In Reply To Matt Dabbs re My “New Wineskins” Post

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For readers unfamiliar with the discussion, this begins with an article I posted at New Wineskins: “On God’s Salvation, Galatians, and the Instrument,” in which I wrote —

It’s often been said, by both sides, that the dispute is ultimately all about hermeneutics, and indeed , it is. But the fork in the road is not where we normally say. It’s not really about what the early Christian bishops wrote, nor about the meaning of psall?, nor about how to read the silences of the scriptures. Not really. Of course, those arguments matter and need to be addressed, but they aren’t the core of the disagreement.

It’s really about who God is and his eternal plan for his people. Did God send Jesus to save us to worship a cappella? Or did he have entirely different purposes in mind? That’s the question.

And it’s the most important question in the entire debate. You see, once we decide that God is the sort of God who might damn over a piano, we begin to worry about whether he might also damn over how we use the church treasury, whether women wear hats to church, or whether elders are re-affirmed. Once you envision a God who damns over such things, there’s really no end to the rules that your God might damn you over.

For any student of Restoration Movement history, the fruit of our teaching is seen in our countless divisions. Of course, we aren’t alone. The Baptists and many other denominations are severely divided as well. But that hardly excuses our behavior. Rather, it just tells us that we aren’t alone in our failure to understand who God really is.

Matt Dabbs recently posted an article as his blog “Kingdom Living” stating,

Thanks to Mark, however, for pointing out how one-sided this issue of New Wineskins is. I don’t think you always have to give equal airtime to both sides of an issue but it is at least important to present it fairly. I was a little disappointed by how Jay framed the topic in his article On Salvation, Galatians and the Instrument,

“It’s really about who God is and his eternal plan for his people. Did God send Jesus to save us to worship a cappella? Or did he have entirely different purposes in mind? That’s the question.”

One-sidedness

Matt raises two concerns. The first is that the articles are one-sided. And, indeed, they are. So is my blog. So is Matt’s. So is the Gospel Advocate. So is the Spiritual Sword. So is the Christian Courier. However, unlike the Gospel Advocate and the Spiritual Sword, New Wineskins has a comment section and the publisher allows unmoderated posting of opposing thoughts — and this is also true of my blog and Matt’s. The Christian Courier website not only doesn’t allow comments, but the last time I looked, I couldn’t find an address at which I could even contact the author, Wayne Jackson. The Gospel Advocate won’t even publish critical letters to the editor!

The point isn’t that it’s okay because everyone else is doing it! The point is that there’s nothing at all wrong with expressing your opinion — even if it’s an unpopular or controversial opinion. To me, the key is whether you allow the opposition to reply. And New Wineskins does — and the comment sections are filled with replies!

Therefore, it’s entirely okay for Matt’s blog to represent his viewpoints only. And he’s to be commended for courageously allowing those who disagree to post their disagreements. New Wineskins does the same.

New Wineskins has always been written from the progressive end of the spectrum — going back to its origins. And I really don’t see why that’s a problem. There is no obligation to present both sides of every argument — especially when the opposing arguments are extremely well known. Any reader interested in the question is already familiar with the array of arguments for the traditional position. Many are not familiar with the counter-arguments.

As I stated in the Introduction that I also wrote,

After over a century of debate, the paths are well worn and the ground is packed hard. What would be the point of regurgitating either set of arguments yet one more time? And so, this time, the discussion will cover fresh ground.

If there’s fresh scholarship or material on the non-instrumental side of the debate, I’m not aware of it, and I’ve been in the thick of this controversy for quite some time. On the other hand, while I can’t speak for New Wineskins, if someone were to present some truly new and interesting material on the non-instrumental side, I expect that New Wineskins would post it. But I see no point in repeating arguments that everyone knows by heart. (And if anyone doesn’t know them, I can suggest some books that lay them out. There are many.)

And so, if anyone wants to take up the other side of the dialogue, I will open the pages of OneInJesus to them to post as they please — provided (a) I get to respond and (b) the posts are from someone who has considerable standing in the a cappella community. My desire is for the very best possible advocate for the a cappella position to engage in unedited dialogue on either or both of the doctrine mentioned here, and they can have equal access to my blog and readership to state their case and to refute my arguments.

I’ve issued such proposals before. I am entirely serious. I’ve undertaken efforts such as this in the past, and would be glad to do it again. On the other hand, I have no interest in posting someone’s position papers that don’t engage the issues. That is, it must be a give-and-take discussion. I’ll not waste the readers’ time with restatements of well-known arguments. The interesting thing would be to see the two sides engage each other.

But the New Wineskins series is not intended to be a debate or a dialogue. It’s the presentation of material that will be new to nearly all readers. But if it takes a debate to be fair, my blog is available.

The framing question

As to the second concern, my respect for Matt is such that I’ve thought and prayed seriously over my framing question to see whether I should stand by it or apologize. But I think it’s right. I am convinced by the scriptures and by the crucible of history that the theology that underlies the a cappella position is not only in error, but poisonous. And I say this even though I’m an elder of a church that worships a cappella and even though I once held to the position that the instrument damns. There are two key elements of this theology.

Damning over the instrument

First, there is the idea that instrumental music damns because it’s doctrinal error. This is anti-gospel in the same way that demanding circumcision as a condition of fellowship is anti-gospel. And the fruit of the doctrine is division and misery. You see, if God damns over the instrument, he also damns over fellowship halls, the use of the church treasury … you know the list. And the scriptures are clear —

(1Co 3:16-17 ESV) 16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

“You” is plural in each case, and the context is division within the Lord’s body. We have to speak out against this devastating teaching.

The Regulative Principle

Second, there is the Regulative Principle — the idea that God bans everything not specifically approved in the scriptures. Now if someone believes this but accepts those who disagree in full, active fellowship, they aren’t guilty of the Galatian heresy or what Paul condemned in 1 Cor 3. But they do have a distorted image of the character of God and the gospel. They have a faith that saves, but it is, to use Paul’s words, a weak faith.

In Rom 14, those who insisted on commands that God doesn’t insist on are said to have “weak” faith, because they don’t fully appreciate the freedom we have in Christ. And while it’s a much less severe error, it’s an error that misunderstands who “God is and his eternal plan for his people.” It does because God is not about such things. You see, you can worship God a cappella and be entirely pleasing to him and have a strong faith. But you can’t imagine that God considers instrumental worship unauthorized and disapproved (even though forgiven) and really understand what God is about and what he wants from us.

What kind of thinking — what underlying assumptions — are required to imagine that the “law of silence” is how God expects us to understand him? What image of God leads us to think this way? Well, the arguments made by the anti-instrumental advocates answer that question. Those who teach this perspective teach a God defined by a misinterpretation of the stories of Nadab and Abihu and Uzzah. Those stories, read legalistically and out of context, define who God is in the minds of those advocates. And he’s a God who damns for the tiniest, most innocent mistakes. He’s a God looking for a way to damn us. And that’s a false image of God.

Rather, the scriptures teach us that God reveals himself most fully in Jesus —

(John 14:9 ESV) 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”

(Col 1:15 ESV) 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

Therefore, God’s love is so great that he’d rather die on a Roman cross than see us damned. God’s love is so great that he’s willing to eat and enjoy fellowship with prostitutes and Roman collaborators and to touch lepers. God’s love is so great that he forgives people who don’t even ask for forgiveness!

Now, I can’t reconcile the God revealed through Jesus with the God described by the “law of silence” advocates. Yes, the stories of Nadab and Abihu and Uzzah are true, but, no, they don’t teach the lesson the “law of silence” advocates would have us believe. I’ve covered those in the past. (I’m not suggesting a contradiction or a change in God’s character but the need to reconsider the lessons taught by those stories.)

The great danger is that we become like what we worship. If we worship a loving, gracious God who mingles with the outcasts and extends forgiveness to the unworthy, we become like that. If we worship a God who rejects worship that fails to satisfy a rule hidden in the silences of the scripture, we become narrow, unforgiving people.

You see, neither the instrument nor a cappella matters. But knowing God as revealed in Jesus matters. And his love is so large and his grace so vast that it requires divine help to even begin to understand them —

(Eph 3:14-19 ESV) 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith — that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

It grieves me that so many good people are being deceived by these two false doctrines. They are doing grievous harm and cause untold pain. They make it hard to believe that God would be willing to save, and leave the church filled with people mourning their lack of salvation. I long for the day that the Churches of Christ are filled with people who truly know Jesus and the love and peace of God.

Profile photo of Jay Guin

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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196 Responses to In Reply To Matt Dabbs re My “New Wineskins” Post

  1. Justin says:

    I bless God, Jay for what He has given you to do.

  2. guy says:

    Jay,

    There are people who personally reject and/or believe others ought to reject the use of the instrument but not on the basis of the Regulative Principle, and do not believe that IM damns.

    Is your article simply not intended to be talking to or about such people?

    –guy

  3. Jay Guin says:

    Guy,

    The articles are written in a Church of Christ periodical for a Church of Christ audience. Therefore, I've not considered the Eastern Orthodox or Jewish arguments — which would be rejected by nearly all in the Churches of Christ.

    There are Calvinist denominations that insist on a cappella music, and I've read some of their writings. They focus on the Regulative Principle, although the Puritans don't follow the aid/addition distinction. Rather, they speak of essences and accidents — Aristotelean language.

    There are those in the Churches of Christ who focus their arguments on the historical data, but none would say that the historical argument is sufficient without the Regulative Principle. It always comes down to authority.

    Now, it should be clear that I'm not addressing rejection of the instrument out of cultural or considerations of personal preference. It's only those driven by doctrinal concerns that paint a false picture of God. But in Church of Christ literature, I've never seen any argument that didn't include the Regulative Principle.

  4. HistoryGuy says:

    Jay, I have not posted in a long time, but I keep a look out. Please allow me to make a few comments for your consideration.

    You said “the dispute is ultimately all about hermeneutics”… Have you considered that IM/a cappella has been an issue for every denomination since (200ad?) regardless of culture or hermeneutical approach (allegorical, literal-historical, normative, and regulative)? Why can't the issue be deeper than hermeneutics?

    You said “I’ll not waste the readers’ time with restatements of well-known arguments” …. Have you considered that there are really no new arguments to the issue for either side? All of the arguments on both sides are old. Even the arguments made by Rick Acthely and Danny Corbitt are nothing more than rehashed old arguments that favor IM. The original and oldest defense for a cappella is the theological contrast between the Jewish and Christian age, nothing more. The original defense for IM was papal authority, nothing more. The former is rooted in Scripture, the latter is not. The former sought to retain apostolic tradition; the latter sought to change apostolic tradition by the power of church authority. What seems to be unknown is that every other argument, for or against, originated within Protestant feuding less than 400 years ago. Are people really informed or do we all function on some level of presumption?

    You said, “If there’s fresh scholarship or material on the non-instrumental side of the debate, I’m not aware of it, and I’ve been in the thick of this controversy for quite some time.” Are you looking across denominational lines or strictly within the Stone-Campbell Movement? There have been several books published on the non-IM side (granted, there are more pressing topics). Allow me to recommend the most recent book that I am aware of from within the Stone-Campbell Movement, in case you don’t read outside of it, Dr. Tom Alexander’s Music in Worship: A New Examination of an Old Issue. While it brings out some blunders that nobody in print noticed Rick Acthely making, it also addresses some key arguments from Danny’s book since they are similar.

    Grace and peace.

  5. Royce ogle says:

    I'm with Jay on this one.

  6. abasnar says:

    It’s really about who God is and his eternal plan for his people. Did God send Jesus to save us to worship a cappella? Or did he have entirely different purposes in mind? That’s the question.

    But we can also ask:

    Did God save us to worship with instruments?
    Or even more accurate: Did God save us to worship any old way?
    Ore to the point: Did God save us to worship in Spirit and Truth?

    But in fact these questions don't answer or solve our dispute.

    You could also say: God saved us so we can eat all kind of food we like without any restrictions. At least that's what I get as an answer regularly when I point to Acts 15 and the restriction on blood and strangled meat.

    Or we paint the word "FREEDOM" in big red capital letters, when we ant to have a biblical reason for our own preferences.

    So in the end, it boilds down to a Biblical question and a historical question. It is about a side aspect of our salvation, not about the goal of our salvation. THat's why the question you proposed (as I quoted at the begining of my comment) is just a rethorical tool to block off biblical and historical arguments.

    I was very disappointed by Danny Corbitts article … or better: I was confirmed in my rejection on instruments.

    Alexander

  7. Matt Dabbs says:

    Jay,

    I really respect the time you have taken to write out such a lengthy, prayerful and well thought out response. I will be the first to say that my post was not prayerfully considered before it was posted. In fact, few of the posts I put on my blog are prayed over before the publish button is pressed. So first I appreciate that you have challenged me and convicted me to do a better job of that in the future. So let me respond to your post,

    One sidedness:
    I agree that one can state their point of view, back it up with scripture, etc without having to lay out every one else's point of view every time. I also agree that open dialog is important and many people/groups just want to jam things down people's throats without a fair and honest dialog. I applaud NW for openness to comments. Knowing who all is involved with NW it doesn't surprise me in the least that you encourage such dialog. It is to be commended. What is also to be commended is the attitude this material is presented in. It is not harsh. It is not bitter. It does try to honestly evaluate scripture even where it sometimes makes us uncomfortable. Thank you for that.

    So in retrospect I probably should have let the one sided point slide. The flood of comments on your article were certainly NOT one-sided!

    The framing question:
    Here is the way it was framed in your article as cited above,

    “It’s really about who God is and his eternal plan for his people. Did God send Jesus to save us to worship a cappella? Or did he have entirely different purposes in mind? That’s the question.”

    I have several problems with this question:

    1 – It is a false dichotomy. Does everything have to be a salvation issue or core purpose of Jesus being sent for it to be important? Can't there be some things God doesn't approve of but aren't THE central reason Jesus came to the earth? You frame this question in a way that if this is THE only important question out there then people must agree with your position (which, by the way I mostly do!). Here is a quote from one of my comments over at KL,

    "We don’t frame any other debate like that. Did God send Jesus to the earth so we could take the Lord’s Supper every week? Of course not. How about the flip side. Did God send Jesus to the earth so we wouldn’t ever have to take the Lord’s Supper? Of course not. You see, that question doesn’t take us anywhere because you can point it from either side of an issue. Why not ask the flip side to be fair, “Did God send Jesus in order to worship with instruments?” See how that works?

    The question of instrumental music does not have to be proven or dis-proven by God’s motivation in sending Jesus Christ."

    2 – Your whole position here is based on debating those who think you are damned if you worship with an instrument. That is certainly up to you to direct it at whoever you like. I am with you wholeheartedly in your response to people who believe that both in this post and in NW. But what I haven't seen addressed (please point me there if someone has in NW and I have missed it) is a response to those who believe IM could be wrong but don't believe God is graceless enough to damn people to hell for it.

    There are people who believe the scriptures are fuzzy enough that they are going to take the careful route of a cappella worship. They aren't so staunch as to say it damns but they are careful enough to say God may not be pleased. I could be wrong but I believe there are way more people in Churches of Christ today who fall into that camp or the camp that realize it is just a tradition and that God is pleased either way than we do those who are damning others over it. At least I hope that is the case and maybe that is just who I have surrounded myself with and ended up being insulated.

    Last, I am not disagreeing with your conclusions in the least. I am also not sure you even meant for that question to be a framing type question that is just how it came across to me and maybe I made too much of it all anyway.

    Jay, you know I love you and respect you a great deal and I appreciate your thoughtfulness on this. I want you to know that I am also dealing with this now from a prayerful perspective and I appreciate your example in that.

  8. Once again, my friend over at Therefore Now unknowingly posted in stark contrast to the constant bickering over this divisive issue. It's so interesting to read his blog after I read this one.
    http://thereforenow.com/?p=233

    Perhaps it would be better to let God clean up His bride for the Great Day (like He promised He would), and quit trying to play God for each other. No one should rely on Jay, Danny, Alexander, Royce, Guy, Matt, or any other person to know confidently that their salvation is sure. They should rely on the Author of their salvation, and believe Him powerful enough to keep His promises.

    The truth is, he who seeks his life (via fame, fortune, acceptance, perfect doctrine, Scriptural knowledge, historical accuracy) will lose it, but he who loses his life (through displaced schedules, exhausted resources, sleepless nights, few possessions because of sacrificial giving) will find it.

    The question is not "which doctrine is right" but "whose life do you seek?" – your own, justified by doctrine, or His, justified by faith?

    Or better put, do the widows and orphans praise God for how this endless arguing has helped their plight?

  9. Brad — powerful point, with which I agree

    Alexander — Jesus counseled us to worship in spirit and in truth. A cappella singing or instrumentally accompanied singing do not, automatically, contribute to or take away from worshipping in spirit or in truth.

    Such worship depends upon the heart of the worshipper.

    You cannot accurately judge the heart based solely upon observation of behavior.

    God himself choses to wait until a person dies before God passes judgement — who are we do differently?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Amen to that Brad! Thank you for your comment, it's the most mature, Christ centered comment I've seen on here. Sadly though too many would rather belittle and damn people over IM, and endlessly argue that they got it all together, that nobody else is loving God as they do. Jesus came to give His life away for others, too bad people who are saying they follow Christ aren't shining a bright light as He does. God bless you Brad for being a bright light in a dark world!

  11. konastephen says:

    “2 – Your whole position here is based on debating those who think you are damned if you worship with an instrument. “

    I don’t see the difference between saying that this issue damns or saying that it might simply displease God. To displease God is to do something wrong—wrong is not good. We want to please our Lord in worship.

    Now if we thought this was an issue of being adiaphora, then okay. But when people say that they’re playing it safe or just being careful by only singing, then it seems that they don’t really believe that this is a matter of indifference. Such a view sounds as prudent as the man in Luke 19:20-21… As a church we should be confident in who our God is…!

  12. James says:

    Jay,
    When you reach the conclusion (as I have) that IM is not the issue we have made it in the Church of Christ what keeps you in the Church of Christ? Sometimes I feel like I am only still in the Church of Christ because how disappointed my parents would be if I left. Why stay in a fellowship that teaches or is known for the "regulative principle" and the "damning over the instrument?"

  13. James,
    Obviously, I cannot answer for Jay, but only for myself.

    First, although I admit I'm picking at words here — I'm not "in the Church of Christ." I'm simply a disciple of Christ. Labels are for convenience, but are often incomplete or downright inaccurate.

    Second, it's not about the organization, it's about the people. So long as my wife and I continue to have opportunities to minister to people, we'll continue where we are.

    Third, because of my upbringing, I'm sure, I continue to prefer many of the common practices of the CofC, when it comes to worship. While they're not "right or wrong" issues, I still simply prefer them. Probably just my own comfort level. But one aspect which does stand out is the level of participation. Most CofC worship engages the participation of the worshippers more often than the worship I've experienced at other worship settings.

  14. guy says:

    Jay,

    Perhaps not in writing, but in conversation i've met more than one person who rejected IM on grounds other than the Regulative Principle. A preacher friend of mine (now deceased) always argued on the basis of historical data and believed that was sufficient. i think that's Alexander's position here basically; i don't see how he could use the Reg Pr in addition based on his rejection of Sola Scriptura. Bruce has argued the case (so far as i've understood him) based on distinctiveness from pagan culture. Calvin, in addition to the Reg Pr also argued that IM would be a case of Judaizing. That's certainly similar to Alexander's other arguments about OT shadows. i think i have a couple other reasons for rejecting IM in addition to a couple of the above reasons, none of which include the Reg Pr.

    A lot of my peers at my congregation were raised in conservative CoC's. Mayfair (my congregation), however, is certainly not a conservative CoC. Most of those peers believe that IM is wrong for worship. But i can guarantee you, knowing them the way i do, if i pressed any of them on the issue, they wouldn't think anyone is going to hell because of it. And i suspect there are great number of people especially my age who are "conservative CoC babies" who would think similarly. What of them?

    It seems you could've written most of what you wrote with any issue at all filling in the blank. "Did God send Jesus to save us to refuse to have fellowship hall and gyms?" "Did God send Jesus to save us to have a traditional and contemporary service?" "Did God send Jesus to save us to take a position for/against women ministers?" You're focus seems to be on a certain conception of salvation, not on the IM issue–which is misleading.

    –guy

  15. Matt Dabbs says:

    Guy,

    I made the same two points above and I think they are excellent points. The first is that if you are going to aim at those who think it is a salvation issue then you are probably aiming at a very small number of people. Second, you can point that framing question for all kinds of issues and point it both ways on any given issue but it still doesn't mean it is the question we are really trying to answer. Again, you can also ask if God sent Jesus so we could worship with an instrument…doesn't prove anything about whether it is right/wrong or whether we should/shouldn't.

  16. John says:

    James,

    As an old progressive and Mission Journal reader (you may not remember MJ; it was a very good progressive journal within the Church of Christ ) I can honestly say that most progressives in the CoC in the 60s and 70s were not working toward useing the instrument. In fact, most did not want to use it. They, like Jay, and others, loved the a cappella tradition and were simply striving to end the non-use of the instrument as law.

    I no longer attend a Church of Christ. But it has nothing to do with the instrument itself. Progress and growth goes far beyond instrumental music. And while there are more progressive congregations, they are still few and far between. However, I believe if the CoC would seek to be the merciful, peace making church that only Christ can create, and will create if Christ is allowed to be first and formost, then the beauty and majesty of a cappella singing would be a grand call. As it is, there is much lifeless singing followed by grand boasting.

  17. Clyde Symonette says:

    History Guy:

    Where can I find Tom Alexander’s Music in Worship?

  18. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde Symonette,
    You can find the book at http://stores.homestead.com/GospelAdvocateCompany

  19. Adam Legler says:

    It could be a small portion of C of Cers who think this is a salvational issue. The problem that I've personally encountered is that these are the same people who don't want to work with other denominations to bring glory to God in the community and promote unity. They want to disfellowship or force people to go foward on a Sun. morning if they don't believe these are salvational issues. They want to talk about people they disagree with in closed door meetings yet never personally go to them about anything or allow them to state why they've come to different conclusions about things.

    And, a lot of these people are in leadership positions. So their misguided beliefs are causing great harm to the cause of Christ. And in the end, I pity them. How much have they missed out on but not seeing the true character of God?

  20. Bruce Morton says:

    Jay:
    I read this and was surprised: "I’ve never seen any argument that didn’t include the Regulative Principle."

    I am indeed committed to apostolic authority and believe the risen Lord's counsel should be heard closely (including Ephesians 5:18-21; John 14:30-31 remains words written on the heart for me). However, research in print (of which I am the author) focuses on the parallels, contrasts, and religious background of Paul's teaching in Ephesians 5:18-21 (similar to Clyde's focus — and I appreciate his approach greatly). Even the look at Clement of Alexandria's writings was from the perspective of his contributions regarding Dionysian worship, its music and linguistic parallels with Paul's writing.

    And why am I so sure that people see that the study does not rest on the "regulative principle" (for better or worse)? Easy answer. I have been critiqued on the conservative side for not raising! I have considered the critique and prayed about it. My focus was the religious background of Roman Asia and what it tells us as we look at Ephesians. I will leave it at that.

    So, will let you mull and I hope reconsider your conclusions.

    In Christ,
    Bruce Morton
    Katy, Texas
    MortonBLSL7@earthlink.net

  21. rey says:

    "You see, once we decide that God is the sort of God who might damn over a piano, we begin to worry about whether he might also damn over how we use the church treasury, whether women wear hats to church, or whether elders are re-affirmed. Once you envision a God who damns over such things, there’s really no end to the rules that your God might damn you over."

    As I've said before, the question is really about whether stories like Nadab and Abihu (and the man who picked up sticks on the Sabbath being stoned by a direct command of God) are inerrant or not. If those stories are true, then God is the sort of God who would damn over a piano, or women not wearing hats, since he damned over something as small as using a different kind of fire (isn't all fire the same?) and over picking up sticks (just some stinking sticks?) on the Sabbath.

    But interestingly, although the OT affirms that God is an ogre who will damn you just for picking up a stick on the Sabbath, Jesus affirms that it is OK to pick up a BED on the Sabbath, since Jesus commands those paralytics he heals on the Sabbath to pick up their beds and carry them home!!!! So the question obviously becomes: Did Jesus hold THESE stories to be inerrant? and if he did not (which he obviously did not) then do we even have a right to????

  22. rey says:

    BTW, it will sadden me if you don't post those comments. I know you don't want to give the conservative brethren ammo to say "aha! Jay rejects inerrancy!" But honestly, you know good and well that Jesus didn't believe the Nadab and Abihu story and that anyone who does WILL become a Pharisee–it is the origin of Phariseeism and was probably added by Pharisees. Trying to combat Phariseeism without demonstrating that Jesus disbelieved this story is like trying to fight back a 7 nation army with a spork!

  23. Jay Guin says:

    Bruce,

    Do you repudiate the Regulative Principle? Is it error?

  24. guy says:

    Jay,

    A person could accept the Reg Pr, and yet not reject IM on that basis. You claimed you never saw a case against IM which didn't include the Reg Pr. Yet there are people who participate on this very site who do.

    –guy

  25. jmf says:

    OFF SUBJECT: If anyone reading this is on staff at Wineskins, I'd like to say that I find the layout for the responses to be impossible to follow. It seems nice to be able to respond directly the post you are referencing, but it makes the entirety of the posting incoherent.

  26. jmf,

    I wish I had a cure for that. We are at the mercy of our software, I'm afraid.

    If I had the resources to move the entire site to a different platform – and, frankly, I would prefer Joomla for its flexibility and reliability – I would be a wealthy fellow living in great leisure. Okay, no, I wouldn't; I'd be moving it right now.

  27. Bruce Morton says:

    Jay:
    First, even if I am not enamored with your misrepresenting the look at Ephesians 5:18-21 in Deceiving Winds, let me share that I appreciate your look at the Galatian letter and some of the conclusions you have reached and shared. They challenge the "regulative principle" at places and they are on target.

    Second, let me state candidly that I believe we need to hear what Jesus says in John 14:30-31. He is revealing to us what needs to be our heart and our actions in a world under spiritual siege. He reveals that listening to the Lord closely and obeying Him are what help us to avoid darkness. Leaning on His grace with all of our weight also translates to hearing the Word closely — a concept that seems far afield from congregations whose Bible classes rarely look at Scripture (I have experienced such — has anyone learned a memory verse in an adult Bible class of late?! I can ask the question… since I urge such of adults. 🙂 I know, shocking!). Our doing as the Lord commanded will look to some, at times, like the "regulative principle" — but for reasons that have been too little discussed within the Restoration Movement (in my opinion).

    I am also convinced that apostolic teaching clashes with some of the conclusions reached by the "regulative principle" as it has been developed within the Restoration Movement. For example, when we have announced that "we must give on the first day of the week," we have misapplied apostolic teaching. Jesus has not given us specifics regarding our giving and Paul's words were not a critique of a congregation's practice, but only a request for a specific situation. But try eliminating giving from of a congregational assembly in a given week and see the reaction in many churches (within the Restoration Movement and beyond).

    In a world under spiritual siege, we run the constant risk of trying to reduce the Word of the risen Lord to a "quick reference guide." We do such so that we do not have to spend time listening to the Lord or we do not want to hear what He says. But our focus must be on Him and on His Word — and that takes time. Love takes time. Our focus on Him and His Word can look like the "regulative principle" at times, but needs to go beyond such and keep us alert to part of the reason for His words in John 14:30-31: the spiritual threat.

    There is far more on my heart, but I think that answers your question.

    Finally, I am praying you correct your statement regarding studies on Ephesians 5:18-21 that you have seen or that you read again the parts of Deceiving Winds that look at that text.

    In Christ,
    Bruce Morton
    Katy, Texas
    MortonBLSL7@earthlink.net

  28. HistoryGuy says:

    Jay & Bruce,
    I am not trying to pry into your conversation, but given the vast history and divergences of the Regulative Principle, would it be helpful for you all to define your understanding so that your private conversations will be more productive? I have seen many discuss the RPW not knowing their terms and understanding of the RPW application are completely different.

    John Frame and Darryl Hart have had discussions of this nature several times and are quite informative. The RPW could be historically defined as a principle derived from Scripture that only applies to some things, such as worship at one or more levels. If this is the case, both the principle itself and its limitation must be demonstrated from Scripture. Is the RPW, as historically defined a principle distinct from Sola Scriptura or is it an application of Sola Scriptura? If the former, then the basis for a regulative principle distinct from sola Scriptura must be demonstrated from Scripture. If the latter, then, its limitation to worship must be demonstrated from Scripture. Even the Normative principle, which denies fully the RPW, does not consider absolutely everything that isn’t prohibited as acceptable in worship. I hope this is helpful to your discussion.

    Bruce, I like your points about apostolic teaching and am a huge advocate of apostolic precedent, which we may be using similarly.

  29. Bruce Morton says:

    Jay:
    Let me add a further note for you/et.al. to consider regarding "silences." I will suggest that we — progressives, moderates, conservatives, et.al.– DO understand the weight of some "silences" (including some in Ephesians 4:17-5:21 and Dionysiac-like religious practices that Paul does not specifically prohibit — What?! There are more of those?!).

    For example, anyone ready to evolve the Lord's Supper into a practice that embraced Dionysiac ritual, such as Gnostic Ophites and Valentinians embraced early into the post-apostolic period? They added a snake slithering through the Supper, making its presence known and felt for all worshipping.

    In the third century this appears to have been a "hot topic." And apostolic teaching does not tell us we cannot! For folks leaving the Dionysus cult, such serpent prominence was crucial for them. The snake was part of the "mystic objects" of their worship. So, it is no surprise that a sect decided to blend Jesus and Dionysus together a bit. The practice appears to have stretched across Roman Asia and beyond for more than a century.

    Any takers re the Ophite's practice? I do hope there are none.

    Seems to me that more "silences" have weight than folks have typically noted. History and ancient "hot topics" have that quality to them.

    I also hope you restate your "no fresh material on the non-instrumental side of the discussion" for the weblog readers. I am not aware beyond Deceiving Winds that others have looked at some recent evidence that bears on this discussion (i.e. papyrus evidence re the strong presence and purpose of drum music in Asian religion).

    In Christ,
    Bruce Morton
    Katy, Texas
    MortonBLSL7@earthlink.net

  30. Clyde Symonette says:

    “The question is not “which doctrine is right” but “whose life do you seek?” – your own, justified by doctrine, or His, justified by faith? Or better put, do the widows and orphans praise God for how this endless arguing has helped their plight?”

    Brad

    Your comment is moving.

    Like Jay, Bruce and others, I have given a significant amount of time to the subject of IM—a subject for which I had lost a desire to discuss.

    Having concluded an inspiring study in the Book of Psalms, I realized that celebrating God is constantly threatened with redefinition, because God has an enemy.

    Philo called Israel’s lamentations—hymns of praise.
    Church fathers called psalms—a practice of infant Israel—unnecessary for a mature church.
    And today we call the heart the sole authorized instrument of the psalm.

    Subsequently that which is not praise has been called praise; and celebration—that which is not celebration.

    When David said, “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD,” HE MEANT IT!

    David said:

    These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. (Psalm 42:4)

    We can conclude that David was an overzealous, outlandish, “beast” driven only by his “irrational” emotions; but what we see in David, was compelled by his view of God’s greatness:

    Great is the LORD and most WORTHY OF PRAISE (Psalm 145:3)

    And as far as David was concerned, generations that followed him would see God’s greatness and be motivated to rejoice as he did.
    They [successive generations (v. 4)] will CELEBRATE your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. (Psalm 145:7)

    Our memberships will attend sporting or political events and the sound of rejoicing is joyfully bellowed from the stands of sports fields, and the floors of political events. But it is not God’s praise that is being heard, because it is not God who is being adored—the object of such adulations is, more often than not, man. Then we “come to church.”

    We justify our “church” tradition as a New Testament brand of worship, but it is not. It is a synagogal substitute that was born out of grief, bred in mourning and built to accommodate sorrow. As rejoicing is different from mourning, so are their respective sounds. No one rejoices sadly. The model for worship significantly impacts the worship.

    It is not a coincidence that Jesus uttered the parable of the Lost Son in the presence of the Pharisees, who opposed the concept of Israel’s celebration until the coming of the Messiah, while at the same time rejecting Jesus as that Messiah.
    What Jesus voiced, the prophets spoke centuries prior to its fulfillment in the New Testament, that is, the restoration of lost Israel and their rejoicing. I encourage your men to reread Romans 9. There can be no doubt that celebration is God’s intent for the New Testament church since praise is what was prophesied for New Testament Israel.
    His intent is, “to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61: 1-3).

    The despair of the Synagogue in the NT church is justified PRIMARILY by the regulative principle. The Scriptures, however, are far from silent on the subject. If we would but see the chains that bind the church then perhaps this subject would not be as insignificant as one thinks.

