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Switch to Forum Live View Peacemaking Revelation re Church Music
4 years ago  ::  Jun 11, 2010 - 11:50AM #1
Eagle-1
Posts: 494

Guess  what?   Three  chapters  in  Revelation  show  worshippers  obeying the commandment to  "SING"  accompanied  by  instruments,  called  harps  by  John,  possibly because he couldn't name them  all,  because  lyres/harps  are  a  logo  today for all  sorts of  instruments.   (Or, of course, maybe they were actually  all  harps, who knows?) 


Point being, whether  they're  in  heaven  or  on  Christian TV,  they're WORSHIPPERS. 


 Three  passages  commend the  instruments, compared to just the one  that  just  says  "SING".    Hope  I'm  articulating this well enough.   It  may  take  some  thought,  some  adjusting,  when  you've  been  brainwashed  for  a  lifetime that  the  one  word  includes  a  prohibition, which  just  isn't  there  and  we're  not  to  add  one,  to  the  Word.  


Back when they had to worship in the catacombs,  they probably had to be very quiet and inconspicuous,  couldn't be seen carrying instruments,  so  they  probably  worshipped  without  instruments,  like  when  they  sang  an  hymn  and  went out from the Mt. of Olives,  when  things were happening.   So  it's  not  a  sin  to  worship  without  instruments.   Hating  other  denominations and  individuals   for  using  them  would be so obviously  a  sin.   And  jealousy  is  easier  to  spread  than  Christian love, so  organists  are  accused  of  playing too  loudly,  which  occasionally, I  grant you, can happen,  but not with the better  trained  ones.  


I  personally feel  organ  in  church is more dignified than piano,  but  I  play  both.   I'm  from  another  B'net forum, just stumbled  on  this  one  by  accident.   Hope I'm  not  intruding.   The  Revelation chapters about  the  singing  are  ch. 5,  ch. 14,  and  ch. 15.  


Revelation seems to be  sort of  a summary,  ends with  the  dire  warnings  not  to  add  to  or  subtract from The Word. It obviously  means  don't  add  any  prohibitions  that  aren't  there.   The  three passages in  the concluding  book  of  the Bible  obviously  don't  contradict  the  one  verse that just says to sing,  and  who knows,  translators  may  have  just left  out  "play skillfully", a term found in  Psalms,  and  God  never  really changes,  in  what  He  likes, right?   He  used  to  wink  at  some  sins  but  now  commands  everyone to repent, but that just goes along  with  "the law is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ", isn't really a change. I'm  sure  the  Israeli's  still  use  instruments.   They  do  help  to  stay  in  tune.  A  pitchpipe  at  the  beginning  doesn't  last  all  the  way  through a  song. 


Campbell  just  didn't  read  far  enough  in  the  NT and I'm afraid led a lot of people astray.   Maybe not fatally.   Would  God  give  us  a  book  we  couldn't   hope  to  ever  understand?   We're  to  pray  for  wisdom,  understanding,  James  1.    Can  we  obey  this  and  become  more  peaceable  with  other believers?  No church is perfect  yet,  because  they're  all  run  by  mere  humans.  We're just  aspiring, growing.   I've  had some of my paying jobs sabotaged, and believe me, the word "play"  doesn't  mean it isn't  labor,  going  through stacks of music  to  pick  just the right three or so  that  a  pastor has  left  up to you to chose, maybe going there to rehearse it in the middle of the week, etc.  They say I make it look so easy.  That's  from  a  lifetime  of  accompanying  others  and  making  them  feel  like  they're  "star quality" and that I'm just an accompanist, like a machine.  Not  really  complaining.  I  get  lots of compliments  too. 


Just  think about  those  verses  in  Revelation and how  THEY RELATE TO  the  one  that just  says  to  sing.   Maybe  it's  to  show  that  you  don't  always  have  to  have  instruments  if  none  are  available  or  there  are  no  players  available.   Or  maybe some of  it  just  accidentally  got  left  out.   You  can't  subtract  the  passages  in  Revelation.   It  seems  to  be  the  summary  of  the  whole  Bible.    Contains  some dire  warnings  we  didn't  see  in  the  previous  books and a list  of  those  who'll  not  make the cut.     JMO.    

