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Thread: Non instrumental Worship?

  1. #1

    Non instrumental Worship?

    I was wondering, how someone is able to justify only using your "voice" in regards to worshiping the Lord via music? my main questions stem from these verses.

    Psalm 68:24-26 (King James Version)

    24They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.

    25The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels.

    26Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.
    Psalm 71:22 (King James Version)

    22I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.
    I ask respectfully how you are able to get past verses such as these?
    Fair Haven, Vermont
    24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
    So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
    - Romans 7:24-25
    Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum

  2. #2
    Joshua, without entering into a proper debate on the subject, the cause for refusing instruments in worship is briefly laid out below. If any one has anything to add or to augment this, please feel free.

    Under the Davidic and Temple worship, instruments were commanded. These instruments which accompanied the songs and were played in correlation with the sacrificial worship of the Old Testament could not be refused or neglected without deviating from the command of God. However, we see that this use of instruments was (1.) Positively instituted at a specific time, and (2.) Directly connected with the Temple worship and all its service. In the New Testament worship, (1.) With the temple service and all its appurtenances (including the command to use instruments) being abolished, and (2.) with no positive command given for the use of instruments, we do not use them in our public worship. Thus, such verses above do not present an "obstacle" to the non-instrumentalist, for they are understood in light of their position in the history of redemption: even as the Psalms also make mention of offering sacrifices of bulls, or going up to the temple, etc., which things the New Testament worshiper also does not do, so we are not troubled by the fact that the instruments which accompanied those same discontinued sacrifices have ceased (though we still sing with gladness and joy the Psalms that speak of them).

    The worshiper in the New Testament who does use instruments makes the case for their inclusion as a circumstance, not as an element of worship (i.e., that they either can be or cannot be, insofar as they serve to aid the proper element of singing, and so long as they are used properly, prudently and subordinately unto that end). The worshiper who refuses the instruments finds it difficult to allow that which was formerly a commanded element of worship (instruments) to now be a neutral circumstance.

    Again, I do not seek to debate a position, but I hope the body of non-instrumentalists on the board thinks this to be a fair summary of the position.
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  3. #3
    Thank you for the summary. I myself wasn't going to be doing very much debating unless something occurred to me. I am going to read any reasons and scriptures given forth to consider them, and I of course will assume that those who'm don't think non-instrumental Worship music is vital will probably pop in with a counter argument of sorts I learn good this way, I am able to see both positions at the same time and where they differ and such. However it doesn't occur to me atm any specific "musical" requirement in worshiping the Lord ever being mentioned in the NT, I could be wrong tho. Thanks for the summary.
    Fair Haven, Vermont
    24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
    So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
    - Romans 7:24-25
    Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Blog Entries
    I have always found it curious that Paul in all his exhortations when it comes to things like spiritual gifts and general church life in all his letters and in his words of counsel to Timothy and Titus never once mentions musical instruments or music in general. This is especially interesting considering the place of music and musical instruments in the cultures in which Paul was preaching and Timothy and Titus were shepherding.

    Realize this is an argument from silence but interesting nonetheless.
    Rev. Benjamin P. Glaser,M. Div, ARP
    Pastor, Ellisville Presbyterian Church, ARP
    Ellisville, Mississippi

    ‎‎""The Christian religion is the religion of sinners, of such as have sinned, and in whom sin in some measure still dwells. The Christian life is a life of continued repentance, humiliation for and mortification of sin, of continual faith in, thankfulness for, and love to the Redeemer, and hopeful joyful expectation of a day of glorious redemption, in which the believer shall be fully and finally acquitted, and sin abolished for ever."
    -- Matthew Henry on 1 John 1:9

  5. #5

    Paul has provided you with a good summary of that position. For a fuller account, see the work by John L. Girardeau, which is available online here.
    Wayne Sparkman, Th.M., C.A.
    Director, PCA Historical Center, St. Louis, MO
    Blogs: The Continuing Story and This Day in Presbyterian History
    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions?

    "I account the prayers of God's ministers and people the best walls about my house."

    "Remember, it is not hasty reading, but serious meditating upon holy and heavenly truths, that make them prove sweet and profitable to the soul...It is not he that reads most , but he that meditates most, that will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian." - Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) [HT: Hamalas]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Here is an excellent article on the topic, if you're interested: Instrumental Music in Worship: Commanded or Not Commanded? - The Westminster Presbyterian
    Yvonne K.
    Greenville Presbyterian Church
    Free Church of Scotland (Continuing)

    "A man's most glorious actions will at last be found to be but glorious sins, if he hath made himself, and not the glory of God, the end of those actions." -Thomas Brooks


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