Advice to a New Elder: Shepherds Protect the Flock, Part 2 (False Teachers)

shepherd3Although sexual predators are likely the most common type of church predator, there are other predators that the elders/shepherds should be diligent to protect the flock from.

False teachers

The obligation of elders to protect the flock from false teachers is the best attested duty in the NT. For example,

(Tit. 1:9-11 ESV)  9 [An elder] must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.  10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party.  11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.

(1 Tim. 3:2 ESV) 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, …

A man is not qualified to be an elder unless he can teach. This doesn’t mean that he can stand up and ask questions from the Gospel Advocate Quarterly. He has to be able to refute error — especially the works salvation taught by the circumcision party. In other words, legalists aren’t qualified to be elders. Men who consider legalism acceptable are not qualified either.

It’s not essential that all elders be theologians. But all need to be well grounded in grace and salvation by faith. They need to recognize legalism when they see it and refuse to give it any control over the church.

In Acts 20, Paul’s charge to the elders in Ephesus focuses intently on Paul’s teaching ministry and the need for the elders to continue that ministry there.

(Acts 20:26-33 ESV)  26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all,  27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.  29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;  30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.  31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.  32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.  33 I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel.

Paul warns against “fierce wolves” — false teachers, both from outside and within the congregation —

As those to whom God has given the responsibility of watching over the church, Paul calls the elders overseers (v. 28), a term that is also found in his letters (Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:1f.; Titus 1:7; the same word is used of Jesus in 1 Pet. 2:25). The nature of their task is drawn out by a pastoral metaphor. The church is the flock (v. 28), a familiar figure for the people of God in both the Old Testament and the New; the elders are the shepherds (v. 28); and the danger threatening the flock is savage wolves, which will not spare them (v. 29). The thought was of heretical teachers, especially of hard-line Jewish Christians coming in after Paul had gone and leading the people astray (see disc. on 21:21). This had happened in Galatia and Corinth, with the preaching of “another gospel” (2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6ff.), and was threatening elsewhere (cf. Rom. 14:1–15:13; Phil. 3:2ff.). 

David J. Williams, Acts, Understanding the Bible Commentary Series, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011), 355–356.

Now, in the Churches of Christ (and many other denominations), the tag “false teacher” has been thrown around so loosely that many members only know the term from its misuse. Elders are often not trusted to correctly discern sheep from wolves because we have so often falsely accused good men of being false.

As we learn in Rom 14 and 1 Cor 8 – 10, there is room for disagreement within a congregation on many questions, even some doctrinal issues. Not all error makes one a “false teacher.” I’ve covered this question at great length many times here and at GraceConversation.

The gist of the rule is that those doctrines which damn are doctrines that contradict faith in Jesus as Messiah and Lord. “Faith” in this context includes not only intellectual assent but also trust and faithfulness (or loyalty or penitence). Disagreeing over the grounds for divorce or how many children an elder must have would be disputable matters that should not break fellowship. But teaching rebellion against God’s known will or a works salvation requires a warning and, if necessary, a separation.

(Tit. 3:10-11 ESV)  10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him,  11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. 

On continuing to study

In fact, the wise eldership does not consider itself as all-knowing. Rather, they should always be studying their Bibles and seeking to improve their knowledge and skills as leaders and shepherds.

I’m a strong believer in group hermeneutics — that is, sorting out the scriptures in community. Rather than the elders telling the members what they must believe, the church should be in continuous study and conversation with one another, their leaders, and other churches, realizing that there’s always more to learn.

Some elderships have weak study habits, and so they overly rely on their preacher to tell them what the Bible says. Even if the preacher is a brilliant and wise scholar, this is an unhealthy practice. After all, that preacher will retire or change jobs at some point. What happens when the new guy has different ideas? And it’s just not wise to place that kind of authority in the hands of a single man.

Then again, what’s even worse is an eldership that is uninformed in Bible matters but who are arrogant enough to suppose that the title “elder” makes them instant experts. Rather, becoming an elder means it’s time to double down on your studies and build a network of advisors. (Future post on networking to come.)

My earlier series on On to Study the Bible is a good starting point on building a personal Bible library. If you’ve not already started, it’s time to build a library of great leadership resources. You’re fortunate that our congregation has a very good library. Start there.

Over time, build your own. I like to wait for the sales, and so I subscribe to ThriftyChristianReader.com. They browse the sales and report daily on what’s cheap or free.

You should download Feedly to your smartphone and subscribe to some good blogs on leadership. I maintain the list in the right column as well as the much longer list of progressive Church of Christ blogs. There just all kinds of blogs dedicated to church leadership. Carey Nieuwhof, Thom Rainer, and Ed Stetzer are all excellent. There are countless, excellent theological blogs, as well — far more than you’ll have time to read. Pick the best ones and read them. Don’t try to read them all.

I’ve read more books on church leadership than I can count, and only two or three have proven to be of enduring value: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and The Advantage, both by Patrick Lencioni, are essential. The other great book is Jim Collins’ Good to Great, especially the chapter on Level 5 leadership.

Collins’ research found that companies that had exceptional results for many years and under multiple CEOs had these characteristics —

(1) a series of CEOs (promoted from within) who combined “personal humility and professional will” focused on making a great company;
(2) an initial focus on eliminating weak people, adding top performing ones, and establishing a culture of top talent putting out extraordinary effort;
(3) then shifting attention to staring at and thinking unceasingly about the hardest facts about the company’s situation;
(4) using facts to develop a simple concept that is iteratively reconsidered to focus action on improving performance;
(5) establishing and maintaining a corporate culture of discipline built around commitments, with freedom about how to meet those promises;
(6) using technology to accelerate progress when it fits the company’s concept of what it wants to become; and
(7) the company builds momentum from consistent efforts behind its concept that are reinforced by success.

Well, it really helps to have read the book … but you can immediately see several places where the typical church would struggle.

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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88 Responses to Advice to a New Elder: Shepherds Protect the Flock, Part 2 (False Teachers)

  1. Jeff Richardson says:

    Those of the liberal persuasion, have redefined the term “legalism”. Shifting the true meaning from ones attitude of being self-righteous to the “action” of obedience to all of God’s word. The Pharisees were legalist. They were guilty of hypocrisy, they pretended to be devoted, they wanted to appear righteous, but they didn’t follow through with obedience. They gave attention to some of God’s will, but neglected others of greater importance. They also misinterpreted the law of Moses. They went as far as to bind and enforce those false interpretations. They elevated human traditions, man made laws and doctrines to the level of scripture. But notice the legalism of the Pharisees didn’t have anything to do with attention to detail, fulfilling the letter of the law. They were not condemned for being zealous in obeying God’s will, they were condemned because “they say, and DO not.” Matt 23:2.

  2. Gary says:

    I agree with you overall Jay but, as with so many things, the devil is in the details. “[T]eaching rebellion against God’s known will” leaves room for a lot of subjectivity. We are inescapeably influenced by what the issues of our time are. What brings excommunication in one era often falls into the gray area where disagreement is allowed in another era. A good example is the nature of the Godhead and how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are related to each other and how they are to be understood by Christians. That was the raging issue among Christians for centuries before the medieval era and the primary driver of division in the Church. Now, such differences are hardly thought of among most Christians and even when they are we generally agree to disagree. I’m definitely a trinitarian but I’ve noticed that both in Churches of Christ and Disciples of Christ there are those who adamantly do not identify as trinitarians. But you’re right about the responsibility of elders. They must do their best to protect the congregation from serious doctrinal error but hopefully remembering at the same time that their current understanding of a biblical subject may be incomplete or wrong. An openess to study and to seriously listening to others with whom they may disagree is an important protection against dictatorial leadership that merely enlists God to endorse the opinions of the elders. Your efforts here on One in Jesus model the right balance.

  3. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Gary,

    Thanks for the note. When I speak of “[T]eaching rebellion against God’s known will” I mean God’s will known to the person in rebellion. If you and I disagree about the meaning of a passage, neither of us is in rebellion. If we agree but I choose not to obey it as I understand it, then I’m in rebellion.

    (Heb. 10:26-27 ESV) 26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

    The key is that the sin must be deliberate sin and ongoing.

    (Deut. 29:18-21 ESV) 18 Beware lest there be among you a man or woman or clan or tribe whose heart is turning away today from the LORD our God to go and serve the gods of those nations. Beware lest there be among you a root bearing poisonous and bitter fruit, 19 one who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.’ This will lead to the sweeping away of moist and dry alike. 20 The LORD will not be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the LORD and his jealousy will smoke against that man, and the curses written in this book will settle upon him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven. 21 And the LORD will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for calamity, in accordance with all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law.

  4. Good post, Jay. I would love to hear one for elders from the perspective of Ezekiel 34.

  5. David says:

    Jeff

    Being obedient to the details of God’s law is not being legalistic or Pharisaical, if the “details” are truly God’s law, and if paying attention to the details do not cause one to disobey greater laws. Today, as in the time of Christ, the ‘details” are often based on the silence of Scripture, misunderstanding of Scripture, or tradition of men. As in the time of Christ. paying close attention to such details often causes one to claim God’s favor for himself while condemning others not convinced the details are truly God’s law. So, there is a similarity between the Pharisees and the legalists of today. The main difference is that the Pharisees were mostly wealthy men who could get away with being arrogant.

  6. Larry Cheek says:

    David,
    Today it is most likely the individual who has been programmed with higher education and has received a certificate to prove his studies. It is also most likely an individual who is being paid by the congregation because of his credentials rather than his abilities.

  7. Jeff Richardson says:

    Faithfulness by definition is, obedient trust or loyal compliance with God’s will. Righteousness by definition is, right doing. Abraham, Moses, Joshua, John and Paul all understood this. So the outcry of “legalism” that we so often here is nothing more than a smoke screen to justify a departure from the faith, a cloak to an agenda. In Matt 5:19-20 Jesus teaches us about careful attention to details, a conscientious regard for pleasing God with a humble attitude. The Gentiles did things required by God’s law, not because it had been dictated to them like the Jews, but because there exists an absolute system of morals and ethics. God established this at creation and it continues to this day. God’s absolutes cannot be superseded by the will of man without man paying the price. God’s teachings are not subject to man’s feelings or interpretations, 2 Peter 1:19-21. It is postmodern thinking that cries “legalism” when in fact we are talking about God’s absolutes.

  8. Monty says:

    JEff said,

    “It is postmodern thinking that cries “legalism” when in fact we are talking about God’s absolutes.”

    “Absolutes” like the Supper must be taken every Sunday in order to remain “faithful.” BCV please. Speak where the Bible speaks, and remain silent where it doesn’t. Jeff, Absolutes seem to be in the eye of the beholder in the CofC. One cup, no Sunday school, no eating in the building, no cooperation, no paid located preachers, the list goes on and on. Just a question for you: do you right off only progressives or have the conservatives gone too far also in teaching for doctrine the commandments of men?

  9. Jeff Richardson says:

    We know from Acts 20;7 that the supper was observed on the first day of the week. Paul stayed seven days, why? So he could meet with the brethren there on the Lord’s day, and observe the supper with them. Was he just lucky in being there on their bi-annual observance or did he know for a fact that they observed the supper every Lord’s day? Let me go ahead and answer your next question before you ask it. Which Lord’s day? right? Wherever you work, and they tell you payday is Friday. What Friday do you expect to be paid? As far as the one cuppers, if a congregation wanted to have no located preacher, no Sunday school classes, no eating in the building no cooperation, use only one cup, I would say that that is a matter of opinion and their choice. The problem is, they bind their opinion (matters of opinion) on others. Observing the supper each Lord’s day is not a matter of opinion, it’s God’s absolute. Absolutes are in God’s eyes, not yours not mine. The number of cups makes no difference. The supper is still observed. Cups are an aid, like songbooks and pews, pencil and paper. They help us carry out a command, they don’t add to or change the command. Instruments of music on the other hand do change the command to sing, to sing and play music. Instruments by themselves are music, singing alone is music. Singing without instruments is authorized. Another absolute from God.

  10. Larry Cheek says:

    Jeff,
    From this one and only occurrence of a text identifying that Christians met on the first day of the week we (yes I said we because I was also taught the value of this text) have placed a commandment upon all Christians both those prior to this message and continuing until today, but we have not allowed the text to tell the whole story. Read it again and see if it truly does identify that those at Troas met every first day. Also notice that we (yes both of us) have not followed the teachings involved in this passage.
    Act 20:5-7 ESV These went on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas, (6) but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for seven days. (7) On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.
    Can you truly prove that those who went ahead and were waiting at Troas had met on the day before Paul arrived with the Christians at Troas? Is there any kind of a comment concerning any discussions between Paul and those who had been there waiting at Troas about a meeting the first day of the week prior to Paul’s arrival? Was Paul traveling by himself? Did Paul and the us that was with him gather together somewhere on their route prior to arriving at Troas and break bread on the first day of the week? Is there any prof that this event was a reenactment of the Lord’s Supper? Now, you have really gone off the deep end Larry. But, notice the continuing verses.
    Act 20:8-11 ESV There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. (9) And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. (10) But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” (11) And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed.
    In verse 11 Paul broke bread again (the exact phrase). Do you suppose that the others that were there did not eat also, they evidently had been there the same amount of time.
    Now, if we really want to give this story the power to bind an action upon all Christianity, how could we leave off the (rest of the story) preaching until midnight, and conversing with those who had assembled until daybreak.
    The only command about the frequency of The Lord’s Supper, is found in Paul’s words.
    1Co 11:23-27 ESV For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, (24) and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (25) In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (26) For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (27) Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.

    Please provide for us BCV that proves our tradition to be commanded as it stands. Yes, I was programmed with the same concept that you are, even to the point that if a true Christian failed to partake of The Lord’s Supper on the first day of each week he has sinned. Can you convince me again, with scripture?

