Richland Hills Church of Christ, Richland Hills, Texas
Adding Instrumental Music and Lords Supper on Saturday
An article in the Christian Chronicle by Bobby
Ross Jr. (Dec. 12, 2006) reads: News NATIONS LARGEST
CHURCH OF CHRIST ADDING INSTRUMENTAL SERVICE.
1. The Christian Chronicle reporter, reported some
astounding news about the Richland Hills church of Christ in Texas.
His report contained some of the following: The preacher, Rick
Atchley, says that the changes made at the church services
were the result of three years of study, prayer and
fasting by the congregations elders.
Why would it take three years of study, prayer and
fasting to learn Gods will on the subject of worship? All they
had to do was just read their Bibles to learn Gods will in
this matter, and save all that time and energy and devote all that
time and energy to doing the will of God.
2. Jon Jones says the eldership fully and
completely endorsed the decision, and that there is unity
in our eldership, and we are so thankful for that.
Why would a faithful Christian be thankful for an
eldership that had just made a decision to change Gods plan
for how and when God was to be worshiped?
3. Roger Dean reports the congregations overall
response as extremely positive. He also said
...people are truly supporting the leadership and the
It is difficult for me to understand how the
congregation could be positive in their response to an eldership
changing the truth of God into a lie. I am also wondering who the
leadership is. My brethren and I have always taught from
the Bible, and still do, that the elders are Gods appointed
4. Rick Atchley told the congregation that it will allow
the congregation to reach more people who need Christ.
What would these people become when they have been
reached under these conditions? The Richland Hills Church
has changed the church of our Lord into something else other than
the body of Christ with the introduction of mechanical instruments
of music into the worship services. They also have changed the
worship in communion (Lords supper) to Saturday night. I can
assure you that Christ will have no part in these actions and
changes from His divine word (II John 9-11).
5. Rick Atchley said that he did not want to leave the
impression that he was promoting instrumental music in the worship
anywhere else, but he also made it clear that there was no effort
made to conceal it. Then in the next breath, he suggested that
Richland Hills decision might inspire many other churches of
Christ to be courageous in their kingdom efforts.
Does he sound somewhat like a double-talker to you? Does
he not realize that Christians are the light of the world (Matt.
5:14-16)? In addition, we learn that a little leaven will leaven
the whole lump (I Cor. 5:6). All Christians are to be examples for
good and not evil.
6. In addition, Rick also said Richland Hills must put
the kingdom of God and Christs mission above concern that the
change might hurt the congregations standing or influence
among churches of Christ.
If Richland Hills is changing the truth of Gods
word so that it is no longer believed, taught or practiced, then
your concern should be focused on correcting the error then
you wont have anything to be concerned about. You are leaving
the impression that the decision has already been made to make
certain changes no matter what faithful brethren think, say or do.
7. Atchley said, I greatly appreciate a cappella
praise. But I firmly believe that if Richland Hills is to
be most faithful to Gods word and Christs mission, we
must become a both/and church with regard to instrumental and a
Well, I certainly hoped that he would appreciate that
the only scriptural way to sing praise to God is to follow
Gods instruction and ignore what men would do to please
themselves. They seem to have lost sight of the fact that we also
in our song service speak to ourselves in psalms, hymns and
spiritual songs and make melody in our heart to the Lord (Eph.
5:19). We are to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly in all
wisdom, while teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns
and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord.
Whatsoever we would do in word or deed, do all in the name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him (Col.
3:16-17). Lets see you try that with an instrument of music.
The melody is not the only part of a song, but it is the part that
God commands to be made in the heart, and not on a mechanical
instrument of music.
7. Atchley drew a parallel to Acts 15 and the early
churchs discussion over whether circumcision should be bound
on the Gentiles who became Christians.
The illustration is not even related to a parallel of
the use of instrumental music in the worship of the church.
Circumcision was not an item of worship even in the Old Testament,
and did not avail anything under the law of Christ. The instrument
of music is not a part of the worship in the New Testament,
therefore it is sinful when added to the commandments of God as an
item of worship.
8. Atchley said, Weve already lost too many
over a question thats way too unimportant.
