hunter-hills-churchPRATTVILLE, Ala. (BNc) — The elders of the Hunter Hills congregation released a letter to the congregation Oct. 13 recognizing, on the part of some, a “desire to add an instrumental service on Sunday morning separate from our current service which has acapella [sic] congregational singing.”

The elders stated that “over time, Hunter Hills has become a church which believes in freedom in Christ and has moved away from legalism. Because of this, members have differing views about what they value and desire in corporate worship.”

“All the shepherds agree that scripture does not prohibit the use of instrumental music in our assembly,” the letter said.

Because of that, the elders proposed to the congregation the addition of a Sunday worship service including the use of mechanical instruments.

Preacher urges rejection of instruments

Charles Box, preacher with the Walnut Street congregation in Greenville, Ala., published a letter to the Hunter Hills eldership today pleading that they refuse to add an instrumental service.

Charles, whose town lies 53 miles to the south, provided biblical support for his position.

“The addition of the instrument will lead people away from God and will cause division in churches of Christ. I beg you to reconsider this very sad and serious decision that you have already made, since you have already been allowing the instrument to be used in youth activities,” Charles wrote.

He also reminded them “that obeying God is not legalism; rather it is love for the Almighty Creator.”

Charles has served with the Walnut Street congregation since 1986.

Charles began his email today saying, “Please pray that these brethren will not make such a terrible mistake. Write to them at shepherds@hunterhills.org and plead with them not to make this spiritually destructive mistake. When you write, remember Ephesians 4:32!”

The text of both letters was included in Charles’s email and is reproduced below.

Text of Hunter Hills elders’ letter:

Letter from the Shepherds

October 13, 2013

Dear Church Family:

Hunter Hills is a wonderful place to have as a church home. It is full of people who want to honor God in every aspect of their lives. We desire to be a group of people who love unconditionally and whose desire is to serve others. Our members come from all walks of life and from varied church backgrounds. Over time, Hunter Hills has become a church which believes in freedom in Christ and has moved away from legalism. Because of this, members have differing views about what they value and desire in corporate worship.

Over the past few months, the shepherds have had several conversations with some of our members, including our staff, about their desire to add an instrumental service on Sunday morning separate from our current service which has acapella congregational singing. Before we make a decision on their request, we wanted to communicate this to all of our members and get feedback on whether or not this would be a beneficial move for our church family.

We want our members to know that all the shepherds agree that scripture does not prohibit the use of instrumental music in our assembly. Each of us has come to that conclusion independently after many years of study and prayer. In fact, instrumental music has been used as background on video clips and as a part of our youth assemblies for some time. These would not be present if we felt their inclusion was not acceptable to God.

Given our longstanding tradition of acapella singing which many, including the shepherds and staff, highly value and want to continue; we feel that this decision should not be taken lightly. We want to set a direction that is in the best interest of the whole congregation for the present and for the future. We pray that the decision made will be supported by our church family. We are convinced that most of our members are here because of relationships and opportunities to serve. We certainly hope that these values will continue to prevail regardless of what views anyone might hold on this question. Over the next few days, we ask each of you to prayerfully consider our direction and take time to complete the survey located at ttps://www.research.net/s/HHMusic. It can also be found linked from the church website or we have paper copies available. You may fill it out as a family or individually. Each question gives you the opportunity to make additional comments. The comments are valuable, so please share how you feel. While the survey does require that you submit your name, individual input will be kept confidential among the shepherds. We would like the input of the whole church before making a decision about this request.

May God continue to bless Hunter Hills in the future as He has in the past.

In Christ,

Your Shepherds

Text of Letter from Charles Box:

To Elders Hunter Hill,

Brethren, I spend my time working in Greenville, Alabama, trying to build up the cause of Christ here. I seldom ever try to get involved with what is going on in churches of Christ elsewhere. However, I felt so grieved over what you brethren plan to do I could not remain silent.

Instrumental music in worship is not authorized in the New Testament! I know some people say this is just a trivial matter, but that is not the case. They might even site Matthew 23:23 as they try to show that instrumental music is trivial. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” (Matthew 23:23) Cain did not get his worship right. (Genesis 4) If you brethren choose to add the instrument to your worship, you will fall into the category of Cain. “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” (Jude 1:11) The addition of instrumental music to your worship will not be pleasing to God and you will cause division in our great brotherhood of Christians.

It is taught in both the Old Testament and in the New Testament that our worship must be authorized by the word of God. (John 4:24) Music in worship is not a complex and complicated subject. Bible believers can easily recognize the truth that singing is authorized in the New Testament. (Ephesians 5:19) We must love God supremely and do His will in our worship, and not our own will. (Matthew 22:37-40) Instead of writing a letter to the church members asking them what they would like to do, why not get your Bible and determine what God would have you to do in worship concerning the instrument!

I have no idea how you brethren would try to justify the instrument in worship. Some say that everything that we do in life is worship. (Romans 12:1-2) The man from Ethiopia had come to Jerusalem to “worship,” not to “live.” Instrumental music was authorized in the Old Covenant. (2 Chronicles 29:25) However, mechanical instruments in worship are not found in the New Covenant. The instrument with which we must praise God is our heart. (Ephesians 5:19) Worship that is devised by men, however impressive it may appear, is not acceptable to God. The purpose of Jesus Christ was to do God’s will and please Him. (John 8:28-29) That same principle of doing the will of God should be our daily goal.

We are commanded to sing Old Testament Psalms. Some, who defend the instrument, tell us that the Psalms authorize instruments. They want us to believe that the definition of psalmos includes the instrument. If it is the case that the instrument is inherent in the Psalms, then that makes the instrument essential, not just an optional matter. It is not just an aid, and if the instrument is in psalmos you could not obey Ephesians 5:19 without the instrument. Psalms 81:1-2 proves beyond doubt that a Psalm did not automatically involve an instrument. Both the Psalm and the instrument are mentioned separately. “Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.” Instrumental music in New Testament worship simply cannot be found. “If God intends for us to use instrument of music in the church there is no standard English New Testament, no generally accepted translation in the world from which we could learn God’s will on this point.” The standard translations of the New Testament simply say sing.

God has authorized vocal music. He has said nothing concerning the use of instrumental music. “For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.” (Hebrews 7:14) You can find neither a command for instruments in New Testament worship; neither can you find a text or context where the instruments were in use. The appeal to speak with the Bible speaks and be silent with the Bible is silent should still rings loud and clear in our hearts. “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11)

While there is no New Testament authority for instrumental music in our worship, vocal music is clearly authorized. Singing involves teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. (Colossians 3:16) Singing is the fruit of our lips that we are to offer to God. (Hebrews 13:15) God is worthy of our worship and adoration. Only worship according to His will is acceptable. In true worship, God chooses for us how we should worship and what we should do. In false worship, we make our own choices and worship like we wish. In false worship, we poll the church to find out how we should worship. In true worship, we read our Bible to find out how we should worship. Sadly brethren, the course that you are choosing to follow is that of men and their desire. I beg of you brethren, make a better choice and worship as God directs. God commanded singing; we may not, we must not use other forms of music! The principle of Scripture is that we must abide in what God has authorized. (Revelation 22:18-19)

Instrumental music was never found in churches established by the apostles. This was not a cultural thing in the early church; rather it was out of respect for the commandments of God. Brethren, I appeal to you to have that same respect. The addition of the instrument that you are promoting will be in the same category of washing of feet, washing of cups, and pots and brazen vessels and of tables. Sadly, the result will also be the same. “This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” “For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Mark 7:3-7) Your soul is at stake and the souls of those that you lead. The addition of the instrument will lead people away from God and will cause division in churches of Christ. I beg you to reconsider this very sad and serious decision that you have already made, since you have already been allowing the instrument to be used in youth activities.

