"That They All May Be One"

Written by Drew on July 21st, 2006

It’s been 100 years since the 1906 federal census recognized a split between the instrumental Christian Churches and the a cappella Churches of Christ. Using this anniversary-year as a motivation for change, several members on both sides of the divide have been pushing for unity. Others, however, are not that optimistic. They see these efforts as an “artificial gloss,” not the true unity envisioned by Christ (Jn. 17:21).

Alan Highers is one of the church leaders who points out the superficial nature of this movement. In a recent interview with the Christian Chronicle, he articulated his concerns.

Everyone would like to see unity between those who are estranged, but unity based on false premises is no unity at all. Some are seeking unity without any discussion of the rightness or wrongness of instrumental music in worship. They want to sweep the issue under the rug and ignore the real cause of division. I do not believe this can be done.

There are thousands in the brotherhood who cannot conscientiously worship with an instrument. What kind of unity would it be if people who claimed to be united could not even worship together?

Any unity that is merely decreed or pronounced between the two groups will be a charade, an artificial gloss, but certainly not the true unity envisioned in the Scriptures.

Some disagree that instrumental music in worship is the issue at the heart of our differences with the Christian Church, pointing to hermeneutical models instead.

However, Highers makes an excellent point. Look for a serious discussion of the legitimacy of instruments in worship at the ACU lectureship or at the Tulsa Soul Winning Workshop. It is nowhere to be found. As Highers pointed out, most members of the Churches of Christ oppose the use of instrumental music in worship on biblical grounds (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). There will never be unity until this important matter–a matter involving our sacrifice of praise (Heb. 13:15)–is settled.

 

21 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jeff @ truth-in-love.com says:

    Never thought I’d say this, but Stanley’s got it right. It was different models of interpretation that drove the wedge. Now that many in liberal institutional churches have abandoned the notion of Biblical authority, there’s not much keeping them apart.

    Although it’s been my observation many of the vocal sorts probably have more in common with the Disciples than Christian Churches when it comes to hermeneutics…

  2. Anonymous says:

    If anyone is aware of the differing “hermeneutical position” of the Christian Church, it is Alan Highers. His omission in the Chronicle article was certainly not out of ignorance, as young Stanley seems to suggest. Perhaps Stanley would do well to read Highers’ 1988 debate with Given O. Blakely, who was the first to advance the “no authority needed” position. Prior to that point, all the Christian Church debaters had at least suggested that authority was needed for the instrument. Blakely “broke new ground” by claiming none was necessary. All that Stanley did was demonstrate his ignorance.

  3. The Berean Examiner says:

    Of course you would not find a ” for a serious discussion of the legitimacy of instruments in worship at the ACU lectureship or at the Tulsa Soul Winning Workshop because that were not the purpose of them.

    Before you ask if instrumental music is wrong, you need to ask why is singing one of the so called “five acts of worship”? Where in the Bible does it say that the so called NT pattern of worship is the “five acts” done on Sunday morning?

    Why is the subject of instrumental worship an unity matter in the first place?(Romans 14)

    It is so crazy that so much time and energy has been wasted on this “not too important” matter. May God have mercy on all of us.

    Do you know that there are more subjects in the Bible to talk about? For example, What is the “gift of the Holy Spirit” in Acts 2:38? Did Jesus knew the Word (scripture) when he was 12 years old? Was Jesus born with the knowledge? Am I the only one to come up with more questions when I study the Bible?

    In reality, this is not an important matter but if it is to you, then you need to listen to both sides and compare that to the Bible. Then make up your own mind about this. Then worship with a church that believes what you believe the Bible says about this.

    AND THEN GO ON DOWN THE ROAD. Anonymous bought up the fact that “we all to be servants”. Anonymous is wrong about the other things but he is right about this. So, Are you are servant and if so, then how good of a servant are you? Are you teaching the lost the good news? Are you perfect? Is there any sin problems that you need to work on?