How can any Christian change Gods word and call it
a question thats way too unimportant? Do you suppose
that Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10:1-3 would agree that the
things commanded by God were too unimportant?
9. Finally, one last statement by Rick Atchley a
repetition of the opening statement on the article by The
Christian Chronicle. He said the decision to add an
instrumental service with communion on Saturday nights was the
result of a three-year journey by the congregations leaders.
This decision is a blatant disregard for God and his
revealed will on how and when the church should assemble and
worship him. It just seems that some will openly ignore Gods
word and replace it with the doctrine of men in order to have their
way, and thereby void their worship and place their souls in
jeopardy. One soul of man is worth more than all the instruments
and all the music made on them in all the worship services to God
in all the world!
206 Van Buren St.
McMinnville, TN 37110
Table of Contents
Music In The New Testament Church
Garland M. Robinson
Music in the New Testament church is a vital part of
worship and, like all worship, must be in spirit and in
truth (John 4:24). There are two types of music: VOCAL
and MECHANICAL. The type of music specified by God in the New
Testament is VOCAL. With this fact, no one argues. Still, legion
are those who have taken it upon themselves to add to the
kind of music God has authorized. Many advocate singing
accompanied with mechanical instruments of music. Frankly,
the Bible authorizes SINGING but does not authorize PLAYING
mechanical instruments of music.
The chart in Table 1 lists every verse in the
New Testament which mentions anything about music. Of these 12
passages, none authorize (command or allow) the use of
anything except the human voice in worship.
I Corinthians 15:15
The question before us is restricted to what God wishes
his people in the church of Christ to do. At the present,
it is not our purpose to examine the Old Testament nor to look
ahead and see what might be in heaven. We do not live by
the authority of the Old Covenant (Heb. 9:16-17; Gal. 3:24-25), nor
are we yet in heaven. What God may have allowed in the Old
Testament or possibly may allow in heaven is not the question. What
God wants and allows NOW, in the New Testament age, the church age,
the Christian dispensation, is our concern!
The scriptures in Table 1 authorize only SINGING in the
New Testament church. Anything other than Gods specified
instructions is a violation of His Will. A mechanical instrument of
music is an addition to what God has commanded. It is a commandment
of men and not of God and therefore makes worship accompanied by it
VAIN (Matt. 15:9). We are not to go beyond that which is written (I
Cor. 4:6). When we speak, we are to speak as the oracles of God (I
God has given us all things that pertain to life and
godliness in his word (II Peter 1:3). He did not give us the use of
mechanical instruments of music in our worship, therefore, their
use is not lawful and consequently is SINFUL.
The command of scripture is to not add to or take
from that which is written (Rev. 22:18-19). Mechanical
instruments of music are an addition to Gods word and are
therefore forbidden. It is a cause of division which God hates
(Prov. 6:19; Rom. 16:17).
The chart in TABLE 2 shows plainly that the human voice
CAN do what God commands us to do in our worship in song. However,
the mechanical instrument CANNOT meet any of the requirements God
has placed upon us.
Bible Commands to:
|| Speak in Song
| Make melody in
|| Teach in Song
| Admonish in Song
| I Cor.
|| Sing with the
| Sing with the
| Heb. 2:12
|| Praise God
| Heb. 13:15
|| Give thanks
HISTORY IS CLEAR
The charts in TABLES 3 & 4 illustrate that singing is what
God commanded and that playing a mechanical instrument is not in
accordance with a thus saith the Lord. Christ
never commanded it. The Holy Spirit never authorized it. The
apostles never sanctioned it. The New Testament writers never
endorsed it. The New Testament church never employed it. All these
facts make it clear there is no Bible authority for its use! Those
who use it have no Bible basis to point to. They stand alone on the
sea of human degradation and shame.
For over 600 years, the church rejected its use.
Instruments were not introduced until about 670 A.D. The
American Cyclopedia (Vol. 12, p.688) says:
Pope Vitalian is related to have first
introduced organs into some of the churches of
western Europe, about 670; but the earliest
trustworthy account is that of one sent as a
present by the Greek emperor Constantine to
Pepin, king of the Franks, in 755.
