The Restoration Principle - Alfred T. DeGroot - Clement of AlexandriaAlfred T. DeGroot rejects a Restoration Movement because no church father such as Clement of Alexandria taught it. Acceptance of instrumental music in worship is permitted because there is no New Testament Pattern and those who seek such a restoration movement are labeled "sects" by DeGroot and sectarians by Rubel Shelly and other latter day prophets of a new wine in a new wineskin worship.
Alfred T. DeGroot The Restoration Principle
Alfred T. DeGroot Rejecting Tradition
Alfred T. DeGroot Subtracting Music
Alfred T. DeGroot The Instructor
Alfred T. DeGroot Cyprian
Alfred T. DeGroot Justin Martyr
Alfred T. DeGroot Lactantius
Alfred T. DeGroot Tertullian
Quotes are from The Restoration Principle, Alfred T. DeGroot, p. 39, Bethany Press
Clement of Alexander is one of the proof-text persons used to prove that there was no interest in a pattern for Christian Worship.
Because Alfred T. DeGroot's motive is to denounce churches of Christ as "sectarian" for refusing to add instrumental music as worship, it is fitting that all of the "fathers" denounce instrumental music as a pagan force which had not -- during their times -- dared to be used in Christian worship.
Alfred T. DeGroot: "The reading of Clement reminds one that he does not have to examine many books of the Ante-Nicene Fathers before he perceives that their interest is in a true Restorationism -- of a type, or types. That is to say, they are concerned, as in the case of the eloquent and admirable Clement, to recpature the altogether lovely and loving atitude toward men which he finds at its full beauty in Jesus." (P. 39)
"The lack of an apostolical diagramed church order is attested in the time of Tertullian by his failure to use such an idea just when it would have proved most valuable. Indeed, he regarded lightly "the faith of some, either too simple or too scrupulous (which) demands direct authority from Scripture," to use his words." (p. 77)
The Ekklesia was a synagogue or school of the Bible: the Campbells called it "a school of Christ." Worship was reading and musing the Word. That fits the approved example of Jesus, the direct commands of Paul and the universal practice before some churches added SINGING as an act to sing Syriac songs violating the direct command to use "that which is written." To that, Jesus ordained, Paul explained and the churches mantained the Lord's Supper. The ekklesia or synagogue had no "standing army" to pay.
Clement does diagram out musical instruments and external worship.
If Alfred T. DeGroot is looking for a restoration of "church plant, hired "father of the family," stated meetings, singing 4-part harmony and most of what we call worship" he will be dissappointed. We believe that when someone tells you to quit doing something which is wrong, return to the Scriptures and do what the Word says, that is a Restoration Movement.
Clement will also give ample authority for the Word as it has been delivered as the authority of God.
Clement will also deprive one of the aim of such a study: the authority to add instrumental music. Whatever the "fathers" say about restoring a first century church, they are universal in denying the modern prophets of instrumental music as worship
Clement of Alexandria - Exhortation to the Heathen may be found here.
We quote Clement with our notations in red:
"These are the slippery and hurtful deviations from the truth which draw man down from heaven, and cast him into the abyss. I wish to show thoroughly what like these gods of yours are, that now at length
you may abandon your delusion,
and speed your flight back to heaven.
"For we also were once children of wrath, even as others; but God, being rich in mercy, for the great love wherewith He loved us, when we were now dead in trespasses, quickened us together with Christ.( Eph. ii. 3-5. ) For the Word is living, and having been buried with Christ, is exalted with God.
We cannot say that "the church is living" but we have authority to say that the Word is living. That does not mean that it evolves to meet the needs of modern day revisers but that it carries life from God to mankind (John 6:63)
But those who are still unbelieving are called children of wrath, reared for wrath. We who have been rescued from error, and restored to the truth, are no longer the nurslings of wrath.
Thus, therefore, we who were once the children of lawlessness, have through the
philanthropy of the Word now become the sons of God.
But to you a poet of your own, Empedocles of Agrigentum, comes and says:-
"Wherefore, distracted with grievous evils,
You will never ease your soul of its miserable woes."
