Front-page image for special announcement
Front-page image for special announcement

FT. WORTH, Tex. (BNc) — The Heritage church elders announced on Sunday that they had made a decision “that the addition of an instrumental worship service would be beneficial to our quest to reach the lost.”

They will begin the Sunday night service in the Fall. The two Sunday morning services will remain a cappella.

The announcement said that all the elders were in agreement that “scripture does not prohibit the use of instruments in our worship.”

They did not explain how they thought the addition of instruments of music to the worship would contribute to reaching the lost.

They stated that “we have spent a great deal of time studying the issue and praying for God to reveal his will as to what we should do.” Gone was the appeal to the New Testament as the single source of knowledge of God’s will.

They said the a cappella worship was a “long-standing tradition” that many of their members would still prefer.

Some elders stepped down from their posts at the decision. In spite of “many” members’ preference and the decision of some of their “leadership” to step down from their “positions,” the change will be made.

They claimed the change “allows people to focus on worshipping God in their own way.” Following that rationale, more future changes might be expected, with the addition of candles, dance, priestly robes, or other denominational practices.

The image on the front page which links to the special announcement was appropriately titled, “Whatever It Takes” (see above).

The special announcement is posted on the Heritage site.



  1. They are clearly ignoring the NT scriptures on this issue, and the example of how much God likes us to “add” what He has not commanded in Leviticus 10:1-2. And how about TRUTH being what should “draw” people in? Having grown up in the denominational world, I know first hand that entertainment doesn’t draw in those who are seeking truth, which are the worshippers God seeks! They need to take the rest of the title off of their church building, as this is no longer a church of CHRIST, but a church of men’s traditions and what pleases the people and not what pleases the Lord God in Heaven, the Almighty. This obviously stems from a lack of teaching in the church. We need to be teaching our children and members “why” we believe what we do, that this isn’t something we’ve all made up, that this is based on scriptures and not on man-made traditions or what feels good. Now I know where I WON’T be worshiping.

  2. Your post says, “Gone was the appeal to the New Testament as the single source of knowledge of God’s will.”

    I read the announcement of the Heritage CoC and nowhere do I see where they abandoned the New Testament, they just came to a different conclusion as to what it teaches regarding instrumental music in Christian worship. So perhaps you might consider revising your statement which, as it stands, appears to be categorically untrue.

    Grace and Peace,


  3. The worship of God is not according to our way but according to God’s way (Col. 3:17). If we think this isn’t true, ask Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10:1, 2)!

  4. A sad, sad announcement. I agree with you that the heading says it all. “Whatever it takes” to save the lost? Next comes the sinner’s prayer if you are going to do whatever it takes to reach the lost on their own ground, amidst their own thinking. God’s ground still is found in His Word.

  5. This is sad news again to the brotherhood. It,s death of the believers in the Biblical sense. I wonder whether the church members in this congregation ever had lessons about the dangers of apostasy. May God help and raise those who resigned.

  6. This is nothing new but it seems the last few months have been full of churches deciding to “try” to reach the lost by joining the Lost! Beer church, instruments, etc. It used to be they would argue it isnt commanded or isnt a salvation issue. It seems that the argument or rationale now is we MUST do these things in order to reach lost souls. Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery… “go and sin no more”. He didnt decide that there are alot of folks who commit adultery so we should start a cheaters church and promote promiscuity because, after all, they are lost…

  7. Whatever it takes??? Really? Maybe some mixed drinks to relax their nerves… and hey, why not make drugs available…you know, if that’s what it takes. And don’t forget welcoming gay couples….if that’s what it takes. You might want to throw away your Bibles…..if that’s what it takes.

  8. A comment was made above: “…nowhere do I see where they abandoned the New Testament, they just came to a different conclusion as to what it teaches regarding instrumental music in Christian worship.”

