Thursday, October 4, 2012

Instrumental Music

     This article was written by my brother, Jody Sparks, who is writing for another blog, He is 17-years-old, and plans on becoming a preacher. He worked very hard on this article, and I hope you enjoy reading it. 

Something I hear a lot about the church of Christ, is that we don't believe in music because we don't use instrumental music! This simply isn't true! We don't use instrumental music, not because we don't believe in music, 
(I would think that acapella music is still music!) but because we were never authorized to use it. No where in the Bible does it say that we are allowed to use instrumental mus
ic! Many will argue that they use instrumental music, because they are using their gifts to glorify God. They will say, "I have a gift, playing the guitar, and I want to use this gift to glorify God!" Which is great! As it says in Colossians 3:17, "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." But think back to Cain and Able, when Cain offered his sacrifice to God, he offered what God didn't ask of him, and He rejected it! Do you think it was because Cain didn't believe that he was doing good? If he wasn't going to do good, would he have sacrificed to God at all? And if he knew that God wouldn't have accepted his sacrifice, why was he so upset when his sacrifice was rejected? He had the same thinking that people who practice instrumental music today have! "I'm sacrificing to God, why wouldn't He accept it?" People who offer up their "gifts", in worship to God, such as playing the piano, when He didn't ask for it, He will reject it! God, being who He is, should be worshiped according to how He chooses! Got has the right to pick what gifts we can give Him!

The most used argument I've heard though, is "The Bible doesn't say I can't!" which is true. The Bible never comes out and directly says that we cannot use instrumental music. But again, it never says we CAN! If the Bible listed everything we can't do, specifically, the book would be almost endless! Imagine if, at a drive through, you wanted a sandwich. But, you couldn't just tell them that you wanted a sandwich, you had to tell them all of the things on the menu that you didn't want! Can you imagine how long it would take to order? Same thing with the Bible. God tells us what He expects in Ephesians 5:19. "Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" This is where we are told how to sing. But instead of listing everything He expects us NOT to do, He tells us what He expects us to do.

One last argument that I've heard, not as frequently as the others I've mentioned, but maybe you have heard it too, that back then, new converts didn't have the ability to play instruments. Either they didn't have them, or for some other reasons, weren't allowed to. Which again, is false. The Jews used instrumental music all the time in Temple worship! But they did so because they were commanded to! (2 Chronicles 29:25) But when they converted to Christianity, they stopped using instrumental music, because they saw nowhere that they were authorized to do so!

Instrumental music might sound nice to us, but what sounds good to God, is when we obey His commandments. Deuteronomy 4:2 states "You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take away from it..." If God asks for us to sing praises to Him, and we sing praises and we add instrumental music to our singing, is that not adding to His commandments?