    I agree. Instrumental praise or non-instrumental praise = praise nonetheless and we have other important things to get to – like making disciples of a lost world WHILE praising our God. If we can, in our difference, accept each other and learn to work together for the good of orphans, widows and a lost world, then God would be gloried in that.

    Lack of unity is only resolved by coming together, discussing differences and submitted to the authority of Jesus Christ. Obviously this forum allows that. Don’t be upset about it.

    Remember this brethren; “if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.”

    As we debate, let’s pray.

    Brad, I appreciate your comment.

  31. Jay Guin says:

    Bruce,

    After saying you disagree with the Regulative Principle, you wrote,

    For example, anyone ready to evolve the Lord’s Supper into a practice that embraced Dionysiac ritual, such as Gnostic Ophites and Valentinians embraced early into the post-apostolic period? They added a snake slithering through the Supper, making its presence known and felt for all worshipping.

    In the third century this appears to have been a “hot topic.” And apostolic teaching does not tell us we cannot!

    This is, of course, exactly the Regulative Principle applied to worship (at least).

    Its frivolous to argue that the worship of false gods is only wrong because the Bible is silent on the subject! Are you truly serious in saying that "apostolic teaching does not tell us we cannot!"

    I always figured that you subscribed to the Regulative Principle (silence is a prohibition) at least in worship, as your arguments don't really work without it.

    But, you see, we don't need the Regulative Principle to reject the worship of Dionysus, in the Lord's Supper or any other time.

    And this is where your argument breaks down. Orphic and Dionysian worship is sin because it's idolatry, not because it's unauthorized. But instrumental music, like singing, can be idolatrous or can be the worship of the one true God — as Clyde has powerfully argued. Therefore, Paul emphasize in Eph 5:19 that our singing must be to the praise of God and no one else.

    I agree, therefore, that the context is a rejection of idolatrous worship, but that hardly means we reject instrumental music because the pagans used instruments. They also ate together. Does that mean we ban common meals? They also engaged in conversation. Does that mean we stop talking to each other?

    The solution is to look to the purpose in Paul's command — not to be idolatrous — and to reject idolatry or things that tempt to idolatry. That's done in sensitivity to the local culture and context, not by straining at silences.

  32. Bruce Morton says:

    Jay:
    Whew! I think that is called missing my point.

    Of course you are correct regarding the idolatrous character of Ophite worship. But I doubt if the Ophites and Valentinians saw clearly what you and I see. I doubt if they called their practice "idolatry" in the late second or early third centuries. Based on what we know of the Gnostics, they were doing what they did in the name of Jesus. And that is part of the reason for my illustration. Evil has that quality to it; Satan deceives. And that is part of what it seems to me you have missed in my focus on Jesus' words in John 14:30-31 and what they say to us about following Him and hearing His Word closely. I will leave it at that.

    Also, just so it is clear, I am not drawing a precise parallel between Ophite worship and IM. My point was to illustrate historically how the subject of "silences" can be spiritually challenging in a world under siege. I am not aware that I have argued about IM along the line you have raised. That is not what I believe Paul is up to in Ephesians 5:18-21 (and 4:17-5:21).

    As I wrap all of this up (I think), let me request that you cease telling me what I believe or do not believe.

    Finally, all of this drifts some from the purpose of my original post to you in this chain. You misrepresented the work in Deceiving Winds to your readers. Seems to me that disagreeing with the conclusions in the work should not be used as the "filter" by which you represent what is in the work.

    I am praying you consider.

    In Christ,
    Bruce Morton
    Katy, Texas
    MortonBLSL7@earthlink.net

  33. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde Symonette,
    You said, “Church fathers called psalms—a practice of infant Israel—unnecessary for a mature church.” That is not correct. The church canticled Scripture and sang Psalms, so it was the — use of incense and instruments as well as other elements of Levitical worship — that were called infantile when associated with Psalm singing. This is of course the oldest and original argument to reject the addition of instruments into the church. Let’s also consider why the big change in worship from Judaism to Christianity, which seems to be a hot topic with early Christian apologists. Remember: Nobody before the Reformation was shouting for Sola Scriptura when discussing the instrumental issue. Therefore, it is vital that we understand the author (church father) that we are reading or quoting. Applicably, a cappella stemmed from the apostles; theologically, it was explained in the Book of Hebrews, perhaps most clearly in Heb. 9:10, 10:5-8.

    If one grants for the sake of argument, a non-allegorical approach, although this misses him entirely if done, Clement of Alexandria is at best still “inconsistent- contradictory” since he permits some instruments and rejects others. I include Clement for a reason; He did not allow just any instrument, as some seem to think. Scholars like McKinnon and Ferguson have urged great caution over quoting Clement or any church father. McKinnon noted in MECL that many church fathers, including John Chrysostom, prayed and chanted Psalms almost as if it were a Christian doctrine.

    Some in recent articles have incorrectly written about the fathers and msuic at festivals, etc. Not every church father condemned instruments “everywhere” as some seem to mistakenly argue. Each had his culture and own personality, so one should look for the commonality across regions and time. Regardless, James McKinnon (since he seems to be a favorite) has noted that while some fathers condemned instruments at weddings, funerals, etc, others like Augustine, fully embraced music as an “academic discipline or liberal art,” although he championed singing a cappella to God. Though I disagree with your study, your articles challenge me to inspect my conclusions, and I hope this snippet has been beneficial to your study as well.

    grace and peace

  34. Clyde Symonette says:

    History Guy.

    Good morning brother!

    You wrote:
    “Not every church father condemned instruments “everywhere” as some seem to mistakenly argue. Each had his culture and own personality, so one should look for the commonality across regions and time.”

    You are correct. Generalization is often misleading. I will endeavor to be more specific. Chrysostom is ONE example of a church father who suggested that psalms were unnecessary for a mature church.

    He wrote:
    "Teaching," he saith," and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." Mark also the considerateness of Paul. Seeing that reading is toilsome, and its irksomeness great, he led them not to histories, but to psalms, that thou mightest at once delight thy soul with singing, and gently beguile thy labors. "Hymns," he saith," and spiritual songs." But now your children will utter songs and dances of Satan, like cooks, and caterers, and musicians ; no one knoweth any psalm, but it seems a thing to be ashamed of even, and a mockery, and a joke. There is the treasury house of all these evils.

    When in these thou hast led him on from CHILDHOOD, by little and little thou wilt LEAD HIM FORWARD even to the HIGHER things. The Psalms contain all things, but the Hymns again have nothing human. When he has been INSTRUCTED OUT OF THE PSALMS, he will then know hymns also, AS A DIVINER THING. For the Powers above chant hymns, not psalms.

    What is the hymn of those above? The Faithful know. What say the cherubim above ? What say the Angels ? " Glory to God in the highest." (Ps. cxii. 5.) Therefore after the psalmody come the hymns, as a thing of more perfection. " With psalms," he saith, " with hymns, with spiritual songs, with grace singing in your hearts to God."

    Philip Schaff, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, , XIII:301-302

    You said: “Applicably, a cappella stemmed from the apostles; theologically, it was explained in the Book of Hebrews, perhaps most clearly in Heb. 9:10, 10:5-8.”

    Brother, I disagree:

    A cappella is the remnant of a tradition that Israel practiced at synagogues in the Exile. We have it today because it came in via the post-apostolic church. Scholars, old and new, tell us that the early (a relative term) church modeled its worship after that of the Synagogue.

    Without question the early chant of the church followed the cantillation.

    Edwin Evans, author of The Origins of Organization and Government in the Early Church, wrote,
    “Therefore, for a full understanding of the beginning of organization in the Christian church we must place ourselves in the position of the first converts, who were Jews, and consequently both the national and the traditional religious prepossessions were called into play. They were accustomed to the Synagogue, its form of worship and government.”
    E. Evans, The Origins of Organization and Government in the Early Church, 7.

    Ferguson wrote:
    “The earliest Christian converts, and many aspects of the worship and organization of the early church were derived from the synagogue.”

    Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity, 575.

    In another publication, Ferguson said that Christian worship, in many practices, seemed to have followed the worship of the synagogue

    Ferguson, A Cappella Music in the Public Worship of the Church, 36.

    Historyguy, perhaps we should examine Scriptures on this. What do you think?

  35. Jay Guin says:

    Bruce,

    If you're asserting that Deceiving Winds is new scholarship that should have been included in the New Wineskins series, I would point out that DW was published by 21st Century Christian, widely advertised (even in Biblical Archaeology Review), and has received vastly more publicity than Danny's or Clyde's or my work (Danny's book is self-published. No one else has a book out on this topic).

    And, as you know, I very strongly disagree with your conclusions on instrumental music.

    But I'll make this deal with you. Write an article summarizing your teaching on instrumental music (no more than 2,000 words, closer to 1,500 words would be preferred), and I'll write a reply, and I'll ask the publisher whether he'd like to post them.

    If it's turned down, I'll post the articles here.

  36. Jay Guin says:

    I've just searched Amazon and 21st Century Christian, and neither has a book by Tom Alexander refuting Rick Atchley's sermons — that I can find. Nor can I find it in Google. Perhaps it's not yet been published?

    If anyone knows where to find it, I'd love to get a copy.

  37. Bruce Morton says:

    Jay:
    You are an interesting fellow. You misrepresent work and make no correction. You make a statement about no new scholarship in your webchain here and then suggest that (limited) advertising of a book justifies your statement!? (And I am not at all convinced you are correct; advertising was very minimal and I suspect few folks throughout the brotherhood currently know about Deceiving Winds or what is in the book. And in a society where literary reading is far from healthy and the economy impacts, even fewer are reading. Such is our nation at present).

    And just so One in Jesus readers will know, several months ago when you said "I disagree," I asked if you were interested in a one-on-one discussion re what you disagreed with — chapter-by-chapter. I committed to hearing you out. I even committed to making it more personal and discussing by phone — and would take the cost. (Am I misrepresenting the dialog?) You indicated no interest via an email. You were quite clear, so suspect you recall.

    As to a 1500 word summary you propose, I read where Keith likes the approach of this current edition of New Wineskins. And there are a good many background notes in Deceiving Winds; I question the wisdom of trying to fit the work into 1500 words. All I was looking for was for you to note to your readers an inaccuracy in your webchain here. I will leave that between you and the Lord now. Seems to me that the better path is to let folks read Deceiving Winds for themselves if they want to know what is behind our conversation.

    In Christ,
    Bruce Morton
    Katy, Texas
    MortonBLSL7@earthlink.net

  38. JMF says:

    Bruce:

    Why not do the 1500 words? To me, that is a fair summary of the point you are making. Most of the readers here have a fairly good grasp on the point(s) you are making, because you bring up your points in every single post your write. So I don't know if that is salesmanship or if you just see an application of Eph.4:18-5:21 and Wiccanism to every single thing written on this blog.

    Another thing: Ending all of your posts with "I'm praying you reconsider" or "that is between you and the Lord" is tiresome for me. Attaching Jesus to passive-aggression doesn't mean you've escalated to the moral high ground.

    Here is how 'History Guy' ended a response to Clyde: "Though I disagree with your study, your articles challenge me to inspect my conclusions, and I hope this snippet has been beneficial to your study as well."

    Now that is humility.

    Bruce, I appreciate your insights and scholarship. It's just that the manner in which you say certain things come off in a way that gives me a bad impression of you. And I don't like to feel that way. The written word is difficult, as emotions can't be picked up. So, in fairness to you, I'm alerting you as to how one reader views your writings. Please don't take this as condemnation of you as a person — I simply find some of what you write to come off as smug.

  39. JMF says:

    Hey Bruce:

    I just re-read my post (after posting, of course 🙂 ) and it comes off harshly. That wasn't my intent.

    In fact, the whole thrust of what I was saying is that the way you write things rubs me wrong, and here I go and do the same thing! 🙂 If too harsh, forgive me.

  40. Jay and Bruce (and anyone who has ears to hear):

    Before you two well-studied men write any essays, could we please have some measurement as to the value of the proposition?

    In other words: please describe what the outcome of such an exercise would be, and why it's important to the progress of the Kingdom.

    (In the spirit of the debate, you may use early church history to demonstrate how two more essays will finally bring this argument to a close.)

    And if you would be so kind as to address this outcome to a widow, an orphan, or someone dying of cancer that has six weeks to live (a dear friend of mine as of last Thursday), that would be incredibly helpful.

    Examples
    ========

    Dear Widow:
    Today I finally got through to Jay about how misleading his teachings have been. It has been very difficult since he is a lawyer and all. But he finally realized his errors, and corrected his teachings. I'm sure you've already felt the repercussions in your budget, your pantry, and in your access to health care. You are very welcome. Love, the Conservative CofC.

    -or-

    Dear Orphan:
    You should have awakened to a much better world today. I'm sure you couldn't help but notice. That is because a few thousand conservative CofCers actually saw the light last night, and began using instruments to praise God this morning. You should be warmed and filled by this good news of freedom! Love, the progressive CofC.

    -or-

    Dear Cancer Victim:
    We can not pray for your healing yet. After we get done hashing out the more important Instrumental Music (IM) issue, we will then turn to arguing about whether asking for you to be miraculously healed is even scriptural. Seeing as that the IM issue has only taken us something like – well – a long time, we should be able to get to caring for your needs by the time your kids' names are long forgotten by their descendants. Just thought we would let you know that we got your request. Love, the CofC at large.

    ========

    "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James 1:27)

    Those are in order for a reason. If you don't want to be polluted by the world, then help the hurting and the distressed. This makes love the defining factor of the church: they will know we are Christians by our love.

    Since Christians are known for their love, and the CofC is known for its disagreements, then we can assume pollution already. Obedience of the most basic doctrines like in James will cure this condition.

    As Clyde correctly pointed out: "All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you." (Philippians 3:15)

    Does anyone here trust that promise of God? That God is a better doctrine teacher or freedom giver than anyone else? If so, then you don't have to spend so much energy in convincing one another! You can simply trust God's promises. But the polluted church is short on that skill as well.

    If you believe God uses silence to command, why not follow His example, and stay silent? Surely the rest of us will infer your correctness through what you don't say. And I'm not being facetious. I'm dead serious. Show us the power of silence to communicate.

    Show me your perfect and historically accurate doctrine by your research, and I'll show you the doctrine of redemption by serving others.

    Show me in Scripture the width and height of my freedom in Christ, and I'll show you true freedom in losing my life in Him.

    In the Kingdom economy, the first one to drop this argument wins the argument.

    So who wants to be first (last)?

    -Brad

    P.S.
    I'm off to the hospital 1.5 hours from here to pray for my friend. I ask that you would join in praying for Levi Lewis (30) who has a ping-pong ball sized melanoma tumor on his brain. Surgery tomorrow at 10am. He has a wife, a 20-month-old, and a 3-month-old.

  41. Jay Guin says:

    Bruce,

    I know that you are very proud of your work and that you are sensitive man. I don't want to speak ill of your book, but you repeatedly accuse me of "deceiving" my readership about your book, simply because I stated a generality (in a comment) that objection to instruments is based on the Regulative Principle — with no mention or allusion to your book as a possible exception.

    If you want a more precise statement of what I said in my comment, I guess I should have said something like —

    There are those in the Churches of Christ who focus their arguments on the historical data, but none would say that the historical argument is sufficient without the Regulative Principle except for (a) those very few members of the Churches of Christ who reject sola scriptura and (b) Bruce Morton, whose book Deceiving Winds argues the case from the First Century pagan background of Ephesians but[criticisms omitted]. .

    Regarding a discussion of the book, earlier this year, after reading a review copy of the book and reacting negatively to it, I asked you whether you still wanted me to review it, knowing that it would be a negative review. You asked me not to review it. And I've not.

    Therefore, I'm not inserting the criticisms that should be in the brackets, but they would address how I view your book in light of 20th Century Church of Christ hermeneutics among other things. I think the Regulative Principle is implicit in your arguments. You do not. I can't make my argument without posting the equivalent of a negative review.

    On April 2, 2010, I allowed you to post an unedited article making your case and advertising your book. I did not post a reply.

    On April 7 I did post an article criticizing an argument you made in a footnote of your book. That's all my search engine can find within the posts. I've never really gotten into the arguments I have against your book — because you asked me not to.

    And I've allowed you to mention your book numerous times on this site, often with links to where it could be purchased. I've left the readers to make their own judgment.

    I'm trying to be kind to you, but that sometimes leaves me not mentioning your book when perhaps I should –but the mentions would be negative — and you're a good, sensitive man who asked me not to post a negative review. I'm trying to honor your request — but you are making that very difficult.

  42. Clyde Symonette says:

    Bruce:

    I understand your request for a correction, but perhaps Jay is unable to “correct” what he holds as true. Each man holds a different PERSECTIVE of the same work—happens all the time.

    I would jump on the article deal brother, we all had limitations; not only in wordcount, but in scope. The comments will allow you to address other things (perhaps I had too much to say in the comments 🙂 Submit your strongest points and the conversations will roll from there.

    Be of good cheer!

  43. Royce Ogle says:

    Bruce Morton called me after I made a negative comment about him, was very thoughtful and kind on the phone, and offered to send me a copy of his book, which I accepted.

    I usually post a review of a book on my blog if asked to, or if I receive a complementary copy, as a way of saying thanks. I too disagreed with much of what the book had to say, and since I could not write a favorable review I did not write one.

    Jay has done exactly as he said in the comment above. He has given great latitude to Bruce and yet Bruce keeps pushing, implying that Jay has been less than truthful or ethical in what he has said.

    Jay's sabbatical comes at a good time. I do hope he returns and that in the meantime some of the heat cools and each of us can be more thoughtful in the future.

    To Bruce Morton. Just because someone disagrees with you about something you have put a lot of thought and work into does not make in a personal attack. I suppose I am guilty of that but not Jay according to what I've read.

    Royce

  44. Bruce Morton says:

    Jay:
    I am well aware that the subject of IM is full of baggage. And this weblog illustrates it. I approached the song/IM subject as I did in DW because I believe much of what Paul has written in Ephesians 4:17-5:21 is an important focus not only on how we sing but also what we sing — and if we sing. In a progressive weblog let me highlight that I believe Ephesians 4:17-5:21 includes a critique of some/much congregational a cappella as well in our time. And I have allowed that critique to surface in DW as well.

    Even your most recent comments tell me clearly that you have not seen much of what DW is about re the chapters on music/song. I was genuinely surprised, but I know it happens. So, not pushing further.
    This is not about me (whether folks believe it or not). I am urging folks to give Ephesians 4:17-5:21 another look. DW does not just take a look at the religious background of pagan culture, it also takes a look at the structure of the text. Indeed, in my mind that and Paul's contrasts in his teaching remain crucial — as important or more important than the religious background. The cults are but the tools of Satan. The real foe is a dark lord — and he affects our worship.

    So, next steps? 1) Brad's concern is valid. Most of our time needs to be spent reaching/teaching one-on-one, listening a lot, and giving a cup of cold water. While I believe congregational song is crucial, it also remains a smaller slice of our teaching efforts — or it should be.

    2) I will mention a lecture on iTunesU (as part of the recent Harding University Lectureship). The lecture could only touch part of what is in DW, but it is a start — and better than a 1500 word posting here. So, will leave folks to download if an interest (look for "Deceiving Winds").

    3) JMF has reminded me that weblogs are very poor vehicles for these types of chats. And they are a very poor vehicle for folks to get to know each other. It is easy for folks to "dial in" for select portions, which is clear from JMF's comment. I have mentioned Wicca actually very rarely as to volume of posts, but that is not the point. The point is that a weblog such as this builds perceptions. I have sounded "stiff" because I was attempting to be factual and was being VERY careful with my language (this weblog generally has been other than a positive experience for me). And I do care about Jay. The IM discussion brings out great passion from Jay. He should expect no less from me, especially after the last few years. I disagree strongly with what he and Keith are pressing in the recent issue of New Wineskins. I will leave it at that.

    4) I want to honor Jay's request to me and not mention Deceiving Winds further. This is his weblog. I initially did not mention in this webchain and I should have continued to do such. Please forgive.

    I believe one root danger facing churches in all of this is the growing absence of reading, hearing, and singing Scripture AT LENGTH. Brief "bites" of Scripture will not help. I am convinced we must act differently to reach a world caught in a spiritual war it generally does not see clearly. And with that I am off my soapbox (for awhile). 🙂

    In Christ,
    Bruce Morton
    Katy, Texas
    MortonBLSL7@earthlink.net

  45. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde Symonette,,
    Thank you for your post. You listed three examples of Chrysostom talking about Psalms. He seems to have a high regard for psalms, and I fail to see any quote or language where he is suggesting the psalms were unnecessary for a mature church. Can you please note the sentence(s) within the 3 examples you cited, to support your claim so that I may study them?

    My understanding has been infclused by people like James McKinnon, who say — “Chrysostom refers to instruments…dancing, and obscene songs as the ‘devils garbage.’” (McKinnon, MECL, 1)… But as to his view of the Psalms? “Chrysostom writes admiringly of a monsatic community that rises before daybreak for prayer and psalmody” (McKinnon, MECL, p4). …. “Chrysostom warns that the singing of psalms is necessary to crowd out the singing of immoral songs” (McKinnon, MECL,p 80) …. “pslam 140 is sung every evening, possibily by heart” … From McKinnon’s study, Chrysostom loved the psalms, preached them, sang them, and believed others should as well. However, he simply opposed to the instruments and other Jewish elements – (MECL, p78-83)

  46. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde Symonette,,
    Again, thank you for your post. Did you transpose some words in your post regarding the reply about the synagogue and practice of the early church? If not, then the information that you posted is contradictory. Regarding the “applicably and theologically” I am interested to see where you disagree.

    You said…
    (1) A cappella is the remnant of a tradition that Israel practiced at synagogues in the Exile — I agree, and believe we would both add there was singing before instruments within anthropology.

    (2) We have it [a cappella] today because it came in via the post-apostolic church. — I disagree. A cappella was not post-apostolic; rather it was in the very days of the apostles, hence apostolic. Church historians, even the ones from your list, have provided ample evidence that the apostolic church did not use instruments. Is post-apostolic a misprint?

    (3) Scholars, old and new, tell us that the early (a relative term) church modeled its worship after that of the Synagogue. I agree in regards to a cappella, and a “service of the word,” however, we must go further in theology and see that there are Christian doctrines distinct from the Synagogue and pagan practice, which Ferguson and McKinnon have noted.

    (4) Without question the early chant of the church followed the cantillation. — I agree. This seems to prove my point, however, and grants that the apostolic church, meaning Peter & Paul, sang canticles, which is a cappella singing. Originally, canticles were normally, but not exclusively, of Scriptures that were not psalms. Such texts were, Phil. 2:6-12; Rom. 11:36; I Tm. 1:17 — (Paul Westermeyer, Te Deum, p51 see also James McKinnon, MECL, 12-17)

    What shall we do with the info that you cited? In July 9, 2009 I posted the following in another section of this site (use search feature)

    While there was an influence for vocal music over some of the population, this was not the majority consensus. Both singing and playing instruments were still very prominent in Judaism and paganism during the establishment of the church and years after.

    In 1998, Everett Ferguson said the following at the Innman Forum in Lecture 4:
    Some argue that “Instrumental music was omitted in the early church because of its association with pagan worship and immorality.” If this were the reason for its omission, then the early church would have omitted song from its assemblies as well. Pagan worship included singing as well as playing on instruments.

    Ancient authors, pagan as well as Christian, who criticized the contributions of music to immorality included songs as well as instruments in their strictures. This explanation overlooks the presence of instruments in the Jewish temple. There was a non-pagan instrumental religious music available to the early church.

    Various types of religious music were employed in New Testament times: Vocal music (Jewish synagogues and homes), instrumental music (pagan religions), and instrumentally accompanied singing (Jewish temple and pagan religions and society). The New Testament practice of only singing represents a choice out of the available options and therefore constitutes a rejection of the instrumental alternatives.

    The book of Hebrews presents a contrast between Christianity and Judaism. This very line of reasoning is seen in all the church fathers (even present day), though they express it with some individual creativity. It has been said there was an anti-Semitic or pagan biased. Perhaps it was Hebrews 10:5-6; 13:10 among other texts. One thing is certain, a time of reform had come and the apostles, not culture, established worship within Christianity.

    I love both history and the Scripture. If there is no disagreement over history, I would love to go to the Scriptures, as you requested.

    grace and peace

  47. Clyde Symonette says:

    HistoryGuy

    Good morning 🙂

    You said: "I fail to see any quote or language where he [Chrysostom] is suggesting the psalms were unnecessary for a mature church"

    Please, re-read the following.

    When in these thou hast led him on from CHILDHOOD, by little and little thou wilt LEAD HIM FORWARD even to the HIGHER things. The Psalms contain all things, but the Hymns again have nothing human. When he has been INSTRUCTED OUT OF THE PSALMS, he will then know hymns also, AS A DIVINER THING. For the Powers above chant hymns, not psalms.

    HistoryGuy, I may be misunderstanding Chrysostom. I’ll restudy.

    You asked: "Can you please note the sentence(s) within the 3 examples you cited, to support your claim so that I may study them?"

    Which three? I thought I noted everything.
    Ferguson = Everett Ferguson,
    E. Evans = Edwin Evans.

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding you brother. Sorry.

    This subject is best understood in light of Israel’s history as it is revealed in the OT. If that history is understood, then one would find that the NT completes that puzzle. I invite you to examine it. I can help if you'd like.

  48. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde Symonette,
    I suppose it’s best to keep all my thoughts in one place…. I re-read your article in wineskins (Reconsidering Ephesians 5:19), and I am quite intrigued by one of your responses to a reader. You said, “There is a reason by 2nd-Century Clement and 4th-Century Chrysostom opposed the church’s use of psalms—they understood psalms to be inclusive of instruments.” —– With a big smile I kindly say that is a strong statement that needs to be supported by a scholarly work. Are you interpreting the writings of the church fathers on your own, or are you using a music/church historian? If a scholar, who? I have not seen any references to scholars for such a strong claim.

    In the same post you also said, “Clement and Chrysostom (not apostles) specifically speak against the psalm in the church. “ You even listed it under a stronger statement of “Let’s summarize what we can prove for a minute…” —— again “prove” is a pretty strong statement, which in fairness, demands a source. Who is the source?

    Focusing on Chrysostom for the sake of space, this is my concern: Both Ferguson and McKinnon as well as many other respected scholars cite Chrysostom as not only loving the psalms, but teaching and singing them in the church. He memorized the psalms, but explicitly excluded the instrumental aspect as part of the Jewish age, which in Chrysostom’s OWN words, had been repealed in the mature Christian age. Hence, the church sang psalms without instrumental accompaniment. The instruments were removed, not the psalms. (Ferguson, A Cappella Music: Rev. Ed. The life way series, p55; see also Tom Alexander, Music in Worship, p91; see also James McKinnon, MECL, 83)

    It seems that the scholars and Chrysostom’s own commentary of Ps. 146, 149, & 150 stand opposed to your view and written work that “Chrysostom understood psalms to be inclusive of instruments.” I kindly ask you, “What evidence can you give to demonstrate that the scholars I quoted are wrong and ‘prove’ your claim?”

    I enjoy discussions where honest yet critical assessments can be made of all view points, even my own. If you will provide me an email, I am happy to have a private conversation. However, I am also content with the public forum.

    grace and peace

  49. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde Symonette,
    I did not realize that you were up. Take some time to look it over. Have a blessed day.

  50. Clyde Symonette says:

    HistoryGuy

    We agree on 1.
    Disagree on 2
    Agree on 3 – completely
    Agree on 4, but disagree over what point is makes

    That’s a good starting point.
    Suggestion, let’s discuss each, even those that we agree on because we obviously apply our understanding of each differently. Let’s try to keep a flow for others who may be interested.
    What do you think?

  51. Clyde Symonette says:

    HistoryGuy:

    I stand by my statement, how we view that statement is obviously different. This subject and all of its related excerpts must be understood in the context on its history. Again, I invite you to discuss it in its entirety.

    What do you think?

  52. Clyde Symonette says:

    HistoryGuy:

    Suffice it to say for now that I AGREE that Chrysostom and others are NOT referring to words FROM the Book of Psalms. I should have made that point clear—without clarification, my comments can be (and obviously ARE from your perspective) misleading.

    it is what happens when we discuss thing out of context. Obviously, I prefer to discuss all of this in context.
    Clyde

  53. Bruce Morton says:

    Royce:
    I wanted to comment separately on your post with one brief thought. Jay does his own share of "pushing." And he can press hard, and in this case even to the point of trying to tell a brother what he believes or does not believe.

    As I said I regret the choice of talking about a work on his weblog. It is his weblog.

    In Christ,
    Bruce Morton
    Katy, Texas
    MortonBLSL7@earthlink.net

  54. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde Symonette,
    Good morning. I don’t believe in attacking anyone, and I am not attacking you, but I am very confused about what you have written and then how you tried to clarify it. Please help me…

    On Oct 30 at 11:13am, you responded to William on the wineskins blog about your Eph 5:19 article with this direct quote:
    “Eph 5:19… authorizes its [instrumental] use…” You then said in the following listing… Let’s summarize what we can prove for a minute. • God through the prophets promised the restoration of Israel’s praises in the New Covenant. • Jesus declared himself as the fulfillment of those prophecies • The church praised God in the instrumental Temple • Psalms were authorized by Paul • Paul quotes from Moses’ instrumental song (Deuteronomy 32:43), “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” • Clement and Chrysostom (not apostles) specifically speak against the psalm in the church. • The modern church accepts Clement’s and Chrysostom’s testimony and ignore’s Paul

    You then said — direct quote —
    (1) “There is a reason by 2nd-Century Clement and 4th-Century Chrysostom opposed the church’s use of psalms—they understood psalms to be inclusive of instruments.”
    (2) “Let’s summarize what we can prove for a minute…Clement and Chrysostom (not apostles) specifically speak against the psalm in the church.”

    You argued that Paul authorized instrumental praise to the church through the psalms and this is why Clement/ Chrysostom rejected the psalms in the church. I replied with contrary scholarly info, specifically demonstrating, for the sake of time, Chrysostom did not reject any psalms, and fulfilled Paul’s instruction to sing the psalms making melody with his heart to the Lord… however, Chrysostom rejected instrumental accompaniment of the psalms and gave commentary about his reasoning for this rejection. At the time of Chrysostom, the church had never used instruments (please study the Temple again). It had never obeyed Paul [according to your view]. Strangely, neither Chrysostom nor any other church father believed that he was disobeying Paul, although you specifically pit Chrysostom against Paul. Chrysostom’s commentary gives his theology for rejecting instrumental accompaniment with the Psalms. His reasoning is due to a change from the Jewish to the Christian age. The commentary is Chrysostom’s, not mine. Though Paul taught Christians to sing psalms, Chrysostom is explaining why, in the Christian age, that psalms don’t have instrumental accompaniment.

    You responded with …
    (3) “for now that I AGREE that Chrysostom and others are NOT referring to words FROM the Book of Psalms. I should have made that point clear” — I am not even sure how that addresses anything that you wrote or what I attempted to give corrective scholarly insight.

    Is it possible, that maybe Chrysostom is right, and the premise in your article and subsequent conversations are wrong? Could it be that Chrysostom knew that the psalms did not include instrumental authorization in the new covenant, and had a long standing theological explanation for the change? Chrysostom was not from the Allegorical School, he was from the Literal-Historical School of interpretation. James McKinnon says that no church father loved the Psalms more than Chrysostom. He was a monastic who memorized, prayed, sang, and taught all the psalms.

    Please help me understand your view… Explain (a) What you are saying about Chrysostom (b) Why you included him in your posts (3) Why you reject his reasoning/theology for loving and singing the Psalms, but rejecting instruments, incense and other Jewish practices associated with the Psalms… (I.e. why is your view of Paul correct, and Chrysostom’s view of Paul incorrect?)

  55. Clyde Symonette says:

    Alright Mr HistoryGuy. If you prefer not to DISCUSS this in context, I will post a response in a few hours.

  56. Clyde Symonette says:

    HistoryGuy:

    It is peculiar that of all of the items that I said can be proven, of all that I have presented, you question a reference to church fathers and make no comment about the Biblical evidences presented. How, I wish you would have accepted my invitation to discuss this in context. While I do not believe that you are attacking me, it is clear that you have found what you perceive to be a gaffe. You see it as advantageous to exploit that perceived gaffe to discredit the conclusion of my article since you believe otherwise. It happens – in politics – but should not in discussions among brothers. Nonetheless, we are where we are and I pray that it will change among us one day.

    As I stated earlier, I stand by my comment; now I will take the time to explain it.