  11. Monty says:

    He can’t Larry. He can only try to convince you by making a commandment where there is not one. He believes his (and others) deductions concerning how often carries the the same weight as a “thus sayeth the Lord.” He believes God is the Savior of those who are clever enough to make deductions the same as Jeff does and not the Savior of those who simply believe on his Son and seek to obey him as their Lord.

    Jeff honestly believes that God could have simply told us exactly what his commands are “cut and dried” but that God(I suppose) had things written in code language where only the truly astute(faithful) could figure out. For Jeff, God is about saving the “Sherlock Holmes” of the scriptures who are able to take examples and draw out the necessary inferences in which to bind upon all. I doubt Jeff prays with uplifted hands or greets his brethren with a holy kiss, even though they are commanded. He knows exactly when to hold them and exactly when to fold them.

    Jeff, I’m curious as to how you see yourself as being different from the Pharisees of Jesus day and before who went beyond what was written by putting a fence around the Torah with their rules and regulations and their logical extrapolations. The Law was sufficient without having to erect safety fences around it. Jeff you believe God was very specific with instructions in the Law but somehow now in the NT chooses to be vague and make it depend on human reasoning to deduce truth. For example God could have (easy as pie) instructed us to not use an instrument in worship(especially) if doing so would damn someone’s soul but for some reason(what a test of faith?) decided to let us reason it out. The same God who told the Israelites not to boil a young goat in his mother’s milk left out the part about using an instrument to worship him will damn your soul, when in the OT he commanded the very thing he now (so you say)sends folks to hell for. Your view of God is not glorious.

  12. Dwight says:

    God is not vague. We need to repeat this to ourselves.
    And while patterns are important, they are not commands, and in the case of Acts 20 a mention doesn’t equal a pattern. Now did they probably meet on the first day of the week, yes, but they also met on other days of the week as well. Was the first day of the week important, yes, but it wasn’t made to be a distraction from all of the other days either. If Hezekiah could re-do and partake of the Passover a week after they had done it, then we are able to partake of the Lord’s Supper, which is to remember Christ, on other days.
    Mind you they didn’t have the books of the Bible floating around and reminders of God’s will besides oral teaching and Christian living, so the Lord’s Supper was a way of remembering Christ with others of Christ on a weekly basis. But shouldn’t have been their only time to remember Christ as saints on a weekly basis.

    Now I do believe that Jesus was a legalist and that the term legalist gets a bad rap in general, because Jesus knew the law and lived the law. But then again he wasn’t tied down to the law, over the people, to the point of harping on the minutia of law. Jesus fed and healed people on the Sabbath, which was work, as he came to “do the work” of His father, but it was also compassion.
    He made the argument that if a persons Ox had fallen into a ditch, wouldn’t they “work” to get it out. They “technically” would have broken the law to extend help, but that wasn’t the point of God’s law in the first place. They were to not to plan to and conspire to do work, but they could work if they had to.
    Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees that it wasn’t against the law to not wash one’s hands before or after eating.
    The Pharisees followed a tradition made law that made it sinful to not wash one’s hands…in the silence. They followed what they thought was a natural progression of thought in that if God made commands on cleansings, then cleanliness was Godly.
    This thing can go both ways and we have made a mess of it.
    The Pharisees could have said, “Look, God said nothing about washing your hands, but did say many things about cleansings, so in God’s silence, it is a sin to wash one’s hands.”

  13. David says:

    Jeff

    You don’t seem to have a problem with setting aside the “detail” of using one cup in the Lord’s Supper. Some other people would call using one cup an absolute and you a “liberal”. As far as I can determine the “absolutes” you referred to in your post are no more absolute than using one cup.

  14. Jeff Richardson says:

    Acts 20:7, “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread.” This statement was recorded for us as an example. We know from the inspired word of God that the disciples came together on the first day of the week to observe and remember the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Using reason and logic we conclude rightly that they did so on each and every first day of the week. The Jews knew to observe the Sabbath day. Do you think that instruction caused them to think monthly, bi-annual, annual observance? Do you Monty gather with your brethren on Sunday, the first day of the week? Why? Do you do so every Sunday, if so why? The Pharisees indeed went beyond what was written. Is that not what you are advocating Monty? Going beyond? Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16 instruct us to sing, God was very specific in stating what music He wanted. You desire to go beyond what is written and add instruments, I assume that you believe that you can partake of the supper whenever, and you call me a Pharisee?. The Lord was resurrected on the first day of the week, Sunday. Therefore we need to understand the significance of that day.

    David If the number of cups are important, wouldn’t “the cup” be equally important? I mean, if the “cup” the container is important, wouldn’t we need to use the very cup Jesus used? Wouldn’t Christians throughout the world need to use that one cup? I don’t think Jesus was calling attention to the vessel He was holding. He was calling attention to what was in the vessel and what it symbolized.

  15. Alabama John says:

    WE today all drink of one cup.
    Each of us pick our one from those in the tray and I never see anyone picking one that was used before so it is the only one.
    Sorta like someone saying lets all raise the glass in salute of something. WE all don’t race to put our hands on one glass, to raise but raise the one we each have all together in one big praise or salute.
    Reminds me of the COC’s that when each got their cup, they held it until all had one and at a signal all together drink it at the same time. They would criticize those of us that each drink from our one cup and place it back in the tray empty whenever it is passed by us.

  16. Dwight says:

    We Westerners know so little of the concept of the cup in their society, that we regulate the cup as a cup, when it was really more than that. The cup, was a cup of blessing (or of judgment) that was shared among the people, which is why it started out as one, then was divided among them.

    Jeff, in Acts 2 they broke bread daily, so breaking bread wasn’t conceptually tied to just Sunday and it is impossible to argue that this was the Lord’s Supper from Acts 20:7, but not gathering to remember Christ and share in Christ.
    True the Lord’s Supper was set aside like the Passover, but as noted, the Passover wasn’t limited to just the time when it was commanded, but could be done on other days, as Hezekiah did.
    Just because they were commanded to not work on the Sabbath didn’t mean they couldn’t take a day off from work on any other day that wasn’t the Sabbath, but this is where our argument directs us.

    If you truly believe that “Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16 instruct us to sing, God was very specific in stating what music He wanted.”, then we should sing in only the styles mentioned in the scriptures, not in four part harmony or mixed parts and at least a third of it should be directly from the book of Psalms.
    The truth is that we push one agenda, but ignore the far reaching logical conclusions of our own thinking. Psalms, which in the Septuagint was still psalms in the OT and/or NT, still was with the inclusion of IM. The definition and concept of psalms didn’t switch from the OT to the NT, as noted in the Septuagint.
    And IM doesn’t cause us to not sing. If we sing, even with IM, we are still singing.
    Our argument of a father sending his son to the store to get an apple, but bringing back an orange is not applicable here.
    What we are arguing is a father sending his son to the store to get an apple and bringing back two apples or an apple and an orange, because he understands that his father has liked the other fruits and never made a commandment against them and the son was doing this of his own free will.
    Again God is not vague.
    Silence doesn’t argue for as a command, nor against as a command.

  17. Jeff Richardson says:

    Dwight singing is singing. As far as breaking bread, we need to let the context define what’s being talked about, a common meal or the Lord’s supper. Your understanding of obeying a command, shows me an attitude of rebellion. A father sent his son to the store to get an apple. He brings home two apples, did he obey? NO, he went further than the instruction. Just because the father likes apples, doesn’t mean he will be pleased with a disobedient child. Why would you think that the Father, God, likes other forms of music? The New Testament is silent regarding the use of instruments. God was not pleased with the instruments invented by David, Amos 5:23, 6:5. Lets say the posted speed limit is 60. With your thinking, since it doesn’t say we can’t go 80, then we can go 80. Let us remember Col 3:17. “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord.” So when the trooper pulls you over, are you going to say, in the name of the law I was going 80? Or should we understand that when we do something in some ones name, we are doing it with their authority, their permission, based upon what they have said? We understand their silence with regard to going 80.

  18. David says:

    Col 3:17 , “Do all in the name of the Lord” is often used as a proof text for the Regulative Principle of Worship, but it doesn’t work. Paul is not saying you must have permission to do or say everything. If he is commanding you to say and do in Christ’s name, he is presupposing you already have Christ’s permission to say and do everything, and that you will say and do responsibly..

    To act in someone’s name gives you much more authority than acting with their permission, I have permission to drive in the state of Texas. I do not have the authority to drive for, or in the name of the State of Texas.

  19. Monty says:

    Jeff said,

    “The Jews knew to observe the Sabbath day. ”

    You reckon? Why is that? Um maybe because he commanded them to. Now we can put on our reasoning hats and make a pretty good case for worshipping God on the 1st day of the week through example, but not because God(Jesus) or the apostles told us to meet every Sunday. Please give me the clear explicit command Jeff. I can give you gobs of them for the Sabbath in the OT. I can give you gobs of verses concerning what type sexual relations are wrong , regulations concerning a woman’s period, regulations about which animals to eat and not eat(very specific) and regulations for the priests and so on. Jeff, again I ask you did God forget from one testament to the next how to give clear explicit commands? Why do we have to (we don’t, but you think we do) make up rules and regulations that damn people to hell when God hasn’t given us clear explicit commands? Is that not a fair question? God told Adam and Eve they could eat from any tree in the Garden but NOT THIS ONE! Got it? IT’s clear Eve knew it was wrong to eat of it. The Jews didn’t have to piece an example over here with one over there to come up with they were not to work on the Sabbath day. God made it abundantly clear.

    Jeff said, “A father sent his son to the store to get an apple. He brings home two apples, did he obey? NO, he went further than the instruction.” Jeff according to your logic and by your reasoning we have to worship God only on Sunday because you strung some examples together, then by your same reasoning skills you couldn’t worship God in the assembly except on Sunday. Can you do it twice(two different services?) any examples of that? By your reasoning God will send folks to hell who for special occasions desire to take the Supper on some other day in addition to Sunday. Remember, “the father didn’t say get two apples.” God also didn’t say for the church to meet on Wednesday either and study the scripture. You say the early church was (only) sharing a common meal in Acts 2 but there is no way to prove it by the Greek. Again your superior reasoning skills right? Jeff, can we give on any other day than Sunday? Can I write a check and mail it to my church on Monday? Is God going to send folks to hell who give bi-weekly or once a month? According to your superior logic he is. See what a monster you create?

    Jeff, you’re one of those guys who believes that if God dropped a Bible on an island inhabited by only one person who knew absolutely nothing about scripture that he (in theory any way) should be able to end up(if his reasoning skills are pretty sharp and he has a good honest heart) at the same place you are now, believing exactly what you believe. Am I wrong?

  20. Larry Cheek says:

    Jeff,
    You are not giving us BCV for this statement, “We know from the inspired word of God that the disciples came together on the first day of the week to observe and remember the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ”, that you are claiming to be in scripture! We are trying to explain to you that the one you have quote does not say what you clam of it. It is very evident that your claim is totally incorrect.
    Jeff,
    When you make this statement, “Using reason and logic we conclude rightly that they did so on each and every first day of the week.” You are allowing man to edit God’s Word in any way he sees fit (reason and logic). This is exactly the opposite of Abraham’s faith or the faith of any of God’s servants or Prophets. Reason and Logic can produce anything that man desires. Reason and Logic can produce a echurch where no individual meets in person with another it is all electronically connected. In fact, all the members could be in touch like a conference call (reason and logic). God condemned mankind even removed them from the earth with a flood because they used reason and logic to believe that their desires were more important than God’s instructions.

  21. David says:

    Jeff said:

    David If the number of cups are important, wouldn’t “the cup” be equally important? I mean, if the “cup” the container is important, wouldn’t we need to use the very cup Jesus used? Wouldn’t Christians throughout the world need to use that one cup? I don’t think Jesus was calling attention to the vessel He was holding. He was calling attention to what was in the vessel and what it symbolized

    If Jesus was calling attention to the contents of the cup, wouldn’t Christians throughout the world need to drink the same contents? ( I can make ridiculous arguments also.) It could be argued from I Cor 10:16 that the one cup symbolizes the one body. Do not get me wrong. I am not arguing for or advocating using one cup in the Supper. I am merely saying that the argument for using one cup is just as good, if not better, than the argument for using acappella only singing, and a dozen other rules men bind on others.

  22. dwight says:

    Jeff, your reasoning and mine in the past, would make Hezekiah’s extra Passover a sin and Esther’s extra feast a sin as well, plus many other things.
    My argument of “a father sending his son to the store to get an apple and bringing back two apples or an apple and an orange” doesn’t speak of rebellion, because the son did what his father asked and brought back an apple, plus something he wanted to bring back.
    God never punished the people for more worship, but replacing or changing the worship. IM doesn’t replace or change the quality of singing.
    If you truly believe that “Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16 instruct us to sing, God was very specific in stating what music He wanted.”, then we should sing in only the styles mentioned in the scriptures, not in four part harmony or mixed parts and at least a third of it should be directly from the book of Psalms.
    Be consistent.
    Do you sing the psalms in the original Hebrew with a Hebrew melody as is instructed?
    We either do it exactly as commanded as they did it or we do not.
    Your argument of “singing is singing” is false because you do not even believe that one singing with an instrument is “singing” even though it is singing.

  23. Profile photo of Kevin Kevin says:

    Why would you think that the Father, God, likes other forms of music?

    Because God commanded it. See Num 10

    1 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Make two silver trumpets. Of hammered work you shall make them, and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for breaking camp.

    10 On the day of your gladness also, and at your appointed feasts and at the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings. They shall be a reminder of you before your God: I am the LORD your God.”

