Instruments of Music in Christian Worship?

The Silence Of The Scriptures

James E. Farley

The question of whether or not the silence of the Scriptures is prohibitive is cleared up by studying Hebrews 7:11-14. Here, the writer is stressing that Jesus is a priest, but not a priest after the Levitical order. He is a priest after the order of Melchisedec. Now, in order for this to have taken place, the law had to be changed, for the law required that all priests come from the tribe of Levi.

At verse 14 the Hebrew writer says, "For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning the priesthood."

God said that the priests of the Old Testament system were to come out of Levi. If God had generally said, "Select some good men from among you and make them priests," then the Israelites would have been free to choose men from all the tribes, but God was not that general. God was specific when it came to the priesthood. He said "Levi." Furthermore, God did not have to then state, "Not from Gad, not from Issachar, not from Reuben, not from Judah, not from Benjamin, not from Asher, etc." When God specifically stated, "Levi," that ruled out all the others.

Notice the wording of Hebrews 7:14. Jesus came out of Judah "...of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning the priesthood." "Spake nothing" is certainly a way of saying that God was silent, right? The fact is God was silent concerning the other tribes being priests, and Moses and the Israelites heard God's silence! There is not an instance of one man from another tribe being made a priest with God's approval. Oh, there is an example of one making priests of the other tribes. Jeroboam did it when the Kingdom split (1 Kings 12:31), but the Word says that Jeroboam sinned in so doing! He did not respect the silence of the Scriptures!

We must respect the silence of the Scriptures when it comes to the music God wants in worship. "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24). To worship Him "in truth" is to worship Him according to His truth. (John 8:31-32; 17:17). God knows how He wants to be worshipped; He knows what constitutes "true worshippers." To go beyond what is written and not to respect the silence of the Scriptures on this matter is to worship God falsely.

The Word of God says that we are to "sing" as we offer to God our musical worship. (Ephesians 5:19: Colossians 3:16). God is completely silent about playing a piano, a guitar, an organ, a drum, etc. That is, "God spake nothing" concerning these things. (cf. Hebrews 7:14). Just as the Israelites respected this silence, we, too, must do so. The Israelites had absolutely NO AUTHORITY to make a priest out of a man from Gad. Why? Because "God spake nothing" about a man from Gad being a priest. We have absolutely NO AUTHORITY to use a mechanical instrument of music in Christian worship for the very same reason! -P.O. Box 285, Crum, WV 25669.


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