Music in Church

1 Corinthians 6:12 (KJV)

12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

 

I was raised Church of Christ. In the Church of Christ churches, music is looked upon as being evil. Because God didn’t tell us to do it, therefore, it’s pure evil. I’ve been to several of those churches throughout my life, and it seems that all of them at some point were split over whether or not to allow the use of musical instruments. By split I mean some or most of the members left to start a new church where the only difference would literally be that they played musical instruments.

Back in April of this year (2014), I moved from Texas to Ohio and started going to a baptist church. They play instruments. The first couple weeks I was so uncomfortable that I sat there rigid expecting the place to be destroyed any second. But soon I found that I preferred the music. It enhanced the worship for me. It didn’t hinder the worship.

Romans 14:2-3 (KJV)

For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

Paul isn’t talking about literal herbs. The context is talking about worshiping God. Verses 2 and 3, and the verse I opened this with, are basically saying, “If it enhances your worship without hindering it, and doesn’t go against the Bible, go ahead and do it”. You’re saved by believing in Christ and being baptized, not by playing music or singing A Capella.

Besides, Paul instructed us to use instruments. At least, he said to use string instruments. What? You didn’t know that? That’s because you don’t know Greek.

Ephesians 5:19 (KJV)

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Speaking to yourselves in psalms. The original Greek, psalmos (or ψαλμός) means “a striking (of musical strings)“. So Paul, through whom God spoke, tells us to strike a sting instrument and sing spiritual songs.

So we’ve seen here that not only does scripture give us the freedom do enhance our worship as long as it doesn’t hinder, but we’re also instructed to use string instruments.

6 thoughts on “Music in Church

  1. Hey Trevor,
    I’m glad I happened upon your site.
    I, too, was raised in a Church of Christ. In fact, I still attend one. We, and those in our particular fellowship (which extends from IN to LA), do not however adhere or claim a denomination. We are the Church (as in body) of Christ and consider all born-again believers as such, regardless of the name on the outside of their door. We also believe in baptism as an important part of God’s plan of salvation.
    We too are a capella. There are members of other congregations that are as you said, firm believers that instrumental music is evil. However, we are not as strict where I attend presently. On occasion we will have a special singing where the singer will use background music, karaoke-style. We also have a young girl who is breaking out in the country gospel scene who is accompanied by her dad on acoustic guitar.
    As long as they do not create a chaotic, rock-concert type atmosphere, we are okay with instruments. But, personally, I prefer the old hymns sang in harmony, using the instruments God gave us-our voices.

    Maranatha,
    Marcia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, you just touched on something I plan to post about soon. About denominations. Thanks for reminding me. 🙂

      And yeah, my church does piano and acoustic guitar, which I love. It’s peaceful. I think when you get those “rock concert-like” churches is what I was talking about with the “hindering”. I’ve been to a couple because friends asked me to join them, and everyone is all about rocking out and is distracted by the rock band performing on stage. Keep it simple! lol

      Thanks for commenting. 😀

      Like

  2. Of course, the typical CoC response to that is that Paul restricted the “strumming” to be done “in the heart”.

    The passage reads: speaking … psalms (psalmois), … singing and making melody (psallontes) in the heart.

    Of course, if you’re going to push the point that the making of melody must be done in the heart, and that this excludes making melody anywhere else such as in a piano or a guitar, then it seems to also exclude making melody with the lips and vocal cords. Interestingly, this very verse does actually day “speak … psalms”; it doesn’t say to “sing” them, except in your heart, to the Lord.

    There are several ways of reading this passage; the A Cappella interpretation is not airtight, despite the claims of its adherents.

    Which, to my mind, makes this one of those “disputable matters” as discussed in Romans 14, a passage to which you rightfully refer. If you’re fully convinced in your own mind, great. If you’re not, don’t. And don’t force your beliefs/practices on those who can’t agree in faith.

    Like

  3. Of course, the typical CoC response to that is that Paul restricted the “strumming” to be done “in the heart”.
    The passage reads: speaking … psalms (psalmois), … singing and making melody (psallontes) in the heart.
    Of course, if you’re going to push the point that the making of melody must be done in the heart, and that this excludes making melody anywhere else such as on a piano or a guitar, then it seems to also exclude making melody with the lips and vocal cords. Interestingly, this very verse does actually say “speak … psalms”; it doesn’t say to “sing” them, except in your heart, to the Lord.
    There are several ways of reading this passage; the A Cappella interpretation is not airtight, despite the claims of its adherents.
    Which, to my mind, makes this matter one of those “disputable matters” as discussed in Romans 14, a passage to which you rightfully refer. If you’re fully convinced in your own mind, great. If you’re not, don’t. And don’t force your beliefs/practices on those who can’t agree in faith.

    Like

    • You’re looking at it as though the only way to speak to someone is with your mouth. But I speak with you on Facebook, Kent. You can speak to someone with body language, and music can speak to you.

      Like

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