    Later, we read of David bringing singers and various musical instruments into Temple worship in 1 Chronicles 13-16 and 23-25. However, we learn in 2 Chronicles 29:25-27 that God had commanded David to bring the instruments:

    25 And he stationed the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, harps, and lyres, according to the commandment of David and of Gad the king’s seer and of Nathan the prophet, for the commandment was from the LORD through his prophets. 26 The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 Then Hezekiah commanded that the burnt offering be offered on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song to the LORD began also, and the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel.

    Clearly God approved because He instructed David to bring in these instruments. Consequently, the following statement from Jeff couldn’t be more wrong:

    God was not pleased with the instruments invented by David, Amos 5:23, 6:5.

    Like so many, many other comments from Jeff, this one again rips verses from their proper context and historical settings. Ignoring the context, he props the words up as a proof text. With even a scant amount of study, he would have realized that the passages do not support his conclusions.
    Rather than indicting instruments, Amos denounces cultic festivities, drunken stupors, and idle, riotous living.

    The Apostle John witnessed harpists in heaven singing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. Yeah. Really sounds as if God deplores instruments alright.

  24. Jeff Richardson says:

    Larry and Monty, as I have said, Acts 20:7 this was recorded for us as an example of what and when. ” Now on the first day of the week the disciples came together to break bread. Any and all scholars agree that the Lord’s supper is under consideration in this passage.” On the first day of the week. Doesn’t say the 2nd and 4th Sunday, nor does it say bi-annual or annual. ON the first day of the week they came together. Are you saying they met once a month, twice a year? Who is editing Larry. I’m taking it for what it says, ON the first day of the week, that would be every first day of the week. If the trash man comes on Monday, what day do you expect him to be there? Every Monday, every other Monday, twice a year, annually? And Monty, I believe we can worship God any day. But by Apostolic example, we are to come together on the first day of the week and partake of the supper.

    David, Jesus told us what to drink and what the fruit of the vine represented. I don’t, nor do I think God would condemn anyone for using one cup or many cups, because cups don’t matter
    .
    Dwight, my rebellion comment was towards you. You seem to have a urge to twist things, making simple things difficult, why is that Dwight? Instead of taking God’s word for what it says, you would rather argue with it. And singing is singing. The instrument that is used is the human voice and the human heart. But Dwight, God has condemned many for adding to and taking away from His word. I think that’s giving more than asked for.

  25. dwight says:

    Jeff, so you would view your son rebelling if he brought you what you asked for and more? Really?
    This isn’t twisting the scriptures at all.
    Hezekiah and Esther didn’t twist the word of God by giving God more than what he asked along with what he asked.
    We cannot change or take away, but you confuse adding to as a command with adding to as an allowance. The Pharisees tried to make it a command, and thus a matter of sin, to wash the hands before and after eating, but it would have been wrong for them to argue that one should not wash their hands as a matter of command as well, but it wasn’t a sin to either wash or not wash, even though God had many commands on cleansings.
    Our argument on IM would make it a sin to wash our hands within the context of God’s commands on cleansings. It would be adding to God’s commands.
    But that would only be if we made it a command.
    What we don’t square up is the fact that God commanded His instruments and allowed David’s instruments in the Temple, and commanded and approved of and wanted IM in general and never condemned them.

    Talk about twisting scriptures…”God was not pleased with the instruments invented by David, Amos 5:23, 6:5″ I have heard this argument, but it goes against context of Amos and against the fact that Jesus allowed the instruments of David many times in the Temple, right alongside of His instruments. This is a gross contradiction. If God was against IM in Amos, then he was against beds, couches, lambs, bowls and even ointments.
    But the above is a typical argument in the coC that I would have been party to at one point in my past. Much like arguing that voice singing is spiritual, while IM is carnal, even though God commanded IM by the Jews. David who played the harp and sang the psalms was hardly not spiritual in this.

  26. Larry Cheek says:

    Jeff,
    I see that you still don’t get the point. This verse in scripture tells of one and one only instance when some of the Christians came together in Troas, and there is no mention of any other Christians in any other scriptures doing the same. Yes, they broke bread and in some cases that concept refers to participating in The Lord’s Supper. I would not attempt to deny that this was The Lord’s Supper. But, you mention that this is an example for us to follow. I and others have asked you to prove that by scriptures and you have avoided the action, leaving us to believe that you cannot find a direct instruction declaring your statement. I would hope that you would realize that if you were able to prove that this verse is an example which carries the power to command all Christians to meet to break bread on the First Day of the Week each and every week, how would you disconnect the example of preaching until midnight and discussing subjects until daylight so we are not bound to copy that portion of this example? Is that consistent with your (reason and logic)? You and those before you have picked and chosen portions of examples that suite your fancy and made laws of them just like The Pharisees. Remember, Jesus words to them? Are you so programmed that you cannot read the scriptures for your self? Or has God allowed Satan to hide the truth from you.
    Jeff,
    You are not correctly discerning the message in Amos. Read it again. I suspect that you are a KJV believer therefore I’ll quote from there but I will also show that ESV allows us to understand what the KJV is saying.
    Amo 5:20-24 KJV Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? (21) I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. (22) Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. (23) Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. (24) But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
    Verse 23 is the one which identifies the message you are referring to (especially the viols) but to apply the message you desire you must separate the songs because there is no mention of the songs being sung to the instruments. Songs here could be sung without the viol and receive the same judgement.
    I was taught to use this (Woe to them) and apply it through the text following to insure that it was being applied to verse 5 also.
    Amo 6:1 KJV Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!
    Now look carefully at verse 5 from both KJV and ESV and you should be able to identify that it was not the instruments that were being rejected, It was the use of them for (themselves). David had invented them to worship God with, but they were using them for (themselves) void of worshiping God.
    Amo 6:5 KJV That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David;
    Amo 6:5 ESV who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp and like David invent for themselves instruments of music,
    The point driven here is that instruments were being used for themselves instead of the purpose of David.
    2Ch 7:5-6 ESV King Solomon offered as a sacrifice 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. (6) The priests stood at their posts; the Levites also, with the instruments for music to the LORD that King David had made for giving thanks to the LORD—for his steadfast love endures forever—whenever David offered praises by their ministry; opposite them the priests sounded trumpets, and all Israel stood.

  27. dwight says:

    Jeff, to respond to your “So when the trooper pulls you over, are you going to say, in the name of the law I was going 80? Or should we understand that when we do something in some ones name, we are doing it with their authority, their permission, based upon what they have said? We understand their silence with regard to going 80.”
    The fact is that there are signs set up by the state that declare the speed limits, so if the speed limit is 55 and you go 80, then you have broken the law. But this is on a public road. Let’s say you go 80 on the salt flats where there is no speed limit, your argument would say you have broken a law simply because there are places that have speed limits.
    No…silence is silence.
    Besides do you have “permission” to go to the store or to the movies as a Christian? Remember everything you do is to be done in the name of Jesus?

  28. David says:

    The prophet, Amos, is given credit for saying a lot of things he didn’t say these days. Not long ago I heard a sermon based on Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together unless they agree”. The topic was, of course, the sin of having fellowship with other denominations. I was dumbfounded that a preacher of his age and education wouldn’t know that the verse has nothing to do with people disagreeing on some subject. and that when Amos wrote “walking” he meant walking not being in fellowship, That kind of ignorance is inexcusable for a preacher,

  29. Jeff Richardson says:

    Dwight, we will be judged by the words of Christ. Not by what He didn’t say. John 12:48. The speed limit is 55, to go beyond 55 would be breaking the law. The same principle applies to singing. We have been instructed to sing, nothing more nothing less. To add to singing, adding instruments would be violating the stated law.

    Larry, “the use of them for themselves, David had invented them to worship God with, but they were using them for (themselves) void of worshipping God.” Whatever this means. David INVENTED instruments of music. In other words, he added them and God was not pleased. In 1 Chron 16:42 we see, trumpets and cymbals and musical instruments OF GOD. Which to me indicates that David went BEYOND what had been authorized. He invented for himself. Instruments of David, shows ownership. He gave more than what had been instructed. He added when not authorized to do so. So we see that singing is authorized by God under the New Covenant and instruments of God or man not mentioned, nor apart of it, to add them would be like David. If we do, we have INVENTED, just like David.

    David, I believe the thrust of Amos 3 is God and His people walking together. The people not walking with God, disagreeing and rebelling against Him. I believe the point the preacher you site is correct as well. Fellowship is under consideration, walking by the same rule, having all things in common. If we disagree on matters of faith and practice we can’t walk together. It’s like Christians and Jews today. Many say we serve the same God, therefore we walk together. Couldn’t be more wrong. Because the Jews reject the Christ, we can’t walk together. You may reject baptism for the remission of your sins, I don’t, therefore we can’t walk together.

  30. David says:

    Jeff

    So do you interpret Amos 3:3 to say that we are to put ourselves in the place of God to judge and punish those with whom we disagree? The Jews are our prey and we roar like a lion and growl when we catch them? We catch them in a trap like a bird? We sound a trump and cause them to tremble? I hope not, That would get us back to where we started, discussing legalists, like the Pharisees.

  31. Jeff Richardson says:

    David, Jesus said ” He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him, the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” John 12:48. It’s not about catching anyone, it’s about teaching people the truth of God’s word.

  32. Dwight says:

    Jeff, The problems with your argument is:
    A speed limit sign provides a limit, while sing doesn’t and it doesn’t affect the things around it, unless the things stop or change the singing. Any song that comes on the radio can be sung with music or without, without changing the tune or the message.
    Your argument is more attune to God saying to drive, but from your argument, to listen to the radio or to talk to another or to even sing while driving is a sin, because you are adding those things to the command to drive. Really?

    It is ironic that you say, “we will be judged by the words of Christ. Not by what He didn’t say”, but that is exactly what we are doing when we make commands that Jesus or God didn’t say against IM. This goes back to the thought that since God said to drive, we can’t in the silence do other things while we drive, even to make the driving better, even when those things were allowed and commanded before and never remitted by command.

    Jeff, go back and read your OT, because ““the use of them for themselves, David had invented them to worship God with, but they were using them for (themselves) void of worshipping God.” Whatever this means. David INVENTED instruments of music. In other words, he added them and God was not pleased.” is incredibly inane.

    God’s commanded instruments (Lev.23:23-24, Numb.10:1-10) “Make TWO trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out. When both are sounded, the whole community is to assemble before you at the entrance to the tent of meeting. If only one is sounded, the leaders—the heads of the clans of Israel—are to assemble before you. When a trumpet blast is sounded, the tribes camping on the east are to set out. At the sounding of a second blast, the camps on the south are to set out. The blast will be the signal for setting out. To gather the assembly, blow the trumpets, but not with the signal for setting out. “The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow the trumpets. This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come. When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies. Also at your times of rejoicing—your appointed festivals and New Moon feasts—you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the LORD your God.”

    This shows that God commanded two trumpets of silver to be used and only two trumpets. And it is very detailed. There is no mention of singing involved, just the two trumpets. And they were to be used at various times in relation to the feast and offerings commanded by God.
    SO would singing to God during this time of trumpeting or with the trumpeting be condemned?
    I guess it depends on if we consider the singing to be an aid or an additive. HMMM!
    This is also reflected in: II Chron.29; Ezra 3:10-11, etc., where the priest only blew the trumpets.

    And
    David Commanded (I Chron.15:16, 23:5, 25:1-6; II Chron.7:6, 29:25-27; Ezra 3;10-11; Neh.12:36) “And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of music, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.” And other scriptures say “as David commanded”, but one thing of importance is that God is not mentioned in any of these verses as having initiated these, even though the trumpets of God and the instruments of David are often mentioned together as being used together in the Temple and in worship to God.
    Let’s read again David commanded singing with instruments He made to be directed to God. God at no time commanded or condemned this action by David, as David didn’t replace or change the blowing of the two trumpets commanded by God.

    David boast: 1 Chron. 23:5 “musical instruments, “which I made,” said David, “for giving praise.”
    So singing and the playing of other instruments were done along with the instruments of God, even though they did not aid the trumpets, but they did not replace or change them either.

    King Hezekiah commanded the use of the instruments of David and of God in the rededication of the Temple
    (II Chron.29:25-28) “And he stationed the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, of Gad the king’s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for thus was the commandment of the LORD by His prophets. The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. Then Hezekiah commanded them to offer the burnt offering on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD also began, with the trumpets and with the instruments of David king of Israel. So all the assembly worshiped, the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.”

    So the instruments of David (invented by)were not condemned and were welcomed alongside of the two trumpets commanded by God.

    Amos 6 doesn’t condemn the instruments of David, without also condemning “laying on bed and couches, eating lamb and using ointments”. God didn’t condemn that which He allowed and even commanded to be used in the Temple.

    Again you would condemn by extension Hezekiah and Esther for adding extra feast along side of the God’s commanded feast even when God didn’t.

  33. Dwight says:

    Amos 3 is making some obvious observations on cause and effect. An agreement will cause people to walk together, if there is a trap, a bird will be caught, etc.
    God acts against the people, because God has given His commandments that they have gone against.
    “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”
    Meaning that God doesn’t judge people based on what He hasn’t said, but based on what He has said or what He has revealed.
    Again God is not vague. This means that on the same level that God has commanded singing by His command, He hasn’t condemned IM based on silence (despite the fact that He allowed and commanded IM in the past), the psalms in the NT is the same psalms as in the OT and even the angels are engaged in IM in heaven in His worship.
    The RP is sadly wrong. God not only regulated worship, but the entire lives of the Jews, but not in everything.
    In other words, God said they couldn’t eat certain animals, but didn’t tell them what they had to eat and this extended to vegetables, fruits and even fungi. If God had disliked IM at any point He would have consistently condemned them from the beginning, but He didn’t. He allowed and commanded and never said otherwise. This is revealing.

