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Guests Question, Bob Answers about...

Instrumental Music

"I wish to speak to your view of 'speak where the bible speaks' and 'keep silent where the bible keeps silent' (The Battlefield). I agree that simply to say, 'It's not in the bible' and call it sin is foolish, but to say that demons speak this is possibly going a little too far. God never commanded his people to use musical instruments in the New Testament, nor did he say not to. He did, however, say which instrument to use: the heart. To sing in corporate worship with a musical instrument is to add another instrument besides the heart to accompany the singing."

Our praise and worship certainly must be from our hearts. But, God has authorized other ways to express that praise than singing a capella. For example, the inspired psalmist exhorts the people to praise the Lord in Psalm 150. Speaking from the heart of God, he gives some examples of ways to do that, which include the trumpet, harp, lyre, tambourine, strings, flute, cymbals, and dancing.

The Lord wants us to celebrate as we welcome Him into our assemblies, and it is His desire that instrumental music be a significant part of that. See Amos 9:11-12 (the prediction concerning the restoration of David's fallen tabernacle), Acts 15:16 (that restoration is taking place this side of the cross), and 1 Chronicles 15-16 (the details concerning that tabernacle, which mainly have to do with the appointment of singers, accompanied by musical instruments, to praise the Lord).

"Are you saying God intends the spiritual "rebuilding of David's tent" to be a renewal of all tabernacle worship practices?"

No. David's tent was constructed to provide a place for the ark of God (which represented God's presence). David and the people celebrated as they welcomed the Lord (the ark) into their presence and into that tent. Today each Christian's body is a temple of God and the Holy Spirit lives inside each of us. However, when Christians come together to praise and worship the Lord we welcome Him into our presence in a special sense. The Lord wants it to be a joyous occasion. Like a celebration.

"What if there are those who cannot play instruments? Should we do something during worship that all cannot do together to praise God?"

Do not be concerned that you must learn to play an instrument. God did not require that everyone do that in 1 Chronicles, and He does not require it today. Notice that some were singers and some were players. Perhaps some were both.

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