"Why don't you have musical instruments in your services?"
I am glad that you want to learn more about the Word of God.
I'm not sure what your perspective is on instrumental music so I'll give you a brief synopsis on my studies:
Those who use instruments say that the Bible is not specific as to the kind of music that is to be used in Christian worship.
But the Bible does say:
Ephesians 5:19, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord."
Those who use instruments say that even singing is not a command, so instrumental music does not need to be commanded.
But the Bible does say:
Colossians 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."
Those who use instruments say that their modern program of church music pleases them, so it ought to please God.
But the Bible does say:
Isaiah 55:8, "`For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord."
Those who use instruments say that God did not say not to have instruments in worship.
But Christ Jesus did tell us:
Mark 7:6-8, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites . . . They worship Me in vain, their teachings are but rules taught by men. You have let go the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."
God is interested in details, He tells us so in His Word, the Bible. Following are a few of the Scriptures where He tells us just how interested in details He is:
a) Neither did the Lord tell Noah not to put mahogany in the ark, Genesis 6:14. God did tell Noah what wood to use.
b) Such an addition to Christ's teaching and commands by anyone stands condemned under presumption, and they would not have God our Savior, II John :9.
c) Such a sin caused Moses to lose his right to Canaan, Numbers 20:12, and Nadab and Abihu to lose their lives, Leviticus 10:1-2.
d) And consider the story of how Saul lost his kingdom, I Samuel 15:1-29. In verse 3 God told Saul to totally destroy the Amalekites and everything that belonged to them. In verse 9 we find where Saul and his army spared Agag and the best of the livestock - everything that was good. They were unwilling to destroy completely as God had commanded them. After an interchange with Samuel, Saul finally admitted he had sinned and violated God's command. Samuel tells Saul that the Lord has rejected him as king, has torn the kingdom from Saul that day. And in verse 29 we are told that God does not lie or change His mind.
When God tells us about something that He wants us to do, we must obey the command just as He has given it to us, not adding to, nor subtracting from it. Throughout the Bible God does tell us that He is interested in details, so if our goal is to be saved we must obey God on His terms. For if we don't, then we will be lost.
The Bible is silent about instrumental music in worship services, therefore it is not commanded by God, had God wanted it He would have told us, therefore having not told us, we must also obey the silence of the Scriptures. As I've shown you above the Bible does tell us when worshipping that we must sing. So we sing as we are commanded, with spiritual music in our hearts, making melody from the heart with our voices to worship God, concentrating on the spirit of worship to glorify God. Hebrews 13:15, "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess His name." The fruit of our lips is praise, song and prayer.
Hebrews 12:28, "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." We are commanded to worship God in spirit, and the loud resounding of metal, wood, leather and ivory is not of the spirit. In Hebrews 1:2 we read "but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe." The Scripture verses given herein are a part of what God our Savior has spoken to us.
I enjoyed answering your request for the above Scripture verses. I pray that I have given you what you need to study these things. There is always an answer in Scripture to anything that has to do with our salvation, Hebrews 4:12. It's simply a matter of studying until we find our answers, II Timothy 2:15; I Peter 3:15. If you have any other questions we will be glad to study them with you.
The above comments and answers are my own understanding of the Scriptures, II Timothy 2:15, 3:16. The Bible teaches us that it is not the duty of the church to make laws, but to obey the laws found in the Scriptures which are made by the Head of the church, which is Christ Jesus, Matthew 28:18, Colossians 1:18, 24.
Gene E. LittleJohns
6 May 1997 Copyright © 1997, by Gene E. LittleJohns, all rights reserved. The copyright owner reserves all rights to any profits from this writing. Otherwise, reproduction and distribution of this writing is encouraged, it may be freely distributed as long as nothing is added to or removed from the original writing and this notice remains intact. Any and all modifications are strictly prohibited, without exception.
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