So I was thinking in Bible class on Wednesday night, (I know, I really should be paying attention) about music in worship. I grew up being told instruments didn't belong in the worship service because the NT never says we can. Whenever these discussions come up we are often told that a piano isn't needed for worship and is compared to something like having a rock band or basketball court or a comedian in church or in worship.
As I was sitting in my pew, mulling things over in my head I began to think of why a piano or a choir is a lot different than a rock band and more like a powerpoint projector or a visual display.
We are told to teach and edify one another. So we get a local preacher (not a NT concept, but a logical conclusion) and we have sermons and bible classes. The preacher has a computer and makes a powerpoint to make note taking easier and to help illustrate his points (such as a map of the region, or a picture of what a temple looked like). The preacher makes handouts and writes articles so that the members can distribute them and making reaching out to others easier.
We are told to sing and make melody in our hearts. So we get men to "lead singing" (not a NT concept, but a logical conclsuions). We give them song books to help everyone learn to sing. The songleader is given a pitch pipe or tuning fork so that he can find the note, this lets everyone sing in unity (I'm sure this is a different unity than the unity mentioned in the bible).
But no piano, no choir, no individuals*.
*by individuals I mean people who write music to praise the Lord and what to share their hymn with their brothers and sisters. Like how everyone with a spiritual gift took turns sharing their revelations and tongue (with an interpreter).
How do YOU feel about the use of a piano in worship?
Why do you feel that way?
Would you feel uncomfortable going to a church that used a piano as an aid?
Would you feel uncomfortable if a choir was used, but the other members were expected to sing along with them?
What would your reaction be if a young man wrote a song and then wanted to sing it to the congregation, for edification? How is that different than a preacher reading verses from a song to teach?
NOTE: I know this is a red button issue for many, so please try to keep all your comments directed towards ME and not comment on others beliefs or ideas. Thank you!
I'd also like to point out that I'm still up in the air about this. But right now, I don't think either was is wrong, and that a choir or piano can be a lot like a powerpoint.
Sorry it has been so long since I posted.
I promise to make another discussion tomorrow.
Hope everyone is well!
Recently I read a discussion concerning websites that were "anti-church of Christ." I've always been under the impression that the church of which I am a member of is a non-denomitaional, local, organization. Apparently, that isn't how a lot of people who are members of the Church of Christ view things.
See, when I see terms like "Church of Christ" or "Church of God" I automatically assume Christians. When I see terms like "Baptists" "Methodists" "Catholics" I assume an denominational organization. Something that no matter where you go, you can identify a "Baptist" church by its dogma. I've never thought the same of the church of Christs I have attended. I've always seen them as Christians who assmeble together to study the truth and worship God. We don't have "doctrine" or "dogma" we have the Bible. So when someone says to me "X is more prevelant in Churches of Christ" I can't really grasp what they are saying, because it sounds no different than saying "X is more prevelant among Christians."
That's not how it should be, I don't think. We should all be Christians, assembled in local bodies out of convience, not out of doctrinal separation or something similar. Isn't that what Paul told us? One Faith, one Lord, one Baptism? We shouldn't be "followers of Paul" or "followers of the Church of Chirst" we should be simply Christians. People shouldn't be able to say things like "Churches of Christ" because though the basic truths are all the same (the Bible) there should be enough local differences (worship times, organization/teaching styles etc) that make them clearly different and individual.
I guess I've been delusioned to think that what we do at services is based off of scripture. Maybe it's not so much "how" we do things as it should be? You know, when do we ever see in examples of what we today call "worship" one preacher presenting a lesson? The impression I've always gotten is multiple individuals leading songs, sharing lessons etc. (Not to say that one man preaching a sermon is wrong)
Maybe the Church I attend with has more "connections" with other congregations that run deeper and are stronger than I have imagined. Or maybe it's just some congregations that are tied together more deeply than is needed?
Wouldn't the best, and simplest solution be to start working on the problems at a local level? and not banding together and making this a global issue?
I don't care what the "statistics" say or how often this happens in Christian churches, but every single wrong that has every happened against a person has been the work of individuals. There may be patterns that imerge, but the bottom line is that it's the work of individual people not "The Church of Christ."
I'm not trying to defend "The Church," I've never experienced such issues at the congregations I've attended. (Well, not as bad as many have. I was shocked when my attendance dropped at one location how few people sent cards or called my husband and myself directly, but instead relied on hearsay to determine our status. I'll be honest, we weren't telling the truth to those who did ask. It's a little intimidating when your father-in-law or the wife of an elder ask you why you haven't been at Church. I digress, later discussion). I can't defend or explain individual problems and issues, or why people feel that they were abandoned by "the Church."
The bottom line, I think, is that the love has been left by the wayside, in many cases, for favor of doctrinal perfection. As important as the truth is, I believe there are many things we take out of proportion and distort into "the truth" and forget that those things really have no bearing on our spiritual life. (ie. what will happen when we die? are you a Christian before or after you are baptised? (assuming you are baptised to begin with) how short is too short?).
It all is love. Love one another. (see my post below) If we put the love we have for God and our fellow man first, how can we sin? How can we fail? (LOVE = agape, relationship with man: what is in the best interest of another, relationship with a superior: what would please them)
Sorry if my thoughts are a little scattered.
1 Corinthians 13
The Way of Love
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Matthew 22: 36-40
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do.
Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?" Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
1 John 2:1-17
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
The New Commandment
Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
I am writing to you, little children,
because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.
I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
because you have overcome the evil one.
I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God abides in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.
Do Not Love the World
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
I often think we get too bogged down, like Pharisees, with keeping the letter of the law that we miss the big picture. We get so caught up in "does this greek word translate more accurately to this or to this?" that we sometimes forget that we are discussing things that have no bearing on our spirituality. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the work of all the devoted individuals that poured that hearts out to translate the Bible and give us a better understanding of God's word, but sometimes it seems, especially on pleo, that many people are missing the point.
Sometimes I just feel so hopeless, like nothing I am ever going to say will ever make a difference. Seriously, who on here as actually learned something? How on pleo do you know that has managed to set aside their preconceived notions on how we are to worship and entered into a study openminded and actually learned something? I've seen it happen a few, but you always get 2 people that will dominate the discussion and drown out anyone else. I know I've done it, and I know I've also just sat at stared at my computer monitor wondering how someone could be so brainwashed that they actually thought that. Then there are some people that I don't take seriously anything they say because almost every time I hear from them they say something really rude or stupid.
Ah, I digress.
When I read passages like the ones I read above it seems so obvious to me sometimes what is being taught. What God cares about more than anything, more than your faith, your knowledge and wisdom, more than your talents, is your love for him and your fellow man. If you have a strong well rooted faith, wisdom to interpret any scripture, but fail to aid your neighbor in a time of need, what good are you? Was it not the Gentile that finally lent aid to the man on the side of the road, after some of the most religious and well respected men in Israel passed him by? Do you not think that that Gentile was closer to God than either of those other men who profess Godliness?
You have to put your fellow man first. If you love your brother you aren't going to lash out at him in anger, steal his wife, or covet his possesions. By loving your brother you fulfill and keep the law. Not by love alone, but by the actions you take to treat your brother with love.
Pt.2 Coming soon!