New Wineskins’ Confusion Over Christ’s Music for Worship

New Wineskins Magazine continues to present their beliefs in disarray. They recently have put out a new issue called “accompanied or a cappella? – The Instrumental Music Issue” presenting more than just their case for progressive worship. Their associated writers make too many misguided mistakes to note them all here. They misrepresent the beliefs of the churches of Christ, and their slander communicates contempt and haughtiness. Also note their confusion earlier this year over Christ’s patterns, “New Wineskins’ Confusion Over Christ’s Patterns“. In all of their articles, their arguments fail to address the whole of any belief or practice of the churches of Christ. May God bless them that they may rethink their approach and reconsider “Why the Churches of Christ Do Not Use Musical Instruments?“.

Let this be first noted that God has an ideal for His Church’s worship in assembly. No man should add to what God has made perfect (Gal. 3:15). Regarding the Assembly, the Spirit of Christ instructs His Church to speak, pray, and make melody with understandable words in the Assembly (1 Cor. 14). This very point is made a precedent through Paul who said in 1 Corinthians 14:15, “What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will make melody with the spirit, and I will also make melody with the understanding.Clearly, the music of Christ’s Church can only consist of understandable words. All other forms of music are unedifying and separate from the heart that Jesus intended for worship. When someone adds to Christ’s ideal for His Church’s music, then they are in part disregarding Him, His words, His sacrifice, His authority, His order, and His pattern for Christian worship. Erring in music is not a sole error, but “of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness” (Rom. 6:19). For sinners are not condemned for a piano, but for neglecting the words of Christ that He gave to us through His Apostles and prophets. Now, let’s look at their own words and note that the indented quotes below are from New Wineskins.

Christ’s Spirit spoke through the Apostles Paul saying in 1 Timothy 3:15, “I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

Rick Atchley said regarding getting a church to worship with what he refers to as “mechanical music”, “If you’ve got people who still feel that their relationship with God depends on how we do things at church, then this is not going to fly — and you can’t get there because you did a series on grace.” Jay Guin’s article, “An Afternoon with Rick Atchley and Chris Seidman, Part 3” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

Yet regarding the Assembly, Christ’s Spirit says in 1 Corinthians 14:40, “Let all things be done decently and in order.

“In 1 Corinthians, Paul culminates his discussion on the Lord’s Supper, women’s role in the assembly, and spiritual gifts by emphasizing the supremacy of love (1 Corinthians 13) and testing proposed activities in the assembly by asking, not whether the activities are on a pre-approved list of ‘acts of worship,’ but whether these actions build up, encourage, and console the saints (1 Corinthians 14:3 ESV)” Jay Guin’s article “‘Thy Kingdom Come’ and the Instrument” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

This is true, and this is what the Church does. Yet, this writer would imply that Christians determine worship by a “list of ‘acts of worship'”.

Regarding the misuse of a spiritual gift in the Assembly, the Spirit of Christ said in 1 Corinthians 14:15, 19, “What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding [or “mind”, from Greek noia]. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing [or “make melody”, from Greek psallo] with the understandingyet in the assembly I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.” This is the only music [psallo] that the first Christians knew consisted only of intelligible words. This is the standard that we, “Let all things be done for edification” (1 Cor. 14:26). Therefore, we ask ourselves, “Will this edify and build up the congregation?”

“Those who use 1 Corinthians 14 in their anti-instrumental polemics never approach the question asking the same questions Paul asks: does the instrument help build up, encourage, or console the saints or draw unbelievers toward worship? If so, they are approved. That’s Paul’s reasoning.” Jay Guin’s article “‘Thy Kingdom Come’ and the Instrument” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

“They are edified and built up in their faith by such instrumental accompaniment.” Al Maxey’s article “Reflective or Regulative?” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

There is a clear disconnect here from scripture, because Paul calls musical instruments soulless comparing these to the foreign languages that are not to be used in the Assembly (1 Cor. 14:7-8). Romans 16:17-18 says, “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.”

“The era of the progressive Church of Christ is over.

Back in the 80’s you could go to any major city, especially in the South, and you could find a progressive Church of Christ — and if they would preach grace, and if they would put words on a screen, and if they would let divorced people place membership, they would grow.

The generation of Boomers has enough denominational loyalty that they’re going to find the least legalistic Church of Christ they can find, and that’s where they’re going to attend.