  34. David says:

    Jeff
    Yes, but you said Amos 3:3 was about not having fellowship with those who disagree with us. The verses immediately following and obviously in context with Amos 3:3 speak of catching, snaring, and trapping. What does that have to do with our having, or not having fellowship with others? Nothing. And you seem to agree, its not about us catching anyone, And Amos 3:3 is not about us having, or not having fellowship in God or Christ with anyone.

    If the preacher I spoke of earlier had only quoted three more verses after Amos 3:3 he could not have used it as his main proof text. People would have been wondering what all that had to do with having fellowship with other denominations. But as most proof texters do, he just threw it out there, knowing that most people would interpret it in the context he was setting up. To be completely honest, I do not think it was all ignorance on his part. I think there was some dishonesty involved. Like the Pharisees he was protecting his turf. Hope I’m wrong about that.

  35. Jeff Richardson says:

    Dwight, the Apostle Paul told us to sing, go argue with him. Amos 5:21 ” The Lord said, I hate, I despise your feast days, And I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings (as commanded) I will not accept them, nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.” Amos 6:5 ” who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments, and invent for yourselves musical instruments like David.” Do you suppose that this is a reason we don’t see instruments of music in the New Covenant?If you reject that, there is not much I can say. If that’s what you want to do, then by all means go do it, your the one who will face Jesus and give an account for what you have done, not me. As for myself, I will sing only. The new hermeneutic that you follow will cost you your soul. Silence is prohibitive. God’s spoken word, provides a limit.

    David, In Amos 3, I see God has the one who will catch, snare mans evil deeds. Our evil ways cannot escape God, we will be caught. We, as the children of Israel will pay for not walking with God.

  36. Profile photo of Kevin Kevin says:

    Jeff wrote:

    David INVENTED instruments of music. In other words, he added them and God was not pleased.

    and later:

    Do you suppose that this is a reason we don’t see instruments of music in the New Covenant?

    There’s no other way to say it: This is just horrible, horrible application of God’s Word. It’s supremely illogical. It ignores both the context of the passage and the purpose of Amos’s writings. Jeff, I know you are a smart guy, but this is just laughable. And lazy. It’s as if you conducted a concordance search for “instruments” & “harps” and didn’t read beyond the capital letter and the period at the end of the sentence while reviewing your search results. How very typical of CoC scholarship. You are simply reinforcing what I have witnessed in CoCs for over thirty years. Concordance searches alone do not qualify as Bible study.

    If you had bothered to research the setting of the book, the audience, the purpose of the book, and the context of the passages, you would have realized that neither Amos nor God were expressing displeasure with either instruments/harps or David.

    The Northern Kingdom was corrupt. Israel had rejected the explicit commands of God, and God is rejecting Israel’s idolatry, her Canaanite cults, and her unloving & uncaring treatment of the poor, needy, and oppressed.

    It is obvious that God wasn’t displeased with harps or instruments for the following reasons:
    1) God commanded them. See 2 Chron. 29:20-36, esp. v25 where we learn that the use of instruments was commanded by God through His prophets.

    2) You are completely overlooking or ignoring the concept of inspiration. Do you believe in the inspiration of the scriptures, Jeff. I know that you do. On one hand you contend that the biblical writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit, and on the other you contend that God wasn’t pleased with instruments. Clearly, you haven’t thought this through very well. What do you do with all the passages in the Psalms and Proverbs in which the Holy Spirit inspired David to write very favorably of instrumental praise?!? You can’t have it both ways. If David added instruments without divine authority and if God was displeased, then you have to throw out large chucks of the Psalms and proverbs as uninspired poetry, no better than the Iliad.

    3) The Hebrew word for “invent” (KJV, ESV, NKJV) in Amos 6:5 is חָשַׁב or “chashab” which has many different meanings. Strong notes the following meanings:

    חָשַׁב châshab, khaw-shab’; a primitive root; properly, to plait or interpenetrate, i.e. (literally) to weave or (generally) to fabricate; figuratively, to plot or contrive (usually in a malicious sense); hence (from the mental effort) to think, regard, value, compute:—(make) account (of), conceive, consider, count, cunning (man, work, workman), devise, esteem, find out, forecast, hold, imagine, impute, invent, be like, mean, purpose, reckon(-ing be made), regard, think.

    Thomas, Robert L. New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek dictionaries : updated edition 1998 : n. pag. Print.

    Here are some other examples of חָשַׁב châshab:

    Gen 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted (châshab) it to him for righteousness.

    Gen 38:15 When Judah saw her, he thought (châshab) her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.

    Ps 44:22 Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded (châshab) as sheep to be slaughtered.

    Is 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
    and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed (châshab) him not.

    With regard to Amos 6:5, Hubbard notes in his TOTC Commentary:

    The picture of idle self-satisfaction is enhanced by the presence of music (v. 5). The initial participle—who sing idle songs (Heb. prṭ)—occurs only here in the Old Testament and is thus difficult to translate with precision. ‘Improvise carelessly, idly’ (BDB) is probably as close as we can come with the help of an Arabic cognate and Amos’ parallel verb, ‘devise’ (invent; Heb. ḥšb). Whatever creative energies the Israelites had, they were not channelled into care for the poor among their countrymen or regard for the future of the state but were poured out with luxurious abandon in music to sweeten their revelry.

    Hubbard, David A. Joel and Amos: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 25. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1989. Print. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries.

    In his NIVAC commentary, Gary Smith notes:

    The people also enjoy the finest music at these banquets; they even “esteem themselves to be like David [not ‘improvise,’ as in NIV] on musical instruments” (6:5). How arrogant they are to openly compare themselves to the godly man David, who sang his songs to glorify God (1 Sam. 16:16, 23). The final physical aspect of these sumptuous banquets that catches Amos’s eye is the huge bowls of wine in front of each plate (they prefer to drink from punch bowls rather than tiny goblets) and the expensive imported body oils, lotions, and perfumes that people rub into their skin (see Deut. 28:40; Song 1:3; 4:10).

    Smith, Gary V. Hosea, Amos, Micah. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2001. Print. The NIV Application Commentary.

    The sense of Amos 6:5 is not that David invented instruments against the will of God and that God is displeased. On the contrary, the sense of the word “invent” is to conceive or fashion in the mind. In other words, they esteem themselves to be musicians like David, but they are not grieved over the ruin of their nation like David.

  37. Monty says:

    Nah Kevin, This passage has to mean God hates musical instruments performed to his glory by the righteous. It couldn’t possibly mean that God hates worship from his people who get drunk, worship idols, mistreat the poor and then think they are the reincarnation of David, Couldn’t possibly mean that. And why not? It doesn’t fit Jeff’s paradigm. That’s why. Create or be indoctrinated to a particular teaching and then spend the rest of your life perpetrating the big lie. I used to do that too. No longer. Freedom feels wonderful!

  38. Larry Cheek says:

    Jeff,
    Have you never read this scripture?
    2Ch 5:11-14 ESV And when the priests came out of the Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had consecrated themselves, without regard to their divisions, (12) and all the Levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, their sons and kinsmen, arrayed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps, and lyres, stood east of the altar with 120 priests who were trumpeters; (13) and it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the LORD), and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the LORD, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever,” the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, (14) so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God.

    Does it appear to you that the Lord filled the house to show his displeasure of the event that was in progress? That is the exact message that you are trying to promote, make us believe. That God hates all use of instruments.
    I would ask you read more scriptures to verify God’s intentions in his actions within the cloud. Read chapter 6 and 7 paying special attention to these verses from chapter 7.
    2Ch 7:12-18 ESV Then the LORD appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. (13) When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, (14) if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (15) Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. (16) For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. (17) And as for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my rules, (18) then I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to rule Israel.’

    After this can you still refuse to believe that God allows and accepts instruments and singing performed together in the OT.

  39. Dwight says:

    I somewhat sympathize with you Jeff in that I used to have the same arguments, but in reality they are just coC “talking points” without scripture to back them up. We assume that if they sound right and we say them enough times they will be true, but they are not. There must be scripture where there is precedence (an example/s) or a command alluding to this, not just what we repeat with certainty.
    And you obviously didn’t read through my post which details that God commanded two instruments, then years later David was allowed to use his instruments in the Temple. The instruments of David were brought in by man, allowed by God and removed by man, but were never dis-allowed or condemned. While the instruments of David might have fallen out of favor, the two trumpets were still used in the Temple even during Jesus time. And even in the synagogues (Matt.6:2) which Jesus and the apostles visited.
    But let’s consider the synagogue for a moment. Not commanded by God. Created by man towards God. It existed in time with the Temple. Not rejected or called sinful. Visited by and used by Jesus and the apostles.
    Then back to Hezekiah and Esther, which you seem to ignore. God had commanded a time for the Passover, Hezekiah did this Passover/Week of Unleavened Bread…and then did another one.
    Esther created in honor of God a feast of Purim and instituted it within the cycle of God’s commanded feast. Her feast did not replace or change the other commanded feast.
    And although we argue that “psalms” means “to twang the heart strings” the Septuagint makes it clear that the NT psalms is the same as the OT psalms in meaning and thus in application.
    IM were not removed by God.
    I grew up hearing that the voice was the purist expression of worship to God and instruments were basically carnal in nature and yet when we go back and look for many years two trumpets were blown in the tabernacle and there is no record of singing. So this can’t be correct.
    The fact is that God was able to tell the Jews what kind of animals they couldn’t eat by hoof type in the law, but for some reason couldn’t tell the Jews or us that he condemned IM even though he had years of chances. And then it comes down to an vague reference in Amos.

    Deut.29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
    We can only do or not do that which God has commanded or condemned from His revealing.
    God is not vague. God’s silence is not a command for or against and never was.

  40. Jeff Richardson says:

    Dwight, in your point above you suggest that without scripture to backup what I say in reality it becomes a talking point. I couldn’t agree more. So where is the scripture that authorizes instruments of music in Christian worship? This would be a passage from the NEW Testament.
    In Lev 23:23-25 we see the feast of trumpets. On the first day of the seventh month, you shall have a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. In Lev 24:8-17, the year of Jubilee. You shall cause the trumpet to be sounded on the tenth day of the seventh month, on the day of atonement you shall make the trumpet sound through out the land. In Numbers 10:1-10 we see instructions concerning trumpets. All very detailed. In other passages we see what David did, the instruments of David. He INVENTED for himself other instruments and introduced them into his worship. God grew tired of David’s inventions and commanded that they be removed from His sight. David, a musician, sought to please himself, God was not pleased. When we add things that are not authorized today, are we not guilty of the same thing? In the New testament we see nothing concerning instruments of music in Christian worship, the silence is deafening. Deut 12:32 ” Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it, you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” If we add to, or take away from, are we not violating the law of silence?

  41. Profile photo of Kevin Kevin says:

    We derive authority for instruments in the NT is at least four places:

    1) Christians are to sing. We can sing with instruments, and we can sing without instruments. Either way, it is singing. Just like the command of Christ to “Go therefore, and make disciples…” We can go by planes, train, automobiles, or Twitter. Either way, it is going.

    2) We are to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Many of the psalms were sung with instruments. God didn’t differentiate between a cappella psalms and instrumental psalms. Clearly, He is not that concerned with about it. Otherwise, He would have made a distinction.

    3) The Greek words for singing: 3 nouns and 3 verbs – psalmos, humnos, ode and psallo, humneo, ado. None mean a cappella only. Psallo is never defined without instruments somewhere in the definition. We know that that Jews in the 1st Century used psallo in an instrumental sense in their extra-biblical writings.

    4) Imagery in Rev 14:2 and the meaning of words. “The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps…”
    Notice that John isn’t surprised or aghast to hear a voice like harpists playing their harps. Doesn’t strike him as odd at all. There’s no, “Hey wait a sec; that’s not authorized around these parts.”

    Rev 5:8-9 is more explicit by losing the metaphor altogether: “And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying,

    “Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
    for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,”

    John saw elders holding harps and singing. BTW, guess what verb and noun John uses?? ode and ado. Say what? Yes, ode and ado. They sang a song with musical accompaniment. And John didn’t say they “played” or “fiddled” or “strung.” All John said was that they “sang a new song,” which we know included instruments, specifically 28 harps. Even John knew that one can sing with instruments or sing without instruments, either way it is singing. Amazing. Instruments are authorized in the NT based on grammar and word usage in this passage alone.

    Of course our heritage of legalism dismisses these passages in Rev because they run counter to the man-made narrative that we have contrived in our own hearts. The CoC asserts, “Well, these harps are in heaven and not on earth. God likes them in heaven, but he doesn’t specifically authorize them on earth, so we can’t use them here,” which is just retarded. We have badly caricatured God into a modern Native American Trickster…”I am going to show an earthly Apostle a vision of heaven with harps, which were perfectly acceptable and commanded in the Temple and in Heaven, but if he uses them during this interim period…ZAP! Break out the magnifying glass!”

  42. Dwight says:

    Jeff, Where is the scripture in the NT that authorizes pews, songbooks, pitch pipes, driving to church in a car, singing not to God, entertainment, having pets? This is a red herring argument,
    We don’t need scriptural authority to do things that weren’t ever commanded or condemned.
    This is the fallacy of the Regulative Principle, which strictly focuses on worship and of which we play pick and choose.
    In reality God regulated and regulates all of the Christian’s life, not just worship, so accordingly we must have authorization for everything we do in our life that is not commanded.
    “Whatever we do in word or deed do all in the name of Jesus” Right.