    Anonymous, Bryan Matthew Dockens, who is the minister for the Vegas Drive Church of Christ in Las Vegas, Nevada think that some of the Christian women in the Southern California are going to Hell because they are having a “Southern California Christian Women’s Retreat” in which they did not have “authority”.
    ___________________________________
    Quote from Bryan Matthew Dockens:
    ” They seemed so normal to the casual observer. Sweet, gentle, kind. Even loving. They smiled; they embraced; they conversed. How deceptive it all was! Servants of Satan disguised as angels of light. That’s what they were, you know. The Bible warned of this! More than once! And here it was, right before our eyes; flaunting itself shamelessly in the light of day. Women who were openly professing to be servants of the Savior, but in reality they were simply disciples of the devil. This “gaggle of godless gals” had assembled themselves together in the hills outside the city for a weekend “Christian Women’s Retreat.” How innocent it all sounded to the spiritually unenlightened; how well-intentioned it appeared to the unlearned and unsuspecting. They actually sang hymns and spiritual songs (the nerve of these women); they prayed; they ate together; they studied Scripture (for all the good it did them). The entire weekend was an abomination! God was completely disgusted by their lack of respect for His inspired Word. Where in all of the NT writings had He ever “authorized” a Women’s Retreat?! Did the early church ever once have such a gathering? Nope! Therefore, we know for a fact that it is sinful. These women thought they were pleasing their God. What fools. Unless they repent, they will burn in hell; tortured endlessly by our loving, merciful God.

    Bryan Dockens also wrote, in part: “Jesus said, ‘Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted’ (Matt. 15:13). Despite His fair yet stern warning, religious people routinely plant what God has not planted. This is evident in the hundreds of denominations established by men, competing with the Lord’s ‘one body.’ Sadly, this disturbing practice is not limited to those outside the body. Many within the church, often unwittingly, prove themselves dissatisfied with the divine arrangement by exceeding the authority of the Scriptures and establishing religious institutions of their own, such as church operated orphanages, colleges with preacher training courses, or foundations that conduct gospel meetings. The latest example of this trend … is the ‘Annual Southern California Christian Women’s Retreat.’ … In the absence of Scriptural authority, even good intentions must be set aside — 2 Sam. 7:1-7” [Biblelist, Post #11,492].
    ___________________________________
    Quote from Beverly Ann Dockens:

    I have been made aware of your plans for the ‘Women’s Retreat’ from several different sources. I pray that you will allow me a moment to discuss some concerns I have about this endeavor. On the surface, it sounds like a wonderful, exciting get-together for women to strengthen one another and build up their faith. The idea has a nice ring to it. The problem is that it is not pleasing to God. I say this with all the love and kindness I can express toward all of you. … You have developed an organized group and assigned it a name. The only organized religious entity that God approves of is the church. … You say that these retreats are a blessing to those who attend, yet the Bible says … our blessings come through the church. … You hope that all who attend will grow spiritually. … We grow spiritually when we work within the boundaries of the church.”

    “It should not be difficult to know what a woman after God’s heart looks like if one studies what the Bible has to say about the attributes of Christians in general and women in particular. You do not need a retreat to learn that you should walk in love as Christ has loved you. Ladies, there is so much to do within the local church! Women should concentrate on good works. Women should learn in silence with all subjection. Women should not bring undue attention to their outer appearance in any way. She should not take on a role of authority over men. By raising godly children, she will save herself and others.”

    “It is my earnest prayer that you will seriously consider these things. If you do not find righteousness, peace, joy, hope, mercy, comfort, blessings, grace, love, and fellowship within the church where you are attending, why not? These things God has promised you. Work on making the local church fit the criteria that Christ established. You risk jeopardizing your soul’s salvation by creating a new organization to take its place.”

    BE Note: Legalistic Patternism Strikes Again
    ___________________________________

    Anonymous, My question to you is “Do you also think the Christian womens retreats are wrong because there is no authority in it? If you say that instrumental music in which there is no so called “authority” is wrong but you say that Christian womens retreat in which there is also no authority is wrong, then why do you say that?

    In other words. Do you think that Christian womens retreats are wrong or not?

    I could go on but Drew said “Comments are welcome, as long as they remain brief” in which that means that I must stop now.

  4. Mackenzie says:

    Berean,

    I find your comments on the issue of instrumental music interesting. You have made a statement in regards to why a big deal is made with using instrumental music in worship services. I totally agree. Why don’t all churches just drop instrumental music all together and then the discussion will no longer exist. After all, it does seem to be a stumbling block to many, why don’t we all just “abstain from eating meats”. I think we would all agree that instrumental music is not necessesary to have an uplifting service. So the best solution would be to set the issue aside by not having instrument in worship services.

