the argument.
      Grace and peace,
      Tim Archer

      Reply

  9. H Clay McCool
    December 7, 2010

    I believe the BIGGER question is, are we being divisive over the use of the instrument?

    This I do know for sure, being divisive is sinful.

    Reply

  10. Vern
    December 7, 2010

    You comments are helpful. Just that point about an activity versus an aid is helpful. But as Paul said let each be fully persuaded in their own mind, but that doesn’t mean we should divide from each other. Rather bear each other in love. Love is the essence of the greatest commandment.

    Reply

  11. Vern
    December 7, 2010

    Just on a personal note, it is much easier for me to sing with a guitar than without. In that sense, would it be just an aid or an activity? I’m not really into instrumental music as I believe we generally need words to convey a clear message. Apart from sign language of course.

    Reply

  12. Clyde Symonette
    December 8, 2010

    The question of divisiveness is only raise if one side, despite all of the evidences, insists that its my way or the highway. That’s sinful..

    Reply

  13. Keith Brenton
    December 9, 2010

    I’ve said this in the comments at New Wineskins, but felt it worth repeating. When Jay proposed the theme for this edition, we agreed it was “worth the fight” because it’s part of the ministry of reconciliation – with each other, as well as with God – and that doesn’t end with evangelism.

    If we can’t discuss this issue and come to some sort of peace about it, what kind of witnesses for Christ are we in this world?

    There have been very few opportunities for both points of view to dialogue and exchange ideas … most of it in the comments has been remarkably civil; some of it had to be deleted not because I disagreed with the content, but because it consisted of (uncredited) paste-ins of sermons from other Web sites – which risks violating authors’ copyrights.

    I sincerely believe that there are parts of scripture that are (as Peter terms it) “hard to understand” because the Lord desires us to meditate on them, ask for His Spirit to help us with them – and desires us to speak with each other about them to gain a greater, common understand of them … and each other.

    My conclusion on the issue is that it is covered by Romans 14 because New Testament scripture doesn’t specifically mention it; there is no intrinsic right or wrong attached to it. I think it’s worth talking about if only to see whether I am just as off-the-mark about it as the loud and incoherent brother who believes that all music should be banned from public worship, vocal or instrumental.

    Reply

  14. Ken Sublett
    July 6, 2011

    Romans 14 forbids any doubtful disputations which do not edify. In this context, edify means to educate. The sects in Rome were identified by the days they came to the market and the food stalls they attended or took their usually common meal.

    In Romans 15 Paul defines the role of what he calls “synagogue” using the terms come together, assemble or gather. He forbids self-pleasure which in both Greek and Latin identify all of the performing arts. He then commands that we use “that which is written for our learning” using one mind and one mouth. He calls that “Scripture” as psalms (no meter included), hymns (prayer or speaking) and spiritual songs (inspired.”

    That defines, inclusively and exclusively, the role of the Qahal, synagogue or Church in the wilderness whiich educated people: they PREACHED the Word by READING the Word. “They sung a hymn” is the once-a-year example of Jesus where “hymn” in Greek means to recite Scripture and in Latin, Dicto means to speak. That fits Paul’s direct command to SPEAK that which is written for our learning. Speak is what you do in what the Campbells called A School of Christ.

    Reply

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