    The problem is that God doesn’t have to authorize everything we do for us to do it and it to be good.
    Let us think about entertainment. We don’t find it in the OT and not in the NT either, so God never “authorized” it, so that should automatically keep us from doing it, but that is not the case.
    The fact is that to keep us from doing something we are free to do we must have God telling us not to do it.
    And the fact God tells us to do some things doesn’t keep us from doing other things in respect to that commanded things as long as we don’t change or replace that command.

    God specifically commanded in every passage numerous times that there be a sacrificed lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs, but interestingly God never commanded wine.
    And yet we know that wine was a part of the Passover, not by command, but by allowance as it was not condemned.

    Jeff, “God grew tired of David’s inventions”? Really? Scripture please.
    Even Amos doesn’t argue this. And if so, then he grew tire of beds, couches, lambs, calves and ointments.
    We should be wary du to the fact that God never commanded these to be used.
    The fact is if you would have looked (please do this for yourself) is that God allowed David’s many invented instruments into His worship and commanded their placements along side of His instruments.
    But beyond this Miriam and the Israelites sang (not in the Temple) and played before God (the ark) and were not condemned. David played instruments and sang before God (not in the Temple) and was not condemned and he was called a man after God’s own heart.
    I guess your next argument is that God grew tired of David’s worship as well.

    There is never one piece of scripture that argues that David “sought to please himself” and/or “that God was not pleased” with his worship. Scripture please.
    This means that God really didn’t like Hezekiah’s extra Passover feast or Esther’s feast of Purim in dedication to God.
    He was displeased and silent and yet somehow only you know these facts.

    What these arguments do are make Pharisees of us all in either commanding for or against that which God was silent on and that which we have the freedom to do.
    You see what you are doing is adding your thoughts, as if they were God’s thoughts, to the scripture. You simply don’t want people to have the freedom that God allows. This is one of the problems that plagues the conservative coC that I grew up in. Speaking for God when God doesn’t speak at all.

  43. Dwight says:

    Kevin, very good. There is an excellent argument. This would almost make it a commandment to use instruments (but not song books or even modern harmony as they are not mentioned).
    But the fact is that God allowed us to sing in what ever manner we wished in whatever way we wished as long as we did it towards God.
    My thought: I sometimes wonder if our songs, which could be about rock-n-roll, about a girl we don’t know named Suzy or Beth, about Galveston or Houston or California, etc. are worthy of being sung. We will sing and play secular music with instruments towards any and everything, except towards the God who is worthy of our talents and praise.

  44. Monty says:

    Jeff,

    You will have a hard time going back to the OT and finding where God commanded men to pray, sing, or dance to him in worship until over in the Psalms where David is instructing(encouraging) everyone to sing to the Lord, play musical instruments , and dance to the Lord(as he did) however they had already been doing that for centuries. Besides that, these were not formal commands(in the Psalms) or else those who didn’t have any musical ability would have to play instruments regardless(yikes) and the lame, the infirm, the aged would all have to dance regardless(unimaginable) or else be lawbreakers. Moses sang without being commanded to sing, so did Miriam and the women danced in praise of God while playing tambourines even, after the Red Sea crossing. Abraham prayed to God without being given the go ahead by God to do so. (Don’t all the acts of worship have to be authorized, according to you?) You simply won’t find early authorization for praying, singing, dancing. It’s not even brought up in the Law. Yet people had been doing these things to worship God without any formal instruction(permission) to do it. And there’s no indication whatsoever that it ever displeased the Lord. So much for the silences.

  45. Jeff Richardson says:

    Kevin, glad you mention this in #3 above. Psallo is never defined without the instrument somewhere in the definition. Eph 5:19 “singing and making melody in your heart.” nkj “sing and make music from the heart.” niv. The instrument that is played is the human heart. What you gentleman don’t want to grasp is that singing alone is music. Playing an instrument alone is music, put the two together you have mixed two forms of music. You have changed the command to sing and play. Instruments are more than an aid, they are music in and of themselves. Song books help us in singing, they don’t change the command to sing, they aid us in our singing. Now if the song book sang for us then you would be right.

    Dwight, David invented, he devised instruments, they were said to be instruments of David. You can’t invent something to please God. I guess you could, but wouldn’t that be works in which one could boast? Or works of un-righteousness? If we do something that is not authorized, then we are doing it for ourselves. The whole context of the book of Amos is their (Israel’s) national indulgences. And the Lord roars from Zion, verse 2 of chapter one. As for your entertainment argument, we are to flea all forms of evil. are we not? I think we can understand that when it comes to how we choose to be entertained. Your comment on “wine” was used and not condemned remark. Are you suggesting that alcoholic wine was used during the Passover? Let me remind you that the Lord’s supper was instituted during the pass over. During this time anything with leaven in it had to be removed, nor could they eat anything with leaven in it. It takes a leavening agent to make alcoholic wine, usually yeast. Therefore, when Jesus said, take this cup and drink, He was holding a cup of grape juice, or fruit of the vine. So are you arguing for social drinking now?

  46. Profile photo of Kevin Kevin says:

    Kevin, glad you mention this in #3 above. Psallo is never defined without the instrument somewhere in the definition. Eph 5:19 “singing and making melody in your heart.” nkj “sing and make music from the heart.” niv. The instrument that is played is the human heart. What you gentleman don’t want to grasp is that singing alone is music. Playing an instrument alone is music, put the two together you have mixed two forms of music. You have changed the command to sing and play. Instruments are more than an aid, they are music in and of themselves. Song books help us in singing, they don’t change the command to sing, they aid us in our singing. Now if the song book sang for us then you would be right.

    Is Paul really teaching that the heart is an instrument? No, of course not. You attempt to prove too much:

    “Proving too much, in philosophy, is a logical fallacy which occurs when an argument reaches the desired conclusion in such a way as to make that conclusion only a special case or corollary consequences of a larger, obviously absurd conclusion. It is a fallacy because, if the reasoning were valid, it would hold for the absurd conclusion—the judgement of fallacy is therefore largely dependent on a normative judgement of the “absurd” conclusion. A charge of “proving too much” is thus generally invoked, rightly or wrongly, against normatively-opposed conclusions, and so are often controversial at the time they are made…” Wikipedia

    “The fallacy of Proving Too Much is when you challenge an argument because, in addition to proving its intended conclusion, it also proves obviously false conclusions. For example, if someone says “You can’t be an atheist, because it’s impossible to disprove the existence of God”, you can answer “That argument proves too much. If we accept it, we must also accept that you can’t disbelieve in Bigfoot, since it’s impossible to disprove his existence as well.” Slate Star Codex

    If you attempt to limit “making melody” to the heart, then you also have to limit “singing” to the heart because they are joined by the coordinating conjunction “and” or kai. See all your own arguments for Acts 2:38 & Mark 16:15-16 with respect to the use of coordinating conjunctions.

    Rather than redefining the meaning of psallo in Eph 5:19, and rather than setting aside the rules of grammar, and rather than limiting the reference to the heart for only one clause, Paul is actually explaining what it means to be filled with the Spirit:

    The focus of the second clause is singing with one’s whole being to the Lord Jesus. The two participles, ‘singing songs’ and ‘making music’, should be considered as one unit, since they are conjoined by ‘and’, and together, rather than separately, they are followed by the one qualifying expression: in your heart to the Lord. Both verbs, ‘sing’ and ‘make music’,145 pick up their cognate nouns from the previous clause. The additional words ‘with your heart’ do not specify an inward disposition (NIV: in your heart), as though the apostle is referring to silent worship in contrast to ‘with your voices’. Rather, heart here signifies the whole of one’s being. The entire person should be filled with songs of praise, thereby expressing the reality of life in the Spirit.
    PNTC, Ephesians, Peter O’Brien

    See also Harold W. Hoehner’s Exegetical Commentary on Eph 5:19:

    Commentary: 5:19b. ᾄδοντες καὶ ψάλλοντες, “singing songs and psalms,” The first result of being filled by the Spirit is introduced by a present participle, “speaking to one another.” Now the second is introduced by two present participles, “singing and psalming.” The two participles should be considered one unit because they are joined by the conjunction καί, “and,” and because they are followed by a qualifying phrase. This, then, matches the first participle:

    “speaking to one another … by psalms and hymns and spiritual songs”

    “singing songs and psalms … with your hearts to the Lord”

    These two participles are the verbal forms of the nouns (ψαλμοῖς and ᾠδαῖς) discussed above. The participle ᾄδοντες comes from ᾄδω (contraction of ἀείδω), and its meaning is like that of the noun ᾠδή discussed above. It is used of singing with reference to humans, animals (e.g., the crowing of a cock), or inanimate objects (e.g., wind whistling through the trees)1 and is set in contrast to speaking.2 In the LXX the verb occurs seventy-four times and in the canonical books it appears seventy-one times where it translates six Hebrew words. It translates שִׁיר sixty times (e.g., Exod 15:1, 21; Ps 13:6 [LXX 12:6]; Jer 20:13). In the NT it occurs five times (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16; Rev 5:9; 14:3; 15:3), the same verses in which the cognate noun appears. Revelation 5:9 and 14:3 speak of singing a new song of praise to the Lamb of God for his redemption. Like the noun, the verb refers to song.

    The participle ψάλλοντες is from ψάλλω, “to pluck,” primarily a stringed instrument.3 In the LXX it occurs fifty-eight times (fifty-five times in the canonical books) for either זָמַר (thirty times: only in the Psalms, except for Judg 5:3 and 2 Sam 22:50) or נָגַן (ten times: outside the Psalms, except for 33:3 [LXX 32:3]; 68:25 [MT 68:26; LXX 67:26]). It means “to play a stringed instrument” without singing (1 Sam 16:16, 17, 23; 19:9) or with singing (Pss 27:6 [LXX 26:6]; 33:2 [LXX 32:2]; 57:7, 9 [MT 57:8, 10; LXX 56:8, 10]; 71:22–23 [LXX 70:22–23]; 98:5 [LXX 97:5]; 101:2 [LXX 100:2]; 105:2 [LXX 104:2]; 108:1, 3 [MT 108:2, 4; LXX 107:2, 4]).1 In the NT it appears five times (Rom 15:9; 1 Cor 14:15bis; Eph 5:19; Jas 5:13). Some think the word intrinsically means a stringed instrument,2 but this reads too much of the earlier meaning into it.3 None of these passages demand it. In fact, in Rom 15:9 where the mention of praises sung to God is juxtaposed to confession among the Gentiles (from Ps 18:49; 2 Sam 22:50), the playing of the instrument alone does not even seem to fit. Again, in 1 Cor 14:15 songs are sung and not just played by an instrument, for believers are to sing in the spirit and be mindful of the words they are singing. In Jas 5:13 the author asserts that those who suffer should pray and those who are cheerful should sing praises. Again this likely refers to verbalized praise rather than instrumental playing. The same could be said for Eph 5:19 where the filling by the Spirit is expressed by singing and praising. Hence, none of these passages demand instrumental playing in conjunction with the singing of praise although it would not forbid it. The main point is the verbalizing of praise through singing. Literally, it would be translated “psalming,” rendering it “singing and psalming,” which does not work well in English. More properly, it should be translated “singing songs and psalms.”

  47. Dwight says:

    Yes, Kevin. The argument has no teeth, so the answer is to show more gum.
    I looked up sing in the OT and one of the words is “zamar”, which means “strike with the fingers”, which alludes to a musical instrument within the context of singing or rather singing within the context of an instrument used 45 times mostly within the passages of psalms where it is translates as psalms, but in the Septuagint the word for psalms “psalmos” was used in place of zamar.
    The literal meaning of psalms is not to pluck the hearts strings, but to pluck an instrument in song.

    If the “Eph 5:19 “singing and making melody in your heart.” nkj “sing and make music from the heart.” is to be taken to its literal conclusion, then singing with your lips is sinful. Or even making a pre-melody is sinful as it must be derived from the heart of each person.

    And then per Eph.5 we cannot sing while alone to God, as it must be done while in the presence of another. “one to another”. Thus singing a song by yourself is sinful.

    Jeff, you ask “You can’t invent something to please God. I guess you could, but wouldn’t that be works in which one could boast? Or works of un-righteousness? If we do something that is not authorized, then we are doing it for ourselves.”
    So this means that if you invent a song for your wife, then you are ultimately doing it for yourself?
    And then what do we do with the song books we have?
    Really?
    Each song in our present songbooks are an invention of man as they are not directly from scripture as you would require. I have never sung a psalm as it is written which is alligned with the Hebrew melody system and wouldn’t know how.
    And then what of our prayers? Each prayer we pray is an invention of man to God, not directly from the scriptures. Unless we repeat the Lord’s prayer each time.
    Are all of our songs in our songbooks and prayers self-serving? They are by your conclusion, because they are not ripped from the scriptures.

    Again David created instruments and God allowed their use and commanded where they went in His temple and for some reason you think David wasn’t Godly and that God couldn’t have said something. God was very direct when He disapproved of something done in His temple…ask Nadab and Abihu. They went against a direct command. David did not. David wasn’t punished, but considered a man after God’s own heart.

    And then you still haven’t approached Hezekiah and Esther one who added another Passover feast and the other who created/ invented another feast towards God…Purim. I guess God was against both of them, but for some reason remained silent.

    You see Jeff I have been where you are for 49 years and about 2 years ago I looked past all the arguments I was raised up and realized that God is not and has never been vague concerning what he wanted or didn’t want. The Jews could drink wine (or let’s say grape juice) in the Passover, even when God had not commanded it. God wasn’t vague in his wishes for the Passover and yet the Jews still included something not commanded to be an notable part of the feast. It didn’t change or replace the feast, but was added. Your argument would be that “food is food and well wine is food so you have mixed two types of food”. Well, yes you have. Not sinful. One didn’t exclude the other as long as the one was done.

