The Question of Silence

Angel with harpA short lesson on silence, childrearing, and the instrument. The Question of Silence

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
This entry was posted in Regulative Principle, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to The Question of Silence

  1. Tim Archer says:

    Very good. I had never heard this reasoning. Thanks for sharing it.

    Grace and peace,

  2. Pingback: A Time to Speak « One In

  3. Mickey White says:

    I first read of this idea in an article written by Cecil Hook (

    I have been doing a lot of reading and reasoning about this topic and rethinking some of what I've believed.

    Good article. I'm looking forward to reading some of your other articles.


  4. Kent Towns says:

    I like the article and I too think that we have to be careful how we apply the "silence" principle.

    However, I'm not sure it's fair to apply this reasoning to the instrumental music issue as is implied in this article.

    The Bible is not silent on the topic of musical praise to God. It mentions this practice, and as I'm sure you're aware, the typical argument against the instrument is that the commands and early church writings do not include the use of an instrument.

    So, again, this is not a situation where the Bible is silent.

  5. Ken says:

    First, it is important that God is never silent in any arena where "doubtful disputations" (Rom 14) are brought into the synagogue. In Romans 15 the SELF-pleasure is excluded and commands speaking with one mind and one mouth using "that which is written" defined as "Scripture" as the way to edify or educate, glorify or praise God and keep the unity of the body. This is how Christ in Spirit defined the REST and was not silent in Isaiah 58 after denying that we should spend our money to keep the "water of the Word cycle going" (Isaiah 55).

    Is. 58:12 And they that shall be of thee
    shall build the old waste places:
    thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations;
    and thou shalt be called,
    The repairer of the breach,
    The restorer of paths to dwell in.

    Is. 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath,
    from doing thy pleasure on my holy day;
    and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him,
    not doing thine own ways,
    nor finding thine own pleasure,
    nor speaking thine own words:

    Is. 58:14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD;
    and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth,
    and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father:
    for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

    H. Leo Boles denies that there was any "unity" among the diverse groups in 1843 and Alexander Campbell denied that the 1832 handshake constituted a UNION and Barton W. Stone agreed.

    The Disciples claim ownership of traditionalism as well as the LAW OF SILENCE. No one thought that God was silent in any of the historical literature before the Disciples who also launched PSALLO to defend their position. Boles writes:

    "Areas of silence," "liberty of opinion," and "the realm of expediency" are trite phrases used by leaders in the "Christian Church"
    and have been coined and put on a par with the teachings of the New Testament.

    It is just another way of saying that the opinions of men may guide the people of God, and that some of the people of God should submit to the opinions of men. There was unity with God's people so long as they respected the slogan, "Where the scriptures speak, we speak; and where the scriptures are silent, we are silent"; but when brethren began to claim the authority to speak where the New Testament is silent, and impose their opinions upon other brethren, division and separation were the inevitable results. "


    Boles quoting the Christian Church:
    W.R. Walker, in Christian Standard, May 27, 1939, said: "There are two areas in our religious living in which the authority of Christ must be recognized. The first embraces all his teaching and that of his inspired followers, the `vocal area' ; but there is another area, the `area of silence."' He further said:

    "I am persuaded that Christ has authority in the `areas of silence.'
    Christ, by his silence, in every situation concerning which he has left no direct teaching,
    has bestowed on me this authority to act for myself."
    ——————————— Here are the two standards or rules recognized by many in the "Christian Church," namely, that of "walking by faith," and that of "walking by opinion." W.R. Walker calls the opinions of man in the "areas of silence" "the authority of Christ." This is tantamount to saying that man's opinions in the "areas of silence" are of equal force with the word of God.

    I join issue with him on this point. There can be no unity in the "area of silence," as there can be no unity on opinions when each man claims the authority to do what is right in his own eyes. This would violate every scripture that God has given instructing his people to be "of the same mind, the same judgment of one accord."

    If the liberty of opinion lets one put an organ in the worship, it will let another oppose that act; – if acting in the "realm of silence" permits one to act for himself, it will permit every one to act for himself. If liberty in opinion will let one organize a missionary society, the same liberty of opinion will let another group of God's people oppose that society.

