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THE MUSIC IN NEW TESTAMENT WORSHIP

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Title: THE MUSIC IN NEW TESTAMENT WORSHIP


1
THE MUSIC IN NEW TESTAMENT WORSHIP
2
Introduction
  • It is often said that churches of Christ have no
    music in their worship.
  • This inaccuracy is based on a widespread
    misconception of what constitutes music.

3
Introduction
  • As we look at this subject, we need to keep in
    mind that, since it is not in man who walks to
    direct his own steps (Jer. 1023), we would not
    know how to please God in worship unless He
    revealed such to us.

4
Introduction
  • Hence, we must look to that which God has
    revealed on the subject of music in order to know
    how to please Him in this area of our worship.
  • Someone may think that he can please God in a way
    that God has not revealed, but our thoughts are
    not Gods thoughts, and our ways are not His ways
    (Isaiah 558-9).

5
Definition and Properties of Music
  • Music may be defined as "a rhythmical succession
    or combination of tones."
  • Tones (musical sounds) have four properties
  • Pitch - the highness and lowness of a tone
  • Length - how long a tone is sustained
  • Power - the volume of a tone
  • Quality - the kind or character of a tone
  • These are properties of both vocal and
    instrumental music.

6
Branches of Musical Study
  • There are three branches of musical study
  • Melodics - the study of tonal pitch
  • Rhythmics - the study of tonal length
  • Dynamics - the study of tonal power and quality

7
The Human Voice Is A Musical Instrument
  • Consider the following quotes from the programmed
    instruction booklet, Developing Vocal Skills,
    Part 1 Vocal Fundamentals Kit, which was
    published by Convention Press (publishing arm of
    the Southern Baptist Convention).

8
The Human Voice Is A Musical Instrument
  • "Singing and whistling are the most personal of
    all the musical arts. The person who sings or
    whistles does not have to depend on any separate
    instrument in order to be able to make music."
  • "A person who sings or whistles possesses in his
    own mind and body all that is needed to produce
    musical sounds."
  • "The singer is a musical instrument."

9
The Human Voice Is A Musical Instrument
  • "In learning how to make good sounds, it is
    helpful if the singer understands how his vocal
    instrument operates."
  • "All musical instruments, including the human
    voice, have three basic elements an actuator, a
    vibrator (or vibrators), and a resonator (or
    resonators)."

10
The Human Voice Is A Musical Instrument
  • "The actuator of a musical instrument is the
    power source (or motor) which causes the vibrator
    to start vibrating (moving back and forth). In a
    wind instrument, the breath of the player is the
    actuator. On a drum, it is the stick set in
    motion by the player."

11
The Human Voice Is A Musical Instrument
  • "The vibrator of a musical instrument is that
    part which is set in motion by the energy from
    the actuator. It is this motion, which produces
    musical sound by creating sound waves. On pianos
    and guitars the strings are the vibrators."

12
The Human Voice Is A Musical Instrument
  • "The resonator of a musical instrument is that
    part which takes the basic sound produced by the
    vibrator and reinforces (amplifies) or improves
    its quality. The sounding board on a piano and
    the soundbox on a violin are examples of
    resonators."

13
The Human Voice Is A Musical Instrument
  • "On a trumpet, the actuator is the breath of the
    player the vibrator is the lips of the player
    (against the mouthpiece) the resonator is the
    horn itself (all the tubing contained therein)."
  • "In the human voice, the actuator is the breath
    supplied by the singer the vibrator is the vocal
    cords the resonator is certain cavities of the
    throat and head (primarily the throat and mouth)."

14
The Human Voice Is A Musical Instrument
  • "When a person sings or speaks, he engages in
    four important physical processes respiration,
    phonation, resonation, articulation."
  • "Respiration is the process of moving air in and
    out of the body--inhalation and exhalation."

15
The Human Voice Is A Musical Instrument
  • "Phonation is the process of producing vocal
    sounds by the vibration of the vocal cords. When
    your actuator (breath) starts your vibrator
    (vocal cords) moving back and forth, sound is
    produced and the result is called phonation."
  • "Resonation is the reinforcing (amplifying) or
    improving of the quality of the sound produced by
    the vocal cords, mainly by the correct shaping of
    the throat and mouth."

16
The Human Voice Is A Musical Instrument
  • "Articulation is the process of making all the
    movements and adjustments of the speech organs
    necessary to form a certain sound. The tongue,
    lips, and jaw are very important to this process."

17
Music that Is Authorized forNew Testament Worship
  • Notice Paul's charge to the Ephesians on the
    subject of music
  • speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and
    spiritual songs, singing and making melody in
    your heart to the Lord (Ephesians 519)

18
Music that Is Authorized forNew Testament Worship
  • We are to speak to ourselves in
  • psalms - songs devoted to the praise of God,
    extolling His name, power, character works.
  • hymns - songs of praise, thanksgiving
    supplication, teaching our dependence on God.
  • spiritual songs -intended to inspire cultivate
    feelings of spiritual devotion to bring the
    spirit of man into harmony with the Spirit of God.

19
Music that Is Authorized forNew Testament Worship
  • Singing is a combination of music and intelligent
    speech.
  • Making melody in your heart to the Lord is
    bringing the thoughts and feelings of the heart
    into harmony with the sentiment of the song (in
    other words, "mean what you sing").
  • Paul gives no instructions to the Ephesians
    concerning the use of man-made instruments to
    accompany the singing.

20
Music that Is Authorized forNew Testament Worship
  • Notice also Paul's charge to the Colossians on
    the subject of music
  • 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 (Colossians
    316).

