Vol.I No.VIII Pg.5
August 1964

Use Your Bible ......

Robert F. Turner


True Christians are committed to the principle that Christ is their king, and that their worship and service to Him must be authorized in His word. They believe they have no right to "speak where He has not spoken" (GOD'S WORK IN GOD'S WAY) hence, seek to answer religious questions by citing divine will.

We are not under the Old Testament (2 Cor.3:11-18) nor is our worship determined by figurative descriptions of heaven (Rev. 14:2); so David's harp and heavenly "voices" have no bearing upon our subject. We are concerned with New Testament authority for music in worship, and here present all passages that deal with this subject. Perhaps you can decide why we sing and do not play.

Matt. 26:30 "when they had sung a hymn" Mark 14:26 "when they had sung a hymn" Acts 16:25 "prayed, and sang praises unto God" Rom. 15:9 "confess to thee ++ and sing unto thy name" 1 Cor. 14:15 "Sing with the spirit, and ++ understanding" Eph. 5:19 "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns,

and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." Col. 3:16 "teaching and admonishing one another in

psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." Heb. 2:12 "in the midst of the church will I sing" Jas. 5:13 "Is any merry? let him sing psalms"

To avoid the force of these passages some appeal to PSALLO, the Greek word translated "sing" ("making melody" Eph.5:19) because in earlier Greek it meant to "pluck, twang, as the strings of a harp, or carpenter's chalk line." But its N. T. meaning was "sing" as the translators testify. Further, if it does mean "play a harp" ALL worshipers would have to do so in order to obey these commands. No "psalloing" would be acceptable without the instrument.

Appeals to popularity, love of the arts church traditions, etc., fall far short of providing divine authority for instrumental music in the worship. Secular history points to 666 A.D. as the date for the first use of mechanical music in worship by church authority-- and that is far from God's way.

Our plea, with reference to mechanical music in worship, is exactly like that for congregational independence and recognition of the work of the church. We believe divine authority is established by precept, approved example, and necessary inference. The only safe course is within these bounds.