    Because readers should understand church fathers in the context of this debate, first, let me expresses my view of church fathers as it relates to this subject. In a post to Rich W, “New Wineskins: Two More Articles Posted, by Clyde Symonette and Danny Corbitt,” I wrote the following:

    “The writings of the church fathers DO NOT DEFINE the message of the gospel. Paul is an Apostle who gave God’s instructions to the church at Ephesus. Chrysostom, Clement and others – like you, me or anyone else here, interpreted, commented on and applied the words of the Apostles as best they knew how. What we have in their writings are Clement’s late 2nd-Century, Origen’s 3rd-century, Eusebius’ and John Chrysostom’s 4th-century personal views. As Jay has correctly indicated, ‘It’s not really about what the early Christian bishops wrote.’ It’s about what SCRIPTURES teach. I refer to these men a “church fathers” simply because it is a common designation – I ascribe no authority to them. No one disagrees that the teachings of the church fathers are riddled with errors; except on the matter non-instrumental worship of course!”

    I advise the reader to be mindful of HOW I use the church father’s words.

    Now, I will lay out the context of my statement regarding Clement, Chrysostom and psalms, restate it, explain it and let the reader decide for himself/herself. Here is how I will proceed.

    First, from Scriptures, I will give a brief history of Zion’s Song in the Temple, i.e., the psalm.

    Second, I will demonstrate why and when Zion’s Song ceased.

    Third, I will show that it was God’s intent to restore psalms in the New Testament.
    Further, I will point to evidences of its use in the NT church, and its authorization.

    Fifth, I will show how PSALMS WERE DEFINED BY SCRIPTURES.

    Finally, I will show how the words of church fathers indicate that psalms were defined by instruments.

    A BRIEF HISTORY OF ZION’S SONG

    The Music of the Temple

    Temple praise was instrumental—instrumental by God’s instructions. Scripture tells us:
    “[King Hezekiah] stationed the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with harps and with lyres, according to the command of David and of Gad the king’s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; FOR THE COMMAND WAS FROM THE LORD THROUGH HIS PROPHETS. The Levites stood with the musical instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. Then Hezekiah gave the order to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, THE SONG TO THE LORD ALSO BEGAN WITH THE TRUMPETS, ACCOMPANIED BY THE INSTRUMENTS OF DAVID, king of Israel. While the whole assembly worshiped, the singers also sang and the trumpets sounded; … Moreover, King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to SING PRAISES TO THE LORD WITH THE WORDS OF DAVID AND ASAPH THE SEER. So they sang praises with joy, and bowed down and worshiped.” (2 Chronicles 29:20-30)

    Sidebar; observe that the expression “sang praises” (v. 30) did not preclude instruments.

    In a Psalm, David named instruments to accompany songs of praise. He wrote:
    Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. (Psalm 150:1-5)

    Some suggest that the use of instruments in the Temple was restrictive; viz. instruments were only used when sacrifices were being offered. Apparently, David was unaware of such limitations. He prescribed the use of instruments for praise apart from the times of sacrifice (See Psalm 150 (above)). Moreover, he “set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals”

    Was “prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals” restricted to the offering of sacrifices? Let’s examine that.

    After Saul was anointed king of Israel (1 Samuel 10) the prophet Samuel gave him specific instructions to follow. Those instructions demonstrate that this ministry was not restricted to the offering of sacrifices. Here are the instructions from the mouth of Samuel to Saul:
    “After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. 6 The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 7 Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you. 8 “Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.” (1 Samuel 10:5–8)

    Verse 5 tells us the sacrifices had already been offered—they were offered at the “high place” since the Temple had not yet been built—and verse 8 tells us when the next sacrifice was to be offered (seven days later).
    Conclusion?
    Instruments were used even when sacrifices were not being offered.

    Was the music of the Temple instrumental during the Christian age?

    Everett Ferguson says: Yes; and to establish his point, he cited the apocrypha book Sirach, 50:11-20, Sirach 50:13, 16-18 reads:
    All the sons of Aaron in their splendor held the Lord's offering in their hands before the whole congregation of Israel … Then the sons of Aaron shouted; they blew their trumpets of hammered metal; they sounded a mighty fanfare as a reminder before the Most High. Then all the people together quickly fell to the ground on their faces to worship their Lord, the Almighty, God Most High. Then the singers praised him with their voices in sweet and full-toned melody. (NRSV w/ Apocrypha)

    The Music of the Synagogue

    Now, let’s take a look at the music of the Synagogue.

    While the Old Testament Scriptures tell us much about temple worship, it tells us nothing about synagogues, because synagogues developed during the intertestamental period. Scholars tell us that the synagogue had its origin in Babylonian captivity.

    Everett Ferguson in Backgrounds of Early Christianity, says:
    “The word Synagogue referred to the assembly of the people and came to be applied to the building where the assembly occurred and then to the related institutional life.” 1

    He says further that,
    “The origin of the synagogue is unknown. More plausible theories refer to the time of exile or the postexilic period in gatherings for the reading and study of the law.” 2

    Unlike the temple, the synagogue was non-instrumental. In an article in Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, Ferguson states that traditional Jewish worship in the synagogue, both before and after the destruction of the temple, did not include musical instruments. 3 Likewise, The Jewish Encyclopedia says that instruments were absent from the synagogue. 4

    While the music of the Temple was accompanied, the synagogues’ was exclusively vocal. 5

    What happened between the exuberant praise of the Temple and the somber songs of the synagogues? The difference between the music of these institutions is understood in Israel’s dabbles in IDOLATRY. My next post will address that.

    1 Everett Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003), 573

    2 Ibid 573.

    3 Ferguson, McHugh, and Norris, Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, 788.

    4 Adler, The Jewish Encyclopedia, IX:120.

    5 Ferguson, McHugh, and Norris, Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, 787.

  57. Clyde Symonette says:

    BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY.

    Babylonian captivity was epochal. Captivity silenced the songs of Zion and left generations in mourning. It was not until the nineteenth century that instrumental music was introduced to any synagogue worship. 1

    FROM DAVID TO BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY

    The Bible says:
    “When David was old and full of years, he made his son Solomon king over Israel. He also gathered together all the leaders of Israel, as well as the priests and Levites. The Levites thirty years old or more were counted and the total number of men was thirty-eight thousand. David said, "Of these, twenty-four thousand are to supervise the work of the temple of the LORD and six thousand are to be officials and judges. Four thousand are to be gatekeepers and four thousand are to PRAISE THE LORD WITH THE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS I HAVE PROVIDED FOR THAT PURPOSE.” (1 Chronicles 23:1-5)

    When David died, Solomon built the Temple and he set everything in place as his father David had commanded as evidenced in the above passage.

    At the end of Solomon’s reign, war torn Israel was divided into two kingdoms: Israel and Judah. With few exceptions, the kings and people of both kingdoms dishonored God in idolatry.

    Moses had warned Israel: “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you” (Deuteronomy 8:10). But, they turned, instead, to idolatry and and deportation. IN HER DEPORTATION, ISRAEL LOST HER PRAISE, AND ZION’S SONG WAS SILENCED.

    The psalmist wrote:
    By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we HUNG OUR HARPS, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” HOW CAN WE SING THE SONGS OF THE LORD WHILE IN A FOREIGN LAND? (Psalm 137:1-4)

    Psalms 137 tells us the Jews “HUNG UP THEIR HARPS” when they were taken in to Babylonian captivity.

    The phrase “hung our harps” is used in the same sense as our modern idiom: “hang it up,” signifying to retire or quit. They hung up their instruments of celebration and took up the dirge.

    Generations of Jews now in captivity, gathered in synagogues and lamented their loss. The book of Lamentations records their cry:

    Our fathers sinned and are no more, and we bear their punishment. Slaves rule over us, and there is none to free us from their hands. … The elders are gone from the city gate; the young men have STOPPED THEIR MUSIC. JOY IS GONE FROM OUR HEARTS; OUR DANCING HAS TURNED TO MOURNING. (Lamentations 5:7-8, 14-15)

    The UPPERCASE text lists three characteristics that distinguished SYNAGOGUE WORSHIP from TEMPLE PSALMS:

    1. Israel stopped their music.
    2. The joy was gone from their hearts
    3. Their dancing had turned to mourning.

    The celebration of David’s psalms had ended.

    Far removed from the Temple, the populous of post-exilic Jews in synagogues abstained from instruments and celebration. The sound of the synagogue—an unaccompanied, monophonic chant—a lament was a stark contrast to Israel’s songs of Zion.

    Traditionally the chant was an outpouring of grief. The Bible gives us several good examples of how the chant was used at the time; the following are some of those examples.

    1. After the death of King Saul and Saul’s son Jonathan, the Bible says:
    Then David chanted with this lament over Saul. (2 Samuel 1:17 NASB)

    2. Moreover, on the occasion of the death of Abner, David’s son; again David chanted. The Bible says:
    Thus they buried Abner in Hebron; and the king lifted up is voice and wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept. The king chanted a lament for Abner (2 Samuel 3:32–33 NASB)

    The Jewish Encyclopedia states how the cessation of the “song” (i.e., psalms or songs of Zion) among the populous of the Jews is a lasting mourning for fallen Zion. It reads,

    “The desire of many authorities [is] that song should be abstained from in lasting mourning for fallen Zion.” 2

    So, “Shout with joy to God” and “make his praise glorious” gave way to the dirge—a mournful chant. Israel had reason to mourn, and the chant was, customarily, an expression of mourning. For that reason, the sound of the synagogue was not the sound of joyful hearts rejoicing, it was the sound of mourning.

    Even after captivity ended the Jews now trained in their tradition continued the synagogal chant.

    About five hundred and seventy years later, the Jewish chant came to be promoted as praise. The popularization of chant as praise is found in the writings of the Jewish-Alexandrian philosopher Philo. (c.20 BC). Juxtaposing Jewish and Greek thought, Philo promoted chant as hymns of praise.

    Philo, however, advocated that chant was praise and went on to promote “silent singing” (i.e., inaudible singing) as an even higher form of praise 3, but, in reality, the praise was silenced because Israel was enslaved. Nonetheless, influenced by Philo’s thought, the Pharisees came to oppose any form of temple praise 4, specifically, praise that was accompanied by musical instruments, since instruments, under the circumstance, were viewed as a symbol of Israel’s celebration in contempt of God’s judgment. In all certainty, the Pharisees, were mindful of the words of the prophet Amos who wrote:

    Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria … You lie on beds inlaid with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves. You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph. Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile; your feasting and lounging will end. (Amos 6:1, 4–7)

    It is important to note that Amos is making the point that, as instruments were associated with David’s celebration, so Israel’s instruments, and wine, and luxurious living, at a time when they should have been grieving over their sins, were acts that demonstrated their complacency in disrespect to God’s judgment.

    With this understanding, the Jews had, for centuries, maintained the mournful worship of the synagogue in contrast to the celebration of the Temple.

    What significance does this history of the cessation of Zion’s song hold for the worship of the church?

    I will say in the next post

    1 http://www.reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/music….
    2 Adler, Cyrus, The Jewish Encyclopedia Vol IX (New York: Funk and Wagnalls Company, 1905), p120.
    3 Ferguson, A Cappella Music in the Public Worship of the Church, 39-41.
    4 Incidentally, the temple in question was originally destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar but rebuilt by the exiles under charge of King Cyrus of Persia (see Ezra).

  58. Matt Dabbs says:

    If I had known I would stir up this much work, thinking and productivity I would have much rather it been directed at saving souls and not picking nits. Sorry to cause all this ruckus.

    I wish everyone here would commit to reaching out to one lost person before they leave any more comments about this here. Maybe some good for the kingdom would actually be accomplished by those actions.

  59. I appreciate your point, Matt, but remember, not all are given to be evangelists … some are teachers !!!

  60. Matt Dabbs says:

    David,

    That made me laugh, sadly. I can't stand in judgment of anyone here because I don't personally know hardly any of them but I think we have to be careful to not major in minors. Newsflash is there are a lot of lost people out there who could care less if we worship with instruments or without but are dying to know about Jesus. We have to be careful that none of us live in such a way that Jesus could say the words of Matthew 23:15 to us. I am not downplaying the need for productive conversation or even debate here. I am saying it can take on a life of its own and become something very unChristian if we aren't careful. Again, not judging anyone in particular here…just saying we need to be careful, loving and respectful of one another or else we commit an even greater sin than any of us think IM could ever be.

  61. Hard to disagree with that. The pre-occupation with IM adds nothing to the glory of God or the expansion of his kingdom, regardless of whether one favors or opposes it.

  62. Anom says:

    Matt, this is an important issue because it relates to Christian unity. Christian unity is important because it affects the Church's ability to reach those lost persons that you are concerned about. I do some work with an organization that regularily includes 8 denominations (9 if you include me but then, I am non-denominational…ha!). The impact of all these denominations working together does make an impact on lost persons. If by discussing this, we can move the Church of Christ toward unity with other Christian brothers and sisters… that's an important move.

    I have been a member of the independent Christian Church, the Episcopal Church, and the Church of Christ but basically, I am the same Christian that I've always been. So imagine that, somewhere (I'm not telling) there's a Church of Christ that's fellowshipping with an Episcopalian.

  63. Clyde Symonette says:

    CHANT IN THE CHURCH

    What significance does this history of the cessation of Zion’s song hold in our discussion of worship of the church?

    Scholars tell us that the worship and organization of the early church was modeled after the Synagogue.

    Ferguson, in A Cappella Music In the Public Worship of the Church, wrote,
    “The immediate setting for early Christianity, the synagogue and sectarian Judaism, as we have seen, favored the practice of purely vocal music.”

    Historian George Fisher, in History of the Christian Church wrote:
    “The synagogue naturally served as a model in the organization of churches” .
    Edwin Evans, Thomas Busby, Joseph Bingham, and others concur.

    I accept their testimony as true with this caveat. “Early” is relative. The evidence of Scripture suggests that the “early church” to which scholars refer can ONLY be the POST-TEMPLE church. As I have stated in previous posts and comments at oneinjesus and wineskins. The EARLIEST church worshipped in the Temple, for THAT IS WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS.
    They stayed continually at the temple, praising God. (Luke 24:53)
    and
    Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. (Acts 2:46)

    The above passages describe the worship and meetings of the EARLIEST church, and their meeting in the Temple has special significance.

    What is the significance? It is this: God did not intent for the church to be a continuation of the Synagogues’ lament, i.e., the chant.

    Despite the example of the earliest church, the post-temple church unwittingly chose despair in modeling the synagogue’s worship. It is possible that in its naivety the church acquiesced to influentials and accepted the traditions of mourning Israel. It also is possible the church willfully sided with the Pharisaic aversion to any sound of rejoicing. I leave that debate to the experts. WHAT I CAN PROVE IS THE EARLIEST CHURCH MET IN THE INSTRUMENTAL TEMPLE.

    Since the worship of the post-temple church was modeled after that of the synagogue, then it should be no surprise that as far back as the extrabiblical records (i.e., Patristic Literature) show, the music of the post-apostolic church was non-instrumental, monophonic chant.

    Whose idea was it to model the worship of the church after that of the synagogue—was it God’s? Was the non-instrumental music according to God’s intention or man’s intervention? Let’s examine that.

    The stark contrast between Israel’s glorious praise and painful chant is striking. Was a continuation of Israel’s lament God’s intent for the church, or was David’s glorious praise God’s plan for the church?

    My brothers suggest “true worship” is a continuation of Israel’s lament!
    I disagree. CHANT WAS NOT GOD’S INTENT FOR ISRAEL! WHY IT BE HIS WILL FOR THE CHURCH?

    Let’s examine God’s intent for NT Israel and the church.

    GOD’S INTENT FOR ISRAEL’S WORSHIP

    David wrote:
    Praise the LORD. Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints. Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
    Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp.
    For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation. Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds. (Psalm 149:1–5)

    But the pre-exilic days of Israel’s rejoicing endured only as a memory. The new song, the rejoicing, the gladness, the dancing, the music of tambourines and harps were all supplanted by Israel’s lamentations.

    In comments on Wineskins.org, I stated that the New Covenant represents Israel’s repentance and renewal, and their praise of God as typified by the reign of King David. In my comments, I reference several passages. The first group speaks of Jesus as the church’s King David. I wrote:

    Begin Quote

    Jeremiah 33:14–18 reads:
    “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.”
    For this is what the Lord says: “David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, nor will the priests, who are Levites, ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.”

    The question is: Who is the “righteous Branch sprout?” Who is the man who sits “on the throne of the house of Israel?” And who is the one who continually offers sacrifices before the Father? That One is Jesus?

    Jeremiah wrote:
    “In that day,” declares the Lord Almighty, “I will break the yoke off their necks and will tear off their bonds; no longer will foreigners enslave them. Instead, they will serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.” (Jeremiah 30:8–9)
    We understand from Peter’s statements of Acts 2:22-26 that the King David who was “raised up for them”, is really Israel’s redeemer—Jesus, the Christ. (Compare Romans 15:12)

    Now, give attention to what Jeremiah promised would happen during the new “King David’s” reign.

    From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the SOUND OF REJOICING. (Jeremiah 30:19)

    End Quote

    It has been established in this and the previous post that non-instrumental chant was not the sound of rejoicing; it was the sound of grief. Conversely, music and dancing is the “sound of rejoicing” (compare Luke 15:24, 25). How can we know for sure that Jeremiah’s reference to the sound of rejoicing included music and dancing? Well, Jeremiah went on to say so. He wrote (Jeremiah 31):
    “I [God] will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.” (v. 4)
    This is what the LORD says: “Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the foremost of the nations. Make your praises heard” (v. 7)

    “They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD—the grain, the new wine and the oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more.” (v. 12)
    “Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” (v. 13)

    What Jeremiah said is this: There was a day coming when all of the following would be fulfilled:
    • The mourning would cease.
    • Zion’s song would be restored.
    • The tambourines would again be taken up
    • And maidens and men, both old and young, would dance with the joyful amidst shouts of joy, and glad rejoicing in the bounty of the Lord

    Additionally, I reference Jeremiah’s and Isaiah’s prophecies. These speak specifically and unambiguously to God’s New Covenant intent.

    Jeremiah tells his readers when his prophesy would be fulfilled. He writes:
    “The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. (vv. 31-32)

    Yes—They are the same words that the Hebrew writer used to announce that Jesus was the priest and mediator of a NEW COVENANT that God had made with Israel (Hebrews 8:7-12). We are in that New Covenant (or New Testament) now. The church is the generation of David’s restored praise.

    Isaiah’s prophesy corroborates this conclusion.

    Like Jeremiah, Isaiah foretold the restoration of Israel’s praise. He wrote (Isaiah 61):
    The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to COMFORT ALL WHO MOURN, and provide for THOSE WHO GRIEVE IN ZION—to bestow on them A CROWN OF BEAUTY INSTEAD OF ASHES, THE OIL OF GLADNESS INSTEAD OF MOURNING, AND A GARMENT OF PRAISE INSTEAD OF A SPIRIT OF DESPAIR. (vv. 1-3)

    Who were the “brokenhearted,” the “captives,” and those who “grieved” in Zion? Were they not members of the synagogues of mourning Israel?
    When was Isaiah’s prophecy fulfilled?
    Jesus tells us.

    In Luke’s gospel (Luke 4), Luke tells of the day that Jesus went into the synagogue. He recounted how Jesus stood up to read the scroll of the prophet Isaiah that was handed to Him. After reading Isaiah 61, Jesus said, “TODAY this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk 4:21).

    Jesus, through the words of the Prophet Isaiah, told the occupants of the synagogue that the grief, the ashes, and the spirit of despair that characterized the mournful chant that supplanted Israel’s praise, was not what God had planned for them in the New Testament church. Instead, Jesus said that the time for the praise of Israel to “spring up before all nations” (v. 11) because He has removed the “spirit of despair” (v. 3) and clothed them with the “garments of salvation” (v. 10) and “praise” (v. 3), had been put into effect.

    The synagogal mourner’s chant was never intended for the church—THE TIME FOR MOURNING ENDED WHEN THE YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOR BEGAN.

    Isaiah wrote:
    For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so THE SOVEREIGN LORD WILL MAKE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PRAISE SPRING UP BEFORE ALL NATIONS. (v. 11)

    He accomplished the above through the Temple. Remember?
    Luke 24:53 And they [the church] stayed continually at the temple, PRAISING God.

    The Temple and its service were copies of the pattern shown to Moses on the mountain (Exodus 25-30). The divine origin of the temple is attested to in the words of the Apostle Paul:
    For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. (Romans 9:3–4)

    On the other hand, the synagogue was not of divine origin; instead, it was the outgrowth of the circumstances of the people taken from their land and away from the Temple because of their idolatry.
    The post-apostolic church’s decision to structure its worship after that of the synagogue was not what God intended then and it certainly does not constitute law for the church now.

  64. Matt Dabbs says:

    Anon,

    Sure it relates to unity. Have we found it yet? After dozens of comments here, dozens other places, multiple platforms, lots of information and debate we are obviously just as divided as ever over this. So where is the unity? For me much of this falls into the category discussed in Titus 3:9-11,

    "But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned."

    I see lots of divsiveness and little to no unity. Scripture is clear about what to do in times like those. So we can say this is all important for unity and such but I still haven't found that in any of the debates I have seen or been a part of. Good luck!

  65. Clyde Symonette says:

    The church was not built to perpetuate despair, God intended her for praise.

    Some might say, “The prophecies of Isaiah, and Jeremiah address the praise of the Jews but not that of the Gentiles.”

    Not true. Are Gentiles excluded from the New Covenant?

    Are Gentiles not participants in the restored praise about which Jeremiah and Isaiah wrote?

    The Apostle Paul answered those questions in a letter to the church at Rome. In it we find these words.
    Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name.” Again, it says, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to him, all you peoples.” And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.” (Romans 15:7-12)

    This passage is fascinating, for in it Paul is proving the need for Jew and Gentile unity by showing that it was always God’s intent for the Jew and the Gentile to sing God’s praises together.

    At verse 9, he begins with what we recognize as a Psalm of David. Psalm 18:49:
    Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O LORD I will sing praises to your name.

    In the Psalm David is saying how he would praise God in the midst of the nations (Gentiles).

    Then Paul quotes from Moses’ song (Deuteronomy 32:43).
    “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”

    It is not a coincidence that it was from the context of Moses’ song that Paul quoted. In the song, Moses addressed Israel’s idolatry (32:15-23), warned them of the impending destruction that would be the consequence of their continued idolatry (32:23-27), and he promised that God would, in time, make atonement for His people Israel (32:43) and restore their praise—which He did.

    Notice the non-chant related term, “rejoice.” (compare Jeremiah 30:19).

    The instructions are not to mourn or chant together, but to rejoice or sing praises together.

    Who are “his people” in the context of the quotation? His people are the Jews.

    Is Gentile praise different from that which the prophets promised as the praise of the New Covenant? No, not if the Gentiles are rejoicing with “His people.”

    Finally, in Romans 15:11; Paul quotes Psalm 117:1 which says:
    Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to him, all you peoples.

    The word “praise” has been translated from a Greek word that is used very frequently in the Septuagint ; the word aine? (?????). SCRIPTURES NEVER EQUATE AINE? OR PRAISE WITH CHANT. The non-instrumental chant of the synagogue and praise represent divergent concepts. Chant is mournful and subdued.

    Praise, on the other hand, embodies joyful celebration.

    Incidentally, what we know as the Psalms, were in Hebrew called Sefer Tehillim or The Book of Praise. Many psalms begin with a call to praise (verb) the Lord, and the noun “praise” (Hebrew: t?hillâ ) occurs often in the psalms. Psalm 117 quoted above is a good example of this.

    When Paul writes, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to him, all you peoples”, does he have in mind the praise that is defined within the context of Scriptures, and by the context of his statement—the same praise that was defined by Moses, David and the prophets of old, or is he referring to a “praise” that is defined only within a vacuum of the post-temple, post-apostolic church era?
    Scriptures never defined that as praise.

    WHY WOULD PAUL REFERENCE DAVID’S PRAISE IN ORDER TO PORTRAY WITHOUT EQUIVOCATION A BRAND OF “NEW TESTAMENT PRAISE” THAT IS THE ANTITHESIS OF DAVID’S PRAISE?

    Having considered the synagogal origin of early non-instrumental chant and consequently a cappella in the later church; having considered God's intent for the praise of the New Testament church as His Word expresses it through the prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah; and having considered Paul's reference to the Gentiles singing David's praises with the Jews, WHY WOULD WE CONCLUDE THAT PRAISE IS ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT THE SCRIPTURES DESCRIBE IT TO BE?

    Was David’s praise accompanied by instruments? Yes.

    Was it prophesied to be so in the New Testament? Yes; the praise of the church in the Temple is the same praise to which Isaiah referred when he wrote that God would bestow the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. It is the same praise to which Jeremiah referred when he said, “The Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations” (Jeremiahs 31:11) and “Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.” (Jeremiah 31:4)

    As Jeremiah had prophesied it, so the Sovereign Lord made praise spring up in the earliest church!

    Next, In the context of Scripture, I will address the NT use of Psalm

  66. Anom says:

    Matt,

    I don't think I can fully understand your frustration as I am not a life long Church of Christer. I am here because I needed to better understand what makes the CofC tick and try to see where it is heading. I have to decide if I stay or if I go. I think that I can see some changes in my own congregation, not that we are moving toward IM but we are doing some things with other Christians and most people don't seem to have a theological reason for wanting IM but rather see it as a heritage sort of thing. I suspect that none of this would have happened if some people weren't, at least, talking about topics like this one. I really don't really care if we use instruments or not but I do care if we remain standoff-ish and aloof or move toward acceptance of others who love Jesus and call on HIs name.

    Maybe we need to cut off comments at a certain number so the arguments don't just go on and on.

  67. Clyde Symonette says:

    Indeed, Scriptures refer to the Book of Psalms as “Psalms.” Jesus did so in Luke 24:44. He said:
    “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

    However, “Psalms” in the sentence, “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,” (Ephesians 5:19) are not referring to the Book of Psalms. In other words, Paul is not limiting the content of spiritual songs to extracts from the Book of Psalms; he is authorizing FORMS of songs.

    As I stated in my article “Reconsidering Ephesians 5:19,”

    Begin Quote
    Thayer defines psalm (psalmos) as “a striking, twanging; specifically, a striking the chords of a musical instrument; hence a pious song [i.e., a song devoted to God].” 1 Further, in his definition of hymnos, Thayer described the psalm as “a song which took its general character from the O.T. ‘Psalms’ (although not restricted to them).” 2 And BDAG 3 says psalmos “in our literature” refers only to “songs of praise, psalms in accordance with OT usage.” 4 Accordingly, the NT psalm was a pious song that was accompanied by a musical instrument —like an OT psalm.
    End Quote

    And in a previously mentioned post to Rich W., I wrote the following:

    “Trench explains the etymology (or the origin and evolution) of the word psalmos. He says the word psalmos came from psa? (???)-to rub, to wipe off. He explained that psalmos was first used for:
    Touching,
    then touching the harp or other stringed instruments,
    then the instrument itself, namely, the psalterion—a ten stringed instrument,
    and finally it was used of a Song sung with the musical accompaniment.
    He notes that IT WAS AT THIS LAST STAGE THAT PSALMOS WAS ADOPTED FOR USE IN THE SEPTUAGINT”

    The psalm by its nature is historically connected to musical instruments (see Psalm 50). The connection is explained in the reading of 2 Chronicles 29:27-28, 30. Those verses read:
    When the burnt offering began, the song to the LORD also began with the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David, king of Israel. While the whole assembly worshiped, the singers also sang and the trumpets sounded; … Moreover, King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to sing praises to the LORD with the words of David and Asaph the seer.

    The “WORDS OF DAVID AND ASAPH” referred to in verse thirty of the text is what we know today as the book of Psalms. “THE SONG TO THE LORD” accompanied by trumpets and various “instruments of David” is what the Septuagint and consequently Paul refer to as “psalms.”

    Regarding psalmos (i.e., psalms) Everett Ferguson in “A Cappella Music in the Public Worship of The Church” writes the following:

    Begin Quote
    Josephus uses psalmos in its etymological sense of the tune played (the “plucking”) on a stringed instrument.
    End Quote

    Further he said,

    Begin quote
    It might be argued that some of the above could be rendered “psalms” or “songs of praise” (which is clearly correct for psalmos in most cases in late Jewish and Christian literature), but the association in Antiquities VII.iv.80 makes the instrumental meaning definite: “hymning God and singing every kind of native melody with the mingled sounds of stringed instruments, and dancing, and tunes of the harp (psalmon), as well as trumpet and cymbals
    End quote

    Gerhard Delling in an article in Theological dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT) said the psalm was “[a] song accompanied by a stringed instrument.” 5

    It would not be wise to overlook the fact that the host of Psalms, 2 Chronicles and other passages illustrate the form of psalms. As Al Maxey has stated, “wouldn’t it be rather odd for a believer to be able to acceptably sing [the words of] Psalm 150 in the assembly, but if that believer actually practiced what he sang he would be lost?”

    Thayer in his definition of hymnos describes a psalm as, “a song which took its general character from the O.T. ‘Psalms’ (although not restricted to them).”

    I said that I would do the following in this series of posts:

    1. Give a brief history of Zion’s Song in the Temple, i.e., the psalm.

    2. Demonstrate why and when Zion’s Song ceased.

    3. Show that it was God’s intent to restore psalms in the New Testament.

    4. Point to evidences of its use in the NT church, and its authorization.

    5. Show how PSALMS WERE DEFINED BY SCRIPTURES.

    Next, I will show how the words of church fathers indicate that psalms were commonly defined by their instruments.

    1 J. H. Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (New York: American Book Company, 1886), 675-676 (“Thayer”).
    2 Thayer, 637.
    3 Walter Bauer, Frederick W. Danker, William Arndt, & Wilbur Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000) (“BDAG”), 1096.

    5 Delling, “The Word Groups in Translations of Jewish Literature,” TDNT, 8:494.

  68. Matt Dabbs says:

    Anom,

    I am not really frustrated with anyone here. I am pointing out dangers we can easily fall into and it is important for all, including myself, to examine our motives in these types of conversations. I love the congregation I am blessed to worship with and minister to. We have a great an loving congregation. No one there is dividing over these things. We worship without instruments and are happy that way. Yet, for the most part, we recognize, that this is not a salvation issue but a matter of tradition.

    It is disappointing to see people possibly have the right stance but rotten and ungodly attitudes in presenting their viewpoints. It is easy in online forums to say things you would never say to someone's face. I just don't know that the issue is any clearer because of this discussion or that a single person has been brought closer to Jesus from it or made more Christ-like from it. So for me, it is time to move on and deal with more important issues…I do realize this is quite important to some people.

  69. HistoryGuy says:

    Matt Dabbs,
    I asked Clyde for an email so we could talk in private. I am sorry if we are cluttering up the forum. Perhaps I should have posted my particular questions about Chrysostom on the wineskins site. I am a sorry. I hope that I am not one of the ones who you believe has an “ungodly attitudes in presenting their viewpoints.” If I am… I am sorry. I am open to constructive criticism on how I can point out factual errors and ask questions about clarification my email is trackn2000@yahoo.com .

    I enjoy reading your posts and would like your thoughts on a comment that I see you type often, which is — a cappella is a matter of tradition. Whom do you believe that tradition originated with, the apostles or someone else, perhaps misguided Christians after the apostle’s death?

  70. Clyde Symonette says:

    Again, in a post to Rich W., I wrote:

    “My point (admittedly shrouded in obfuscation as made clear in HistoryGuy’s response to me) in referencing the works of Chrysostom was simply was to show that he viewed the psalm as it was commonly defined during the period, i.e., a pious song accompanied by instruments. How did I come to that conclusion? Well, while he encouraged the WORDS of the Psalms, he rejected its form by allegorizing the instruments of psalms. The allegorization indicates his need to have his readers understand that he was specifically precluding what was necessarily inferred in the psalm, i.e., an instrument.”

    HistoryGuy said,

    Begin quote
    You then said — direct quote
    (1) “There is a reason by [why] 2nd-Century Clement and 4th-Century Chrysostom opposed the church’s use of psalms—they understood psalms to be inclusive of instruments.”
    (2) “Let’s summarize what we can prove for a minute…Clement and Chrysostom (not apostles) specifically speak against the psalm in the church.”
    End quote

    Let me first of all admit that my choice of words, “Opposed the church’s use of psalms,” and “speak against the psalm,” are misleading and should never have been used without qualification. My words, perceived by those who ARE NOT AWARE OF, or have REJECTED OUTRIGHT the instrumental definition of psalms, are poor.

    Nonetheless, I stand by what I intended in the statement. As I stated above, both Clement and Chrysostom appear to reject the use of instruments. Hence they have rejected Paul’s authorization of psalms. Chrysostom’s statements makes this clear.

    The psalms, as demonstrated in previous posts are defined by the instruments.

