How sinful are instruments? You’re about to find out!
You’re driving down a highway in your home country, which is a nice, tropical island nation. The speed-limit sign says, “TRAVEL 80KPH,” and you’re doing a solid 75. Suddenly your rear window is suffering from over illumination. Cripes, it’s the cops!
You pull over, and the cop walks up to your window and asks if you know why you were stopped. You think about it…no, no you don’t.
“You were doing 75KPH in your car,” the cop says. “That’s illegal now. We changed the law sometime yesterday. Now “TRAVEL 80KPH” means that you can travel up to that speed, but not in your car. Your car is an addition to the Law. Additions such as these mean that you have to go to jail forever. I’m sorry.”
“WHAT? But there was nothing telling me that this has changed! It’s always allowed travel with a car! There’s nothing saying that the meaning of “travel” changed! This…this can’t be!”
But the meaning of things changed without anyone saying that it did, so you go to jail, and it’s a life-sentence.
In talking with a man recently, he said that we need to show that “sing” didn’t change meaning from Matthew to Jude, because they are “the other side of the cross,” and God’s use of “sing” in prior times needs to be re-proved for the period of Matthew to Jude.
It is my belief that God communicates through language, and as such, His use of words does not change based simply and arbitrarily based on “the side of the cross.” If the meaning he was conveying with words changed based on Covenant, we’d be entirely unable to understand what He loves and desires. It would be shocking if we one day woke up to find that, without notice, the definitions we’d all known were suddenly incorrect.
As an example, we don’t have have the following internal dialogue:
“Well ‘angel’ seemed to mean something like ‘a created being often used as a messenger’ in the Old Covenant, but what does it mean in the New Covenant? Perhaps it’s a type of rat? Perhaps it’s a creature whose mother was a hamster and whose father smelt of elderberries? Perhaps it’s a graven image? Man, we really need to find definitive proof that ‘angel’ still means something close to ‘heavenly, created being, sometimes used as a messenger,’ or we really can’t know what an ‘angel’ is in the New Covenant.”
The same goes for singing. We know how God uses singing prior to the New Covenant. We should not expect that God pulled a “gotcha” and changed the meaning, and then try to find proof that God didn’t change the meaning. To that end, please see how God uses “sing,” which is attached.
Kent West of the “Westing Peacefully” website writes,
“The traditions of God are such that when he said “sing”, playing was often understood to be part of the word (such as in the first chapter of the Bible in which the term is used – Ex 15:20-21; the last book of the Bible in which the term is used – Rev 15:2-3; and lots of places in between, such as when the captors said “sing” and the captives hung up their harps and said “We’re too sad to sing” – Ps 137:1ff), and never was playing clearly excluded as part of the word…Why then do we go against God’s tradition to begin a new one in which “sing” excludes playing?”
And Kent also notes,
“According to our brotherhood’s longstanding doctrine, God must have instructed the apostles with the command, “Thou shalt no longer use musical instruments when worshiping me” (while still allowing things like Nazirite vows and the animal sacrifices to end them, and praying, and being purified to enter the temple, and raising hands in prayer, and wearing tassels on the hem of one’s garments, and retaining membership in the sect of Pharisees, and circumcision, and keeping the law of Moses zealously, and keeping the feasts, etc).”
I hope this gives you some something to mull over, whatever you make of it.
With love, always,