Church of Christ Doctrine

I have read your web site on musical instruments. You mention there are harps in heaven, even though John saw it in a vision. The book of Revelation is symbolic . In heaven, material items don't exist just like Christ said. Though there is no mention of instruments in the New Testament, you show it is ok. So in the New Testament, which musical instruments are to be used? Someone even said on a web site that the Church of Christ is a denomination. They are not! Christ built it not man. Christ did tell Peter upon this rock I will build MY church. Not methodist or catholic but Christ's church.

The Church of Christ churches had their beginning in the early 1800's as a split from the Baptist denomination. Their most prominent leader of the time was Alexander Campbell. Their only claim to an earlier existence would be through the Baptist churches. The idea that the Church of Christ churches are not a denomination is a play on words. A denomination is a group of churches that claim common doctrinal beliefs, have common practices, and use a name that distinguishes them from other church groups. The Church of Christ has all the qualifications of being a denomination. They believe that musical instruments are not to be used in church service, they practice baptismal regeneration, and they use the Church of Christ title so that others will know who they are. They are a denomination.

As to musical instruments in church, you argue from their absence of mention in the New Testament. I have no doubt that the early churches probably did not use musical instruments. Also, I have no problem with someone who chooses not to use musical instruments in church. I think the acappella voices of the saints of God are beautiful and we often sing a verse without the musical instruments. However, I do not think something is evil and wrong to use in church just because it is not mentioned in the apostolic records of the New Testament. No church in the New Testament owned its own building, but met in homes or in other public places. No church in the New Testament had pews. No church in the New Testament had electricity or sound systems. The Bible never mentions whether any church service included a time of announcements or a Sunday School. We have all of these and I am convinced that they are acceptable. I assume you have none of these in your church.

My "father in the ministry" taught that all practices of the church fit into three categories: the scriptural, the unscriptural, and the non-scriptural. The scriptural were those things that we are commanded to do in the Bible and we should always do those things. The unscriptural are those things we are commanded not to do and we should always avoid these things. The non-scriptural are those things that are not spoken of in the Bible. Those things that are non-scriptural must be examined in the light of scripture to see if they fulfill scriptural goals or not. If they do, they belong with the scriptural. If they do not, they belong to the unscriptural. For instance, the New Testament does not mention the Sunday School since it is a much later invention. However, if the Sunday School is properly used to teach the Bible (a scriptural command) and to reach the lost (another scriptural command), then the Sunday School becomes a scriptural practice. However, nothing is to be justified by using unscriptural means to fulfill a scriptural end. For instance, using a church bazaar to raise money for the work of God may sound scriptural, but the Bible teaches us that we are not to finance the work of God with the funds of the lost. Therefore, it becomes unscriptural.

Musical instruments, if used with care, can enhance the singing of praise to the Lord. That was seen by the Christian Church that split from the Church of Christ (I wonder if you consider them a denomination). They were obviously considered a help to praise in the Old Testament and in heaven. It seems strange to say that something God thought was a blessing in the Old Testament and is considered a blessing in heaven is an evil in the New Testament church. I think the burden of proof would lie on you and not on me. When and why did God change His mind?

David Reagan
Daily Proverb

Proverbs 20:16

Take his garment that is surety for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.