  5. Jeff @ truth-in-love.com says:

    Berean’s right (again, oddly enough). There’s as much authority for para-church organizations funded from and sponsored by churches as there is for IM.

    Of course, his/her motive is to deny authority entirely, which is where BE (and Al Maxey) go astray…

  6. Anonymous says:

    A “Christian Woman’s Retreat” is not “unauthorized.” It is certainly not a “para church organization,” wherein a congregation forfeits its autonomy. The failure commonly made by those of anti-persuasion, or those who are unaware of how to properly ascertain Bible authority, is that of failing to distinguish between generic and specific authority. Those who seek to justify instruments will often claim, “There is no authority for songbooks, either.” In so doing, they fail to realize two things: (1) Songbooks are authorized generically in the command given to “sing” (they aid in carrying out the command); (2) Even if their claim was correct, which it is not, all it would serve to prove is that all parties involved are wrong–it still would not justify the instrument.

  7. Drew Kizer says:

    Jeff, BE is way off base. Instrumental music in worship is in a whole different category than the dispute over the use of institutions. The institutional debate is over “how” biblical commands are carried out. Instrumental music is not a matter of how the singing is done but a matter of “what” one does.

    If you’ve been reading what the unity proponents are saying, they are making the same argument you just made. However, not to the same effect.

    Despite what many have charged, those of us who are in so-called “institutional” churches do have respect for Bible authority. We seek a direct statement, necessary inference and approved example for everything we do, also considering what is expedient. This is not the case with those who want to join hands with the Christian Church.

  8. The Berean Examiner says:

    “That They All May Be One”(John 17:21)

    What a joke that turned out to be in the Stone-Campbell Unity Movement and that joke is not funny, it’s is very sad and shamefull. This should be very embarrassing to those who are Church of Christers. That makes me glad that I’m just a Christian and not a Church of Christer.

    All the hard work done for unity by Barton W. Stone, Alexander & Thomas Campbell, Walter Scott, James O’Kelly, Rice Haggard, Elias Smith, Abner Jones and the others turned out to be a total waste of time sense the Churches of Christ had become a series of denominations about within a denomination, exactly what Stone, Campbell and the others had worked so hard to avoid. Jeff and Drew gave us two prime examples of a series of denominations within a demination (Non Institutional and Institutional).

    At this time, may I suggest that you read Romans 14 from your own Bible?

    It is way past time that they truly all may be one in Christ.

  9. Drew Kizer says:

    Thessalonian Examiner,

    Your snide comments are rude and are not appreciated.

    If you knew anything about the players involved in the restoration of the New Testament church, you would understand that they had numerous disagreements. They branded one another “liberal” and “conservative” and challenged certain issues. However, while doing this they remained a part of non-denominational Christianity.

    Jeff and I differ on the subject of institutions. I have studied the Bible independently on this issue and have my convictions. I’m certain he has too. Because we differ, that doesn’t mean we are a part of denominations. We both strive to be a part of a body over which only the Lord has control–the body of Christ.

    You have become bitter and arrogant because you spend your time reading the writings of bitter and arrogant men. If that’s the way you want to live, that’s your choice.

    As for me, I’m getting tired of your attacks on true Bereans, the noble-minded few who study the Bible, not the writings of angry men.

  10. Jeff @ truth-in-love.com says:

    Hey, BE, I’ll be glad to read Romans 14 again. In fact, I’m working up some notes into an article for my site.

    For your part, would you please read passages like:

    “But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.” (Colossians 3:8)

    “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” (Colossians 4:6)

    “In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.” (Titus 2:7-8)

    “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:26)

    “So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.” (James 3:5-10)

    Thanks!

  11. The Berean Examiner says:

    “That They All May Be One”(John 17:21). Not today it looks like.

    Interesting, Very Interesting comment. Thank you for your comment and I assure you that I will give your comment some serious thought.

    As you said, it is my choice and I do not choose to be bitter. Come to think about it, I am very happy because the truth have set me free (John 8:32).