Well, we discipled the children of those progressive churches for a whole generation to grow past us Boomers. They never heard the sermons we heard. They never heard the rationale for a cappella music. We sent them to youth rallies and Church of Christ events with some of the finest Christian bands in the world. We discipled our children to leave our Movement!” Jay Guin’s article “An Afternoon with Rick Atchley and Chris Seidman, Part 4” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

If someone were to later come into their group and try to introduce such a practice without first persuading the church that the practice is not sinful, that person would NOT be acting in a benevolent, godly manner toward these brethren who honestly held to a differing conviction, and who were merely seeking to worship their God according to their own perception of His will. Such a person would be putting a stumbling block before them — an unloving act.” Al Maxey’s article “Reflective or Regulative?” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

“Jesus taught that the Kingdom is all about having the right kind of heart.” Jay Guin’s article “‘Thy Kingdom Come’ and the Instrument” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

God is a witness that I was there when such teachers falsely speculated to those of us at these “rallies” that singing psalms meant using musical instruments.

Rick: People think, ‘Oh, man, if we just get over this instrumental music thing, the worship wars will be over!’ But there are so many ways to worship with instruments! Even among those who were for it, I quickly found out everyone had their idea of what it was supposed to be like. You can do the acoustic thing, you can do the organ thing, there are so many styles.

We actually sometimes intentionally do something a little different. About once a year we’ll have what we call ‘stained glass bluegrass,’ and we just do bluegrass sounds. And some of our people love it, and some of our people hate it.” Jay Guin’s article “An Afternoon with Rick Atchley and Chris Seidman, Part 4” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

“Imagine a congregation — or even a denomination! — where this verse is lived. Imagine what church would be like if we were to subordinate our preferences to each other. Rather than demanding our turn or our rights or our traditions or our styles, we decided that others are more important than ourselves! Would that change things?” Jay Guin’s article “‘Thy Kingdom Come’ and the Instrument” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

“You see, it’s time. It’s time to get past the ‘whether it’s okay’ debate and move on to the ‘Is it necessary for this church?’ discussion and, for some churches, to the ‘How do we do it?’ discussion.” Jay Guin’s article “Introduction: The Instrumental Music Issue” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

“I would like to offer this simple proposal. I think each Church of Christ — regardless of faction — should do at least one of the following three things:… [3rd thing] Adding an instrumental service to your own worship.” Jay Guin’s article “Reflections on My Interview with Rick Atchley and Chris Seidman” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

“If in your setting you’d be more effective in Kingdom work with the instrument, I don’t see how you have a lot of choice.” Jay Guin’s article “Reflections on My Interview with Rick Atchley and Chris Seidman” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

“Yes, we must live by our own convictions (some of which will be influenced by our inferences), but we have no right to compel others to bow to our own insights. Ours are no more infallible than theirs.” Al Maxey’s article “Reflective or Regulative?” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

“If Romans 14 demonstrates anything, it demonstrates that devoted disciples do at times arrive at completely opposite understandings of the will of God.” Al Maxey’s article “Reflective or Regulative?” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

Yet, the Spirit of Christ said in 1 Corinthians 1:10, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

Al Maxey said regarding the matter of worshiping with instrumental music,

“Thus, with regard to specific instruction on the matter, this is indeed a ‘NON-Biblical’ matter. In the NT writings there is NOTHING said specifically one way or the other.

Is the matter, therefore, ‘NON-Biblical’ with respect to the writings of the New Testament? Well, not entirely. We know that near the end of the First Century, in the Revelation given to John, mention is made of musical instruments in the courts of heaven (Revelation 5:8). This, of course, is merely a symbol, but it shows that God was using the symbol of a harp to convey the idea of praise unto Him. It seems odd that He would employ the symbol of an instrument of music to denote heavenly praise, if the actual use of such an instrument on earth in praise to Him would cause one to be lost! Didn’t Jesus teach us to pray, ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ (Matthew 6:10)?” Al Maxey’s article “Reflective or Regulative?” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

Don’t forget to add the altars, the bowls, and the incense for prayers too from Revelation 5:8, “golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.Should symbolism from temple imagery really be used to determine how we physically worship when the temple is spiritual?

