Music in Church (Part 4) - Instruments in Heaven; Objections Answered


VI. Musical instruments in heaven 1. It appears that Lucifer was the music minister in heaven prior to his fall (Eze 28:13). A. Tabret n. - 1. A small tabor; a timbrel. B. Tabor n. - 1. The earlier name of the drum; in later use (esp. since the introduction of the name drum in the 16th c.), A small kind of drum, used chiefly as an accompaniment to the pipe or trumpet; a taborin or tabret. C. Timbrel n. - A musical instrument of percussion; a tambourine or the like that could be held up in the hand. D. Pipe n. - I. A musical tube. 1. a. A musical wind-instrument consisting of a single tube of reed, straw, or (now usually) wood, blown by the mouth, such as a flageolet, flute, or oboe. E. Lucifer's church has lots of musical instruments (Rev 18:22). F. False religion, which is devil worship (1Co 10:20), has for millennia been accompanied by musical instruments (Dan 3:7). 2. There is singing in heaven (Rev 5:9; Rev 14:3; Rev 15:3). 3. There are musical instruments in heaven now (Rev 5:8; Rev 14:2; Rev 15:2). 4. But just because something is done in heaven doesn't necessarily mean that God wants it done in His church on earth. A. Things are different in heaven than they are here on earth. i. There is no marriage in heaven (Mat 22:30). ii. The fact that there isn't marriage in heaven is not a basis for concluding that Christians should not marry in this life. iii. There is no sorrow, pain, tears, or death in heaven (Rev 7:17; Rev 21:4). iv. The fact that there is not sorrow in heaven doesn't mean that Christians can't have sorrow on earth. B. Our worship in the church must be regulated by the commandments that God has given in His word (Joh 4:23-24 c/w Joh 17:17). C. God nowhere commands nor authorizes us to use musical instruments in the NT church. What happens in heaven is immaterial. VII. Objections 1. Objection #1: Well sure there is no commandment or example in the NT to use musical instruments in the church, but God didn't tell us that we can't use them. A. When God tells us what do to, contained within that commandment is a prohibition from doing anything different. B. By telling us to use unleavened bread for communion, God has therefore prohibited us from using steak, potato chips, poptarts, celery, or ice cream for the Lord's Supper. C. When God commands us to sing in church to worship Him, that excludes using musical instruments to do so. D. See Section V, 2 on the argument from silence. 2. Objection #2: Musical instruments were used in worship in the Old Testament. A. If this argument proves anything, it proves too much. B. If musical instruments are acceptable in the NT church because they were used in the OT, then so are the following: i. Burning Incense (Exo 30:7-9) ii. Observance of the Day of Atonement (Lev 16) iii. Daily animal sacrifices (Num 28:1-6) iv. Observance of the sabbath day (Exo 20:8) v. A separate priesthood (Exo 28:1) C. The Old Testament is abolished, so the only parts of it that are still binding on Christians today are the parts that were carried over into the New Testament, and instruments were not carried over (see Section V,1). 3. Objection #3: Miriam led the women of Israel in singing with timbrels and dancing in celebration of their deliverance from the Egyptians through the Red Sea (Exo 15:20-21). A. This was simply a celebration of God's deliverance by some of the women in Israel. B. It happened after Israel finished singing the song of Moses (Exo 15:1-19). C. Some things to remember: i. Miriam was not commanded by God to play the timbrel while Israel sang the song of Moses (and it appears that she didn't do it until after the congregation was done singing). ii. This was not given in the law of Moses as an example to be followed (the law had not been given to Moses yet, and using timbrels to worship God was not commanded in the law when it was later given). iii. Even if using timbrels in worship was part of the law of Moses (which it was not), it was not carried over into the NT (see Section V). D. If Miriam's singing with timbrels is a pattern that should be followed in the NT church, here are some of the logical implications of that. i. It was only women who sang along with the timbrels, so only women should sing along with musical instruments in the NT church. ii. They used only timbrels; so only timbrels (not pianos, organs, or other instruments) should be used in the NT church. iii. They danced while they sang with timbrels, so church members must dance when they sing in church. iv. If an error proves anything, it proves too much. 4. Objection #4: If it's wrong to add musical instruments to our singing, then it's wrong to use song books which are not commanded to be used. A. The distinction between an aid