    You nailed it ” The whole context of the book of Amos is their (Israel’s) national indulgences.”, but the only reason they are being condemned is that it is self-indulgent and not directed towards God.
    God also condemned their feast, which he had commanded, not because they were sinful in their nature, but because they were not dedicating the feast to God, but to themselves. God commanded the feast…so they were not sinful.

    What we end up doing is reading scriptures and then manipulating it to suit our needs and then going against them. God really didn’t like instruments, (even though he commanded two trumpets), but then again he didn’t like invented instruments, (even though he openly welcomed them into the Temple), well they were carnal, (even though David was spiritual in his worship), but…ad nauseum.

  48. Monty says:

    What Jeff is really holding onto is his beliefs that the CofC and his particular brand of the CofC are the only faithful, and thereby the only folks going to heaven(if they do enough) and believe all the right doctrines or examples and necessary inferences. A capella and Communion every Sunday (Sunday only) are the main points of distinction which he will never give up(it seems). To do so would be to admit his man made system is a house of cards. It’s humbling. I know from experience.

  49. Larry Cheek says:

    Then the very point that may condemn individuals who hold to much that Jeff is claiming is that they have placed their interpretation of God’s Word as their god, replacing God himself.
    Jeff are you attempting to state that Grape Juice was available year-round in the First Century? I understood that there was a time for harvesting Grapes. Have you ever attempted to keep Grape Juice at room temperature for even a week? What would you suppose Jesus was referring to in these verses?
    (Mat 9:17 ESV) Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”
    (Mar 2:22 ESV) And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”
    (Luk 5:37 ESV) And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed.
    Was this non-alcoholic wine?
    You surely would not believe that the attenders of the wedding where Jesus made wine did not know the difference between fresh Grape Juice and Wine? So what Jesus made was not Wine but Grape Juice, and they testified that it was the best Wine.

  50. Jeff Richardson says:

    So Larry, what you would have me believe is, knowing that we are to be sober minded, not a drunkard, that we are to flee every form of evil. That at the wedding feast, after they had consumed all of their (alcoholic wine, your impression), which if it were, they would be drunk by now, your saying Jesus made them more, so that they could be even more drunk? Larry, the only way I can know God, is to know and understand what He has revealed. When we deviate from that, we only assume to know God. We begin to speak for God. When we assume, we break the law of silence.

    Monty, If I observe the Lord’s supper each Lord’s day, I know I am safe in that practice. Because that is the example that was given. If I only sing and sing with no instruments I know that I am safe in that practice because Paul instructed the Colossians and the Ephesians to sing. No where in the New Testament is anyone instructed to use them, nor do we have an example of anyone in the New Testament using them in worship. Therefore I know that I am safe in the practice of not using them. It is when we (men) introduce them into Christian worship, without authorization that we have created a man made doctrine. Why would you all fight so hard, for a doctrine (instrumental music) in Christian worship, if you weren’t doing so to satisfy your own desires?

    Dwight, if instruments of music are authorized, and as you stated above about the participles ‘singing songs’ and ‘making music’ (melody) should be considered as one unit. I agree, but the instrument under consideration is the human heart, it is the ‘heart’ that is plucked. But if your reasoning is correct, wouldn’t everyone in the worship assembly need to play an instrument?
    If you go back and study all those founding fathers of the denominations, you will see that everyone of them believed that instruments of music were not authorized in Christian worship.

  51. Dwight says:

    Yes, Larry the “whole grape juice was available year round wine myth” is actually impossible to produce without pasteurization which they didn’t do or have access to, (I know I have made grape juice and it fermented within a few days of using some of their methods) but I wasn’t going to go there as I was still attempting to show that when God didn’t condemn something it wasn’t condemned and when God allowed something and even commanded it there was no condemnation. But then again this is true of wine and/or drinking wine (fermented grape juice) as God never condemned it. Many people use Psalms to condemn it even though it only really condemns drunkenness and also in other passages condemns oil and pleasure and eating (that is gluttony). And then Psalms was never used as law…never.

    And yes the whole placing new wine into old wineskins is very counter intuitive if you don’t think the new wine or “grape juice” isn’t going through fermentation. New wine, was not old wine, but still fermenting and actually it was more active as old wine usually settles down as much of its fermentation has been completed. Only an act of fermentation will cause an old wineskin to burst.

    The biggest issue I have with the whole IM issue, of which I was at one time very, very judgmental, was that based on a lack of scripture in the NT, even while seeing that God had no problem with it in the OT and in heaven, we (not God), we condemn others. We become those Pharisees we hate so much and we make this non-command a point of separation. This while rejecting that the psalms, odes, etc. that is referenced in Eph, etc. had by definition IM naturally built into its context. Our stance, not based on scripture, but our reasoning deflects the truth.

  52. Johnny says:

    Jeff we do not urge you to violate your conscience. If you think singing with instruments is sinful I would urge you not to do it, because to do so would be an act of rebellion on your part. You would be doing something that you believed was sinful, just like those who felt that eating meat was sinful. I truly believe based on my studies that you are incorrect, that the use of instruments is not sinful, you however are willing to condemn me and those like me who have studied the issue, are faithfully following what we believe about the scriptures. You have appointed yourself a judge over another. I choose to worship with a group that is non instrumental. I do not condemn those who worship otherwise nor would I refuse to fellowship with them over something that the bible does not condemn.

    Likewise I do not condemn the practice of social drinking, because the scripture does not condemn it. I do call drunkenness wrong as the scripture specifically warns about the dangers of that. I am completely convinced that Jesus drank alcohol based on my reading of the scripture and my understanding of the chemical reaction of fruit juice. We only within the last century were able to have unfermented grape juice year round. That concept was completely foreign before then.

    I urge you to follow your conscience but not to condemn your brothers who disagree with you on issue that the bible does not speak on. You risk adding to the gospel and Paul warns strongly about the consequences of that in Galatians. I know you do not consider me your brother, but I consider you mine. I wish you well.

  53. Dwight says:

    Jeff, Ugh no, as you can see in the book of psalms instruments were sometimes used and sometimes not. You are moving from one extreme to the other. Instruments were not required in singing, just like in the OT singing was not required when instruments were played. In fact when the two trumpets were to be blown there is no mention of singing. The word zamar/psalms, which is used in the NT as well, allowed for instruments or singing or singing with instruments.
    Odes was the same, as it could have instruments or not.

    And again you are deflecting from the precedence of Hezekiah and Esther.

    Many of the founding fathers argued for things that you would instantly reject and yet you accept this argument from them, even though they never base their arguments on scripture.

    Jeff, listen to yourself. You say, “Larry, the only way I can know God, is to know and understand what He has revealed. When we deviate from that, we only assume to know God. We begin to speak for God. When we assume, we break the law of silence.”
    Revealed and silence are opposites. If revealed, then God is not silent. If silent, then God has not revealed it. Deut. 29:29
    The Jews were not culpable for things not revealed.
    And God wasn’t silent when he commanded the two trumpets and allowed David’s instruments into the Temple for His worship.

    Law of Silence…where is that law? I want chapter and verse where God says “that when I don’t say something this means that I have said something”.

    If the instrument under consideration is the human heart, then why are you singing with your lips. Aren’t you using your lips as an instrument to produce noise?

  54. Monty says:

    Jeff said,

    “Why would you all fight so hard, for a doctrine (instrumental music) in Christian worship, if you weren’t doing so to satisfy your own desires?”

    Jeff, you are impugning our motives concerning IM. I’ll let others speak for themselves but I have no desire whatsoever to go against the Lord’s expressed commands where we find a “thus sayeth the Lord”, and not an interpretation based on an example or inference. I happen to worship and always have (except for when visiting family) in singing only congregations. I actually prefer(my own desire) to worship (singing only) if the singing is really good. Music is fine and can be awesome with the right acoustics,speaker systems, talent level of the musicians. If the right mix isn’t accomplished I have found(musical accompaniment) to be distracting to my personal worship in congregations I’ve visited, although many present seem to benefit regardless(problem is with me).

    That said, I listen to contemporary Christian music when traveling or often at home by myself on the computer and find it deeply spiritually moving. I have no ulterior motive other than what is true. I have no desire to bind(any longer) where the Lord has not bound. I don’t push for my congregation to move toward IM. I have conducted classes that show that IM is a tradition in the CofC and not expressly taught in scripture.

    Jeff, if you secretly polled members even in singing only churches you might be surprised to find 1. they go to other churches special music and plays at Christmas and Easter. 2. They listen to the Gaithers or some other like show on TV. 3. They listen to contemporary Christian music while driving. 4. They don’t believe it’s wrong and certainly it’s not going to send believers to hell, but that it’s basically only the leadership maintaining the old hardline CofC tradition that do.

    Times are changing Jeff, that doesn’t make it right in and of itself, but with exposure to multi media today at peoples fingertips, the curtain has been thrown back to reveal the Great Oz (IM) isn’t the Great menacing monster it once was. Existing in isolation is much harder today than 50 years ago. The CofC has prided itself on not using instruments and LS every Sunday. Usually anything you pride yourself in religiously isn’t a good thing. I wish were known for our love and not silly rules and regulations we’ve contrived.

    Let someone who doesn’t know anything about the CofC ask a member in a conservative CofC congregation what’s special about you and you will get, “we don’t sing with instruments, we say the words “for the remission of sins” at baptism, and we take the Lords supper every Sunday. Some will be proud to announce that and others will say it with a sense of embarrassment. If someone says, “Why don’t y’all use instruments”, usually you’ll hear “well you’ll need to talk to my preacher, he can explain it better than I can.” They could of course say “well in Ephesians 5:19 we’re told to sing but we aren’t told to play an instrument and sing, and they’ll usually look at you like, so, do you not read the OT or Revelation? Anything so complicated that it can only be defended by an interpretive principal is suspect at best.

  55. Jeff Richardson says:

    Johnny, in regard to going against ones conscience, lets consider the Jews. They had been taught by God not to eat certain meats. Their conscience had been trained by God. The law then changed, under the New Covenant God said all meat is clean. They had trouble with that, their conscience bothered them. They had to learn what God deemed to be ok. Our consciences have to be trained. Everyone has one, true, but they are not automatically attuned to what is right and wrong. We say that axe murderers have no conscience, yes they do, theirs just don’t bother them, because theirs may not have been trained in right and wrong or they don’t consider right and wrong as important. So we can’t say that our conscience is a good guide. It depends upon how it’s trained, how it perceives right and wrong, and where and by whom it was trained. So if you have been taught that instruments of music are ok in Christian worship, you will do so with a clean conscience. But your actions may still go against what God has commanded. Saul/Paul considered his actions of rounding up Christians, throwing them in prison, beating and killing them as justified by God. He did so with a clean conscience, until he was taught the truth. It is the “truth” that will set us free, not our conscience.

  56. Dwight says:

    I admit I used to be one of the worst regarding IM, to where I even condemned the patriotic songs that mentioned God. After I realized silence doesn’t equal a command and there was no Law of Silence, I realized how wrong I was in condemning others over something God never condemned, accepted and even employed.

    Monty, I also realized that your assessment of even the most conservative churches, which I grew up in and still attend, is spot on. There will be in any given congregation a small or large or even part that listen and sing along to songs on the radio with IM, but don’t sing them in the assembly, even as I don’t, and don’t believe they are wrong due to lack of condemnation.
    It is sad to hear from your preacher an argument in line with Jeff’s where we condemn God, because we allude to Amos condemning those very things God commanded. Or we condemn David for inventing instruments that were used by God, even though we use inventions in our worship all of the time. Even our four part harmony is an invention that wasn’t seen during the time of Christ and for many years after. In fact many thought that any new style such as four part harmony was sinful as it was a departure from the known singing style.

    Now in our singing we often sing , “They word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my way”, which is in line with every other scripture that talks of God’s word as being the only word that directs us. Deut. 29:29
    There is no Law of Silence.
    If there is, then God should have spoke it and we should have examples of it, but we don’t.
    We do however have examples like Hezekiah, David, Esther who did extra things alongside of God’s law without condemnation and even with God’s welcoming and the wine in the Lord’s Supper, the synagogue, the feast of Purim, which were not commanded, but became a staple of the Jewish life, which God oversaw.
    The only time God reacted to man’s sin was when man sinned against that which God said was sin or changed or replace that which God commanded. In regards to the def. of psalms and ode, there is no change from the past (OT) to the NT.

    I simply bring up entertainment, because there is complete silence on it in the OT and the NT, which should immediately condemn it, if we are going to condemn IM.
    Jeff your argument of “As for your entertainment argument, we are to flea all forms of evil. are we not? I think we can understand that when it comes to how we choose to be entertained”, doesn’t wash when there is no mention of it. If the Law of Silence works it works completely and especially so when God is completely silent. It doesn’t just work in worship, but in our life, which God is over.

    The reason I fight and many fight for this is because we are filling in the blank with what we perceive to be a sin and thus taking God’s place and condemning others was condemned by Jesus.
    And I do not base my faith on what the ECF said, but on what Jesus said, but not on what he did not say. Many of these same ECF did many things that you would find appalling like infant baptism for salvation. And if you look they never base their beliefs against IM on scripture, but on some other reasoning.

  57. Jeff Richardson says:

    Dwight, your right, silence does not equal a command. A command is spoken, revealed, stated, and given with authority. We have none concerning instruments of music in Christian worship. Therefore it is not a command and cannot be lawful. What is the ECF?

  58. Monty says:

    Jeff,

    People were praying, singing, sacrificing, dancing to God and even calling on the name of the Lord without any command to do so, and God accepted it : Moses, Abraham, Miriam, Deborah etc..

  59. Dwight says:

    Jeff, you switch back and forth between “arguing points”, without answering any questions or presenting relevant scriptures.