The early disciples also met frequently in the temple courts during the early years, and at times even continued to make vows and offer sacrifices in the temple (and did so without sin). Instruments obviously were used in some of these proceedings.” Al Maxey’s article “Reflective or Regulative?” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

This is just not true of those who faith in Christ. Hebrews 10:11-12 says, “And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,”

Jesus said in John 7:24, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (See also 1 Corinthians 5.) These next words are just inconsistent with scripture and judges as well,

“We don’t judge each other, because we are all unworthy judges.” Jay Guin’s article “‘Thy Kingdom Come’ and the Instrument” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

“Paul’s lesson in Romans 14 is a commentary on this passage. We can’t be a church unless we stop judging each other in this way. We can’t condemn others while ignoring our own failings, as though our failings are covered by grace and theirs can’t be. What makes us so righteous that our sins covered and their sins are not?” Jay Guin’s article “Introduction: The Instrumental Music Issue” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

Here are more flawed characterizations of the churches of Christ:

“You see, the very notion that whether the instruments are right or wrong might depend on silences or the writings of Clement of Alexandria utterly misunderstands the nature of the gospel. The gospel is simply not about such things.” Jay Guin’s article “On God’s Salvation, Galatians, and the Instrument” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

“Nevertheless, one’s hermeneutic is important, as it will form the basis for that disciple’s understanding of God’s Word. An inferior hermeneutic will inevitably lead to an inferior theology. Thus, it behooves us to seek out and utilize the best interpretive process available. Many within the Stone-Campbell Movement, especially those within the more conservative wing of the Churches of Christ, have embraced what has come to be called the CENI hermeneutic (the letters of which simply refer to Command, Example, and Necessary Inference). The principle underlying this approach to understanding Scripture is largely regulative in nature, in that it seeks to perceive and establish laws to be bound upon the people of God as conditions of salvation and terms of fellowship. I do not believe this to be the best methodology available to us.” Al Maxey’s article “Reflective or Regulative?” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

Second Thessalonians 3:6 says, “But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.” Christ said in John 14:21, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Simply, obeying God’s commands includes obeying His defining examples (patterns) and embedded principles (necessary inferences). For even baptism in Jesus’ name can only be defined by Biblical examples. CENI is a man’s observation and organization of how Christ, His Apostles, and prophets interpreted the Scriptures.

“Indeed, I feel it to be fatally flawed as employed by its proponents, and believe the adherents of this hermeneutic have left the One Body horribly fragmented into countless feuding factions in the wake of their differing deductions and assumptions which they far too frequently feel compelled to bind as universal law. But such is the inevitable outcome of employing the Regulative Principle.” Al Maxey’s article “Reflective or Regulative?” (New Wineskins, September – December 2010)

No non-institutional believers have who hold the beliefs that Al Maxey lays on the mainstream of the churches of Christ. Lastly, please remember what Christ’s Spirit said regarding the Assembly in 1 Corinthians 14:40, “Let all things be done decently and in order.

About Scott J Shifferd

Minister, church of Christ in Jacksonville, FL. Husband and father of four. Email: ScottJon82[at]yahoo.com
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14 Responses to New Wineskins’ Confusion Over Christ’s Music for Worship

  1. Pingback: Progressives’ Confusion over Baptism and Salvation | Seeing God's Breath

  2. DW says:

    Scott,
    You have stated you often wonder and don’t want to wrangle, which is good. But at times you try to defend the old very strongly, depending on whom you are conversing with. It sounds ambiguous. Not a put down, but an observation. As I’ve said before I was raised far “right wing” and the waters were and are still muddied. Many lives were damaged and I hate to say it but probably souls lost. Many over the years have said those who taught “did the best they could”, but I could say the same for Joseph Smith, but I now know better. James 3:1 is a scary verse and it is meant to be.

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    • It is confusing because I reject the traditional packaging of doctrine, but I see the practices of the churches of Christ as right and good according to Scripture. For instance, I don’t speak of a “Plan of Salvation” not that there isn’t one. I’d rather refer to the Death, Burial, and Resurrection to teach how one is resurrected to a new life in Christ. I find little difference in the truth between this distinction, and much in the presentation of the Truth. James 3:1 is scary. God help us all who teach. We better only teach what we know and devote ourselves entirely to knowing what we don’t.