I will be praying for you and for the church there. I would also kindly remind you brethren, that obeying God is not legalism; rather it is love for the Almighty Creator.

Love in Christ,

Charles Box

Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

100 thoughts on “Alabama church proposes instrumental music, area preacher urges rejection

  1. When people are you focus, and not the Lord, Judges 17:6 plays more of a role in the life of elders (and others).

  2. The church in America is in apostasy and dying. This is just more proof of what is happening. God told Noah what wood to use in the Ark; he did not tell him not to use oak or hickory, etc. Therefore, Noah could have used them??????

  3. Religious “legalism” is NOT whether or not a congregation uses the authority of the New Testament for faith and practice when conducting worship to God. Get some understanding you “religious” people. The Bible is the ONLY authority for what is done in worship to God. Understand? Prove it by what you do. The New Testament is the current covenant in force and NOT the Old Testament (hence the designation “OLD”). Why are so many “religious” people ignoring the Word of God at their own peril (yes, read PERIL – eternity in HELL)? Where will your congregation spend eternity?

  4. Well surely Hunter Hills is doing right because they agonized and prayed so much over this really striving to find the Lord’s striving–give me a break. What right do they have to keep the name church of Christ, and what right do they have for holding on to immersion for the remission of sins? While they might not know or care, inst. music and immersion all plus the weekly LS observance all rise or fall together. And why is that? It is because of the cofc hermeneutic principles viz: direct command and a necessary inference from the early church. Those issues that we have traditionally held to are either both wrong or both right, together, because they come from the same basic hermeneutical principle that millions upon millions have held to throughout the centuries. Namely, we do what God commands, or by inference what the early church did. We do NOT do what it does NOT say. Many of the wise among us have become foolish in the sight of God and man by giving up on that method of interpretation. Without a rock, there are only the sands of opinion to build a faith upon.T Remember we have the responsibility to do as God commands and the converse is likewise true–

  5. I pray they don’t add instruments Church of Christ stay on one accord. If they do this truly the last days.

  6. A continuing problem among brethren. The results of a lack of respect for and knowledge of the teaching of Jesus Christ. I’m afraid it will be happening more and more. When “the Bible/N.T. doesn’t say not to do it”, i.e. whether instrumental music or anything else, apostasy will continue to prevail. During the 55+ years I have been preaching I have seen this false attitude grow among brethren. There was a time when you could show the consequences of such thinking by noting that the Bible/NT doesn’t say not to “pray to God through Mary” and brethren would realize they were leaning on a false proposition. Now far too many say “well, what wrong with that”. Of course, we could add a list of hundreds of things the Bible/NT does not say don’t do: use cookies and coke for the Lord’s supper, women not to wear topless dress… etc. Sadly more and more will just ignore any reasoning and do what they want to do. It would be interesting to know more about what these “elders” believe. Would they agree with the Bible teaching that homosexuality is sinful, something the Bible/NT specifically forbids? WARNING!! MORE AND MORE PREACHERS AND ELDERS HAD BETTER START PUBLICLY TEACHING AGAINST THIS IDEA!!!

  7. This is so sad to hear, but not unusual in this day and age. Many congregations of the Lord’s church are straying from the “old paths” in many, various, ways. This is not just an instrumental music issue. They, obviously, have a problem with authority as well. Personally, if I were a member there, I would go elsewhere to worship. I could not submit to an eldership that shows no more respect to the Lord, and his authority, than they do – 1) seeking to please men rather than God 2) making no distinction between legalism and simple obedience to the word.

  8. We (Churches of Christ) already have some congregations who use instruments and even offer a Saturday service offering the Lord’s Supper. It is beyond me why elders allow this. I believe their decisions come from a congregation of unlearned, un-churched people who are willing to place the souls of others in danger because of what they want rather than what the Lord has commanded. Elders need to not be afraid of loosing those who demand all of these worldly things (teachings of men). Elders MUST stand for what is right in the sight of Almighty God. They will answer for their misgivings. Stand firm !!!!!!!

  9. This is very sad! The elders will be held accountable! Many who hold this office are not qualified, do not know the scriptures and are leading the flock astray! God specifically reveals His will regarding acceptable worship. Many will say, “it doesn’t say not to”! Using this logic we could use peanut butter & jelly for communion…after all, it doesn’t say not to! Ludicrous….but then we are warned of the broad way that leads to destruction & the narrow way that leads to eternal life. I pray these “elders” will see fit to renounce the broad way and return to God’s way!

  10. “After many years of study and prayer” has a terribly hollow ring to it, and has become the mantra of those bent on having instrumental music in worship.

  11. It bothers me greatly that local leadership in the Lord’s congregation can have such a turnaround of practice and belief in Holy Scripture. When I have attended funeral services for various denominations the instrumental music has always drowned out the raised voices of the saints in attendance. So, it must in effect be an instrumental worship service not approved by the Inspired Word; by omitting instruments one follows the practices of the early church. By introducing them they will split that congregation in half, as has been witnessed by many in the past. Is that what God wants, for the elders and deacons to “Lord it Over” all the congregation. That is condemned. Some if not all need to study history a little closer.
    Rhodney Freeman
    Mount Pleasant, Texas
    Secretary
    North Jefferson church of Christ

  12. Sounds like somebody wants to be entertained. I am a musician myself and having been raised in a denomination that use instruments of every kind, let me just say, it adds NOTHING good to your worship. It adds noise. It adds confusion. It takes your mind off God and puts it on yourselves, others who are talented, and on entertainment. I pray they don’t do this, but if they do, I hope they at least have enough respect for other Churches of Christ to take down their sign that claims to be the CHURCH of CHRIST.

  13. This was not just a decision made in haste. This had been simmering since they first opened the doors at that location. I feel for the good men who dedicated their lives and financial support to protect the truth while they were Hunter Station. Now their legacy has been hijacked and turned into a tool of Satan leading more away into apostacy. How will the eldership handle it when they talk a pole as to the bread and fruit of the vine on the Lord’s table and find a majority will want coke and peanuts?? It is a shame that our brothers have accepting voting in place of plain teaching. I ask them where are your livites to play your instruments?? Did not God change the priesthood in the fulfillment the law?? Thus doing away with the priestly forms of this type of worship. I pray for the members to hold to God’s worship even when their eldership is making decisions by testing the wind.

  14. I just want to say a heartY amen to the letter Bro. Box wrote to the Hunter Hills elders. It very clearly states the real issue – will we obey God or man? I hope every elder and preacher who reads this will use Bro. Box’s material and see that their congregation is informed about it. Whether we use instruments may not seem to you to be a pressing issue, but our youth need to be taught and all of us need to be reminded.

  15. I have been watching this cancer of disobedience for at least the last 23 years. One common thread…people that have this kind of philosophy have too many books by Max L., Rubel S., et al. Okay, so you look at the OT and see where many men of God had more than one wife too. The NT, really only addresses Elders and Deacons be the husband of one wife and therefore using the false doctrine of “Doesn’t say I can’t” I could have multiple wives as long as I am not a deacon or elder…right?!!! Wrong and every one of these wayward members know how ridiculous it sounds, but they want their own lusts fulfilled. It is sad and satan is loving it.

