Today, the latest edition of New Wineskins goes live with an introductory article by Guest Editor Jay Guin outlining the contents and direction of The Instrumental Music Issue.
We debated the merits of inviting advocates from both sides of this contentious issue to add their thoughts, and in the end agreed that one side has already had, perhaps, more exposure than the issue deserves. And there are always the comment boxes available below each article for registering one’s view. (I only remove entries there which are spam, abusive or slanderous, duplicated by software/user glitch, or with which I disagree. Just kidding on that last one.)
As WebServant for New Wineskins, my own views on the matter are pretty much represented on this blog and also available for public scrutiny – most of them at the worship or unauthorized worship category links at the far right.
5 thoughts on “The Instrumental Music Issue”
Is this still an issue? Should it be an issue? I personally don’t think this is an issue for many in my generation. I think it is easy for the Church of Christ to hang on to tradition and even make tradition something that scripture never intended. I think it is important how we approach the text. Are we teaching Christians today to take a wholistic approach when reading and studying the passages or are we teaching believers to try to prove opinion by taking passages out of context that the writers never intended so we can hold on to traditions of the past? I think we need to start asking should worship be missional and relevant today? Is what we are doing today relevant? Are we willing to loose connectedness to the lost and culture for the sake of tradition? I think when we focus too much on issues such as instrumental music we loose focus of the bigger issues: Love, Grace, Mercy, The Kingdom of God, Social Justice, Making Disciples and being Relevant to the world in which we live today.
Kinney, I sympathize with your reaction … I think you’ll find that this edition will take a holistic approach to the issue, raising questions of effectiveness in outreach. I just posted a response to a similiar reaction on Facebook. There will be an interview with two ministers of churches which have added accompanied services and have grown as a result (both are looking at or establishing church plants), and that addresses the issue of outreach.
And how we engage others who believe differently from us forces us to focus on the bigger issues.
Stay tuned as this edition unfolds over the next few days. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Thank you Keith…I am looking forward to more!
I will suggest that the parallels and contrasts in Ephesians 4:17-5:21 reveal a clearer look at the “connecting points” between congregational song and kingdom living than has typically been discussed within the Restoration Movement. I continue to believe that part of Paul’s counsel has received very little mindshare, and am praying such changes.
I am curious to know if your conclusions regarding the discussion of Ephesians 5:18-21 in Deceiving Winds are from a reading of the study. If you have not at least browsed, I hope you will consider such.
And glad to discuss further. Please message me at the below email address if you have an interest.
Bruce, I don’t think I’ve mentioned Deceiving Winds on this blog, on the New Wineskins site, or anywhere else. I haven’t read it. So anything I would say about it would be purely speculative and probably out of line.
My initial impression from what you’ve shared in the comments and what others have shared in the articles at NW (and other publications) is that far too much scholarship is required to reach any kind of concrete conclusion regarding the use of instruments in worship. There is too much burden on the average believer to learn Greek, study extra-scriptural patristic documents, learn details about first-through-twentieth century culture.
I am a full-time husband/dad with a full-time job at my church and I do some part-time volunteer work with New Wineskins and The ZOE Group as well. The kind of time required by that study just isn’t mine. I’m glad such time and effort is not a luxury to you, but I have doubts about the ultimate value of such a study.
The fact that accompanied/a cappella worship has been disputed for so many centuries without any explicit mention in New Testament scripture with regard to gathered worship leads me to believe that it is, simply, a disputable matter over which we should not judge others (Romans 14).
I firmly believe I don’t have to be right about that. I believe that the blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient to cover my ignorance.
My interest in the issue is in opening some civil, Christian dialog between proponents on both sides so that, hopefully, in perhaps some generation yet to come, people in Restoration churches can reach some sort of peace regarding it.