and an addition needs to be understood. i. An aid helps us to keep the commandment. ii. An addition adds to and changes the commandment. B. God has commanded that we sing together in church. i. When we sing, God hears our voices. ii. Accompanying singing with musical instruments is an addition to the commandment. a. When we sing with musical instruments, God hears singing and the sounds of instruments. b. Therefore, the addition of instruments changes what God hears. C. Using hymnals or song books are not an addition to the commandment, but an aid in keeping it. i. When we sing words from a song book, God hears only singing, which is what He commanded. ii. The aid of song books therefore doesn't change what God hears. D. Another example of an aid versus an addition. i. Using a microphone and amplifier to help the congregation to hear the sermon is not an addition to the commandment to "preach the word", but is rather an aid to help keep the commandment. ii. But for the preacher to put on a Broadway show or a skit to convey the word of God through acting would be an addition to the commandment to "preach the word." 5. Objection #5: I am playing an instrument in church to glorify God. A. Breaking the law of God is not glorifying to God, but rather dishonoring to Him (Rom 2:23). B. If you love God, keep His commandments (Joh 14:15). C. We glorify God by keeping His commandments (Joh 15:8-10), not by breaking or disregarding them. D. Since God didn't tell you to play an instrument in church, are you glorifying Him by doing so, or are you glorifying yourself? 6. Objection #6: Instruments help us stay in tune when we sing. A. That might by true, but it does not justify breaking God's commandment. B. God is pleased with a joyful noise (Psa 98:4), even if it doesn't sound the best. C. Noise n. - 1. a. Loud outcry, clamour, or shouting; din or disturbance made by one or more persons. 7. Objection #7: Instruments make the music sound beautiful. A. To you or God? B. Given the fact that God only commanded us to sing in church, apparently hearing our voices alone must be beautiful to Him. 8. Objection #8: If we got rid of musical instruments, no one would come to our church. A. If people won't come to a church because there are no musical instruments, then those people shouldn't be in church. B. So kill two birds with one stone: get rid of the instruments and the goats that come to be entertained by them. 9. Objection #9: God has given me musical talent. Why wouldn't He want me to use it to worship Him in church? A. God wants to be worshiped in spirit and in truth (Joh 4:23-24) exactly how He has commanded us to in the New Testament (Mat 28:20; 1Co 11:2). B. If that argument proves anything, it proves too much. i. Should a talented dairy farmer worship God by milking cows in church and drinking the milk for communion? ii. Should a talented chef worship God by cooking pizza in church and eating it for the Lord's Supper? iii. Should a talented podiatrist worship God by performing foot surgery on a brother while washing his feet in church? 10. Objection #10: God doesn't care whether we use instruments or not; He only cares about what's in our hearts. A. God wants worshiped the way that He has commanded us to (Deut 12:32). B. Sincerity is not a substitute for doing what God said (Lev 10:1-2; 1Ch 13:9-10 c/w 1Ch 15:13). 11. Objection #11: Nearly all churches use musical instruments in church, so it must be okay. A. Popularity is not a determination of truth. B. Most people take the broad way that leads to destruction; very few are on the narrow, righteous path (Mat 7:13-14). C. In Elijah's day, the entire nation save 7,000 people were Baal worshippers (Rom 11:4). D. In Noah's day the whole world was wrong (1Pe 3:20; 2Pe 2:5). E. In the first century, five out of the seven churches Jesus wrote to had errors in them (Rev 2-3). F. Just because nearly all churches use musical instruments doesn't make it right. VIII. The burden of proof for having musical instruments in the NT church is on those who want them, not on those who don't. 1. Using the NT alone, please answer the following questions: A. Which instruments should be used in the NT church? B. How many instruments should be used? C. What is the minimum number of instruments to be used? D. What is the maximum number of instruments to be used? E. Which instruments are acceptable? F. Which instruments are not acceptable? G. Who is to play the instruments? 2. The fact that there is no instruction in the NT regarding the use and regulation of musical instruments is further evidence that they are not to be used in church. 3. If God wanted instruments to be used in church He would have specified which, how many, and who is to play them.
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