    In Deut. 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
    That which is revealed is law, that which isn’t revealed isn’t law or a command.
    Unless we change or replace the law or command we haven’t sinned. Otherwise it is allowed.

    David didn’t need a command to make instruments and play them towards God.
    It would however been a sin to replace God’s instruments (two horns) with David’s instruments, but David’s instruments were allowed to be played along with God’s instruments.
    Wine in the Lord’s Supper wasn’t commanded, but allowed.
    Miriam’s singing with a cymbal with other women wasn’t commanded, but allowed.
    David playing and singing before the Ark’s progression wasn’t commanded, but allowed.
    The added feast of Purim by Esther wasn’t commanded, but allowed.
    The extra Passover feast directly following the commanded Passover feast by Hezekiah wasn’t commanded, but allowed.
    The synagogue wasn’t commanded as a place of worship, but allowed.
    God has never condemned more worship or other worship that was done within the context of His worship when it didn’t change or replace it.

    Technically IM in general should be unlawful, not just in worship.
    Since entertainment was never commanded or even mentioned, then it should be unlawful.
    Since only “singing one to another” is mentioned, then singing by yourself is unlawful.
    Since “melody is made in the heart”, then making a melody before you sing is a sin, it must be done in the moment of singing.

    The Law of Silence covers everything that God did not say as being unlawful, which is everything we do without a command given.
    Thus the Law of Silence itself is thus unlawful as God didn’t not command it.

    The ECF is “early church Fathers” or those post-Jesus/ para-post apostles people from which we mine many quotes and many positions from when we want to, while ignoring other quotes and positions that we detest. The ECF never spoke from the scriptures when they argued against IM. But what is more telling is that they never even used the “Law of Silence” as a reason.

    It is strange that you say, “silence does not equal a command”. I said this almost exact thing in a lesson on God’s law many years ago and when I said it I realized that I could not make a command out of something that wasn’t said…for or against something. And I couldn’t reason a command in the silence. We are given latitude in how we do the commanded things towards God.
    God was never shy about stating what he wanted or what he didn’t want. God is not vague.
    If God had truly had changed directions in regards to IM he would have said so.
    In regards to the eating of unclean animals God “said eat” to Peter, undoing that which he had done. The unclean animals were now clean. The unclean Gentiles were now clean,

    It should be at this moment you realize that many things we do don’t have commands associated with them, from making and using song books, to using pitch pipes, to having carpet in our assembly. These are all man-made inventions, which you argued were sinful for that reason.

    But it should be apparent from the list above that God allowed many things from people in regards to worship alongside and within the context of his commands.
    In regards to IM no one here is arguing that IM is a command in usage, but you are against it, as a command, even while stating “silence does not equal a command.” Silence doesn’t restrict us or force us one way or another, but allows us to act within the context of what God has told us to do in the way we choose to do it.

  60. laymond says:

    Jeff Richardson says:
    June 25, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Dwight, my rebellion comment was towards you. You seem to have a urge to twist things, making simple things difficult, why is that Dwight? Instead of taking God’s word for what it says, you would rather argue with it. And singing is singing. The instrument that is used is the human voice and the human heart. But Dwight, God has condemned many for adding to and taking away from His word. I think that’s giving more than asked for.

    Jeff, it is actually more demeaning to God than you have suggested.

    What it says is, I can improve on what God has said.

  61. Monty says:

    I believe the “adding to” refers to man made rules based on traditions of men that get the same “authority” as God’s “thus sayeth the Lord.” The Pharisees were condemned by Jesus for this. It is simply amazing to me that Laymond and Jeff don’t see this. I believe no instruments allowed falls into this category.

    Taking away from God’s word is a person who in the face of a direct command(not a Philadelphia lawyer contrived interpretation based on silences) says “Don’t obey that command.” For example ,’It OK to fornicate.’ No one responding to Jeff says don’t obey that particular command. Even so, there are over 1,000 imperative statements(commands) in the NT. We interpret some as to their principle without doing injustice to those commands. Laymond, when is the last time you gave your brother a holy kiss? When is the last time you lifted holy hands to pray in the assembly? Aren’t those commands? Much more so than “don’t use instruments” on the contrary the Psalmist instructs(those who can) to do so. Are you taking away from God’s direct commands by not obeying them? Funny how we interpret direct commands away sometimes, aye Lamond? But if we don’t grasp “the silences” we’re doomed for hell?

    It still boils down to folks who believe God will send dedicated believers to hell because they did something he never instructed them not to do by way of telling them, when it would have been nothing for him to do it. . Really?? Millions and millions of believers sent to hell for disobeying a command that was never even once mentioned in all the NT. A sin so heinous God in his grace won’t forgive and he just failed to mention it? Amazing.

  62. Jeff Richardson says:

    Monty, you are correct, when we add instruments of music to the command to sing, we are adding a man made tradition. God gets to decide who is and who isn’t a dedicated believer we don’t. Is it the one who does his best to be obedient and follow God’s word, or is it the one who does all he can to skirt around things, speaking for God when God was silent?
    . As far as the holy kiss goes, kissing both cheeks was a custom. Our custom in greeting someone is with a hand shake. The important part of the greeting is the “holy” part. To be holy is to be set apart, sanctified in the sight of the Lord. We need to be able to greet one another in this condition, having our lives in subjection to the Lord. If we don’t we can’t greet one another in a “holy” manner.

    Dwight, your right, God is not vague, when God speaks we should listen. We are given some latitude, but we can’t change the command. We are to go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that Jesus taught. We have been instructed in what to teach them and how they are to respond to it. We can’t change that. We are to go, therefore, we are free to go however we can get there within reason. We can’t steal a car, highjack a plane to get there can we. But we do have freedom in how we get the job done. The command was go and make disciples. There is nothing in scripture concerning the internet. Are we sinning because we are discussing biblical matters on it? No, we are going. the internet is an aid that we can use to carry out a command, teaching people about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are trying to fulfill the command to go and teach. How we go does not change the command. Using a fixed building with pews does not change the command to go or for us to come together as the body.Using song books to sing does not change the command to sing and make melody in our hearts. But when we add instruments of music, which are music by themselves, we are changing the command to sing, to sing and play other music. We are also told to rightly divide the word of God. The first step in doing that is understanding that we are not under the Old Law, or the Old Testament. it was given to the Jews and the Jews only. We desire to be New Testament Christians, we find our law, our directives in the New Law or New Testament. So regardless of what David did or didn’t do, our direction our guidance is found in the New Testament. With David, it was always about his obedience was it not?

  63. Dwight says:

    Jeff, much of the problem that exist has to do with the Regulative Principle that argues that God regulates worship and that anything not done exactly as commanded is sinful. The main problems of the RP are:
    1. God regulated all of the life Jews and does the Christian as well. God had his fingers all over the entire life of the Jew in eating, in disposing of the dead, in relationships with your wife and brother and yes, also in worship. To the Christian God says, “Whatever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord”, which means God has his fingers in our life…our entire life.
    2. God doesn’t control everything we do and allows us latitude in everything we do unless it changes or replaces a direct command. This is seen numerous times in the OT and the NT as well, where God commanded something and man did something within the context of that command without changing or replacing the command and wasn’t condemned. Since God is over our lives we work and live within the context of God’s commands every day. The fact is if we say a prayer, it is our prayer (invented) directed to God. If we sing a song, unless torn from the scriptures, it is our song (invented) directed to God. We are not limited to how we sing or where we sing or what we are doing when we sing or pray. IM doesn’t change singing or replacing singing, even if done with singing.
    3. This concept of “adding” to is based on human reasoning. We don’t like one type of adding, but we are OK with another type of adding. We dislike IM adding, but are OK with adding carpet, songbooks, man-made songs, man-made tunes, etc. Every tune or song that we write that is used in worship that is not directly from the scriptures is an addition to God’s command. All of the things that we call “aids” are not commanded. Something doesn’t suddenly change from unscriptural to scriptural because we reason it to be helpful. That is human reasoning.
    4. But since our lives are to be God directed, if we sing a song, it is done within the context of God. This means that if we play an instrument it is also done within the context of God. IM was never commanded in connection with worship (well, it was in the OT), but it was never commanded to be done in general, right? Thus playing an instrument at any time for any reason is sinful, because it is always in the presence of God and there is no command for it. Everything we do is within the context of God.

    Then there is the elephant that you haven’t addressed that is staring your down.

    David didn’t need a command to make instruments and play them towards God.
    It would however been a sin to replace God’s instruments (two horns) with David’s instruments, but David’s instruments were allowed to be played along with God’s instruments.
    Wine in the Lord’s Supper wasn’t commanded, but allowed.
    Miriam’s singing with a cymbal with other women wasn’t commanded, but allowed.
    David playing and singing before the Ark’s progression wasn’t commanded, but allowed.
    The added feast of Purim by Esther wasn’t commanded, but allowed.
    The extra Passover feast directly following the commanded Passover feast by Hezekiah wasn’t commanded, but allowed.
    The synagogue wasn’t commanded as a place of worship, but allowed.
    God has never condemned more worship or other worship that was done within the context of His worship when it didn’t change or replace it.
    God didn’t have to command any of the above things for them to be done before Him or within the context of worship. And these added things didn’t change or replace God’s commands.

    You say, “With David, it was always about his obedience was it not?” which is true, but what you don’t seem to grasp is that David wasn’t disobedient when he did those things that you condemn.

    IT doesn’t matter whether these were done in the OT or not as they set precedents on that God allows things within the context of His commands.
    Remember these things were not commanded, so they have no bearing on the OT Law or OT at all. They were not part of the Law or part of God’s commands. And they were not condemned.

    In fact IM were still used in the Temple in the NT.
    Wine (or grape juice) was used in the Passover in the NT and by Christ and the apostles.
    The feast of Purim and even Hannukah were observed by Christ and the apostles.
    Jesus and the Christian Jews and apostles all visited the synagogues in the NT.
    In fact if you look at baptism, there is no command for its invention and was being used to convert from gentile to Jew and was simply adopted by God.

    Where all of this leads is that you have condemned David for making instruments and even condemned God for David’s instruments and allowing and commanding IM and never condemning it, because for some reason Amos condemns that which God allowed and even instituted. You have condemned all of the above people because they “added” things to God’s commands or did things that were in conjuction with God’s commands, even though God never did.
    If this concept applies to the NT it applies to the OT as well, s you have tried to contend.

    David, Esther, Hezekiah, all of the Jews and even Jesus and the apostles all are condemned because they were involved in things of worship that were not commanded by God.

    You say, “Using song books to sing does not change the command to sing and make melody in our hearts.”, but we are using an invented and added thing in our singing.
    Strangely in the same way, IM does not change the command to sing and make melody in our hearts. No one is suggesting we stop singing to God. And even so, when you look at psalms (OT and NT) and sing (ode), the concept of IM is built in to the definitions.

    You also say,”We are trying to fulfill the command to go and teach. How we go does not change the command.” But if IM changes the command to sing, then how we teach changes the command to teach. If how we teach doesn’t change the command to teach…if we are teaching, then how we sing doesn’t command the command to sing…if we are singing.
    This is called categorizing similar things into different boxes so we can treat them differently.

  64. Monty says:

    Jeff,

    The Pharisees added 700 rules to God’s word. Playing an instrument is not an addition. God clearly accepted praise in the form of musical instruments way before the Psalmist proclaimed that we should sing, play and dance to the glory of God. Moses sang without authorization, so did Miriam and the women who danced, sang and played the tambourine. Jesus added to the Passover Feast. Did he sin? Jeff it has been proven time and time again by Dwight, myself, Kevin and others that people did things to God’s glory and he accepted it without condemning them. This is getting old.

    You still believe God will send to hell believers who don’t have pronounced over them the words “for remission of sins”, when baptized or that have a big toe sticking out of the water, or partake of the Supper on Monday in addition to Sunday, what if someone does it twice as I have on Sundays or anyone that gives a monthly check for their giving by mailing into the church office on Tuesday instead of giving “every” Lord’s Day, or someone who dies on the way to the baptistery, where do we stop? No doubt there are myriad little gotcha’s in you legal scheme. Feel free to deny any of those things but please give a reason if you do.

  65. Dwight says:

    Laymond, you forwarded this statement “But Dwight, God has condemned many for adding to and taking away from His word.”

    The problem is that I am not adding to His word (I am not making a command) and I am not taking away from His word (or removing a command).
    The Pharisees inserted a command that one had to wash their hands or be sinful, because God had commanded washing and cleansings.
    But it would have also be wrong of the Pharisees to command them not to wash their hands so as to not add a washing or cleansing to God’s list of cleansings
    It wasn’t a sin to wash or not wash their hands within the context of God’s cleansings.

    I am not adding a command or taking away a command or any commands.
    Just as hand washing didn’t add to the commands to cleanse and to not wash one’ s hands didn’t take away from God commands to cleanse.

    WE insert a COMMAND when WE argue it is a SIN to do or not do something when God has not said we must do or must not do something. Adding to His word doesn’t mean doing something in relation to or with in the context of His command, which is what all of the Jews did…even Jesus and the apostles…even post OT into the NT, but rather inserting a command where there was none.

    It is not rebellion to fulfill a general command to sing psalms, odes or spiritual odes, by singing, even though the singing involves that which was not specifically commanded like IM, songbooks, song chords, four part harmony, etc.

    To condemn something it is on your (and Jeff’s) burden of proof to show where God has condemned where man has fulfilled God’s command in a way he chose, where he didn’t replace or change the command.
    Or where God has laid forth the concept that his silence condemns an action done by man, where he hasn’t laid forth His law, hence the Law of Silence, or where God’s silence is a commandment for or AGAINST something.

  66. Jeff Richardson says:

    Dwight, I believe the correct word would be “tolerated” “There was a time when God winked at man’s ignorance, but now commands all men to repent.” Acts 17:30.

