What Is “Truth”? The “Teaching of Christ” in 2 John

jesus-the-way-the-truth-the-lifeI should explain to the readers the reason for the length of the previous post on 2 John and the rest of this series on “truth.” In conversations at this site and over at GraceConversation.com, the advocates for the conservative position rely not only on 2 John 9 but several other verses that speak of people being damned for denial of the “truth.”

The traditional interpretation is that “truth” is all Biblical truth, and thus those with the wrong position on instrumental music (etc.) are lost and ought to be disfellowshipped. It’s time to put a final end to those arguments, because they are based on very unsound, careless exegesis, as I’ll show in this and the next 3 posts.

Let’s talk about a central prooftext in the conservative arsenal —

(2 John 1:9)  Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

The argument frequently made is that someone who teaches error on some hot button issue, such as instrumental music, is damned because he “does not continue in the teaching of Christ.” Of course, Jesus said nothing about singing a cappella, and so the apostolic teaching found in the rest of the New Testament is added to “the teaching of Christ.”

You won’t have to look far to find this very argument made at GraceConversation or in comments here at OneInJesus, and many other places. This is a classic conservative argument. And the verse sure seems to say that those who are in error do not have God, which surely means they’re lost. But I have never once in my life accepted that interpretation.

I first ran into this argument while working on my manuscript for The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace. And so I pulled out a couple of commentaries, which I found of very little use. The Greek scholars like to argue whether the phrase means the “teaching that Jesus taught” or “teaching about Jesus.” It’s not a very important question, as Jesus spoke quite a lot about himself. I mean, besides speaking at length about his own purpose and work, Jesus taught about life in the Kingdom, which is, of course, the realm where the will of Jesus prevails — how the church, which is his body, is to act. The moral precepts of the Kingdom are Jesus’ moral precepts. They tell us who he is as well as well as what he taught. It’s all pretty much the same.

And so, as so often happens, we don’t need a masters in Greek to understand the Bible. Rather, we just need to care enough to pay attention.

Now, common sense tells us that an argument that proves too much proves nothing. If, for example, I were to argue that “teaching of Christ” means anything that Jesus or his apostles ever taught, then it must be true that anyone who teaches any error as to what Jesus or his apostles taught is damned. As no one has a perfect understanding of Jesus’ words, everyone is damned. That seems a rather unlikely result.

But, of course, John also says that we must “continue in” the teaching. The KJV translates “abide in,” which is truer to the Greek. Surely that includes living what is taught. And who do you know that lives the Sermon on the Mount perfectly? (Compare 2 John 2, where the same verb is translated “dwelleth” in the KJV and “lives” in the NIV.)

Isn’t it obvious? If you read the verse to see what it says, not just to win your argument, you quickly realize that the “all error” interpretation is impossible. I mean, surely there is some way to narrow the meaning so that we don’t have to treat only those with perfect doctrine (and living) as saved! And so we go looking for the true meaning.

Therefore, the next step is, of course, to check the immediate context for something pointing to a more likely interpretation. We read,

(2 John 1:7-11)  Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. 11 Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.

Well, we immediately see a doctrine about Jesus that’s under consideration: “Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh” — the incarnation. V. 7 warns us against this teaching. V. 8 tells us that this teaching can cause us to “lose what [we] have worked for.” V. 9 tells us that those who reject “the teaching of Christ” do not have God — in parallel with v. 8. He’s simply emphasizing what he’s already said, in typically Johannine fashion. V. 10 warns us to stay away from such people and speaks of “this teaching” as a singular, distinctive teaching, rather than a vast body of teaching. V. 11 emphasizes what he’s already said in v. 10.

And so, without much study at all, we quickly have a working hypothesis: “teaching of Christ” means the incarnation. And with only a moment’s reflection, we recall that this is a theme of chapter 1 of the Gospel of John — “the word became flesh” — and a theme that runs throughout that Gospel. And so it seems to fit with John’s teaching very well.

And surely the reference to the “antichrist” is a distinctive teaching. The cross references takes us immediately to —

(1 John 2:22)  Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist — he denies the Father and the Son.