    Neither the "Christian Church" nor the churches of Christ can have the liberty of opinion, in the sense that they make their opinions the basis of action for themselves and for the church."

    Me: Those who became the Church of Christ did not need or use the Law of Silence and no Bible student can claim that God is silent about the instrument beginning by describing the king/quee of Tyre the "singing and harp playing prostitute" and ending by warning about the same mother of harlots who uses the same "lusted after fruits" (Amos used the term) as rhetoricians, singers and instrument players. Using wind, string and percussion instruments defines the Genesis serpent as a Musical Enchanter(ess). The same sOPHISt (serpent) in Revelation 18 are called SORCERERS. And so all of the performing arts are called they HYPOCRITIC ARTS. Jesus identified the Scribes and Pharisees as hypocrites by pointing to Isaiah and Ezekiel's identification of performance speakers, singers and instrument players.

    I am just astounded that only among the latest spawn of theologians there is such a denial of the universal MARK of the instrument as "telling God to shut His face." Remember the elders hired the kings as Senior Pastor: God warned about the instrumenta and His abandonment of them to what is identified as robbers and parasite.

  6. Ken says:

    One of the facts which brings forth all of the RACA words by both instrumentalists and a cappella (legal end run) is the 100% connect between music and the effeminate:

    "Philodemus considered it paradoxical that music should be regarded as veneration of the gods while musicians were paid for performing this so-called veneration. Again, Philodemus held as self deceptive the view that music mediated religious ecstasy. He saw the entire condition induced by the noise of cymbals and tambourines as a disturbance of the spirit.

    He found it significant that, on the whole, only women and effeminate men fell into this folly.

    Accordingly, nothing of value could be attributed to music; it was no more than a slave of the sensation of pleasure, which satisfied much in the same way that food and drink did.

    When Jesus put down the LADED BURDEN He put down arousal music
    When Jesus died to give us REST the word means "Stop thes speaking, singing, playing."

    When Paul put down "doubtful disputations" he put down music which arises out vain imaginations.

    When Paul put dow SELF-pleasure he put down all of the performing arts which SUCK UP all of the attention.

    We know that the SERPENT in the garden was a musical enchanter(ess) and Christ identifies Lucifer as the singing and harp playing prostitute in the garden. Paul knew MORE ABOUT EVE than we can confess.

    Aphrahat collects all of the FALLS and implicates women: I have annotated this a bit and defining words would shame those who accuse God of being SILENT while the "holy spirit told me that God commands instrumental praise" knowing that it would sow discord

    §19. Now thus is faith; when a man believes in God the Lord of all, Who made the heavens and the earth and the seas and all that is in them; and He made Adam in His image; and He gave the Law to Moses; He sent of His Spirit upon the prophets; He sent moreover His Christ into the world.

    Furthermore that a man should believe in the resurrection of the dead; and should furthermore also believe in the sacrament of baptism.

    This is the faith of the Church of God. And (it is necessary) that a man should separate himself
    from the observance of hours and Sabbaths and moons and seasons, and divinations and sorceries and Chaldaean arts and magic, from fornication and from festive music, from vain doctrines,

    which are instruments of the Evil One, from the blandishment of honeyed words, from blasphemy and from adultery.

    And that a man should not bear false witness, and that a man should not speak with double tongue. These then are the works of the faith which is based on the true Stone which is Christ, on Whom the whole building is reared up.

    §20. Furthermore, my beloved, there is much besides in the Holy Books about faith. But these few things out of the much have I written to recall them to thy love that thou mayest know and make known and believe" and also be believed.

    And when thou hast read and learned the works of faith, thou mayest be made like unto that tilled land upon which the good seed fell, and produced fruit a hundred-fold and sixty-fold and thirty-fold. And when thou comest to thy Lord, He may call thee a good servant and prudent and faithful, who on account of His faith, that abounded, is to enter into the Kingdom of his Lord.

Leave a Reply