Does the Church of Christ Believe In Using Music in Worship? by Harold Hancock

Yes! We sing.

Singing is a regular part of our worship assemblies; many also sing hymns when they are alone or in small groups.

3 Good Reasons To Sing!

1) We sing to praise God. We are encouraged to "offer up the sacrifice of praise to God continually that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name" (Hebrews 13:15). When Paul and Silas were in jail at Philippi, they sang praises unto God (Acts 16:25).

2) We sing to teach and admonish others. Paul wrote, "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" (Colossians 3:16).

3) Singing is also a way of expressing the joy that we have in the Lord. James wrote, "Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray'. Is any among you merry? Let him sing psalms" (James 5:13). We encourage people to sing in worship and to sing for the right reasons.

We do not use mechanical instruments of music in our worship.

While we sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in worship to God, we do not use mechanical instruments such as pianos, organs, etc. to accompany our singing. We omit these instruments in worship not because we do not enjoy the sounds of them. nor because we want to be antagonistic and quarrelsome with our religious neighbors, but as a matter of conviction and Biblical authority (Matthew 21:23-27). The New Testament does not instruct us to use mechanical instruments in worship and there are no examples in the New Testament of Christians using them in worship.

New Testament commands and examples of singing:

Matthew 26:30 "And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. "(See also Mark
14:26).
Acts 16:25 "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them."
Romans 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."
1Corinthians 14:15 "what is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also."
Ephesians 5:19' "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord."
Colossians 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."
Hebrews 2:12 "Saying I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of die church will I sing praise unto thee.
James 5:13 "Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

We do not wish to be presumptuous and assume that God will accept mechanical instruments along with our singing in worship. The only way we know the mind of God is by His revelation to us through His word (1 Corinthians 2:10-13). The New Testament is silent on the use of mechanical instruments being used in worship.

Mechanical instruments were used by some in the Old Testament.

There were instructions for the use of mechanical instruments in the worship in the Old Testament and, also, examples in the Old Testament of people using these instruments in their worship of God (2 Chronicles 29:25), but they are notably absent from the teachings of the New Testament. The Old Testament was "nailed to the cross" and is no longer in effect (Colossians 2:14); the New Testament is our standard of authority today (Hebrews 1:1,2). It teaches us how to be saved and how to worship God acceptably. Many things were commanded under the Old Testament that are not taught today and which are not acceptable under the New Testament-- animal sacrifices, burning of incenses, keeping the Sabbath (Saturday) holy. We cannot use mechanical instruments in worship today just because they are found in the Old Testament.

Will there be harps in heaven?

At least three passages in the book of Revelation mention harps (Revelation 5:8; 14:2; 15:2). Some have assumed that there will be harps in heaven and therefore, we can use mechanical instruments in worshipping God while we are here on earth. One should remember, however, that much of Revelation is written in figurative language. Was there a real vial full of odors which were the prayers of the saints (5:8)? Was the voice from heaven thunder or as thunder (14:2)? Was the harp real (5:8), or was it a voice (14:2) that was melodious like the music of harps? One version states plainly, "the voice which I heard was as the voice of harpers harping with their harps" (14:2, ASV). Even if there were literal harps in heaven, that fact would still not authorize us to use mechanical instruments in worship on earth. If so, why were they not used by the early church?

Mechanical instruments are not an aid.

Mechanical music in worship is more than an aid; it is an addition. Perhaps, the following illustration will help make the point clear. Noah was commanded to build the ark of gopher wood. Noah could have used a saw or some other tools to help build the ark. These tools would have only aided Noah in building the ark of gopher wood. But Noah could not have used oak wood in the construction of the ark. This would have changed God's command. The ark would have no longer been just gopher wood. So also, we may use books or song leaders to help us sing, but we cannot add another kind of music such as mechanical instruments to our worship. The command from God is sing with grace and melody in our hearts (Colossians 3:16Ephesians 5:19). We cannot add to nor take away from the word of God (Revelation 22:18,19).

Yes, members of the church of Christ do believe in music in worship, but the music God wants in worship is to be from the heart; it is speaking (Ephesians 5:19), it can teach and admonish (Colossians 3:16), and it can be done with understanding (1 Corinthians 14:15). It is singing!. Hence, we sing, but do not use mechanical instruments such as pianos and organs in our worship.

 




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