The Bible Answers Short Questions From Our Readers
Plain Truth Staff
What does the Bible say about having instrumental music in church? J. G., Nocona, Texas
SOME have concluded that the New Testament does not mention the use of instrumental music in Church. They insist it is therefore wrong to sing in Church to the accompaniment of musical instruments. No one denies that God was praised to the accompaniment of instrumental music in the Old Testament Church. But, it is insisted, the church Jesus built is a New Testament Church. The teaching and example of the Old Testament, it is claimed, was only for Old Testament times. Now consider these facts. All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for instruction today. All scripture includes both Old and New Testaments. The New Testament is not all scripture. It is only a part of it. Further, the New Testament Church is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone" (Ephesians 2:20). "The prophets" are the OLD Testament prophets. The apostle Paul believed and preached from the Old Testament prophets. He taught New Testament Christians from the Old Testament and quoted the Old Testament again and again in the New Testament (see Acts 24:14; 26:22, etc.). God commands, in the inspired psalms of David, that we use musical instruments in praising Him: "Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; praise Him with the psaltery [bagpipe] and harp. Praise Him with the timbrel and the dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and organs" (Ps. 150:3-4). God does not change (Heb. 13:8; Mal. 3:6). He therefore still approves this type of musical praise in our worship of Him today. Later, in the days of King Hezekiah, the king "set the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with psalteries [bagpipes], and with harps,... for so was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets. And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets... And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded" (II Chron. 29:25-28). Revelation 5:8 and 14:2-3 show us that God is praised in heaven with instrumental music. Some may want to argue that what is done in heaven today is not good! Revelation 15:2-3 tells us that those to whom God gives immortality in the future will praise Him to the accompaniment of harps. And in Psalm 87:7 also, God tells us that when He writes up the people - that is, when He gives salvation - "As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there...." Ephesians 5:19 tells us how to praise God in our homes today. The Greek word here translated "psalms" is psalmos, which means "a set piece of music, that is a sacred ode (accompanied with the voice, harp or other instrument)." Even the Greek word translated "melody" in this verse is derived from a root word meaning "to twitch or twang, that is, to play on a stringed instrument." See Strong's Exhaustive Concordance for the proof! This verse is not referring to church services, but to singing and humming at home, daily, those melodies heard played on musical instruments at church services.