(1 John 4:2-3)  This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

Again, John is addressing a very particular doctrine, one that is at the center of the gospel, and the denial of which damns. Again, it fits. And obviously so. Of course, if someone is teaching a doctrine that threatens faith in Jesus, we need to exclude him from our fellowship. We can’t risk allowing such a teaching to bring damnation to his listeners.

The rest of 2 John

Is the case proven at this point? Actually, I think so. But the verse is so often used to damn all who disagree on a hot button issue, it’s important to be very sure of the conclusion. I mean, what if the conservatives are right? And so we need to delve more deeply into 2 John. It’s a short book, so let’s consider the flow of the entire epistle.

(2 John 1:1-4)  The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth — and not I only, but also all who know the truth — 2 because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love. 4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.

The theme of the first four verses is “truth.” Now, it’s easy to blithely assume that “truth” means anything that’s true or any true Biblical teaching, but it’s hard to fit such a definition in the context. Just try —

(2 John 1:1-4)  The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth [about instrumental music] — and not I only, but also all who know the truth [about instrumental music]– 2 because of the truth [about instrumental music], which lives in us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth [about instrumental music] and love. 4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth [about instrumental music], just as the Father commanded us.

Doesn’t really work, does it? What particular truth might John be speaking of? Well, quite obviously, the likely truth he has in mind is the truth about Jesus.

(2 John 1:1-4)  The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth [about Jesus] — and not I only, but also all who know the truth [about Jesus]– 2 because of the truth [about Jesus] , which lives in us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth [about Jesus] and love. 4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth [about Jesus], just as the Father commanded us.

Indeed, you could go a step further and take “truth” as a reference to the gospel.

(2 John 1:1-4)  The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the [gospel] — and not I only, but also all who know the [gospel] 2 because of the [gospel] , which lives in us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in [the gospel] and love. 4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the [gospel], just as the Father commanded us.

And that works, too. This interpretation parallels vv. 7 -11 quite nicely. And we see the same use of “truth” in 1 John —

(1 John 2:20-23)  But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist — he denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

V. 20 tells us that “truth” is something that all Christians know. Well, the only thing we can say for sure all Christians know is what they confess before they are baptized. It’s the only question we ask!

V. 22 tells us that the opposite of “truth” is denial of Jesus as Messiah. Obviously, John is not speaking of any and every lie. He is speaking of a particular lie, and thus he is speaking of a particular truth.

(2 John 1:5-6)  And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

John, in typically ironic fashion, explains that Jesus’ “commands” are but one: love one another. “Walk in obedience to his commands” = “walk in love.” We see the same thought, once again, in 1 John,

(1 John 2:7-10)  Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. 9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.

Again, the command is singular, it’s to love our brothers, and if we obey the command, we live “in the light” and will not stumble. Walking in the light, thus, is not 5 acts of worship or congregational autonomy. It’s loving our brothers.

John emphasizes his point in clear terms —

(1 John 3:11-20)  This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.

14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him. 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

How do we know we haven’t stumbled? How do we set our hearts at rest when our hearts condemn us? How do we know we have passed from death to life? By whether we love our brothers — in action. If we love our brothers, we “belong to the truth.” You see, he says, even if we feel unworthy of God’s salvation, it’s not our judgment that matters, but God’s, and God saves those who love.

(In context, he is, of course, speaking of people of faith in Jesus who love their brothers.)

Now, amazingly enough, with the help of a cross-referencing Bible, or just by taking the time to read 1 John and 2 John at the same sitting, we see that the “teaching of Christ” has little to do with patterns of worship or plurality of elders. It’s about faith in Jesus and love for our brothers — which are major themes of 1 John, 2 John, and by the way, the Gospel of John.

To figure this out is not hard, requires no Greek, no commentaries, and no advanced degrees. You just have to care so much for God’s word that you test the spirits — you actually take the time and trouble to read the verses in context to see whether you’re being told the truth. And when conservatives cite these verses to damn those who disagree with them on instrumental music and such like, well, they’re not being very respectful of God’s word.

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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.
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16 Responses to What Is “Truth”? The “Teaching of Christ” in 2 John

  1. Alan says:

    Excellent points, Jay.

