The Restoration Principle - Alfred T. DeGroot - No Historical Authority Lactantius

Alfred T. DeGroot rejects a Restoration Movement because no church father 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.

Quotes are from The Restoration Principle, Alfred T. DeGroot, p. 65, 66, 78, Bethany Press

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

Lactantius is one of the proof-text persons used to prove that there was no interest in a pattern for Christian Worship.

Alfred T. DeGroot: "The rhetorical and eloquent Lactantius (c. 250-325) outstripped the fame of his teacher, Arnobius, and was invited by the Emperior Diocletian to practice the art of philosophy at Nicomedia. Settling in Gaul, to him was entrusted the education of the Emperor Constantine's son, Crispus.

"... Here again, in the spirit of James is a definition of the Christian religion in terms of a type of life that the primitive church produced and which must be restored if the divine institution is to embody the purpose of its founder (p. 65.66)

"Methodius re-echoes the most frequent type of restoration idealism in the Fathers--the desire for a reproduction (restoration movement) of a superior moral life as the distinctive work of the church. To this opinion inclines also the eloquent Lactantius. (p. 78)

We will see, however, that a Restoration Movement is never in terms of an institution but, like many of the Biblical letters, the rejection or "cleaning out" of the church those things which offend.

Because 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.

First, let's look at the Division Movement to defend a few truths about Jesus and cast away the Epistles as the divisive discussion of leaders in their time and place:

Alfred T. DeGroot notes that the New Testament is the product of the church still loyal to Jesus. This is the Catholic view:

Alfred T. DeGroot: "It is one of the insights of devoted biblical scholarship since Thomas Campbell's time to see that

loyalty to Jesus Christ takes presendence over and gives meaning to a Christian use of the New Testament.

The New Testament is itself the record of a fellowship created by loyalty to the accepted Messiah an Savior,
a fellowship which
transcended differences of worship methods and ethical interests,
so long as an increasing embodiment of the
will of Christ was ever the goal of the companions in the Way.

"Peter's and Paul's almost violent divergence on the race problem, John's unique and (as far as the record goes) unshared interest in the theology of pre-existence." ( p. 139) is DeGroot's proof that the New Testament is the result of conflicting apostles and divisive churches.

The views of Thomas Campbell agreed with all of church history. Therefore, it is less than truth to BLAME the Campbells for depending totally on the Bible for the faith and practice of the church. Click for some universal views. The proof will be that Alfred T. DeGroot and the entire HIGH CHURCH (Catholic) view that Scripture lacks historical lasting power is just fabricated.

A Singing Passage:

Here is a for instance which disproves the notion that people were allowed to make their violent divergences or "differences of worship methods" to intrude into the collective assembly. In Romans 14 Paul defines two groups which can only be the Dionysiacs and Orphics: both of whom depended totally on the charismatic insanity induced by wine and music. Paul did not permit these things to continue but understood that new converts would all have ingrained views which were contrary to Christianity.

In order to make "church" into a school of the Bible just like the synagogue, Paul insisted that any view which detracted from glorifying God with one voice by reciting "that which is written" Paul insisted that BEING LOYAL to Christ meant being loyal to His Words. The CURE is in chapter 15 which is one of the TEACHING passages falsely viewed as a singing or musical passage:

Cycle One

Cycle Two

WE then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Romans 15:1
And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. Romans 15:10
Romans 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. Romans 15:3

And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. Romans 15:11
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning (teaching), that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4
And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust. Romans 15:12
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: Romans 15:5
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13
That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify (tell of His works) God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:6
And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Romans 15:14
Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister (deacon) of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: Romans 15:8
Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God. Romans 15:15
And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will
(2) that the offering (bloodless sacrifice) up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:16
(1) confess to thee among the Gentiles, and
(1) That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles,
(2) sing unto thy name. Romans 15:9
ministering the gospel of God,

Alfred T. DeGroot and the entire pagan view of music as worship DENIES Christ the honor by deciding that His songs and sermons are NOT INSPIRED enough for the modern mind.

If the pre-existence of Christ is one of these disinterested topics then it is easy to see how the rest can be thrown away like an old shoe. Again, it is important to see some prevailing views like those of Alfred T. DeGroot to suggest that somehow WE know better how to honor Christ than those who had been taught and inspired. These views explicitly reject the inspiration of the Word.