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  3. DW says:

    Scott,
    Above you state that you believe perfection is only through Christ and that we have forgiveness of even sins of ignorance. Then why the wrangle? If “instrumentalists” focus on Christ in ignorance are they not forgiven? I non-instrumentalist worship with their focus on Christ and do so in ignorance are they not forgiven? I’ve heard for years ” If I get to Heaven and found I could have used an instrument , at least I’ll be there”. But they judged and still judge those who use instruments to Hell(Matt 7:1ff, 1 Cor 6:11, Rev, 21:8). You point out the faults of New Wineskins” folk. Would it not be possible many see “non-progressive” people the same? As I’ve stated before many of those who are living the “new Law” are some of the most mean spirited people I know. The white washed Pharisees without the robes. Full of bones? Trying to live by man-made rules quenches the indwelling Spirit(many of the churches of Christ deny such in the first place). It is His job to produce the fruit, not ours(Gal5, James 1). Paul went through purification rights many times. He had Timothy circumcised. Yet he was explicit in his writings as to why. You imply that those who have faith would not. I’m not a Jew, but if I were just as Paul did then so I would do now. Paul became all thing to all men, that he might win some. He might have worshiped in the presence of an instrument. In becoming all things he did not become a liar, a thief, a pimp, prostitute, etc. He taught Jesus. He was ridiculed. He wrote Titus 1. And yes many of all denominations including the churches of Christ, Inc. fall into the heading of the evil mentioned therein.
    Mark in this thread is eloquent and succinct. If he is wrong in his premise regarding instruments Many Pharisee lived as “walking dead” they are still around. The Lord knows of a surety who are His. Their lives produce the true spirit. They seek and ask for wisdom and they receive(James 1). They don’t make up rules as they go, they live in faith and liberty. Over the years the “5 acts of worship” have too often become “will worship”.(Col. 2) God hates it. We argue over “taste not, touch not, sing not, play not”, while looking like the world in regards to divorce, fornication, adultery, impurity, ad nauseum. It might be time that those who are offended at being called legalist truly examine as to why. Christ is to be the focus, He is too often obscured by the veils.

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    • There’s no wrangle here. It’s teachers that will be judged for teaching falsely (Jam. 3:1). My judgment cannot be directed toward “instrumentalists”, which I don’t call them that. I can’t judge their youth nor their new Christians. I can say that those elders, teachers, preachers, and instructors who are adding to what God made perfect, His music, are practicing sin. Years of schooling and a decade of study and their teachers can’t understand 1 Corinthians 14?

      Be careful of slander. No one in the churches of Christ deny the indwelling of the Spirit even Guy Words promoted the indwelling via the Word in the heart of the Christian against the “personal” indwelling position. He said that he and no denied the indwelling. The Scriptures speak of the indwelling. Lets not label any one such nor misrepresent their convictions.

      I’ve found “progressives” to be most mean-spirited. I find some among the mainstream and far more among the “non-institutional”. I don’t imply any thing against the vows that Paul took before he was a Christian.

      We know for fact as seen above that Paul did worship as a Christian with instrument. In the presence as a Jew or evangelizing to the Jews, maybe Paul did.

      There’s no arguing here. Yes, there is a rebuke as Christ’s Spirit has called us to do to those who divide teaching their doctrines. Instrumental music worship wouldn’t be an issue or a subject of discussion if “progressives” did not bring it into the Assembly. Btw, the “5 acts of assembly” come from Alexander Campbell. It is a proper presentation of what he saw in Acts 2:41ff. Note “the Assembly” and not just “worship”. See my articles on the definition of worship from Guy Woods, Wharton, Everett Ferguson, and you’ll question your own perception on these things.

      I absolutely must agree with you that the Lord knows who are His.

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  4. Mark says:

    Scott
    Gal 3:15 needs to been read first with the idea of what it meant to the Galatians. Paul had several questions.
    The first one is did you receive the Spirit by observing the law?
    The second one is are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
    Both question are yes or no type answers. But if we answer them as did the Galatians we see Paul’s point.
    Question 1 the answers should be no.
    The second questions too should be answered no.
    This leads us to a conclusion the law is not the answer.
    The next point Paul is making is a comparison between faith in Jesus and faith in the law. Paul asks, Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? Now the answer here should have been answered “believing in what they heard.” This leads us to are own question what did the Galatians hear? Verse 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
    Verse 10-12 gives us more detail it says All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.”
    Once we understand the Galatians should not put there faith in the law we need to ask a question of application today. Is instruments in worship a law? Or is it faith?
    This is where we should start. If it is law and we feel justified by it we are not in the Spirit of Christ. It doesn’t matter if you say yes or no the issue of instruments. Likewise is the idea of faith. If you believe the instruments is not a law and you put your faith in Christ you are justified whether not you believe in the usage of instruments or not.
    We can say the same for many other theological wranglings for instance eschatology, baptism, the Lord supper, women speaking in the assembly. If the New Testament is treated like the Old Testament we are all condemned. This I believe is where the Churches of Christ have fallen off track. We end up doing what the Galatians were doing trying to justify themselves by the law.

