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Instrumental Music
in Worship
Under the NT
Part 7
Answers to Their Arguments:
The Expediency Argument
There are a string of arguments which are advanced by those who use the instrument which
they believe justify the utilization of instrumental music in worship under the New Testament.  
These arguments are consistent with all whom I have spoken (regardless of their
denominational affiliation).  They all begin with the same arguments, and end with the same
arguments.

The Expediency Argument

Each and every time that I have discussed the instrumental music question with someone who
wished to justify the use of instruments of music in worship under the New Testament, they
have begun their position with at least two of the prior arguments claiming the use of the
instrument is a command and requirement of God; yet, they always have said you can either
use it or not. God’s commands and requirements are not optional!! If it is commanded or
required, it must be done.

However, the final ground which is occupied by those who advocate the use of the instrument is
expediency. No matter who it has been, their final argument is that instrumental music is
nothing more than an expedient, an aid, a help. To make this argument is to abandon all of the
prior arguments that it is commanded in the Old Testament, inherent within psallo or psalmos¸
or is commanded by example in Revelation. To say that it is an expedient is to say it is not found
in the scriptures for the church to engage in. It is a powerful testimony to the weakness of case
for the instrument in worship to drop it to the arena of expediency.

The strongest argument is the ground which is always occupied first in attempting in attempting
to justify the instrument. If it is nothing more than an expedient, and is acceptable upon the
grounds of expediency, why attempt to show that it is a command and requirement? Is than not
an admission that it is not acceptable upon those grounds? Is that not an admission that for
instrumental music to be used in worship it must be a command or requirement? Thus, even
the advocates (possibly unknowlingly and certainly unwillingly) admit that instrumental music
cannot be both a command and an expedient. It cannot be both. The only reason to attempt to
occupy both grounds in its defense is that it is defendable upon neither.

There are two kinds of music: vocal and instrumental. Instrumental music adds another type of
music to that which is commanded: singing. Thus, in adding to the command to sing, it violates
scriptural directions and becomes an unacceptable expedient: it becomes sin [2 John 9;
Galatians 1:6-10; Revelation 22:18,19]. God commanded vocal music, singing. Instrumental
music adds another type of music. It adds to the command.

It is argued that the instrument is merely an aid to give pitch and key and to provide direction
during the sining. First, pitch and key are given before the singing begins and are not given
simultaneously with every not in a song. Second, instrumental music along with vocal music
(singing) is always called accompaniment. The instrumental music accompanies the vocal: it
does not direct it. An accompanist is to follow the singer, not the singer the accompanist. It,
therefore, is not an aid even in the areas for which its advocates make their claim.

It is argued that there is nothing more wrong in playing an instrument of music along with the
singing than there is in utilizing a pitch-pipe or tuning fork to obtain the pitch or key. There is a
great deal of difference. The pitch-pipe and tuning fork only give the pitch or key and then cease.
They do not produce another type of music. They have enough sense to stop before the worship
is engaged in. The instrument of music continues on. The pitch-pipe or tuning fork and
instrumental music in worship are not parallel.

It is also argued that there is no difference between an instrument and the utilization of song
books. In utilizing the song book there is still only one type of music being produced: vocal
music. The song book supplies these necessary items: 1) the song, 2) the melody, and 3)
continuity for worship. There is nothing necessary supplied in the use of an instrument. The
notes on the page provide direction for the singers; they do not provide a different type of music.

It has been argued that there is an much an addition to the command to sing in having to read
the words as in playing the instrument. However, in the reading of the words there is nothing
more than is done in creating or remembering the words. The words must be obtained
somehow. And, in order for worship to be done decently and in order it is necessary that
everyone be singing the same words. This is the function that a song book serves: to make
sure the same words and music are being used by everyone in the assembly. There is, again,
no parallel between the song book and an instrument of music.

The parallels that are drawn in an attempt to justify the instrument go on and on in the same
vein. However, the attempt to justify the use of an instrument by drawing parallels rather than by
scriptural reason, shows the weakness of the position and the absence of scriptural reasons to
use it. Instrumental music is not, and can not be an acceptable expedient.



Go to Instrumental Music in Worship Under the New Testament 1
Go to Instrumental Music in Worship Under the New Testament 2
Go to Instrumental Music in Worship Under the New Testament 3
Go to Instrumental Music in Worship Under the New Testament 4
Go to Instrumental Music in Worship Under the New Testament 5
Go to Instrumental Music in Worship Under the New Testament 6
Go to Instrumental Music in Worship Under the New Testament 7
Go to Instrumental Music in Worship Under the New Testament 8
"God's commands and requirements
are not optional!"