Christ never commanded
Holy Spirit never authorized
Apostles never sanctioned
New Testament writers never endorsed
New Testament church never employed
No Bible Authority!
The Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia (Vol.
2, p.1702) says:
In the Greek Church the organ never came
into use. But after the eighth century it became
more and more common in the Latin Church; not
however, without opposition from the side of the
monks. Its misuse however, raised so great an
opposition to it, that, but for the Emperor
Ferdinand, it would probably have been abolished
by the Council of Trent. The Reformed Church
discarded it; and though the Church of Basel very
early reintroduced it, it was in other places
admitted only sparingly, and after long
I Cor. 14:15
Many well known preachers and scholars of past centuries
have spoken out plainly against its use: men such as Adam Clarke,
a distinguished Methodist scholar; John Wesley, the founder of the
Methodist Church; John Calvin, the founder of the Presbyterian
Church; Charles Spurgeon, a well-known Baptist preacher; and Martin
Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church. These are by no means
all, but should serve as an example of the many who opposed its
use. The churches of Christ are not alone in the opposition of it.
However, mechanical instruments are not wrong because well-known
men have stood against them, nor are they wrong because the church
of Christ today opposes them. Mechanical instruments of music
are wrong (sinful) because of one reason and one reason alone,
there is no Bible authority for their use!
According to Colossians 3:17, authority is necessary for
everything we do and say. The only authority in the
world is the Bible. Jesus said Gods word is Truth (John
17:17). Truth can and will make men free (John 8:32). God has
commanded his people to SING in worship and that is the only
command there is. God NEVER commanded to PLAY on a man-made
instrument. To introduce mechanical instruments of music into our
worship is to violate Gods strict and plain command to SING.
It makes our worship vain, and vain worship causes people to lose
Friends, it is clear what the Bible says on the subject
of mechanical instruments of music. Will you honor it?
In the March issue, we will examine some arguments used
to defend instrumental music today.
Table of Contents
The History Of Instrumental Music In Worship
Gods word is the only thing that can show us what God
wants. Before we look at the history of the instrument, let us look
INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC WAS A DEPARTURE
1. God commanded the use of instruments of music in
praise to him under the law of Moses. Trumpets were to be
blown over the burnt offerings and peace offerings (Num. 10:10;
29:1-2). The use of musical instruments is commanded in Psalms 150,
and II Chronicles 29:25 makes it plain that their use was not
simply a human invention but a command of God. And he set
the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries,
and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad
the kings seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the
commandment of the LORD by his prophets. Whatever may be
argued about the ideal will of God and whether or not his
ideal will included instruments of music in worship, God commanded
their use under the Old Law. The fact that they are commanded as
elements of praise to God in Psalms 150 shows they cannot be
considered simply as aids to worship today.
2. God omitted the use of instruments of music in
the worship of the New Testament church. There is not one
verse, not one example, not one fair inference that can be drawn
from the New Testament connecting instruments of music with the
worship of the church here on earth. In plain country vernacular,
there aint no scripture fer it. No one
would be so bold as to argue that God omitted the use of
instruments through an oversight.
With these two simple facts, the matter should stand as
decided. Those who respect the authority of Gods word and
those who understand the nature and greatness of our God will not
be so bold as to approach him with the inventions and innovations
of men. The proper form of worship to almighty God cannot be
devised by weak, human hearts. Worship is ordered by God, not
dreamed up by men (Lev. 10:1ff; John 4:24; Col. 3:17,23). Our
perfect God has given us a perfect plan for worship, and only the
arrogant would try to add their human inventions to that perfect
Unfortunately, the fact that a matter is decided by God
does not mean it is ended in the mind of man. While searching what
is pleasing to the senses and pleasing to the masses, many
religious groups have departed from the simplicity of Gods
There is value in looking at the history of musical
instruments in the worship of the church. History cannot prove the
right or wrong of the use of such instruments, but it may instruct
us and help keep us from making the same or similar mistakes.
