Instruments in Church Worship

An important and serious question directed to members of churches of Christ is, “Why don’t you worship with instruments?” With every opportunity, we want to be “ready to give a defense to everyone” in order to appropriately express biblical truth (1 Peter 3:15).

People frequently want to go back to the Old Testament, in passages such as Psalm 33:1-2 and 81:1-4, to get authority for instrumental music, but this cannot be so. Observe in Psalm 81:3-4 when it says, “Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, At the full moon, on our solemn feast day. For this is a statute for Israel, A law of the God of Jacob.” The commandment to play the instruments was an ordinance for Israel, not for the church in Christ’s time!

There are several New Testament scriptures that show what disciples of Jesus did when praising God: they sang! Two of them, Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:19, instruct the Christian: “teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Churches of Christ refuse instruments in worship because the Bible doesn’t recognize them.

So what is your attitude toward authority? How meticulous are you to follow the Lord’s commands? Noah was very accurate in building the ark (Genesis 6:22; 7:5), and this is the example we should imitate. Be content in what God directs, and don’t seek to add what He doesn’t approve.

Kyle Campbell

Bible Lectureship

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