Musical Instruments in Worship
Last updated on 2018-09-27
About the Book
Is it okay to have instruments in church?
Arguments against instrumentation in worship usually include these points:
- Instrumental music was purely Levitical, ceremonial, and tied to the temple
- Instrumental music cannot be found in the New Testament
- Instrumental music was not used by the early church, and the early church interpreted the Bible to teach a cessationist perspective on instruments
This booklet investigates what the Bible says about music, and looks at each of these three arguments in turn.
- 1. God’s Delight In Instrumental Music
- 2. To mandate a capella worship is to violate the Regulative Principle of Worship
3. Dealing with a cappella’s first pillar
- A summary of the argument: the claim that instrumental music was purely Levitical, ceremonial, and tied to the temple
- Problem one – Non Levites were clearly authorized to play musical instruments in worship
- Problem two: David’s tabernacle (a form of synagogue worship that foreshadowed New Covenant worship) had instrumental music without sacrifices or ceremonial law.
- Problem three: the only musical instruments that were distinctively Levitical were the two silver trumpets.
- Problem four: While some Levitical functions ceased with the death of Christ, it is simply not true that all Levitical functions do.
- Problem five – Where does the Bible describe musical instruments as a ceremonial type?
4. Dealing with a cappella’s second pillar
- A summary of the argument: the claim that instrumental music cannot be found in the New Testament
- Ephesians 5:19: Does it command the use of instruments or forbid the use of instruments?
- Other New Testament evidence
5. Dealing with a cappella’s third pillar
- A summary of the argument: the claim that instrumental music was not used by the early church and that the early church interpreted the Bible to teach a cessationist perspective on instruments
- Preliminary contradiction of the a cappella thesis
- Church fathers who either played musical instruments themselves or who (while opposing instruments in their own local churches) admitted that the true church used instruments in worship (AD 70-680)
- The real reason that opposition to musical instruments arose in the late third century and following – the Greek philosophy of asceticism
- Some of the non-instrumentation citations prove too much
- What about the Reformers?
- What about the synagogues – Were they instrument free? And does it matter if we hold to RPW?
- 6. Conclusion
- 7. About the author
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