FROM THE WORSHIP OF THE EARLY CHURCH
It is not hard to establish that the early church did not
use instruments of music in worship. The Catholic Encyclopedia:
DOT For almost a thousand years Gregorian chant,
without any instrumental or harmonic addition,
was the only music used in connection with the
liturgy (Musical Instruments in Church
Services, www.newadvent.com this
has reproduced much of the Catholic Encyclopedia
for easy reference).
DOT In the early centuries the objection of the
Church to instrumental music applied also to the
organ, which is not surprising, if we remember
the association of the hydraulus with theatre and
circus. According to Platina (De vitis
Pontificum, Cologne, 1593), Pope Vitalian
(657-72) introduced the organ into the church
service. This, however, is very doubtful. At all
events, a strong objection to the organ in church
service remained pretty general down to the
twelfth century, which may be accounted for
partly by the imperfection of tone in organs of
that time (Organ,
www.newadvent.com). McClintock and Strong:
DOT Use of Instruments in the Church. The
as well as the Jews were wont to use instruments
as accompaniments in their sacred songs. The
converts to Christianity accordingly must have
been familiar with this mode of singing; yet it
is generally believed that the primitive
Christians failed to adopt the use of
instrumental music in their religious worship
(Music, Christian, Electronic Database,
DOT The general introduction of instrumental
can certainly not be assigned to a date earlier
than the 5th and 6th centuries; yea, even Gregory
the Great, who towards the end of the 6th century
added greatly to the existing Church music,
absolutely prohibited the use of instruments.
Several centuries later the introduction of the
organ in sacred service gave a place to
instruments as accompaniments for Christian song,
and from that time to this they have been freely
used with few exceptions. The first organ is
believed to have been used in Church service in
the 13th century (Music, Christian).
Why did the early church not use instrumental music in
its worship? Since the Jews used instruments in their temple
worship and the pagans used instruments in their worship of idols,
the fact that the early church did not use them cannot be
attributed to their cultural background. It could not have been a
mere matter of accident or preference; it must have been a
purposeful act with reason behind it. History shows that the early
church rejected the use of instruments of music in worship.
THE JUDGMENT OF THE REFORMERS
The protestant reformation began in the early 1500s. Men
like Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), Martin Luther (1483-1546), John
Knox (1514?-1572), and John Calvin (1509-1564) became increasingly
disillusioned with the immorality, the abuse of power, the
excesses, and the peculiarities of doctrine in the Roman church.
They sifted Roman doctrines in an effort to determine which were
pleasing to God and which were not. While we cannot accept all of
their conclusions, we can applaud their courage and their appeal to
the word of God as the authority in religion.
However much respected, not one of the reformers was
inspired. Their testimony is not here introduced to prove that
instrumental music is wrong. But it is historically significant
that, in sifting through the doctrines of the Catholic church,
these reformers saw the use of instruments of music in worship as
a sinful innovation designed to please the worshipers rather than
to please the God they were worshiping. Here are four examples:
Zwingli was one of the first Protestants to abandon
the use of instruments during worship services. In fact, he was so
alarmed by the abuses to which music was subjected (in his view)
that some of his services did not have any music whatsoever. ... He
found instruments to be an offense, quoting the Church Fathers for
support. ... Much of the Reformed movement fell into agreement with
the banning of instruments, although none followed the elimination
of music. The organ in particular was denounced by leaders of the
Reformed churches, as being a prominent example of what they meant
by the corruption allowed into worship by the Roman Catholic
Church. Zwingli recommended that a better use for an organ would be
to sell it and give the money to the poor (Ulrich
...When they frequent their sacred assemblies,
musical instruments in celebrating the praises of God would be no
more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting up of
lamps, and the restoration of the other shadows of the law. The
Papists, therefore, have foolishly borrowed this, as well as many
other things, from the Jews. Men who are fond of outward pomp may
delight in that noise; but the simplicity which God recommends to
us by the apostle is far more pleasing to him (Psalm 33,
John Calvins Commentaries Complete, www.ccel.org).
McClintock and Strong contains an article in which
Martin Luther is quoted as calling the instrument an ensign of Baal
(Music, Instrumental, McClintock and Strong
Encyclopedia, Electronic Database, by Biblesoft).
