Instruments of Music in Worship

Rolland W. Fritz
Ft. Wayne, Indiana

In the study of instrumental music in the worship of God, a good encyclopedia will show that no church used them in their worship before about 670 A. D. A storm of protest caused its withdrawal until about 775 A.D. when Constantine Copronymus sent an organ to Pepin, King of the Franks. It was then that instrumental music was introduced into the Latin Church, still accompanied by opposition. (cf. The American Cyclopedia, Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia etc.) Protestants did not use instruments in worship until long after their beginning in 1517 A.D., and their founders were very vociferous in denouncing their use in worship (Justin Martyr, Milligan, Calvin, Spurgeon, Luther, Clarke, Wesley, etc.). Many churches, both Protestant, Catholic and otherwise still reject instruments of music in their worship.

We must have God's authority in order to worship him acceptably. No where does the New Testament authorize instrumental music in worship of God today. If so, where! Instruments were allowed in Old Testament worship and David used them. But God's Word shows that the law allowed and authorized many things not authorized or allowed by the New Testament, for today we are under the new law, the New Testament. The other law was taken out of the way and nailed to the cross of Christ (Col. 2:14-16; Heb. 10:9-10; Eph. 2:13-16; etc.). If we try to keep the Old Law we are severed from Christ and fallen from grace (Gal. 5:4).

We must not appeal to man's wisdom or desires to establish our doctrines, for that is against God's will (1 Cor. 2:5; 1:12-31 3:18-20; Mt. 15:9). But from the desires and mind of man have come many innovations, including instruments of music in worship of God today.

We need to stop attempting to find "new ways of worshipping God" (see the story of Nadab and Abihu). Only faithfulness and obedience are pleasing to God. We can know how to accomplish God's will only by His word (1 Pet. 4:11; Mt. 7:21-23; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). Our innovating and adding to God's law and Word is sin (1 Jn. 3:4; 2 Jn. 9; Gal. 1:6-9). Let us then use the music authorized by God for today. Let us sing praises unto His Holy name (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 2:12; etc.).

March 1969