    Further, HistoryGuy said:
    “You argued that Paul authorized instrumental praise to the church through the psalms and this is why Clement/ Chrysostom rejected the psalms in the church.”

    I did not. I purpose that Clement and Chrysostom rejected the psalms (meaning its instrumental form) in the church. Your statement suggests that you agree with this. I was not referring to the words of the Psalms, which by the way is NOT the definition of psalms in Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16.

    Further, you said:
    “At the time of Chrysostom, the church had never used instruments (please study the Temple again).”

    Perhaps it is your turn to tell me why I am wrong about the instrumental nature of the Temple. Perhaps you can explain how Christians who went to the instrumental temple to praise God were able to do so in the style of the Synagogue. Perhaps you can demonstrate that Scriptures referred to the lament of the Synagogue as “praise(s).” Perhaps you can give a scholarly definition of psalmos and explain how the NT psalm is different from the Old Testament’s.

    You said:
    “Is it possible, that maybe Chrysostom is right, and the premise in your article and subsequent conversations are wrong? Could it be that Chrysostom knew that the psalms did not include instrumental authorization in the new covenant, and had a long standing theological explanation for the change?”

    I have shown you (a) God’s intent for the psalm as it was revealed in the words of the prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah, i.e., psalms in the NT church; (b) the manifestation of the fulfillment of God’s intent for the church through PRAISES in the Temple; (c) that none of the words psalms, hymns or song preclude instruments; the words of the prophets, the example of the earliest church, and the Apostle Paul each hold a singularly weightier testimony than all of church fathers.

    Chrysostom is wrong. The Bible tells us so.

    I suggest that you study out the passages of these series of posts—particularly the stated prophecies.

    Finally, but in my opinion wholly immaterial, I have read Chrysostom’s Homily. Please explain how in the following statement Chrysostom is explaining the change from the Jewish to the Christian age.

    “When in these thou hast led him on from CHILDHOOD, by little and little thou wilt LEAD HIM FORWARD even to the HIGHER things. The Psalms contain all things, but the Hymns again have nothing human. When he has been INSTRUCTED OUT OF THE PSALMS, he will then know hymns also, AS A DIVINER THING. For the Powers above chant hymns, not psalms.”

    Grace and peace brother

  71. Matt Dabbs says:

    HG,

    If you read what I wrote it wasn't directed at anyone in particular. I can't judge your heart so it is not my call on that.

    As far as our tradition, your comment jumped right to the conclusion that someone must have been misguided for it to have become a tradition. Why do that?They had to worship somehow. No where in the NT is it commanded specifically how God wants that worship, although I am sure above you guys have laid out a million reasons why I am wrong in saying that. That puts it in the category of tradition. Let me give another example. No where in the NT is it commanded where to worship. Yet, we have the example – temple and homes. But we worship in church buildings. Is that sinful? According to much of this logic we would still have to worship in homes or in the temple (if that were even possible). So their places of worship are boiled down to that was their tradition. It was not commanded and they had to make a decision of where to do it. Does that mean it is bound on us to now only worship in homes? That is the conclusion you would draw according to the CENI hermeneutic and many other approaches taken to back a cappella only worship.

    I have a general rule of thumb. If I have to jump through multiple flaming hoops of assumption and loosely connected principles/verses I figure the issue may not be as important as I am making it out to be.

    I know in typing this I am just leading this whole thing further off track. If you would like to discuss this further I can do it briefly here but anything of length I would rather do via email. I hesitate to open myself up to this because I know it can easily steal my time and attention while there are many other things going on in my life and ministry right now.

    Maybe we can find time to get back to the original point of whether or not Jay's framing question was correct/appropriate to the discussion.

  72. HistoryGuy says:

    Matt,
    I don’t use church of Christ CENI, nor have I made known my background. In all fairness, I don’t know yours either. I have a smile and hope you do as well since words cannot convey friendly body language. From what I know of you, you generally take a middle stance, which is why I asked you. I just saw your post and found interest in the comment. I did not phrase the question properly and I am sorry for it. In your opinion, who in Christianity started the a cappella tradition that your practice, the inspired apostles or non-inspired Christians. This question is asking about origination of the tradition.

    grace and peace

  73. Matt Dabbs says:

    HG,

    Glad you are still smiling! We have much to smile about when we have a savior who loves us and lavished his grace on us as God has done for us through Jesus Christ. My stance is that a cappella worship is a beautiful tradition within our fellowship that was certainly practiced by the early church. Because Paul laid out so many important aspects of worship and abuses of worship one might assume that either IM was just not in the debate at all so as to never be corrected by Paul or others or it didn't really matter to the apostles if one worshipped with or without instruments. The truth is, we just don't know and because we don't know we have to be merciful in the way others view and interpret many of the key verses we in Churches of Christ have typically used as grounds for a cappella worship.

    I am not sure how I am supposed to answer your question since any answer I give you would be an assumption based on silence/lack of data. Again, that is why I feel compelled to have lots of grace toward others who worship differently than I do. We can read that we are to worship with psalms and say well instruments must be a viable form of worship because some psalms had instrumental parts or we could say they obviously knew to worship by singing the words of the psalms but had all the teachings that were never written down that said to never use an instrument. See the problem here? We try as best we can to stand in their shoes but at the end of the day what we have in scripture is all we have to go on.

  74. Bruce Morton says:

    Matt:
    Glad to chat, if an interest; just send me an email. I will offer that I believe there is a lot "behind" Ephesians 5:18-21 that has largely remained untouched by the Restoration Movement — and has bearing on mission/reaching others. Not that it outweighs one-on-one, but it mattered greatly in first century Roman Asia and carries much the same weight in our day.

    In Christ,
    Bruce Morton
    Katy, Texas
    MortonBLSL7@earthlink.net

  75. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde,
    For the sake of space, I was hoping for a limited discussion in relevance to Chrysostom, but thank you for your posts and variety of topics. I know they took time to write. I appreciate your synopsis of the history of worship in Israel and the Levitical system. I also appreciate your clear articulation for advocating IM via the prophecy argument, cultural argument, and psalmos/psallo argument. I detected hints of others, but these are clear enough. All of these developed within Reformation disputes and are less than 350-400 years old. None of these were used to introduce IM to the church in the 7th century. This is not the place for me to address these issues. However, I am happy to discuss their short comings in email or provide you a list of scholarly books, both from within and out of the Stone-Campbell Movement that demonstrate their inconsistency and insufficiency.

    You alluded to the “Temple argument,” which is about 140-120 years old and seldom used anymore. My suggestion to restudy the Temple was contextually about your statement of this argument “The church praised God in the instrumental Temple.” I did not mean to suggest a study of the Temple history. I affirm that God commanded instruments in the Levitical system. In fact, I believe he was very clear and specific. I am sorry for the vagueness. Regarding your statement, as a summary, one should consider the Temple sections/rooms, the waxing old of the old covenant, the Book of Hebrews, and the various hours of the day at which time various rituals took place. To assert that Christians participated in instrumental worship of God while at the Temple is to commit yourself to the following line or reasoning and conclusion.

    (1) The Temple included instrumental praise to God
    (2) The church worshipped God with instruments while at the temple
    (3) The Temple also used incense among dancing and other rituals (Lk. 1:10; Acts 3:1)
    (4) The church can worship with incense, dancing, instrumental music, and any other Temple ritual

    Not only would few Protestants be willing to affirm that line of reasoning, but #1 and #2 don’t necessarily follow. I welcome you to provide any scholarly evidence demonstrating the church sang psalms, hymns, or spiritual songs with instruments before the 7th century. This excludes the cloudy history of the Ethiopian/Coptic Orthodox church.

    I will make a few comments about Chrysostom, and then request that we move to a private email discussion for the sake of the forum. I agree with what you wrote to Rich. W. However, I need to clarify “the period of time” under discussion. Chrysostom viewed the psalms of the OT as normally, but not always, including instruments in the OT period. Nevertheless, both he and Clement rejected the instrumental aspect of the psalms in the Christian age.

    You said: Both Clement and Chrysostom reject the use of instruments. Hence they have rejected Paul’s authorization of psalms. Are you saying that Paul authorizes instruments with psalms (optional), or Paul authorizes instruments with psalms (inclusive/command)? If instruments are optional, then Clement and Chrysostom did not reject Paul. However, if instruments are inclusive of the psalms, then Clement, Chrysostom, and everyone that does not sing with instruments is rejecting Paul.

    You are saying –
    (1) Paul authorized psalms
    (2) Psalms are inclusive of words and instrumental praise
    (3) Clement and Chrysostom sing the words but reject the use of instruments with psalms
    (4) In rejecting instruments with psalms, they reject Paul’s authorization to sing psalms
    (5) Thus, one must sing and use an instrument to accept Paul’s authorization to sing psalms

    If you take the position that psalms always include instruments or a psalm is not a psalm unless it has words and instruments, then you stand with Tom Burgess from the Stone-Campbell movement. He says one must use instruments when singing psalms or he disobeys Paul. (Burgess, Documents on Instrumental Music, p117) This position was abandoned by his associates.

    You said “The psalms, as demonstrated in previous posts are defined by the instruments” … If I sing psalms, but don’t use an instrument, have I sinned?
    Thank you for asking about Chrysostom’s contrast of the Jewish and Christian age as his rejection of instruments. You quoted Chrysostom from what seems to be a homily on Colossians or Ephesians. This homily has nothing to do with Chrysostom’s theology about the Jewish/Christian age, nor did I reference it. I referenced Chrysostom’s homily on the Psalms, specifically Psalm 146, 149, and 150. Since most don’t have a copy, I assumed you did not, and listed where you can read exactly what he said. Please read (Ferguson, A Cappella Music: Rev. Ed. The life way series, p55; see also Tom Alexander, Music in Worship, p91; see also James McKinnon, MECL, p83) All these scholars list the same sources and give the same quotes. A short example, since I am typing it out…

    McKinnon, MECL, pg 83 summarizes Chrysostom’s theology on why the Jews had sacrifices and instruments, but Christians don’t. Chrysostom on Psalm 149:2 – “in ancient times, they [Jews] were thus led by these instruments due to the slowness of their understanding and were gradually drawn away from idolatry. Just as he [God] allowed sacrifices so too did he permit instruments, making concession to their weakness.” Consider the basic facts made known about the relationship between God/Jews, and God/Christians. Then consider Mt. 28:20; Jn. 14:25; Heb. 8:13, 9:10, 10:8 to name a few scriptures.

    My email is trackn2000@yahoo.com, please contact me anytime. I will give the readers of this forum a break for a while.

    gracen and peace

  76. Clyde Symonette says:

    HistoryGuy:

    I appreciate your tone brother, although once again, you’ve offered to have a private conversation, yet you have posted a public response 🙂

    I don't mean to be inconsiderate to anyone, but I believe that these forums are open for this kind of discourse. Perhaps Jay can correct me (which i am open to) upon his return.

    First, it is easy to lump arguments into a categories, date when each was used and dismiss them as relatively new. O.T. prophecy is old as God’s plan for Israel’s redemption. The use of psalmos/psallo in the language of Scriptures is as old as the Septuagint.

    Further, the Temple argument is part and parcel of the stated prophecies. The Bible tells us what the church DID in that Temple—they praised God.

    Acts 2:46–47 (NIV) 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

    Understood in context of the OT, praises were psalms, understood in the context of God’s promises to Israel as spoken through Isaiah and Jeremiah, praises were psalms and understood in the context of the Temple, praises were psalms. The instrument is implied in their PRAISING GOD IN THE TEMPLE, not simply being in the Temple. Sacrifices and incense are not implied in what Luke wrote. It is unwise to attempt to understand any of this in a NT or 21st-Century vacuum—the earliest Christians did not.

    No, one does not sin by singing the words of a Psalm without instruments—He is singing a hymn. hymnos; a song of praise with or without instruments.

    As I explained in my article, under theme “living a life worthy of the calling received,” Paul in Eph 5:19 gave one command to Gentiles who were accustomed to offering praises to idols. His command is this “be filled with the Spirit” Paul instructs those Gentile HOW to do so in the participles “speaking to yourselves…” and “ singing and making music…” in your hearts TO THE LORD (not idols).

    Picking apart the command and determining whether the psalms, hymns, or songs are optional or inclusive is to miss the point entirely. Paul’s message is simple, “WHATEVER you do, in word or in deed, DO IT ALL in the name of the Lord.” (Good bye regulative principle.)

    clyde_symonette@yahoo.com

  77. Anonymous says:

    Excellent Bible study Clyde!!! I and many others I know have done much study of the Hebrew Scriptures as you….the captives lament in Zion chanting a cappella, and that He will remove the spirit of despair and restore the sound of the IM and people singing praises. Too many people really don’t see how beautifully the Hebrew Scriptures and the NT are connected. The Hebrew Scriptures have much to say on these issues, that’s what they are for…to tell us these things. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    I believe this is an open forum that is for these discussions. I would love to see more of the Biblical studies you have done Clyde. 🙂

  78. Matt Dabbs says:

    I agree that this is a great open forum to have all sorts of discussions. My point above was not that these shouldn't take place. But what has happened in this post is that the comments have hijacked what this post seemed to be about and the points I initially made that Jay was responding to.

    So yes have the discussions but find the right place to put them. That is just my take. This is not my blog but that is my opinion…for whatever that is worth!

  79. guy says:

    HistoryGuy,

    Was it you who earlier on mentioned a discussion between John Frame and someone else? i've read quite a bit of Frame's work, but only on apologetics–not ecclesiological issues. But i thought that he had engaged in discussions about the exclusive use of psalms, but i didn't think he'd discussed the appropriateness of IM. Has he? If so, where? (Knowing the rest of his work and having emailed him back and forth quite a bit, i'm pretty sure i'd know his position on the matter.)

    –guy

  80. Clyde Symonette says:

    Anonymous … I appreciate your encouragement. – thank you

    Matt … was not my intent to hijack the conversation … As it happens, someone addressed me with a question. I responded; he did; I did; and I guess I got carried away and it ended up being what it is 🙂

  81. guy says:

    Clyde,

    i have certainly benefited from reading. This IM discussion has included a depth and scope that is really quite rare in most IM discussions. i, for one, hope it continues publicly so that i may keep reading.

    –guy

  82. Jay Guin says:

    Matt and All,

    Clyde's comments are welcome.

  83. HistoryGuy says:

    Jay,
    Are my comments welcome?

  84. HistoryGuy says:

    Guy,
    I mentioned John Frame and Darryl Hart in reference to their in depth discussion on how the regulative principle should be defined and applied. This came to a type of climax in their formal written debate, though more work has been done to their respective positions. I brought it up to encourage people to understand one another when they talk about the RPW, since it truly has so many variants. People can hold to the RPW and have completely different understandings. Admittedly, some from the Reformed tradition would believe Frames view so different that it’s not even a variant fo the RPW. The debate and more info are at the following links.
    http://www.frame-poythress.org/frame_articles/199

    From my very limited understanding of Frame’s changing views, he currently accepts instrumental worship. It would be best to email him and ask him directly. Please, let me if I have been misinformed about his position @ trackn2000*yahoo.com

  85. Matt Dabbs says:

    Jay,

    I am wondering after all these comments where you now stand with what you said above, "If there’s fresh scholarship or material on the non-instrumental side of the debate, I’m not aware of it, and I’ve been in the thick of this controversy for quite some time. On the other hand, while I can’t speak for New Wineskins, if someone were to present some truly new and interesting material on the non-instrumental side, I expect that New Wineskins would post it."

    After all the ink that has now been spilled in these comments has there been anything new been presented here that you weren't aware of that is at all persuasive to you? Second, if there is will it be presented to NW for potential publication?

  86. Clyde Symonette says:

    Guy, thank you. The matter of IMs holds more significance in the space of Scriptures than is often suggested.

    Jay, nice to see you in these parts 🙂

  87. guy says:

    HistoryGuy,

    That link didn't work for me. Is it a fluke (does it work for everyone else)?

    (i haven't been to frame-poythress to look around in several years! Do you read much about presuppositionalism?)

    –guy

  88. Jay Guin says:

    I remain on Sabbatical

    I'll think about when (if) I return

  89. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde, I am considering the best response. I’ll reply in a bit and hope your day is going well.

    Guy,
    The link works for me. Try to copy/paste? Yes, I am familiar with presuppositionalism as well as all other forms of apologetics. In fact, I have been reading countless presuppositions here. (That's funny!) Are you an apologist?

  90. jun kaddeus says:

    Suppositionalism is just an admission that you can't prove your position and the only way to believe it is to start with the assumption that its true. In other words, suppositionalism = circular logic.

  91. jun kaddeus says:

    Ooops the pre dropped out of there. But anyways, to pressuppose is to begin with an assumption, hence as I said, pressupositionalism is circular reasoning. Hence basically, "I begin with the assumption that the sky is black, then make all kinds of ridiculous arguments that basically amount to, the sky is black because I began with the pressuposition that the sky is black."

    To illustrate it to yourself, think of how a Muslim might argue. The Koran is from Allah. The Koran says Mohammed is Allah's prophet. Therefore, Mohammed is Allah's prophet because the Koran (which we have already pressupposed is from) Allah says so. Not Mohammed wrote the Koran, and Mohammed is Allah's prophet because the Koran says so, and the Koran is from Allah because we presupposed that it is. Therefore, I have proven that the Koran is from Allah.

    That's presuppositionalism. Its stupid. I use a Muslim example because looking at how someone of another faith uses it will be easier to grasp since you have no bias in favor of their presupposions. If you read a presuppositional argument in favor of your own faith it would be less likely that you would realize the weakness of the argument.

  92. jun kaddeus says:

    presuppositionalism has become a favorite form of arguing for Calvinists since their position is illogical.

  93. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde,
    I am used to formal discussions, where attacking the argument does not mean that I am attacking the man. I respect everyone here and I am not attacking the man. I enjoy a discussion when one matter is dealt with at a time because I am simply unable to respond to 30+ points of disagreement at once.

    My discussion with you began over the use of Clement and Chrysostom and your use of history to support your view that Paul authorizes the church to sing with instruments when singing psalms. If I have misunderstood you, just tell us that now — “Paul does not authorize the church to use instruments.”

    Instead of replying with direct relevance to my concern over Chrysostom, you posted a plethora of argumentation that needs to be dealt with separately, and this not a real priority for me since it has been written about many times. I am happy to provide a list of scholarly books if anyone would like them. I did not ask to discuss the topic as whole, only Chrysostom. We can know what Clement or Chrysostom wrote and believed, and accurately convey it to others, even if you don’t agree with their theology. That is all I sought to establish… historical accuracy about Christians from long ago. However, I will reply to three areas of concern where you have been inconsistent.

    Dating the arguments:
    The purpose for dating the arguments was completely missed. I did not say your arguments are poor because they are newer. That is logically flawed. The date has direct relevance to the issue, because it proves the arguments that you use were not the arguments used in the 7th century to add instruments to worship for the first time OR centuries later.

    The first addition for IM was nothing more than Papal authority, which is a huge problem for someone adhering to Sola Scriptura. I can demonstrate a history of argumentation advocating IM that has risen, been advocated, then abandoned, because under deep scrutiny, the arguments were inconsistent and failed. When the church is the authority, like Rome, the lack of Scriptural arguments is not a problem. Some in the Reformation, of which your arguments descend, wanted to retain IM, but still hold to Sola Scriptura. This is a problem. Thus, they had to create arguments to substantiate what they wanted… They wanted the instrument, but not the incense and other additions of Roman Catholicism, then set to find a reason to authorize it from Scriptures, not church authority.

    When this is forgotten, and the strict Western Individualistic Reformation/Restoration ideal of Sola Scriptura is applied to the early fathers, disaster happens and you misread history. Yes, I affirm Sola Scriptura and that the early fathers did practiced it. The Scriptures were the highest authority, but in their world, for the most part, a church tradition was a Scriptural doctrine. Thus, one must give a much deeper appreciation to church tradition in the Patristic period and their views of apostolic precedent, than you and others are giving them.

    The a cappella advocates have a similar history and have made equally embarrassing mistakes in argumentation throughout the years. They essentially switched from Sola Scriptura to SOLO Scriptura. This is a problem. The “Amos argument” or “denying psallo had any musical connection at all” comes to mind as two examples. However, the historical fact is, the church was born in song & canticles. The apostolic church sang a cappella, and the church of subsequent centuries remained that way until the 7th century or perhaps on large scale, the 13th century. What was their defense of a cappella that was so strong that only Papal authority could over ride it? As I have pointed out in scholarly sources of Patristic commentaries, both the Allegorical and Literal-historical schools of hermeneutics, though centuries apart, looked to apostolic precedent and consistently defended a cappella theologically by contrasting the Jewish/Christian age, as also revealed in the Book of Hebrews. Some may call this the “judaizing argument” or “shadow argument.”

    I keep pressing you on Chrysostom and Clement and arguments from the past, because you have to not only give a plausible alternative, but specifically demonstrate their misunderstanding. Thus you have to demonstrate why every Christian in the first 500 years, supposedly misunderstood a consistent a cappella practice that spanned region, culture, preference, and time.

  94. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde,
    That is a lot of info. Let me say this, regardless of our disagreements with the history, the point remains that — To advocate IM, you not only have to give a plausible alternative, but you have to demonstrate why every Christian in the first 500 years, “supposedly” misunderstood a consistent a cappella practice that spanned region, culture, preference, and time.

  95. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde,
    I’ve tried to make this shorter than previous posts. Please interact with the arguments that I put forth if choose to affirm the Temple argument.

    The Temple argument:
    This can be connected with the prophecy argument or stand alone since the prophecy argument would tell the future and the Temple argument would reveal part of the fulfillment. However, each must be weighed on its own merits. Regardless, we can quickly resolve the Temple argument. The Bible says they met in the Temple, and prayed in the Temple, even preached in the Temple, so one must really consider what area (Acts 2:46-47; 3:1; 3:11; 5:19-21). The Bible also says Christians are to reject the Temple system of worship (Heb. 10:1, 9; 13:10). — Since its all really connected, we can talk about Paul/Acts 21 if you like. However, Paul and the Temple argument are generally considered to be different arguments by IM advocates.

    My position.
    (1) Christians could have been at the Temple and not been participating in Temple worship, since many Jews and Gentile in fact did this daily, given the massive complex and room structures. (2) The Christians were in unity with Apostolic teaching and one another, not Jewish worship or the Jews who denied Christ. (3) Temple worship consisted of Levitcal priests, instruments, incense, and sacrifices; one cannot have the instruments without the other rituals of the Temple. (4) Church history scholars, both for and against IM, agree that the church did not use IM before the 7th century. (5) You have in previous posts made the case that since Christians worship with instruments at the Temple, they can use them today. You must by necessity accept incense, animal sacrifices, and other rituals of the Temple or abandon this position.

    Please clarify YOUR position ** I will change any inaccurate sentence.

    Yes or No- Christian preaching in the Temple conformed to Judaism?
    Yes or No- Temple worship included instruments, incense, and sacrifices
    Yes or No- Christians worshiped God with instruments in the Temple.
    Yes or No- Christians worshiped God with incense and sacrifices in the Temple.
    Yes or No- Given Temple/Christian connection, we are permitted to worship God today with instruments?
    Yes or No- Given Temple/Christian connection, we are permitted to worship God today with incense?

  96. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde,
    Please interact with the arguments that I put forth, which I hope will bring some clarity to your previous remarks. Unless, due to some new study you have changed your position. Mine has changed over the years.

    Sing psalms without Instruments, and it is a hymn… really?

    In my post (November 3rd, 2010 at 3:2) I laid out a logically deductive argument based on your — direct quotes —

    (1) Paul authorized psalms
    (2) Psalms are inclusive of both words and instrumental praise
    (3) Clement & Chrysostom sing words but reject the use of instruments with psalms
    (4) In rejecting instruments with psalms, they reject Paul’s authorization to sing psalms
    (5) Thus, one must sing and use an instrument to accept Paul’s authorization to sing psalms

    I say again, that you have made the instrument mandatory for the psalm, and put yourself in company with Tom Burgess (cited in previous post). I finally asked, since you believe Clement and Chrysostom reject Paul’s teaching on the psalms, “If I sing psalms without instruments, do I reject Paul, and Sin.” Your response not only avoided the question, but it contradicted your stance, because you said “No, one does not sin by singing the words of a Psalm without instruments— [why?] He is singing a hymn. hymnos; a song of praise with or without instruments.”

    How is that Clement and Chrysostom reject Paul by singing psalms without instruments, but when I do it, you say that I am not singing psalms… rather, I am singing a HYMN?

    Yes or No – A psalm and hymn are different
    Yes or No – Every psalm included an instrument
    Yes or No – Rejecting the apostle Paul’s teaching is sin
    Yes or No – Clement and Chrysostom reject Paul’s teaching on the psalms
    Yes or No – Sing psalms without instruments is a rejection of Paul’s teaching
    Yes or No – If I sing psalms without instruments, I have sinned

    This has nothing to do with picking apart psalms or hymns [red herring], as you claim, rather I am discussing the arguments that you hold and have presented in the public realm.

  97. Royce Ogle says:

    I will never understand the fascination with this subject. Nor can I understand why we all just can't accept that Paul or no other NT writer thought enough of it to address it.

    It just seems odd to me that men who are obviously very bright and able scholars would devote so much time and energy to a subject that matters so little in view of the fact that on a Sunday morning our pews are teeming with people who don't understand even the most basic doctrines of the historic Christian faith.

    Royce Ogle
    Monroe, LA

  98. konastephen says:

    HistoryGuy,

    I'm trying to make sense of your reasoning. In your 'logically deductive argument', item (2) you use the word 'inclusive', but then in (5) you use the word 'must'–should this not read 'can' instead???

  99. abasnar says:

    It just seems odd to me that men who are obviously very bright and able scholars would devote so much time and energy to a subject that matters so little in view of the fact that on a Sunday morning our pews are teeming with people who don’t understand even the most basic doctrines of the historic Christian faith.

    Two answers to that:
    a) Innovators must be dealt with in a diligent and honest way. We have to take the time to listen, to understand and also to rebuke if necessary.
    b) That's not the topic in the messages on Sunday morning where we face these brimming pews of "ignorants" – or better: our weaker or younger brothers and sisters.

    So we discuss this here, and I see that those who want to introduce IM use faulty methods and weak but persuasive arguments, that I cannot accept that way. And mony others neither. To me this whole discussion is pretty disgusting, it is dirty work, not in the least edifying.

    Alexander

  100. konastephen says:

    It should be clear that there are 'faulty methods and weak but persuasive arguments' on both sides of the fence. In fact, it is a weak but persuasive argument to suggest that it is only those who see the legitimacy of IM as being the only ones to construct them.

  101. abasnar says:

    They are on both sides, that's correct.

  102. Clyde Symonette says:

    HistoryGuy

    Good day 🙂

    I will address your posts in order

  103. guy says:

    HistoryGuy,

    i haven't read stuff in several years, but there was a period of about 3 years that i read tons of presuppositionalism stuff. i've read several of Cornelius Van Til's books, as well as Greg Bahnsen, John Frame, and one or two others. i also read tons of articles. And i still have probably close to 100 audio lectures and debates from presuppositionalists. Transcendental argumentation still resonates with me the most as far as apologetics go. But no, i have focused on the topic in a great long while. These days i'm overwhelmed by my work in grad school, so i don't get to read much of what i want. But when i do, these days it's typically about pacifism (i'm pretty sure that's what i'd like to focus my dissertation on).

    –guy

  104. Clyde Symonette says:

    History Guy:

    You said: “Instead of replying with direct relevance to my concern over Chrysostom, you posted a plethora of argumentation that needs to be dealt with separately, and this not a real priority for me since it has been written about many times.”

    Although I do not agree with your reasoning, at least I understand why you did not accept my invitation to discuss this subject in context. I did not make 30+ points, I made ONE point IN CONTEXT, and that is: PSALMS IN THE CONTEXT OF PAUL’S INSTRUCTIONS ARE DEFINED IN ACCORDANCE SCRIPTURES (as lexicons testify), NOT Chrysostom, Clement or ANY POST-APOSTOLIC CHURCH FATHER. As Anonymous has correctly interpreted and relayed in his/her succinct remarks, I view this subject generally and psalms specifically in the context of God’s promise to Israel. As Anonymous further implied, when Paul says, “how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures,” he was referring to O.T. Scripture—I believe we all agree. I am unable to discuss psalms in the context of the NT church without properly defining those psalms. Many have submitted their faith on this and several other matters to a few “sound bites” from church fathers. Paul warned of the apostasy that would follow his departure and I have no desire to define my faith by anything other than Scriptures. History is what it is. Although it tells us what was and helps us to understand our Christian heritage, an abundance of accurate history may simply be a reflection of humanity’s disobedience to God. History, HistoryGuy, does not speak to God’s intent for the church—only the Scriptures do that. The RELEVANCE OF THE POST-APOSTOLIC EXCLUSION OF INSTRUMENTS IS DETERMINED BY THE REASON FOR THE EXCLUSION. Were instruments excluded because GOD, through His Word forbade them? That is the question I have addressed in my lengthy post. The answer to THAT question is, “no.” The lamentations of the Synagogue are NOT part of parcel of God’s eternal plan for His church. This is affirmed by the Apostle Paul (Romans 9) and evidenced in the church’s (Jews) praising God in the instrumental Temple, and clearly psalms, in the context of the 1st-Century church, are authorized in Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16.

    You said: “The date has direct relevance to the issue, because it proves the arguments that you use were not the arguments used in the 7th century to add instruments to worship for the first time OR centuries later.”

    I will address the assertion that instruments were added to the worship for the first time in the 7th-Century or later when I address the points of your next quotation. Now, with regard to dating. Dating, in my opinion, is a disingenuous approach to solving our differences and coming to unity on this important subject. First, dating suggests to those who may be interested, that they ought not to consider the argument since someone has already asked the question and a satisfactory answer addressing the question has already been supplied. Their faith, then should rest comfortably in the hands of ancient theologians and eminent scholars—I disagree. Second, as has been demonstrated by your one paragraph dating my multi-paged post; dating limits the argument proffered to characterized positions WITHOUT ADDRESSING THE SPECIFICS OF THE ARGUMENT.

    As I stated in my last response, the use of PSALMOS/PSALLO, in the context of praise of God, IS AS OLD AS THE SEPTUAGINT and its NT use is verifiable. Moreover, GOD’S PROMISE TO RESTORE ISRAEL’S PRAISE IN THE NEW COVENANT IS AS OLD AS, well, GOD’S PLANS. Are the prophets correct? That, my brother, is a more important question than, “What did Clement say?” Have I misinterpreted the words of Jeremiah and Isaiah? If so, we should discuss that. Have I used the wrong definition of psalmos? If so, then, let’s discuss that.

    You said: “However, the historical fact is, the church was born in song & canticles. The apostolic church sang a cappella, and the church of subsequent centuries remained that way until the 7th century or perhaps on large scale, the 13th century. What was their defense of a cappella that was so strong that only Papal authority could over ride it? As I have pointed out in scholarly sources of Patristic”

    Scriptures must be dismissed in order to affirm with such confidence that, “the church was born in song & canticles [i.e. non-instrumental chants]” and state further that “The apostolic church sang a cappella, and the church of subsequent centuries remained that way until the 7th century.” Are you referring to the “apostolic church” in Jerusalem; the one that praise God in the Temple, or the “first” Christian congregation in Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth or other first Christian churches that Paul told to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual song? If you are referring to those churches named, how did you formulate such a conclusion without the New Testament? And what sources are available to you that are not available to “a cappella advocate” Everett Ferguson who, with the sources available to him wrote:
    “We are DENIED (emphasis mine) the omniscience which would permit us to say instruments were never employed in the early church’s worship 1
    Like Ferguson, you are also “denied the omniscience” to speak so confidently of the earliest churches OUTSIDE of the context of Scriptures.

    You said: “I affirm Sola Scriptura and that the early fathers did practiced it. The Scriptures were the highest authority, but in their world, for the most part, a church tradition was a Scriptural doctrine. Thus, one must give a much deeper appreciation to church tradition in the Patristic period and their views of apostolic precedent, than you and others are giving them.”

    In the above statement, you have addressed the problem that I have with church fathers, and those who have elevated their teachings to something other than commentary. You said, “in their world, for the most part, a church tradition was a Scriptural doctrine.” In other words, the papacy was budding long before it was official. That is the problem; a church tradition is NOT a Scriptural doctrine. Furthermore, the general assumption is that the second-century church tradition was like the first- and the third- was like the second-, and so on. There were some traditions that were adopted as doctrine that were not part of the previous church’s tradition. For an EXAMPLE of this I present your guy, Chrysostom, as a witness. He left us with these remarkable words. He wrote:
    Men ought to be separated from women by an inward wall, meaning that of the heart; but, because ye would not, our forefathers separated you by these wooden walls: for i have heard from our seniors that IT WAS NOT SO FROM THE BEGINNING, for in Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female.

