My Thought. . .

Thursday, 07-08-2021

In a recent article a fellow student of God’s word introduced his theme with the following:

The Scriptures tell us what God desires in worship musically, but His instructions never include the use of instruments. Since we are charged to handle Scripture accurately (2 Tim. 2:15), we should review the relevant passages pertaining to musical worship among Christians: And after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives (Matt. 26:30; Mark 14:26).”

The writer wanted to “review the relevant passages” relating to “musical worship AMONG CHRISTIANS.”  The problem with his review is that he started with Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26 to introduce “the relevant passages pertaining to musical worship among Christians”? 

First, the church is made up of Christians, but the church did not begin until Acts 2 which was several weeks AFTER the events of Matthew 26.  Those described in Matthew 26:30 or Mark 14:26 could not be “Christians” because Jesus had not yet been crucified.   They may have been disciples, but they were not yet “Christians.”  Since Jesus had not been crucified, no one in those two passages could be members of “the body of Christ.”  Why?  That “body” would not exist until AFTER Jesus returned to heaven and poured out the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:9-11, 2:1-47).

Second, those who are singing in Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26 are UNDER the Old Testament covenant not the New Testament.  The New Testament cannot exist during the events of Matthew 26/Mark 14 because Jesus’ blood has not yet been shed to ratified that Testament!  Without that shedding of blood there is no remission of sins (Hebrews 9:22).  Since the apostles and Jesus were under the first covenant in Matthew 26/Mark 14, they were authorized to sing with or without an instrument.  When “singing” was mentioned without including the instrument, Jews under that covenant did not argue that the expression “sing” excluded the other.  Since Jesus kept the Law of Moses, he would have sung with or without one.  There are numerous passages in the first covenant (Old Testament) where God’s children sang with or without the instrument.  Why without?  Due to circumstances.  People did not carry a harp with them each time they left the house.  Jesus was a Jew and Jews often accompanied their singing with mechanical instruments of music.  That is a biblical fact which Bible students understand.

Third, for over 1,600 years Jews sang with or without mechanical instruments of music because both practices were authorized.  To infer that Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26 demanded only singing, is ludicrous.  When one begins with a false premise as his foundational proof, he uses false doctrine to build that house.  When that happens, it weakens a person’s arguments and ends up weakening his line of reasoning.

Fourth, if the one being taught notices error at the beginning of his teacher’s presentation, it will be easy to reject the rest of his teaching.  Truth remains truth regardless of who presents it.  It is also true that error remains error regardless of who presents it.  Sometimes an audience may accept what is taught because of their respect for the teacher.  Remember, the respectful may believe what they teach is truth when it is not.  It is the responsibility of those who hear to take heed!  That applies to this article as well.

Fifth, it is possible for an individual to claim that anyone who accompanied his singing with an instrument under the Old Covenant was in violation to that law.  However, most Bible students will identify that position as false.  Even though an individual may be honest and sincere in teaching something he believes is true, it may not be.  Tradition often takes years to be accepted, but once it is, it may also clothe itself in the appearance of being inspired.  It is our responsibility to take heed what we hear, what we believe, and what we teach.