    The New Testament specifically says to not add to it in any way (1 Cor. 4:6; Rev. 22:18-19), as does the rest of the Bible (Prov. 30:5-6; Deut. 4:2). In the New Testament, the only form of musical worship we see Christians commanded to engage in is vocal, with the instrument they use specifically stated as their hearts (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 2:12). If it mentions only vocal music in worship, and goes out of its way to command no additions to the Word, and then we come along and add instrumental music to the commanded vocal music, then we are clearly disobeying what the NT teaches. Therefore, there is only one correct conclusion one can make regarding what the New Testament teaches regarding instrumental music in Christian worship.

    What if I preached that the reason God sent his only begotten Son was because he DIDN’T love the world, and that whosoever does NOT believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life? There’s not a person here who wouldn’t take issue with that. How ridiculous would it be if I then I told you, “Hey, I just came to a different conclusion as to what John 3:16 teaches than you did. You believe what you want to believe, and I’ll believe what I want to believe. We’re both okay, so stop telling me that I’m wrong,”

  9. Sad.? These Shepards will receive a just judgement. There are always going to be wolves in sheeps clothing.

  10. Using Instrumental Music in worship has been a long historical, argumentative topic. We see that many churches, organizations and other groups sometimes are divided over this topic. We have to remember that using ” MECHANICAL INSTRUMENTS” in worship is a very serious addition to the Truth of God’s words. Worship belongs to God – the supreme Authority and not us. It is God who says what he wants in worship.We have to be satisfied to know that the Word of God is final. So the question is that I am seriously admonishing the Elders to put that “False Teaching” away and remember that we are his temple and all praises comes from us and descend to God as a sweet seraph.
    So please writers please do not condemned these brethren but in love admonish them.There are so many other things that Churches of Christ are failing to do. They know the truth but fail in many ways to practice the truth. Sometimes we look at the denominational world and see the “Love” that they will show each other and wonder to know what is going on. So is not only about the “True Teachings” it is about what we do in the brotherhood. We are not encouraging or helping a needy Church. We want bank books with lots of Heaven. So we cannot condemned!

  11. NOOOOOOOO!!!!! Where the Bible speaks, we speak with boldness, where it is silent, we are to be silent. Not one place in the New Testament are musical instruments mentioned. Therefore we are to be silent.

    If it is said by the Brethren that it’s in the Old Testament and it’s valid, then where are we going to put the altar to offer Sacrifices to God? If one part of the Old Law is brought forth, than all of it should be.

    We do NOT get to pick and choose what God commands us to do. DO NOT let satan have this victory. No excuses “why” we want to add instruments. That’s a plain old cop out. John Justin is turning over in his grave now. No, this is against Jesus The Christ, that died for us, that we so long to see. Do not be fooled Brethren.

  12. It is sad that brethren are turning away from revealed truth, and making the decision to “do it my way” instead of doing it the Lord’s way. Praying that these brethren will repent and return to the truth of God’s word.

  13. This is really a sad news to all faithful Christians around the world to see another congregation digressing from the law of Christ. I just finished watching the videos posted by our brethren from McLish Avenue coC in Ardmore, OK concerning the same argument about the music authority in church worships. I must say that they have done a wonderful job in presenting the Bible teachings about it. I am praying and hoping that Ft.Worth congregation has to reconsider what they are about to do and dig deeper into the Word of God. Sharing the link of the videos posted in YouTube and hoping that they will find time to watch it.

    Your fellow worker in Christ from Middle East, Eastern Province of KSA.

  14. This “foolish decision” makes me sick to my stomach. You CANNOT reach the lost with truth, while at the same time feeding them error. Will they get a crowd? You bet they will, but at what an aweful cost? The cost will be lost continued lost souls. When, O when will elders have the backbone to stand against the devil and those that seek the devil’s agenda? About all I know to do is the pray to our Heavenly Father that these men (Elders) will see the error of their way and renounce their decision. They can if they want to.