The Rubel Shelly Formulation of the Gospel:

Here is what God wants churches passionate about:

(1) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, (2) that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

(3) "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).

(4) "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: (5) While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (6) Since we have now been justified by his blood, (7) how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" (Rom. 5:8-9).

These are the essentials of Christian faith. It is this core message about Jesus that we share in common with other Bible-believing, cross-proclaiming, resurrection-confessing, born-again persons that constitutes us a church.

Outside the essence of the gospel,
there are other features that reflect our history and
interpretations of the larger biblical message.

The Leroy Garrett Formulation of the Gospel:

"This is to say that the gospel is not the whole of the New Testament scriptures,

for the gospel was a reality long before the scriptures were written.

Strictly speaking, the teachings of the apostles are not facts, as the gospel is, but interpretations, implications, and edification based on the gospel.

In this area, that of the didache (teaching) even the apostles differed in their ideas and emphases. The churches for whom these documents were written were likewise different from each other.

Garrett goes on to define the "gospel" as something revealed but not subject to debate but:

"The doctrine allows for debate and dialogue, for intellectual stimulation and the stretching of the mind. It nurtures us in Christ, but in such a way that each man develops according to his own uniqueness. The pragmatic mind as well as the speculative mind finds food for thought. Its design is (not) to make us all alike in our thinking, but to make us mature in Christ.

Now, let us see whether Lactantius has been dug up to contradict Lactantius; or whether Alfred T. DeGroot is just grasping.

You will notice that Lactantius speaks of the "Pattern" of worship being "in spirit and in truth." Therefore, there is little interest in restoring a pattern which never existed.

You will also note that DeGroot wants to wring out the essence of Instrumental Music by claiming that Lactantius didn't speak about "patternism."

However, Lactantius did speak about the pagan use of music and is therefore our proof-text to prove that DeGroot and mechanical means of worship are wrong:

Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VII, Book VI. Of True Worship.

Book 1

Musaeus relates that Jupiter, when fighting against the Titans, used the hide of this goat as a shield, from which circumstance he is called by the poets shield-bearer. Thus, whatever was done in concealing the boy, that also is done by way of representation in the sacred rites. Moreover, the mystery of his mother also contains the same story which Ovid sets forth in the Fasti:-

"Now the lofty Ida resounds with tinklings, that the boy may cry in safety with infant mouth. Some strike their shields with stakes, some beat their empty helmets.

This is the employment of the Curetes (emasculated priests), this of the Corybantes. The matter was concealed, and imitations of the ancient deed remain;

the attendant goddesses shake instruments of brass, and hoarse hides. Instead of helmets they strike cymbals, and drums instead of shields; the flute gives Phrygian strains, as it gave before."

This was exactly what Paul condemned in 1 Corinthians 13:1f. Of the festival with and for dead ancestors practiced in Israel and condemned by Amos and Isaiah:

"With the wine-drinking (which is the literal meaning of the Hebrew for feasting), went music and dancing." (Heaton, E. W., Everyday Life in Old Testament times, Scribners, p. 93)

"Worship was form more than substance; consequently, conduct in the marketplace was totally unaffected by worship in the holy place. Amos spoke from the conviction that social justice is an integral part of the Mosaic covenant, which regulates relations not only between God and people, but also among people." (King, p. 44).

"In pagan traditions, musical instruments are invented by gods or demi-gods, such as titans. In the Bible, credit is assigned to antediluvian patriarchs, for example, the descendants of Cain in Genesis 4:21. There is no other biblical tradition about the invention of musical instruments." (Freedman, David Noel, Bible Review, Summer 1985, p. 51).

Chapter XXX.-Of Avoiding Heresies and Superstitions, and What is the Only True Catholic Church.

We assume that if a herisy exists then a Restoration Movement would remove the heresy:

But since many heresies have existed, and the people of God have been rent into divisions at the instigation of demons, the truth must be briefly marked out by us, and placed in its own peculiar dwelling-place, that if any one shall desire to draw the water of life, he may not be borne to broken cisterns which hold no water, but may know the abundant fountain of God, watered by which he may enjoy perpetual light. Before all things, it is befitting that we should know both that He Himself and His ambassadors foretold that there must be numerous sects and heresies, which would break the unity of the sacred body;

and that they admonished us to be on our guard with the greatest prudence, lest we should at any time fall into the snares and deceits of that adversary of ours, with whom God has willed that we should contend.

