"Aids Or Additions?"
The subject of instrumental music in the worship of the church is something that does not go away for long. Those in the denominational world hold tightly to their unscriptural practice, and sadly even among those calling themselves Christians, members of the church of Christ, we see those who do not understand that instrumental music in the worship to God is a sin.
Seeing that this is true, I thought it would be helpful in our study to copy a letter I wrote to a brother on the subject of "aids and additions." That is, what is the difference between an "aid" and an "addition" to the worship, especially as it applies to pitchpipes, songbooks, etc. and the mechanical instruments of music.
The brother writes: "I am in the midst of a class on Bible authority .... How do you answer the world on the use of pitch pipe, song books, and not use an instrument in worship? In other words the difference between aid and addition?
I have, what I believe the Bible teaches, but I would like to hear how others answer the same question.
You write: "How do you answer the world on the use of pitch pipe, song books, and not use an instrument in worship? In other words the difference between aid and addition?"
I wish to give you some suggestions in answering this question if I may:
1) The pitchpipe/songbook/etc. are aids in the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. They add nothing to the worship. When one uses a pitchpipe/songbook/etc. they are still simply singing praises to God. When one plays the piano, or other mechanical instruments, you have introduced another KIND of music.
2) One can use a pitchpipe/songbook/etc., or not use these things, and the result is still the same -- singing will be done. This cannot be said of one using the instrument. You cannot "use" or "not use" the instrument and still have the playing of the instrument!
3) The use of a pitchpipe is used merely to obtain the pitch, and that before any singing is done. Instrumental music is used to carry the tune throughout the song.
4) To add the instrument to the worship is to add another ACTION to our worship (Playing). The Bible teaches us that our action is to SING praises to God, with our "heart" being the instrument (Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19). The pitchpipe/songbook/etc. does not add another action in any way. (We do not "sing and songbook," we sing! However, the parallel breaks down when one talks about "singing" and "playing an instrument"!)
5) Simply put, when one uses the pitchpipe/songbook/etc., singing, the thing commanded by the Lord, is still the only thing that is done. When instruments of music are used, a thing NOT commanded by the Lord is done. We are to make our appeal to what the Bible says, and not where it is silent!! (I Pet. 4:11; Col. 3:17) The Lord was silent as the tomb about the instruments of music!
The question is, "When is a thing an addition?" The answer is, when another element is added! When the mechanical instrument is used, another KIND of music has been obtained! Pitchpipes/songbooks/etc. do nothing in addition to what has already been commanded by the Lord. Thus, they are an "aid" and not an "addition"!
I hope this will help you.
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