  15. All that I would need to agree with them in this action is ONE PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE which would supply us with the faith to engage in this practice ‘by faith’. Rom. 14:23. Just one! Without that passage there is no way on earth that one could practice this without sin.

  16. The devil is a liar. I will continue to pray to God to help the leaders of that Church open their spiritual Church to see their last destination

  17. When you read the elders statement you’ll see that at the bottom there is a link to some FAQ’s. This at least shows they considered the Scripture when coming to this decision.

  18. As a student and teacher of the history of churches of Christ in America, it is as though we have returned to the 1850’s. The same words are used and the same things are being done. We hear, “Where does the God prohibit it?” God prohibits it when he did not say it! To put it in a Bible word, it is “strange,” which means, it is not authorized; there is no authority for it. When Israel took “strange” wives, it was that they married women they had no authority to marry. Instruments music in worship of God is “strange!”

  19. They are elders of the congregation and I have no doubt that they have considered the Scriptures. But that was and is also the statement of the so many denominations around us, saying that this is and that is what they have understood from the Bible. It’s not a matter of you/we considered the Scriptures, but it is a matter of is that what the Bible teaches? 1 Peter 4:11 “if any man speaketh, speaking as it were oracles of God; if any man ministereth, ministering as of the strength which God supplieth: that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, whose is the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen. ” (ASV) The Bible itself is it’s own commentary.

  20. Personal preference (selfishness) is what has attacked the Lords church the most today.
    Perhaps they will come to find that by such a decision they are only incorporating personal preference. Worship unto the God Almighty is and should be according to HIS preference, not our own sinful and selfish selves! The whole point of the gospel message isn’t to live to self but “die to self”.

  21. If instrumental music is acceptable in worship today, then it has always been acceptable. This means that these brethren have sinned in previous years for condemning others who used it. Have they repented openly for this sin? Also, if it is acceptable, then why just use it for one service? The Devil creeps in in many fashions, but God will not be mocked. To say that they can better reach others this way is absurd–where will they stop? Will they smoke a few joints to reach druggies, down a few jugs of liquor to appeal to those addicted to alcohol, or commit adultery because others will be attracted to worship? What a great shame has fallen on this group! If the love, dedication, and gospel of Christ is not reaching the community, then they need to examine themselves in these areas because these do not go fruitless. May I suggest if they are only concerned with drawing a crowd that they hire Beyoncé or Madonna to perform song and dance? However, if they are concerned with serving God, they need to make harmony in their hearts to God and let their voices be heard, not destroyed by instrumental music. Man can alter the gospel of Christ to suit himself, but he cannot be acceptable to God if he does. This group needs prayer!

  22. Where did God prohibit hamburgers and coke on the Lord’s Table? When he specified what He wanted, that prohibited everything else. Where did God prohibit instrumental music in worship? When he specified what He wanted – singing. But think of how beneficial hamburgers and coke would be in reaching the lost! It’s amazing how human reasoning can take the place of Scripture.

  23. By adding music the Heritage church is becoming a denomination. All the elders should step down because music has no authorization in church service.

  24. Least you forget. This congregation shared their old building with a denominational group for several years. They sold the building to that group, And moved to their current location with a name change. They allowed an Instrumental denomination to hold services in their new building on Sunday afternoon for a long time. Would you not expect that they were testing the waters and found sufficient acceptability among the ministers, elders, deacons, and members to make the announced change?


  26. This is sad. There is nothing in the NT to back up their decision to use instrumental music during the worship service. If they do this to attract sinners, what will they offer next? If they want to do “What every it takes” they may want to offer free drugs, beer, and mixed drinks during worship services. And don’t forget gay marriage and, women preachers. It look like it is time to get a new set of Elders,

  27. What we need to do is PRAY for this congregation, the members and the elders. Ephesians 6:18 “pray at all times.” It’s a weapon. We need to use it for these brothers and sisters who may be falling away.

