Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Ring In The New 2”


(This post is a follow-up to “Ring In The New”)

To follow up on your response to the question of wearing wedding rings, you seem to be saying traditions are fine as long as the intention behind them is good.  There seems to be no New Testament evidence of using rings in a wedding ceremony.  In previous responses to questions regarding using musical instruments in worship, you have made statements such as, “The problem with instrumental music in worship is that it isn’t a part of the Bible pattern, and the moment we start doing things outside the Bible, we have gone beyond what God intended (1 Cor 4:6).”  Also, “There are no examples of the church using instruments to worship God in the New Testament.  If we start using them, we are adding something to God’s Word (Rev 22:18-19).”  I assume you, as elders and pastors of your local congregation, have conducted many wedding ceremonies (probably involving the exchange of rings).  How is allowing extra-biblical traditions such as exchanging rings in a wedding not in opposition to your previous statements?  If man-made traditions are fine as long as the intent behind them is good, why have a problem with congregations that use musical instruments in worship?

Ringing In My Ears

Dear Ringing In My Ears,

The difference between instruments in worship and wedding rings is that God has given specific commands regarding singing, but He hasn’t given specific commands about wedding ceremonies.  The Bible specifically commands the church to sing and make melody in our hearts to God (Col 3:16, Eph 5:19).  When God gives a specific command, we cannot go beyond what He has written (1 Cor 4:6) and decide that since God wants us to sing, we should sing and play instruments – that is adding to the Bible (Rev 22:18-19).

However, weddings are an entirely different situation.  God tells men and women to get married (Matt 19:5), but He leaves it at that – the details are up to us.  This is a general command.  General commands leave the specifics up to the individuals.  For example, if you told someone to fill your car with gas, they would have the option to use premium or basic gas, they could decide which gas station to go to, etc.  The specific details would be left up to the individual.  Since God authorizes marriage, we are left to make our own decisions regarding what the marriage ceremony will entail.