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 Vol. 3, No. 1                                        Page 15                                                January, 2001

Instrumental Music and Worship

By Eddie Cooper

One of the foundational truths about worship is the non-use of instrumental music. It was recognized by pioneer preachers that the use of pianos and organs in worship was a Roman Catholic innovation. Bible study will reveal to us that instruments do not produce an authorized form of worship. All the passages in the New Testament that deal with music in worship mention singing only; instrumental music is not contained in what is written.

It should be remembered that there are two kinds of music. There is vocal and instrumental. SINGING is vocal music. Most people know that to have instrumental music, you need an instrument. If the Lord had simply told us to make MUSIC, we would be at liberty to (1) sing, (2) play or (3) sing and play. But, based on Ephesians 5:19, we have instructions that are specific and we have no right to substitute by playing or to make an addition by singing and playing.

The apostle Paul writes: "Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (NKJB). In this passage, as elsewhere in the New Testament where any kind of music is mentioned for worship, the teaching is always and only to sing. We do not have a command, precept, example or a necessary inference in the New Testament to use any kind of instrument in our worship to God. To do so is sin.

God is the DESIGNER and CREATOR of the heart, the divine instrument He has given each one and upon which he demands the "melody" to be played in praising him. If God recognized and authorized the instruments of music invented by man to praise him, each individual member would have to play his own instrument, for no one else could play for him, anymore than he could commune, sing, pray and give for him. But, the divine instrument of God, being superior to the mechanical instruments of man, is the instrument upon which every man must make his own melody, without any confusion, by singing praises to God.

What About our Children's Viewing Habits?
(The Effects of TV)

By Eddie Cooper

Did you know that by the time our children are 70 they will have watched 7 to 10 years of television? Not only that, but, in a recent poll taken here were the stats: 65% said TV is worse than it was 10 years ago. 87% said they believe that material on TV contains more sex and violence than 10 years ago. 71% said they think the more explicit portrayal of sex and nudity on TV encourages immorality. 70% said they believe TV violence causes aggressive behavior in those who watch it.

For more than a decade, the American Academy of Pediatrics has been warning parents about television's effects on children. Even, so, it has been pointed out that most American children spend more hours in front of the TV than performing any activity other than sleeping.

The following are alarming trends in children who watch television:

(1) desensitization to violence
(2) obesity
(3) teen pregnancy
(4) use of alcohol and drugs

According to another report, American teens see an estimated 14,000 sexual references and innuendos per year on TV, yet only 150 of these references deal with sexual responsibility, abstinence or contraception.

With these statistics in mind, it would seem that many parents would want to curtail TV watching. What can a parent do? Here is what one parent did. In 1961, when Newton Minow became head of the Federal Communications Commission, he immediately declared television a "vast wasteland." He banned TV on school nights in his own home. His daughter, Nell, was 9. Now Nell Minow has two children, 12 and 9, and they are not allowed to watch TV at all. "When we were growing up, TV was not as treacherous as it is today. 'That Girl' and her boyfriend, Donald, didn't sleep together. Samantha didn't take off her shirt. Today, TV isn't a vast wasteland. It's a toxic-waste dump," Nell says.

WHAT ARE YOUR CHILDREN WATCHING ON TV? How much time are they spending watching TV?

Copyright 2001 Louis Rushmore. All Rights Reserved.
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