  16. This is one of the saddest things I have read in a long time. I am a member of Forrest Park Church of Christ in Valdosta, GA. and attended River Street and Forrest Park when it was at old location growing up. I am firmly convinced that this congregation is being led astray by their “elders”. They say they have done much studying, but apparently it was more of a “I don’t really believe that’s what that verse says” and I can easily see where it would be alright. How sad!!!!!! God said do not take away or add to what I have said. So then what scriptures or whatever do they use to make this a right way to worship. Melissa Tinker is absolutely right. It is just noise with instruments! God loves our voices, he gave them to us, partly so we can glorify him in worship. A piano, organ, drum or guitar CANNOT sing and make harmony. I will be praying that these elders have a change of heart and take charge of keeping this congregation headed in the RIGHT direction!

  17. Jesus trumps these rebellious and arrogant “elders.” He is the Lord and “the Chief Shepherd”! (I Peter 5:4) :And the Lord “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. (22) You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. (23) But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. (24) God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.'” (John 4:21-24 NKJV) That settled it once and for all. No one can genuinely study and pray and come up with a lie.

  18. It is obvious that the elders at this congregation are not shepherds but followers. What else will they allow if some members want? Speaking in tongues, healing services? The list is endless.

  19. Bottom line for this church and their decision is they will do what they want to do and nobody can change their mind. The OT has many passages of scripture that indicate authorization to use mechanical instruments of music time after time after time because God simply mentioned it. Worship and “music” were addressed by the same author (God) in both the Old and New Testaments. When He got to the NT the only thing He left out was the mechanical part. He went silent in the new whereas in the old He was not. Did God simply forget to mention the mechanical use in the new? Oh no brothers and sisters. Our God is perfect and the old was “nailed” to the cross. As a father myself, I remember all the times my children, when they were growing up, how I told them what I wanted done. They didn’t test me in those things that I said. They tested me and looked for loopholes and excuses in those things I was silent on to gain what their selfish desires were. Last night I prayed for the Hunter Hills church to make the right decision. I also prayed asking God to remove this sorrow from my mind so I could sleep.

  20. I encourage any of you posting comments to spend your time lovingly speaking with the hunter hills elders or visit the church there. No one benefits from unkind blog posts and letters. If you are in any kind of leadership position, you are aware that this kind of input is largely ignored.

  21. Sounds like “Free range members” to me. The elders are supposed to be the spiritual backbone of the congregation but instead weakens to the immaturity of the few members who are still on the milk of the word. So sad!

  22. In response to “J” on October 23, 2013 at 6:34 am, many of us have spent hours and days lovingly speaking with some of those members because they used to worship with some of us and we feel a strong connection to them…or at least we used to. And to your comment about “unkind blog posts and letters”…I’m sure there will probably be some of those, but I have yet to see any on here. What I seen here is practicing what is written in Lk 14:26. We simply love God more than anything or anyone else and cannot stand to see satan snatching another soul from among our ranks.

  23. This is a sad time for the church at Hunter Station. I don’t know what “God” these elders were praying to, but it was not the Living God Who wrote the Bible. Let’s pray that the members will stan in the gap and block satan’s attack on this congregation.
    Bill Young

  24. Don Tarbet.
    What’s holding back a movement within the congregation to oust the “elders” who are destroying the church? If this doesn’t work, the faithful would have to establish a faithful congregation, or identify with one which IS faithful. In all the reviews, I have read NONE defending the elders’ actions. If they are interested in a vote to determine what to do, how about the vote or concensus of brethren in the brotherhood? Did I not read somewhere that we are to love the brotherhood? Why split the church, or destroy the unity of one congregation simply to “break tradition”?

    1. Don, since BNc seeks to serve those who still believe in a pattern of worship and work in the New Testament, not all comments are approved. A few progressives have submitted comments, but most are not approved, across the board, because of tone, attitude, or position. Your point is well taken, however. Thanks for your comment.

  25. Brethren,
    This is not a majority opinion to be reached by “some” members, or a unified eldership.
    I have a booklet entitled “The Absolute Authority of the Silence in the Scriptures,” available free of charge as long as supplies last, John T. Polk II, 125 The Trace, Dover,
    TN 37058

  26. I grew up attending the Hunter Station congregation. I grew up with some of those now serving as elders there at Hunter Hills. It, to me, is simply extremely sad to see them departing from the truth. It has been obvious for a long time that they were being blown around by the winds of “change” and “progressivism.” It simply makes me very sad to see this departure. They are going to do what they want, and have already made their declaration of their “convictions.” I cannot judge their hearts, so I could only speculate as to why they would go so far astray. But their fruits, which are to be inspected, show that they have left a dedication and true love for God and His truth for a willingness to create their own form of truth. Their motives are known to them and God. I simply mourn over them as lost sheep being guided by blinded shepherds. It does not make me happy to write these words. It breaks my heart to do so.

  27. As I wrote to the Elders their (with my concerns), it seems as if they are being led by the flock instead of being the ones who should be leading (especially since many of their members, by their own admission, have come from denominational churches…bringing in “baggage” of false doctrines, and in which they should have been “taught more perfectly”).
    Hunter Hills is a microcosm of what is going wrong with the Church today…..lack of gospel preaching, enticement to convert through extracurricular activities, entertainment and soft preaching, and then not providing sound (and ‘meaty’) Bible study to counteract the denominational indoctrination that these members grew up around. Final result is: Elders change the work and worship of the Church to incorporate the very beliefs they should be leading the members away from. Very sad.

  28. There is a way that is right and can not be wrong, I would encourage all of us to seek that way keeping in mind the far reaching effects of our decisions.

  29. I was the preacher at Hunter Station (now Hunter Hills) 1976-1979 while working with Alabama Christian College as the academic dean. The congregation was, if anything, ultraconservative. It is disheartening to learn of the changes being allowed to take place. It is the elders responsibility to protect the flock, not follow the whims of unfaithful members. I now understand why so many friends made during the 70’s left Hunter; because Hunter left the truth. Hopefully there will be some who will stop the denominational trend.

  30. I’d be interested to hear why so many people think this is a salvation issue. It does seem reasonable to me that God may prefer acepella worship since that’s what we see in the NT; however, some in here (Kevin Shrimp) say people will go to hell for using instruments. Where is that from?

    1. It is a salvation issue because there can be no unclean thing in heaven (Rev 21:27). To usurp God’s authority, by adding the instrument in worship to him, is unclean. Hence, those who willingly violate God’s will, unless they repent, cannot enter heaven.

  31. Spiritual Adultery is what this is. Whoredom in it’s most raw sense. “They eat up the sin of my people, And they set their heart on their iniquity. ?9 And there shall be, like people, like priest: And I will punish them for their ways, And reward them their doings. ?10 For they shall eat, and not have enough: They shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: Because they have left off to take heed to the LORD. ?11 Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart. ?12 My people ask counsel at their stocks, And their staff declareth unto them: For the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, And they have gone a whoring from under their God.” Hos. 4:8-12

  32. As a former member of Hunter hills, it does not surprise me that this is happening. My wife and I saw change several years ago as the family atmosphere slowly creeped away. The leadership there saw no need in tending the flock any more but to seek the lost. I feel they felt the need to go after the unchurched which is all our duty to do, however, the need to lure them in was to entertain them and their children. The music all started with the childrens ministry I I remeber correctly, then the teen class on Wednesday nights which i think is still going on now. The lack of the connection, family atmosphere practically gone and the Spirit pulling on my heart stings, I made the decision to leave and go to a local church near our home. There are some really great Christians at that congregation and hate to see it have this type of turmol happen. I felt like I needed to teach my son to take more of a leadership role in the church in a smaller congregation that had that small family atmosphere where the fold would accept us. Hunter Hills lost a lot of families around that time and the it felt like to me the family unit was the small groups, not the church .

