Unscriptural Devices to Advance the Movement

Dr, Kennedy on the innovations Arminians brought into worship to advance their gospel:

In connection with unscriptural devices resorted to in order to advance the movement, Dr. Kennedy mentions first excessive hymn-singing as one of these. “The singing of uninspired hymns even in moderation, as part of public worship, no one can prove to be scriptural; but the excess and the misdirection of the singing in this movement were irrational as well. Singing ought to be to the Lord; for singing is worship. But singing the gospel to men has taken the place of singing praise to God…. Many professed to have been converted by the hymns.

“The use of instrumental music was an additional novelty, pleasing to the kind of feeling that finds pleasure in a concert. To introduce what is so gratifying there, into the service of the house of God, is to make the latter palatable to those to whom spiritual worship is an offence. The organ-sounds effectively touch chords which nothing else would thrill….

“And yet it is not difficult to prove that the use of instrumental music, in the worship of God, is unscriptural, and that therefore all, who have subscribed to the [Westminster] Confession of Faith, are under solemn vow against it. There was a thorough change, in the mode of worship, effected by the revolution, which introduced the New Testament dispensation. So thorough is this change, that no part of the old ritual can be a precedent to us. For all parts of the service of the house of God there must be New Testament precept or example. No one will pretend that for instrumental music, in the worship of God, there is any authority in New Testament Scripture. ‘The fruit of the lips’ issuing from hearts that make ‘melody to the Lord,’ is the only form of praise it sanctions….

“But we use the organ only as an aid, it is said. ‘It is right that we should do our best in serving the Lord; and if the vocal music is improved by the instrumental accompaniment, then surely the organ may be used.’ On the same ground you might argue for the use of crucifixes and pictures, and for all the paraphernalia of the Popish ritual. ‘These,’ you might say, ‘make an impression on minds that would not otherwise be at all affected. They vividly present before worshippers the scenes described in Scripture, and if, as aids, they serve to do so, they surely cannot be wrong.’ To this, there are three replies, equally good against the argument for instrumental music. (1) they are not prescribed in New Testament Scripture, and therefore they must not be introduced into New Testament worship. (2) They are incongruous with the spirituality of the New Testament dispensation. (3) These additions but help to excite a state of feeling which militates against, instead of aiding, that which is produced by the Word. An organ may make an impression, but what is it but such as may be made more thoroughly at the opera? It may help to regulate the singing, but does God require this improvement? And whence arises the taste for it? It cannot be from the desire to make the praise more fervent and spiritual, for it only tends to take attention away from the heart, whose melody the Lord requires. It is the craving for pleasurable aesthetics, for the gratification of mere carnal feeling, that desires the thrill of organ sounds, to touch pleasingly the heart, that yields no response to what is spiritual. If the argument, against the use of the organ, in the service of praise, is good, it is, at least equally so against its use in the service of preaching. If anything did ‘vanish away,’ it is surely the use of all such accessories in connection with the exhibition of Christ to men. [Hebrews 8.]

~Rev. William MacLean, M.A., “Arminiamism: Another Gospel”

Source: http://www.truecovenanter.com/gospel/arminianism_another_gospel.html

Instrumental Music in the Public Worship of the Church

John L. Girardeau:

“In the discussion of the question, Whether the use of instrumental music in the worship of the church is permissible or not, it must be premised:

First, that the question is not in regard to private or family worship, or to that of social gatherings which are not ecclesiastical in their nature, nor with reference to the utility or tastefulness of instrumental music, nor in relation to the abuse to which it may be liable; but,

Secondly, the question is precisely, Is the use of instrumental music in the public worship of the church justifiable? The design of this discussion is, with the help of the divine Spirit, to prove the negative.”

Read more: http://www.rpcottawa.org/uploads/articles/Instrumental_Music_in_the_Public_Worship_of_the_Church–Girardeau.pdf

The Levites Played the Instruments in Scripture

I Chronicles 23:3-6:

Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty and eight thousand. Of which, twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the LORD; and six thousand were officers and judges: Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith. And David divided them into courses among the sons of Levi, namely, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

II Chronicles 7:5-6:

And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood.

II Chronicles 29:25-26:

And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the LORD by his prophets. And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.

Banished out of this Place

“Praise the Lord with Harp; sing unto Him with the Psaltery of ten strings, … the name of Christ brought it to pass that harps should be banished out of this place. … Let none turn his heart to instruments …”

-Augustine of Hippo

Source and read more: https://mintdill.wordpress.com/2015/08/27/medieval-scholastics-on-exclusive-psalmody-and-no-musical-instruments-in-worship/

Plain Song

“The use of singing with instrumental music was not received in the Christian church as it was among the Jews in their infant state, but only the use of plain song”

~Justin Martyr

We Are No Longer To Offer Up Musical Instruments In Worship

Mint, Anise, and the Cumin:

So just as we no longer to offer up incense in worship we are also no longer to offer up musical instruments in worship. They were directly tied to the Temple and burnt offerings and never played in worship outside of the Temple or without a sacrifice being performed.. How do we know this? Take your time and go through this bullet proof listing of the systematic view of musical instruments according to 1 and 2 Chronicles,

1. The use of musical instruments in the OT worship was a function of the Levites, who presided over the sacrificial system.

1 Chronicles 15:16 And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy…

Read more: https://mintdill.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/short-but-explicit-10-point-surveysystematic-view-of-musical-instruments-in-worship-throughout-1-and-2-chronicles-with-historical-resources/

The Church Fathers on Musical Instruments in Worship

David W. Music:

“The Fathers brought three basic arguments to bear on the question of instruments: (1) instruments and other “ceremonies” were characteristic of the “infancy” of the church (i.e., the Jewish Dispensation), while the church was now in its maturity (the Christian Dispensation); thus, (2) the numerous references to instruments and instrumental music in the Old Testament should be interpreted symbolically; and (3) instruments were associated with immoral practices, even as some pagan writers had noted. …[T]he Fathers do not seem to have been writing in reaction to contemporary Christian practice. That is, they were not trying to correct abuses that had crept into the Christian church, for there is very little evidence that instruments had ever formed a part of Christian worship during its practice in the early centuries…..”

~Instruments in Church: A Collection of Source Documents, vol. 7, Studies in Liturgical Musicology (Lanham and London: The Scarecrow Press Inc, 1998), 27.

Read more: http://heidelblog.net/2014/09/the-church-fathers-reject-instrumental-music-in-public-worship/

Why No Instruments in Worship

Brad Freeman:

Because instrumental music was directly connected to the temporary aspects of temple worship by divine appointment, instrumental music was part of God’s worship only for a time.  Like the rest of the sacrificial system of worship, instruments, along with the Levitical priests who played them, were temporary aspects of worship fulfilled in the New Testament. Just as sacrifices pointed to the sacrifice of Christ, the Levitical instruments were also typical of an aspect of true worship fulfilled in the New Testament worship service.

…Instrumental music was an outward sound symbolically representing the movements of the affections toward God.  Now that Christ has come, we have no need of symbolic demonstrations of praise.

Read more: http://presbyterianreformed.org/2014/04/instruments-worship/

Interestingly, the French, Swiss, and Dutch Reformed churches all initially opposed instruments in worship.