The same article in McClintock and Strong gives a famous
quote of John Knox who called the organ a chest of
It is sad indeed that the stand these early reformers
made regarding instrumental music has been forgotten by almost all
of their followers. Having been led partially out of the darkness
of Catholicism, in subsequent years their followers turned and
embraced this error again.
History is clear:
1. The early church did not use instruments of music in
2. The use of instruments and especially the organ did
not gain wide acceptance until several centuries
after Jesus established his church. Their use
represented a departure from the early and widespread
practice of the church.
3. It was the Roman Catholic Church that led this
4. When the reformers came along they rejected the use
of instruments of music in worship to God as an
invention of Catholicism.
5. Since then the followers of the reformers (most
protestant churches) have turned back to this
practice that their leaders once clearly branded as
For some it may seem like a contradiction for churches of
Christ to point to the history of the church as an argument against
instrumental music. We claim to follow the Bible, not the opinions
or historical practices of men. Worship is ordered by God, not
invented by men, and it must be done as God has ordered and
directed (John 4:24). What men have done historically cannot prove
the instrument to be either right or wrong. Then why write an
article about the history of the instrument? There are at least two
1. The facts of history may help someone to look more
closely at the matter. History supports the
conclusion we have drawn from scripture i.e. that
instrumental music represents a departure from the
original way. Some people are confident in their use
of the instrument because of the false idea that
everyone uses instrumental music in their worship
and that it has always been so. The facts of history
may be helpful in bursting that bubble. History
cannot decide the matter for us, but it can and does
support our stand.
2. The departures of men from the truth can be
instructive and cautionary for us who are determined
to walk the narrow way and enter in by the strait
gate that leads to life (Matt. 7:13-14). Seeing the
error of others down through the ages should not only
make us sad; it should also challenge us to be more
determined, more on guard, and more zealous to stand
for that which is right and against all departures
from Gods plan (I Tim. 4:1-3; II Tim. 4:1-5).
Back in 1978, Robert Taylor left us with this excellent
quote: Mechanical music in worship is not wrong because it was
opposed by Clarke, Calvin, Knox, Wesley, Luther and a host of
others. It is wrong because it lacks warrant from the word; it
lacks support from Scripture (Instrumental Music in
History, Spiritual Sword, v. 10, #1, October, 1978).
1495 E Empire Ave.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Table of Contents
Is It A Matter Of Faith Or Opinion?
Vernon C. Joines
The New Testament Scriptures teach that as the children of
God, we walk by faith and not by sight
(opinion) (II Cor. 5:7). In order to settle this matter we can ask
and answer two questions, and if they are properly answered, they
will distinguish between the two.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WALK BY FAITH?
In Romans 10:17, Paul declares: So then faith
cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. So,
if there is no message nor word from God, there can be no faith. If
the inspired word of God does not specify a given course, there can
be no faith to follow for FAITH COMES BY HEARING THE WORD OF GOD.
Therefore, if we pursue any course that is not outlined by God in
the scripture, we cannot walk with God nor by faith. But when God
speaks, we MUST do precisely and fully all that He says.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WALK BY OPINION?
The next logical question is: How does one walk by opinion?
Lets use John 3:1-2, even though many other scriptures could
be used to illustrate the answer. Nicodemus came to Jesus by NIGHT.
But, WHY did he come by night? To those of us who believe the
Bible, it is obvious that it is not told WHY he came by NIGHT. Why
didnt he come by day? I suppose we could easily find an answer
to this question from some of the theologians who would attempt to
follow their own guidance in the matter. Such an opinion would
signify WHAT ONE THINKS, and IN RELIGIOUS MATTERS, it means what
men think (opinion) when the Bible does not answer the question to
THE LAW OF UNITY
The preceding was written in order to establish a
principle to determine when a thing or practice is scriptural or
unscriptural. A matter can be scriptural, unscriptural or
antiscriptural. Is instrumental music, when used in the worship
service of the saints, a scriptural worship? Is it scriptural and
correct for Christians to use mechanical instruments of music when
they assemble for worship to God? This question is very base, and
it should be studied by all religious people everywhere, especially
by members of the Lords church.