  33. Christ, God, and the angels must be so sad! This is apostasy, plain & simple!! It is my prayer that these elders will return to the simple truth of God’s Word.

  34. I agree, Judy! Christ, God, and the angels must be terribly sad watching such an issue tear apart the church and so many ”saints” attack one another and focus on such a petty issue. We are all imperfect, made perfect THROUGH Christ. It is plain and simple-and yet, somehow we muddle it up with every step we take. The word is for everyone, not just the scholars. We like to put our own spin on things so we can be higher than everyone else. The heart of it all is the issue and I am seeing a lot of angry, bitter, self righteous hearts on here. This is truly sad, indeed. Love God, love others and obey His commands.

    1. Tiffany, I am neither angry, bitter or self righteous. I simply do not understand how one can call this a “petty issue” when clearly this is not God’s will. It is going against Him. Adding what men/women want in worship and not following God’s plans for correct worship that pleases Him. Just saying …….. ……..

  35. This is sad. If they want to use insturments, please change your congregation name as it will show that you are no longer members of the Church of Christ.

  36. It is so sad.to read such statments,as to where some churches of christ are leading their congregation.Is a piece of instrument worth the selling of our soul, those who advocate instrumental music, are not sure about it, they are just assuming that god will be happy.. how do they know that.. all i will suggest. go and look at the old testament..how did god deal with those who add or take away from his command.. there was instant punishment. in many cases. i will suggest to the said congregation. please look at 1st. cor:10: 6,11,12.,dont let history repeat its self, dont be like the 10 virgins; the 5 that became foolish, because they found out their wrongness when it was too late.we all have to pray for the brotheren; that they may get back into the pathway of light.

  37. I am not of your denomination so therefore I could not instruct you on this matter at all, but it raises some questions. I attend a church that uses musical instruments that you believe are wrong. Do you also believe that my kind is not going to Heaven because of the instruments. We have all heard that if God wanted us to smoke He would have built a smokestack on top of our heads. Do you ride in cars? Christ did not. So is it wrong to own and ride in a car, because Christ did not mention it. Do you enjoy any modern form of entertainment such as TVs and etc. If we follow Christ’s ways and forget about the do’s and dont’s. Living just as He did in His time will that get us to Heaven? I think not. I have always stated that John 3:16 was the most important verse in the Bible. We accept Him as our Savior, and He accepts us. Why strangle ourselves over such minor things. He looks in our Hearts to know who we are, and whether or not we are His. He never judges us by our singing voices or the instruments we listen to.

    1. “We can be sure” John said “if we obey and love the brethren.” Worship is being on our knees before the King. If he wanted instruments, give him instruments. If he wants music, then give him music. If he wants unleavened bread on the table, give him unleavened bread. If he wants singing to teach and admonish each other, then give him singing. Simple? No small matter; it’s worship. Is this a minor thing?

  38. I’ll share my perspective: nowhere in the New Testament does it say you can’t use instruments. There is nothing that says it is a salvation issue either. There are many verses that do say what it takes to be saved and none of them say not to play instruments. The God I serve is love, Grace, and mercy among many other things. I choose to honor & praise God in all I do and I’m every forum–we are called to do that. He knows our hearts. Do you really think you serve a God who will condemn you for paying a guitar in praise but not for playing your vocal chords? It’s not biblical. Music is one more way to bring more sheep to the feet of Jesus–we are called to win souls for Christ. Lastly, based on your theory, where does it say in the New Testament to create denominations? They only separate the Body. Believers should unite without trying to hold dear to labels such as CoC, Baptist, Catholic, etc. The more man-created restrictions get in the way of a real relationship with Christ, the more the Body is divided and the more Satan wins.
    That is all–Good Bless you all

  39. Ok, Roy, but I’d caution you and the many others in this posting to realize that God is the only one who can pass judgment. Nobody on this earth is qualified and I wouldn’t dare call someone who has accepted Jesus and has been washed clean a sinner for expressing praise with an instrument. Unclean for praising God? Really? People are throwing stones. God will judge us all. I sure hope everyone here remembers God’s grace and mercy when it’s their turn.

    1. James, your caution is duly noted, and correct. Thank you. Actually I had intended to include, in my post, that God is the judge. Sorry that I omitted that fact. I would not call someone unclean for worshipping God in truth. However when one engages in false worship it then becomes unclean. We have numerous Biblical accounts of those who violated God’s commandment, and substituted their own, and God was displeased with them.

  40. To those who question whether this is a salvation issue, please read Revelation 22:18-19. I do hope and pray these elders rethink this sinful move. Melissa Tinker (above) said it well.

  41. I was so sad to hear of the Alabama congregation looking away from the word of God to open the door to useing mechancal music in worship. How hurtful for the elders to lead the church in this way. I am praying for them.

  42. To James Spearman: I think we should all try to do things the way God showed us to. Worship was never left up to men. God has always been very specific about worship. In the OT, only the Levites were allowed to play the “instruments of David”, and only the priests could play the trumpets. It was very specific and nothing like we have today where anyone can bring any instrument into the church. I would pray that you read God’s Word with an open mind and an open heart and see what conclusion you are lead to.

    To Roy: I believe the Holy Word of God clearly leads us to the conclusion that God prefers acapella worship; however, anyone who says this is a salvation issue is teaching false doctrine. Do not take verses that apply to other issues and use them them to apply to this subject. Revelation 21 is clearly not talking about instruments. That’s textbook eisegesis. We should teach acapella based on the clear pattern of 1. God’s specificity and 2. the example provided by the 1st century church. We should not, however, seek out verses to help our case if the verses clearly don’t apply.

    To Darrin Morehouse: I worry about you much more than I worry about the church at Hunter Hills. Please read the book of Hosea instead of cherry-picking verses and applying them as you wish. God is speaking to Israel on spiritual adultery because they “murder, lie, commit adultery, and steal”. To apply that verse to worship as you did above is blasphemous. We must be honest about arguing with those who believe in instrumental worship. Doing what you did by being deceitful is what is hurting our cause.

  43. Thomas, anytime unauthorized worship is presented to God, it is indeed a salvation issue. Salvation means ” being saved/protected from harm/delivered from some dire situation”. When Cain offered the wrong thing to God as his worship, did he lose his protection from harm, his being delivered? Yes. When strange fire was offered by Nadab and Abihu in worship, did they lose their protection from harm? Yes (they were killed by God). So definitely, with the Bible as our guide and reference, strange (unauthorized) worship IS INDEED a salvation issue.

    1. What I understand to be what is or isn’t pleasing to God is ultimately a heart issue. We can sing or play an instrument with either pure or alterior motives. Isn’t this an issue of the heart not outward display. God sees and judges the heart. I play my saxophone in church and I do not sing well. I pray and want to play with a sincere heart adding to the service in a positive way to bring God glory. Who can pick up a stone and throw at me?

      1. It’s noat about your talent. It’s about pleasing God’s wishes which were SPECIFIC, the same as unleavened bread. Ignoring the law of exclusion violates God’s instructions. How about crackers on the communion table? Law of exclusion, brother.

        1. Might I add that, through and through, the Bible stresses the authority of God. Over and over again we are told, and warned, that it is not in man to direct his own steps. The heart of man is not what guides man, it is the Word of the Lord.