  28. The assembly is primarily a time for the saints of God to edify and worship. What does any of that have to do with corrupting for the sake of unbelievers who only “might” be there? Evangelism is the saints getting out of the building and sitting down with lost people over an open Bible and TEACHING them the gospel plan of salvation.

  29. They are no longer holding to the “Biblical Pattern”. 2 Timothy 1:13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Or how about; Mark 7:6-9 6 He (JEUSE) replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules. 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” 9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!

    They claim that the Bible doesn’t teach against it, so it’s ok?, What about what the Bible does say? 1 Corinthians 4:6 Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.

    God is not obligated to except our Worship or sacrifices unless it’s according to HIS will, ever read of Genesis 4? Genesis 4:1-7 Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

    How about Amos 5:21-23, 21 “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. 22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. 23 Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.

    With all that said, we should not belittle this congregation, but instead we should lift them up in Prayer before our Almighty GOD. That they will come to their senses before they make any other changes to their worship and that they would quickly see the error of the way and get back on the Straight and Narrow before its everlasting too late!

  30. It is critically important that we pray for the elders and the body where this decision has been made. I am going to give my thoughts on the use of the mechanical instrument in worship to our God and will apologize already for the length of this reply. This is actually a really condensed version of my thoughts and only includes some main points that I see in God’s Word. There is a lot more to say, but for brevity’s sake I will limit it to this already unusually long reply.
    In scripture I see that God has always regulated his public worship in regard to specific instruments used and that He has always been in control of the music that was offered up to Him. No where in the New Testament does that include the authority for a mechanical instrument. Lets look at the music in the Old Testament. In the days of Moses a musical instrument was used in tabernacle worship, but the only musical instrument utilized was the trumpet. As with every other element of the Tabernacle worship, musical instruments were regulated by specific divine command. In Numbers 10 we see it was regulated in three ways. Two silver trumpets were the only instruments authorized, the Levitical priests were the only ones authorized to use them and the occasions were specified when the trumpets could be used. These were the only instruments utilized throughout the time of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. It was not until the occupation of Canaan and the entrance of the ark into Jerusalem in the days of David that any other musical instruments were added. God regulated the specifics of the musical instrument in the worship given to Him there as well. During the time of David, God’s people were no longer a wandering nation and the Levitical priests were no longer needed to transport the Tabernacle and its furnishings. Their role changed and David began to use them as professional singers and musicians (I Chronicles 16:1-6, 23:1-5; 23:25-26). We are not told in I Chronicles why David brought various instruments into God’s worship, but discover the reason almost 300 years later during the reign of King Hezekiah when the Temple worship was restored. In II Chronicles 29:25-27 we learn that David did it because it was a command from the Lord through His prophets. When Hezekiah restored the Temple worship, he did not assume that he had any authority to do so in any way that was apart from divine command. Over and over throughout history men looked back to the “command of David” for the instrument to be used in Temple worship – II Chronicles 23:18, II Chronicles 35:4, Ezra 3:10, Nehemiah 12:24, 35-36. They all recognized that worship of the Temple had come by God’s command through David. This establishes an important biblical principle – that the men of the Bible never saw the use of an instrument as a matter of liberty or for men to do as they please – it was viewed as a command and done only by God’s authority. To assume that instruments in worship are a matter of liberty is to adopt a view that is contrary to the men of the Bible and finds no support in the Word of God. Now let’s look at the New Testament. I would put to you that when it comes to New Testament worship, we must again be guided by the same regulative principle of worship. God is in control and has told us what He wants us to use. The God of the Bible has not changed and He will still be regarded as holy by those who draw near to Him. We must always ask the question (as they did in the past); What has God commanded in His worship? Only by using those elements that are divinely instituted can we be certain that our worship is acceptable to Him. When we come to the issue of musical instruments in worship, we must ask the same question as Jehoiada, Hezekiah, Josiah, Jeshua and Nehemiah. Should musical instruments be used in the worship and if so, what are the specific instruments God commanded? We must look to the same authority they did – the writings of scripture. We no longer look to Moses or David for authority and in no way have the right to bring any aspect of the Temple worship into the church. I could go on and on with other reasons, but to sum it all up, God has always been in control of how He desires to be worshiped and when it comes to musical worship all that He authorizes in the New Testament is the human voice that comes from the saints heart. I never want to be so arrogant as to assume I know God’s thoughts and desires. The only way I can know what He wants is through the Word He has given us and in the New Testament an instrument isn’t authorized.