    To assume then that early church traditions were derived from EARLIEST church’s teachings/traditions is faulty.

    You said: “I keep pressing you on Chrysostom and Clement and arguments from the past, because you have to not only give a plausible alternative, but specifically demonstrate their misunderstanding. Thus you have to demonstrate why every Christian in the first 500 years, supposedly misunderstood a consistent a cappella practice that spanned region, culture, preference, and time”

    For the sake of those who are asking the question, “who is Chrysostom, Clement or the church fathers,” let me address that for a minute. By the mid-sixties2 , the most influential leaders: Paul, Peter, and James had been executed. Subsequently, new leaders of the young movement emerged. In the tradition of the Apostles, these men addressed letters of encouragement and instructions to the churches. Others (Apologists) wrote philosophical defenses in response to the popular charges against the church and Christianity. Among the new leaders were: Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, Barnabas, Justin Martyr, Theophilus, Tatian, and others. (By the 17th-century these men were entitled “Apostolic Fathers.” This designation did not convey apostolic authority to their writings. They were labeled as such since it was assumed they were disciples of the Apostles—an assumption with which most scholars disagree.) The next generation of “fathers” were called “Fathers of the Second Century” or, as they have been appropriately labeled by Everett Ferguson in Church History, “Fathers of the Old Catholic Church.”3 Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian are examples of 2nd-Century fathers. Successive generations of fathers incorporate Origen, Athanasius of Alexandria, Cyprian of Carthage, and many others. Today, all fathers of all ages are referred to collectively as Church Fathers and their body of writings is called Patristic Literature.

    Now, you are asking me to demonstrate late 2nd-Century Clement’s and 4th-Century Chrysostom’s misunderstanding of what Scriptures teach and to give plausible alternative to why they interpreted Scriptures the way that they did. I will.

    In my mega-post, I showed WHAT GOD INTENDED FOR THE CHURCH. I demonstrated its fulfillment in the church of Jerusalem through their praise in the Temple, and I showed what Paul taught and I gave a definition of psalmos.

    Why did the church fathers teach against instruments in the church? Simple.

    Revelry.

    As a consequence of the defeat of the Jews in the Roman-Jewish war, the Jewish domination of the church ended. As the Gentile church grew in prominence, it grew in pagan practices. Apparently, these were the revelries addressed by church fathers.
    The writings of both Clement and Chrysostom imply that instruments were associated with those revelries and evil practices. The Church Fathers were well intentioned; they wanted to separate a Gentile church from their revelries. Their writings reveal a union of instruments and Gentile revelries that we cannot appreciate completely in our modern period. As in Paul’s writings meat was associated with Gentile idols (See Act 15:29, 21:25, and 1 Corinthians 10:23ff), so in the era of the early church fathers, instruments were intimately coupled with revelries that were rooted in paganism. In consideration of the aforementioned, the Church Fathers wrote what they deemed necessary to separate a young church from their revelries.

    Although both rejected instruments, Clement conceded that Paul permits what he rejected. Citing Colossians 3:17, he wrote:
    “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,“ Clement concedes that Scripture permits the use of instruments in worship “without blame”, since in doing so, one would follow the example of “righteous” David. The following are his words:

    For the apostle adds again … “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and His Father.” (Colossians 3:17) This is our thankful revelry. And even if you wish to sing and play to the harp or lyre, there is no blame. Thou shalt imitate the righteous Hebrew king [David] in his thanksgiving to God.”4

    Chrysostom, on the other hand, appears to censure Paul’s instructions (as I stated, I could be misinterpreting his remarks. If I am, then Chrysostom supports my thesis). He suggests that since the Apostle Paul understood that reading was laborious for his readers, he was being considerate to his readers by making reference to the instrumental psalm, thus making their reading more interesting. In Chrysostom’s words, Paul’s instructions to teach and admonish one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,

    “Mark also the considerateness of Paul. Seeing that reading is toilsome, and its irksomeness great”5

    According to Chrysostom, Paul invoked the psalm so,
    “That thou mightest at once delight thy soul with singing, and gently beguile thy labors [i.e., reading].” 6

    He implied that if psalms are implemented,
    “Your children will utter songs and dances of Satan, like cooks, and caterers, and musicians.”7

    “No one knoweth any psalm,” he exclaimed. And in a reference to the psalm, Chrysostom wrote,
    “It seems a thing to be ashamed of even, and a mockery, and a joke.8

    Finally, in a statement that mirrors Origen’s commentary of Ephesians 5:19, Chrysostom presents a philosophical objection to Paul’s instructions. He continued:

    The Psalms contain all things, but the Hymns again have nothing human. When he [a person] has been instructed out of the Psalms, he will then know hymns also, as a diviner thing. For the Powers above chant hymns, not psalms.9

    The notion that the chanting of hymns is a “diviner thing” than a psalm is contradicted by Scripture. What are the “all” and “human” things inferred in the comment? I suggest that he is referring to instruments.

    Although Chrysostom and Clement referenced Paul’s teaching from Col 3:16, neither used Scripture to justify their opposition to instruments.

    The CHURCH FATHERS did NOT oppose instruments because Scriptures opposed them.

    MY COMMENTS END HERE

    1 Ferguson, A Cappella Music in the Public Worship of the Church, (Fort Worth: Star Bible Publications, 1999), 58
    2 Everett Ferguson, Church History From Christ to Pre-Reformation, (Michigan, Zondervan, 2005), I:46
    3 Ibid 124
    4 Coxe, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, II:249
    5 Philip Schaff, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, (Grand Rapids, WM. B. Eerdmans, 1956), XIII:301-302
    6 Ibid 302
    7 Ibid 302
    8 Ibid 302
    9 Ibid 302

    For the convenience of the reader, the following is Chrysostom statements in context

    “Teaching,” he saith, “and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” Mark also the considerateness of Paul. Seeing that reading is toilsome, and its irksomeness great, he led them not to histories, but to psalms, that thou mightest at once delight thy soul with singing, and gently beguile thy labors. “Hymns,” he saith, “and spiritual songs.” But now your children will utter songs and dances of Satan, like cooks, and caterers, and musicians; no one knoweth any psalm, but it seems a thing to be ashamed of even, and a mockery, and a joke. There is the treasury house of all these evils. For whatsoever soil the plant stands in, such is the fruit it bears; if in a sandy and salty soil, of like nature is its fruit; if in a sweet and rich one, it is again similar. So the matter of instruction is a sort of fountain. Teach him to sing those psalms which are so full of the love of wisdom; as at once concerning chastity, or rather, before all, of not companying with the wicked, immediately with the very beginning of the book; (for therefore also it was that the prophet began on this wise, “Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly”; (Ps. i. 1), and again, “I have not sat in the council of vanity”; (Ps. xxvi. 4, Sept., and again, “in his sight a wicked doer is contemned, but he honoreth those that fear the Lord,” (Ps. xv. 4, Sept.,) of companying with the good, (and these subjects thou wilt find there in abundance,) of restraining the belly, of restraining the hand, of refraining from excess, of not overreaching; that money is nothing, nor glory, and other things such like.
    When in these thou hast led him on from childhood, by little and little thou wilt lead him forward even to the higher things. The Psalms contain all things, but the Hymns again have nothing human. When he has been instructed out of the Psalms, he will then know hymns also, as a diviner thing. For the Powers above chant hymns, not psalms. For “a hymn,” saith one, “is not comely in the mouth of a sinner” (Ecclus. xv. 9); and again, “Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they sit together with me” (Ps. ci. 6, 7, Sept.); and again, “he that worketh haughtiness hath not dwelt in the midst of my house”; and again, “He that walketh in a blameless way, he ministered unto me.” (Ps. ci. 6, Sept.)
    So that ye should safely guard them from intermixing themselves, not only with friends, but even with servants. For the harm done to the free is incalculable, when we place over them corrupt slaves. For if when enjoying all the benefit of a father’s affection and wisdom, they can with difficulty be preserved safe throughout; when we hand them over to the unscrupulous- ness of servants, they use them like enemies, thinking that they will prove milder masters to them, when they have made them perfect fools, and weak, and worthy of no respect.
    More then than all other things together, let us attend seriously to this. “I have loved,” saith he,“those that love thy law.” (Ps. cxix. 165, not exact.) This man then let us too emulate, and such let us love. And that the young may further be taught chastity, let them hear the Prophet, saying, “My loins are filled with illusions” (Ps. xxxviii. 7, Sept.); and again let them hear him saying, “Thou wilt utterly destroy every one that goeth a whoring from Thee.” (Ps. lxxiii. 27, Sept.) And, that one ought to restrain the belly, let them hear again, “And slew,” he saith, “the more part of them while the meat was yet in their mouths.” (Ps. lxxviii. 30, Sept.) And that they ought to be above bribes, “If riches become abundant, set [not] your heart upon them” (Ps. lxii. 10); and that they ought to keep glory in subjection, “Nor shall his glory descend together after him.” (Ps. xlix. 17.) And not to envy the wicked, “Be not envious against them that work unrighteousness.” (Ps. xxxvii. 1.) And to count power as nothing, “I saw the ungodly in exceeding high place, and lifting himself up as the cedars of Libanus, and I passed by, and lo! he was not.” (Ps. xxxvii. 35.) And to count these present things as nothing, “They counted the people happy, that are in such a case; happy are the people, whose helper is the Lord their God.” (Ps. cxliv. 15, Sept.) That we do not sin without notice, but that there is a retribution, “for,” he saith, “Thou shalt render to every man according to his works.” (Ps. lxii. 12, Sept.) But why doth he not so requite them day by day? “God is a judge,” he says, “righteous, and strong, and longsuffering.” (Ps. vii. 11.) That lowliness of mind is good, “Lord,” he saith, “my heart is not lifted up” (Ps. cxxxi. 1): that pride is evil, “Therefore,” he said, “pride took hold on them wholly” (Ps. lxxiii. 6, Sept.); and again, “The Lord resisteth the proud”; and again, “Their injustice shall come out as of fatness.” That almsgiving is good, “He hath dispersed, he hath given to the needy, his righteousness endureth for ever.” (Prov. iii. 34.) And that to pity is praiseworthy, “He is a good man that pitieth, and lendeth.” (Ps. lxxiii. 7, Sept.) And thou wilt find there many more doctrines than these, full of true philosophy; such as, that one ought not to speak evil, “Him that privily slandereth his neighbor, him did I chase from me.” (Ps. cxii. 9.)
    What is the hymn of those above? The Faithful know. What say the cherubim above? What say the Angels? “Glory to God in the highest.” (Ps. cxii. 5.) Therefore after the psalmody come the hymns, as a thing of more perfection. “With psalms,” he saith, “with hymns, with spiritual songs, with grace singing in your hearts to God.” (Ps. ci. 5, Sept.) He means either this, that God because of grace hath given us these things; or, with the songs in grace; or, admonishing and teaching one another in grace; or, that they had these gifts in grace; or, it is an epexegesis and he means, from the grace of the Spirit. “Singing in your hearts to God.” Not simply with the mouth, he means, but with heedfulness. For this is to “sing to God,” but that to the air, for the voice is scattered without result. Not for display, he means. And even if thou be in the market-place, thou canst collect thyself, and sing unto God, no one hearing thee. For Moses also in this way prayed, and was heard, for He saith, “Why criest thou unto Me?” (Ex. xiv. 15) albeit he said nothing, but cried in thought—wherefore also God alone heard him—with a contrite heart. For it is not forbidden one even when walking to pray in his heart, and to dwell above.
    Ver. 17. “And whatsoever ye do,” he saith, “in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
    For if we thus do, there will be nothing polluted, nothing unclean, wherever Christ is called on. If thou eat, if thou drink, if thou marry, if thou travel, do all in the Name of God, that is, calling Him to aid thee: in everything first praying to Him, so take hold of thy business.

    Schaff, P. (1997). The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Vol. XIII (301–302). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.

  105. abasnar says:

    Paul warned of the apostasy that would follow his departure and I have no desire to define my faith by anything other than Scriptures.

    That’s one side of the coin. 2Ti 2:2 shows the other side: Paul did take care that the sound teaching will be heard in the second and third generation after his departure – not through multiple copies of his letters, but by ORAL teaching and churches being led by faithful elders appointed according 1Ti 3:1-7.

    And who compiled the New Testament? These men of the second and third generation basically! I could not trust the NT-canon we have in or hands if the church fell apostate right after the apostle John died.

    This kind of “Sola Scriptura” is quite naïve. Which generation do we belong to? Generation Number 64 or so – and we have the same sources as generation numbers 2-4. BUT these brothers were raised in churches that still remembered the apostles and their conduct and their oral teachings quite well. And they practiced it. I am very sure that they were not perfect, but they were also most likely very less imperfect than we are (generation 64+).

    Actually this kind of reasoning pretends, that we are 1st generation – that there is no gap between Paul and us, simply because we know how to read his letters. But we even struggle with translating the Greek into contemporary English or German! Seriously: This is a puffed up position.

    Scriptures must be dismissed in order to affirm with such confidence that, “the church was born in song & canticles [i.e. non-instrumental chants]” and state further that “The apostolic church sang a cappella, and the church of subsequent centuries remained that way until the 7th century.”

    Not in the least: But when we differ on the meaning and application of Scripture it is wise – very wise – to ask those who were generation 2, 3 or 4 how the practice and application was handed down to them. Both Irenaeus and Tertullian were not too prod to do so. Tertullian inquired in Corinth about the veiling of virgins. And Irenaeus said, that this was very common that when something is not clear they would ask the oldest churches, Rome or any other of the Apostolic churches still around at his time.

    Do you see the advantage they had? We are by far in a worse position to judge such matters. By far! All we have is a bunch of scholars who disagree on almost everything. We have divided churches, each of them puffed up with Sola-Scriptura-Pride. Look at this fruit, brother! Taste it! Awful, isn’t it?

    So, we must not dismiss the Scriptures, but we must not dismiss their first and diligent students either. If we seek the truth, we cannot rely on the Bible alone – which we don’t do anyway: We rely on the Bible and modern commentaries and contemporary scholarship. Why not listen to those of old?

    But then you must listen to them in context: The way Clement of Alexandria is quoted in favour of instrument totally misrepresents what he meant. And furthermore: When we start discussing IM from the view-point of our contemporary worship-styles we mean something entirely different as well. Clemet’s instructions must be read ni context of the Love-Feasts, and his statement on the lyre in imitation of King David as a reference to the practice of solo-singing (like a Skolion, he is referring to these just a paragraph later and compares them to the Hebrew Psalms) – while in general he (even in this paragraph on the lyre and David) he stresses the spiritual meaning of the instrument. So it is not only about revelry, but also a typological understanding of the instruments.

    The same is true – BTW – for the Odes of Salomon, Danny Corbitt mentioned. I pointed out that of the three times an instrument is mentioned in these 42 Odes they all are clearly to be understood figuratively! He never really gave an answer to this, nor accepted his quote or reference as a misrepresentation.

    If we go further, we actually don’t discuss a lyre or a “golden harp” (as in Revelation), but we discuss the introduction of a typical worship band and CCM, the Christian imitation of worldly Pop-Music. And this is clear from all early teachers in the church, is absolutely forbidden! This is in line with the flutes and the bag-pipes and the Egyptian Clapping that were all ruled out because of their connection to revelry, war and lust! And thus we have two different things mixed together, and this makes a very tricky discussion which (I think) hardly anyone here understands: You point to the lyre – but you mean the drum set and revelry.

    And that’s what really alarms me here. I think there is a great lack of spiritual discernment in the whole debate.

    Alexander

  106. Clyde Symonette says:

    HistoryGuy

    You said: You have to demonstrate why every Christian in the first 500 years, “supposedly” misunderstood a consistent a cappella practice that spanned region, culture, preference, and time.”

    Again, I disagree with the presupposition that the “first” Christians sang a cappella. The Scriptures speak about the first church and Paul gave instruction to other churches Eph 5:19, Col 3:16. The Scriptures tells us that the church praised God in the instrumental Temple and it tells us what they did in that Temple.
    Luke 24:53 (NIV) 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
    Acts 2:46 (NIV) 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,

    How did the practice of chant (later referred to as Gregorian chant) span regions, cultures, preferences and time if not from Scripture? Answer: In the same way that the Catholic carried its traditions for centuries: The bishops, The papacy, The catechism, The Catholic Church. All of these were the vehicles for thousands of years of church traditions whether they were good or bad, true of false. You assume that longevity confirms Scriptural mandate. I’m not happy to announced, but history will show that tradition CONSISTENTLY trumped truth. God has an enemy. He has always been busy.

    You again, presuppose, that all churches everywhere sang a cappella.
    I don’t.

    Dr. Frederic Louis Ritter, History of Music in the Form of Lectures, 20 wrote:

    begin quote

    As late as the fourth century,St. Hieronimus says, speaking of the degraded state of Roman spectacles, " A Christian maid should not know what a lyre or a flute is, and what their use is."

    This strict confinement to purely vocal music was, however, more adhered to in the churches of the Occident [western region]; for in the Orient, with the multiplication of Christian congregations, the custom of introducing instrumental music in the church service, after the manner of the heathen, became more and more general.

    end quote

  107. Anonymous says:

    Notice that Alexander and HistoryGuy has made ZERO reply to the many, many Scriptures in Clyde's posts. Their posts keep going to men in history, men who I'm sure many, many people have looked up to throughout history. Nevertheless they were not infallible men.

    Clyde said – As I stated in my last response, the use of PSALMOS/PSALLO, in the context of praise of God, IS AS OLD AS THE SEPTUAGINT and its NT use is verifiable. Moreover, GOD’S PROMISE TO RESTORE ISRAEL’S PRAISE IN THE NEW COVENANT IS AS OLD AS, well, GOD’S PLANS. Are the prophets correct? That, my brother, is a more important question than, “What did Clement say?” Have I misinterpreted the words of Jeremiah and Isaiah? If so, we should discuss that. Have I used the wrong definition of psalmos? If so, then, let’s discuss that.

    Well?

  108. abasnar says:

    As I stated in my last response, the use of PSALMOS/PSALLO, in the context of praise of God, IS AS OLD AS THE SEPTUAGINT and its NT use is verifiable. Moreover, GOD’S PROMISE TO RESTORE ISRAEL’S PRAISE IN THE NEW COVENANT IS AS OLD AS, well, GOD’S PLANS. Are the prophets correct?

    No one denies what the prophets said. The question is HOW will Israel's worship be restored?

    In Israel according to the flesh or in Israel according to the Spirit?

    By an altar and animal sacrifices or by spiritual sacrifices?

    In a temple built of dead stones or in a temple built of living stones?

    By a Levitical Priesthood or by a royal Priesthood?

    By burning incense or by sending up prayer like incense?

    By using meachnical instruiments or our hearts as living instruments?

    Do you get the idea? Thus it is not that essential, whether psallo in OT context had to do with plucking an instrument. It is about understanding the difference between OT and NT worship.

    Alexander

  109. Anonymous says:

    Was David not guided by the Spirit as he wrote and sang the psalms with IM? Was David's heart not a lving instrument towards God as he sang with IM psalms of praise to God?

  110. guy says:

    Anon,

    i didn't understand Alexander to be making a claim about the individual hearts of Jews living under the OT, but about the trappings and nature of the OT itself. i doubt anyone here is charging individual OT Jews with being *necessarily* unspiritually minded or wrong-hearted *even when they were doing things according to the OT.* i believe the charge has to do with the character of the OT itself, not its adherents.

    –guy

  111. konastephen says:

    Our modern rendering of spiritual versus fleshly is a little disconcerting to me. It sounds more Gnostic than Christian. If the instrument is our heart, then why sing at all? We know we are no longer to worship "on this mountain or in Jerusalem", but does this mean then that we worship nowhere? Due to the narrative flow of scripture, and certainly with Heb 10, we know why there are no more animal sacrifices. Using typology correctly we see how Jesus fulfilled various OT elements, and yet this is not so, in the same manner, with instruments!

    The grounding of our arguments in typology and tradition, while partially valid, can appear to take a Gnostic feel. And in the end it sounds more like we're trying to rebuild an ethereal temple worship modeled after the OT, as opposed to really exploring the essence of Christian worship. Under the rubric of being Christ-centered, edifying, intelligible, etc…Christian worship does not need to be bound up as merely a 'spiritualized' version of Jewish worship. How do our practices affirm a good creation, New Creation, that Jesus is Lord, of all of life, etc???

    Again, I'd ask, "Alexander, do you disdain all instruments, or just instruments when we assemble?" If you think all instruments allude inextricably to 'revelry, war and lust', then I'm sad that you have not seen Christians express joy, mission, and beauty with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength with integrity, intelligence, and with reverence with singing and with instruments. (In such a case, the issue of instruments becomes moot.) But if, however, you think instruments are okay outside of when Christians assemble, then I'd like to know what on earth you think they're for? Who are we praying to, petitioning, praising them with? Why?

    What sickens me is how willing people are to purify their Sundays while engaging in 'revelry, war, and lust' (sports, military, business) outside of church–land et the instruments play on at these venues.

    To me, this debate hinges around our modern split of sacred/secular & material/spiritual. And until we restore a right relationship of these things, worship will continue to make no sense whatsoever!

    Personally, I can’t live with such a romantic view of history (primitivism), or a split view of life (physical/spiritual sacred/secular)…

  112. Royce Ogle says:

    The whole thing boils down to this. There are some who so misunderstand how and on what basis God justifies a sinner that they believe the music question is very critical.

    Meanwhile, "some" of these same people have no qualms about gossip, slander, and a host of other sins that clearly violate God's intentions for the community of believers and how they are to live with each other and before Him.

    Royce

  113. "But when we differ on the meaning and application of Scripture it is wise – very wise – to ask those who were generation 2, 3 or 4 how the practice and application was handed down to them." – Alexander

    We would be more wise to ask the Author, seeing as He's still alive and all, and since He promised wisdom to anyone who asked. Asking flawed (and dead) men what they thought is irrelevant – unless you want to make the case that no one can follow God without knowing what the early church did and said. The only reason to argue over history is to try and please God through the Regulative Principle.

    We argue over Scripture, which they did not have, instead of engaging Scripture through the Spirit, which they did have. And the arguing brings darkness where there should be light. It's a shame.

    What it actually boils down to is one side seeking to understand God through His laws, and another side seeking to understand God's laws through His character. These are two radically different vantage points with two different vocabularies. Effective communication about these things can not be worked out in blog comments. It requires face-to-face.

  114. guy says:

    What exactly does it mean to "engage Scripture through the Spirit"?

    –guy

  115. "What exactly does it mean to 'engage Scripture through the Spirit'?" –guy

    The best earthly analogy is sitting in your Father's lap, and letting him read to you. When you read the Scripture while in the presence of God, He explains passages to you heart to heart, so that your flesh can't filter it into a flawed state. And he doesn't just speak to the history and circumstances of the people you're reading about, but how the passage applies directly to you now, and how it applies to your future.

    This is what Hebrews talks about when describing how no longer will a man say to his neighbor, "Know the Lord!", but God will teach each man Himself.

    If you have never experienced this, I would recommend dropping everything and fasting and praying until it happens.

    Also, when people find it difficult to read the Scripture, they probably haven't experienced this. It's difficult to want to study the Bible as a textbook. It's not difficult to want to engage the God of eternity.

  116. Alabama John says:

    Royce,

    Add glutony to the ones never being held to.

    Many sins are or can be hidden. but that one is easy to see.

    Mark says Jesus prayed for one hour.
    Pretty specific.
    Why do we not quote that as a law in the CENI?

    No, we are as those around us that we condemn. All of us need grace and forgiveness even those that think they are just right, maybe even more so!

  117. abasnar says:

    No, Royce, it is not about Gospel-Basics, but about a side-issue that is none the less noteworthy if we strive toe be a New Testament Church.

    @ Konastephen

    Again, I’d ask, “Alexander, do you disdain all instruments, or just instruments when we assemble?” If you think all instruments allude inextricably to ‘revelry, war and lust’, then I’m sad that you have not seen Christians express joy, mission, and beauty with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength with integrity, intelligence, and with reverence with singing and with instruments. (In such a case, the issue of instruments becomes moot.) But if, however, you think instruments are okay outside of when Christians assemble, then I’d like to know what on earth you think they’re for? Who are we praying to, petitioning, praising them with? Why?

    These are good questions.

    I play the guitar, the mandolin, the mandola, tin-whistle, Bodhrán, Tenor-Banjo and Mountain-Dulcimer; and I have recorded two CDs; composed a number of Hymns that I used to sing with instruments until four years ago. (Now a-cappela)

    I think the best way to answer this question, is to tell you my story.

    When I came to Christ in 1987, I was 18 years old and was part of a youth group in an Evangelical Free church. Since we in Europe are always a bit behind, this was just at the very beginning of CCM. I enjoyed it. Since I always like Folk Music, I especially liked those songs with e-minor and D-major chords and sort of a Celtic flow of the melody.

    Then I started to write my first Christian songs. And – yes – the music Style was Celtic, and I even tried to do it in English (not my native tongue! Oh, and once I did one in Gaelic).

    Looking back at these early years I can't help but notice how childish that was. I worshipped a music-style more than God; first I composed the tune, and then I looked for some Christian words (sometimes the other way round).

    It took some time – and a major spiritual crisis – to discover, that my Austrian German Dialect is just perfect for praising God; and musically I broadened my taste significantly and developed my own "song-writer-style". And that was fine for a long time. I peformed in Evangelistic concerts, and I think God blessed it.

    After ouer marriage we joined a Brethren Assembly in Vienna, and I played along with two other musicians in worship. So, that's basically when I started to play regularly on Sunday in worship. I began to write High-German Hymns for worship, and we sang them in church.

    What I noticed however: When I was playing, focussed on the mandolin, I wasn't always able to sing along – and also, I tried to play a little more extravagatly over the years, adding some fancy ornamentation and the like.

    Then a new Song-Book came: Celebrate Jesus. It was about that tiome that I began more and more to question the quality of CCM. Over 40% of this song-book were translations from English to German. Our own good and deep German songs were disappearing except for some "Evergreens" … And: These songs were much more difficult to play: Syncopes and anticipations were hard to play accurately, and even harder for the congregation to sing. The lyrics were quite often out of meter and did not rhyme properly; and they were soooo shallow.

    A new musician joined th church who wanted to promote more and more of this kind of song; He added some instruments, small percussion, E-Bass (to the piano, guitar and mandolin) … and, please note: The church numbered about 40 adults in total!

    I became more and more downhearted by this development , quite often I left in the middle of worship.

    We left this church NOT because of the musical development in the first place, but because we also made a theological development. We no longer believed the faith-only Gospel, and I felt that baptism is more important than our church believed. Since my brother was in th ICoC at that time, we joined them and there we experiencd a-cappella music as a relief!

    At that time I was not dogmatic about it at all, but the more I begin to study the issue, the more sense it made to me. I don't see it as a salvation issue at all; I would not separate from churches who have instruments either. But I strongly oppose brothers who want to introduce them into a-cappella churches.

    My experience shows several thing we need to be aware of:

    1st) Personal taste and preferences can disguise themselves asila as spiritual (as I wrote Christian English Folk songs at the begining, becaus I liked tha style so much)

    2nd) Playing an instrument in a modest way, serving to song, is actually fine with me – but it does not always stay at this level. Today the bands dominate.

    3rd) There is a growing thendency toward CCM, which is an imitation of a rebellious worldly music style, that I se as totally unfitting.

    4th) I see a Biblical focus on Spirit and Truth, not on embellished emotions.

    If I compare this with the Early Church, I see the same attitude there. Not always verbnatim, but the spirit of modesty, an attitude of separation, a focus on the spirit of worship is quite omnipresent in their texts. And that's why I understand them when they speak out against instruments, I can follow their typological exegesis (which is not as much Gnostic as NT-exegesis).

    So how do I view it?

    I believe, congregational worship is suppsed to be a-cappella. And I believe also that CHrsitians should not take pleasure in worldly Pop-Music and entertainment, but strive for a modest, simple and separated life-style.

    I'm not sure whether that covers your questions, but maybe it helps you to see where I come from.

    Alexander

  118. Clyde Symonette says:

    Jay

    Is there a way for me to put a picture of the temple complex here?

  119. guy says:

    Brad,

    i guess i really don't know if i've experienced it or not because i'm still not sure what it is. Are you saying that information is conveyed to a person that is separate from or in addition to the words of the text itself? How would you know that the source is God and not something else? Exactly how does one do it? How do you know you're doing it?

    –guy

  120. HistoryGuy says:

    Everyone,
    I never made it to a Scripture discussion because Clyde and I did not finish history. Illustration: “A fire never burns out if you keep pouring fuel on it”

    Clyde,
    Allow me to save you some typing. We can stop right here. The topic was a cappella, not other errors of the fathers. We will never be able to productively discuss any song issues in history after the 1st century, if we cannot agree the 1st century church sang a cappella. — You deny they did — which is an assertion that cannot be proven according to the Best church/music scholars, and will change the view of church history. If the 1st church sang a cappella, I am arguing based on historical record that the early fathers kept it that way and instruments were later added. Your view says the church used instruments, then sang without, then used instruments again. I would encourage you to continue to study whether or not the 1st century church sang with instruments as there are many IM advocates that grant the 1st church sang a cappella. I will continue to study as well. Thank you for your time.

    Grace and peace

  121. konastephen says:

    @Alexander,

    I appreciate hearing your story. I really do. I can relate on many levels.

    I agree with you about all of these practical concerns (and perhaps more). I agree and would also advise A-cappella churches to NOT implement instruments. A-cappella is beautiful and beneficial and good. But I know of many groups who have never known populist worship–i.e., where no one brings anything different to the table (lowest common-denominator). Not to mention never knowing choirs, or organs, or pews and old hymns… These groups have always known instruments, and even the idea that this should not be has never entered their hearts and minds…and the flow of scripture has never suggested otherwise to them.

    I also don’t like CCM music. I deplore sappy, clappy feel-good junk. I tire easily of the too sweet and tender songs (gives me a toothache). But what do I say to groups that don’t have performance hang-ups, that don’t use music to attract, where people sing and sing through their instruments without being technical or flowery? What about these groups that have no band/audience distinction–everyone worships…? What do I say to groups that their right and rich theology, reflected in their worship, that spills out into the everyday and influences the world around them…?

    I believe that congregational worship should reflect the people in the congregation–people who have been changed, and are being changed, by our Saviour–who join in their voices with those of the past without having to look just like them.

    We are to be 'in the world, but not of it', NOT 'of the world, but not in it'! I agree with you regarding a modest, simple, and separated life-style. But only if this means separated from our post-enlightenment view of 'spiritual/physical', and from the world's view of a sacred/secular split, and from the modern view of primitivism…

    We separate from the world in HOW we live and act, not necessarily by not taking part. If we simply refused to do things on account of some people abusing them, then we'd all be monks and nuns!!!

  122. Guy: It took 1477 words to answer your questions. :^)

    Those words can be found here:
    http://dublinstory.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/engag

    -Brad

  123. Alabama John says:

    Alexander,

    I pick a little myself and love to sing along with instruments at any old barn dance or Gospel singing around here.
    Even when we do that, like the Gaithers groups singing there is more applause when a group gets up and sings one without instruments other than the voices God gave them.
    Click on one of my favorites Cynthia Clawson and hear her singing accapella gospel.

    Singing and making melody in your heart does not include using the voice box either if we strain at that gnat hard enough!
    Wonder if there has ever been a church group that didn't have any music at all for that very reason? Did the apostles ever sing? Or Jesus?

  124. Clyde Symonette says:

    HistoryGuy

    ok,

    I guess this means I can get to bed early tonight then.

    For those interested, take a look at the Temple mount:
    http://www.google.bs/imgres?imgurl=http://www.bou

    there were no private rooms available for separate Christian worship. What appears to be private rooms are chambers for wood, lepers, oil, nazarites and in the court of Israel priest quarters.

  125. Royce Ogle says:

    konastephen,

    Finally the voice of reason. I agree 100%!

    Thank you.

    Royce

  126. Bruce Morton says:

    konastephen:
    Given a look at the religious culture of Roman Asia over the last few years, let me highlight that Paul's words on the subject of song and all that he says (the specific words, the structure, the contrasts) point to nothing less than a shocking teaching. I am certain the Ephesians were stunned. I think we are probably not far removed.

    Paul is attempting to lift the Ephesian congregation out of the dark threat of sensuality (see Ephesians 4:17-24). That is what is behind Paul's contrast of "debauchery" with song in Ephesians 5:18-21. The sound of the cults was but a tool. Paul's challenge to sensuality was "counter-cultural" both then and now. So, do we give up the very hard teachings/focus of Ephesians 4:17-5:21 because it is so spiritually challenging to all of us?

