At the-ChurchofChrist.org, John Waddey makes a classic argument —
Like Paul, faithful Christians “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). To “walk by faith” has a unique meaning to God’s children. The apostle wrote in Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” To do a religious thing by faith simply means that you have been authorized to do so by Holy Scripture. Later Paul reminds us that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23).
Our question is, can God’s church worship him today with instrumental music and do so by faith? To do so one would have to find the practice authorized in the New Testament. Such authorization would be in one of three forms: a) An approved apostolic example, b) a direct command, c) a necessary inference. In fact none of these modes of authorization can be discovered [regarding instrumental music in worship].
Is it true that Rom 14:23 makes it a sin to do “a religious thing” that hasn’t been authorized by example, command, or inference?
(Rom 14:23) But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.
1. This isn’t as easy at it might appear. Argue from context. What does “faith” mean in Rom 14:23?
2. Please, let’s just talk about the Waddey quote and Rom 14:23.