  12. Big Mac says:

    BE,

    I thought Drew and Jeff worked very well together to unveil your ignorant comments. Working together as one.

    Mackenzie

  13. Lynn B. says:

    I’d just like to add that Jesus himself knew that unity wasn’t going to happen. In spite of him praying for unity, John 17:20-21, he knew that he would cause division, Luke 12:51-53. Those of us who yearn for the purity of truth and strive to maintain a relationship with God will unfortunately have to give those who don’t over to Satan and pray that they will learn from their mistakes, 1 Tim 1:20.

  14. The Berean Examiner says:

    Those same people who are involved with the “Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes” are the same people who ask people who use instruments of music in worship for authorization of the use of instruments of music in worship. Some other people, not me, might ask those involved with the “Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes” where is the authorization for “Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes”? A person might say and ask those involved in the “Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes” para church organization these things. I’m not.
    “It is only when the church involves itself in the support, oversight or maintenance of “Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes” that those who respect the authority of Scripture must stand up in opposition. With respect to “Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes” which carry out works of the church but function independent of its oversight a number of questions arise. Is the church unable to do its own work? Did the Lord not know how to organize the church so that it could fulfill its own work? Do we think that we have the right to “extend” the organization of the church in ways that the Lord has not? An examination of Scripture reveals a New Testament church whose organization and purpose was distinguished by its simplicity. The simple organization of elders, deacons and saints (Philippians 1:1), working under the headship of Jesus (Ephesians 1:22) carrying out their work of teaching the gospel and edifying the saints (Ephesians 4:12) had no need of “para” organizations to fulfill its purpose. Paul is never identified as the “President and CEO of International Christ to the Gentiles Crusade.” John is not “Executive Director of Agape Outreach.” Peter is not the founder of “Solid Rock Ministries.” Why is it that if the New Testament church functioned without these things we think that we need them? How can those who respect the authority of the scriptures have unity with those involved in “Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes” who do not have respect for the authority of the scriptures? Where is the, as Drew calls, “NT pattern” for ““Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes”? Did Jesus die for the church or “Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes”?

    Someone might say “I find “Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes” to be very interesting. However, why don’t you just drop “Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes” all together and then the discussion will no longer exist. After all, it does seem to be a stumbling block (1 Cor 8:11-13, Proof text used by “Professional Weaker Brothers”) to many, why don’t we all just “abstain from eating meats”. I think we would all agree that “Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes” is not necessary for the Church of Christ. So the best solution would be to set the issue aside by not having “Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes”. . . “Of course, those people who are involved and lead “Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes” pure motive is to deny authority entirely, which is where they go astray. Or someone, not I, might say this about people who are involved and lead the “Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes”. “Those of us who yearn for the purity of truth and strive to maintain a relationship with God will unfortunately have to give those who don’t over to Satan and pray that they will learn from their mistakes, 1 Tim 1:20.

    Big Mac Mackenzie, Does this make sense to you? “I find using multiple cups in the Lord’s Supper to be very interesting however” . . . “Why don’t you just drop “Sunday Schools” all together and then the discussion will no longer exist. After all, it does seem to be a stumbling block to many” . . . “Where is the NT pattern for . . . “How can the true Bereans, the noble-minded few who study the Bible and who respect the authority of the scriptures have unity with those who do not respect the authority of the scriptures?” “Did you not hear Alan Highers’ 1988 debate with Given O. Blakely about the authority of the scriptures?” The how and what of the authority of the scriptures have absolutely nothing to do with it. Shall I go on? Do I need to go on?

    “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth” (Galatians 4:16)? How many will hate the messenger and try to claim it’s not because of the message? You’ll here “he’s too arrogant”. “Your snide and rude comments are not appreciated” or “to offensive”. Yet confidence (often misconstrued as arrogance) is how we ought to teach (Acts 28:31 and II Corinthians 10:2). Faith will bring confidence and boldness (Ephesians 3:12). Direct preaching is often hated, but is it not what we see as our example in teaching (Matthew 23:1ff., Acts 7:51ff., Acts 8:20-24, I Corinthians 2:1-5, II Corinthians 3:12, etc.)? What are we saying when we do not like those who plainly declare the truth to us because they want us to be saved?

