Vol.XIV No.I Pg.5
March 1977

- -Answering Arguments And Quibbles

Robert F. Turner

(continued from previous page)

Some instrument users, apparently aware that there is no validity in their psallo argument, claim instrumental music is only an "aid" that is therefore justified by generic authority. They liken it to church buildings, eye-glasses, and walking canes.

"Assemble" authorizes nothing but assembling, and when brethren come together in a rented building, under a tree, or in a building they own, they do nothing but assemble. We believe a place of assembly is expedient, but the place is subordinate to the thing done (assembling), and not something in addition to that which is commanded — not coordinate with it.

One sees with the eyes, whether through glasses or not. One walks with the legs, whether aided by cane or not. The glasses do not constitute some additional sense, nor the cane some additional act. Glasses and cane, are subordinate to seeing and walking.

But when one plays an instrument a different act has been introduced — something coordinate has been added so that now we sing and play. Factually, one does not sing with a piano (i.e., it is not the instrument of singing); one sings with the voice. One plays with the piano — it is the instrument of playing, not of singing. The piano, therefore, is not an aid to singing (the thing commanded), but an aid to playing ( a thing unauthorized). Yes, you can understand this.

On" tract writer makes the instrument the means (aid) "to achieve togetherness in singing," and later, "a method of teaching the tune." Does it cease to be used when the tune has been learned? Are we seriously asked to believe that organ solos and special instrumental concerts are for the purpose of "teaching the tune" so the worshipers can then, without the organ, sing to God? Really::

I do not break fellowship with one because he understands psalto to allow the use of mechanical instruments; or because, for other reasons, he believes it is acceptable to use such instruments in worship. I believe he is in error, but if he shows an open mind and willingness to seek truth in the divine standard, this erroneous conclusion would not prevent my treating him as a brother. But I can not join with him in worship when mechanical instruments are being played. I can not give financial or moral support — I can not be a member of a church — which engages in this error. To do so would be to act contrary to my honest convictions (Rom. 14:23).

This is not to say my conclusions are the standard of truth. I will continue to study the scriptures with all who offer further enlightenment on the subject — but I look for better lamps than Noah's fir sawhorse, hickory hammer handle, and maple workbench. In such a comparison, WORSHIP is the counterpart of the ark, and must consist only of divinely authorized material. The car one uses to get to the worship, is not a part of the worship.

The whole matter can be settled by "Speaking Where the Bible Speaks, and being Silent Where the Bible is Silent." This is the only safe course.