Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 8, 1960
NUMBER 31, PAGE 6,14b

Mr. Haddow Replies

Donald P. Ames, Aurora, Illinois

Elsewhere in this issue of the Gospel Guardian is an article by Bob Haddow in reply to my review of his former article. I urge you to read it before going on to this one, and if possible, to back up and review our exchange of Feb. 25, 1960.

I also apologize to Haddow for being so slow in replying to his article, but completing my senior year at F. C. C., moving to Aurora, working with the church here, and assuming the obligations of business manager for TRUTH Magazine have kept me on the run. During this time I had contemplated letting a reply go, as little has been presented in Haddow's reply, but further consideration led me to go ahead and reply.

Mr. Haddow has centered his reply upon two major contentions: (1) the instrument is authorized today because it is included in the word psalms, and (2) the instrument is permitted because it is only an aid, parallel to song books, a pitch pipe, etc. To begin with, if it is authorized by the word of God, as he contends, there is no need to fight for it as an aid — it is authorized! If water is authorized for baptism by the word of God, I don't have to contend that I need some element to baptize a person in, there is plenty of water, therefore, I am permitted to use water. I just need to turn to the passage in the New Testament and prove my case by showing where it was used. If it is taught in the word of God, there is no need for further arguing.

Meaning Of Psalms

But, is instrumental music taught in the word of God? Does the word "psalms" include the instrument, supplying the necessary authority for us to include it in our worship to Jehovah today? To listen to Mr. Haddow, the case is cut and dried. Thayer (and Lightfoot) have included it in the New Testament practice, therefore there should be no further questioning about it. However, may I point out to Mr. Haddow that, as the premillennialists try to get a literal resurrection and a 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth out of Revelation 20 by reading INTO the passage everything they want, so he is perhaps unconsciously guilty of doing the same thing with his argument on the word "psalms." It was pointed out in my last article that Psallo (to sing), according to the unanimous consent of the lexicons, excluded the instrument (a fact Mr. Haddow has gone out of his way to avoid). But, Haddow has now found the authority for it in "psalms." In doing so, he has gotten himself into an awful predicament: he wants to sing a song (which supposedly includes the instrument), singing with a verb which permits ONLY singing without an instrument. This is indeed quite a feat I'd like to have a bit more, on, if he pleases.

However, is it compulsory that "psalms" include the instrument? If so, Mr. Haddow has placed himself in the position of accepting the very thing he has worked so hard to avoid — every member MUST have his own private instrument. If not, Mr. Haddow has slipped into his own inconsistency of argument and yielded the case.

But, let us hear him admit this himself: "As Lightfoot says 'the leading idea of psalm is a musical accompaniment,' not that this is the only idea or that simply singing is excluded." (Emp. his — D. P. A.) Now, if the leading idea is such, is it not possible that there are other ideas included under this word also? If so, as he has already admitted, does it not follow that because the word is used in Col. 3:16 and Eph. 5:19, it MUST include the instrument here? That's like saying that because the leading idea of "breaking bread" is that of eating a meal, every time the term is used it must bear this same thought. (Remember, the leading usage of psalms was in the Old Testament, not the New Testament). We thank him for this concession.

However, Haddow remarks, "Donald would make them go north on the verb and south on the noun." Well, I may have gotten my directions slightly mixed, but from the South the verb excluded the instrument, and now that I've returned to the North, I can't see that he has any comfort with the noun either. They are still in agreement. Mr. Haddow's efforts to create a contradiction to help his cause by placing the noun against the verb has fallen far short of the desired goal.

Pertaining to Arndt and Gingrich, I offer my corrections for having missed his statement, however the argument still stands on the word psallo, and the above argument takes M-M away from his efforts for a contradiction within their translation on the two words — if studied with an unbiased attitude, without a point to have to uphold. I believe this point is sufficiently clear, so, as in my former article, I'm forced to say that he still has not presented their full position on this topic.

Hurting under the force of the lexicons, Mr. Haddow then turns to the argument that when I see singing, I translate it into sing only; just like the denominationalist who sees faith, and reads faith only. His argument sounds good, but there's just one fault — it's based on faulty assumptions! This sounds just like an old denominational dodge that when we see baptism is immersion, we promptly conclude immersion only. Is that correct? I have as much authority to add the instrument when all the lexicons agree the word means sing as I do to add sprinkling when all the lexicons agree the word means immerse. If not, why not? Does the fact we are authorized to offer only "bread" and "fruit of the vine" for the Lord's Supper mean I would be wrong in adding peanut-butter and milk also? The Lord condemns men for adding what they want to what He has authorized. (2 John 9, 1 Cor. 4:6, Gal. 1:6-9, Lev. 10:1-2) When He authorizes, He also excludes! Mr. Haddow's argument is based on the silence of the scriptures (just like infant baptism); he has to first prove that God has authorized the instrument.

