Instrumental Music In Worship

  1. People often ask, "Why do you not use it?" A good reply, "Why do you use it?" Since they are using it, they are the ones responsible for providing authority for it.

  2. Why we don't use it: the Lord did not ordain it. Matt. 26:30; Mark 14:26; Acts 16:25; Rom. 15:9; 1 Cor. 14:15; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 2:12; James 5:13

  3. It is forbidden since it is excluded. (See chart below - # 2)

  4. Many N.T. principles show that we cannot act without law. (See chart below - # 3)

  5. The only authority for it is the Roman Catholic Church. (See article below - # 4)

  6. To act where God has not spoken is iniquity. Matt. 7:23; 2 Thess. 2:5-12

  7. A false teaching or doctrine condemns. Titus 1:13-14; Matt. 15:9; Col. 2:8,18

Chart #2

Gen. 6:14 (Wood?) "Gopher"

Excluded: Elm, Cedar, Pine, Oak

Num. 19:2-3 (Animal?) "Red heifer"

Excluded: Sheep, Deer, Goat

Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16 (Music?) "Sing"

Excluded: Guitar, Drums, Organ, Piano

Chart #3

What If It's Not In The Scriptures?

1. It is not a good work - 2 Tim. 3:16-17

2. It does not pertain to life and godliness - 2 Pet. 1:3

3. It causes one to not have God - 2 John 9

4. It is not authorized by Christ - Col. 3:1

5. It cannot be done by faith - 2 Cor. 5:7; Rom. 10:17; 14:23

6. It is going beyond what is written - 1 Cor. 4:6

7. It is not as the oracles of God - 1 Pet. 4:11

8. It is not according to the pattern - Heb. 8:5

9. It does not pertain to the seed of the kingdom - Luke 8:11; Matt. 13:18-19

10. It is not of righteousness - Rom. 1:16-17; 10:1-4

11. It is of "no such commandment" - Acts 15:24

12. It is iniquity - Matt. 7:22-23

13. It is of men - Matt. 21:25; 15:9

14. It is not of truth - John 4:24; 17:17

15. It is another gospel - Gal. 1:6-9

16. It is adding to the Word of God - Rev. 22:18-19; Deut. 4:2; Prov. 30:5-6

Article #4

(Editor's Note: The following article on Instrumental Music in Worship was written by David J. Riggs).

The New Testament of Christ does not include instrumental music as a part of the worship of Christians. They were used many times in the Old Testament (2 Chron. 29:20-28; Psalm 150), but the New Testament is completely silent regarding them. Singing and making melody in the heart is the only thing that is mentioned (Rom. 15:9; 1 Cor. 14:15; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 2:12; James 5:13). Since there are no passages in the New Testament authorizing mechanical instruments of music in worship, it is wrong and sinful to use them. We cannot go beyond the things that are written and be pleasing to God (1 Cor. 4:6; 2 John 9). When we add the traditions and doctrines of men, our worship becomes vain (Matt. 15:9; Col. 2:8).

The following quotations show that instrumental music was introduced by the Roman Catholic Church.

"Pope Vitalian is related to have first introduced organs into some of the churches of Western Europe, about 670..." (The American Cyclopedia, Vol. 12, p. 688).
"In the Greek church the organ never came into use. But after the eighth century it became more and more common in the Latin church; not, however without opposition from the side of the Monks...The Reform Church discarded it; and though the church of Basel very early introduced it, it was in other places admitted only sparingly and after long hesitation." (Scaff-Herzog Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 280).
"Pope Vitalianus in 658 introduced the organ into the Roman churches to accompany the singers." (London Encyclopedia, Vol. 15, p. 280).

Consequently, the only authority for instruments of music in worship is the Roman Catholic Church. Our denominational friends and neighbors no doubt do not realize they are blindly following the Catholic Church in this matter. Christ alone is the head of his church (Col. 1:18) and He alone has the right to state what should be done in worship. Since His New Testament does not authorized mechanical instruments, they cannot be used.

What causes men today to choose an organ or piano as the instrument to be used? Why not play a trumpet or a drum? Most prefer the organ because it seems to them to be more suitable to the mood of worship. In other words, men have chosen the instrument they want purely on the basis of what best excites their physical emotions to a temperament they feel is better for worship. The whole idea is based on what seems best to their own physical senses, personal desires and tastes.

The worship of the New Testament is a spiritual worship in which one pours out his soul in adoration and reverence to God. It is not a carnal worship devised to please the physical senses of man. Man does not have a right to choose what seems best or what pleases him in his worship to God. "God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24).

A television documentary on foreign countries showed a family that had a rotation wheel in their home which was used with praying. Supposedly, when the wheel was spun, it sent the worshiper's prayers up to God. Actually, there is no difference in praying or singing with an instrument. Both violate the principles of faith (2 Cor. 5:7; Rom. 10:17), make void the word of God (Mark 7:13), and reject Christ's authority (Col. 3:17). We emphasize again, Christ alone is the head of His church (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18) and He alone has the right to state what should be done in worship. Let us love and respect Him and abide in His Word.