Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Instrumental To Worship”

Why do some churches not allow musical instruments?  Ephesians 5:19 says to speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.  “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord...”  The Greek definition of psalms says “from a set piece of music or a sacred ode accompanied with the voice, harp, or other instrument”.

Don’t Mean To Harp

Dear Don’t Mean To Harp,

The reasons some churches don’t use musical instruments (ours included) is because of the very verse you mentioned.  In the New Testament, we are commanded to “speak to one another” and “make melody in our hearts” (Eph. 5:19).  Col 3:16 says that we should “sing with grace in our hearts”, and 1 Cor 14:15 says that we should “sing with our spirit” and “sing with understanding”.  All of these verses clearly tell us what to be offering God in worship – heartfelt singing.

It is true that a psalm means “a piece of music or sacred ode accompanied with the voice, harp, or other instrument”, and if God hadn’t specified what accompaniment we should use, we could use any instrument we wanted… but God did specify what instrument He wanted us to use.  He wanted us to use our voices and heartstrings.  Incidentally, the word ‘acappella’ means ‘as the church’ because the early church never used instruments in their worship.  Instruments weren’t introduced into worship services until the sixth century.  The church of the first century understood that when God asked for them to sing – that meant they should only sing.  Since we desire to do exactly what the Bible says and neither add nor subtract from God’s Word (Rev 22:18-19), we simply use our voices.  God doesn’t ask for instruments in His worship, and we don’t go beyond what He has written (1 Cor 4:6).