Ever notice when we are supposed to be standing on the promises we end up just sitting on the premesis?
A church building is an expedient, an expedient is a means to an end. A church building is a means to an end to what? Assemble? I'm wondering what kind of assemble are we using for the expedient of the building. Is it the command to not forsaking the assembling of the saints only? That command was probably referring to meeting on the first day of the week to break bread. So if that is our case, then authority for classrooms is questionable.
Or is the expedient to the examples of christians assembling other than on the first day of the week? If so why don't we have authority for a building for those purposes (purposes other than direct worship to God)? i.e. fellowship?
Would it not be true that for people who do not know how to read music, that instruments would be an expedient, a means to an end of singing? Could not instruments be an aid to singing? If not why not? How is a powerpoint an aid to preaching and instruments not an aid to singing? I could ask, "if instruments aren't an aid to singing then what are they?" And you could answer, "A distraction." Well when you turn on your radio or ipod to listen to songs, and your singing along to it, would you classify the music as distracting? I doubt it. what would you describe it as?
Several people I know condemn even listenting to Christian music with instruments because it is "empty, vain, and therefore sinful". My question is, if you are condemning christian (spiritual) music, are you not condoning wordly (secular) music in its place? How does this fit with Col 3 "set your mind on things above and not on the things of the earth"?
In Eph 5:19, is not the point that your heart should accompany your singing? Does the fact that there are instruments or not have anything to do with whether your heart is accompanying your singing? Even in a secular sense, if your trying to be the next American Idol, you won't win if your heart isn't in it. The fact that there are instruments involved doesn't change that. So obviously the fact that instruments are present doesn't negate the fact that your heart is accompanying your singing.
We are so enammered by the letter of the law that we can't even applaud (a form of praise) at a baptism because we don't have a direct command, approved example, or necessary inference of applauding. And because of that it is not excluded, just not included, and therefore not authorized, and therefore vain (sinful). Basically saying that the NT is an exhaustive list of approved forms of praise, and anything outside of that is vain and therefore sinful.
Is this really what the NT is teaching? Does the NT teach this? We take examples from the OT where God had given them direct commands either by booming voice or legal documents, and try to apply it to the NT. Seeing that the NT is not written out in legal code, we use the case of authority to make it one, saying that everything is either authorized, or not authorized, sinful or lawful. Is that really what the NT teaches?
I'm not saying that there aren't commands given. And I'm not saying we shouldn't follow the traditions that the early church was given, either by Word or epistle. I'm just questioning our use of the hermeneutic of direct command, approved example, and necessary inference. Not that it is wrong, just misapplied.
When I can no longer applaud God or offer praises to him because that particular form of praise is not listed in the NT, I find it hard to be able to freely follow passages like Col 3, and Rom 12.
Again, it seems like our bodies can only be living sacrifices in as much as there is a direct command, approved example, or necessay inference to authorize it. Was this the intent of the NT writers?