The following scriptures assuredly authorize singing:
Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26; Acts 16:25; Romans 15:9; Ephesians 5:19;
I Corinthians 14:15; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 2:12 and Hebrews
13:15. From these passages we can be absolutely sure that singing
is right and cannot be wrong. This is the extent of the
commandments, necessary inferences and inspired examples in the New
Testament on how to praise God in song. That is the limit of His
instruction, therefore that becomes the absolute limit of our
obedience as well. We are warned against adding to the word of God
(Prov. 30:6). The absence of any additional instruction speaks loud
and clear, for neither God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, no apostle nor
any inspired writer ever uttered a single word about using an
instrument of music in worship to God. There is no record of a New
Testament church using one either.
This being true, it would have to be brought into the
worship of God by the tradition of men or by the commandment of men
(Mark 7:7-9). We must hear God and Christ, not man (Matt. 17:5;
Cains offering was rejected because there was no
commandment for him to offer the fruit of the ground (Gen. 4:5).
Nadab and Abihu died because they ignored Gods commandments
(Lev. 10:1-3). They acted in service to God by doing that which God
had not commanded them to do. No worship to God is acceptable
unless it is authorized by God in his inspired word!
The users of instrumental music in the worship assembly
of the saints ignore God and make their worship vain (Matt.
15:7-9). Since the Bible is the complete and final message
authorized by God, our obedience can only be to him (II Tim.
3:16-17; II Peter 1:3). Sing and make melody in your
heart is a very specific command for a specific kind of
music. This automatically excludes the use of any other kind.
The law of unity must be discussed to some degree at this
time in the context of this article. The law of unity is expressed
in I Corinthians 1:10, ...that ye all speak the same
thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be
perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same
judgment. This verse is strengthened and supported by
many other passages such as Romans 15:5, Philippians 1:27,
Ephesians 4:4-6, John 17:20, II John 9-10 and Romans 16:17. The
scripture says that God hates six things, even seven are an
abomination to him. The last of these is ...he that
soweth, discord among brethren (Prov. 6:16-19).
EXAMPLE OF ITS USE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES
In order to avoid division in the body of Christ, all
things done by men must be done by the authority of Christ, that
is, in his name. We can sing in the name of Christ in our worship
services (I Cor. 14:15; Col. 3:16-17), but since the Lord has
neither command, precept, nor inspired example in his word for the
use of instruments of music in worship, they cannot be practiced
without division and sin.
Let us look very briefly at some examples of the use of a
mechanical instrument of music and some of its consequences when
used in the Lords church.
The time was about 1860. The place was at a very small
church building in Midway, Kentucky. The preacher was Dr. L. L.
Pinkerton. Some of the expressions that were used following the
introduction of the little mechanical instrument were:
...almost caused a rift and a spirited
controversy, but it later led to a division among the members
of the church. Today, the little melodeon is housed in a library
room at the Kentucky Female Orphan School. I visited the town of
Midway and the school many years ago while preaching in a meeting
at Frankfort, Kentucky, and viewed the small instrument. According
to reliable information, there were at least three of these
instruments, since some of them did not survive the fury of some of
the faithful members during this time.
I cite one additional example of what took place in
Thorp Spring, Texas where a Bible school was located. When an
instrument was introduced into worship services, a father was set
against his two sons and they against their father. He stayed with
the truth, and they went with error. The father later wrote about
some of the results of the division, ...the affair spread
rapidly to the churches, raising local tensions, crystallizing
personal opinions, and splitting congregations, and it has
been truthfully said, when God finishes what he has to say on
any subject we must accept that and cease action.
We dare not teach nor do more. There is an established
principle of divine worship. We can only do in worship that for
which we have apostolic command. If there is no commandment for it,
it is barred. Everything as an element of divine worship is barred
that is not commanded. We must respect God and his word enough to
speak where the Bible speaks and remain silent where the Bible is
silent. We believe this to be a scriptural plea because I Peter
4:11 admonishes us to speak as the oracles of God.
God commands us to sing. This is the act God
commands. If you play an instrument, that is another act separate
and apart from singing. God has specified that we sing and that the
melody be made in the heart (Eph. 5:19).