    I would add one more point. Verse 12 says:

    2Jn 1:12 I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

    John anticipated visiting them in person soon, and preferred communicating face-to-face. So, why did he write this short letter? Why not wait until he arrived in person? I think it was because there was a dangerous teaching circulating in the church — the Gnostic heresy that Jesus did not come in the flesh. Of all the things John had to say to them (verse 12) this was the one urgent matter that had to be communicated immediately.

    It cannot be that John expected them to respond to the letter by starting to disfellowship over every difference of understanding from scripture. That would have been total chaos. And surely the recipients of this letter did not understand him to mean that. If they had issues to be resolved, they could be resolved when John arrived.

    In fact, in his third letter John rebuked Diotrephes for not welcoming certain brothers, and for putting people out of the church who wanted to welcome them. That sounds a lot like what conservatives are doign today with 2 John 9. But if there was any doubt about whether, by the 2nd letter, John meant for the church to start rampantly disfellowshipping people,
    the third letter should completely dispel the notion.

  2. Jay Guin says:

    Alan,

    I'd never seen that argued but that's an excellent point. I'll likely be borrowing it over at GraceConversation.

  3. Doug Young says:

    Jay….This is well thought out. I experienced a number of " ah ha" moments as I read. Look forward to reading more.

  4. Ken says:

    Jay, I have to admit that you are several rungs on the ladder above your coconspiratiors: they posturate intending to hurt honorable people but refuse to be questioned. That's probably from Pulpit Power !01aa. However, I believe that you may be climbing above the sacred rungs.

    Here is the patternism: back about two decades when people who had rejected the Bible and decided to RESTRUCTURE all ANTI-instrumental churches in their own false image (I know) the agreement was to NEVER respond to any objection.

    The problem with that is that if the biblical facts don't fit the new but ancient patternism you withhold evidence from the jury. But not to worry, after all of the massive discord only a few of the latest, well indoctrinated spawn fell for it. After all of the money, books, fixed debates and massive sowing of discord, the failure has been so utterly utterely that I would be tempted to try the Judas maneuver.

    You MUST ask why NO historical scholar agrees with your team and the ALL work on the basis of Biblical and language scholarship. Why, you might as, did SINGING as an act split the east from the west church when all of the "doctors of the law" (Bible law) use their own definitions and people above remedial reading Grade 6 could understand if they ever got the chance–which they never will in the INSTITUTE robbing from the DESTITUTE.

    So, unless you send me one of those threatening form letters, I will firstly review your three part debate without most of the rationalizations. I reviewed John Mark Hicks on a couble of books the latest trying to twist Alexander Campbell into a trinitarian. Not to matter, he says, if I can help him sell some books. So, If you hit and run and refuse to give an account for what I believe is false teaching, I can make better hay by setting up my own debate.

    Otherwise, I might conclude with most of the new ANTIS that some conservative has aroused your wrath: I declare a pox on both sides because the New Testament Church Patternism leaves the grandest Phduhs absolute OT illiterate.

    Let me know: otherwise I will begin posting!

    Ken: no vested interest, no possible hope of human glory according to Jesus. And about that thesis.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ken, you have strange beliefs. And to be quite honest you are strange and somewhat spooky.

  6. Jay Guin says:

    Ken,

    If you can show from God's scriptures that I've misinterpreted 2 John, please share your thinking.

    I know nothing of any conspiracy among us change agents. If there is one, I wasn't invited to join the club. (I wouldn't join if there were one.)

    I'm just trying to interpret the scriptures for what they really say. And I'll discuss them with anyone who will actually respond to and interact with what I have said — rather than just dumping their lesson notes into the comment box.

    I don't think 2 John 9-11 remotely supports the notion that those who disagree with the conservative position on instrumental music are damned.

  7. Ken says:

    I posted here because everyone played dumb on the instrument passages which are associated with Lucifer in the garden of Eden up to the speakers, singers and instrument players John called SORCERERS.

    What I find "spookey" but gives me great comfort is that the modern spawn of scholars schooled with the goal of "exercising PROPHETIC roles to be Chanellers and Facilitarors" of making the NECESSARY changes which always boils down to the lust to have a singy-clappy group to watch making it IMPOSIBLE to even think about Jesus.

