Instrumental music as worship to God is against the very heart principles of New Testament worship. For the most part, many have made Christ’s words about worship in the assembly into a minor matter. Many have diminished acts of worship. Many Christians would avoid following the letter to ignore the heart of Christian worship. Thereby, they overlook the specifics of the Lord’s Supper. Why do so many over look these things? Are they seeking cultural relevance as a missional approach? May God forbid. Yes, many professing believers neglect the detailed instructions of God for praying and singing. Teaching in assembly rarely consists of simply speaking the oracles of God. Very few professing believers desire to write the laws of God for the assembly on their hearts.
As for instrumental music in worship, Christians must ally with Christ’s words that He gave to the His apostles and prophets (John 15:20; 17:8; 1 Cor. 2:13). Christians must defend the instructions for Christian worship in music to be singing only. Christian worship by music is only singing in the New Testament. Rather than now going through a concordance’s list of Scriptures for only singing, someone could simply look at one section of Scripture. In 1 Corinthians 14:40, the apostle Paul commanded Christians to conduct the assembly decently and in order. First Corinthians 14 gives instruction for Christian worship. First Corinthians 14:10-15 reveal that teaching, prayers, and music without understandable words are against the heart of Christian worship in the assembly, because these are non-intelligible, contrary to edification, and lack the understanding that is essential to worship. This is why so many Christians advocate for singing only. The only benefits of instrumental music to Christians is in 1 Corinthians 14:7–8 where instruments like the flute, harp, and trumpet are addressed as “lifeless” and limited in communicating anything and give no verbally understandable edification. Musical machines certainly do not communicate praise anymore than instruments can pray to God or teach the Gospel.
The churches of Christ are not as much anti-instrumental worship, but advocates for singing only. All resolutions are quicker with positive instructions rather than a debate over every legal detail of what the specifics of the Bible exclude. This is what those promoting instrumental worship want to decry a legal debate by engaging in legalism, which is to hide the words of Christ in a cloud of doubtful opinions. This discussion is exactly like adding incense to prayer, flower pedals to baptism, or lamb to the Lord’s Supper. Why is there even a discussion of instrumental music anyway? There is no command for such. Instruments are contrary to God’s instructions for New Testament music in worship. This is only man’s invention and tradition. If Christians would simply just teach and defend singing only, then there would be less hunger over instrumental music and an affirmation of the purity of Christian music being singing in worship.
Christians can address specific inventions of men, but this cannot become one’s focus in discussing worship. Why not teach scriptural baptism in Jesus’s name more so than focusing on possible perversions of baptism by sprinkling, for infants, in rays of light, through a mist, in bubbles, in flower pedals, and so on? Why not teach about prayer that pleases God and with understanding more so than focusing against praying in so-called tongues of angels and teaching against incense?
These inventions and traditions of men are contradictions to New Testament worship, and these are contradictions to the specifics of the heart of worship. Christians can first focus on the truth and ideal of Christ’s words rather than the perversions of men. The light can expose all the traditions of men. May true worshipers worship in spirit and truth.