  31. Instrumental music remains a non-issue in the NT. May the congregation’s efforts to reach the lost be fruitful.

  32. The elders (?) at Heritage will pay an awesome price when they face the Lord in Judgment, and so will all member who continue to worship with the instrument.

  33. Why do we see any need for instruments to be used in worship services? I have to admit that sometimes I have difficulty with our traditional verses that we use on the subject. I don’t say we are wrong, but it is hard to use them to firmly establish the truth. But when it comes to the history of the use of instruments, I believe we are on stronger ground. We know that for the first several hundred years of church history the instrument was not used. Then many of the leading theologians of the 18th and 19th century spoke out against them very strongly. Today I see no need for their use in worship. They are a distraction in worship, causing an unnecessary interference to our meditation on the Lord. Perhaps if we were to sing correctly rather than just mumble the words of our hymns, enunciating the words correctly, that would make our singing more appealing. It is sad to see brethren become weak in their understanding of Scripture, but it is a growing trend in churches today. We need as a fellowship, to get back to basics. make our preaching relevant and not just theological dissertations. We need more ‘fire’ in the pulpit.

  34. Nothing will divide the Lord’s church likes instrumental music. But if you want to entertain that’s the sacrifice you make. Attitude is everything.

  35. The elders that made this decision will answer to God someday for just doing whatever it takes to get numbers instead of leading the flock the way the New Testament tells us very clearly. Very sad to see this and NO do not call it the CHURCH OF CHRIST ANYMORE because that no longer applies when you start throwing in all the extras for entertainment!

  36. If I might, I would like to ask, does Marlin Kilpatrick, know a Fred Whitelaw who preaches in Arkansas? If so, then, I also know Marlin. I know this is not the subject, but if this is the same Marlin, I have lost track of him for many years.

  37. The New Testament specifically authorizes only SINGING. No other kind of music is authorized.Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 are quite clear. Instrumental music is not an aid, it is an addition. While there may be disagreement about this, there is no disagreement between those who wish to follow the New Testament pattern of worship.

  38. Why don’t you try bringing more people to Christ by preaching the Gospel instead of changing His Doctrine? 🙂 Bible states: “Singing”, “Fruit of lips”, “in spirit and truth”, and “in your hearts.” Don’t you go against God’s word.

  39. I have attended church only once, where no instruments were used. I can’t say the church felt more God based or that it was the only way to praise and worship God. David certainly didn’t espouse the no instrumental worship so why should we? At least in this case the church is only adding instruments to the evening worship service. Everyone can still enjoy a Capella singing in the morning service. I find it hard to put instrumental worship and joining sinners on their level in the same category. Perhaps people need to make their own mind up about whether to attend the night service and if they feel it isn’t for them they can pass on attending. Allow those who do wish to attend the chance to try it and not pass judgement on them for it. If God does not convict their spirit to stay away then who are you to decide what is right or wrong for them. Obviously the board members didn’t make this decision lightly. If their prayers were answered in a way contrary to some members ideology that does not discount the decision as wrong or in error. If we only base our church decisions on the new testament teachings, women would not cut their hair and men would not cut their beards.

  40. I was sick a few weeks ago on a Sunday morning, and as I laid in bed at home, I turned on the radio and listened to a few minutes of a live feed from a denominational church. The organ was so overpowering the singing that it was just awful. I couldn’t stand listening to but just 30 seconds. Why does this appeal to people? And if it’s not an organ, it’s a rock band, and that too vastly overpowers, or replaces, the melody of voices singing. I just don’t get it. There’s wisdom in God’s word to sing and make melody in our hearts and with our voices. Any type of instruments turns the worship service into an entertainment production for the people who like whatever type of music it is – and not worship to God who wants to hear his children sing. Everyone can listen and be moved by acapella. Even is some are off key, they are singing praises to God and it’s beautiful.