    Why is that so well documented throughout Scripture and the modern doctors of the Law cannof find ANYTHING negative. At the same time they cannot find any authority other than lifting parts of verses from among the CURSE of the monarchy, king, kingdom, temple. At the same time the prophets speaking by Christ radically condemn the music and musicians and marks them as robbers and parasites.

    My thesis is the you don't know anyone in the "Nobility Circle" who knows or cares about the story line.

    I just wanted to get your attention and make sure you lawyers are not going to send me a threatening form letter if I tell you the TRUE, ugly history of the PSALLO word which you can NEVER find an any school of theology.

    Why else would Paul use the word SPEAK which is what you do in synagogue or school of the Bibe? And why do all of the original documnents define SPEAK as the opposite of POETRY or MUSIC?

    As the sinful woman at the well could grasp that "when Messiah comes He will TELL us all things" and readily grasp that worship in her HOUSE or the Jews HOUSE at a pagan high place John called Sodom was NOT POSSIBLE. The alternative is to worship in the PLACE of the human spirit giving heed to the Truth. Find anything Paul called CHURCH which did not define SYNAGOGUE as what the Campbells restored as A SCHOOL OF CHRIST. And his WORSHIP words mean to "give attention to the public reading of the Word and to define any doctrinal content and admonish everyone to obey what they learned." The literal WORSHIP word you would never do which meant to fall on your face in holy reverence. SPIRITUAL worship is only that which takes place in the HUMAN spirit which becomes A holy spirit after baptism.

    Is it SPOOKY to tell you that there is not a single MUSIC content in the SPIRITUAL or SYNAGOGUE thread and what God always calls NOISE while "making the lambs dumbe before the slaughter" was callled EXORCISM. The SHADOW means that it was a totally erroneous system and A COVENANT WITH DEATH such as the Marzeah in Amos.

    All of the rationalizing from specific Scriptures PROVES that those promoting instruments cannot read the Bible with understanding because theology as a fabricated arena with "no certificate of need" where theology in the Greek would demand that you SPEAK only that which came from your "god."

    I say that a band carefully NOT TAUGHT anything historically understood for several decades have their OWN SYSTEM OF THINKING which which would get you executed if you used the same rationale in teaching your child about handling rattlesnakes.

    I have colleted MOST of the material and you cannot find a jot or tittile having God say "I lust for that" or one jot or tittle which does not connected it with destructive people. The REAL world IS spooky because CULTURE makes it certain that most will never study TRUE HISTORY but only MYTHOLOGICAL mind control versions.

    If I am spooky (people use paranoid 🙂 then all you have to do is have someone write a PROOF that God ccommended and indeed not say I HATE your music: I hate your slaughter: I hate your fleecing the people. Attacking the person just won't work. And, indeed, I understand that it is your forum and you had rather not have any defense lawyers saying that our ancestors were not affilcited with a vile virus called "speaking where the Bible speaks" because outside of that there is no PROFESSION or CERTIFICATE OF NEED.

  8. Bondservant says:

    Some cofC denominations declare music in worship is a sin. I don’t believe God ever declared that in the Bible.

    Luke 15:11-32, Jesus tells this parable about a son who was once lost but returns to his father and is found. And what did Jesus say the brother heard, Jesus said the brother “heard music and dancing" when the father was glad his son had returned home.

    Luke 15:25, “And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing."

    1 Chronicles 16:7-36, David used the word sing a couple of times but he never mentions music here David being someone who we all know sang praises to God with music. So did David mean for them to sing “only” without music, or is that something one would assume in their own opinion.

    1Chronicles 16:8-9, “Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works!"

    2 Chronicles 29:25, God commands instrumental music in the house of the LORD.

    2 Chronicles 29:25, “And he stationed the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbols, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, of Gad the king’s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for thus was the commandment of the LORD."

    Revelation 14:1-5, There are the sounds of harpists playing their harps as they sang a new song. I don’t believe God would allow something sinful in heaven.

    Revelation 14:2-3 “And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. They sang as it were a new song before the throne."

