By Eusebio Tanicala

A Baptist author directs his diatribe against Churches of Christ preachers who believe that it is wrong to have instrumental music in Christian congregational worship. He calls our position as “Instrumental Insanity.”

Many instrumental music practioners in congregational worship argue that the term “sing” in its modern meaning automatically calls for an instrumental accompaniment or at least the instrumental accompaniment is not prohibited. It is argued that “where there’s no expressed prohibition a thing or action is allowed.”

The above axiom is a dangerous guide in interpreting the Bible. It opens the gate to virtually any kind of faith and practice in the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ. I suggest that we confront this axiom with this illustration.

Step number one: Let’s tell the mechanical instrument user: “Let’s follow your line of argument. You appeal that the modern meaning of ‘sing’ calls for an instrumental accompaniment and anything that’s not expressly prohibited is allowed. Since instrumental accompaniment is not expressly prohibited, there’s freedom to use it.”

Step number two: “Churches believe in celebrating the Lord’s Supper. The modern meaning of ‘Supper’ in the Philippines includes serving a plate of rice for each individual, and participants in the Pinoy supper may be served chicken tinola soup, lechon kawali, chopsuey, sinigang na bangus, a glass of water, and softdrinks. These are not expressly prohibited in the New Testament, do you grant freedom to some who believe that the Lord’s Supper may include these food items? May I know your categorical answer please. #



  1. Justin

    It is true that the standard of something not being forbidden is not good when used alone, but it is meant to be used as part of a set of rules to help determine if something is acceptable. For example,
    1) it is not a prohibition
    2) It is used in the Old Testament
    3) God does not change, so he wold still enjoy musical worship
    4) etc

    You see, you combine these rules (there are more for this particular situation) to come to a conclusion. Don’t just use one.

  2. jasongoldtrap

    You are number 2 on the church of Christ top 40 blog rolls. Rock on!

    I’ll leave the lights on, Francis

    Mr. Glow-worm

    Peace and love, always. Jason Goldtrap

  3. Pingback: It’s Back… Musical Instruments in Worship « Answering the Church of Christ

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