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A Scriptural Challenge to all Christians

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Music in the Assembly

There is much to-do in some peoples' minds about whether or not musical instruments in worship are scriptural in worshiping Yahuwah, and there are many who will get very upset when someone disagrees with their particular position, no matter which side of the argument that they happen to be on. For instance, Hugh F. Pyle, of the Central Baptist Church of Panama City, Florida, in his book entitled "The Truth about the Church of Christ," literally drips venom on their belief of not allowing mechanical means of music in worship.

The "Church of Christ" holds the position that if something is not directly authorized by the scripture, then it is expressly denied for the "Church." This is not a bad position, as there are many, many doctrinal errors in main stream orthodox Protestant and other "Christian" religions that have strayed far from the scriptural path by allowing beliefs, events, rites, ceremonies, and other practices that are not of scriptural origin to become part of their doctrine. Some of these same people have added certain beliefs and interpretations to the scripture that will not stand up to the light of day. Unhappily, the Church of Christ follows some of those very "non-scriptural" tenets that they so loudly decry.

Sinner's Prayer
The "Sinner's Prayer" as the means of salvation is used by many of these Protestant religions, including the religion of Dr. Pyle, and it is not to be found anywhere in the scripture. As a matter of fact, in order to build the foundation of this "Sinner's Prayer" they have had to do some very tricky manipulations of scripture that they use to support it. They will tell you, however, that theirs' is the true way of salvation, because other ways always include other people helping you to salvation, or that other ways of salvation include faith plus something that is some type of "work" and everybody knows that works can't save you. Of course, when you think about it, when they want you to pray the "Sinner's Prayer" there is always someone there to tell you to follow their lead in the prayer. This sounds like someone helping someone to salvation to me. Also, if their stand of faith only, the way they state it, is true, then you don't have to repent or anything else. You don't have to even hear the word to find out who Yahushua is! Just say their little prayer and everything will be okay. Under their definition of works, these actions also qualify. Where the scripture speaks of works, it is talking about works of the Law of Mosheh and the works of righteousness.

The "Church of Christ" is of the opinion that the scripture does not authorize musical instruments in worship and praise of the Master, so they don't allow them in their services. There are other things that they require of those who would be members also, but those are for study at another time. Right now, we need to look at the scripture and see what it says about music and musical instruments used in the praise and worship of Yahuwah.

The above verses definitely show that music is desirable in the worship of our Creator and the Father of Yahushua, but they do not state clearly whether musical instruments are used in making that music or not. So let's look at the verses that are used to justify the belief that musical instruments are not to be used in worship of Yahuwah.

Taken literally, and without knowing the meaning of the Greek words that were used in the above verses, it would appear to be that musical instruments were not used in the first century assembly. If this were so, then the "Church of Christ" and others who do not allow musical instruments would be correct.

However, when the words translated as hymn, melody, psalm, sing, and song, plus their variants, are checked out in the Greek with a good Greek-English dictionary, lo and behold, some of them actually mean the use of stringed instruments. This means that not only are musical instruments of the stringed variety acceptable in the assembly, their use in some cases is actually directed.

The words used in the original writings, and their proper definitions, can be seen below. All of the verses above have been compared in the book "A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament," Second edition, and according to that book, the words mean substantially what the Strong's says they do.

The word definitions listed below are from the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance dictionary, and are numbered with the appropriate reference numbers.

Using musical instruments in praise and worship of Yahuwah has been the norm since the beginning of time. This can be seen in Psalm 92 (below - emphasis added).

A better rendering of Ephesios 5:19

The Greek word psallo also occurs in Rhomaios 15:19, 1 Korinthios 14:15, and Ya'aqob 5:13, where it is rendered "sing." As always, draw your own conclusions, but the scripture says to use mechanical means of music if they are of the stringed variety.

C.F. Castleberry
http://www.considerthis.net
buck@considerthis.net