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IS THERE BIBLICAL AUTHORITY FOR INSTRUMENTAL MUSICIN WORSHIP?



It is impossible to walk by faith, and at the same time, use mechanical music in worship. Man’s relationship to God involves the issues of faith. “But without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) In matters of religion, man must walk by faith. “For we walk by faith, not by sight”. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Man walks by faith when, and only when, he does that which God has authorized in His word. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)


Inasmuch as there is not a single passage of scripture authorizing the use of mechanical instruments in our worship, it cannot be done out of faith.


The Bible teaches or authorizes in four ways: (1) Statement of fact. Genesis 1:1 is an example of this type of authorization. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (2) Direct command. Mark 16:15 is an example of a direct command. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” A direct command may be generic or specific in nature. A generic command is a command where the Lord has told us to do a thing, but has not specified any particular way of doing it. In Mark 16:15, “go” is generic since we are not told how to go. We can walk, ride, or fly and still be going. A specific command is a command where the Lord has told us to do a certain thing in a specific way.


In Exodus 25:31 Moses commanded the people to make a “candlestick of gold.” The word “gold” is specific as to the metal to be used. Brass or silver would not do. A command may be both generic and specific. For example, “go” is specific in mark 16:15 as to what is to be done, but is generic as to how the going is to be done. (3) Approved apostolic example. For an example to be binding, there must be a background command behind the example. Acts 20:7 is an approved example for observing the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week. Luke 22:19 is the command that enforces the example. (4) Necessary inferences. There are inescapable deductions from statements in the Bible that are not commanded. For example, water is never commanded for baptism, yet we conclude that it is implied that water is the element to be used. (Acts 10:47-48; John 3:5; Ephesians 5:26)


There is not a direct statement of fact, direct command either generic or specific, approved example or inference from scripture that authorizes the use of a mechanical instrument in worship.


We must speak where the Bible speaks, and we must remain silent where the Bible is silent. (1 Peter 4:11; Galatians 1:6-9) We must exclude those things not taught in the scriptures.


When God commanded Noah to build the ark of gopher wood, that specific command excluded all other kinds of wood. (Genesis 6:14) Pine or oak would not do. Noah used what God specified. In Genesis 6:22 we read “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.”


The command to make golden candlesticks excludes any other kind of metal. (Exodus 25:31) If God has said to make candlesticks of metal, any metal would have been acceptable.


If God had commanded His people to make music, that would have been a generic command and all kinds of music, both vocal and mechanical, would have been acceptable. But God used the specific word “sing” which would exclude playing a mechanical instrument.


Join us next week for more discussion on this subject. May the Lord bless you and keep you!


Billy


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