“They Can Pack a Wallop”

By Austin Mobley

We have heard and read all kinds of attempts to justify mechanical instruments of music in worship. They range all the way from misrepresentations (“you don’t believe in music”); prejudice and self-will (“I know the Bible says sing, but I like the organ”); emotional appeals (“The organ music is so beautiful”); popularity (“everybody uses it”), to appeals for their use from the Old Testament. But recently I was introduced to a brand new one.

In response to our article in the local newspaper regarding the use of instruments of music in worship unto God, a respondent of the Seventh Church Of The Transmission listed these as justification for their use:

1. I Sam. 16:23: “And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.”

2. I Sam. 10:5: “. . . Thou shalt meet a company, of prophets coming down from the high places with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy.”

3. “In spiritual inspiration they can pack a wallop.”

Our critic was shown that Christians today are not subject to the law of Moses because Christ “. . . took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Col. 2:14), and those today who seek to be justified by the law are “fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4). We also pointed out that under Moses’ law the Jews were required to offer animal sacrifices (2 Chron. 29:28-29instrumental music and animal sacrifices both used in worship); keep the Sabbath day holy (Ex. 20:8-Christians forbidden to keep the Sabbath, Col. 2:16); male circumcision; and that those who lived under the law were obligated to keep the whole law (Gal. 5:3; Jas. 2:10) or suffer the penalty of being stoned to death (Lev. 24:13-23). We further suggested that even though instruments of music may ‘pack a wallop” in worship, authority for their use is not given in the New Testament, hence God does not approve (Rev. 22:18-19).

Our friend responded with much rhetoric but did not scripturally answer these arguments. We conclude that his thinking is in the wrong gear and that the Church of the Transmission needs overhauling! Instruments of music in worship may ‘pack a wallop, “but they are without authority from Christ.

Truth Magazine, XVIII:51, p. 2
October 31, 1974