  41. Rick Krug asks, “will submit that the issue of instrumental music is a ship long since sailed. The debate is over, the discussion settled, and nothing further is needed to explore.

    The sides have made their points. There is a strong non-instrumental side that intends to remain so as long as they can. No longer is there any new ground to be covered and undue.

    My question is this: other than trying to cause division, why do the non-instrumentalists even bring up the subject any longer?”

    Who raised the issue in the first place? Ah yes, those who sought to change God’s planned worship originally. As for the last question, I think Jude 3 applies!

  42. Our brothers at Ft. Worth seem to be in trouble and confused. Let’s help them see clearly again. Sometimes seeing clearly requires Light:

    Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ (Colossians 2:7-8).
    And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2).

    And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them (Ephesians 5:11).
    Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God (James 4:4).

    Consider what denominational reformers said about the practice of employing mechanical instruments in worship:

    The organ in the worship Is the insignia of Baal; a sign of the devil…the Roman Catholics borrowed it from the Jews. (MARTIN LUTHER. German Monk, Professor, Theologian, considered to be the Father of the Protestant Reformation Movement)

    I have no objection to instruments of music in our worship, provided they are neither seen nor heard. (JOHN WESLEY. Anglican Cleric, Theologian, founder of Armenian Methodism)

    What a degradation to supplant the intelligent song of the whole congregation by the theatrical prettiness of a quartet, bellows, and pipes! (CHARLES SPURGEON. Famous Baptist Minister of British descent)

  43. For those who’ve stated that our times of worship are “all about God” I’d point out that Ephesians 5:19 describes our singing as “speaking to one another”. If our song words and styles lack meaning to each other then how can we express anything meaningful to God?

  44. If the purpose is aiding in the quest for the lost, then why are they waiting until the fall to implement this service?

    There are many things that are not specifically prohibited by Scripture, but that in no way authorizes the actions not prohibited. Give me book, chapter and verse where it says a man is prohibited from beating his wife – it’s not there. However, it does command a husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25), the principle of which would forbid a man beating his wife.

    You could never function in everyday using the principle that if it’s not prohibited it must be allowed. Go drive 95 mph on the interstate past a State Trooper and then tell him the sign didn’t say I couldn’t drive 95 mph and see how far you get.

    A basic understanding of how principles govern, combined with a dose of common sense, would prevent much of the confusion where God’s Word is concerned.

  45. How sad so many want to add too or take away from the word. If it is not authorized, it is not ok!! There is no way the Bible could list all of the things not to do. If it is silent, do not do it. Need new elders!!!

  46. The announcement said that all the elders were in agreement that “scripture does not prohibit the use of instruments in our worship.”

    Then it is stated…

    Some elders stepped down from their posts at the decision.

    Mt 26:26 ¶ And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
    27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
    28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
    29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

    If the elders can understand that “bread” and “fruit of the vine” prohibits adding “peanut butter and sweet tea” to the Lord’s supper…

    Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
    Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
    17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

    Then surely these elders can see that “singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” prohibits adding “playing a mech. instr.”

    Sounds like a split needs to occur.

    1Ti 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
    4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
    5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

    Yep, “Whatever it takes” sounds exactly like someone “supposing that gain is godliness”

    Please repent.

