15 Reasons Not to Use Mechanical Instruments in Worship

  1. Worship must be offered exactly the way God specified. It is not about what we may want, but what God wants (John 4:23, 24). Just ask Cain, Nadab, Abihu, Korah, Jeroboam, Uzziah, and many others who “learned this the hard way” in the Bible (Genesis 4:1-5; Leviticus 10:1-3; 1 Kings 12:26-33; 13:4; 2 Chronicles 26:16-23; Matthew 15:9; John 4:23, 24; Colossians 2:23, etc.).
  2. Mechanical instruments are not authorized in the New Testament for worship.  God specified singing as the type of music He desires in New Testament worship (Romans 15:9; 1 Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; James 5:13; cf. Acts 16:25; Hebrews 2:12, etc.).
  3. Mechanical instruments were authorized in Old Testament worship (2 Chronicles 29:25), but New Testament worship is different (e.g., no more traveling to Jerusalem, burning incense, sacrificing animals, etc.). In fact, no act of NT worship is exactly the same as similar OT counterparts.
  4. Just because God approved of a practice in the past, that does not mean God still desires that today. For example, God first told Moses to strike the rock, then later told him to speak to the rock. Moses followed the former command instead of the newer, and he was not allowed to enter the promised land (Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:7-12). Today we should not follow the former command to “strike” an instrument, but the command to “speak” in the music offered (Ephesians 5:19).
  5. Mechanical instruments were connected to tabernacle/temple worship which is now obsolete, not applicable to anyone alive today (2 Chronicles 29:25, 26). Now Christians are the temple, and the music is made within us (Eph. 2:21; 5:19). Interestingly, mechanical instruments were not used by the Jews in their synagogues, whose worship assemblies were similar to those of the early church in several ways.
  6. Mechanical instruments were for a time when worship was more outward and carnal (just like incense, lamp lighting, and other outward items of OT worship), but NT worship is inward and spiritual (John 4:23, 24; 1 Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 5:18, 19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 9:10, etc.).
  7. Mechanical instruments do not fulfill the commands to “speak,” to “let the Word of Christ dwell in you,” to “teach and admonish” or to “sing,” which are all Biblical criteria for New Testament music (Ephesians 5:18, 19; Colossians 3:16).
  8. Mechanical instruments are mentioned in the Psalms, but so are animal sacrifices (Psalm 66:15).
  9. Paul taught that if we directly apply part of the Old Testament system, we must apply the whole thing; but by doing so we will be condemned for rejecting Christ’s New Testament system (Galatians 5:3, 4).
  10. Jesus sang, and He is our ultimate example (Matthew 26:30; Hebrews 2:12).
  11. Since God specified gopher wood for Noah’s ark, all other types of wood were automatically forbidden (Genesis 6:14). Since Jesus specified unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine for communion, all other foods are forbidden (Matthew 26:26-28).  By the same logic, since God specified singing in the New Testament, all others types of music are forbidden.
  12. The term “a capella” is an ancient term which means “chapel style” singing—the way people sang in corporate worship.
  13. The apostles did not play mechanical instruments in worship, and it is a historical fact that mechanical instruments were not used by anyone in “Christian worship” until hundreds of years after the Bible was completed.
  14. The New Testament was written in the Greek language, and it’s interesting that the Greek Orthodox Church has never used mechanical instruments in worship.
  15. It is a historical fact that most of today’s major denominations formerly understood these principles and did not use mechanical instruments in their early history (e.g., the Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians). Famous denominational scholars such as John Wesley, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Adam Clarke, Charles Spurgeon and many others staunchly opposed man-made instruments in their assemblies. These men are not anyone’s standard to follow, but it is noteworthy that they understood the above Scriptural principles on this topic, which have now been forgotten or forsaken by so many.

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