    In Christ,
    Bruce Morton
    Katy, Texas
    MortonBLSL7@earthlink.net

  127. Royce Ogle says:

    Bruce,

    The "debauchery" in the passage has nothing to do with singing or not singing or doing it with or without instruments. The specific "debauchery" is the act of drunkenness. It has nothing to do with singing.

    In the 4th chapter where "sensuality" is mentioned there is a lot of material between that and the end of the 5th chapter where Paul mentioned singing.

    Yours is the most odd example of Bible interpretation I have ever seen. This is a fine example of pouring meaning into a text that the author never intended. Let me be clear. I don't doubt what your research uncovered about the climate in Ephesus when the letter was written. I admire your study. What I don't appreciate is that you are trying to make Paul say something he never intended. It is not as if the whole focus of most of the 4th and 5th chapters of Ephesians was on singing. It was not. That conclusion is as goofy as the statement quoted in your book where someone said the book of Ephesians is a manual on baptism (or something close to that)

    It is flawed thinking to believe that the average Joe, who has the Teacher (Holy Spirit) living in him, can't sit down with an English Bible and hear from God as he reads the book of Ephesians without a detailed study of Asian culture and religious practices in the first century.

    Royce Ogle
    Monroe, La

  128. abasnar says:

    The “debauchery” in the passage has nothing to do with singing or not singing or doing it with or without instruments. The specific “debauchery” is the act of drunkenness. It has nothing to do with singing.

    But debauchery, Royce, had to do with the assembly. Twice in the context of worship we are exhorted not to get drunk (the other one 1 in 1Co 11:21 – so there was plenty of wine on the tabeles when the church came together to worship in the setting of the love-feast. … We don't have that … no wonder our worship is somewhat … dry

    It is flawed thinking to believe that the average Joe, who has the Teacher (Holy Spirit) living in him, can’t sit down with an English Bible and hear from God as he reads the book of Ephesians without a detailed study of Asian culture and religious practices in the first century.

    There is a reaons, I suppose, why the church does not consist of "average Joes" only, but God has appointed teachers – not in the sense of clergy laity-distinction. And I I don't mean, that Joe could not read and understand the Bible knowing what God expects from Him or has given Him. That's what the Spiruit reveals to everyone. But then the same Spirit appoints others to be teachers.

    Because the average Joe does not know Greek, so he is dependent on Scholars who translate the Bible into English for him. And these translators MUST know ancient history as well in order to ghet the meaning of the passages they translate right.

    The stuff we debate here, is not "average Joe" Stuff, but actually needs quite a lot of historical knowledge, of Greek and of spiritual discernment. "Average Joe" could learn all of that, if he'd like to … but in gebneral, I think, he should not be botheres with these details, but get the results presented by the elders and teachers of his church.

    Alexander

  129. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde,
    I will refrain from comments. Thank you for the picture of the 2nd Temple. I found a larger and more detailed image on the site that you noted and thought you may want a copy for future use.
    http://www.boundless.org/2005/images/articles/186

    Grace and peace

  130. HistoryGuy says:

    Alexander & Royce,
    I have to agree with Alexander and would like to add some topics for consideration. Salvation is easy and revealed in Scripture, or is it, since countless men fight over “who and how one receives salvation?” The notion of individual interpretation while discounting completely church history is naïve and seems foreign to the Bible. Christianity is a “taught” religion. This concept of “finding a Bible, reading it, and getting saved” is a modern phenomenon that while possible since the printing press, rarely happens. After all, even my Calvinist friends affirm that God directs the means as well as the ends for saving the elect, which is hearing the gospel (2 Thess. 2:13-14). Nobody can hear the gospel unless folks are sent to proclaim/teach (Rm. 10:15). The Eunuch needed help understanding Scripture (Acts 8:30-31). Christians were told to contend for the faith (Jude 3), teach faithful men who are able to teach others (2 Tm. 2:2), and Teachers are held to a stricter judgment (James 3:1). Paul instructed Christians to hold to his oral and written teachings (2 Thess. 2:15). Peter had to tell some Christians that Paul wrote Scripture that is hard understand, which is why the untaught distort it (2 Peter 3:15-16). I am not denying the early church had corruption, but we cannot say that they were so corrupt that they are completely untrustworthy. I am only suggesting that universal practices, which seem to be from the days of the apostles, and span centuries, region, personal preference, and culture, should be heavily considered before discounted as corruption.

    Religious graduate programs include so much history and extra Biblical material because people today need to know their connection to the past and what earlier Christians struggled with. It is also dangerous for those who lack formal historical training or in-depth analysis with a trained mentor to interpret, for example the Patristics. The historical context, genre, mentality, hermeneutical approach, and biography are vital to a proper understanding. If one has not read Chrysostom’s commentary on the Psalms, Ephesians and Colossians, then Chrysostom will be misunderstood and misrepresented because the full picture of his theology on a given topic will be missed. Augustine is no different. In Systematic Theology, it has been pointed out more than once that the theology of Augustine changed as he aged. However, recreational theologians have been known to string quotes together from both Augustine’s youth and elderly years unknowingly creating a theology that Augustine never believed. Most folks just don’t know any better. Humanity is designed for community, not individualism. We need the past because today was not formed in a vacuum.

  131. Royce Ogle says:

    Alexander and History Guy,

    Obviously you guys love church history, biblical back grounds, etc. Tell me, in "Average Joe" language that even I can understand, do you agree with Bruce Morton that Paul's focus in the 4th and 5th chapters of Ephesians is singing. And further that the way those Ephesian Christians were going to escape the sensuality, idol worship, and debauchery of the day was by singing?

    (By the way, there are plenty of scholars who are almost as smart as you two who have concluded that Paul did not have rules for the assembly in mind when he wrote the book.)

    What I am failing to see is how all of this back and forth (133 comments just on this thread…) is making anyone's life better, challenging us to be more like Jesus, or to reach the lost.

    I am just uncomfortable with people who claim to be more enlightened than Paul, know what should have been included and excluded in the canon of Scripture, and tell people who don't know any better that the Bible demands something it doesn't even address.

    Royce

  132. Bruce Morton says:

    Royce:
    Let me add a little to your post. Paul's counsel is not just focused on singing, but singing the Scriptures. Perhaps that seems a "given" to they and we, but it is the most crucial "given" in the text and much of Paul's point in his parallel between "expose darkness" and Ephesians 5:18-21. That is part of the remarkable character of the text — a revision of the LXX Psalms with specific guidance.

    In Christ,
    Bruce Morton
    Katy, Texas
    MortonBLSL7@earthlink.net

  133. Bruce Morton says:

    Royce:
    A quick addendum. Paul's parallelisms throughout Ephesians 4:17-5:21 (look for the "therefores") tie his teaching together in important ways. Will leave you with that for now.

    In Christ,
    Bruce Morton
    Katy, Texas
    MortonBLSL7@earthlink.net

  134. konastephen says:

    Paul is attempting to lift the Ephesians congregation out of the dark threat of sensuality (see Ephesians 4:17-24).

    Again, I'm fine with this rendering, if it means we are to eschew instruments in all of life—among other ‘sensual’ things. Otherwise, I'd like to see Christians reorder HOW we live, starting with the example we express to one another in the assembly. For from the assembly we live and act in a manner that must flow out to all of life…

    I fully agree that Paul is challenging the pagan world and their ways; I don’t, however, see how this necessarily implies that we must eschew instruments today. While contingently this may follow, it does not necessarily follow.

    I also greatly dislike the one to one correspondence between ancient pagan music and our contemporary music that seems implied in some of the comments. While there are certainly some things in common between then and now—for we do have the capacity to fall into all the same traps and vices—but we also have 20 centuries of Christian influence on music. You cannot erase the Bachs and Handels of history so easily!

  135. Alabama John says:

    I'm impressed that the more religious and history education one has the more they agree with one another. Ha, ha

    Maybe that's why the belief is so strong that there will be levels or degrees of reward and punishment. The more you know, or are exposed to, plus your degree of inteligence the more you'll be held accountable.

    I still admire how the folks lived and worshipped that only had the book of John. Wasn't much disagreement. Seems they got the simple message God wants us all to have.

  136. abasnar says:

    I still admire how the folks lived and worshipped that only had the book of John.

    At the time a congregation had only one book of the NT – the earliest one probabyl the letter of James BTW – they had also
    a) the complete Old Testament
    b) the original oral teachings from the Apostles
    So in the end, they had the full Bibles + extras (from the sermoms of Paul, Peter or other eyewitnesses) – only that not all has been penned down; yet it was as binding as scripture anyway (2Th 2:15)

    So there was never a time, when a church only had the Gospel of John (which BTW according to most scholars was the latest Gospel to be written)

    Alexander

  137. Alexander
    I've never heard anyone claim that the early Christians had collected the gospels, epistles, etc and considered it scripture.

    The certainly had the OT and the oral traditions, and then I'm sure, some had copies of some epistles & maybe the gospels. I suspect the oral tradition was the most reliable source.

  138. Royce Ogle says:

    There are churches in China that only have only one or two pages of one gospel on November 5, 2010 and those underground churches, who face enormous persecution, are growing just as the first century church did.

    Royce

  139. Clyde Symonette says:

    The question is this: Does Eph 5:19 lend itself naturally to what we have been taught. I don’t think so.

    If we examine Ephesians 5:19 in context, you’ll find that the “containing thought” begins with Ephesians 4:1 (“ As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received”) and ends with Ephesians 6:9 (“Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him”). The entire thought has a theme of living a life that is worthy of the calling received. Within that theme, Paul, in practical terms, is instructing this congregation of Gentiles how to live a life that is worthy of THE CALL. His instructions are:

    Chapter 4

    • Be completely humble, gentle, and patient and bear with each one in love (v. 2).
    • Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit by keeping peace (v. 3).
    • Refrain from living without God as the Gentiles do [they were Gentiles] (vv. 18-19).
    • Put off falsehood and speak truthfully to each other (v. 25).
    • Do not sin in anger, and do not cling to anger (vv. 26-27).
    • Stop stealing and start working so that you may have something to share with those in need (v. 28).
    • Use your mouth to build up, not tear down (v. 29).
    • Do not grieve the Holy Spirit by clinging to bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, or other forms of malice (vv. 30-31).
    • Be kind and compassionate, and forgive each other just as God forgave you (v. 32).
    Chapter 5
    • Be imitators of God, and live a life of love (v. 1).
    • Remove every hint of sexual immorality, impurity, or greed (v. 3).
    • There should be no obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse [out of place] joking (v. 8).
    • Live as children of light (vv. 9-13).
    o Light consists of goodness, righteousness, and truth)
    o Find out what pleases the Lord.
    o Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness—rather, expose them
    • Considering the evil days, be very careful to live wisely (vv. 16-17).
    o Make the most of every opportunity.
    o Do not be foolish [i.e. unwise].
    o Understand the Lord’s will [the foolish are ignorant of the Lord’s will].
    • Do not get drunk [filled up on wine], which leads to debauchery [wickedness]; instead, be filled with the Spirit (v. 18).
    • “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 19).
    • Submit to each other [not out of reverence to each other but] in reverence to Christ (v. 21).
    o Wives, submit to your husbands (v. 22).
    o Husbands, love your wives (v. 25).
    o Children, obey your parents (6:1)

    Chapter 6

    • Fathers, do not exasperate your children (v. 4).
    • Slaves, obey your earthy masters with sincerity of heart—serve wholeheartedly (vv. 5-8).

    Paul instructions were clear and they were forceful. Did you get from the context that singing with musical instruments was the sin of this church? If you read Ephesians 5:19 in context, would you conclude that the apostle Paul is forbidding clapping, choirs, solos, and musical instruments?

    No brethren

  140. Anonymous, says:

    Due to the narrative flow of scripture, and certainly with Heb 10, we know why there are no more animal sacrifices. Using typology correctly we see how Jesus fulfilled various OT elements, and yet this is not so, in the same manner, with instruments!

    That is exactly the context. The only way it could say otherwise is for someone to really twist Scripture. Especially when we look to and consider the Hebrew Scriptures and the prophets, instead of throwing them out as so many have done throughout history due to error and prejudices.

  141. konastephen says:

    We understand that animal sacrifice was a type fulfilled in the sacrifice of Jesus. But what, prêt ell, do instruments typify? How do instruments become a type fulfilled in Christ? Even if you do draw a link it would be allegory not typology!

    The churches of Christ, we are a funny bunch; we've carelessly thrown off our Calvinist legacy of a high view of Christ and low view of man, and retained the old Calvinist stance of an Origen-like zeal for excessive typology (when it suits our desires)… Otherwise we seem to eschew all allegorical readings of the text.

    ———

    Of all those against instruments, I like Alexander's posts; for he seems to take the most careful view, which is to find solace and safety in the simplicity of the early church. While I find this to be misguided—for I want to live how I believe Paul would live if he were here today, not to copy how he lived then—but I respect his stance against instruments as the most rational and the least contrived.

  142. abasnar says:

    @ David

    I’ve never heard anyone claim that the early Christians had collected the gospels, epistles, etc and considered it scripture.

    But yozuu have that already in the NT:

    2Pe 3:16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

    There are two things remarkable to that:
    a) Peter is referring to "all" of Paul's letters => he already has a collection of Paul's letters
    b) the pharese "as … the other scriptures" makes clear that these letters were counted as scripture.

    The Chester Beatty Papyrus p46 BTW has been redeated by the Palaeograph Young Kyu Kim to about 80 AD BTW see here which is not undisputed but gaining morea nd more acceptance. This is highly significant, since this is a collection of Paul's letters in one volume from the tim, when Timothy was still active in Ephesus and John still alive.

    So let me – based on this evidence – claim that the Early Collected the Gospels and epistels and called them scripture.

    Alexander

  143. Alexander
    The dilemma in your evidence and conclusion is the narrowness of what you present.

    One or two examples is insufficient to suggest a broad based conclusion.

    I could just as easily claim that your evidence are examples that the epistles & gospels were not widely distributed throughout all of the early ekklesia

  144. abasnar says:

    But what, prêt ell, do instruments typify? How do instruments become a type fulfilled in Christ? Even if you do draw a link it would be allegory not typology!

    Not all items in the temple necessarily are a type of Christ. The angels on the curtain aren't for instance; the shewbread (as far as I see it) typifies the people of God …

    So the instruments, that accompany the sacrifices, may point to something else than Christ, but none the less be a type. I would agree that not all the typologiocal explainations of Clement are easy to follow. But let's put him aside at first and go to the oldest source, the Odes of Salomo (around 100-130 AD) as an example: and then go to Clement and from him back to scripture to see whether this at least makes sense:

    Ode 6:1-2 As the wind makes the strings of the kithara sing, so the Spirit of God in my body makes me sing through the love of the Lord.

    Ode 14:8 Make me sound through the kithara of your Holy Spirit, that I can praise you in all modes.

    (Translated from German to English)

    So, what do we read here?
    a) in Ode 6 the worshipper becomes the instrument of the Holy Spirit.
    b) In Ode 14 the Holy Spirit Himself is an instrument (or the Holy Spirit has an instrument, again pointing to Ode 6: The worshipper is the instrument)

    It is noteworthy that these 42 Odes are the oldest collection of spiritual songs of the church. They are patterned closely after the Psalms in their poetry – but one big difference is between both concerning the mentioning and meaning of instruments.

    While in the Psalms instruments are mentioned frequently and in a very literal sense, in the Odes they are only mentioned 3 times and always in a figurative sense.

    How does Clement see the intruments as a type? He quoted from Psalm 150 and explained:

    “Praise Him with the sound of trumpet;” for with sound of trumpet He shall raise the dead. “Praise Him on the psaltery;” for the tongue is the psaltery of the Lord. “And praise Him on the lyre.” By the lyre is meant the mouth struck by the Spirit, as it were by a plectrum. “Praise with the timbrel and the dance,” refers to the Church meditating on the resurrection of the dead in the resounding skin. “Praise Him on the chords and organ.” Our body He calls an organ, and its nerves are the strings, by which it has received harmonious tension, and when struck by the Spirit, it gives forth human voices. “Praise Him on the clashing cymbals.” He calls the tongue the cymbal of the mouth, which resounds with the pulsation of the lips. Therefore He cried to humanity, “Let every breath praise the Lord,” because He cares for every breathing thing which He hath made. For man is truly a pacific instrument;

    (The Instructor, Book II, ch 4)

    You may call that allegorical – and as to the details I'd agree. But the principle is typological. Why?

    It is the phrase: "Let all that has breath praise the Lord!" So we distiguish between dead and living instruments; mechanical instruments and humans – the same basic understanding as in the Odes!

    Really, we have to deal with this idea in more detail. I think the lifeless instruments point to the living instruments. And here is my understanding of Eph 5:19:

    Psa 147:7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre!

    Psa 147:7 (146:7) ???????? ?? ????? ?? ????????????, ?????? ?? ??? ???? ?? ??????,

    Eph 5:19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,

    Eph 5:19 ?????????? ????????? ???????? ???? ?????? ???? ???????? ?????????????, ???????? ???? ?????????? ??? ???? ???????? ?????? ???? ???????,

    Do you see that we have essentially the same phrase here? Except for the verb-tense, the structure is identical. And more important: To express "Play with an instrument" the LXX uses the preposition ??? which is exactly the same as in Eph 5:19 making melody with the heart (???)!

    So while it is theoretically possible to understand it that we should pluck an instrument "from the heart" (or with all our heart), the parallel to the Psalms does not really allow that. Rather the lifeless intrument is replaced by a living instrument: Our heart! Type and antitype!

    So I am very sure that all these explainations of psallo, that define it only from its root (to pluck) and agrgue that this always means plucking a mechanical instrument, fails in this text. The instrument is a living instrument – our heart.

    It was this parallel that convinced me that the typological understanding of the instruments the ECF had is basically correct (although they exaggerate sometimes in the details). Seeing that this understanding goes back to the Odes of Salomo is further evidence, that this is not a ascetic overreaction of later times but most likely the original understanding handed down from the Apostles.

    BTW: I owe this reference to the Odes to Danny Corbitt who mentioned it in the footnote (4) of his article on New Wineskins, completely misunderstanding it. In fact: These Odes destroy his whole argument that the instruments were only forbidden by ascetics in later times (3rd or 4th century). …

    So, Konastephen, I hope this was put forth in a way easy to follow

    Alexander

  145. abasnar says:

    I could just as easily claim that your evidence are examples that the epistles & gospels were not widely distributed throughout all of the early ekklesia

    Dear David, I just took 15min to compile an answer. Of course there are more examples:

    A) the letter to the Corinthians was addressed to all Christians and thus – from the beginning – was spread widely (1Co 1:2)
    B) the letter to the Colossians should be read in Laodicea and vice versa – so they made copies (Col 4:16)

    And Peter was in Rome, when he wrote is 2nd epistle to obviously a large number of churches (no specific congregation mentioned, but most likely the same region as mentioned in 1Pe 1:1; see 2Pe 3:1). So the mention of a collection of Paul's letters must be quite normal to the congregations in Rome and the regions where he sent copies of his letters.

    We might add, that in the 7th cave of Qumran a jar of scrolls was kept that evidently came from Rome (had this inscription on it) and contained a piece from the Gospel of Mark (7Q5) and from 1st Timothy (7Q4) – both from before 68 AD – so the NT manuscripts circulated very quickly among the NT churches.

    We can also go to the letters of Ignatius and his many quotations from a number of NT-scriptures (written around 110 AD), or the testimony of Papias about how and by whm the Gospels were written, indicating that they were already widely used (also from around 100 AD).

    So, how much evidence do you need, David?

    Alexander

    All in all: This is quite strong evidence that

  146. Clyde Symonette says:

    Alexander

    Very well said, but let’s build on what you have said.

    Psalm 138:1 reads,
    I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise.

    Psalm 108:1 reads,
    My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul.
    In either of the above passages, was David inferring that he would not clap his hands or or play an instrument when he praised God with his “heart” or “soul”?

    If not; why would “make music in your heart” (Eph 5:19) strip the psalm, the hymn, and the song of any instruments?

    Let’s assume that Ephesians 5:19 was written without a reference to psalmos, hymnos, ado, or psall?. Let’s assume it read: “Sing in your hearts to the Lord.” Would it forbid instruments?
    No.

    When David said, “I will sing your praise” (Psalm 138:1) and “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you” (Psalm 63:5), was he suggesting that he would sing those praises without instruments or clapping?
    No.

    Your logic is reasonable, but it must be consistent

  147. Alabama John says:

    Alexander,

    You have jumped way back in history, much further than I was referring to.

    I was writing about the 1700-1800's and early 1900 in the backwoods mountains of NC, Tennessee and even Alabama plus other states I'm not aware of. They only had the small books of John with the red covers in by far most households and communities. Never heard of those that had that one book fussing over the scriptures and God and Jesus laws and verses like we do today. What they believed was much simpler and filled with love, not rules.
    Be interesting to se their fate on Judgment day. WE might be surprised.

    Those red books were still around and even given out to all of us in school in the 1940's.

  148. konastephen says:

    Alexander,

    I understand the allegory in both Eph. 5:19 & in the Odes of Salomo. I also personally like Clement's use of allegory—but only because I try to accept his cosmology, metaphysics, and his understanding of culture. In short, though, while I accept the allegory of us being the instrument, it does not follow—at least not for me—that therefore we as THE instruments cannot express ourselves with our voices and with instruments…

    Regarding the New Testament writings, I fail to see how it would benefit anyone (or any side of this discussion) to suggest that the early church did not have the writings that we have…

  149. abasnar says:

    @ Royce

    I would agree that all of this is far too much for "average Joe". So what would I tell him?

    I'd tell him: "We have no other tradition, nor do the churches of Christ." (see 1Co 11:16)

    Why that? Because it is not imortant for "average Joe" to be bothered with such stuff. He should learn to rejoyce in the salvation and to follow Christ. The way the church has to worship is not something "Average Joe" needs to find out himself, but he will gladly accept the teaching of a church that nourishs him spiritually.

    And if he should become troubled because some brothers from a different tradition opush their views on poor "average Joe" and confuse him, I'd tell him: SEnd these guys to me, and I'll teach them not to disturb the flock with needless controversies.

    As you see, it is not easy and not even funny to engage in such controversies, but soimehow they come uop and come up and come up. So, pleas leave Avaerage Joe" alone! By this I mean, such discussions should be led on church-leadership level only.

    But, due to Internet and Blogs, and even the printing press we cannot avoid that "average Joe" will be troubled by the many different sound around him. But my advice remains the same: "Hold fast to the traditions as they have been delivered to you." (see 1Co 11:2)

    You probably will say: But that's where the conservative churches of Christ have ended: In Traditions! Maybe. Maybe these churches are full of "average Joes" who are overwhelmend which such lofty discussions. They can handle the Regulative Principle, that's what they understand, and that's fine for them. And they most likely don't want to be forced in such debates.

    So much for your "average Joe" remark, Royce, which was a good remark BTW. Did you get my point?

    Alexander

  150. Clyde Symonette says:

    Alabama:

    I remember those books. We had them in the Bahamas.

  151. "Send these guys to me, and I'll teach them not to disturb the flock with needless controversies." – Alexander

    Strong words from a man involved in a needless controversy. Do you mean you would teach others to do what you say, but not what you do?

    “But my advice remains the same: 'Hold fast to the traditions as they have been delivered to you.' ” – Alexander

    And what if the brother your are speaking with was raised with instruments, and that is the tradition he was taught? Would you try to sway your brother away from holding to them? Wouldn't you be the one bothering average Joe with needless controversies if you did?

    Which one is it?

  152. Royce Ogle says:

    Alexander,

    I did and do get the point. May I clarify my stance on this issue. Never, ever have I objected to anyone singing A Cappella (I do it every week and love it), not have I ever objected to anyone saying they believe it would be sinful for them personally to worship with instruments. What I have consistently objected to are those who insist that anyone is lost who chooses not to be A Cappella in worship.

    Perhaps I am incorrect, but in my view a legalist is one because he binds his rules (laws) on others and then condemns, or with holds fellowship, from anyone who doesn't comply.

    I am an A Cappella guy. I love our singing! I just can't find any ground for saying the Bible demands it by what it says or what it does not say. Why can't we who love and want A Cappella just continue to enjoy and appreciate it and allow the same latitude to those who enjoy worshiping with instruments?

    That's what average Joe is gonna do. lol

    Royce

  153. Royce Ogle says:

    To be fair…

    I have been pretty hard on Bruce Morton in these comments and others. We disagree about what Paul's intentions were in some passages in Ephesians.

    Bruce called me today and we had a delightful conversation. I found that we agreed on much much more than we disagreed. I even agree completely with Bruce's conclusions about the spiritual climate in ancient Asia and its obvious influence on converts to Christianity. While I still disagree with Bruce that Paul's main remedy for this spiritual battle is singing scripture to each other we agree 100% on the value of doing so.

    Bruce is a scholar who enjoys learning perhaps as much as anyone I have spoken with in a long time. I admire that trait and wish I was more like that. Brother Morton is a Christian gentleman whom I love and respect.

    The one place where we disagree does not in any way hinder our love and respect for each other. I am a flawed individual and sometimes I am way too harsh. Oh Lord I need help with that. Too much like my late father. So in this public forum I repent and ask Bruce's forgiveness and other readers as well.

    Thanks for indulging me.

    Royce

  154. Clyde Symonette says:

    Royce:

    Those comments regarding Bruce are heartwarming and encouraging to read.

    God be praise.

  155. Alabama John says:

    Jesus sure picked a bunch of "Average Joes" and I believe He was more comfortable with them being a carpenter with caloused hands and an "Average Joe" in this life himself.
    Then along came Paul, the johnny come lately with his education. God bless him, he and his writings to "average Joes" in various cities are what most of the arguments are about today.
    Don't you think Paul cringes, or would cringe whenever that happens. You know he didn't intend to have all this controversy.

    Wonder if in Heaven when and if they see what is happening here today the other apostles get a laugh on him ?

  156. HistoryGuy says:

    Alabama John,
    Paul was a man of great controversy But, he did have inspiration on his side, unlike me.

    Gentelmen,
    Have “average joes” been brought up in a condensing way to say that such people are unable to know what we are talking about, or to simply emphasize that we are in an in-depth discussion searching for the truth about a topic? I pray that it is the latter of the two as the ‘average joe’ really has no bearing here. Everything has its place, and if this discussion cannot take place among us, then who?

    The average joe would be hard pressed to understand messianic prophecy, hermeneutics regarding prophecy, the Book of Revelation, or how the early the church understood the Book of Hebrews given the variants between the LXX and the Hebrew text. The average joe that I know could not follow any of the conversation, whether Matt/Jay’s post about a “false dichotomy” or history from Me/Alexander or the view that Clyde was putting forth. However, I am glad we are trying to discuss it all.

    Jesus picked average Joes because we are all average joes. However, Jesus took those average joes, taught them, and made them great so that they could teach others. Jesus spent 3 ½ years of his life with them, telling them he would leave, but the Holy Spirit would comfort them and teach them ALL truth (Jn. 14:26). The last words of Christ before his ascension – teach disciples everything that God commanded (Mt. 28:20). Christians can be wrong about a practice, like a cappella vs. IM, and still be saved. However, God still expects us to have a heart that desires and searches for truth, even if we never arrive at it on a few matters. Peter told Christians, that their faith in Christ has saved them, now it’s time to grow/learn the word (1 Peter 1:2). Doctrine is important and should be discussed.

    One of the first books I ever read for theogloy was Helmut Thielicke “A exercise for young tehologicans.” His point is that knowledge does not make us any better than anyone else, but somebody needs to learn the deeper truths of God and share them with others. Can we leave the average joes alone now? What if they read and stopped because of our comments?

  157. abasnar says:

    “Send these guys to me, and I’ll teach them not to disturb the flock with needless controversies.” – Alexander

    Strong words from a man involved in a needless controversy. Do you mean you would teach others to do what you say, but not what you do?

    “But my advice remains the same: ‘Hold fast to the traditions as they have been delivered to you.’ ” – Alexander

    And what if the brother your are speaking with was raised with instruments, and that is the tradition he was taught? Would you try to sway your brother away from holding to them? Wouldn’t you be the one bothering average Joe with needless controversies if you did?

    I think, I should add the context I had in myind:

    Each church has its way of doing things, its "traditions" – there is no church without traditions. And I'd also say many tzraditions may actually be correct or close to correct applications of Biblical teachings.

    There is a group of men in the church responsible for "corporate" application of doctrine: The elders and teachers of a congregation. The church has to follow them – unless do enforce something obnviously contrary to the Bible or the Spirit of Christ. Average Joe is not a church leader, but a church member; not a shepherd but a sheep.

    Therefore: The sheep should not be burdened with discussing such controversies, but refer such men to the leadership of the church.

    If average Joe was raised in a different church with different traditions and joined an a-cappella church, he would have to comply (and he would, because I hope there were other reasons to join the church than to change it).

    I found it good to point to an ordinary church member. Althoug also in our church there are some who'd enjoy a worship band also, they submit to our "church tradition" (which as to my conviction is a close to correct undestanding of NT worship, backed up by church history). But since we all have to praise God with one voice unanimously, we have to do it ONE way together – and this one way has been decided on, so all shall comply without murmuring, focussing on the heart of worshuip: Christ.

    Alexander

  158. HistoryGuy says:

    Alexander,
    Can you send me an emai so that I can say hello if you are not on here? Contact me at trackn2000*yahoo.com — change the * to @ in the email address.

    Thank you,

  159. Clyde Symonette says:

    HistoryGuy

    Thanks for the link to the magnified Temple mount. Would it be too much to ask which one of those rooms held 3,000 + Christians?

  160. konastephen says:

    […]in our church there are some who'd enjoy a worship band also, they submit to our "church tradition" (which as to my conviction is a close to correct undestanding of NT worship, backed up by church history)[…]

    Again, this is the heart of the issue. What questions have we been asking, and by what criteria did use to arrive at a ‘closest to correct’ understanding of worship? I agree with the notion of traditions, and of submission—and I also agree that we ought to try to be ‘correct’ in worship; but I don’t understand the lack of imagination that others too haven’t also arrived at the heart of worship, albeit in a different form/appearance.

    I am an average Joe who has come from churches with instruments (I played guitar and sang in church many years). I’m now in an A Cappella church (for about ~3 years) and have no desire to change its worship (though sometimes I find it parochial, and lacking in theological richness).

    But what does bother me is that I am often buffeted here by haughty opinions that our tradition is THE tradition—that all my friends and family back in churches with instruments are in error over this issue, or at least use an ersatz form of worship. It is this sentiment that makes me sad and downhearted. It is this sentiment that shows me that we don’t know the heart of worship.

  161. Alabama John says:

    HistoryGuy

    I believe Pauls writtings were much simplier and to a specific point that was needed at the location the letter was sent to. He was after all being guided by the Holy Spirit that surely understood Average Joes needs to do what God wanted and to obtain salvation better than any human could. You are right, neither you nor I have that, nor does anyone else on here.
    In our minds, especially those of the LAW persuasion, the letters must be broken down, disected word by word, and out of it come a new revelation from my mind that no other has thought of and if that makes me look smart, so be it.
    Sometimes I wonder if that is the goal or it it ot teach or learn.
    It has been my experience that people try hard to appear more intelligent than they really are. if only they would step down a notch or two they would be far more respected and understood and doing that might just be more intelligent.

    Maybe we Average Joes shoudl pick a different site to visit.
    Where? The conservative sites sure don't want us.

    I leave all you that want to discuss the deep subjects alone. Northing wrong with that unless we fforget that is what the Pharisees were famous for.

  162. HistoryGuy says:

    Alabama John,
    My post was not towards you. It was in defense of people who have to been blessed with the time to study in-depth. I believe this topic is a blessing for those who don't have time to read tens of books on the topic and can see summaries and quotes from opposing views. I would prefer you stay, read and interact… hence my qoute “Can we leave the average joes alone now? What if they read and stopped [reading] because of our comments?”

  163. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde,
    I hope you Saturday is a going well. I will try very hard to answer the specific question and not veer off topic.

    The images: http://www.boundless.org/2005/images/articles/186http://www.boundless.org/2005/images/articles/1863_golgotha.jpg

    … which one of those rooms held 3,000 + Christians?

    Great question! … The short answer:
    They were all in the Portico of Solomon (Acts 3:11; Acts 5:12) which was roughly the eastern wall of the “court of Gentiles,” a vast area, and far away from the central “Temple Court” where Levitical worship using sacrifices, incense, and instruments took place. They outgrew the Portico of Solomon and eventually overflowed into the streets outside the Temple (Acts 5:14-15). As they outgrew the streets, they started worshiping in their homes.