  44. Actually Jim, that is incorrect. Cain lost his protection because he KILLED his brother. God was not pleased with his worship, and He let him know that. If you read Genesis 4, you will actually see that God consoled Cain and told him to do better next time. Cain lost his protection from harm only when he later murdered. It had nothing to do with the offering so in the future, please do NOT use that story to make this point.

    The Bible clearly lays out the plan for salvation: hear, believe, repent, confess, and be baptized. Those are the clear steps of salvation. We should all strive to live a faithful life to the Lord after being saved; however, any other issue should be left for God to decide. We don’t know what can cause one not to be saved other than not following 5 steps for salvation I put above. When it comes to instruments, women preachers, speaking in tongues, etc, we are to strive to follow God’s will to the best of our ability by not having these things in our worship. However, God NEVER says these are salvation issues. We must stay silent where the Bible is silent.

    Again, this kind of false teaching is what is hurting our cause today. Anyone can read Genesis 4 and see that I’m correct on what I’ve stated. Anyone can see that Ephesians 5:19 was never intended to be about instruments in church. Those who are leaving the Church of Christ are leaving because we’re not giving them solid reasons “why” we do what we do. We give them verses that any intelligent person can see are taken our of context. Instead we should be showing them the pattern of how God is very specific about the worship He wants from us as laid out in the OT and 1st century church.

  45. Hello Thomas, I like several in these comments have studied the scriptures for many years. This does not mean anything except we have gained insight into any number of issues. But it makes us no more higher or lower in the sight of man or God–because it was our duty to do so. Having said that, we all recognize the fact that it will be God and Him ALONE that will determine who will and who will not enter the kingdom of Heaven. But having said that it must be pointed out that God did not leave mankind without witness or instructions that would serve as a roadmap to that heavenly realm. And so we only point out the fact that 1. we stand as churches of Christ based upon one thing only and that is the scriptures 2. God gave man the instincts and facilities for finding out the truth 3. we are promised that only those who will be saved must obey the truth 4. and that God will save him so ever he chooses (it is not up to us to speculate on things we cannot know)
    5 and instead of binding instrumental music on people–we are calling people to look at the scriptures alone 6 it is those who would lose such things that are making the judgment call. How in all honesty can you and others state that it is not a salvation issue? Has God told you or others something that we do not or can not know? And for all readers of the comments no one is being either a Pharisee or Sadducee, we are discussing the subject and that only.
    God bless all those who comment on this topic. We are striving in our own ways to think about the truth.

  46. Don’t know why my previous comment is awaiting moderation. I simply was stating that Hunter Hills will be worshipping as The Christain Church does. I think they broke off from the CofC. Therefore, they should change their name to the Hunter Hills Christian Church.

  47. Hi Stanley, I think we pretty much agree with each other. I, like yourself, am a member of the Church of Christ. To answer your question: “How in all honesty can you and others state that it is not a salvation issue?”, my answer is I cannot say whether or not this is a salvation issue. God does NOT say whether this is a salvation issue or not; therefore, neither I, nor anyone else, can speculate whether this is or is not a salvation issue. I can only teach that I feel God prefers acapella music. Would you agree with that statement? My responses in this post have been to those who ignore scripture and say that this IS DEFINITIVELY a salvation issue. Unless God has directly spoken to you, then you cannot claim that this IS a salvation issue just as I cannot claim this ISN’T a salvation issue. We must be silent where the scriptures are silent.

    1. Hey, Thomas. I can only read the scripture and read church History, an excellent book is the one by Everette Ferguson on Public Worship and A Cappella music. By doing this I can arrive at a safe position and not only a safe position but one that I know fits the biblical frame. Our examples of gopher wood, strange fire and hamburgers and fries on the Lords Table are still powerful in my mind. We cannot practice what the Bible does not talk about. And there is no mention of it. Silence.

  48. Stanley, I agree with you. The safe position is to NOT use instruments. Everyone is in agreement there. In the same manner, we must arrive at the safe conclusion though that we don’t know what the consequences are for using instruments. For some in here to say that people will spend eternity in hell for it is not scriptural. It’s false doctrine. We must remain silent on consequences for instrumental worship because the Bible is also silent.

  49. I think that a key verse in this discussion occurs after the deaths of Nadab and Abihu. God explains their deaths to their father with these words: “This is what the Lord spoke, saying, “By those who come near Me I MUST BE REGARDED AS HOLY; and before all the people I MUST BE GLORIFIED” (Leviticus 10:3 NKJV). (Note: the KJV and ESV say “I will be sanctified”). The point that is being made here is that God’s expectation is that those who draw near to Him in worship do so in a manner that regard Him as holy and that glorifies Him. By offering unauthorized fire Nadab and Abihu did not regard God as holy, nor glorify Him. How many times have I used the RIGHT PEOPLE (the priests) OFFERING TO THE RIGHT GOD (Jehovah) THE RIGHT SACRIFICE (the incense) AT THE RIGHT PLACE (the tabernacle) – BUT USING THE WRONG FIRE – one not authorized by God. God has always told His people how to worship Him, and He has always expected them to do it His way. If you asked Nadab and Abihu right before they offered the fire, I am absolutely certain that they would have said that what kind of fire was used was not a “salvation” issue, as long as they offered what they did to God.

  50. Dean, that’s an excellent example. Unfortunately, we see this type of thing only once in the Bible so we don’t have a pattern where we can definitively say that worship is a salvation issue. Do we have a pattern that God is specific about worship? Yes. All throughout the entire OT, he regulates worship. Do we have a pattern to show that worshiping wrong is a salvation issue? No. We don’t. We have only one story. The sample size isn’t large enough to be conclusive. Is it possible that instrumental worship is a salvation issue? Yes. Is it definitive? No. Anyone who claims this is definitely a salvation issue is twisting the scriptures to fit their beliefs instead of letting the scriptures mold your own beliefs. We should teach acapella worship while staying humble and realizing we don’t know what God will choose to do to others who do not comply.

    1. . Is it possible that instrumental worship is a salvation issue? Yes. Is it definitive? No: SO SAYS THOMAS

      Is it possible that the ice is strong enoug to hold me? Yes
      Is it definite? No
      So, I drowned thinking that “maybe” it was okay!

      I would not want to take the chance . . . This is God, His authority and eternal salvation that we are tampering with when we do what we think “might” be okay when we could be (should be) doing what we know, for sure, is acceptable to God.

      For those who want to take the “chance” – It’s your soul – but, remember that you may influence others. IF you lose your soul, you will also be held accountable for those whom you led down the wrong path!

  51. Roy, you’re being illogical. “SO SAYS THOMAS” is an arrogant, immature remark. This discussion is for adults so I would suggest if you can’t act like one that you take your thoughts elsewhere. I don’t say anything. I get my authority from the Bible. If you say “yes” to the question, you are the one throwing away the Bible in favor of your own opinion. Let God’s word be your authority.

    I want you to really pay attention to this next part because my guess is that you’re either skimming through my posts or have poor reading comprehension skills. No one (especially me) has advocated using instruments. I clearly stated that it’s best to go with what the NT church shows us and worship God without instruments. Your entire last two paragraphs are irrelevant because I never stated we should tamper with what “might” be ok by using instruments. I said we should continue acapella because we know that’s good in the sight of God. Where in the world did I say anyone should ever take a “chance”? Please stop implying that I’ve said stuff that I haven’t. You’re being deceitful.