    Paul had a reason for preaching and teaching so boldly and directly: “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences” (II Corinthians 5:11). Paul, like all faithful preachers of the Gospel, realized what terror awaited the disobedient in the Judgment Day (II Thessalonians 1:7-9). Paul preached the truth in clear terms because he wanted to spare men the terror that would be if they did not obey the Lord. This is love (Proverbs 27:5 and Revelation 3:19)! Still yet, brethren not only in Corinth, but other places also, did not appreciate the love Paul had for their souls. Truly, they missed why Paul took the time to write and preach to them. Paul, like many of today, was hated because he taught the truth.

    Yes, I study the writings of men like Paul, Mark, Matthew, Luke, John and other men like these.

    Lynn B, Who, exactly, are those of who do not yearn for the purity of truth and do not strive to maintain a relationship with God? Why, exactly, do think they do not yearn for the purity of truth and why, exactly, do you think that they do not strive to maintain a relationship with God? Are you sure that you just don’t have a misunderstanding? I would be more than happy to help you if you do have a misunderstanding.

    Berean Examiner and the Word of God . . . Working together as one.

  15. The Berean Examiner says:

    Jeff’s list of scripture is always good to keep in mind (Thanks Jeff for listing) but Jeff needs to take a look at considerably more scripture to get the total overall picture (context) of what the Bible is saying. The Bible tells us to “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15). Do you know what the word of truth is? It is the Bible, the whole Bible, not just Colossians 3:8, Colossians 4:6, Titus 2:7-8, James 1:26, and James 3:5-10. The 3 major keys of understanding the Bible is 1)context, 2)context and 3)context. It is not 1)prooftext, 2)prooftext and 3)prooftest. Quoting scripture is not the same thing as knowing scripture. Even Satan can quote the scripture. Satan quoted scripture to Jesus. Even the skeptics can quote scripture, (www.skepticsannotatedbible.com). Jeff must have grown up in the Churches of Christ. The Churches of Christ put too much emphasis on having the children memorize scripture. Here is an example of what I am talking about. The “Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes”, a Church of Christ para-church organization, have what they call “Centurion of Scripture”. The “Centurion of Scripture” purpose is not to encourage understanding, (really knowing) the scripture but to encourage the memorization of 100 scriptures. I wonder if Ezekiel 23:20, Isaiah 36:12, 2 Kings 18:27, Solomon’s Song 8:8, 2 Kings 6:28 & 29, Solomon’s Song 1:13, Solomon’s Song 4:5, Solomon’s Song 7:3&7, 2 Samuel 11:2-4, Psalm 137:9, Malachi 2:3, Leviticus 20:16, Deuteronomy 28:53, Leviticus 15:19, Proverbs 5:19, Judges 9:12-13, Psalm 104:14-15, Eccl. 10:19, Zech. 10:7, Prov. 31:6, 1 Tim. 5:23, Isaiah 25:6,8, Exodus 29:40, John 2:1-11, Luke 7:34, Romans 14-1-23, John 17:21-23, 1 Cor 12:12&13, Phil 1:1-2, Romans 15:5-6 and Eph 4:3 are part of the 100 scriptures of the “Centurion of Scripture”? I read the whole Bible, not just Colossians 3:8, Colossians 4:6, Titus 2:7-8, James 1:26, and James 3:5-10. However, I do not believe that memorization and quoting scripture is a total waste a time but I do believe that we all need to know scripture. It takes a bunch of time to memorize scripture in which I believe it is wiser to spend time to really learn scripture.

    What would Jesus say? The answers: “Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:12-14). “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves… Ye fools and blind… Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites… Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel… Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity… Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell” (Matthew 23:15, 17, 23, 24, 27-28, and 33)? Guess what – Jesus was a name-caller!

    One more time:
    1) Context, 2) Context, and 3) Context

  16. The Berean Examiner says:

    “Answer not a fool according to his folly” (Proverbs 26:4).

    Is this the reason that the people who think that Instrumental music is sin in worship won’t answer my “five acts of worship” question? They will tell you yes but that it not the truth. What is my question? Where in the Bible does it say to do the “five acts of worship” on Sunday? The truth is they, “the contenders of faith” can’t.