21
Music that Is Authorized forNew Testament Worship
  • We are to teach and admonish one another in
    psalms, hymns spiritual songs.
  • The ideas contained in the words do the teaching
    admonishing.
  • The song is the vehicle by which the sentiments
    are conveyed to the heart of those who hear
    understand.

22
Music that Is Authorized forNew Testament Worship
  • We are to sing with grace in our hearts to the
    Lord.
  • That is, the melody of the lips must come from
    and fill the heart.
  • Also, the words sung must be the outgrowth of the
    word of Christ in the heart.
  • It is significant that Paul gives no instructions
    to the Colossians concerning the use of man-made
    instruments to accompany the singing.

23
Music that Is Authorized forNew Testament Worship
  • Notice, also, the example of Paul and Silas
    singing in prison
  • But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and
    singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were
    listening to them (Acts 1625).
  • There is no indication that either accompanied
    the other with a man-made instrument.

24
Music that Is Authorized forNew Testament Worship
  • Notice the statement of Paul in 1 Corinthians
    1415.
  • What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the
    spirit, and I will also pray with the
    understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I
    will also sing with the understanding.
  • Singing is to be done "with the spirit and with
    the understanding."

25
Music that Is Authorized forNew Testament Worship
  • Notice the statement of Paul in 1 Corinthians
    1415.
  • What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the
    spirit, and I will also pray with the
    understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I
    will also sing with the understanding.
  • The "spirit" and the "understanding" are two
    aspects of the biblical heart--the emotions and
    the intellect.

26
Music that Is Authorized forNew Testament Worship
  • Notice, fifth, the admonition in James 513.
  • Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is
    anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
  • James gives no instructions concerning the use of
    man-made instruments to accompany the singing.
  • In fact, nowhere in the New Testament are
    man-made musical instruments authorized for use
    in worship.

27
Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship
  • Some claim to find authorization in the Old
    Testament. It is true that the Old Testament
    authorized the use of man-made musical
    instruments in Jewish worship. But neither Moses
    nor the Old Testament prophets have any
    authority, today (Matthew 2818 Luke 928-36
    Hebrews 11-3). Christians are to worship
    according to the New Testament (Galatians 16-9
    Colossians 317 Hebrews 21-4).

28
Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship
  • Some claim to find authorization in the New
    Testament book of Revelation ("After all, there
    are going to be harps in heaven, aren't there?").
    The book of Revelation contains several visions
    in which harps are prominent (58 142 152).
    But these are highly figurative visions,
    apparently of things occurring (whether now or in
    the future) in heaven.

29
Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship
  • Even if the harps are somehow literal, they are
    certainly not man-made. If, when I get to heaven,
    God hands me a harp, I will play it to the best
    of my ability. But where in the New Testament are
    Christians authorized to use harps in worship
    while on earth? Besides, specific authority for a
    harp would not provide generic authority for all
    other instruments.

30
Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship
  • Some claim that the Greek words, "psallo" and
    "psalmos," necessarily imply the use of a musical
    instrument.
  • Psallo is variously translated as "sing" (Romans
    159 1 Corinthians 1415), "sing psalms" (James
    513) and "making melody" (Ephesians 519).
  • Psalmos is simply "psalms" (Ephesians 519 and
    Colossians 316).

31
Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship
  • In Romans 159, Paul is quoting an O.T. Prophecy
    (2 Samuel 2250 Psalm 1849). We must interpret
    O.T. prophecy in the light of N.T. fulfillment.
    In 1 Corinthians 1415, the singing is to be done
    "with the spirit and with the understanding."

32
Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship
  • In Ephesians 519, the melody is to be made "in
    your heart." I know of no instrument (other than
    the human voice and the human heart) that is
    anywhere authorized for use in New Testament
    worship.

33
Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship
  • Some argue that musical instruments are just aids
    such as songbooks.
  • However, songbooks can be an aid to either
    singing (vocal music) or playing (instrumental
    music).
  • When singers use songbooks, no other music is
    created, but when man-made instruments accompany
    the singers, playing is added to the singing.

34
Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship
  • Since singing is authorized it may be aided.
  • But, since playing is not authorized, it may not
    be used, much less aided.
  • And, since playing is obviously more like singing
    than songbooks, it cannot logically be considered
    an aid to the singing, but must be considered an
    addition or a substitution.

35
Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship
  • Some, in a last ditch attempt to cling to the use
    of the instrument, but being unable to show
    authority for its use in N.T. worship, claim that
    they can use it at certain stated times (e.g.,
    outside the formal, collective worship of a
    congregation), so long as they are not actually
    worshiping (e.g., they may be entertaining one
    another).

36
Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship
  • But if they are singing without actually
    worshiping, are they not misusing the psalms,
    hymns and spiritual songs?
  • Would this not be like giving alms, praying and
    fasting "to be seen of men" like the hypocrites
    in Matthew 61-18?

37
Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship
  • If they are "singing and making melody in their
    heart to the Lord" it is worship.
  • If they are "singing with grace in their hearts
    to the Lord" it is worship.
  • If they are not "making melody in their heart
    to the Lord" or they are not "singing with grace
    in their hearts to the Lord," why are they not?

38
Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship
  • And would they not be drawing nigh unto God with
    their mouth, and honoring God with their lips
    while their heart is far from Him?
  • And would this not be "vain worship" according to
    Matthew 158-9?

39
Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship
  • As far as I have been able to determine, and I
    know of no defenses other than those dealt with
    here, there is no authority in the New Testament
    for instrumental music in worship, whether in or
    out of the congregational assembly.
  • Therefore, I refuse to use it, or to sing with
    those who do.

40
Defenses of Instrumental Music in Worship
  • Interestingly, the Italian Phrase, "a cappella"
    (which refers to singing without instrumental
    accompaniment), literally means "as in the
    chapel."
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