INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IN WORSHIP

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The church that Jesus said He would build upon the Rock of His Divinity (Matthew 16:13-19), worshiped in spirit and truth: “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24), and worshiped in music with “singing and making melody in the heart” during the apostolic period (33-100 A D). The early Christians came from many different backgrounds that used the instruments in their worship—worship connected to idolatry and immoral practices, like that of the Israelite’s at the foot of Sinai—“the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play” (1 Corinthians 10:7; Exodus 32:6). But these early Christians did not adopt this kind of music! Why?

Instrumental Music Is Found In the Apostate Church

Although instrumental music was used in worship to God under the Old Testament, when we come to the New Testament, we find instrumental music conspicuously absent in New Testament worship. This order of things continued for seven or eight hundred years, and then when the apostasy was in full bloom, the organ and other instruments of music were introduced into the worship services; but not without some protest. However, after a few years, instrumental music in worship to God became a settled practice in the apostate church.

Only Singing Is Authorized In New Testament Worship

It was not until the time of the reformation that a few men began to raise their voices against using an instrument of music in worship to God. Many of the reformers in going back to study the Bible realized that only singing is authorized in our worship to God:

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:18-20; Colossians 3:16-17).

Instrumental music was not used in the churches of Christ during the early days of the restoration movement. The motto of the men who led that movement was, “To speak where the Bible speaks, and to be silent where the Bible is silent.” These men understood that the Bible authorized Christians to sing and excluded the use of the instrument of music. However, it was not too many years until men wanted to introduce their own opinions and doctrines into their worship to God. The result was division in the church of our Lord over the instrument of music. Therefore, stay with the worship of the first century Christians!

Copyright © 2020 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana

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