Churches without Instrumental Music

Churches without Instrumental Music November 11, 2010

Some of you may not know this, but there is a very large group of Christians in the USA (and the world) who don’t believe in the use of musical instruments in church. They are called the Churches of Christ, and I consider many of their pastors my friends. Well, I’ve not had anything but light-hearted discussions about this issue with them, but I got a letter from a concerned youth pastor who wonders how to deal with this.

I ask you to avoid the banal and the insulting and ask what you would say to him. I have no desire to get into it with my friends, but I wonder if you have thought about this and what you would say.

Dr. McKnight,

I know you are busy so I will keep it brief.  I am youth minister … and received an M. Div. from a seminary.  I tell you that so you know a little framework for my question.
How would you respond to someone who believes that instrumental music is not an acceptable form of worship?
Typically we have stated our reasoning is that instruments were not used/authorized in the New Testament (even though Revelation speaks of using them in the New Heaven/New Earth) therefore we cannot use them.

The topic of contemporary Christian music came up as well in a discussion with a youth minister and he stated that if we are consistent without acapella stance then we can’t even listen to that type of music because, according to him, there is no dichotomy in praise and worship.

So how would you answer this? I am not looking to quote you on it I am just a pilgrim on the way seeking learning.

I really appreciate all of your work as I have many of your books.  MY favorites are Blue Parakeet and Jesus Creed.  I read that you are coming out with a Jesus Creed for students…excited about that!

Blessings,
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