The most of what is told of your gods is fabled and invented; and those things which are supposed to have taken place, are recorded of vile men who lived licentious lives:-
"You walk in pride and madness,
And leaving the right and straight path, you have gone away
Through thorns and briars. Why do ye wander?
Cease, foolish men, from mortals;
Leave the darkness of night, and lay hold on the light."
And elsewhere in the document:
He who obeys Him has the advantage in all things, follows God, obeys the Father, knows Him through wandering, loves God, loves his neighbour, fulfils the commandment, seeks the prize, claims the promise.
But it has been God's fixed and constant purpose to save the flock of men: for this end the good God sent the good Shepherd.
And the Word, having unfolded the truth, showed to men the height of salvation, that either repenting they might be saved, or refusing to obey, they might be judged.This is the proclamation of righteousness: to those that obey, glad tidings; to those that disobey, judgment.
The loud trumpet, when sounded, collects the soldiers, and proclaims war.And shall not Christ, breathing a strain of peace to the ends of the earth, gather together His own soldiers, the soldiers of peace?
Well, by His blood, and by the word, He has gathered the bloodless host of peace, and assigned to them the kingdom of heaven.
The trumpet of Christ is His Gospel. He hath blown it, and we have heard. "Let us array ourselves in the armour of peace, putting on the breastplate of righteousness, and taking the shield of faith, and binding our brows with the helmet, of salvation; and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God," (Eph. vi. 14-17. ) let us sharpen.
So the apostle in the spirit of peace commands. These are our invulnerable weapons: armed with these, let us face the evil one; "the fiery darts of the evil one" let us quench with the sword-points dipped in water, that, have been baptized by the Word, returning grateful thanks for the benefits we have received,
and honouring God through the Divine Word. "For while thou art yet speaking," it is said, "He will say, Behold, I am beside thee." ( Isa. lviii. 9.)
O this holy and blessed power, by which God has fellowship with men! Better far, then, is it to become at once the imitator and the servant of the best of all beings;
for only by holy service will any one be able to imitate God, and to serve and worship Him only by imitating Him.
The heavenly and truly divine love comes to men thus, when in the soul itself the spark of true goodness, kindled in the soul by the Divine Word, is able to burst forth into flame; and, what is of the highest importance, salvation runs parallel with sincere willingness-choice and life being, so to speak, yoked together.
Wherefore this exhortation of the truth alone, like the most faithful of our friends, abides with us till our last breath, and is to the whole and perfect spirit of the soul the kind attendant on our ascent to heaven.
And this deathless strain,-the support of the whole and the harmony of all,-reaching from the centre to the circumference, and from the extremities to the central part, has harmonized this universal frame of things,
not according to the Thracian music, which is like that invented by Jubal, but according to the paternal counsel of God, which fired the zeal of David. And He who is of David, and yet before him, the Word of God,
despising the lyre and harp, which are but lifeless instruments, (For Paul on lifeless instruments see 1 Corinthians 14)and having tuned by the Holy Spirit the universe, and especially man,-who, composed of body and soul, is a universe in miniature,
makes melody to God on this instrument of many tones; and to this instrument-I mean man-he sings accordant:
"For thou art my harp, and pipe, and temple. -a harp for harmony-a pipe by reason of the Spirit-a temple by reason of the word; so that the first may sound, the second breathe, the third contain the Lord.
Clement then urges a Restoration Movement:
What, then, is the exhortation I give you? I urge you to be saved. This Christ desires. In one word. He freely bestows life on you. And who is He? Briefly learn. The Word of truth, the Word of incorruption,that regenerates man by bringing him back to the truth-the goad that urges to salvation.
He who expels destruction and pursues death-He who builds up the temple of God in men, that He may cause God to take up His abode in men.
Cleanse the temple;
and pleasures and amusements abandon to the winds and the fire, as a fading flower;
but wisely cultivate the fruits of self-command, and present thyself to God as an offering of first-fruits, that there may be not the work alone, but also the grace of God; and both are requisite, that the friend of Christ may be rendered worthy of the kingdom, and be counted worthy of the kingdom.
Chapter XII.-Exhortation to Abandon Their Old Errors and Listen to the Instructions of Christ.