Eagle
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2010 - 12:24PM #2
Clydson
Posts: 75

The fact that all faiths agree that not using mechanical music for worship does not violate scripture, necessarily relates there is no scriptural or divine command to use it.  Thus, to worship with MIM is merely a choice of human thinking.


Jake

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 19, 2010 - 7:17AM #3
Eagle-1
Posts: 494

Right.   I  agree.   Thanks for the reply.  


Oh, and I don't think they should preach a  doctrine that  wasn't  preached,  originally.  Because  of  the  verse I'm sure you  know,  "If  anyone  teach any other gospel (or was it doctrine?) than that which was preached,  let him be accursed." 

Eagle
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 21, 2010 - 12:46AM #4
Darryl
Posts: 4

Since there is no direct statement (such as 1 Pet. 3.21 saying that baptism saves us) telling us that music in the worship of God is to be only unaccompanied, it is only through one's interpretation of the Bible that one can come to the conclusion that this is so.  While we all must interpret the Bible as best we can, we have no business pushing our interpretations on others.


 


Darryl

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2010 - 11:16AM #5
Clydson
Posts: 75

How do you interpret something that doesn't exist?


1 Peter 4:11, If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God...


Where is the utterance of God commanding to be worshipped with MIM?


Jake

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2010 - 8:56PM #6
Eagle-1
Posts: 494

The  EXAMPLE,  in  Heaven,  or,  possibly  on  a  sea  of  TV  screens,   ("seeming  glass  mingled with fire")  is  imo   the  same  as  a  COMMAND, was  commended  three  times  in  the  summary  book  of  the  Bible,  Revelation.  


Commend  comes  after  Command  has  been  obeyed,  and  has  the  same  effect,  imo.


Some  even  claim  instrumental  music  is  nowhere  mentioned  in  the  NT,  just  didn't  read  far  enough.   They  rationalize  that  Revelation  can't be understood  and  just  don't  read it, I suppose,  but  imo  it's  a  tremendously  important  book, and we're  to  pray  for  wisdom and understanding,  James  1.   We  need  to  know  all  the  identifying  clues  about  "the beast" who's  the  Accuser of the Brethren,  in religion (heavenly) circles, and of a modern woman somewhat similar to Mary, in the time of flying, and in the time of the beast false prophet.  He's also an Opposer of the Brethren, and women, cross reference  2nd Thessalonians 2. and  whoever  even  believes  his  lies  will  be  allowed  to  have  strong  delusions  and  perish. (Probably  because  we've  been  given  such   strong  WARNINGS  in  Revelation, what to watch out  for, and not to go along with.   ("Take his mark.")   It's  vital  to  read  it.   Wish  Alexander Campbell  had  bothered  to  read  it  instead  of  causing so much  division.  

Eagle
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2010 - 9:49PM #7
Clydson
Posts: 75

If you think Campbell cause division, consider the beliefs of these great scholars;

Charles H. Spurgeon, touted by Baptists as being their greatest preacher of all times, preached to 20,000 people every Sunday for 20 years in the Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle and never were mechanical instruments of music used in his services. When asked why, he quoted 1st Corinthians 14:15. "I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the understanding also; I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also." He then declared: "I would as soon pray to God with machinery as to sing to God with machinery."

John Wesley, the great Methodist father, is quoted as saying, “I have no objection to instruments of music in our worship, provided they are neither seen nor heard."

Adam Clarke, the Methodist commentator, wrote, "But were it even evident, which it is not, either from this or any other place in the sacred writings, that instruments of music were prescribed by divine authority under the law, could this be adduced with any semblance of reason, that they ought to be used in Christian worship? No; the whole spirit, soul, and genius of the Christian religion are against this; and those who know the Church of God best, and what constitutes its genuine spiritual state, know that these things have been introduced as a substitute for the life and power of religion; and that where they prevail most, there is least of the power of Christianity. Away with such portentous baubles from the worship of that infinite Spirit who requires His followers to worship Him in spirit and truth, for to no such worship are these instruments friendly."

Martin Luther is quoted by McClintock & Strong’s Encyclopedia, "The organ in the worship is the insignia of Baal… The Roman Catholic borrowed it from the Jews."