    1. Thomas: Illogical? Oh well, I have been called worse! “Where in the world did I say anyone should ever take a “chance”?” That’s what you are saying when you say that disregarding God’s will is not a matter of salvation. Those who disregard his will are, indeed, taking a chance and you seem to be encouraging them to do so by advocating that it doesn’t matter.

      You said, “because I never stated we should tamper with what “might” be ok by using instruments.” That is exactly what you are implying when you say that it is not a matter of salvation. That is an indicator, to those who might be so inclined to use the instrument, to do so without consideration of any possible consequence. They could just lost their soul by following your thinking.

      Since you have resorted to personal slurs and have turned this into a personal issue, with name calling, I plan to make this my last post. Perhaps others will see fit to continue to stand for the faith on this topic. Roy

  52. Roy, I never advocated takking a chance. I advocate to sing acapella (for the 10th time). You’re the one who keeps suggesting that I am advocating for instruments even though it’s completely false. I never once said it didn’t matter. Please stop putting words into my mouth.

    There may or may not be a consequence. Neither you nor I know if they will lose their soul for using an instrument. If you tell them they will lose their soul for it, you are lying to them. It’s better to be silent where the Bible is silent. Are you suggesting that we add to what the Bible says?

    I imagine others will continue to stand for the faith and hopefully will rebuke you for saying that we should add to the Bible. You are the only one here who has made this personal by making childish remarks. Myself and everyone else in here has kept this conversation on an adult level so it’s probably best that you make that your last post.

  53. I can’t believe a knowledgeable Christian would say that “worship is not a salvation issue.” But I think a lack of knowledge is the problem. No doubt this has been stated already, but if worship is a command, and it is (John 4:24; Matt. 4:10); and if teaching “the doctrines of men” is “vain” worship, and it is (Matt. 15:9), then the obvious conclusion is that a vital part of our Christian lives includes worshiping God in spirit and truth. And if we fail to do that, then we are not in fellowship with God. Why? Because if we can pervert the worship by changing the Lord’s Supper from what the Lord taught, and it can be unacceptable (consider I Cor. 11:17, 20, -22, 27), then the same can be said for the singing. Some say, “The New Testament does not forbid it.” But it does, in that the Lord has told Christians that we “Must worship Him in spirit and truth,” and the truth is to “sing” (Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19). He did not say sing and play, sing and clap, sing and dance, sing and do anything else, except make melody in the heart. The Jews perverted the gospel by adding circumcision to it (Gal. 1:8-9; 2:1-15; Acts 15:1, 25); modernists today pervert the Gospel (the Gospel being the whole of the New Covenant teaching – Rom. 1:15) by adding mechanical instruments to the singing in worship. Some say that Paul never spoke against instrumental music like he did the Lord’s Supper or circumcision. Well, it is obvious that it was not a problem in the early church. Everette Ferguson stated, “It did not exist in Christian worship for centuries after the New Testament.” Ferguson, Everett (2013-06-26). A Cappella Music in the Public Worship of the Church (Kindle Location 1686). Desert Willow Publishing. Kindle Edition. So secular history can testify against it’s use. Why is that so? Adding the historic evidence to the silence of its use in the New Testament, demonstrates that Instrumental music was not used by early Christians or others for many years; it is a relatively modern innovation. Since when do we “decide” or “conclude” what God wants? Is He not the object of worship? He has told us what He wants, and anything else is “vain worship” and condemned.

  54. One more comment: 1. We must worship God in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24); 2. The word of God is truth (John 17:17); 3. If we fail to worship God according to His word, in any manner other than by His truth, then our worship is unacceptable. Cain’s worship was unacceptable. God told him, “if you do well, will you not be accepted.” The problem for Cain was that he did not offer according to faith, according to what God told him to do (Hebrews 11:4 where Abel was accepted and Cain not; Romans 10:17 – since Abel’s was by faith and Cain’s was not, Abel did what God Commanded and Cain did not.) To not be accepted by God is to be lost. Cain was lost and killed his brother because of his jealousy over that fact. Another example of the necessity of worshiping God according to His authority. The same was true under the Mosaic age with Nadab and Abihu, and the same is true today, according to Jesus.

  55. Roger, you’re trying to connect a lot of dots, but it just doesn’t mesh. We should all worship only acapella, but to suggest people are going to hell because they don’t requires twisting scriptures and applying meanings that were not intended. Eph. 5:19 has NOTHING to do with instruments. Quit being judgemental toward others. Teach them. Show them that God wants acapella worship, but to pretend you know their eternal fate for using instruments is blasphemous.

  56. Ladies and Gentlemen … we need to conduct ourselves as such and quit all this bantering back and forth. Just make a statement and quit this back and forth. Just state what the Bible teaches and let it go at that. You guys are not going to change each others mind and there are no winners. Enough said … … …

  57. If we would all just do what the New Testament says, then there would be no disagreements or arguments. It is just that simple. The problem comes in when people insist that they can do more, or less, and at the same time please God and have unity. It just cannot be done. Christian unity prevails when we follow the Word; division comes when we do not. Now, tell me, is God pleased when we divide over things He never asked for? Instrumental music is human in origin and foreign to Christian worship. If anyone divides the church over insisting that it can be done, they fail to see the value of Christian unity. I KNOW that we (the universal church) can stand together without it. I also know that we (the universal church) CANNOT stand together with it. The Lord said we would be be as one as He and the Father if we believed in Him through the word of the apostles (John 17:20-21). This issue was NEVER taught by the Lord’s apostles or any other New Testament writer. And putting it into practice is causing division of the precious body of Christ! Now, tell me, who is causing the problem here, the ones who say we can use it without consequence, or those who say we cannot do so?

  58. I say that this debate is a great example of why the Body of Christ is so vulnerable to attack from Satan. Y’all, pride and self righteousness are dangerous things. I think it’s safe to say nobody in this forum is God so nobody really KNOWS what God thinks about instruments. If you want to live with a “better to be safe than sorry” posture, that’s fine. What I don’t think is fine is to pretend you know God’s stance simply because its not mentioned. Why not focus on what will unite the Body–and the answer is not to get with the CoC program. That’s self-righteous to think CoC has it completely right and everyone else is damned. I grew up Catholic. They think they’ve got it right. I’ve spent time with people of all denominations and I read the Word. Each denomination thinks its right–but whats universal is also telling. The Word of God and Jesus’ love & sacrifice to save us are the common thread. I will never presume to know what God knows but I will remember that God alone is my judge. He knows my heart. And I will love every child of God–that includes sinners. I’m not going to heaven based on what I do our don’t do. I’m going to heaven based on His grace and mercy. I’m a sinner. I have sinned and will most likely sin many more times so long as i am on this earth. Am I going to hell? Think about it before you cast another stone.