  17. The Berean Examiner says:

    Drew said:

    If you knew anything about the players involved in the restoration of the New Testament church, you would understand that they had numerous disagreements. They branded one another “liberal” and “conservative” and challenged certain issues. However, while doing this they remained a part of non-denominational Christianity.

    Alexander Campbell said:

    ARE WE A DENOMINATION?

    In farther corroboration of our anti-sectarian character and feelings now, that, under the blessing of Heaven, a very large party has been formed, in many regions equalling any other denomination; and in others, where we have had an equal ratio of preachers, surpassing them in numbers; we, as a denomination, are as desirous as ever to unite and co-operate with all Christians on the broad and vital principles of the new and everlasting covenant.

    A. C., vol. 1840, page 556.
    Alexander Campbell. Extract from “The Editor’s Response to Mr. Broaddus.” The Millennial Harbinger
    11 (December 1840): 556.

    Yes, I know something about the players who started the Church of Christ Denomination.

  18. The Berean Examiner says:

    I thought Alexander Campbell and I worked very well together to unveil your ignorant comments.

    Alexander Campbell and Berean Examiner . . . Working together as one.

  19. Jeff @ truth-in-love.com says:

    The Churches of Christ put too much emphasis on having the children memorize scripture.

    I can understand why you might think so. It’s much harder for people to rebuke one’s misbehavior if they’re ignorant of God’s will, after all. 😉

    ==========

    Forgot to post my follow-up to Drew, and Firefox had rebooted by the time I got back to it. Basically, I got the impression from my first reading (skimming, more like) of the Dockens’ piece, I had thought it was one of those church-sponsored organizations. Upon further review, maybe not. If not, I stand corrected. Unlike the Dockens, I don’t have any issues with such get-togethers outside the church.

    I would add (without trying to turn this into a thread about institutionalism) there’s really no difference between instrumental music and institutionalism. In both cases, God has prescribed certain ways of congregationally doing things; in both cases, the proponents of such do not believe the examples in that area (which don’t include their preference) to be limiting. In both cases, proponents argued these were matters of preference, but were willing to divide brethren (indeed, in the case of institutionalism, *worked* to divide brethren). There are six passages referring music in earthly worship in the NT; there are six passages that refer to congregational benevolence in the NT.

    Even if I could accept the scripturality of such, I’d have to oppose it on the grounds of divisiveness. Not to mention wisdom; those very same institutions the NI Christians were sent away for opposing have wreaked unaccountable damage on institutional churches in the meantime.

  20. The Berean Examiner says:

    IF the silence of the Scriptures is prohibitive, are the four cups of wine thereby prohibited from association with the Passover meal? Yes or No? Which is it? And IF men choose to ADD these cups of wine to the Passover feast, an addition about which the Word of God is totally silent, is such addition in the face of biblical silence a SIN? Yes or No? Which is it?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Drew,

    Tom Dahlman here. Good to see that you and your family are doing well. Please tell everyone I said hi. I know this an old post, but I was linked to this from another sight. I was at the Tulsa Workshop (and have been at almost every one since birth having grown up at Garnett). I would really take issue that there was no serious discussion of the issue. For example on Saturday night Marvin Phillips laid out the case for accappella in front of 10,000 people and did not pull any punches. That was just one of many good discussions about the issue. Throughout the whole week I never heard anyone say to go home and add instruments to your worship, in fact I heard the opposite even from Christian Church preachers. That was not the point of the discussion. The point is on the ever shrinking circle of fellowship we find ourselves in where truth seems to defined by what particular slant you have on what doctrine. Are you in the word only camp, the one cup camp, the literal indwelling camp, guilty party can remarry if they were not a Christian camp. Where does it stop? Does anyone have perfect doctrine? haven’t we all changed our minds on issues as we’ve grown? Were we lost before or after? Why does God’s grace only cover moral error? Is the sincere Christian who is seeking God lost until he has dotted all the right “I’s” I ‘m not advocating anything goes, but I am advocating patience, understanding, and above all grace. How far out of His way did Jesus go to have fellowship with us? Are not we called to take up our cross and follow Him?

    I would also take issue with the idea that the split was mainly concerning the instrument but that is for another post.

    Tom

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