There are many more known quotes by other scholars and early church fathers on the subject.  And as far as your understanding of the Revelation of John is concerned, you are in opposition with most, if not all, reputable scholars.

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2010 - 10:37AM #8
Eagle-1
Posts: 494

Hi,  


I  don't  dis agree with you  about  those  others.   


Here's a  question  that  might  interest  all  of  us.    What  was  the  original  word  that's now  translated  harps  in  the  three  places  in  Revelation?   


What  language  was  it,  and  can  it  mean  other  instruments  besides  the  lyres a/k/a harps  that  David  played.   Because, if any of you  were ever in  a  school  marching  band,  we  had  "lyres"  to  insert  into  our  instruments  to  hold  music,  remember?   They  seem to be a  logo  for  all  instruments.  I belong to the international  federation of musicians, and it's used in their letterhead.   We  need to know all about that word.  


 

Eagle
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2010 - 2:17PM #9
Clydson
Posts: 75

I believe a better question is, should we understand "harp" or "harps", in Rev 5:8, 14:2 and 15:2, as being literal instruments or symbolic for something else?  And, how are these "harps" relative to God commanding earth bound flesh and blood humans to worship with MIM?


Another question: doesn't John say his writing the revelation stemmed from a vision given him by Christ?  And that the recipients were the seven churches of Asia?  Exactly how many of these churches then began to worship with MIM because of John's vision?


Again, and the same conclusion rings true, to worship with MIM is merely a choice of human thinking.


Jake

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2010 - 9:37AM #10
Eagle-1
Posts: 494

Jake,  good  question,  how  many of the seven churches of Asia started using instrumental music,  but  we  just  aren't  told,  probably because it isn't vitally important,  if  some churches  don't  have  instruments  or  people to play them,  and  maybe  they  were  even already  using  it, like in the Temple worship,  for  all we  know.   I'm sure you'll agree.  


 


The reason there's no DIRECT COMMAND is  imo in the paragraph  above,  that  churches weren't as wealthy as the Temple had been,  and  sometimes  they were having to worship in secret, like in the catacombs,  because at that time they were considered  rebels  against  the  Temple,  right?   Peter  healed  a  man  at the  Temple,  though,  so  they  did evidently sometimes  go  there.    


 


I for one am interested in learning  why  these chapters mention  harps, and "the harps of God",  and  when  I  tried a  search  I  found  one  opinion  that   harps  are  the  Jews" national instrument.   Which I  suppose  would  go  along with  the  chapters  about  the 144,000 plus,   so  many  from  each  Jewish  tribe.   Jesus  said  No man  comes to the Father but by me,  so  they'd  have to convert,  maybe  when  we  all  see  Him  coming in the clouds?   They've  been believing they have an everlasting Covenant of their own that has not been amended.   I'm putting this in the form of a question, not claiming to really  know.   


 


No doctrine was preached, that we know of, about instrumental music,  so, remembering,  If  anyone  preach another gospel than that which was preached, let him be accursed,  does  anyone  or any group have any  right  to  make  an  issue  of  instrumental  music?   Listing the  verses  that  just  say  sing  doesn't  prove at all that instruments are outlawed.   There's  no  direct  command  and  no  Thou shalt not.  So how can we make a doctrine of it and claim the other denominations are going to hell?  Isn't  that  like  the  Pharisees,  who  trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others?   Didn't  Jesus  strongly  disagree  with  them?    So wouldn't  the  self-righteousness and  control  efforts,  dividing families,  be  extremely  sinful?      


Editing to add another question,  if  "the harps of God" are symbols of something else, then what?   All  instruments, maybe?   Because  there've  been  quite  a  few  world- famous  Jewish  violinists.    And in  football games/parades  marching  bands,  they have  little  lyre-shaped  devices  to  hold  their  music,  which  attach to the instruments,  or, in the case of flutes, I think are  held  by  a  stem under the arm,  and these  lyres  are  the universal  symbol  now  for  all  instrumental  music,  used in the International  Federation of Musicians'  logo.   Is  there  anything else  harps  could  stand for?   And if  so,  why  didn't  John  just  say  so?    Again,  we  don't  know  a thing about  the  music  in  those  seven  churches  of  Asia,  can't  assume  anything.   

Eagle
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