  59. well James, I really do not think that we are casting stones here and my thoughts from reading your post is that your not a member of what are called churches of Christ. If not, you have little say so, if you are then again we go back to what our roots are in the historical church. Who calls the shots? Who gives the orders? And those of us who are saved by His grace and mercy, HOW are we to accept this grace? That is what is the issue. We do what He says, we do not do what he does not say (being a double negative–by looking at the converse side we actually see in a better light that we do what he says. It means the same thing.). Kaddi, the weak brethren here are not those who have been doing the same for so many years, they are the ‘newbies’ who want to change things, they are those demanding a change. Think deeply about things people…..:)

  60. You are right–I’m not CoC–but did that really give me no voice? I’m a member of the Body of Christ and I think that gives me a voice. I’ve been a member of a CoC as well but again my authority to speak comes from being a Believer. I’m going to continue to do what God tells me to do. I’m not going to do what God tells me not to do. Where God’s Word is silent, I will follow the leading off the Holy Spirit. He was sent to guide us and empower us.
    On a side note, I can tell you that since you don’t know my story, it is hard to pass any judgement but I lived a true example of God’s grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. I’ve visited many different churches in my travels and I don’t ever desire to label myself as a member of a particular denomination as though I’m a member of an exclusive club–as a Believer, I’m already a member of a great and wonderful club. We are called to be fishers of men, but to catch fish, you have to know what bait to use. The minute pride & self righteousness get in the way, you will likely scare the fish away. That might be perfectly fine with you and that is ok. That might be where you are in life, but I am called to reach many people and win their souls for Christ before they die. I will lean on the Word as it is written and the leading off the Holy Spirit to guide me. I will pray for the entire Body of Christ–that includes you–and I will pray the walls of division that denominations create are broken down. God bless.

  61. One last comment from me. The bottom line problem that I see is the concept that we cannot truly know the truth. Many of the same folks who argue that instrumental music use is all right would have no problem with steak, potatoes, and sweet tea on the Lord’s Table, or having the Lord’s supper on Thursday night (already happening some places). They will not affirm that one must submit, as a penitent, confessing believer, to baptism for the remission of sins in order to have sins washed away. There is nothing taught more clearly, yet denied or skirted around by so many. The bottom line is that there is a very strong belief that we cannot know the will of God. It is not possible, as many have said in this thread of discussion, to really know what God wants. While they are applying it here to instrumental music in worship, it is applied as strongly to how one becomes a Christian, church organization – you name it. Jesus’ declaration, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” is ultimately lost in the concept that we cannot really know for sure what truth is. Let me make two points: if the Holy Spirit was incapable of revealing God’s will so that it can be understood through the written page, He is incapable of doing so in an individual basis, as some claim His leading beyond the word. Secondly, the religious world is filled with confusion and conflicting doctrines, all claiming to be from the Holy Spirit. God makes it clear that He is not the author of confusion. He is not the author of what is called “Christianity” that is divided and teaching so many things contrary to His will. All who submit to His will, and follow His word will be added by Him to His Son’s body; and they are expected by Him to walk in His ways revealed through His holy word. All who walk in any way but the one He has proscribed are walking in error, and are not pleasing to Him.

  62. well stated, we must search for the truth in the scriptures, God gave it and it is up to us to study and find it. Everything we do in life is a salvation issue IMHO, therefore we need to be wise as serpants and harmless as doves.

  63. Dean, I think it would be wise for you to read a bit further into scripture before you put the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in a box. I think it is unwise to say that the Holy Spirit is incapable of revealing God’s will to individuals. There are many cases throughout the Old and New Testament where the Holy Spirit speaks to and guides individuals–even after Jesus’ death and resurrection. God’s Word is truth, but it doesn’t cover everything–it just doesn’t. If you think it does, through silence, then perhaps you shouldn’t be discussing, reading, worshiping God via computers and the internet. Or perhaps you shouldn’t use a digital bible, or communicate with and pray for people over the phone or through email. Do you see where this is going? God sent the Holy Spirit to be with us until Jesus’ return to guide and protect us. If you aren’t able to hear His voice, I don’t know–perhaps you need to take a personal inventory, but I will not put limits on God. His Holy Spirit is a gift to Believers.
    Where the bible doesn’t mention things, it doesn’t mean not to do them. The bible is very specific, especially in the New Testament on what to do and what not to do. If there are scriptures that tell you what not to do just as much as they tell you what to do, then how is it that if the bible doesn’t mention it, that it is automatically put in the category of what not to do? This “doctrine” is very legalistic. As such, I really hope that everyone who believes this is a salvation issue is also doing everything else to the letter–otherwise, according to your premise, you’ll be right there with everyone else. It is impossible to earn your way into heaven. That’s why Jesus was sent to redeem us. We aren’t under the old covenant, so please stop acting as though we are. We–I repeat WE–are the Body of Christ. If you don’t believe that–if you believe the CoC is the only entity going to heaven–I feel sorry for you. If you can agree that we as believers are the Body, then perhaps you can learn to understand that, as stated in Romans 14, if it makes you stumble, then don’t do it. Just don’t attend a church with intstrumental music, but do not pass judgement on the practice.

  64. James, I did not say He is incapable. I said that if He cannot through the written word He cannot. He is certainly capable of revealing God’s word in any way God chose for Him to, and God chose to send Him so that the word could be revealed as our guide. That does not limit God, that shows His power.

  65. James, I believe that denominationalism is wrong in the sight of God (the first few chapters of 1 Corinthians show Paul’s complete rebuke for those trying to denominationalize the church in Corinth), and I eschew any denominational tie. I am a Christian, along with all who are faithful servants of Jesus Christ by faith and obedience. “Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered, and being made perfect he became the author of eternal salvation to those who obey him” (Hebrews 5:8-9). Certainly salvation is impossible except by God’s grace, extended through Jesus and epitomized on the cross of Calvary. No person can do enough good things to earn his or her way to heaven. However, obedience is expected, and an attitude of obedience, penitence, and confessing of our own sins is absolutely necessary. To say, “Well, we don’t know everything, therefore we can do anything and God will just forgive us” is not a penitent attitude, nor an accurate one. Certainly, as well, you can see that so many claim to be guided by the Holy Spirit, from the Pope of Rome, to denominational preachers, etc. that teach things which cannot be reconciled, and cannot come from God. The reason for the revelation of the word of God was to help us keep from being tossed about by every wind of doctrine. Further, I also want to emphasize that God is the judge. Because I stand up for the truth of the word of God, that does not make me judgmental, nor does it mean that I feel I can judge individuals. It means that I can present what God has said, because we will be measured by the word of God. It is quite a leap of judgmentalism for someone else to declare what is in my heart, and what my intentions are, it seems to me.

    And, finally, last thing I am going to say, I do not look upon you as an enemy. I am not sure if you are the same James, but I know that I have spent much time in prayer for a little Straub who has so many struggles. To disagree, even severely, does not mean a lack of love. It is only out of love for you and any one else who reads these that I write, because my number one concern is the souls of men. I do not care to win an argument, I want to go to heaven and take as many as I can with me, and that can only be done by “walking in the light,” and obeying God’s will.

  66. I agree that we are not enemies but that we are to be united in Christ. I am the same James and your prayers are so very much appreciated. I believe God is going to do great things and having everyone stand I’m agreement for her had been very humbling to say the least. This has been a solid debate. I share your passion for the souls of the lost. I just think that obedience is doing what you are told to do or not to do and disobedience is doing what you are told not to do or not doing what you are told to do. If I am not told something than I can only guess what God wants. I’m this case I believe your guess is not to use instruments and mine is that is ok. Either way, by definition it is not disobedience any more than choosing not to use them is.
    I wholeheartedly agree that denominations serve to divide which is exactly Satan’s wish.
    Thank you for all the continued prayer for my daughter. Were arent out if the woods yet but we are going in the right direction.
    God Bless.

  67. Gentlemen, this thread needs to close NOW !!!! It started out about Hunter Hills CoC and instruments in the Church. Now, it has turned into attacking one another and making unkind remarks toward one another. That’s not good. How many people are reading your remarks and forming an opinion about the Church of Christ. What???? are you trying to show one another how smart (or unsmart) you are. I say we need to stop this right now. Your post are doing NO GOOD for the Church !!!!!