    Some coC denominations have added commands God never gave.

    Where does the Bible say “be silent where the Bible is silent", please provide BCV.

    Where does God say “music in worship is a sin", please provide BCV.

    Is the Bible silent on the following issues? song leaders, song books, choirs, paid preachers, shoes worn on holy ground, sitting and standing in unison during a service while worshiping singing a song, indoor baptisms, singing songs written by members of different denominations, youth ministers, church secretaries, fellowship halls, and church buildings?
    Are we to pray with our hands lifted up, are we to pray with our hands folded, are we to pray with our eyes shut, are we to pray with our eyes open?

  9. Ken says:

    With all due respect, if words have any meaning, you may be Word starved (Amos, Isaiah) because church (Circe, Kirke) is not a school of the Word, BUT devoted to satisfying the human appetites: the religious festivals in Amos and Isaiah was what CAUSED the people to not be able to know the Word, they died spiritually and were taken into captivity and death. That was the sentence imposed at Mount Sinia BECAUSE of musical idolatry.

    Those starving you to death also use the isolated text which always condemn what they are doing because they do not know the story line. Who would dishonor a human by refusing to grasp the story line and totally ignoring the First Chapter (the Evil Thread).

    The Old Testament speaks of the TWO THREADS: one was the Spiritual thread commanded to attend the Church of Christ in the Wilderness (Christ in Spirit ordained it). It was inclusive of REST (from worship), reading and rehearsing or discussing the Word. It was exclusive of vocal or instrumental rejoicing. This is the ALARM which Judas would try on Jesus: the Judas bag was "for carrying the mouthpieces of wind instruments.

    The SECULAR thread was the NOBILITY of civil, military and clergy: God abandoned THEM to worship the starry host and kings were chosen to carry out the captivity and death sentence imposed at Mount Sinai. Christ speaking through the prophets calls that a SHADOW or an evil system and a COVENANT WITH DEATH. Amos describes the Marzeah (Greek Agapae) which was a muisical festival WITH and FOR dead ancestors. The PROPHETS identify this CIVIL group as robbers and parasites.

    So, ttwo are there two threads identified by Christ. Jesus identified the Temple as a house of prayer or rather a HOUSE toward which people could pray because the SPIRITUAL THREAD could not enter into the HOUSE. No speaker, singer or instrument player who went into the Holy Place as a secular type of the body of Christ would be executed. From the beginning the LEVITES which derive from the old Egyptian Dionysus worship could not COME NEAR any holy thing.

    Jesus CAST OUT the musical minstrels using a word often used to mean LIKE DUNG because to say flute-girl or minstrel was to say prostitute. Flute girls and the dung heap were regulated by the same official in Athens.

    Jesus turned over the collection plates (called trumpets): the table was defined as part of the Agora or Marketplace where the pagan sacrificial alters, singers, speakers, dancers, instrument players, public speakers, sellers of radishes and other things were CONFINED apart from the ekklesia which was a WORD ONLY meeting having a similar meaning of the synagogue.

    Lk 15:25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing

    Rembember that Jesus said of the MEN of that generation that they were like CHILDREN which points to PLAYING instruments and PLAYING as at Mount Sinai which included musical idolatry of the Egyptian trinity, sexuality and perverted sexuality..

    They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. Lu.7:32

    Orcheomai (g3738) or-kheh'-om-ahee; mid. from oårchoås , (a row or ring); to dance (from the ranklike or regular motion): – dance

    orchêst-ra , hê, orcheomai

    A. orchestra, i.e. in the theatre the space on which the chorus danced, Arist.Pr.901b30, SIG577.31 (Milet., iii/ii B. C.), etc.: metaph., o. polemou Plu.2.193e .

    2. part of the agora at Athens

    JESUS IS CONTRASTED TO THE HUMAN PERSON WHOM THE HUNGRY WIDOW HAS TO IMPORTUNE.

    This is in the SECULAR THREAD whereas the SPIRITUAL assembles or gathers where Paul used SYNAGOGUE words: "there was never a praise service in the synagogue by direct command" but there is nothing wrong with giving the WORD one hour a week where Moses was PREACHED by being READ, and leave to continue the SECULAR thread which would involve hard work, taking rest, playing or listening to instruments which produced a BEAT and not a TUNE concurrent with the SPEAKING: that would insult the song writer.

