Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 6, 1966

Let Us Prove All Things

I. B. Jimison

I would like to see more articles and tracts on the instrumental music question stressing the need for New Testament authority, as did Brother Luther Blackmon in his recent fine article.

Since I came from a Christian Church background, some of the arguments used by brethren to convince me of the error in using the instrument only tended to prevent me from seeing the truth sooner. This has bothered me for quite some time, especially after reading some of the tracts written by brethren on the subject. I fear these tracts have hindered some from accepting the truth. Could it be that our tendency to misuse Old Testament texts has become so much tradition among members of the Church of Christ that we use them without realizing what we are doing?

Notice page seven of Brother Cecil B. Douthitt's tract entitled "Music Divinely Appointed for Christian Worship":

In 2 Chron. 29:25, 26, the cymbal, psalteries and harps in the house of God "according to the commandment of David", are mentioned in contradistinction to the commandments of God...... It is obvious that David brought these instruments into the worship of his own accord and without God's approval.

What does the scripture say? We are quick to show our denominational friends that we usually cannot separate belief and baptism in Mark 16:16, nor repentance and baptism in Acts 2:38. Why can we separate David from God, the king's seer and Nathan the prophet in 2 Chron. 29:25? Note especially the last part of the verse, "For the commandment was of Jehovah by his prophets" (A. S. V.) Brother Douthitt says the commandment of David was mentioned in contradistinction to the commandments of God. The Bible says it was a commandment of God, by his prophets.

None of us fail to understand that when Moses or any other prophet commanded anything under God's direction, their commands were the Lord's commands. It appears plain to me that in this case the instruments were commanded of the Lord.

Another tract I have on the subject by T. Eugene Milholland, "The Kind of Music God Wants" also quotes only the first part of 2 Chron. 29:25. The only tract I have found that I feel free to use is "Instrumental Music" by William S. Irvine. It is one of the "Know the Truth" series.

Another point which I believe to be at fault is the claim that the instruments are always referred to as the musical instruments of David. They often are, but 1 Chron.16:42 calls them musical instruments of God in the King James version. The American Standard reads instruments for the songs of God. 2 Chron. 7:6 calls them instruments of music of Jehovah. Notice that in 2 Chron. 5:13, the glory of Jehovah, in the form of a cloud, came and filled the temple when the sound of the instruments was loud.

In view of all of this, I find it hard to believe that the Lord was too displeased with the instruments at that time. 1 Chron. 23:4 tells us David made the instruments to praise the Lord with, not 'unto himself' as many believe Amos 6 says. My understanding of that text is that those Amos speaks of invented instruments like (similar to) Davids', but unto themselves rather than the Lord, Their songs and lazy, self-centered lives in general are being condemned also.

Why do we need to try to teach people that God was so displeased with the music of old? Whether he was or not has no bearing on whether we, under the new covenant, can use it.

My apologies to the writers of the tracts mentioned. If I knew their addresses, I would send them a personal copy of this. I pray that they will understand that it is not them personally I am criticizing. A large majority of the brethren use the same arguments.

This is my first, and probably last, attempt to write an article of any kind, but this has posed such a problem to me at times that I felt it needful. If I am in error in any way, I would very much appreciate someone writing and explaining such to me.

-1104 No. 11th St. Payette, Idaho