  68. Do Not Pass Judgment on One Another

    14 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master1 that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

    5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since she gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

    10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written,
    “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

    12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
    Do Not Cause Another to Stumble
    13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus Christ that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual up building.

    20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. 22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. ………………………

    Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves.

    23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does ot proceed from faith is sin.

    This chapter always comes to mind when I hear people debating different religious views. I was raised CoC. I am still a CoC member. I once lived in Texas where many CoC now have traditional services and services with musical instruments. Max Lucado is responsible for many changes within the CoC when he brought in instruments. But also changed the name and no longer affiliated with CoC. I left the church where we were members for many years because they added instuments……….and kept the CoC sign on the door. We placed membership at another CoC without instruments.

    I believe differently from how I was raised and what I was taught. I read the verses like:

    Psalm 150:4 ESV

    Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!

    Psalm 92:1-3 ESV

    A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath. It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre.

    Yes, this is the Old Testament but if much importance weighed on instruments why wouldn’t it have been written? I don’t see it as adding to the Bible. For we know the Bible focuses on all that is important. That is why we are reminded not to bicker and quarrel on what is considered to be small differences between religions.

    The following verses to me mean actually what they tell us……….SING and MAKE MUSIC WITH OUR HEARTS. This can be done with or without musical instruments. Many people will sing a hymn and if you were to ask them what they just sang praising OUR Father have no clue. They just mimicked the words without meaning. So when we sing we are to sing with ALL our heart! Feel it from your heart. LOVE!

    1 Corinthians 14:15 ESV

    What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.

    Ephesians 5:19 KJV

    Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

    Personally, I don’t believe it is a sin. Personally, I do believe a church with instruments and going against the traditional teachings of the CoC should be willing to CHANGE the name on their church sign to something other than CoC. There are many different Baptists Churches. First Baptist, Second Baptist, Southern Baptist, Freewill Baptist, ect.

    Personally, for me, musical instruments is distracting. I prefer the beauty that comes from acapella singing. It is distracting for me but that does not mean it is distracting for all. I believe OUR Father is concerned about BIGGER issues like we read in Romans 14.

  69. This is letting the world in and trying to please the general public. Sin seperates us from God and to die in a sin is an eternal matter. Worshiping in truth is just as much an eternal matter as adultry, stealing, and liars. They should change the name on the front of the building because they no longer embody the beliefs of the church of Christ. This is a sad situation for the coc. The members for the earlier service need to go to where another true church if Christ meets because two masters cannot be served.

  70. Why do you remove posts that are not in opposition to the use of instruments? The following was just posted, but immediately removed:
    “Yes, Jesus died to silence the band. But the band was within earshot when he drove out the moneychangers. What gives??” ~ Russ H.

    1. Patricia H. (or Russ H,), That statement is baseless and irrelevant. I assume you meant the music in the temple? If not, then please clarify. You are assuming that there were instruments in the Temple worship during Jesus’ ministry? There is not a shred of evidence to support that theory. There is both inspired and secular evidence that there were no musical instruments in the worship of the early church, and it was many years later that any were used in “Christian” worship. Jesus could not bring to a halt what was not even happening.

  71. And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name.

    They held harps given them by God

    and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb:

    “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. (Revelation 15:2, 3 NIV)

  72. Revelation is a HIGHLY figurative book throughout. When was the last time any of us “saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass”? Never. When God gives me a harp, I will play it. Until then, I will worship as He has instructed in the New Testament.

    Is this literal, or figurative?
    “And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” (Revelation 5:6 NKJV)

    Some people will stretch the Bible until it rips, just to prove they are right on something the Bible does not teach.

  73. Many people make an issue of copying first century worship. The early church sang antiphonally and with call and response. Some of the songs were chanted rather than sung as we do today. These early practices are as far removed from our modern Stamps-Baxter four part harmony as a cappella singing is removed from singing with instrumental accompaniment. If restoring apostolic practices is our goal we should meet in house churches, have weekly potlucks and drink from one cup. If praising God is our goal we should use every talent given to us.

    1. 1. Following what the early church did is not what we are supposed to do. We must follow the New Testament regarding singing and all aspects of worship. Your premise, therefore, is false.
      2. The point regarding “house churches” is totally irrelevant to this discussion. The church met in some houses due to expedience. But they also met in the temple (Acts 2:46). The location was a matter of convenience, opportunity, and practicality, not a matter of pattern.
      3. The idea that only one cup was used is mere conjecture and unsupported by Scripture.
      4. The contrast between instrumental music and antiphonal singing is a false analogy. Instrumental music is an ADDITION to the singing, NOT a type.
      5. History bears out that no mechanical instruments of music were used in any assemblies of the church, even in apostate congregations, for almost 1,000 years. There is a reason for that.

      1. The best advice I can give is long hard study. Put aside our traditions and don’t rely on eisegesis. Get several modern translations (the archaic language of the KJV causes more problems than it solves), go to the Greek NT and Thayer’s lexicon to understand ambiguous or difficult words (Blue Letter Bible is a good web site for this), use a music reference such as Grove’s Dictionary of Music, remember the lessons of grammar and sentence construction you learned in grade school and keep in mind the NT was written in a first century Greco-Roman culture. Then study like you are cramming for a biochemistry final.
        With regard to #4 above, most people would say that a cappella singing, singing accompained by a rock band, singing accompanied by an orchestra and singing accompanied by a blue grass band are all different types of singing. Do not Bono, Luciano Pavarotti and Ralph Stanley “sing”? Alexander Campbell’s Common Sense Realism would say that they do.

  74. This decision ignors the basic Biblical Interpretation “exclusion principle.” The reason we use unlevened bread on the Lord Supper is because of this principle. In the same way, had Paul written “make music” we could decide how and what. He did not say this. He said “sing and make melody in your heart, teaching and admonishing each other with Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs.”

    The exclusion principle tells us what God wants before his throne – singing and teaching others with song! The instrument is excluded the same as any other type of bread on the Lord’s supper. There is reason for unleavened bread and reason for singing. Jesus got his information from the Father, gave it to the Holy Spirit who gave it to the apostles who taught what the Father wants. And, the church practiced it. (Joh 8, 14, 16)

    Experience tells us that the elder’s choice ignors unity among the brethren on top of ignoring clear scriptural teachings about worship.

    No doubt Paul is rolling over in his grave! Galatians 1 is appropriate here. The Father is no longer honored and worshipped. Rather serious! It only takes one generation for apostasy. God hates men’s doctrines and he hates division! If teachers are judged more harshly (James 3) what will be the judgment of elders who lead the flock astray? Elders “must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught and refrute those who oppose it. (Titus 1:9). These elders are to be rebuked! (v13) Those who like it are “mere talkers” (v10). God help them!

    Remain faithful!

    1. Regarding your comment on using unleavened bread: Nowhere in scripture are we told to use unleavened bread. Jesus used unleavened bread because he was eating Kosher during Passover week and that was the only kind of bread available. The Greek says that Jesus took bread. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the Lord’s Supper he said that Jesus took the bread, not unleavened bread, just bread (artos in Greek). If Paul had meant to insist on unleavened bread he would have said so but he did not. If we say we have to use unleavened bread because that is what Jesus used, then we should also use fermented grape juice because that is what Jesus used and what Jews still use during Passover. We can’t pick and choose which Biblical example we want to follow. In the same manner, Paul didn’t say we are to sing a cappella, he said sing. Singing is singing no matter what else is going on around us at the time, whether it be an organ playing, an orchestra playing or just a group of people using only their voices. What we need is less relying on our traditions and more scholarship.

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