    The word music is the Greek:

    Sumphonia or MUSIC which primarily means a concord or unison of sound. Harmonous union of many voices of sound such as speaking. Metaphor of harmony or agreement.

    The dancing which would attending weddings and happy FAMILY gatherings was:

    Choros II.choir, band of dancers and singers, h. Ven.118, Pi.N.5.23, Fr.199; sumphônia kai choroi

    Generally this would be a row of dancers (like teeth) or a circle of dancers with hands joined spinning around. Jesus identified the MEN of that generation as CHILDREN in the marketplace (not the ekklesia) PIPING trying to force others to sing or lament and dance. Jesus would not join in a MARKETPLACE ritual. The AGORA or marketplace in Athens includes "a place for dancing." However, the ekklesia (like church) was up the hill and was for verbal instruction only: just like the synagogue where "vocal and instrumental rejoicing" was excluded. So, there are two arenas in life and Jesus still pleads "could you not wait with me for one hour?" apparently the answer is no.

    The word MUSIC almost DEMANDS dancing and that is why MUSIC had no connection to BIBLE CLASS TIME.

    When sumphonia includes instrumental SOUNDS it must be named as the INSTRUMENT must be named in any singing or musical term in the Bible AND they always are. NO simple simon would go up to another person and command them to 'PLUCK.' Psallo just means PLUCK and EXCLUDES a plectrum or guitar pick. You cannot use psallo to strum a guitar, clang a cymbal, blow a flute or peck a piano.

    Daniel 3 defines HOW a BAND might be indicated.

    Daniel 3. [7] Therefore at that time, when all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, [sounding together] and all kinds of music, all the peoples, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshiped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. [8] Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and brought accusation against the Jews. [9] They answered Nebuchadnezzar the king, O king, live for ever. [10] You, O king, have made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image; [11] and whoever doesn't fall down and worships, shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace .

    So, if you use the prodigal then you must have a FATTED CALF, a ring of dancers spinning around to make themselves dizzy, and at the same time as the DANCING the SUMPHONIA. That is like the trick of holding literal harps, holding bowlS of incense, falling on your face and PLAYING literal harps.

    The modern Post-Christian churches BOAST about making themselves as much like the world as possible to WIN the world. If you call all of your friends and stuff yourself with popcorn and beer why would you think that would mane a new PATTERNISM of AN ACT OF WORSHIP?

    I will go through these one by one if you won't ignore that church is A School of the Bible: using toilet tissue does not distract from being school of "that which is written" or "teaching that which has been taught." Music, by definition, shuts down your rational or spiritual hemisphere so that false teachers can make you believe that God was silent about instruments. If I were Satan I would have all of the not-Biblical pulpits filled with MY ministers. Why listen to "doctors of the Law" who doctor the Word when Jesus said that "they take away the key to knowledge." By quoting verses from a lexicon someone had taken away the key.

    Ken. Nothing Christian is for sale and nothing for sale is Christian. That is called corrupting the Word or "selling learning at retail" which is defined as adultery.

  10. Bondservant says:

    Ken, Try to come out of this rampage your in and please answer these questions.

    Where does the Bible say “be silent where the Bible is silent”, please provide BCV.

    Where does God say “music in worship is a sin”, please provide BCV.

    Is the Bible silent on the following issues? song leaders, song books, choirs, paid preachers, shoes worn on holy ground, sitting and standing in unison during a service while worshiping singing a song, indoor baptisms, singing songs written by members of different denominations, youth ministers, church secretaries, fellowship halls, and church buildings?

    Are we to pray with our hands lifted up, are we to pray with our hands folded, are we to pray with our eyes shut, are we to pray with our eyes open?

  11. Alan says:

    Ken, seriously, you should get your own blog. It's not really considerate to fill other people's blogs up with the kind of things you're saying.