Then that He gave us sure commands, which we ought always to treasure in our minds; for many, forgetting them, and abandoning the heavenly road, have made for themselves devious paths amidst windings and precipices, by which they might lead away the incautious and simple part of the people to the darkness of death: I will explain: how this happened.

There were some of our religion whose faith was less established, or who were less learned or less cautious, who rent the unity and divided the Church. But they whose faith was unsettled,

when they pretended that they knew and worshipped God aiming at the increase of their wealth and honour,
aspired to the highest sacerdotal power; and when overcome by others more powerful,
preferred to secede with their supporters, than to endure those set over them, over whom they themselves before desired to be set.

Book VI Of True Worship

Chapter I.-Of the Worship of the True God, and of Innocency, and of the Worship of False Gods.

We have completed that which was the object of our undertaking, through the teaching of the Divine Spirit, and the aid of the truth itself; the cause of asserting and explaining

which was imposed upon me both by conscience and faith, and by our Lord Himself,
whom nothing can be known or clearly set forth.

I come now to that which is the chief and greatest part of this work-to teach in what manner or by what sacrifice God must be worshipped. For that is the duty of man, and in that one object the sum of all things and the whole course of a happy life consists, since we were fashioned and received the breath of life from Him on this account, not that we might behold the heaven and the sun, as Anaxagoras supposed,

but that we might with pure and uncorrupted mind worship Him who made the sun and the heaven .

But although in the preceding books, as far as my moderate talent permitted, I defended the truth, yet it may especially be elucidated by the mode (pattern) of worship itself.

For that sacred and surpassing majesty
requires from man nothing more than innocence alone; and if any one has presented this to God, he has sacrificed with sufficient piety and religion.

But men, neglecting justice, though they are polluted by crimes and outrages of all kinds, think themselves religious

if they have stained the temples and altars with the blood of victims,
if they have
moistened the hearths with a profusion of fragrant and old wine.

Moreover, they also prepare sacred feasts and choice banquets, as though, they offered to those who would taste something from them.

Whatever is rarely to be viewed, whatever is precious in workmanship or in fragrance, that they judge to be pleasing to their gods,

not by any reference to their divinity, of which they are ignorant,
but from
their own desires; nor do they understand that God is in no want of earthly resources.

Chapter II.-Of the Worship of False Gods and the True God.

The light which He requires from us is of another kind, and that indeed not accompanied with smoke, but (as the poet says) clear and bright; I mean the light of the mind, on account of which we are called by the poets photes,

which light no one can exhibit unless he has known God.

But their gods, because they are of the earth, stand in need of lights, that they may not be in darkness; and their worshippers, because they have no taste for anything heavenly,

are recalled to the earth even by the religious rites to which they are devoted. For on the earth there is need of a light, because its system and nature are dark.

Therefore they do not attribute to the gods a heavenly perception, but rather a human one.

And on this account they believe that the same things are necessary and pleasing to them as to us, who, when hungry, have need of food; or, when thirsty, of drink; or, when we are cold, require a garment; or, when the sun has withdrawn himself, require a light that we may be able to see.

From nothing, therefore, can it be so plainly proved and understood that those gods, since they once lived, are dead, as from their worship itself, which is altogether of the earth.

This is the religion of heaven-not that which consists of corrupt things, but of the virtues of the soul, which has its origin from heaven;
this is true worship, in which the
mind of the worshipper presents itself as an undefiled offering to God.

But how this is to be obtained, how it is to be afforded, the discussion of this book will show; for nothing can be so illustrious and so suited to man as to train men to righteousness.

Chapter VIII.-Of the Errors of Philosophers, and the Variableness of Law.

This is the way which philosophers seek, but do not find on this account, because they prefer to seek it on the earth, where it cannot appear.

Therefore they wander, as it were, on the great sea, and do not understand whither they are borne,
because they neither discern the way nor follow any guide.

For this way of life ought to be sought in the same manner in which their course is sought by ships over the deep: for unless they observe some light of heaven, they wander with uncertain courses.

But whoever strives to hold the right course of life ought not to look to the earth,

but to the heaven: and, to speak more plainly, he ought not to follow man, but God;
not to serve these earthly images, but the heavenly God; not to measure all things by their reference to the body,

but by their reference to the soul; not to attend to this life, but the
eternal life.

