Ed Stetzer, church growth consultant to the Southern Baptist Church, gives a history of church resistance to musical change –
“Get rid of that flute at church. Trash that trumpet, too. What do you think we are, pagans?”
200s: Instrumental music was almost universally shunned because of its association with debauchery and immorality. Lyre playing, for example, was associated with prostitution.
“Hymns to God with rhythm and marching? How worldly can we get?”
300s: Ambrose of Milan (339-397), an influential bishop often called the father of hymnody in the Western church, was the first to introduce community hymn-singing in the church. These hymns were composed in metrical stanzas, quite unlike biblical poetry. They did not rhyme but they were sometimes sung while marching. Many of these hymns took songs written by heretics, using the same meter but rewriting the words.
“The congregation sings too much. Soon the cantor will be out of a job!”
500s: Congregations often sang psalms in a way that “everyone responds.” This probably involved the traditional Jewish practice of cantor and congregation singing alternate verses.
You’ll want to read the entire article.
And remember: Ed’s a Baptist. And they’ve been instrumental for over 100 years. And yet even the Baptists are still fighting the “worship wars.”
They don’t argue the case doctrinally, as the Churches of Christ do, but they struggle very nearly as much with the change from traditional organ and choir music to guitars, keyboards, and drums.