    The Extended version:
    Since women were with them, they would not be allowed passed the “Necanor gate,” which only allowed Jewish men access to the “western court of Israelites” overlooking the sacrificial system. Women could see the Levitial ritual from a great distance (250 feet?), while restricted to the southern end where the “Court of the Women” joined. While in the Portico of Solomon, as Christians, their purpose was to pray and praise God by proclaiming salvation by faith in “the Lord Jesus Christ” while calling everyone present out of Judaism regardless of sickness or gender (Acts 3:11-26; Acts 5:12-16).

  164. Clyde says:

    Be nice Mr HistoryGuy, I was directly addressing ALL of your questions. You made several posts. I said that I would address each in order. I concluded that you had a rough day 🙂

    If you would permit, was Solomon's Portico a "private" room?

  165. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde,
    Being pointed was directed towards me, and my long posts, not towards you. Given my past remarks, I now understand how you could have taken it in a way that I did not intend. Please accept my apology. Please assume that I am being genuine, humorous, interested, and non-combative in my posts. If they appear otherwise, please ask me. I felt it was best to stop our correspondence on a few issues, not because I was having a bad day, rather the reason I gave in that post.

    was Solomon's Portico a "private" room?

    You used private, not me. I cannot find where I did and I searched. I did use private to request private email. Still, I don’t have any problem with private applied to the Temple courts as long as it is used correctly. While YOU used the word “private” in your responses about the Temple, I said — “Christians could have been at the Temple and not been participating in Temple worship, since many Jews and Gentile in fact did this daily, given the massive complex and room structures” —

    I won’t mince words over “private or room structure,” since both recognize division. Solomon's Portico was a "private" room structure. A large room, perhaps the largest court, but private from worship nonetheless. Solomon’s Portico would be private in the sense that it was separated from other rooms, including the “Temple Court” where the Levitical ritual took place. I was contrasting the view that claims everyone in the Temple was in the “same area” “worshiping” God according to Levitical ritual.

    The Temple was given room structures and sectioned off for different “private” purposes. People could be at the Temple for different reasons and in different locations doing different things. The large courts were private or sectioned off areas… though large. There were partially private rooms, like those in the upper balcony areas that would be closed, on perhaps two or three sides, and open on the rest. Finally, there were also private rooms, in the restrictive sense, such as the priestly chambers, or courtroom for the Great Sanhedrin where nobody could see or hear.

    grace and peace

  166. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde,
    Now you have me almost paranoid about my posts (smile). Let me clear the air… Please ask me anything, anytime.

  167. Alexander:

    You have tried to re-frame the discussion as having to do with a single congregation. But that's not how you have approached the subject until I asked about it. You have consistently argued for acappella in all churches who want to follow God. Am I wrong about that?

    You say that you want other people to leave the your congregation alone when it comes to these things. But you are not leaving other congregations alone. This is conflicting. If you want others to leave you alone, you leave them alone first. That is what Jesus says – to treat others like you want to be treated. To live what you teach, you should quit commenting.

    The elders have never had the authority to isolate one teaching of scripture from another for the flock. All pages of the Bible are open for all men, regardless of their responsibilities in the church. The Spirit (the Teacher) is put into all men when they are saved. How do you propose keeping the Spirit from leading a man to study subjects that you would prefer him to be ignorant to?

    On a human level, you cannot simultaneously encourage the congregation that they are responsible before God for their own knowledge, and then tell them to avoid studying certain things, because that's only for the leaders to think about. Unless you believe that the elders are completely responsible for what someone believes.

    You agree with the Bible about not getting involved in useless controversies, and yet you do.

    While I find your study of history impressive, you seem to be a rather confused man.

  168. Anonymous says:

    HistoryGuy:

    I appreciate your remarks and your apology. It has become apparent to me that I misunderstood and mischaracterized your early remarks and for that I apologize.

    You wrote: "Solomon's Portico was a "private" room structure. A large room, perhaps the largest court, but private from worship nonetheless. Solomon’s Portico would be private in the sense that it was separated from other rooms, including the “Temple Court” where the Levitical ritual took place. I was contrasting the view that claims everyone in the Temple was in the “same area” “worshiping” God according to Levitical ritual."

    I accept that the Solomon's Portico was a separate area of the Temple Mount, but I disagree that it was “private” or even isolated from the worship led from the Temple proper, or that it was unaffected by Temple instruments that one may picture as a church band.

    In the link that you provided: http://www.boundless.org/2005/images/articles/186… Solomon’s Portico is the open area running along the far back wall. Its length extends from The Pool of Israel on the north to the Royal Stoa on the south. Its covering is supported by a series of columns. Solomon’s Portico was an integral part of the Temple worship area. In fact, the entire Temple Mount was build to accommodate an influx of Jews like one expected at Passover. Solomon’s Portico was popular (not only among Christians) for two reasons: 1. It was located on the eastern (front) side of the Temple and (2) it was covered and so provided shade from the elements.

    As for the impact of Temple music on it; we can only conjectures—I agree, but we can make make common sense conjectures. 2 Chronicles 5:11-14 tells us that after the priests came out of The temple, they were joined by other priests and Levitical musicians who stood to the east of the great altar (i.e., in front of it) and lifted up their voices and instruments (120 trumpets, plus cymbals and other instruments) in loud and joyous praise to God. At the beginning of Solomon’s reign, 4000 of the 38,000 priests were “praising the Lord” with their instruments (1 Chr 23:3–5). Heman and his sons sang in the worship services with cymbals, harps, and lyres, and the number of those trained for singing to the Lord totaled 228 (1 Chr 25:6, 7). The singers were further divided into 24 groups of 12 singers, who rotated in participating in the weekday, Sabbath, and high holy day services by casting lots.

    Where there any changes to Temple instruments by the NT era? It is possible, but according to the Mishna, there were minimum and maximum numbers of singers and instrumentalists required at each service. The minimum number of singers was 12, the maximum was unlimited. There had to be in attendance at least two harps but no more than six, at least two flutes but no more than twelve, a minimum of two trumpets with no maximum, and a minimum of nine lyres with no maximum. There was only one player with a pair of cymbals.

    In other words, an open Solomon's portico was exposed to the loud sound of an open Temple; not by mistake, but by design. Solomon's portico is a part of the Temple's worship area.

  169. aBasnar says:

    Dear Brad, it is not as confuse as it may seem

    While I am sure that there is an sabsolute truth in any given matter (and this truth can be: "It does not matter how exactly …"), I believe that we most likely will only comne close to grasping it. This is especially true when we speak of restoring the NT church.

    Have you ever been on an archaeological site? Finding a few potsherds here and there, trying to understand why the walls broke down; finding evidences of fire … and from all of this we try to imagine howe the building looked when it was new, and how the people lived in it.

    It is basically the same with the NT-church. All we have is the NT WRITINGS, but none of us has grown up in a LIVINING NT church, where he saw first-hand howe the NT-writings were understood and lived.

    So, the more we dig into history, the closer we will (most likely) come.

    Now, as a local congregation we have to ive as a church today as well. This means, we must base our church life as ebst as we can on the Spirit of Christ who guides us into all truth (that's the foundation) and on diligent study of scripture in its historical context. This means, we have to make congregational decision base on incomplete knowledge most of the time (whether we are aware of that or not).

    As a teacher, (co-)responsible for teaching in our congregation, I can only speak and work for our congregation. Each church stands before our Lord separately. Each teacher and elder will have to give an account.

    So I cannot and will not judge other churches, but I do have an opinion on what is better and what is worse.

    Now, if someo0ne from outside, from a different tration, comes into our church and disturbs the sheep, I must take them aside and talk with them. This is to protect the flock from unnecessary debates, because the fewest of them have studied all these things, they only get the results of the teachers-team's studies presented. So most church member know only the conclusions, but not the way we came to the conclusions. Thus they are neither fit nor called for such debates, and that's why I don't accept ist, when "outsiders" come and start arguing with the sheep.

    I would not go to a different church and disturbe the sheep there either, but talk to the leaders if something seems seriously wrong.

    Alexander

  170. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde,

    Were there any changes to Temple instruments by the NT era?….

    No changes in instruments, but the Temple changed. I agree that Levitical ritual did NOT change much from the time of David to the destruction of the 2nd Temple in 70AD. However, 2 Chron. 5 is the dedication of the Solomon’s Temple. The dedication of the 2nd Temple in Ezra is a similar event. Specifically, the priests normally performed their duties in a particular area, but on that day, after performing their duties, came out and incorporated the whole assembly beyond normalcy.

    Still, this is not prudent to our conversation because (1) the assembly in Solomon’s Temple came to purposefully worship according to the Levitical system (2) Solomon’s Temple was destroyed (3) The Portico where Christians gathered was not the one you claimed to be “by design” in 2 Chron. 5. (4) During 2nd Temple Judaism, at the time of Christians (key point), instruments and incense accompanied the daily sacrifices. Afterward, the instruments ceased. Instruments were not used as an all day band (McKinnon, Temple Church Fathers and Early Western Chant, VIII, p163).

    an open Solomon's portico was exposed to the loud sound of an open Temple; not by mistake, but by design. Solomon's portico is a part of the Temple's worship area

    There are two issues with this premise: (1) you failed to realize that ONLY cleansed Jews could come near to worship, which is why there were various barriers/courts — to segregate folks (2) Your defense about the Portico in Herod’s Temple is based on the Portico in Solomon’s Temple, and is false because they are not the same. Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians around 586 BC. The Temple was rebuilt some years later, smaller, and not as elaborate. This is known as 2nd Temple Judaism. Around 20 BC, Herod the Great expanded the 2nd Temple. The Temple proper was changed little, but the area around the Temple proper was practically doubled in size.

    There are two Solomon’s Porticos, but few historians make any significance of the first to avoid confusion with the second emphasized in the NT. The original “portico” was the grand entrance to the Temple courts of the Temple proper. Solomon’s Portico of the NT/Christians, ran the “new” east wall of Herod’s renovation, and did not exist during Solomon’s Temple. In fact, the renovations were still under construction the entire life of Christ and years after. Christians met at Solomon’s Portico, which was a gathering area for the lame, women, unclean Jews, and money changers. It was not only different from Solomon’s day, but “by design,” it was farther away from where the Levitical ritual took place than in Solomon’s day.

    Why were Christians at the Temple?
    There is a difference between going to the Temple to worship under the Levitical system with instruments, and hearing them while present. There is a restaurant next to our church that has a band on Sunday night, and we hear them as we are singing the last few songs. To equate our hearing them, with intentionality to use them, is a fallacy. Just because Christians were at the Temple, and instruments were heard during the Temple sacrifice, does not mean that Christians intentionally included instruments while praising God at the Temple. One could just as easily argue that since Christians heard the instruments and smelled the sacrifice & incense, that Christians intentionally included the whole Levtical ritual in their worship. Both are fallacious arguments reduced to guilt by association, and false cause.

    We must discern several facts: (1) Being aware of instruments, incense, and sacrifices does not mean Christians made them part of their worship (2) If one element of Temple worship applied to the Christians, to be consistent, every element of Temple worship must be applied to the Christians (3) Christian intention must be proven, not by association, but answering why they went to the Temple, where they gathered while at the Temple, and how they praised God (4) There is a clear difference between going to the Temple to worship at the altar (Luke1:9-11) and going to the Temple to worship at Solomon’s Portico by praying, preaching Christ, converting Jews, and performing miracles (Acts 3:11-26; Acts 5:12-16, 42). (5) Temple worship does not equal Christian worship.

    I would normally quote (Eusebius, Chrysostom, Aquinas, Ferguson, McKinnon, Begg, Killen, Werner, Westermeyer, etc) but, allow me to use a lay historian, IM advocate, and Wineskins contributor, since he accepts a fact that I pray you will consider.

    “… the early church chanted, perhaps chanted exclusively…those who allow musical instruments in praise do not dispute that the early church chanted…” (Danny Corbitt, Missing More Than Music, pg25)

    “There is plenty of evidence that the early church chanted. This put them in step with the culture of their day.” (Danny Corbitt, Missing More Than Music, p31)

    Though you have not questioned me on Paul, I am happy to discuss his actions in Acts 21, unless something else can be said about Christians at the Temple.

    grace and peace

  171. HistoryGuy says:

    That formatting turned out horrible, I am sorry.

  172. Anonymous says:

    HistoryGuy

    You use the words “false” and “fallacy” liberally—all without addressing what I said.

    I wrote: “an open Solomon's portico was exposed to the loud sound of an open Temple; not by mistake, but by design. Solomon's portico is a part of the Temple's worship area”

    You responded, “There are two issues with this premise: (1) you failed to realize that ONLY cleansed Jews could come near to worship, which is why there were various barriers/courts — to segregate folks (2) Your defense about the Portico in Herod’s Temple is based on the Portico in Solomon’s Temple, and is false because they are not the same” and “The Portico where Christians gathered was not the one you claimed to be “by design” in 2 Chron. 5.”

    I am confounded by your response.

    Either you have misunderstood what I have written and have made assumptions based on what you THINK I said, or you have deliberately distorted what I said and built up an argument to address what I have not. I am going to assume that the former is true, not the latter, and I accept responsibly for the former since it is my writing that was so unclear. Nevertheless, YOUR QUOTE DOES NOT CONVEY WHAT I SAID OR WHAT I BELIEVE.

    I did two things in my post (1) I used Scriptures to show that the instruments of the Temple cannot be compared to a church band. (2) I pointed out WHERE Solomon’s portico was IN HEROD’S TEMPLE; stated that it, along with the Temple proper were not isolated from each other as your church building and the restaurant next to it, and I stated that Solomon’s Portico (along with the ENTIRE Temple Mount) were designed for the purpose of Temple worship.

    Here is what I said:

    “In the link that you provided: http://www.boundless.org/2005/images/articles/186… Solomon’s Portico is the open area running along the far back wall. Its length extends from The Pool of Israel on the north to the Royal Stoa on the south. Its covering is supported by a series of columns. Solomon’s Portico was an integral part of the Temple worship area. In fact, the entire Temple Mount was build to accommodate an influx of Jews like one expected at Passover. Solomon’s Portico was popular (not only among Christians) for two reasons: 1. It was located on the eastern (front) side of the Temple and (2) it was covered and so provided shade from the elements”

    By stating that “An open Solomon's portico was exposed to the loud sound of an open Temple; not by mistake, but by design;” how is it that I, as you have written, “failed to realize that ONLY cleansed Jews could come near to worship, which is why there were various barriers/courts — to segregate folks?”

    Since I pointed you to the pic of the Temple Mount (that, incidentally, you provided), I assumed you knew that I was referring to SOLOMON’S PORTICO IN HEROD’S TEMPLE. I never stated otherwise. Can I not assume that you understand the layout of the Temple Mount? Can I assume that you understand that Solomon’s Portico is in the Gentile courts? If I can’t then it would explain your response.

    Moreover, you said “The Portico where Christians gathered was not the one you claimed to be “by design” in 2 Chron. 5.”

    Are you suggesting that the Solomon’s Portico that I pointed out in the drawing is not the Solomon’s Portico where Christians (and others) gathered?

    Brother, it may be best, if not only wise, to (a) read what I write and (b) address what I wrote and (c) request clarification for that which is not clear. I never addressed a Portico in Solomon’s Temple, nor did I suggest that Christians gathered in Solomon’s Temple. If my writing was not clear, again, I’m sorry!

    You said: There is a restaurant next to our church that has a band on Sunday night, and we hear them as we are singing the last few songs. To equate our hearing them, with intentionality to use them, is a fallacy. Just because Christians were at the Temple, and instruments were heard during the Temple sacrifice, does not mean that Christians intentionally included instruments while praising God at the Temple. One could just as easily argue that since Christians heard the instruments and smelled the sacrifice & incense, that Christians intentionally included the whole Levtical ritual in their worship. Both are fallacious arguments reduced to guilt by association, and false cause

    That’s nice.

    The Bible tells us WHY the earliest Christians went to the Temple. It reads, “And they stayed continually at the temple, PRAISING GOD.” Luke 24:53

    The Christians praising God in the Temple is the fulfillment of what God promised and INTENDED for the church. God promised Israel to restore their praise (WITH ITS INSTRUMENTS) in a New Covenant. You have yet to address God’s intent as demonstrated by the prophets Isaiah (c. 61) and Jeremiah (c. 31) and the Apostle Paul (Romans 9).

    You said: “If one element of Temple worship applied to the Christians, to be consistent, every element of Temple worship must be applied to the Christians”

    The logic is flawed. The Bible says what they DID at the Temple. Additionally, I showed, FROM SCRIPTURES, that instruments were not used during the time to sacrifices only. You have yet to respond to that.

    Believing that Christians “CONTINUALLY” “PRAISE GOD” in the Temple Synagogal style is as unreasonable as believing the statement, “Historyguy’s church stayed continually at the restaurant eating” gives NO INDICATION that the church eats the restaurant’s food. While it is possible, it is HIGHLY unlikely.

    Think about what you are advocating; although you have not used these words: You are arguing that,
    • despite God’s promise to restore Israel’s praise (with instruments) in a New Covenant
    • despite the instrumental Temple,
    • despite the scriptural import of the expression, “praise God,”
    the church in the Temple NEVER used musical instruments. And you are arguing that point to prove what; that instruments in worship are sinful? Where is the Scripture that gives us even an HINT that it is sinful? Sin is violation of the WILL of God, not Clement, not Chrysostom, not the tradition of the church.

    In one of my earlier posts I asked the question: what sources are available to YOU that are not available to “a cappella advocate” Everett Ferguson who, with the sources available to him wrote: “WE ARE DENIED THE OMNISCIENCE WHICH WOULD PERMIT US TO SAY INSTRUMENTS WERE NEVER EMPLOYED IN THE EARLY CHURCH’S WORSHIP.” (emphasis mine)

    You have yet to answer that question.

    You mention other things that they did at Temple. None of those I deny, but, ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE, they went to the Temple to PRAISE GOD. These are Jews that God directed to the Temple in fulfillment of His promise. Why is it unreasonable for me to conclude that they did what Scripture implies?

    You have quoted Danny Corbitt. I DO NOT DISAGREE with Danny’s statements. READ our correspondence. I stated that the music of the early church was non-instrumental.

    You agreed with the statement.

    Further, I said “early is relative” i.e., relative to a point of reference. Earliest church (i.e., the early days of the Jerusalem church) music was that of the Temple. I would be surprised if Danny disagrees with what I assert. In fact, if you READ his book, you would find that he is suggesting that objections to instrument began first with 3rd-Century Clement; not the Apostles, and certainly not the earliest church.

    You Said, “Christian intention must be proven, not by association.”

    I agree. The earliest church’s intention was based on GOD’S INTENT for her. His intent was to restore Israel’s praise (with instruments) in the New Covenant; that, my friend, you have yet to address, because you believe that God’s intent is discovered in man’s actions and the words of pundits. ALL of Scripture would contradict that belief.

    As Alabama John asserts, the Pharisee and teachers of the Law were the pundits of that day—they overlooked God’s intent and God incarnate. They were wrong.

  173. aBasnar says:

    I beg your pardon, Clyde:

    The Bible tells us WHY the earliest Christians went to the Temple. It reads, “And they stayed continually at the temple, PRAISING GOD.” Luke 24:53

    The Christians praising God in the Temple is the fulfillment of what God promised and INTENDED for the church. God promised Israel to restore their praise (WITH ITS INSTRUMENTS) in a New Covenant. You have yet to address God’s intent as demonstrated by the prophets Isaiah (c. 61) and Jeremiah (c. 31) and the Apostle Paul (Romans 9).

    The REASON why the Jerusalem church went to the temple is not that simplistic. And if You instist them to be a "pattern", you have to consider ALL the Jerusalem church did, and not just use them as a "proof-text" for using iunstruments!

    Act 21:20 And when they heard it, they glorified God. And they said to him, "You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed. They are all zealous for the law,
    Act 21:21 and they have been told about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs.
    Act 21:22 What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come.
    Act 21:23 Do therefore what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow;
    Act 21:24 take these men and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself also live in observance of the law.

    Do you circumcise your children (does your church encourage this?)
    Does anyone among your congregation (or do you) follow the Nazariote vow?
    How about keeping the dietary laws?
    ….

    All of this was kept diligently by the Jerusalem CHurch, since they were zealous law-keepers!

    So why did they worship in the Temple? For the same reason they circumcised theoir children!

    And another issue:

    THe instrumehts were not played by any old visitor to the Temple, but ONLY by the Levites!

    So, where are the Levites in your congregation that play teh instruments?

    OH, and HOW can Israels worship be viewed as restored (the way you seem to understand the prophecy) when the temple is destroyed? So the only thing left are the instruiments? The instruments as a sign of restored temple worship? Not even played by Levites, but by uncircumcised pork-eaters? This does not work, Clyde!

    If this is all the IM-promoters can come up to back up their cause, then it is really disappointing. No, it is more than disappointing: It is deeply irritating, that such kind of reasoning is even commended to be sent out to all churches of Christ!

    Just to confrm: I don't condemn instrumental churches. But I do question questionable reasons for instruments.

    Alexander

  174. Anonymous says:

    Alexander,

    Did you read the text? It says, “And they stayed continually at the temple, PRAISING GOD.” (Luke 24:53) That is what it says. It is that simple. Can you offer a plausible alternative to what I am suggesting; a suggestion that makes sense in light of what (a) the passage says, (b) the context of God’s promise to Israel, and (c) what instrumental Temple?

    Interesting, no one is addressing what the Scriptures teach. If, I’m wrong about the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah then let’s talk about that. I could be misunderstanding those CLEAR statements. All of these conjectures based on a misinterpretation of history, non-instrumentalists scholars and unfounded presuppositions are insignificant. What did God intend? That’s important.

    You raise Acts 21. All it shows it that the Jews were living like Jews. No surprise there. The Bible says: 13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will SOON disappear. Hebrews 8:13 (NIV) Some Jews, obviously held to that covenant until it disappeared. However, I’m not discussing the Old Covenant or advocating Jewish customs.

    I’m telling you look at the prophecies. There you will learn that IM was promised in the New Covenant. I am demonstrating that the evidence suggests the notion that IM are sinful is not born from Scriptures.

    Let’s summarize the evidence again:

    1. We have God promising that Israel’s praise (with instruments) will be restored in the New Covenant
    2. We have the church continually PRAISING GOD in the instrumental Temple
    3. We have the Apostle Paul giving instruction to sing Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs; none of which preclude an instrument; in fact the psalms, by definition of the Scholars that some respect so highly, requires the instrument.
    4. We have the Apostle Paul proclaiming that the Gentiles are to praise God with the Jews in the context of the PRAISE AS IT WAS UNDERSTOOD IN THE O.T.

    Do you care to discuss the evidence?

  175. Anonymous says:

    Alexander:

    Forgive me, I forgot to address an important statement.

    You said:
    OH, and HOW can Israels worship be viewed as restored (the way you seem to understand the prophecy) when the temple is destroyed? So the only thing left are the instruiments? The instruments as a sign of restored temple worship? Not even played by Levites, but by uncircumcised pork-eaters? This does not work, Clyde

    This is not a good point. It tells me that you do not understand the prophecies. I invite you to read my posts again. If you disagree with my interpretation, tell me why. Then we can discuss the manifestation of its fulfillment in the New Covenant.

  176. HistoryGuy says:

    Clyde,
    Are you denying that you used the priest coming out of Solomon’s Temple and facing east and playing instruments to fill the Temple with sound, as your evidence that those in the Christian Portico could hear instruments? Are you denying you made a case “for facing east toward the portico” from the 1st temple, to support a practice in the 2nd Temple?

    In you post Nov 7, 1:58pm. You made the following argument
    (1) Solomon's Portico is separate… You disagree its isolated from the worship or unaffected by Temple instruments (1st paragraph)

    (2) You discuss the Solomon’s Portico of the 2nd Temple & image I posted (2nd paragraph)

    (3) You the claim impact of Temple music on it (Solomon’s Portico); we can only conjectures… then cite 2 Chronicles 5:11-14 to say the priest/Levites stood to the east of the great altar & lifted up their voices and instruments (3rd paragraph)

    (4) You reemphasize #3 & the 1st Temple practice by citing 1 Chron. 23; 25 & Heman (3rd paragraph)

    (5) You then affirm there were few changes to the instruments in the 2nd Temple (4th paragraph)

    (6) You then say an open Solomon's portico was exposed to the loud sound of an open Temple; not by mistake, but by design …

    (7) In your post to defend your position Nov 8 8:49am, you did a little “special pleading”, and only cited part of your argument from your original post … I find this disappointing.

    Conclusion: I read every word like with a fine tooth comb, several times. I had several people read your line of argumentation to make sure I did not understand you. The argument you used specifically uses a practice & location from the 1st Temple, to support your view of the 2nd Temple, which is a fallacy, because the Portico of 2nd Temple did not exist in 2 Chron. 5 or 1 Chron. 23;25 — If you DID NOT mean to structure your reasoning this way, that is fine.

    Let’s go straight to the real issue.

    I said – Just because Christians were at the Temple, and instruments were heard during the Temple sacrifice, does not mean that Christians intentionally included instruments while praising God at the Temple. One could just as easily argue that since Christians heard the instruments and smelled the sacrifice & incense, that Christians intentionally included the whole Levtical ritual in their worship. Both are fallacious arguments reduced to guilt by association, and false cause

    Your reply – That’s nice

    My brother, “that’s nice” is not a meaningful reply to defend your position. You must demonstrate why they are not guilty by association or is a “false cause” (types of logical fallacies), as well as give evidence to prove that Christians separated instruments, from incense, sacrifice, all the complete package of “Temple worship”. After all, you did affirm a generic term “And they stayed continually at the temple, PRAISING GOD.” Luke 24:53.

    You tell faith only folks that the Bible defines faith (to include Baptism)… would not the consistent argument allow the Bible to define “praising God in the Temple” from Luke 24:53? I have let the Bible speak on where Christians were at the Temple and how they praised God. There is a clear difference between going to the Temple to worship at the altar (Luke1:9-11) and going to the Temple to worship at Solomon’s Portico by praying, preaching Christ, converting Jews, and performing miracles (Acts 3:11-26; Acts 5:12-16, 42; Luke 24:53).

    I reaffirm Temple worship does not equal Christian worship.
    (1) Either Christian’s gathered at the Temple to praise God by praying, preaching Christ, and converting
    (2) OR, Christian worship at the Temple included instruments, incense, sacrifice, and every other element, since they were “praising God” at the Temple.
    (3) The argument associates how Jews praised God at the Temple with how Christians praised God at the Temple, but then redefines praising God when applied to Christians at the Temple, thus the praising God is not consistently applied and fails.
    4) The Temple argument was abandoned, because there is no evidence to show, nor is it logical to assume, that Christians would reject some Temple rituals, while retaining only instruments.

    You cannot argue a historical practice as predicted and fulfilled prophecy, unless you can demonstrate & prove the practice as fulfilled, which is why I have not addressed, nor will I address, the “predictive” portion of your prophecy argument. Without fulfillment/proof, it is a hermeneutical debate, and one I will waste your time with.

    Please remember, your my brother, and we will get along great in heaven!

  177. Anonymous says:

    HistoryGuy:

    I'll let the readers determine for themselves what I said. For you information, you NEVER supplied a pic of Solomon's Temple. The pictures that your have linked to your messages are ALL pics of Herod's Temple. If you wish, I could supply you with a pic of Solomon's Temple.

  178. Keith says:

    Good grief. I think there are more comments on this single one of Jay's blog posts referring to a reaction about a series of articles at New Wineskins than there are comments on the articles in this edition of NW! ~ Keith Brenton

  179. Anonymous says:

    Keith:

    It has been lively here!

  180. aBasnar says:

    Maybe it's also because the space for answers is too limited on New Wineskins.
    It also appears, that my last reply to you, Clade, turned out to be too long (5 pages), because it always vanishes soon after having been posted …

    Alexander

  181. aBasnar says:

    Maybe, Clyde, as a two Prt answer, it will work …

    Part I/II

    Did you read the text? It says, “And they stayed continually at the temple, PRAISING GOD.” (Luke 24:53) That is what it says. It is that simple. Can you offer a plausible alternative to what I am suggesting; a suggestion that makes sense in light of what (a) the passage says, (b) the context of God’s promise to Israel, and (c) what instrumental Temple?

    Still, I think this is too shortsighted, Clyde. For several reasons:
    First of all, this quote is referring to the situation of the disciples BEFORE Pentecost.
    And the Spirit of God came upon them not in the temple, but in the upper room of the house they held their regular prayer meetings and had their internal meetings (Acts 2:2).
    So, please note two distinct places for the meetings:
    One is the Temple
    The other one is “epi to auto” – a very specific phrase that reflects the LXX rendering of Ps 133(132): “See now, what is so good, or what is so pleasant, as for brethren to dwell together (epi to auto).” (From the Hebrew “yachad” – being united)

    This “Epi to Auto” is what church is all about: Those who have been baptized have been added to the church Acts 2:41 – and they were all “epi to auto” and had all things in common (Acts 2:44). When the church met in the temple, the phrase “epi to auto” is not used; but they did not only meet in the temple, but in their houses as well. And it was there where they broke the bread (= had the Lord’s Supper and a full meal, a special “internal” time of worship – Acts 2:46-47). And the Lord added to the church (= epi to auto) daily.

    This “epi to auto” marks the difference between the meeting in the Temple and the meeting as the church (in houses). This is quite important.

    More about the Jerusalem church and the other churches

    a) Only the Jerusalem Church could worship in the Temple
    b) Only Jewish Christians could worship there
    So, of course they went there to praise God, to pray and to preach. But the Temple was only in Jerusalem. In Antioch they did not go there, and in Samaria neither. Nor in Rome or in Alexandria. This was unique to the Situation of the church in Jerusalem, which maintained basically all Jewish practices.

    But all churches everywhere met for worship in their houses; while Jewish Christians – as long as they were allowed to, esp. the Apostles in their mission – frequently worshipped in the synagogues as well (e.g. Acts 19:8-9)

    Now, what does that have to do with the prophecy you quoted?

    Your thesis, if I got it right:

    The UPPERCASE text lists three characteristics that distinguished SYNAGOGUE WORSHIP from TEMPLE PSALMS:

    1. Israel stopped their music.
    2. The joy was gone from their hearts
    3. Their dancing had turned to mourning.

    The celebration of David’s psalms had ended.

    …..

    In comments on Wineskins.org, I stated that the New Covenant represents Israel’s repentance and renewal, and their praise of God as typified by the reign of King David.

    You come to this also from the prophetic texts you quoted:

    Jeremiah wrote:
    “In that day,” declares the Lord Almighty, “I will break the yoke off their necks and will tear off their bonds; no longer will foreigners enslave them. Instead, they will serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.” (Jeremiah 30:8–9)
    We understand from Peter’s statements of Acts 2:22-26 that the King David who was “raised up for them”, is really Israel’s redeemer—Jesus, the Christ. (Compare Romans 15:12)

    Now, give attention to what Jeremiah promised would happen during the new “King David’s” reign.

    From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the SOUND OF REJOICING. (Jeremiah 30:19)

    Another important aspect of your argument is, that chant is a mournful substitute for joyful singing:

    So, “Shout with joy to God” and “make his praise glorious” gave way to the dirge—a mournful chant. Israel had reason to mourn, and the chant was, customarily, an expression of mourning. For that reason, the sound of the synagogue was not the sound of joyful hearts rejoicing, it was the sound of mourning.

    Even after captivity ended the Jews now trained in their tradition continued the synagogal chant.

    But on the other hand, Jews of the times of our Lord Jesus did not view chanting as lamenting, but as songs of praise (as you mentioned).

    All of this builds up to a second “theory”: The early church was modelled after the synagogue, and thus they adopted this “mournful” chant; instead of displaying the Restored Joyful praise of Israel.

    (to be continued)

  182. aBasnar says:

    Part II/III (still too long)

    I have a few answers to this:

    First answer: The joyful praise in the temple was already back at the time of Esra and Nehemia.

    Ezr 6:16 And the people of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the returned exiles, CELBRATED the dedication of this house of God WITH JOY.

    And the finished walls they celebrated with all of David’s instruments:

    Neh 12:36 and his relatives, Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God. And Ezra the scribe went before them.

    Interestingly, when we read the scriptures, we find no mention of the synagogues prior to the NT. Of course they were there, and we have some historical records. But the focus after the return from the exile is on restored joy and worship – the mournful chants are not mentioned any more.

    But I do agree with you, that (e.g. Jer 30) is a prophecy for the NT. Still, if we take the instruments (that are not mentioned, but implied) literally, we must take everything else literally as well: Rebuilding the temple, burning incense, … because ALL of this is as well implied, when we speak of restoration in OT-terms.

