As I continue my quest to offend everyone…..
I’d like to begin a little debate of my own. Years ago, I was an active member of the Santa Fe NM Church of Christ. One of the things that I questioned was why we couldn’t have a piano in the building, or even a guitar. Why? There are so many scriptures showing the use of instruments in praising God, why couldn’t we have one? (I can’t say that I ever got a reasonable explanation, either!) For example:
“The priests took their assigned positions, and so did the Levites who were singing, “His faithful love endures forever!” They accompanied the singing with music from the instruments King David had made for praising the Lord . Across from the Levites, the priests blew the trumpets, while all Israel stood.” – 2 Chronicles 7:6 NLT (http://bible.com/116/2ch.7.6.NLT)
I mean, the preacher had a piano in his living room, and we sang hymns around it… but not in the church building??? I grew up with instruments, and had piano and clarinet lessons when I was young. I was NOT accomplished on either one – I can play chopsticks on the piano now – but I certainly made joyful noises.
Also read 2 Samuel 6:5; 1 Chronicles 13:8; Isaiah 38:20; Habakkuk 3:19…
I believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and I believe that it is a literal book. From Genesis 1:1 to Revelations 22:21, is all real and true and God-spoken. I believe that the words Jesus spoke in the NIV supercedes anything in the OT. For example, all of the rules for the Tabernacle become moot with Jesus’ coming, since He is the now the literal and living presence of God on earth. The dietary restrictions laid out in the OT are overridden by God’s words to Peter: “In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” “No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean. ” But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” – Acts of the Apostles 10:12-15 NLT (http://bible.com/116/act.10.12-15.NLT)
We are also freed by Jesus so that we no longer have to make animal sacrifices, and we don’t need an earthly priest to absolve our sins. “And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.” – Hebrews 10:19-22 NLT (http://bible.com/116/heb.10.19-22.NLT)
The point of all this? Jesus did not forbid the use of instruments. He did, however, make this point: “ ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37-40 NLT (http://bible.com/116/mat.22.37-40.NLT)
The way I see it is that it is up to us, individually and collectively as Christians, and within each local body of Christ (His “Church”) to decide if the use of instruments will be a positive or a negative impact on the people attending. I prefer instructions, because although I love to sing praises to the LORD, it helps everyone else if my voice is covered over by instruments! (As an added bonus for me, I have siblings who sing quite nicely, nieces who sing like angels, and more nieces and nephews who play instruments in their respective churches!) You get to decide for yourself.
“And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.” – Revelation 22:19 NLT (http://bible.com/116/rev.22.19.NLT)