Singing In Worship (Part 4)
Since Christ never authorized mechanical instruments of music in the New Testament to be used in worship of the church, we might ask, when did man "take it upon himself" to start using them in trying to worship God? It is a historical fact according to early church history, no mechanical instruments of music were ever used in church worship until about the year 670 A.D. At this time the church at Rome introduced an organ which produced such disturbances that it was removed. It was not until about 775 A.D. that it was introduced again, but this time it was kept, even with many people objecting. The instrument was not accepted by many churches for many years.
Even in the 13th century Thomas Aquinas, a noted Catholic scholar, wrote against its use. This showed that even by the 13th century the instrument had not gained full acceptance. Men wanted to have it their way with no regard to what God had specified. This was a departure from the faith and practice of what God has authorized. Those who have respect for the word of God should wonder why the use of mechanical instruments of music was totally unknown in the worship of the church for the first six hundred years after the New Testament was written.
The word "A Capella" means singing without instrumental accompaniment. It actually means, "as done in the chapel." For the first 600 years of the church "as done in the chapel" meant singing in worship of the church without instrumental accompaniment. This is the way the early church worshipped. Why shouldn’t we also worship this way?
When people can find no authority for the use of the mechanical instrument of music in the New Testament, they try to go to the Old Testament for their justification. But we are no longer under the Old Testament. The Old Testament is still of great benefit for us today, because without it the New Testament would be difficult to understand. Romans 15:4 tells us, "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." But we do not go to the Old Testament for instructions of how to be justified and to worship God. If we did we would be worshipping in the temple in Jerusalem, burning daily animal sacrifices, and the many other requirements of the Old Law.
Our Lord has made the Old Testament obsolete. As we read in Hebrews 8:13, "A new covenant, He has made the first old." He has taken it away as we see in Hebrews 10:9, "He takes away the first that He may establish the second." In the Old Testament’s place Christ has replaced it with the New Testament as we continue to read in Hebrews 9:15-16 (KJV), "And for this cause He is the Mediator of the New Testament…For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator." Christ’s will, the New Testament, is now in effect.
We are no longer under the Old Testament because in Colossians 2:14 concerning the Old Testament we read that Jesus, "has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross." In Romans 7:6 we read, "But now we have been delivered from the law." And then in Galatians 3:24-25, "Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith is come, we are no longer under a tutor." In speaking of the Old Testament, Galatians 5:4 (KJV) says, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." Here God is telling us we will fall from grace if we try to justify what we do by the Old Testament. Unless we want to fall from God’s grace let’s not use the Old Testament to try to justify the use of mechanical instruments of music in our worship to God.
Singing in worship to God is for the purpose of honoring God and teaching one another. Singing is what pleases God. Singing without the instrument of music shows our respect of God and what He says in His word when He specifies our heart as the instrument where the melody is to be made. If we love and respect God we will do everything He says and in the way He says to do it. We will not change, substitute, or add to what He says. We must only sing if we want to worship God "in spirit and in truth."