    Second answer: The NT church was NOT modelled after the Synagogue worship

    Of course there are similarities between both. There was prayer, reading of scriptures and songs of praise. But NT worship was still strikingly different, and also set apart from the temple worship:

    Act 2:46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
    Act 2:47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

    The church-meetings were not the temple-worship, but the worship in their houses. This worship is called a “feast” in other passages. They ate and drank together, they broke bread and shared the cup of the covenant. Each one could participate in worship, by bringing a Psalm, a prophecy, a tongue … while women were (and are) excluded from teaching and having authority in the assembly, they were invited to pray and prophecy with headcovering. All of this shows no resemblance to the synagogues at all.

    And Christians in the NT and the first 2 centuries thereafter did not build synagogue-style worship places either – they continued to meet in homes.

    This underlines the truth, that they are truly the Temple of the New Covenant. The church is the restored Israel, but in a spiritual sense! We speak of living stones (humans) and of living instruments (human hearts).

    So, why did they meet in the Temple?

    The Jewish Christians in Jerusalem still worshipped in the temple. This was of course not forbidden, as it is allowed to keep the Sabbath, but forbidden to command to keep the Sabbath. The Jerusalem Church sticked to the whole Mosaic Law, because they lived in the centre of the Mosaic Law trying to reach out to their fellow Jews. Their foremost leader, James, was called “the Just” by the Jews because of his faithful Jewish Life Style as a Nazarite. Even Paul said that if you work among those under the Law, become like one under the Law.

    That this could eventually have gone too far (and for “average Joe” in Jerusalem it might have been hard to tell the difference between the Old and the New Covenant) is shown clearly in the exhortations of Hebrews.

    But still, as a church they continued to have the “church-worship” in homes. They did not meet in the Temple to break the bread there!

    They met in the Salomo’s Portico, and actually the blended into the multitude of the other Jews there until – by and by – the Jews separated from them, so they formed a distinct group within the temple area:

    Act 5:12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico.
    Act 5:13 None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem.

    And note also: This is not “epi to auto” as mentioned above – this is not at the heart of Christian Worship, which takes place in their houses.

    (to be continued)

  183. aBasnar says:

    Part III/III

    Third answer: There was joy with the Christians, but the Instruments were with the Levites

    We also have to keep in mind, that joy CAN be expressed by the use of Instruments and dance, but both are NOT ESSENTIAL to joy. The Temple Music has been restored under Esra and Nehemia; and after Herod rebuilt the Temple, the Temple was much more impressive than that of Salomo! Still, playing the instruments of David was assigned to special families among the Levites.

    So when the church met in Salomo’s Portico for worship, they did not bring their instruments along to praise God; but they joined the Levite choir and orchestra, when it sang and played at the Temple gate. They would have never even dreamed of taking up instruments themselves CONTRARY to the Law! As zealous adherents of the Law they kept the instruments in the hands of the Levites – and in their joyful meetings at home they sang a-cappella.

    So I strongly disagree with your conclusion:

    The EARLIEST church worshipped in the Temple, for THAT IS WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS.
    They stayed continually at the temple, praising God. (Luke 24:53)
    and
    Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. (Acts 2:46)

    The above passages describe the worship and meetings of the EARLIEST church, and their meeting in the Temple has special significance.

    What is the significance? It is this: God did not intent for the church to be a continuation of the Synagogues’ lament, i.e., the chant.

    Despite the example of the earliest church, the post-temple church unwittingly chose despair in modeling the synagogue’s worship. It is possible that in its naivety the church acquiesced to influentials and accepted the traditions of mourning Israel. It also is possible the church willfully sided with the Pharisaic aversion to any sound of rejoicing. I leave that debate to the experts. WHAT I CAN PROVE IS THE EARLIEST CHURCH MET IN THE INSTRUMENTAL TEMPLE.

    Your mistake is that you base your argument on a verse prior to Pentecost and by leaving out the second half of the description in Acts 2:46-47 And thus you misunderstand the nature of the Jerusalem church and their worship.

    Fourth answer: I see no shift in the “mood” of worship from NT-times to at least 200 AD.

    Both Clement and Tertullian give detailed descriptions of the love feast that continued on. None of them makes it seem that worship has to do with mourning. On the contrary: There was a church tradition back then that forbade kneeling and fasting on Sundays because this is a day of JOY!

    And still, and STILL, they did it a-cappella. Without any reference or resemblance to Jewish Synagogue-Worship.

    To keep a long answer short I’ll stop here. I think I got your main points – if not, then please sum it up again (maybe in private: alex.basnar@telering.at)

    God bless you
    Alexander

  184. Anonymous says:

    Alexander,

    First, let me thank you for taking the time to actually read what I had written.

    You said:
    “First of all, this quote is referring to the situation of the disciples BEFORE Pentecost.”

    This is an interesting proposition, but not right. Unfortunately, your entire post is predicated on it.
    In the book of Luke, Luke is describing in summary what he detailed further in the book of Acts. In Acts he wrote:
    Acts 2:46–47 46 EVERY DAY THEY CONTINUED TO MEET TOGETHER IN THE TEMPLE COURTS. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 PRAISING GOD and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
    He wrote a summary of the same event in Luke 24:53 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

    Before the Holy Spirit came, the disciples were cowering together in the Upper Room for fear of the authorities. They came out when they were empowered and emboldened by the Holy Spirit. So, again, the proposition is incorrect.

    You said:
    a) Only the Jerusalem Church could worship in the Temple
    b) Only Jewish Christians could worship there
    So, of course they went there to praise God, to pray and to preach. But the Temple was only in Jerusalem. In Antioch they did not go there, and in Samaria neither. Nor in Rome or in Alexandria. This was unique to the Situation of the church in Jerusalem, which maintained basically all Jewish practices.

    With regard to Antioch, Samaria, Rome or Alexandria, I’m not suggesting that they commuted to the Temple. My point regarding the Temple is very simple and extraordinarily narrow. It is this: (a) we cannot claim that Christians NEVER used instruments in the instrumental Temple, all the evidence points to the opposite, and (b) Christians meeting in the instrumental Temple is not by expediency, it was in fulfillment of O.T. prophecy.

    You said:
    Jews of the times of our Lord Jesus did not view chanting as lamenting, but as songs of praise (as you mentioned)

    That is correct, and I said why—Philo’s influence. But, the salient point is this: Chant is not praise. The Bible tells us that it was Israel’s mourn. As God had warned over and over, Israel was cursed for their idolatry. In their captivity the Song of Zion was silenced.

    You said:
    Interestingly, when we read the scriptures, we find no mention of the synagogues prior to the NT. Of course they were there, and we have some historical records. But the focus after the return from the exile is on restored joy and worship – the mournful chants are not mentioned any more.

    But I do agree with you, that (e.g. Jer 30) is a prophecy for the NT. Still, if we take the instruments (that are not mentioned, but implied) literally, we must take everything else literally as well: Rebuilding the temple, burning incense, … because ALL of this is as well implied, when we speak of restoration in OT-terms

    You agree that Jeremiah 30 is fulfilled in the NT, yet you suggest that the instruments cannot be taken literally. What else about the prophecy should we not take literally? Should we not take the promised New Covenant literally? Should we not take the PRAISE that Isaiah (c 61) promised to a lamenting Israel literally? Perhaps Jesus did not proclaim the fulfillment of that prophecy?

    If the prophets PROMISES cannot be taken literally, who is to say that Chrysostom’s or Clement’s objections to instruments should be taken literally?

    Alexander, look at what you have to do to support the EXCLUSIVELY a cappella worship doctrine:
    • You must conclude that the prophets cannot be taken literally
    • You must argue that Christians held non-instrumental worship in an instrumental Temple.
    • You must argue further that the instrument of the psalms of eph 5:19 and col 3:16 are not literal, they are the instrument of the heart.
    • And you must make the writing of Clement, Origen, Chrysostom and others as authoritative as Scripture.
    All to make the claim that instrumental praise is sinful. Only Satan could successfully engineer such a belief in a church that prides itself on holding fast to book, chapter and verse.

    You said:
    The NT church was NOT modelled after the Synagogue worship

    Everyone and everything has a place and a purpose. The question of what God intended is answered ONLY by Scriptures. The question of what the church actually did later in its history is, answered by the historians. In my post I listed at least 4 historians; scholars who suggest that the church modeled the Synagogue. I take their account.

    Alexander, as the Churches of Christ has been asking of everyone? Show me the scriptures that support what you assert. Show me the Scriptures that justified our (church of Christ) disfellowship of the Christian Churches over the issue of instruments. Show me the Scriptures that cause us to turn our back on congregations of the Churches of Christ that choose to use instruments. Why do we remove them from our directories? Why have we told our members that they are lost? I need to see the Scriptures. I’ve shown you scriptures in favor; for whatever reason you do not take them literally. Now, please, show me the Scriptures that condemn them.

    Clyde

    God bless YOU brother

  185. But you do go to a different church and disturb the sheep. By being here and speaking to other people in other congregations, you are doing precisely what you say you don't do? Are Clyde and HistoryGuy in your congregation?

    "It is basically the same with the NT-church. All we have is the NT WRITINGS, but none of us has grown up in a LIVINING NT church, where he saw first-hand howe the NT-writings were understood and lived."

    This is a rather astounding statement. Believers also have access to God through prayer, and have the Holy Spirit as teacher and guide. To say that the ONLY thing you have is a few writings denies the other, greater tools at your disposal.

    "So, the more we dig into history, the closer we will (most likely) come."

    Hardly. The more you dig into history, the more you argue over things you have no idea about. Everyone is making their best guesses, and no one is asking God what He thinks.

    No wonder everyone is still arguing. That's a very sad way to live.

  186. aBasnar says:

    You said:
    “First of all, this quote is referring to the situation of the disciples BEFORE Pentecost.”

    This is an interesting proposition, but not right. Unfortunately, your entire post is predicated on it.
    In the book of Luke, Luke is describing in summary what he detailed further in the book of Acts. In Acts he wrote:
    Acts 2:46–47 46 EVERY DAY THEY CONTINUED TO MEET TOGETHER IN THE TEMPLE COURTS. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 PRAISING GOD and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
    He wrote a summary of the same event in Luke 24:53 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

    Maybe Luke had a summary in mind – I am not sure, but OK, let’s assume he did. Even so the summary has been clarified in more detail in Acts – and the difference between meeting in the Temple Courts (together with all Jewish worshippers, until THEY separated themselves from the Christians) is very different from meeting “epi to auto” as a church in homes to break the bread, to eat and to worship.

    My point regarding the Temple is very simple and extraordinarily narrow. It is this: (a) we cannot claim that Christians NEVER used instruments in the instrumental Temple, all the evidence points to the opposite, and (b) Christians meeting in the instrumental Temple is not by expediency, it was in fulfillment of O.T. prophecy.

    We CAN claim that Christians did NOT use instruments in the Temple, because the use of instruments there was assigned to special families of the Levites! And since they already worshipped with instruments since the time of ESRA we cannot say that “Christians meeting in an instrumental temple” is a fulfilment of O.T. Prophecy.

    Chant is not praise.

    But a-cappella singing is not chant either. So you cannot make the equation: Chant is a-cappella and mournful, therefore a-cappella (in general) is mournful. This makes no sense. Was the song of Paul and Silas in the prison of Philippi “mournful” although they did it a-cappella (that’s an inference from the situation – you can debate it, if you like to 😉 )

    You agree that Jeremiah 30 is fulfilled in the NT, yet you suggest that the instruments cannot be taken literally. What else about the prophecy should we not take literally? Should we not take the promised New Covenant literally? Should we not take the PRAISE that Isaiah (c 61) promised to a lamenting Israel literally? Perhaps Jesus did not proclaim the fulfillment of that prophecy?

    OK, let’s take some New-Covenant-Prophecies from Jeremiah:

    Jer 30:3 – Has Israel and Juda ever been restored to their land (note: Israel is the Northern Kingdom with the lost ten tribes, that still have not been found again …)? Clearly not to be understood literally.

    Jer 30:8 – Has foreign rulership been ended over Israel? Not really, either. So this also cannot be understood literally.
    Jer 30:9 – Has King David been raised (I mean the real one who died 1000 years before Christ)? Also not to be taken literally.

    Jer 30:18 – Have the city and the Royal Palace been rebuilt? No, it hasn’t.

    Jer 30:19 – Out of these should come the sound of Joy and Praise – but this is not the case.

    So actually NOTHING can be taken literally, Clyde, if I may be so bold. Prophetic language is most of the time highly figurative.

    The fulfilment is that the church stepped into the covenant of Abraham through faith, while the natural branches were broken out of this olive tree. So the gathering of Israel and Judah into their homeland becomes the gathering of Christians from all nations into the Kingdom of God. This is the pattern to understand these prophecies.

    If the prophets PROMISES cannot be taken literally, who is to say that Chrysostom’s or Clement’s objections to instruments should be taken literally?

    Come on, Clyde! You can’t be serious! Clement wrote the “Instructor” for the purpose of instructing young Christians. He was not prophesying about future things, but explaining fulfilled prophecy to the disciples! This is on a completely different level. (the same would be true for Chrysostom)

    Alexander, look at what you have to do to support the EXCLUSIVELY a cappella worship doctrine:
    • You must conclude that the prophets cannot be taken literally

    That’s what I tried to exemplify from Jeremiah 30. Actually there is another level of understanding these prophecy if you are a premillenialist (which does not mean these two perspectives contradict each other).

    • You must argue that Christians held non-instrumental worship in an instrumental Temple.

    In Salomo’s Portico they did not unpack their guitars and worship with instruments. Instrumental worship in the Temple was assigned to the Levites only. Anything else would have been a violation of the Mosaic Law, something the Jerusalem church would have never ever dreamed of. So, Christian worship in Salomo’s Portico was out of necessity a-cappella, unless they joined the Jewish worship that was accompanied by the Levites and was OLD TESTAMENT in nature.

    • You must argue further that the instrument of the psalms of eph 5:19 and col 3:16 are not literal, they are the instrument of the heart.

    Correct. Confirmed by the oldest Christian Hymnbook – the Odes of Salomo (100-130 AD)

    • And you must make the writing of Clement, Origen, Chrysostom and others as authoritative as Scripture.

    That’s not quite true, Clyde. That’s an overreaction. They are witnesses of the earliest understanding of the matter available to us. We would be really, really STUPID to dismiss them in favour of 21st century scholars with denominational glasses.

    All to make the claim that instrumental praise is sinful.

    Why do you want to make me say that praising with instruments was sinful? I never said this here, and I never will. This is not the debate. The debate is: What was really meant and practiced in the beginning?

    Only Satan could successfully engineer such a belief in a church that prides itself on holding fast to book, chapter and verse.

    This is quite a harsh statement. Maybe this was just a result of Bible plus historical study, something even Alexander Campbell championed in. If now you or anyone else is unable or unwilling (lack of time, sources, capacity or interest) to understand or agree that IM is wrong (again: let’s avoid the term “sinful” here), it is unfair to attribute such a conviction to Satan.

    The question of what God intended is answered ONLY by Scriptures. The question of what the church actually did later in its history is, answered by the historians.

    You cannot even translate the Scriptures accurately without knowing the historical background, Clyde! So you cannot separate these two disciplines. N.T. Wright is a prime example of how these two can blend together harmoniously.

    In my post I listed at least 4 historians; scholars who suggest that the church modeled the Synagogue. I take their account.

    You take their account: I know the same sources, and I disagree based on the reasons I explained to you in my previous posts.

    Show me the scriptures that support what you assert. Show me the Scriptures that justified our (church of Christ) disfellowship of the Christian Churches over the issue of instruments. Show me the Scriptures that cause us to turn our back on congregations of the Churches of Christ that choose to use instruments. Why do we remove them from our directories? Why have we told our members that they are lost? I need to see the Scriptures. I’ve shown you scriptures in favor; for whatever reason you do not take them literally. Now, please, show me the Scriptures that condemn them.

    I try to understand, that you in the U.S. have a serious problem there. There is one church in Germany that chose the path of using instruments. And it is them who withdrew from us, as far as I know the history. And they let women preach also …

    Again, let me confirm that I am not talking about condemning or disfellowshipping. I never engaged in such a process and I don’t promote or defend it either. I believe that one aspect of church autonomy is that no church may give orders to another one.

    But there is a different aspect: Being divisive. I think you know the books, chapters and verses about contentions and divisions (e.g. Rom 16:17). This is a serious issue, and then it is not about instruments or a-cappella, but about the attitude in which such issues are discussed. I fear that while conservative churches tend to be overly harsh (which is sinful) many progressives tend to be divisive (intentionally or unintentionally). As a congregation to chose a way that is annoying or disturbing to other churches of Christ is nothing we should do light-heartedly if we are striving for unity rather than personal preferences.

    Try to see it from this perspective. I don’t want to condemn you, be sure about that.

    Alexander

  187. aBasnar says:

    Dear Brad:

    A Blog is not a church, but it is set up for discussing questions. Maybe it is not the best way, and maybe it is also a distraction from more important thing … well, but that's the wy it is here. So I don't go to different church to cause division – unless we could agree that this whole Blog is divisive in nature (which I don't think).

    To say that the ONLY thing you have is a few writings denies the other, greater tools at your disposal.

    This is an excellent example of ambiguous language. See, you did not get the idea of my thesis, and therefore you answered in an unfitting way. When I say the "ONLY" tool we have are the Scriptures, I did not mean that they are all we have for our whole spiritual life and salvation. My point was limited to understanding what NT Church Life ought to be. Scriptures alone are not sufficient to get the feel of it.

    Of chourse we need the Spirit of Christ, but this is on a different level.

    Anyway: If we – in everyday conversatiion – misunderstand so often what has been said, how much more so, when trying to discern the Apostolic Teachings from a BOOK that was written in the Context of the LIVED OUT teaching. In NT-times the book was understtod through the life and practice of the Apostles and the first churches. We "ONLY" have the book … that's what I meant.

    As to my experience: Many questions can be settled and debates ended when taking history seriously.

    Alexander

  188. Anonymous says:

    Alexander:

    You said: Why do you want to make me say that praising with instruments was sinful? I never said this here, and I never will. This is not the debate. The debate is: What was really meant and practiced in the beginning?

    First let me say that my use of the word "sinful" (a) was reckless because I know that not everyone who holds your conviction thinks that it is, and (b) was not directed at your thoughts specfically.

    Your other comments are worthy of response. I will get back to you soon – it has been busy here.

  189. "See, you did not get the idea of my thesis, and therefore you answered in an unfitting way."

    Or perhaps I did, and I still disagree. Disagreement does not equal misunderstanding.

    "My point was limited to understanding what NT Church Life ought to be."

    And I re-assert what I tried to tell you before: God himself was there in the first century. The Spirit was the guide. Both are available. Neither is subject to a man's interpretation.

    But when it comes to history, that is left to the interpretation of men like yourself who have made it a mission to find what they want to see in it.

    But to each man is available the teaching and guiding of the Holy Spirit – which the first century had as well. Therefore, all of us – history or no, first century or modern century – have access to the same power of understanding God's meaning, will, and traditions.

    As it says in Luke: "Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." This is what the church has missed, making idols of and arguments over church history. These disagreements happen because men try to take God's place in interpreting the Scripture.

    Or else why would Paul say, "All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you."?

    "As to my experience: Many questions can be settled and debates ended when taking history seriously."

    Let us take God seriously instead. He promised to be with us to the end of the age, not to abandon us to where we would need to interpret His scriptures through our flawed and sinful flesh.

    As to my experience: It's far more beneficial to listen to God than argumentative men.

  190. Anonymous says:

    aBasbar,

    New Wineskins has a 3,000 character limit — which includes spaces. I can barely clear my throat in 3,000 characters!

  191. Clyde_symonette says:

    Alexander

    You said:
    Maybe Luke had a summary in mind – I am not sure, but OK, let’s assume he did. Even so the summary has been clarified in more detail in Acts – and the difference between meeting in the Temple Courts (together with all Jewish worshippers, until THEY separated themselves from the Christians) is very different from meeting “epi to auto” as a church in homes to break the bread, to eat and to worship.

    I never suggested that the Christians brought instruments along with them to worship, and I agree that they broke bread in their homes, for that is what the Bible says. My contention is best described in your words: Christians met in “the Temple Courts (together with all Jewish worshippers, until THEY separated themselves from the Christians).” That’s it. According to Luke, early Christians were a part of the instrumental Temple worship. My point is, if instruments were forbidden; why are the apostles “continually” taking the new disciples into the Temple to “praise God?”

    You said:
    “We CAN claim that Christians did NOT use instruments in the Temple, because the use of instruments there was assigned to special families of the Levites!”

    Well, that is true Alexander. It is also true that not all Jews were members of the Levite families, yet the statement: “Jewish Temple praise was instrumental” is as accurate as, “Christian praise in the Temple was instrumental.”

    Consider what you are suggesting though. Your logic appears to suggest that being part of IM worship is different from personally playing instruments at the worship. I’m sure that you can see the problem with that. On the other hand, I could be misunderstanding what you are saying.

    You said:
    And since they already worshipped with instruments since the time of ESRA we cannot say that “Christians meeting in an instrumental temple” is a fulfilment of O.T. Prophecy.

    It’s a fair argument, but let us reason it out for a while.

    Indeed the Jews did worship with instruments since the time of Ezra. Was their worshipping in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah the fulfillment of Jeremiah and Isaiah’s prophecy?
    No.

    You noted several passages as proof that the prophecy was not fulfilled and concluded: “NOTHING can be taken literally” since some aspects of that prophecy we cannot confirm as literally fulfilled. Again, it’s a fair argument. But, as you would expect, I disagree :).

    I disagree for several reasons:

    1. There is NOTHING to suggest that when one aspect of prophecy is fulfilled, all of it must be fulfilled. And if all is not fulfilled then everything else is figurative. The gospels tell us how Jesus fulfilled, parts of prophecy throughout his life until His work was finished.
    Even within highly figurative prophetic language, there are literals or tangibles. Two examples. The first two are from the book of Revelation.

    Revelation 6:9–11 (NIV) 9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain”—Highly figurative language. It turns out later that the figurative language represents literals. It represents the persecution of the saints, apostle and prophets.
    Revelation 18:20 (NIV) 20 Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you.’ ”

    Another example:

    Revelation 8:13 (NIV) 13 As I watched, I heard an eagle … call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth!”

    Figurative language, but is “the inhabitants of the earth” literal? Sure.

    The second example comes from Jeremiah 31.
    Jeremiah 31:31–32 reads: 31 “The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.

    Was this passage fulfilled? Yes it was. Was everything about the passage fulfilled? Not that WE CAN SEE. (notice: my words have been carefully selected). Was the covenant literally written on their hearts? We can argue yes, but the answer is no—not in the sense that we commonly understand it.

    My point is this: figurative language does not suggest that there are no literals.

    Now, let’s think about this in light of its history.

    Instruments were associated with David’s celebration. There is a reason why the Psalms of David or Song of Zion were silenced—God cursed Israel because of her Idolatry. Israel’s chanting (lamenting) was related to the consequences of her curse. Now, understand Amos’ statement in context.
    Amos wrote:
    Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria … You lie on beds inlaid with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves. You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph. Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile; your feasting and lounging will end. (Amos 6:1, 4–7)

    It is important to note that Amos is making the point that Israel’s instruments, wine, and luxurious living, at a time when they should have been grieving over their sins, were acts that demonstrated their complacency in disrespect to God’s judgment.

    What God promised in Isaiah 31 was the return of the celebration (a) their instruments and (b) their joy under a new King David (i.e., Jesus).

    2. There are other passages that clarify what Jeremiah’s prophecy tells, namely, Isaiah’s.

    Isaiah 61 reads:
    The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. (vv. 1-3)
    I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation. (v. 10)
    For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. (v. 11)

    You can make the argument that the Jews were free since the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, so Isaiah’s prophecy should have been fulfilled. But these were intended to be fulfilled in a New Covenant.
    Who were the “brokenhearted,” the “captives,” and those who “grieved” in Zion? Were they not members of the synagogues of mourning Israel?
    Yes.

    When was Isaiah’s prophecy fulfilled?
    Jesus proclaimed the fulfillment of this prophecy in Him (Luke 4). You see, my friend, the words, “a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” and “the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations” were fulfilled in New Covenant Israel’s (i.e. the church) praise of God.

    Upon its fulfilment Luke wrote the following:

    Luke 24:53 (NIV) 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, PRAISING GOD.

    Acts 2:47 (NIV) 47 PRAISING GOD and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

    Those "praises", according to Scriptures, were raised in the instrumental Temple. It was not a coincidence; it was the sovereign Lord who made the praise spring up.

    You said:
    a-cappella singing is not chant either. So you cannot make the equation: Chant is a-cappella and mournful, therefore a-cappella (in general) is mournful. This makes no sense. Was the song of Paul and Silas in the prison of Philippi “mournful” although they did it a-cappella (that’s an inference from the situation – you can debate it, if you like to 😉 )

    Regarding Paul and Silas’ songs, I’ll say this: all prison songs are a cappella ;).

    Is a cappella mournful today? In style—it is not necessarily mournful. But we cannot deny that a cappella evolved from of non-instrumental chant, and we have it because praise was forbidden. And, today, it is still being used to forbid psalms.

    Your wrote:
    Come on, Clyde! You can’t be serious! Clement wrote the “Instructor” for the purpose of instructing young Christians. He was not prophesying about future things, but explaining fulfilled prophecy to the disciples! This is on a completely different level. (the same would be true for Chrysostom)

    You are right, it irrelevant and, unfortunately, you did not appreciate my sarcasm.

    I said
    You must make the writing of Clement, Origen, Chrysostom and others as authoritative as Scripture.

    You said:
    That’s not quite true, Clyde. That’s an overreaction. They are witnesses of the earliest understanding of the matter available to us. We would be really, really STUPID to dismiss them in favour of 21st century scholars with denominational glasses.

    Alexander, psalmos and psallo are defined by their use in LXX. It is not 21st-Century. Josephus gives us several examples of 1st-Century uses those words. He is not 21st-Century.

    Alexander you suggest Paul was instructing the brethren to sing with instruments by since he said, “sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.” I disagree with your logic and suggest that Paul was instructing the church to sing in their hearts to the Lord RATHER THAN PAGAN IDOLS, but, for a moment, let’s follow your logic suggesting that “sing in your heart” refers to instrumental singing only.

    Psalm 138:1 reads,
    I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise.

    Psalm 108:1 reads,
    My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul.

    In either of the above passages, was David inferring that he would not clap his hands or or play an instrument when he praised God with his “heart” or “soul”?
    No.

    Why would “make music in your heart” (Eph 5:19) strip the psalm, the hymn, and the song of any instruments?

    Further, when David said, “I will sing your praise” (Psalm 138:1) and “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you” (Psalm 63:5), was he suggesting that he would sing those praises without instruments or clapping?
    No.

    Let’s assume that Ephesians 5:19 was written without a reference to psalmos, hymnos, ado, or psall?. Let’s assume it reads: “Sing in your hearts to the Lord.”
    Would it forbid instruments?
    No brother.

    In the light of Scripture this logic is weak.

    I repeat, “The question of what God intended is answered ONLY by Scriptures. The question of what the church actually did later in its history is, answered by the historians.”

  192. Anonymous says:

    The early church fathers were no more without error than what we see about people in the Bible. As we can see reading from the Bible the church had problems from the beginning making many errors even after being taught under the apostles.

    The understanding through the ages that the early “church fathers” were the authentic teachers of the faith was emphasized. Their infallible authority was exercised to define a matter of faith and morals, whose decisions must be adhered to with the loyal and obedient assent of faith. Such misuse of church history throws a stumbling block an occasion of weakness and stagnation. Much of this misuse is from romanticizing the past and absolutizing the past, as such can hinder true strength and progress in bearing witness to the Truth. This tendency is the notion that the standards of the early “church fathers” are sacrosanct and that it is wrong and impious to seek to bring them to reexamination in the light of Scripture. This absolutizing of the past disparages the authority of Scripture as the absolute standard of faith and life.

    The reason why some religious groups want to go beyond the Scriptures is because they cannot find support for their teaching in the Scriptures. They let the traditions, of particular “church fathers,” they approve of, determine how they interpret the Scriptures.

    It is obvious from the NT that doctrinal confusion and legalism were beginning to find their way into the church well before the second century. The early “church fathers” are not free from such influences. It is therefore a mistake to view the early “church fathers” as infallible.

    During the second century, a distinction grew between those who preached and the other members of the church. Those in the clergy often dressed differently, many wore the title “father.” In stark contrast, Peter, and Paul showed great humility in carrying out their evangelistic missions. They never claimed to be different or exalted. Nor did they ask to be called “father.” Moreover, Jesus warned us: “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.”(Matthew 23:9) Along with this centralization of power, there were fundamental changes in church doctrine. Christ was no longer head of the church. Nor was the Bible the final word of authority. Gentiles usurped that authority. It was a church with a hierarchical structure, usurping the power to rule, a bishop being in charge of each church in the communities. During the second century, baptism of infants had begun. Confessing sins to a priest to be forgiven. Doctrine of purgatory – whereby souls of those who have died in a state of sin are made fit for paradise by temporary banishment, suffering, or punishment. Doctrine of transubstantiation – whereby the bread and wine changes into the flesh and blood of Jesus. Images and prayers to saints and martyrs. Penance – inflicting punishment in payment for sin as evidence of penitence.

    In the Bible Jewish believers kept the faith in its original Jewish form. But the early Gentile church did not seek to understand the Jewish roots of the faith but applied Greek philosophy to it. Because of the Greek outlook the official line was very Anti-Semitic. The early battles between the Gentiles and Jews resulted in a certain Christian ambivalence towards the Hebrew Scriptures. The Gentile church leaders disengaged the church from anything that they thought would be remotely Jewish.

    Many go on unknowingly as a traditional Christian as if they are actually a "follower of Jesus", yet never once begin to compare doctrinally the Jewish faith with their Christian faith.

    Christian values we now hold dear are rooted in theology practiced by the Jewish people for thousands of years. The Jewish people are the bedrock of our very faith. I know this concept flies in the face of the Anti-Semitic poison that has filled the mouths of church leaders for centuries.

    Jesus was born to Jewish parents. He was dedicated in the Jewish tradition. He became a Jewish rabbi and died with a sign over His head that read: “This is the king of the Jews!" If Jesus, Whom we read about in the Bible, came to your church, what would you expect? He would have penetrating dark eyes, an olive complexion and prominent Semitic features. His hair uncut at the corners, and a full beard, and His shoulders would be draped with a tallit (prayer shawl). If Jesus identified Himself to your congregation as a Jewish rabbi who befriended prostitutes, who socialized with tax collectors and other outcasts, and who surrounded Himself with full-bearded, Jewish men with shoulder-length hair, what would people think?

    Jesus of Nazareth was of the tribe of Judah, His name was given by an angel of God, Jesus’ name is originally the Hebrew word Yeshua, which in Hebrew means “Salvation.”

    It was Judaism that believed humans were created in God’s image. Judaism gave us the concepts of hell, heaven, angels, devils, the acceptance of Adam and Eve as the first man and woman, and the creation of the world in seven days. Judaism taught us to sing psalms of praise. It was Judaism that gave us the Lord’s Supper as a part of the Passover celebration. Judaism gave us the prophets and our Lord. Judaism gave us the Hebrew Scriptures, were penned by Jewish writers from which Jesus taught from.

    The whole Bible is an introduction to the true and living God. To sum it all up, the Jewish people gave to Christianity the foundation of the Word of God. The Jewish people do not have to use Christianity to explain their existence, but we cannot explain our existence without our Jewish roots.

  193. aBasnar says:

    Consider what you are suggesting though. Your logic appears to suggest that being part of IM worship is different from personally playing instruments at the worship.

    No, my point is: As soon as they did not worship in the temple any more (which was true for all other churches outide of Jerusalem anyway) they had to worship a-cappella, because the instruments belonged to the Levites as part of OT-Jewish worship.

    The reasons the Jerusalem church worshipped in the temple might be worth a different discussion: Surley they did it not because of the instruments; and since the temple was taken away 40 years later, the temple could not have been part of the fulfilment of the New Covenant; therefore the instruments don’t belong in the New Covenant either.

    Was their worshipping in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah the fulfillment of Jeremiah and Isaiah’s prophecy?
    No.

    In part yes, though, because prophecies of returning from Babel to Israel are sometimes interwoven with prophecies ofthe New Covenant, so that they seem to speak of one and the same event.

    Those "praises", according to Scriptures, were raised in the instrumental Temple. It was not a coincidence; it was the sovereign Lord who made the praise spring up.

    But then the temple was destroyed and with it David’s instruments. I can follow your way of thought, Clyde – it just does not work this way.

    But I don’t insist on debating this forever …

    Alexander

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