Authorized Aids Or Additions?
by Larry Ray Hafley
The Bible does not state that Noah used hammers, saws and axes in the construction of the ark. However, such instruments were authorized by the command, "Make thee an ark" (Gen. 6:14). Without the instruction to build the ark, the tools would have been without justification.
The Bible does not mention church buildings per se. However, they are scriptural because of the authority to assemble (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:18; Heb. 10:25). Without the authority to assemble, church buildings would be without divine authority.
The Bible does not refer to song books. However, they are authorized by the command to sing (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). They are aids to carry out the divine direction to "sing and make melody in your heart." Without the authority to sing, songbooks would be unscriptural.
The Bible does not talk about chalk boards or overhead projectors. However, they are approved by the authority to teach (Matt. 28:19,20). They assist in doing what New Testament churches did; namely, teach (Acts 11:22-26). Without the authority to teach, projectors and boards would be contrary to scripture.
The Bible does not say anything about collection baskets. However, they are authorized by the command to "lay by in store" (1 Cor. 16:2). Without the authority for a contribution, collection trays would be unauthorized.
The Bible does not mention plates on which to serve the bread of the Lord's supper. However, they are authorized by the command to "take, eat" (1 Cor. 11:24). Were there no communion, the plates would not be scriptural.
The Bible does not specifically cite a baptistry, an artificial pool in which baptism is performed. However, the command to baptize authorizes a place to baptize. Without the right to baptize, a baptistry would be iniquitous, lawless (cf. Matt. 7:21-23).
The Bible does not directly mention pianos and organs. However, such mechanical instruments of music are authorized by the command to "play music." Without the authority to play on material, mechanical instruments, pianos and organs would be unscriptural. Wait a minute! There is no New Testament authority to "play music!" Therefore, pianos and organs are not aids to do the work of God, They are unscriptural additions to the word of God.
The Bible does not list items necessary to play games bats, balls, courts, gyms, etc. However, they are justified by the command to "minister to the needs of the whole man," to provide recreation "for our young people." Without those duties, ping pong tables and recreation rooms would be unscriptural. Wait another minute! There is no New Testament authority for the church to promote and provide recreation and entertainment. Therefore, "family life centers" (gyms and game rooms) are not approved of God. They are unscriptural.
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 8, p. 244