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    • Allow me to boast that I have been justified by Christ apart from meaningful worship and yet I submit to Christ’s teaching about worship and I strive to observe all that He has commanded.

      I followed you clearly in Galatians. Yet, the Apostle Paul by the Spirit of Christ addressed music being with understandable words and he noted that women should not speak in the Assembly with good reason. We cannot disregard baptism or the Lord’s Supper either. The Apostles corrected these. Were the Apostles teaching and following law over faith? No, but they are the ones who stressed obedience in observing baptism, the Lord’s Supper, the Assembly, women not speaking over men, and whatever else that Christ’s Spirit corrected which defamed as “legalism”.

      Being that we are justified by faith in Christ, then Christ’s words given through the Apostles and prophets are a matter of faith. Since I believe in Christ, then I will worship as he has instructed. Oh, I agree that this is not worth disputing or wrangling, yet false teaching should be corrected and those teachers rebuked.

      Not using instruments has as much to do with justification by faith and not by the law as using musical instruments has to do with the same justification. For the justification that Romans refers to is the salvation by promise rather than work. Our salvation is given initially in our faith in Christ rather than worked for unto a point of salvation. We do not have to climb the law to reach salvation rather we believe in God’s promise that we can be saved and we submit to Him. When by faith we believe God’s promise of being complete in Christ’s climb, then we submit to this climb. Faith does not disregard obedience (Hebrews 5:8-9). It is because we first believed so much that we would be so faithful in obedience and thus we remain justified.

      Faith does not do away with Christ’s Law and obedience to it, but rather faith supports the law even as faith did in the Old Testament, which is death without faith. I think this is where you are mistaken. Romans 10:4-9 refers to living by law in Leviticus 18:5 needing faith as Deuteronomy 30:11-14 shows the necessity of faith even under the law, hence faith and confession of Jesus as the resurrected Lord are a matter of the heart. With faith in the heart, obedience is evident. In Galatians, the Law had become life, culture, and tradition for the Jews with little regard to belief and love for God. If defending tolerance for worshiping with instruments is such a matter of faith in a work rather than faith in God, then such leads to neglecting meaningful worship and these “progressives” have digressed and have become submissive to life, culture, and submission either by man’s or God’s old or new law and this is void of faith. Yes, this can also be true of a culture embedded with not using the instrument rather than faithful obedience to God. Law without faith is death, and faith without works is dead.

      In fact, it is by faith in Christ and His words that we must accept making melody only with words that can be understood. Otherwise, there is no meaningful worship without the words of Christ. For these are spirit and life and are essential to spiritual life. Otherwise, let the supporter of instruments for worship not use words but rather explain using the instrument how the instrument of spirit and life.

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  5. Mark says:

    Scott

    Well this is at the heart of how we all understand the scriptures. Overarching principles are a matter of discernment and maturity. Context is a framing of the writers view. If one is to have a good understanding of the Spirit and the truth both principle and view need to coincide. You mentioned,

    “Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it.” Yes, this speaks of the promises of faith, but this does not annul the principle. The law “cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ”.

    Ok I agree! And this specifically taking about the Gentiles. So how does that relate to your other statement? “Let this be first noted that God has an ideal for His Church’s worship in assembly. No man should add to what God has made perfect”
    Hmmm ok is this a promise, a law, or principle?
    Now God has a worship covenant I’ll agree. But nowhere does the scriptures speak to “worship in assembly” as a promise that cannot be broken. But it does say this…
    “‘The time is coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel…It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant…This is the covenant I will make…I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people…they will all know me…For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.'” (Jer. 31:31-34)
    Now you have a theory instruments are contrary to the heart of worship. This is perhaps in my mind starting in the wrong place. I understand there is honor towards deep pragmatism and logic. But I don’t think this is where God wants us to be. Gnosticism in its extremes was something Paul had to take on. Paul said somethings that contradict most of the perfectionist ideology. His statement have principles too that cannot be ignored and they are in context.
    Titus 1:15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.
    Romans 14:1 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.