Therefore, if you always direct your eyes towards heaven, and observe the sun, where it rises, and take this as the guide of your life, as in the case of a voyage, your feet will spontaneously be directed into the way; and that heavenly light,

which is a much brighter sun to sound minds than this which we behold in mortal flesh,
will so rule and govern you as to lead you without any error to the most excellent harbour of wisdom and virtue.

Therefore the law of God must be undertaken, which may direct us to this path; that sacred, that heavenly law, which Marcus Tullius, in his third book respecting the Republic, has described almost with a divine voice; whose words have subjoined, that I might not speak at greater length:

"There is indeed a true law, right reason, agreeing with nature, diffused among all, unchanging, everlasting,
        which calls to duty by
commanding, deters from wrong by forbidding;
          which, however, neither commands nor forbids the good in vain,
affects the wicked by commanding or forbidding.

It is not allowable to alter the provisions of this law, nor is it permitted us to modify it, nor can it be entirely abrogated.

Nor, truly, can we be released from this law, either by the senate or by the people;
        nor is another person to be sought to explain or interpret it.
        Nor will there be one law at Rome and another at Athens; one law at the present time,
        and another hereafter: but the same law, everlasting and unchangeable, will bind all nations at all times;

and there will be one common Master and Ruler of all, even God, the framer, arbitrator, and proposer of this law;

and he who shall not obey this will flee from himself, and, despising the nature of man,
will suffer the greatest punishments through this very thing, even though he shall have escaped the other punishments which are supposed to exist."

Who that is acquainted with the mystery of God could so significantly relate the law of God, as a man far removed from the knowledge of the truth has set forth that law?

But I consider that they who speak true things unconsciously are to be so regarded as though they prophesied under the influence of some spirit.

But if he had known or explained this also, in what precepts the law itself consisted, as he clearly saw the force and purport of the divine law,

he would not have discharged the office of a philosopher, but of a prophet.
And because he was
unable to do this, it must be done by us, to whom the law itself has been delivered by the one great Master and Ruler of all, God.

Chapter XVIII.-Of Some Commands of God, and of Patience.

But let us leave the philosophers (speakers), who either know nothing at all, and hold forth this very ignorance as the greatest knowledge; or who, inasmuch as they think they know that of which they are ignorant, are absurdly and arrogantly foolish.

Let us therefore (that we may return to our purpose), to whom alone the truth has been revealed by God,
        and wisdom has been sent from heaven,
        practise those things which God who enlightens us commands:

His clear teaching is that a Restoration Movement is always desired and the only way to accomplish it is to return to the commands of God.

let us sustain and endure the labours of life, by mutual assistance towards each other; nor, however, if we shall have done any good work, let us aim at glory from it. For God admonishes us that the doer of justice ought not to be boastful, lest he a should appear to have discharged the duties of benevolence, not so much from a desire of obeying the divine commands, as of pleasing men, and should already have the reward of glory which he has aimed at, and should not receive the recompense of that heavenly and divine reward.

Chapter XXI.-Of the Pleasures of the Ears, and of Sacred Literature.

Pleasure of the ears is received from the sweetness of voices and strains,
        which indeed is as productive of vice as that delight of the eyes of which we have spoken.
But we have already spoken of
spectacles: there remains one thing which is to be overcome by us,
        that we be not captivated by those things which penetrate to the innermost perception.

For all those things which are unconnected with words, that is, pleasant sounds of the air and of strings, may be easily disregarded, because they do not adhere to its, and cannot be written.

Jesus did quote from the Septuagint and He knew (because He was the Spirit of the prophets 1 Pet 1:11) that it substituted:

You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. Amos 6:5 NIV


"who excel in the sound of musical instruments; they have regarded them as abiding, not as fleeting pleasure." Amos 6:5 LXX

The "excellers" were the tyranical Levites who drove even Jewish slaves to build the temple.

However, the music is more than just a distraction because it replaces the Word of God and conditions the mind to accept whatever the "poem" teaches usually in error:

But a well-composed poem, and a speech be-guiling with its sweetness, captivate the minds of men,

and impel them in what direction they please.

Hence, when learned men have applied themselves to the religion of God, unless they have been by some skilful teacher, they do not believe.

For, being accustomed to sweet and polished speeches or poems, they despise the simple and common language of the sacred writings as mean.

For they seek that which may soothe the senses. But whatever is pleasant to the ear effects persuasion, and while it delights fixes itself deeply within the breast.