Let us then avoid custom as we would a dangerous headland, or the threatening Charybdis, or the mythic sirens. It chokes man, turns him away from truth, leads him away from life:
custom is a snare, a gulf, a pit, a mischievous winnowing fan.
"Urge the ship beyond that smoke and billow." (Odyss., xii. 219.)
Let us shun, fellow-mariners, let us shun this billow; it vomits forth fire: it is a wicked island, heaped with bones and corpses,
and in it sings a fair courtesan, Pleasure, delighting with music for the common ear.
"Hie thee hither, far-famed Ulysses, great glory of the Achaeans;
Moor the ship, that thou mayest hears diviner voice." (Odyss., xii. 184.)
She praises thee, O mariner, and calls thee illustrious; and the courtesan tries to win to herself the glory of the Greeks.
Leave her to prey on the dead; a heavenly spirit comes to thy help: pass by Pleasure, she beguiles.
"Let not a woman with flowing train cheat you of your senses,
With her flattering prattle seeking your hurt."
Sail past the song; it works death.
Exert your will only, and you have overcome ruin; bound to the wood of the cross, thou shalt be freed from destruction:
the word of God will be thy pilot,
and the Holy Spirit will bring thee to anchor in the haven of heaven.
Then shalt thou see my God, and be initiated into the sacred mysteries, and come to the fruition of those things which are laid up in heaven reserved for me, which "ear hath not heard, nor have they entered into the heart of any." (1 Cor. ii. 9.)
"And in sooth methinks I see two suns,
And a double Thebes," (Eurip., Bacch., 918.)
said one frenzy-stricken in the worship of idols,
intoxicated with mere ignorance.
I would pity him in his frantic intoxication, and thus frantic I would invite him to the sobriety of salvation; for the Lord welcomes a sinner's repentance, and not his death.
Come, O madman, not leaning on the thyrsus, not crowned with ivy; throw away the mitre, throw away the fawn-skin; come to thy senses.
I will show thee the Word, and the mysteries of the Word, expounding them after thine own fashion.
This is why Paul said "don't get drunk with wine" but "be filled with the Spirit" or the word of God. Throughout his "musical" passages Paul alludes to the naked men or women in their "uncovered" prophesying." In the picture below, the arrow points to the JUDAS BAG always attached to the flute case. The Greek meaning of the Judas Bag is "for carrying the mouthpieces of wind instruments." It was prophesied that Judas would attempt to triumph over Jesus with music (Psalm 41). The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that this is what the Jews would try to do to Jesus to get Him to fall into the naked dance and song of Dionysus as they "piped." Judas was the incarnate Satan and Satan is universally held to be the father of musical instruments to steal the glory from God.
This is the mountain beloved of God, not the subject of tragedies like Cithaeron (guitar),
but consecrated to dramas of the truth,-a mount of sobriety, shaded with forests of purity;
and there revel on it not the Maenades (the mad women of whom Paul spoke in 1 Cor. 14) , the sisters of Semele, who was struck by the thunderbolt, practising in their initiator rites unholy division of flesh,
but the daughters of God, the fair lambs,
who celebrate the holy rites of the Word,
raising a sober choral dance.
The righteous are the chorus;
the music is a hymn of the King of the universe.
The maidens strike the lyre, the angels praise, the prophets speak;
the sound of music issues forth,
they run and pursue the jubilant band;
those that are called make haste,
eagerly desiring to receive the Father.
Come thou also, O aged man, leaving Thebes, and
casting away from thee both divination and Bacchic frenzy,
allow thyself to be led to the truth.
I give thee the staff [of the cross] on which to lean. Haste, Tiresias; believe, and thou wilt see. Christ, by whom the eyes of the blind recover sight, will shed on thee a light brighter than the sun; night will flee from thee, fire will fear, death will be gone; thou, old man, who saw not Thebes, shalt see the heavens.
O truly sacred mysteries! O stainless light! My way is lighted with torches, and I survey the heavens and God; I become holy whilst I am initiated. The Lord is the hierophant (Priest), and seals while illuminating him who is initiated, and presents to the Father him who believes, to be kept safe for ever.
Such are the reveries of my mysteries. If it is thy wish, be thou also initiated; and thou shall join the choir along with angels around the unbegotten and indestructible and the only true God,
the Word of God, raising the hymn with us.
