You will never hear

WILL YOU EVER hear our Baptist, Presbyterian or any of our denominational friends say, “The most influential men in our history were opposed to the use of instrumental music in Christian assemblies.”? No, you will never hear a Baptist say, “Charles Spurgeon, one of our greatest Baptist preachers, opposed instrumental music.” And you will never hear a Presbyterian admit: “John Calvin, one of the most famous theologians in history, rejected instrumental music in the sacred assembly.” Why? Because most are completely unaware of several facts about church history and may never hear them as their assemblies become more like concerts than a worship.

In the first century, Christians merely sang in their assemblies (Woodson). Hundreds of years passed before instrumental music was ever introduced into the apostate church. In fact, instrumental music was rejected by leading Protestants; and even when introduced into the mainline denominations, there was resistance.

Men who influenced the Protestant landscape were themselves opposed to instrumental music. For example, in his commentary on Psalm 33:2-“Give thanks unto Jehovah with the harp: Sing praises unto him with the psaltery of ten strings”-John Calvin wrote:

For even now, if believers choose to cheer themselves with musical instruments, they should, I think, make it their object not to dissever their cheerfulness from the praises of God. But when they frequent their sacred assemblies, musical instruments in celebrating the praises of God would be no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting up of lamps, and the restoration of the other shadows of the law. The Papists, therefore, have foolishly borrowed this, as well as many other things, from the Jews. Men who are fond of outward pomp may delight in that noise; but the simplicity which God recommends to us by the apostle is far more pleasing to him.”

The Methodist scholar Adam Clarke wrote with reference to 2 Chronicles 29:25.

But were it even evident, which it is not, either from this or any other place in the sacred writings, that instruments of music were prescribed by Divine authority under the law, could this be adduced with any semblance of reason, that they ought to be used in Christian worship? No: the whole spirit, soul, and genius of the Christian religion are against this: and those who know the Church of God best, and what constitutes its genuine spiritual state, know that these things have been introduced as a substitute for the life and power of religion; and that where they prevail most, there is least of the power of Christianity. Away with such portentous baubles from the worship of that infinite Spirit who requires his followers to worship him in spirit and in truth, for to no such worship are those instruments friendly.”

In connection with Psalms 42:4, Charles Spurgeon wrote:

Here are the facts. The instrument was not taken out of worship; rather, the instrument was an innovation brought into assemblies. On Christ’s authority, congregational singing of spiritual songs is what belongs in the church.”

John L. Girardeau’s strong opposition among the Presbyterians to the instrument included this statement:

It is almost inconceivable that the majority of the officers and members of the Presbyterian Church can have abandoned the consecrated principle that a divine warrant is needed for every element which enters into the worship of God’s house (197). What a degradation to supplant the intelligent song of the whole congregation by … the blowing off of wind from inanimate bellows and pipes! We might as well pray by machinery as praise by it (272).”

Church history is very clear, the instrument was not taken out of worship; rather, the instrument was BROUGHT IN and it was TAUGHT IN by MEN. Jesus said – and I believe it – that such worship is VAIN. On Christ’s authority, congregational singing of spiritual songs is what belongs in the church.

1Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 5:18, 19; Colossians 3:16

Why do we need instrumental music?

……we’ve god God’s instruments?

It has been said that Mozart considered the human voice to more nearly approach perfection in music than any instrument. As a man, unable to carry a tune in a bucket, I agree.

The arguments for using instrumental music in worship go like this………

  • It enhances the worship
  • the Bible doesn’t say we can’t (note all the “not”ty words)
  • We enjoy worship better
  • We will attract more people if we have a band (the hip hop church
  • They used instruments in the Old Testament

What is the problem with these arguments? Can you see it? Non of them appeal to the New Testament for their reasoning. Without boring you in this post with the entire study of how to determine scriptural authority, I will appeal to just one.

That which God specifies, automatically negates all other options.

This is a very common explanation for all of us. We use this reasoning every day. If you say to your kid, “Bring me a cup of coffee”, and he brings you a cup of coffee AND a coke, has he obeyed you? If you use the reasoning above, then yes. You must drink both beverages.

  • The coke enhances the drinking of coffee (opinion)
  • You didn’t tell him NOT to bring you a coke
  • You enjoy coke don’t you?

Obviously we would disagree with that. Then why do we fail to see the same line of logic is flawed when looking into the scriptures? Let me prove this point using the Bible. In 2King 5, Naaman was told by Elisha to go and dip seven times in the Jordan river. Look at his response…..

2Ki 5:11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. KJV

What did Naaman suggest he do instead of obeying the words of the man of God?

  • I thought…..come out….stand….call on the name of the Lord…..stike his hand.
  • Are not the rivers of Damascus BETTER?
  • May I not wash in them?

We see the very same reasoning today. “I think”, “Wouldn’t this be better than that?” Would the instrument be better? Sure, if we were appealing to the authority of man, but using the instrument fails in one regard. It disobeys God.

God said………..

  • Ac 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
  • Ro 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.
  • 1Co 14:15 ¶ What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
  • Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
  • Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
  • Heb 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
  • Jas 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

All would agree that when we worship, we must all sing. The basic command of “singing” is unchangeable. The disagreement and division enters in when we want to include a particular style of instrument. We divide, even within a denomination when the instrument is added. Some desire a “contemporary” worship, others desire a more “modern” worship and still others want a “hip hop” church. What about a cowboy worship singing just country songs? How about blue grass? What about Beatles music? If not, why not?

Your next question will be this, “So, Spencer, you just want worship to be dry and boring right?”

I’ll answer that question when you answer this one…..Will you become angry at the message of God when it contradicts with the way YOU think?

Isa 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.



Borger, Tx

Ask me how to make your calling and election sure. 2Pet 1:10