Mr. Haddow next takes up Thayer's personal position. I don't have a letter from Yale, etc., but would like to remind him of one fact: Thayer was also a non-Christian. Robertson wrote correctly the meaning of the word eis' (Acts 2:38), but he wouldn't give up his own theological views to accept the truth. Thayer, chairman of the American Standard Version, presented what the word meant (uniformly translating to sing throughout the New Testament). I believe he saw full agreement between the verb and noun — as shown. But, whether he accepted or denied his own conclusions is beside the point!

Haddow also takes up the so-called Journal of Religion (a rank, Liberalistic, Modernistic journal, which he assured me he did not endorse other than the one statement) to assist his cause. While the statement in and of itself is good and worthy of acceptance, it cannot apply in this case. He seems to desperately want to ignore the fact that every Greek lexicon admits that the word has changed its meaning. Time changed those meanings. He needs to go back and study Vincent's Word Studies (which he himself admitted acknowledge a change in the word). His argument here cannot stand.

Scope Of Making Music

Building a case on "making melody," Haddow quickly forsakes the Greek to stay with various English translations. This was a bit odd, since he has sought to justify his entire case on the basis of Greek meaning. Why? Could it be because he knew the words "singing" and "making melody" both came from psallo and ado, neither of which included an instrument in New Testament times?

As for the ability of the instrument to "teach," he tells us it teaches us how to sing a pretty tune. Does that make us a better Christian? May I remind Haddow that God is not interested in how pretty we sing; He is interested in our "teaching and admonishing" one another with the words. Instrumental music not only does not aid the purpose of singing, it works against it, drowning out the very words and thoughts.

Authorized Or Condemned?

Mr. Haddow feels that I need a stronger case on whether or not the instrument is an aid — parallel with a pitch pipe, or not. So, we offer him the following detailed illustration, noting also that we do not say it must be exactly, like a pitch pipe to be classified an aid. (1) When I use a song book, I have done only what the Lord requires of me — "sing." (2) When I use a tuning fork, I have done only what the Lord requires of me — "sing." (3) However, when the instrument is added, I have gone beyond what the Lord requires — I have added something, another kind of music, to that authorized by the Lord. The Lord said, "Sing" (vocal music) ; I have now both sung (vocal) and played an instrument (instrumental) I have added another kind of music, "which he had not commanded them." (Lev. 10:1-2) It is not the place of man to legislate where God has not. (2 John 9, 1 Cor. 4:6, Gal. 1:6-8) Mr. Haddow has placed himself in this latter classification by assuming that right.

Having failed to have his instrument authorized, or even justified as an aid, he then turns to another argument — inconsistency. This failed when he presented the case that we'd use the instrument in the home for religious songs, but not in the church building. Now he offers another which he feels to be an important inconsistency. Inconsistency in teaching and practice would not disprove a doctrine, but would mean one or the other should be changed. However, to his charge: Would I accept an instrument to get the pitch also? -Technically, yes! However, (1) such would be a waste of the Lord's money, which was given to spread His cause — not for show; and (2) it would be an open invitation to apostasy. Therefore, I'd oppose any such effort to place an instrument in the church building for pitch purposes.

But, concerning this "pitch" which seems to be one of Haddow's last major efforts for justification of adding to the word of God: It is Mr. Haddows obligation, to use this as justification of a charge of inconsistency, to show me one thing in the Bible saying I must arrive at my pitch vocally. Then, I'll accept his argument. The Bible doesn't say how we are to obtain that pitch, but it DOES regulate what we are to do afterwards! If I want to arrive at that pitch by beating on a bath tub even, he could saying nothing more against it than that it would be inexpedient and out of place (and I'd have to agree with him there). To have things "decently and in order," we must have some sort of musical guide and words to have a central unity. However, as he himself has repeatedly admitted, such does NOT require an instrument, and it is excluded from those things authorized by the word of God, therefore he has no parallel to a song book or tuning fork. Note: I do not say the tuning fork is necessary, but I do say it is permitted (as an aid); I cannot say the same thing for his instrument — (an addition to the type of music required by the Lord).

Paul says, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thess. 5:21) Having found the above indefensible, I left the Christian Church for those things "which are good." I trust, and pray, this exchange may help others to see the truth, and has been of profit to both myself and Mr. Haddow.