Does instrumental music really aid the singing?
Considering the purpose of singing as expressed in Ephesians 5:19
and Colossians 3:16, it cannot, for the chief purpose of singing is
to be for the purpose of teaching and exhorting one another.
Instrumental music cannot aid the voice in expression of thought,
either for good or bad.
Now, before we conclude this article, Ill make a
short statement about the Greek word psallo.
Some have said and say that it includes the instrument of music,
but the authorities are very clear. I speak of the Greek
authorities the great scholars in the Greek language. They
are very clear that this word had evolved by New Testament times to
refer only to singing. The instrument is the heart (Eph. 5:19).
That understanding is supported by the fact that our standard
English translations of the Bible render the word psallo
as singing or making melody in the heart.
I ask all who are using human practices in worship to
God to lay them aside. All need to realize that unscriptural
objects used in worship are just as sinful as teaching false
doctrine. Faithful Christians should in no way be associated with
those who use sinful practices or teach false doctrine. This makes
the instrument a test of fellowship by the individuals who
introduce and use it. The history of the instrument has been one of
division and bad feelings of the brethren toward one another.
Gods promise to receive us is based on our decision to
separate ourselves from those who practice sin (II Cor. 6:14-18;
Rom. 16:17; II Thess. 3:6).
Finally, one thing is incontrovertibly settled: those
who adopt the practice of using instrumental music are, to that
extent, guided by the wisdom of man and not by the wisdom of God.
They openly violate the plain and positive requirement of the Lord
that His followers shall walk by faith and not by opinion.
206 Van Buren St.
McMinnville, TN 37110
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I hope this finds you and your family doing well. I continue
to look for a new place to preach as finding a sound church is very
difficult these days. If you know of any place, would you please
let me know? Also, we have moved, therefore, would you please
change my address for Seek The Old Paths? I appreciate so
much the work you do in the paper as there is a great need to
Stand fast in the faith (I Cor. 16:13). We are worshiping
with the church of Christ in another town ...Ted A. Horn,
PO Box 721, Maud, TX, 75567, ph. (817) 449-0584. Thank
you so very much. I am enclosing a check. I so look forward to
receiving my copy each month ...Sue Cannon, Fayette, AL.
Would you please take me off your mailing list as I no
longer live at that address ...Mary Andersen. I
continue to enjoy the sound articles in your Seek The Old
Paths publication. I am enclosing a check for myself and
Clarabeth Barker who wishes to be added to your mailing list. This
will help with the expenses of the publication. I plan to
contribute small amounts as often as I can. May God continue to
bless you, your family and your work with Seek The Old
Paths ...Murriel Windham, Las Vegas, NV.
Please use this donation in continuing to publish Seek
The Old Paths. I am the minister for a small congregation in
far west Texas and find Seek The Old Paths a valuable
aid for our edification. May God continue to bless you in your
spreading the truth ...Jerry L. Duke, El Paso, TX.
This is a very small amount to help with the publication of
Seek The Old Paths. I pick up one at the Greensboro Road
church of Christ in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Its very helpful.
Thanks. Keep up the good work ...Geralene Bearden,
Jonesboro, AR. This year has gone by so fast it was hard
to keep up. Before the year is gone, we want to thank all of you
for laboring so steadfastly in the Lords Vineyard. Bible
truths are needed desperately in todays world, even in
churches with the name church of Christ. God bless all of you in
the new year and far many more to come as long as God allows the
world to continue ...Doyle & Lois Schmidt, Nampa, ID.
I moved and want to continue my subscription. Thanks
...Garrick Sullivan, Eutaw, AL. Thanks ...Brad
Green, Lenoir City, TN. My dad, John Rider from Red Oak
Oklahoma has subscribed to your letter but he is no longer with us
at this time. He passed away in December and seeing as though there
is no one to receive these sermons please take his name off your
list. Thank you and God bless ...Tammy Hackworth.
