Let me start off by saying, I am delighted that the person who took issue with my article on instrumental music in the New Testament church, took the time, first of all to read the article, then search the scriptures to respond to and counter my claims. God’s word is truth, (John 17:17, Psalms 33:4) so we must look to the scriptures to know the complete truth about all questions pertaining to life and Godliness. I see from all the scripture quoted that he, the same as I, could not find a single instance where God commanded or condoned instrumental music in our worship to Him in the New Testament church. God clearly commands us to sing (Eph. 5:19 Col. 3:16 Heb 13:15) but nowhere does He command us to play. Yet He does forbid us from adding to or subtracting from His word. Adding instrumental music to singing definitely adds to His word. (Rev. 22:18) I sincerely thank him for helping to prove my point. More on this subject later, if the Lord wills of course, but now I would like to say a few words on the subject of love.
In the King James version of the bible, love is mentioned well over 300 times. John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. God genuinely loves His creation, for indeed God himself is love. (I John 4:8) Jesus tells us, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12) Christianity is based on our love for God and our love for our fellow man. First we must show our love for God by keeping His commandments. (John 14:15,23) Love for God demands our obedience to Him. If we truly love the Lord, we will do what He says, it’s that simple. Christ is the author of eternal salvation to them that obey Him (Heb. 5:9). It isn’t enough to say “I love the Lord”, we confirm our love by our obedience to His will. We can and must demonstrate our love for our fellow man by having compassion for, and helping anyone in their time of need.
With all that love requires, there are some things that love does not require. Many seem to think for us to prove our love, we must accept any and everything a person does. “But God commended his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). God loved us while we were yet sinners, but He did not approve of us while we were still in our sins. Even as God can love man without approving of him, so can we. While man is in sin he can have no fellowship with God (Isa. 59:1-2). Likewise, we can and must love those in error, but we cannot and must not have fellowship with them in their sinful error. Anyone who abides not in the teachings of Christ, has not God. To endorse or support the faith of one who is in error is to make us part of that error. (II John 1:9-11)
Love does not require our silence in the face of error, quite the contrary, it demands action against that error. When error and false teachings intrude into the church that Christ built, love demands that we not remain silent. Love demands that we teach the truth against all error, for only knowing the truth can make us free. (John 8:32) Jesus was not lacking in love when He gave the warning, “woe unto you” to the hypocrisy of the Pharisees in Matt. Chapter 23. When Peter accused the Jews of murdering the Son of God (Acts 2:23-36) he was motivated by love for their souls. When he told them to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38), he was motivated by love.
Love demands loyalty to the truth of God and love unquestionably obeys that truth. Our love for the souls around us will be proven by our loyalty to and our sharing of the truth. Ignorance of the truth will not save us, we must all know the truth to be saved. To tell someone the truth and show them the error of their way is not an unloving attitude, but shows our true love for God and for the souls of our fellowman. May we all strive to love one another and diligently teach God’s truth in love.
We invite all who would, to come together with us to study God’s word and worship him in spirit and in truth. We are the Church of Christ, Kedron congregation on the Coopertown Road, Russellville, KY. We neither add to God’s word or take from it. Bible study at 10:00, Worship at 11:00 each and every Sunday morning.