Instrumentalist in Worship
(Original Blog Post from July 17, 2007)
As you read the quotes below, you will only begin to see how hard of a time it has been over the years for the instrumentalist. I am so glad that we have moved past (for the most part) all of this thought process.
Man how bad would it have been to been a worship leader back in those days – we just think we have it hard now.
Martin Luther, Reformation Leader: “The organ in the worship service is a sign of Baal.” Realencyklopadie Fur Protestantische Theologie und Kirche, Bd, 14, s.433 cited in Instrumental Music and New Testament Worship, James D. Bales, p. 130.
Thomas Aquinas, Catholic Theologian; 13th century: “Our church does not use musical instruments, as harps and psalteries, to praise God withal, that she may not seem to Judaize.” Bingham’s Antiquities, Vol. 2, p.483, London
John Calvin, Reformation Leader, Founder of Reformed & Presbyterian denominations: “Musical Instruments in celebrating the praises of God would be no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting of lamps, and the restoration of the other shadows of the law. “ Calvin, Commentary on Psalm 33, see also commentary on 1 Samuel 18:1-9
John Wesley, Founder of Methodist Denomination: “I have no objection to instruments of music in our chapels, provided they are neither heard nor seen.” Cited by Methodist commentator Adam Clarke; Clarke’s Commentary, Vol. 4, p.684
Catholic Encyclopedia: “Although Josephus tells of the wonderful effects produced in the Temple by the use of instruments, the first Christians were of too spiritual a fibre to substitute lifeless instruments for or to use them to accompany the human voice. Clement of Alexandria severely condemns the use of instruments even at Christian banquets.” Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 10, p. 652
Charles Spurgeon, Baptist Author/Pastor: “We might as well pray by machinery as sing by it” and “Israel was at school, and used childish things to help her learn; but in these days when Jesus gives us spiritual food, one can make melody without strings and pipes… we do not need them. That would hinder rather than help our praise. Sing unto Him. This is the sweetest and best music. No instrument like the human voice.” Charles Spurgeon, Commentary on Psalm 42