From Where I Stand: Music in Worship

Maybe you have heard that the churches of Christ are the ones without music. Of course, that is not true – it’s just that our musical worship is confined to a cappella singing and the lack of instrumental accompaniment is jarring to people who have enjoyed pianos and organs all their lives, or who crave a modern rock or R&B sound. Singing is music and an example of the fruit of our lips that God desires in worship, a setting that should be about honoring and pleasing him rather than entertaining ourselves (Hebrews 13:15). Personal preferences will tend toward one kind of music or another and contemporary worship fads will reflect that evolution, but the psalms, hymns and spiritual songs described by New Testament writers communicate praise verbally and scripturally (Colossians 3:16-17). When we follow the pattern of the early church, it is not because we lack imagination or initiative, but that we respect the authoritative nature of the new covenant – its commands, implications, prohibitions, examples and silence (First Peter 4:11). We simply want to please our savior because we love him and we know that the early Christians succeeded in doing that by singing praises and eschewing what Luther called “an ensign of Baal.”