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    • Mark,

      I very much agree with the importance of context. I don’t believe this to be a disputable matter [though I know the weak brother would think this]. I would like to be convinced otherwise. The truth is that we are excluded from worship when other use music with instruments. Titus 1:15 would imply our corruption. I have no dispute or quarrel. I want to worship and observe the Assembly as Christ’s Spirit has instructed.

      Let me say that I do not believe in perfection except through Christ and that we have gracious forgiveness of even sins of ignorance. Also, I believe in the respecting God’s covenant the promises and the instructions as Christ taught us to observe all things that He has commanded. Since He commanded this, I have faith in Him that His words are true that we are able to observe all things.

      I am speaking of the Assembly. I don’t like referring to the Assembly as worship as to bind worship only to the Assembly, which some have accepted. I do believe that the Assembly contains worship and that the Assembly must be done decently and in order. I believe the Spirit of Christ makes clear the criteria for examining the actions of the Assembly specifically to be edifying, so that speaking, praying, and singing must be with understandable words. Alterations to this were clearly condemned. Why? Will I bear with my weak brethren who use the instrument in ignorance? Yes. Do I have the responsibility to rebuke and withdraw from their leaders and teachers who promote such a work? Yes though I wish that they would try to comprehend our convictions.

      I find the New Wineskins’ position to be greatly confused, bias, and mean-spirited, especially using non-institution arguments to represent the mainstream of the churches of Christ.

      I appreciate your kind words and my door is open to you for further discussion.

      God bless.

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      • The principle that I speak about is not adding or annulling to what God has made right, perfect, and ideal. “Let this be first noted that God has an ideal for His Church’s worship in assembly. No man should add to what God has made perfect (Gal. 3:15).” Does not Galatians 3:15 teach us that?

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  6. Mark says:

    Your use of theoretical postulations in the “use of instruments in worship” are non Biblical. This is why you have to use scripture out of context. But when scripture is put into context your meaning (you assume is there) is suddenly not. If you however write the verse out it becomes apparent it does not prove the point you are making. In fact it creates a dualist concept that separates the hermeneutic from the exegesis.

    Gal 3:17 explains Gal 3:15
    “17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.”
    Now look at Gal 3:15
    15 Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case.

    Now can you hold to your position that Gal3:15 means,“Let this be first noted that God has an ideal for His Church’s worship in assembly. No man should add to what God has made perfect”

    Read again the last part of v15

    Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case.

    This is a comparison to Gods promise not to his covenant.

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    • Mark,

      You have mistakenly taken me out of context. More than any advocate of the use musical instruments, I have been more. I’ve tried to defend it and yet have honestly refuted every assertion. I’ve yet to hear a “postulate” supporting instruments that I have not considered and I have to more own reasoning numerous more that have yet to been presented. I have no prejudice to hold on to a tradition of men.

      Why is it that when a scriptural principle is applied throughout the Christian life, then the offended and often “progressive” cry “OUT OF CONTEXT!”? God’s instructed principles apply to all aspects of the Christian life. Yet, the “progressive” does not like progressing across any boundary that he does not want to cross. People believe that they want to believe unless they want to believe the truth. Regarding the importance of context, nouns and actions are bound to context relying on antecedents for definition. Yet, principles shine as lights for all the Christian life. This is why Galatians 3:15 and other scriptures show us that we should not add or annul scripture especially not for someone’s “context”. Notice that the antecedent of “it” is “covenant”. “Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it.” Yes, this speaks of the promises of faith, but this does not annul the principle. The law “cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ”.

      As Maxey commented and as presented above, “Is the matter, therefore, ‘NON-Biblical’ with respect to the writings of the New Testament? Well, not entirely.” You are mistaken to assert that I have presented “musical instruments” as non-biblical rather I present that musical instruments are contrary to the heart of Christian worship. Musical instruments are Biblically of the OT. Without instruction on music in the Law of Moses, Israel took their liberty in praising God along with instruments.

      Take care.

      Like

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