[NOTE: Brother Rider had advised me years ago that he wanted
to be put on the permanent mailing list of Seek The Old Paths
because he did not want to miss a single issue. He has been on the
list since 1994. We are saddened (on the human side) that he has
passed away, but were assured according to the Word of the
Lord that he has gone on to his great reward. Editor].
I really enjoy your radio program, brother James Boyd has held
meetings for us at the Cades Church of Christ. I have given our
members your web site address ...Kenneth Ramsey, Milan,
TN. [NOTE: We have two web addresses for radio lessons.
They are: www.pioneerpreachers.com, www.wsoj.net.] Thank
you so much for the work you are doing ...Michael & Cheryl
Cook, Adrian, MI. Thank you ...Debbie Rose,
Mammoth Spring, AR. Thank you ...Kyle Crews,
Villa Rica, GA. Brethren: I have been receiving STOP for
some time and appreciate so much the firm stand for the truth and
the church as revealed in the New Testament. I would appreciate
your sending the paper to several people. Thanks again for
publishing such a valuable help in spreading the Gospel and holding
the line for truth ...Jim Lundy, Tulsa, OK.
Thank you ...Paul Zimmerschied, Green Valley, AZ.
Thank you and may God bless ...Keith Neese,
Citronelle, AL. Please remove me from your mailing
list ...Georgia Phillips, Lincoln Park, MI.
Refused. Returned to sender ...Ron Bryant, East
Flagstaff church of Christ, Flagstaff, AZ. God bless you
all for your wonderful ministry! ...Doreen Mueller,
Clinton Township, MI. We have started a new congregation
in Ludington, MI, and would love to receive a bundle of Seek
the Old Paths every month. I am currently getting a single
copy at my home residence. I would like to substitute that single
copy for a bundle of 15. Please keep us in your prayers, and if by
chance the congregation there is seeking to help in the mission
field here in northern Michigan, that would be appreciated also!!
Thank You ...Steve Baisden, James Street church of Christ,
Ludington, MI. Thanks again ...Nikki Honkisz,
Fords, NJ. This is to help support the good work you do
with your publication ...Mark Ryan, Evans, GA.
This check is to help with your paper ...Billy
Prather, Odessa, TX. Thanks for Seek The Old Paths.
Please continue to print the truth. You may be interested in
the enclosed response from the elders Madison St. Church
of Christ, Clarksville, TN. Some fifty members, including my wife
and I, have recently been forced to leave the once great
congregation. Whats being accepted and promoted in the current
Community Church is truly said and tragic ...Joe
E. Couch, Clarksville, TN. May God bless the efforts to
stand for the truth ...A. C. Thomas, Little Rock, AR.
I just recently came across a few copies of Seek The Old
Paths and I really enjoyed reading them. The truth needs to
be told. There is not enough of that these days. Please put me on
your mailing list. I am currently serving time in an Oklahoma jail
and I need all the prayers I can get. I would also like to be put
on your pen pal list as well. Keep up the good work. God bless
...Jason Payne, 402 E. Evergreen, Durant, OK 74701.
Let me thank you in advance for changing my address and may
our heavenly Father, in His loving Sons name Jesus Christ,
bless you all and keep you all in very high spirts and in good
health. Amen! ...Manuel P. Rodriquez #670508, Dolph
Briscoe Unit (N-043), 1495 West Highway 85, Dilley, TX 78017.
We have been receiving your sound publication for some years.
It continues to be one of the best publications in the brotherhood.
We have encouraged sister congregations in south Georgia to take
advantage of this fine publication. We ask that you continue to
send the publication to us on a monthly basis. Please accept the
enclosed check and use it in whatever way you deem best for the
publishing and distribution of this good work. May God continue to
bless you in your good efforts ...Bob Miller, Church of
Christ at Allenhurst, GA. Brethren, we enjoy Seek
The Old Paths and find articles and good lessons. God speed
in your work. Thanks again ...M. D. Kirkpatrick,
Tiptonville, TN. Unsubscribe me please. Thank you very
much and may the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob reveal himself to
you ...David Powell, Steeleville, IL.
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Bound Volumes can be ordered from:
Old Paths Publishing
2007 Francis Ferry Rd.
McMinnville, TN 37110
$5 postage paid
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