  12. Ken says:

    I told you that I would go through these one by one as long as I am tolerated. The LAW OF SILENCE was invented by the Disciples along with RATIONALISM from Locke and TRADITIONALISM as ways to define INSPIRATION. No literate person would ever say that GOD WAS SILENT. However, the Bible is filled with proofs and all church fathers and founders of denominations agreed that the BIBLE is authority for DOING: silence has to be invented by the human imagination which God says is "only evil continually."

    Is. 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

    John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

    You might click here to see where the BIBLE and all historic scholars say what YOUR preachers say is NEVER IN THE BIBLE. They get paid to convince you that THEY have the authority to REGULATE your faith and children's education fund. I am a giver and never a taker.
    http://www.piney.comComExamInfer.html

    Be patient, I will cover them all but the Bible and the Book of Enoch and three dozen similar ancient accountgs says that once you have fallen for the MUSIC MEANS SPIRITUAL WORSHIP you have fallen and you will never be able to confess the whole Bible which you have to TRUMP to get all of your pleasure centers (all) stroked on Circe.

    Some cofC denominations declare music in worship is a sin. I don’t believe God ever declared that in the Bible.

    A denomination is an organized institute which regulates (more or less) what is taught, sends out Sunday School Literature, trains preachers, places them into churches, collects fees. While movements like Jubilee tried mightily to become a Willow Creek Corporation, there is no headquarters and therefore the church of Christ is not a denomination. The church at the NE corner of Wide and Broad has no control over the one at the SW corner of Wide and Broad.

    On the contrary, in 1906 the Disciples was a denomination to which the Christian churches belonged: there was never any JOINING or unity between what became the Disciples/Christian church and what became the Church of Christ. The NACC became a sectarian split from the Disciples beginning in about 1927 and ending in 1971. At about that time the Stone-Campbell falsehood began to try to SEDUCE churches of Christ into UNITY which meant PLAY THEM INSTRUMENTS. They have a name, telephone number, address, tax exempt number, organize "steal the ANTI-instrementalists churches" and have fueled all of the WHITE PAPERS and supplied HANDLERS to help preachers who say that the "Holy Spirit told him to sow discord and add instruments.

    I believe that God declared it as a sin from Genesis to Revelation because music was known by Nimrod at the towers of Babylon as the way to use a "musical team" and fool the people that "morals could be regenerated by external means." The word EVE (ZOE) has more hidden than most will ever know because for the clergy "truth has been hidden in parables from the foundation of the world." In Isaah 48 that was to fool the "make self a prophet" to whom Jesus pointed to as musical hypocrites. The Bible identifies Lucifer as a singing and harp playing prostitute in the Garden of Eden. The Bible DOETH NOT SAY, "thou shalt not be a singing and harp playing prostitute." The same Mother of Babylonian harlots is identified in Revelation 17 and in Revelation 18 she uses "lusted after fruits" which has the same meaning as the "basket of SUMMER FRUITS" in Amos. The singers, musicians (Apollyon's musical team), instrument players and CRAFTSMEN are identified by John as being SORCERERS who HAD deceived the whole world. The Bible does not say that "thou shalt not be a sorcerer" but you plays the game and takes your chances.

    The Greek literature spells out the SEEKER SENTER of Apollo (Abaddon, Apollyon) whoh has MUSES (dirty adulteresses) as his musical worship team. He used the PYTHIA as his oracle. Remember what Paul did to a young girl with a PYTHIAN SPIRIT. The Bible doeth not say, thou shalt not be INDWELLED by the spirit OF the Serpent.

    In the Bible the instrument is ALWAYS identified with Satan as the SOURCE when he/she was CAST AS PROFANE out of heaven (a word meaning blow the flute, steal people's inheritance, pollute and prostitute." The same as David' PRAISE word and the root of the word LUCIFER.

    Lying Wonders point to all of the sight, sound, smell and motion used now and called Instrumental Praise. No one could miss it unless they had dabbled with God's word and been DELUSIONED to make them happy along with all who could be led.

    I can post Bible all day long and you will have to TRUMP it and call God a liar. That is OKEY-DOKEY in this post modern world which makes theologians a laughingstock like the musical idolaters of a trinity at Mount Sinai.