  67. Jeff Richardson says:

    Dwight, Cain offered a grain offering when he was instructed to offer a blood sacrifice. Nadab and Abihu offered strange or unauthorized fire. Moses struck the rock when he was to speak to it. Naaman the leper was told to dip seven times in the river Jordan, he wasn’t healed until he complied with the instruction. Need more?

  68. John F. says:

    Dwight said, “In fact if you look at baptism, there is no command for its invention and was being used to convert from gentile to Jew and was simply adopted by God.”

    Did you REALLY mean to make that comment re: baptism? Matthew 28 does not mean anything?

  69. Dwight says:

    Jeff,
    Give the scriptures where Cain was instructed to offer a blood sacrifice and if so, then Cain went against a direct command, otherwise it wasn’t a sin (never called one), until Cain killed Able.
    He never said Cain sinned in his sacrifice, but that “sin lies at your door”.
    Do you have a different version of the scriptures?

    Nadab and Abihu also went against a direct command. God directs tells Moses in Ex.30:34-38 how to specifically make the incense that is to be offered in the Tabernacle.
    Nadab and Abihu offer strange fire, thus not the incense as commanded.
    Moses struck the rock against the direct command of God.
    Naaman would have gone against the direct command if he only dipped six times in the river.

    These above are often given, but never proved to be where people did what God wanted and more or what God wanted and then something extra. They are examples of God giving a command and man going against the command by changing or replacing the command.

    While I can give many examples of where man did what God commanded and extra or something added without changing the command or replacing it.
    So back to the list:
    David didn’t need a command to make instruments and play them towards God.
    It would however been a sin to replace God’s instruments (two horns) with David’s instruments, but David’s instruments were allowed to be played along with God’s instruments.
    Wine in the Lord’s Supper wasn’t commanded, but allowed.
    Miriam’s singing with a cymbal with other women wasn’t commanded, but allowed.
    David playing and singing before the Ark’s progression wasn’t commanded, but allowed.
    The added feast of Purim by Esther wasn’t commanded, but allowed.
    The extra Passover feast directly following the commanded Passover feast by Hezekiah wasn’t commanded, but allowed.
    The synagogue wasn’t commanded as a place of worship, but allowed. Jesus and the apostles worshipped in the synagogues.

    Yes, I need not only more, but an actual example where God has condemned where man has fulfilled God’s command in a way he chose, where he didn’t replace or change the command.

    Or where God has laid forth the concept that his silence condemns an action done by man, where he hasn’t laid forth His law, hence the Law of Silence, or where God’s silence is a commandment for or AGAINST something.

    I will ask any one here besides Jeff as well to confirm this or to offer an example where God condemned man for doing not only what he asked but doing more s long as it didn’t change the command or replace it.

    And why did God call David a man after God’s own heart and not condemn him for all of his non-commanded IM? And Miriam and Moses as well? And Hezekiah and Esther?

    And then you have to square with the fact that if your argument is true, then Jesus and His apostles knowingly sinned by drinking wine (or grape juice if you prefer) in the Lord’s Supper, went to the synagogues, observed the feast of Purim and the Festival of Lights…all of which where added by man to the context of God’s commanded worship.
    Do you accept that and if not why?

    As I was reading in Exodus I found Ex.36:5 “The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the Lord commanded us to do.”
    Meaning that while God commanded the people to bring for the service, the people brought more. They thus would have been condemned for this according to this Law of Silence concept.
    But they were simply told not to bring any more. They were not condemned for more of the same.

  70. Dwight says:

    John F,
    Baptism was being done long before John or Jesus was born, by the Jews in a conversion to Judaism, along with circumcision and a sacrifice.
    There is no command where God tells the Jews to start this practice or to start baptizing people for conversion to anything…before John. If you can find one, then I will submit.
    Matthew 28 has Jesus telling the apostles to use the existing baptism that was already in play by John for conversion to Him, even as John was doing it strictly for repentance of sins.
    I am not arguing that God didn’t command baptism, as I cannot argue that Jesus didn’t use the wine (or grape juice) that was placed in the Passover by man, to be instituted in the Lord’s Supper. Or even the bread that was commanded for the Passover to be used in the Lord’s Supper.
    Baptism might have been God’s plan and if so, then it was providence, but not by initial command.

  71. Alabama John says:

    Bottom line is whether the bible is the GOOD NEWS or a book of law? What should we be worshiping, the Bible or God? Remember there were almost 400 years before the bible was written and longer before many of our ancestors had it. Did they all go to hell for not obeying during their life time as some of us demand?

    Out of Jesus own mouth came love God and your fellow man. If we do exactly that, does all this other stuff really matter that much?

    Most of the time, we debate the bible and Gods hidden meanings like a bunch of lawyers shortly before they graduate law school. In the end, we sound pretty silly instead of concentrating on doing what Jesus said about loving the two He mentioned. Do you agree?

  72. laymond says:

    Monty said, “. Laymond, when is the last time you gave your brother a holy kiss? When is the last time you lifted holy hands to pray in the assembly? ”

    I never have Monty, but just as soon as I find the scripture telling me to obey Paul’s wishes as God’s commands, I will seriously consider doing so. If I can determine just what constitutes a “holy kiss”. and whether or not a man can perform such a kiss. As for “holy hands” is that the opposite of sinful hands. ?

  73. laymond says:

    Dwight, the only sentence of Jeff’s that I was commenting on was this one. ” Instead of taking God’s word for what it says, you would rather argue with it. ”
    And I was not even saying that this fit you and your writings. I was just commenting on the seriousness of changing the words of God.

  74. laymond says:

    1Ti 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

    Rom 16:16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
    Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
    Rom 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

    does this sound like the advice Jesus gave us about praying? And did Jesus say avoid those who may disagree with you.?

  75. Dwight says:

    Laymond, sorry if I misunderstood. The way it was stated threw me off.
    And yes, Laymond, there is a point here in that many times we are arguing for or in this case against a command based on silence, when there are words blaring out at us directly we don’t even press as command or think too much about in application.

    My only thought on I Tim.2:8 is that the onus is on “holy” and not necessarily the application, as lifting hands was done as a custom in prayer, no command, at least initially aside from this verse.

    Huh, no command for kneeling or lifting of the hands in prayer and yet they did it anyways. Many times three times a day as Daniel did ritually (towards Jerusalem).
    But I digress.
    I understand Paul to be saying when you do this, you do it as to God from a Godly person. You are holy and your hands are holy so you lift them in holiness when you pray without wrath and doubting. It isn’t done in a special way, but with a special purpose, when done.
    Same as with Holy kiss.
    The thing about holiness is that it is unseeable from another person perspective.
    When Abraham approached God in the burning bush, God told Abraham to remove his shoes as he was stepping on Holy ground.
    Abraham didn’t immediately know it was Holy ground, because it looked like all of the other ground around him. But it was to be holy to him per God. When Abraham left it would still look like the other ground, But when ever Abraham came to that spot he would react differently to it.
    The concept is that when we pray we do it in holiness and when we approach or greet another we do it with holiness. But in all likely hood no one will know any difference except you.

    I do think we miss perhaps an important concept in praying by standing and not on our knees hands raised. We miss a stance of submission of the body while appealing to God in heaven, wherever that is.

  76. laymond says:

    Dwight, I know you know this, but I believe it was Moses.

  77. dwight says:

    Laymond, yes thank you, it was Moses.

  78. dwight says:

    Going back to the thread theme. I have been accused by a few preachers of being a false teacher even while presenting them with an article I ask them to look over and correct where wrong. Because they couldn’t do this, they personally attacked me, especially when I haven’t attempted to teach anyone. The remark I got was, “How dare you think you might know something we don’t and take the place of a teacher.”
    It was and is too easy to yell false teacher, when you have the platform. Publications like the GA, etc. have done much damage by marking without due diligence and true vetting on many doubtful things.

  79. laymond says:

    Dwight I know it would be hard for you to believe, but I have experienced similar abuse. In the coc.
    (there is a reason I did not capitalize coc)

  80. dwight says:

    Laymond, I think this would and/or could happen in many congregations of many denominations, but from my experience the more conservative a group gets or feels itself to be, the more it condemns others and feels insulated as being the one true church/churches, even among conservative churches.
    I capitalize coC to recognize Christ, but not the coC as being “the church” of Christ, but will use coC to recognize the groups that go by that name as opposed to others that go by different names.
    I believe that all people constitute the coC. I also believe in the boC or body of Christ.
    Or coG…children of God. It is to respect Jesus and God.

  81. Profile photo of Kevin Kevin says:

    Jeff wrote:

    Dwight, if instruments of music are authorized, and as you stated above about the participles ‘singing songs’ and ‘making music’ (melody) should be considered as one unit. I agree, but the instrument under consideration is the human heart, it is the ‘heart’ that is plucked.

    “One unit” is exactly what we see in Rev 15:2-4 reads:

    2 And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. 3 And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

    “Great and amazing are your deeds,
    O Lord God the Almighty!
    Just and true are your ways,
    O King of the nations!
    4 Who will not fear, O Lord,
    and glorify your name?
    For you alone are holy.
    All nations will come
    and worship you,
    for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

    I call your attention to the last part of V2 through v3b, which in the Greek reads:

    ἔχοντας κιθάρας τοῦ θεοῦ. 3 καὶ ᾄδουσιν τὴν ᾠδὴν Μωϋσέως τοῦ δούλου τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τὴν ᾠδὴν τοῦ ἀρνίου

    with harps of God in their hands. 3 And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb

    “Harps” or κιθάρας is from = kithara
    “Sing” or ᾄδουσιν is from ado
    “Song” or ᾠδὴν is from ode

    Instruments are present, yet John and the Holy Spirit only mention singing. John doesn’t mention playing, but it’s obviously that playing on actual harps occurred. It’s clearly not playing on the heart.

    Singing a cappella results in “singing.”

    Singing with IM also results in “singing.”

    Man-made legislation that anything other than a cappella singing = sin is adding to God’s word. It’s the equivalent of modern day Pharisees who make up rules without divine authority to do so. Binding where God has clearly not bound.

  82. Larry Cheek says:

    Jeff,
    In reference to this statement, “So if you have been taught that instruments of music are ok in Christian worship, you will do so with a clean conscience.” It is not what you are taught that would allow your conscience to be clean, it would be what you believe of the teaching which you have been exposed. Even with that in mind, your conscience was never the rule, guide by which you will be judged. For example, if you were taught that it would be alright to commit adultery, then committing adultery with a clean conscience would not keep you from being a sinner in need of repentance and forgiveness.

  83. Larry Cheek says:

    Jeff,
    Would you kindly provide BCV where the HEART is identified in scripture as an (instrument)?

  84. Profile photo of Kevin Kevin says:

    Jeff,

    But when we add instruments of music, which are music by themselves, we are changing the command to sing, to sing and play other music.

    That’s not a true statement. Again, see Rev 15:2-3 where we read of worshipers singing a song with instrumental accompaniment, specifically harps. John doesn’t include a verb for “play” or “playing” or even “plucking.” John observes these worshipers who are singing a song and playing harps, and John characterizes it as “singing.” We do the same thing today. If you go see XX artist sing at Madison Square Garden, you don’t tell people that you went to see XX “sing and play.” You just say, “I heard XX sing at Madison Square Garden.” Same as John.

  85. dwight says:

    There is a lot of commonality in how we will divide a concept, that otherwise we understand as a unit, to be separate n order to divide. If my daughter said she was going to sing me a song, I would not judge her on what she meant whether she did it with or without an instrument. In the case of the word psalm or zamar in the OT and the word psalm in the NT and even ode, the words lend itself towards singing with the understood instrument. It is not an addition, when the concept is built in to the word and meaning. And if it were it still wouldn’t keep us from singing.
    The reality is if we do this or that we are to do it to the Lord. Jesus is Lord of our lives, not just our worship.

  86. Monty says:

    According to Jeff’s own hermeneutic he has to be a one cupper kind of Christian. Why? The example of Jesus was they all drank from one cup. It was “the” cup-singular. If Jesus wanted us drinking out of many cups he would have authorized it. But he didn’t. Examples mean something right Jeff? You can’t go improvising where the Lord has spoken and given example, right Jeff? The day of the week, “they came together on the first day of the week, same for the amount of cups used. There was just one cup. The words uttered over a baptism same way. Where is the example for a kitchen when Paul said, “don’t you have homes to eat in?” Jeff do you eat at home or at the church building too? The disciples all shared the same cup. That is about as strong an example as you can find Jeff. At least the folks who base their religious test on one cup are consistent with how they apply the example test. God told the Israelites not to boil a young goat in his mother’s milk, he’s exact like that, he just left out the part about IM making one apostate. Persist in gossip, slander, coveting- salvation busters. And the verse about using IM is where Jeff? I guess it’s there with the one cup, and the no kitchens and Sunday schools.

  87. dwight says:

    Monty, exactness is what we judge others by and not what we judge ourselves by. The Lord’s Supper should technically be only done in the evening. Our singing should be done using the psalms and not inventions of men in words or tune.
    Ironically we say, well the example of the upper room is just an example, but it doesn’t keep us from having the Lord’s Supper in other places, but that is not the point. Are the other places scriptural as we have no other example?
    And then again we must have an example of God commanding people to use silence as a command for or against or at least an example of this. What we do have instead are many examples where man did many things in relation to God’s command, without changing or replacing God’s commands. the Regulative Principle that is held up in our congregation is a deeply flawed rule and it deeply influences our CENI, which then is deeply flawed.
    God is not vague…as you noted.
    God could make intricate laws on not boiling a young goat in it’s mother’s milk, but couldn’t be bothered with things we must imply or infer by human reasoning.

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