  47. In Michael Shanks book and I quote, “The instrumental music issue boils down to a simple question,’Am I willing to do what God said to do?’
    The word of God says ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord’, (Ephesians 5:19), (Colossians 3:16) says, ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Only a couple of verses to show us the way.’ How many do we need?
    ‘Would I be like the faithful New Testament Christians who worshipped God without mechanical instruments (worshipping in truth, John 4:24) or would I be like Nadab and Abihu? (who offered fire that God did not authorize.)
    The way we use what we do in worship in by direct command, apostolic example and necessary inference. No where is there a command to use instrumental music, an example of instrumental music or an inference that mechanical music was used in the New Testament church.
    Therefore if we interject instrumental music into the worship, it is because of man’s desires not by what God wants.

  48. By the way, if the Ft Worth church would read Michael Shank’s book MUSCLE AND A SHOVEL, they would have no problem in deciding what is spiritually right. This book should be on every Christians reading list. It is one of the best books for Christians and non-Christians to help see what is the right thing to do in every incidence of worship. I highly recommend it.

  49. It’s very convenient for them to claim that God is leading them to use instruments in worship. If that is really so, why stop at one evening service each week? Perhaps God just wants to hear from the musicians on occasion. The FAQ they posted is nothing more than a rationalization for their decision, not a scriptural explanation. The subject itself is no so much about the instruments as it is about the attitude. Seeking the lost is a noble task, but the lost are rarely at the Sunday evening service, and if they are, they have already gotten comfortable with CoC worship. Contrary to the claims of the elders, it is my experience that the simplicity and inclusive participation of a capella singing draws seekers to the assembly, and does not chase them away. Worship arises from the heart and expresses itself outward in the song. Musical instruments are performed by a few for the enjoyment of the congregation, and in no way can be considered worshipful acts of any but the musicians themselves, if then. Even were we to consider this a topic of ‘liberty’ in Christ, we still must recall as Paul teaches that our practice of liberty must be subject to the needs of our brothers and sisters, lest we cause one to stumble. So, independent of the subject of the instruments in worship, the shepherds of this flock have failed miserably to feed and guide the sheep. And in the process they have no doubt split the congregation, and perhaps even caused some to leave the church altogether.

  50. On this issue, so many people want to quote Eph 5:19 “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, ESV This verse is used by several of your comments to say there are no instruments, but if anyone will look at the psalms they not only talk about using harps, lyres, etc., some give instrument instruction. How do you then say to address or speak to one another in psalms and then say there are no instruments?
    I don’t worship where there are instruments but could I? Yes, I could. The importance of singing is to give praise to the Lord and to sing from our hearts to Him. The article does seem to make excuses for their decisions but some of those making comments are also doing that. Brethren, let’s love one another and strive for unity, not for division. To God be the glory, praise and honor!

    1. Karen, please reread your own post. You stated that we should sing from the heart. I agree, but that does not also give the option for musical instruments in worship which you stated you could accept. Also, you appealed for unity, not division. I agree here also except when truth is being compromised. God’s word cannot be altered for the sake of unity or a changing society. The Word of God is immutable. People of Sodom and Gomorrah were united, the world in Noah’s day was united, and a lynch mob is united; all those were united but none were Godly. Unity is stressed in the Bible, but not at the expense of truth. Christians are required to defend the truth with love; unfortunately, if it takes division to do this, the Christian must take a firm stand for God’s Word and its teaching. Christians must be acceptable to God, not man. There can be no unity of truth and error when it comes to worship any more than when it comes to altering God’s plan of salvation or church organization; neither is acceptable to God.

    2. Karen, you’re not understanding the scriptures: the difference between the OT and the NT. Read Hebrews and Colossians. It talks about the OT being nailed to the cross and how we’re no longer under the “Old Law.” Even though they used instruments back then in the OT, it doesn’t mean God allows it now according to the NT. I grew up in the denominational world, and they don’t understand this concept: the difference between the OT and the NT. Also, it’s been my experience that instruments turn into entertainment. After the instruments, then come the lights and smoke, etc. It really becomes a huge concert in the church building when God is supposed to be our focus. Just my thoughts.

