A Commandment Of Men

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Most Christians are aware of some false doctrines that have infiltrated the church and our preachers properly warn us about the doctrines that are coming from the cults into the church.

Some false doctrine is at best “the commandments of men” being taught as doctrine.  One such doctrine is the teaching that we must abstain from musical instruments during worship. Yet they use those same instruments in their houses.

Worship is something that all of us Christians should be doing every day everywhere, whether we are at work, at play, at a church building (or in it) or at home.  And worship is something we can and should be doing whether instruments are being played or not.

It is not wrong to exclude musical instruments from your worship service, but it is most certainly not against God’s will to include them.  There are several scriptures in the Old Testament that are not in the law, where musical instruments were used and played. Such instruments include the organ (a reed), the psaltery, the timbrel, the trumpet, and of course the harp, and that’s just from a few verses in the book of Psalms.[i]

The scripture that is often quoted for this involves singing to God with your heart, and claiming that an instrument distracts from your worship.[ii]

The problem with this is that it is not true that an instrument distracts from your worship.  In fact, it can often be an aid in worship.  Let’s take a look at what the twisted scripture actually says

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”[iii]

Let’s note that it says “Speaking to yourselves…” and “…making melody in your heart…”   Now if part of my worship includes singing, and it is “…to the Lord” and because of this verse, we must exclude musical instruments, then we must also exclude using our mouths to sing out loud, we are to be “Speaking to ourselves…”  If because the melody is in our heart, an instrument will distract us, so will that singer with a beautiful voice sitting next you.  Why have a song leader at all?

If a church that does not have instruments in the church just says it is our tradition, and does not insist that others who use instruments are displeasing to God, then that is not a false doctrine.

It is only when one insists that you can not be pleasing to God unless you exclude musical instruments in your worship services that this can be regarded as a false doctrine, and that is a COMMANDMENT OF MEN.

If someone says, “we believe the early church did not have it, so we choose not to either” that’s a fine statement.  And it might be true.

We do need to be aware of false doctrine, and this commandment of men is not the only one being taught.[iv]

[i] Psalms 33:2, 43:4, 49:4,  71:22,  92:1-5, 98:5, 147:7, 149:3, 150:3

[ii] Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:

[iii] Eph. 5:19

[iv] Matt. 15:9, Mark 7:7, 2nd Pet. 2:1


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