This Jesus, who is eternal, the one great High Priest of the one God, and of His Father, prays for and exhorts men. ([Here are references to baptism and the Eucharist, and to the Trisagion, "Therefore with angels and archangels," which was universally diffused in the Christian Church. Bunsen, Hippol., iii. 63.] )
"Hear, ye myriad tribes, rather whoever among men are endowed with reason, both barbarians and Greeks.
I call on the whole race of men, whose Creator I am, by the will of the Father.
Come to Me, that you may be put in your due rank under the one God and the one Word of God; and do not only have the advantage of the irrational creatures in the possession of reason; for to you of all mortals I grant the enjoyment of immortality.
For I want, I want to impart to you this grace, bestowing on you the perfect boon of immortality;
and I confer on you both the Word and the knowledge of God, My complete self.
This am I, this God wills, this is symphony, this the harmony of the Father, this is the Son, this is Christ, this the Word of God, the arm of the Lord, the power of the universe, the will of the Father; of which things there were images of old, but not all adequate.
I desire to restore you according to the original model,
that ye may become also like Me. I anoint you with the ungent of faith, by which you throw off corruption, and show you the naked form of righteousness by which you ascend to God.
Come to Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden light." (Matt. xi. 28,29,30.)
But let us bring from above out of heaven, Truth, with Wisdom in all its brightness, and the sacred prophetic choir, down to the holy mount of God; and let Truth, darting her light to the most distant points, cast her rays all around on those that are involved in darkness, and deliver men from delusion, stretching out her very strong right hand, which is wisdom, for their salvation.
And raising their eyes, and looking above, let them abandon Helicon and Cithaeron (Musical mountains of the gods)
and take up their abode in Sion. "For out of Sion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem, (Isaiah 2:3) -the celestial Word, the true athlete crowned in the theatre of the whole universe.
What my Eunomos sings is not the measure of Terpander, nor that of Capito, nor the Phrygian, nor Lydian, nor Dorian, but the immortal measure of the new harmony which bears God's name-the new, the Levitical song ( Ps. xcvi. 1, xvciii. 1.)
"Soother of pain, calmer of wrath, producing forgetfulness of all ills. ( Odyssey, iv. 220.
Sweet and true is the charm of persuasion which blends with this strain.
To me, therefore, that Thracian Orpheus (Father of musical instruments like Jubal), that Theban, and that Methymnaean,-men, and yet unworthy of the name,-seem to have been deceivers, who, under the pretence of poetry corrupting human life, possessed by a spirit of artful sorcery for purposes of destruction, celebrating crimes in their orgies,
and making human woes the materials of religious worship, were the first to entice men to idols;
nay, to build up the stupidity of the nations with blocks of wood and stone,-that is, statues and images,-subjecting to the yoke of extremest bondage the truly noble freedom of those who lived as free citizens under heaven
by their songs and incantations.
But not such is my song, which has come to loose, and that speedily, the bitter bondage of tyrannizing demons;
and leading us back to the mild and loving yoke of piety,
recalls to heaven those that had been cast prostrate to the earth. It alone has tamed men, the most intractable of animals; the frivolous among them answering to the fowls of the air, deceivers to reptiles, the irascible to lions, the voluptuous to swine, the rapacious to wolves.
Alfred T. DeGroot in The Restoration Principle denounces churches of Christ as sects for defending the non-introduction of instrumental music because the church Fathers did not suggest the need for a Restoration Movement. We believe that Clement has proven Alfred T. DeGroot wrong.
Clement of Alexandria defends the revealed Word as the only authority for faith and worship.
Clement of Alexandria constantly urges a Restoration Movement back to that which is revealed in the inspired Word
Clement of Alexandria, like all of the fathers, is emphatic that instrumental music as worship is the custom or tradition of pagan.
In agreement with Paul, Clement of Alexandria points to the Words of inspiration as our songs and drama.
Therefore, the historical urge of Luther, Calvin, Alexander Campbell, Thomas Campbell and the literate student everywere to have a Restoration Movement back to the church of the New Testament is still valid.
Kenneth Sublett Comments Welcome
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