Vol.VIII No.VII Pg.7
September 1971

Queries And Answers

Robert F. Turner

Dear bro. Turner:

Is it unscriptural and sinful to have instrumental music in a wedding ceremony which is held in a church of Christ building, when the only songs played are secular? R.C.


A building in which the church meets for worship remains just that — a building. It is not sacred in the sense of holy ground. It is not the House of God, nor sanctuary. It is a shelter from the elements, an expedient, subordinate to the command to assemble. To the extent the church controls a building, its use is dictated by two considerations: (1) the purpose by which it is justified, and for which it is obtained; (2) the influence its use will have upon the public who, right or wrong, will judge us by such matters.

A wedding ceremony of any kind is a social-civil affair. I believe the building may be used, incidentally, for weddings and funerals, but there is no scriptural justification for church financing of such — and certainly none for constructing a chapel specifically for such.

In my opinion, the use of mechanical music of any kind, in a building clearly identified in the public mind as controlled by the church for the worship and work of the Lord, would be inexpedient. Persisted in, to the disregard of conscience, a false light to the world, or a compromising position before weak brethren, it would be sinful. (Rom. 14:14-f; 15: 1-2; 1 Cor. 6:12; 8: 8-12; 10:31) Little children —cease this excuse-seeking!

Bro. Turner:

Do the scriptures teach that women must wear hats to services? D.C.


1 Cor. 11:3-f. teaches that man is head over woman, and that this distinction must be maintained in their appearance and conduct.

Apparently some women in Corinth were openly challenging this divine distinction; abusing their new-found freedom in Christ and using their right to pray and prophesy as the door to personal ends. They violated that which was fitting (Vs. 13. something subject to rational judgement among the many) and natural (Vs. 14, something which could he determined without benefit of revelation; see Rom. 2:14) in their rebellion against man as their head.

Paul states the divine law on the matter (i.e., settles, by revelation, the issue) when he says, But I would have you know — Vs. 3. He then deals with the particulars (hair styles and veils) by appealing to their own ingrained sense of shame judgement and propriety (Vs. 4-f); reverting to the basic issue only to reinforce the divine principle previously stated.

Then, lest any think that the particulars of the Corinthian situation (hair lengths and veils) become ends within themselves; lest any try to make the veil or hair length a universally distinctive mark of saints; (and chapel veils become our badge) he says, We have no such custom (established practice, see Jn. 18:39)) neither the churches of God.