July 28, 2012 by brianlhughes
I just recently found out that some Christians believe that God is against us worshiping Him with instruments and that only priests may do so, according to the Old Testament. I do not agree with this and did some research. Here is what I found in the Bible which I believe is our ultimate authority over man. I also give my opinon which is not an authority.
I found two references that the Apostle Paul makes about worshiping that would be relevant to this topic. The first one is found in Ephesians 5:19. Here Paul tells us the following, “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord”. As you can see, Paul makes reference to the Psalms, where King David and many of the authors speak about worshiping the LORD with instruments. The second one is found in Colossians 3:16, which states, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Again we see Paul mentioning the Psalms.
So let us see what the Psalms say about musical instruments and worship.
“For the choir director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of Asaph.
1 Sing for joy to God our strength; Shout joyfully to the God of Jacob. 2 Raise a song, strike the timbrel, The sweet sounding lyre with the harp.” Psalm 81:1-2
“4 Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. 5 Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, With the lyre and the sound of melody. 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn; Shout joyfully before the King, the Lord.” Psalm 98:4-6
“1 Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse. 2 Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness. 3 Praise Him with trumpet sound; Praise Him with harp and lyre. 4 Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe. 5 Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resounding cymbals. 6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 150:1-6
So based on the scriptures in Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16, which Paul references to the Psalms while speaking about how we should worship, and the Psalms obviously institute musical instruments as part of worship; this would lead me to believe that Paul was not against Christians worshiping the LORD with instruments.
So the next question would be, “what authority did the Apostle Paul have? Peter affirms in this letter (2 Peter 3:14-18) that Paul’s writings are Scripture and in fact from God. He warns Christians to not be deceived by those that don’t understand the Scriptures and distort them, that it would lead to their destruction.
“14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:14-18
That should clear up the question of the Apostle Paul’s authority in Scripture.
Here are my thoughts on the topic of, only Priests being allowed to use musical instruments to worship God. My first point is; if the New Testament states that we are no longer bound by the law than that would mean the Old Testament laws regarding instrumental worship would not apply to New Testament Christians. My second point is; that Peter references Christians as a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9) and that would mean we qualify to worship with instruments, according to the law. Here in 2 Chronicles 29:25-28 we read how King David instituted worship with musical instruments.
“25 And he stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, harps, and lyres, according to the commandment of David and of Gad the king’s seer and of Nathan the prophet, for the commandment was from the Lord through his prophets. 26 The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 Then Hezekiah commanded that the burnt offering be offered on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song to the Lord began also, and the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 The whole assembly worshiped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded. All this continued until the burnt offering was finished.” 2 Chronicles 29:25-28
Here we definitely know that the LORD allowed the Levites and Priests to worship with musical instruments. I would believe that since Peter referenced Christians as a Royal Priesthood, than Christians qualify to worship God with musical instruments.
Here is where I stand in the area of this type of theology, which I shall regard as non-essential. This statement of faith is taken from my Church and I agree with it 100%.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
In essential beliefs, we have unity.
“There is one Body and one Spirit…there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all…” Eph. 4:4-6
In non-essential beliefs, we have liberty.
“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters…Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls… So then each of us will give an account of himself to God…So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.” Romans 14:1,4,12,22
In all our beliefs, we show charity.
“…If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have the faith that can move mountains, but have no love, I amount to nothing at all.” 1Cor. 13:2
I hope this helps to bring some light to this subject, that I’m sure many people have gotten hurt over.