    Right now, I need a nap.

    Another of those North Alabama exiles.

  13. Ken says:

    Alan, if you could kindly get the CHALLENGERS to respond on the other thread I would be happy to move. However, this is an element of TRUTH since some have declared that MUSIC has been the most divisive and truth sucking influence in history. Assuredly Lucifer knew that he / she / it could bleed off worship due only to god by giving attention to HIS WORD.

    I wont tamper with your blog since you don't want an contrarians but of your quote:

    John 4:23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

    Gerezim and Zion were PLACES so that the SPIRIT is a place where worship takes place. Paul's only worship word means to give heed to the Word or Spirit of truth.

    Paul warned about the concision and dogs which were the cynics known by their "old style praise singing>

    Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. Phil 3:2

    For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Phil 3:3

    This is the PLACE where PREACHING is READING the word: even if you could hallucinate SINGING the command would be to "sing that which is written." and if you could hallucinate preaching to replace the elders the command would be to "teach that which has been taught."

    Now, what upsets you about quoting Scripture and word definitions?

  14. Bondservant says:

    I agree with you Alan.

  15. mark says:

    Hi Ken
    "This is the PLACE where PREACHING is READING the word: even if you could hallucinate SINGING the command would be to “sing that which is written.” and if you could hallucinate preaching to replace the elders the command would be to “teach that which has been taught.”

    I just like to let some things stand out….. the meaning not important

  16. Ken says:

    Acts 15:21 For Moses of old time hath
    in every city them that preach him,
    being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

    DID NOT NEVER EVER ATTEND TEMPLE EXORCISM.

    This was to explain why the Gentiles in much of the world understood the Old Testament. The Qahal, synagogue or Church in the Wilderness commanded REST, reading and rehearsing the Word. It EXCLUDED vocal or instrumental rejoicing. Little simple simon knew not to make a fool of himself when they met for SCHOOL OF THE BIBLE.

    The synagogue also QUARANTED the NARROW WAY from the Temple where people PROFANED the Sabbath because they had been abandoned. Means play the flute, steal people's money, prostitute and pollute the Sabbath. They PROFANED the Sabbath at Mount Sinai BUT sabbath means REST FROM ritual.

    NUMBER TWO: MAKE KEN LOOK FOOLISH 🙂

    Laded burden and self-pleasure OUTLAWS the performing artists during synagogue or school of Bible. I believe that Albert Barnes said "let them go off and play with themselves." DISCIPLES are STUDENTS and not ceremonial legalists.

    "In Gnostic circles religious poetry arose to compete with the Old Testament Psalms. Some Catholics therefore distrusted the composition of hymns after this pattern, on the ground that they might smack of heresy. Yet from at least the second century hymns were written by the orthodox which, like their Gnostic counterparts, employed the forms of Greek poetry…

    Until near the end of the fourth century, in the services of the Catholic Church
    only the Old Testament Psalms and
    the hymns or canticles from the New Testament were sung:
    the other hymns were for personal family, or private use.

    Gradually there were prepared versical paraphrases of the Psalms, hymnswith lines of equal length, and hymns which were acrostic." (Latourette, Christianity. p. 207).

    To Ephraim pertains the high and unique distinction of having originated-or at least given its living impulse to a new departure in sacred literature; and that, not for his own country merely, but for Christendom.

    From him came, if not the first idea, at all events the first successful example, of making song an essential constituent of public worship,
    and an exponent of theological teaching;

    and from him it spread and prevailed through the Eastern Churches, and affected even those of the West.
    To the Hymns, on which chiefly his fame rests, the Syriac ritual in all its forms owes much of its strength and richness; and to them is largely due the place which Hymnody holds throughout the Church everywhere.

    To his credit Ephraeml at least forced the people to LEARN something about the Bible rather than about the preacher and HIS dogma:
    <a href="http://www.piney.com/EphraimHymns.html
    ” target=”_blank”>http://www.piney.com/EphraimHymns.html

    Those who laugh now will mourn later.

    Jesus STOOD UP to read the word and DECENTLY sat dow to wait for dialog. The pulpit held up the BIBLE and not a PREACHER in the true synagogue.

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