THE CHANGE MOVEMENT #7

THE CHANGE MOVEMENT #7

Church Music

INTRODUCTION

A. Another way that many are trying to make changes in the
Lord’s church is pertaining to its music

1. Instrumental music always seems to loom in the
background

2. No doubt a survey of the younger generation among
churches of Christ would reveal that they do not consider
the instrument in church worship to be objectionable

3. Prominent voices among the change agents have certainly
declared their conviction  that instrumental music should
not be treated as an issue of fellowship

4. But this position is logically equivalent to sanctioning the
use of the instrument

B. However, the older generation has done a commendable job
of emphasizing  the unacceptability of instrumental music to
the extent that for the most part the younger generation has
shown an unwillingness to make the instrument the battle
line.

1. Instead, the change agents have turned their attention to
the realm of “special music” – i.e. solos, trios, and choirs

2. Those who are promoting “special music” are clearly
causing division in the church

3. Yet they are masters at acting innocent in this regard while
placing the blame on their opponents

4. The change agents are now saying that the New Testament
not only allows “special music” but promotes it

5. As we look into this topic let us begin by briefly
reviewing the…

DISCUSSION

A. THE INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC QUESTION

1. In any study we must study all the scriptures that pertain
to the subject that we are studying

a. The New Testament verses discussing music in worship
in the church

1) Matthew 26:30

2) Acts 16:25

3) Romans 15:9

4) 1 Corinthians 14:15, 26

5) Ephesians 5:19

6) Colossians 3:16

7) Hebrews 2:12

8) Hebrews 13:15

9) James 5:13

b. This is how you study any topic in the Bible – you gather
all the information from Scripture, which will eliminate
human opinions and ideas

c. Notice that each verse mentions “singing” or the
“fruit of the lips” – notice what is not mentioned:
mechanical instruments of music

2. The Law of Exclusion

a. We use this law every day of our lives:

1) Men and women rest room …

2) Ordering food at a restaurant …

3) Sending our kids to the store …

b. Biblical examples

1) Sacrifice of Isaac (Gen. 22) … excluded Ishmael

2) Ark – Gopher wood (Gen. 6) … excludes pine, oak,
etc.

3) Lord’s Supper – unleavened bread and fruit of the vine
(Mt. 26:26-29) … Excludes hamburgers and cokes

4) Baptism – water (Acts 8:36; 10:45) … excludes oil,
gasoline, etc.

5) God said sing (Eph. 5:19) … that automatically
excludes mechanical instruments of music

B. 1 Corinthians 14:15, 26

1. Some have argued that they find permission for special
music in 1 Corinthians 14

a. Many are saying that the phrase “every one of you hath a
psalm” give authority for solos in the worship assembly

b. An ambiguous allusion to Christians “having a psalm” is
flimsy and dangerous justification for pushing special
music in the church today – especially in light of clearer
passages in Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16

2. The phrase “every one of you hath a psalm” most likely
has reference to an individual who has, by inspiration,
composed a suitable worship song

a. There is evidence of inspired songs in the early church,
as alluded to by Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and
Eusebius

b. A “psalm” is one form of inspired writing, and may or
may not be put to music

c. Some have translated the Greek word as hymn
(NIV, RSV) – a misleading translation, there is another
Greek word for hymn

C. Colossians 3:16

1. According to the Greek language, the “teaching,”
“admonishing,” and the “singing” are not separate,
unrelated activities.

a. All three clarify how to be filled with the word of
Christ, and therefore are connected with each other

b. When Christians are assembled together and are
engaged in singing together, in that act they are likewise
teaching and admonishing one another

c. Paul’s reference to “singing” is his way of completing
and clarifying his initial instructions regarding
“teaching” and “admonishing”

d. “in you” is plural – thus, this is congregational – not a
solo

2. The New Testament is actually far more specific with
regard to singing than many people realize

a. In addition to authorizing only congregational
singing, Colossians 3:16 places restrictions on:

1) the format of music (i.e. vocal, verbal)

2) the style of music (psalms, hymns, spiritual songs)

3) the object of music (to God)

4) the attitude of the singer (with gratitude)

5) the condition of the singer (in the heart)

b. Paul stresses that the entire congregation is to sing
together, admonishing each other

D. Ephesians 5:19

1. The plural subject in this verse is the entire congregation
– not just a portion of the congregation

a. The entire congregation is to participate in this action –
the speaking and singing

b. Solos by definition omit the rest of the congregation

2. “Speaking to one another” does not mean that some
members are listening silently while others are singing

a. Those listening are to be also singing

b. The premium being placed on listening is erroneous for
several reasons

1) Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 do not include
listening as one of the present participles

2) The members of a choir are singing at the same time
and so, according to change agents, cannot listen to
each others

3) It is not true that singing prevents one from
listening

c. No one is suggesting that it is unscriptural to
sometimes worship while listening.

1) We do so in prayer and during the sermon

2) But during the singing God has said that all should
sing and listen

CONCLUSION

A. John 4:24

B. We must worship God’s way

 

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About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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