  51. I would like to encourage anyone who still have doubts what the “psalms” in Col. 3:16 and Eph. 5:19 to study further and pray to God for understanding and knowledge. I was able to watch a video posted by our brethren in McLish Avenue church of Christ, and I am persnally encouraged about how they stretch out the Bible doctrine concerning the music that true Christians have to employ in worship to God. Singing is the direct command from the New Testament, not sing and play. Here is the link of the said video, please find time to watch them for the brethren having doubts.

  52. Karen,

    I must lovingly and respectfully disagree with your post. You declare that we must “love one another and strive for unity, and not division.” The division here was created by the elders at Heritage. If division among brethren is a sin (I Cor. 1:10), and the church at Heritage (and elsewhere) experiences division over the introduction of instruments, that should be all anyone needs to know about the use of instruments in NT worship.

    More to the point, I would kindly like to share with you the fallacy of support of mechanical instruments in worship. You appeal to the Psalms because of Ephesians 5:19 use of the word “psalms” in the text, and instruments are specified in a number of the Psalms. I’m sure you are aware that Psalm 66:15 says, “I will offer You burnt sacrifices of fat animals, with the sweet aroma of rams; I will offer bulls with goats.” I am confident that you would not appeal to this verse for the authorization of animal sacrifices in NT worship based upon Ephesians 5:19 – but why not? It is the identical logic you used to support the use of instruments while singing.

    The word “psallo,” translated “making melody” in Ephesians 5:19, has its origins in the plucking of a string, such as a carpenter’s line. It came to be used as the plucking of a string on a musical instrument. Its usage in the Greek OT (LXX) always specifies the instrument to be used, and the NT usage is no exception to this rule. Ephesians 5:19 specifies as the instrument “to be plucked” as the heart. I Corinthians 14:15 specifies as the instruments “to be plucked” as the spirit and the mind (intellect). These are very specific instruction to NT Christians regarding how singing was to be carried out in NT worship, using the instruments of the heart, spirit, and mind. The instruments being thus specified eliminate the use of any other instrument. This is a primary principle of hermeneutics: when a thing is specified in the carrying out of a specific command, anything else not specified is excluded (as mentioned in a previous post regarding the unleavened bread and fruit of the vine used in the Lord’s Supper).

    Therefore, if we are truly interested in following God’s Word as our rule of faith and practice in NT Christianity, we must conclude that the introduction of unauthorized instruments into Christian worship by the elders at Heritage is sinful.

  53. Whatever happened to the Christian’s determination to do only what has been *authorized* by the scriptures? Acknowledgement of the authority of scriptures seems to be what is missing here.

  54. I am confused about the article where is says that all the elders were in agreement. Then on down in the article it says that some of the elders walked out. What gives?

  55. The Heritage church body has forgotten the great evangelists, the apostles who went into all the world taking nothing but the gospel of the grace of God. With the gospel they saved souls by the thousands, established the Lord’s church in locations near and remote, and established elderships to oversee the churches; they accomplished their great works without the assistance of any musical accompaniment . If the lost cannot be converted by the message of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the sound of a piano or an organ will not help. If the truth were known, they are more interested in keeping those members who have been longing to hear the sound of instruments in the worship services.

  56. As the apostle Paul had prophesied in Acts 20:29 “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;” and in 1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”

  57. After having grown up and worshipped all my life with no instrumental music in our worship services, I was searching for a new church home when I moved to Sugar Land, Texas. I visited a congregation which had instrumental music and found it very distracting to my worship. Another congregations I visited in that search had two morning services, one with instrumental music and one without. I went to the one without and found that, during the song service, there were 5 song leaders, 3 of them women. They also had a bookstore, off their lobby, which was open for business between and after services. It seems to me that, once a congregation departs from the Word on one issue, there are no longer any limits on others.

  58. In spite of many members’ preference and some leaders stepping down, church goes forward with decision to use musical instruments.”

    There is an easy answer to this. Those who oppose the instrument find a new congregation to worship with. Let those in error stay and continue down their path to punishment.

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