Is God, therefore, the contriver both of the mind, and of the voice, and of the tongue,

unable to speak eloquently? Yea, rather, with the greatest foresight, He wished those things which are divine to be without adornment, that all might understand the things which He Himself spoke to all.

Therefore he who is anxious for the truth,

who does not wish to deceive himself, must lay aside hurtful and injurious pleasures,
which would
bind the mind to themselves, as pleasant food does the body: true things must be preferred to false, eternal things to those which are of short duration, useful things to those which are pleasant.

Let nothing be pleasing to the sight but that which you see to be done with piety and justice;

let nothing be agreeable to the hearing but that which nourishes the soul and makes you a better man. And especially this sense ought not to be distorted to vice, since it is given to us for this purpose, that we might gain the knowledge of God.

Therefore, if it be a pleasure to hear melodies and songs, let it be pleasant to sing and hear the praises of God. This is true pleasure, which is the attendant and companion of virtue.

This is not frail and brief, as those which they desire, who, like cattle, are slaves to the body; but lasting, and affording delight without any intermission.

And if any one shall pass its limits, and shall seek nothing else from pleasure but pleasure itself, he designs for himself death; for as there is perpetual life in virtue, so there is death in pleasure. For he who shall choose temporal things will be without things eternal; he who shall prefer earthly things will not have heavenly things.

Chapter XXV.-Of Sacrifice, and of an Offering Worthy of God, and of the Form of Praising God.

Now let us speak briefly concerning sacrifice itself. "Ivory," says Plato, "is not a pure offering to God." What then? Are embroidered and costly textures?

Nay, rather nothing is a pure offering to God which can be corrupted or taken away secretly.
But as he saw this, that nothing which was
taken from a dead body ought to be offered to a living being, why did he not see that a corporeal offering ought not to be presented to an incorporeal being?

Paul spoke of "lifeless instruments" and "carnal weapons" as not suitable for spiritual warfare. Musical instruments were specificially made from dead animals -- usually those who died of themselves -- and were identified in the Old Testament as polluting. Trying to worship God with the ivory of a dead elephant or hides stretched and dried to drive out evil spirits.

How much better and more truly does Seneca speak: "Will you think of God as great and placid, and a friend to be reverenced with gentle majesty, and always at hand? not to be worshipped with the immolation of victims and with much blood-for what pleasure arises from the slaughter of innocent animals?-but with a pure mind and with a good and honourable purpose.

Temples are not to be built to Him with stones piled up on high; He is to be consecrated by each man in his own breast."

Therefore, if any one thinks that garments, and jewels, and other things which are esteemed precious, are valued by God, he is altogether ignorant of what God is, since he thinks that those things are pleasing to Him which even a man would be justly praised for despising.

What, then, is pure, what is worthy of God, but that which He Himself has demanded in that divine law of His?

This is why Paul clearly defined the resources of singing the inspired Word of Christ or "spirit." The method was to speak to one another and the purpose was to teach and admonish. Therefore, Lactantius calls for a restoration movement to God's word even in our singing.

There are two things which ought to be offered, the and the sacrifice; the gift as a perpetual offering, the sacrifice for a time. But with those who by no means understand the nature of the Divine Being,

a gift is anything which is wrought of gold or silver; likewise anything which is woven of purple and silk:
a sacrifice is a
victim, and as many things as are burnt upon the altar.

But God does not make use either of the one or the other, because He is free from corruption, and that is altogether corruptible.

Therefore, in each case, that which is incorporeal must be offered to God, for He accepts this. His offering is innocency of soul;

His sacrifice praise and a hymn.
For if God is not seen, He ought therefore to be worshipped with things
which are not seen.

Therefore no other religion is true but that which consists of virtue and justice. But in what manner God deals with the justice of man is easily understood. For if man shall be just, having received immortality, he will serve God for ever. But that men are not born except for justice, both the ancient philosophers and even Cicero suspects.

For, discussing the Laws, he says: "But of all things which are discussed by learned men, nothing assuredly is of greater importance than that it should be entirely understood that we are born to justice."

We ought therefore to hold forth and offer to God

that alone for the receiving of which He Himself produced us.

In total error, Rubel Shelly claims that instrumental music is the gift of God.

But how true this twofold kind of sacrifice is, Trismegistus Hermes is a befitting witness, who agrees with us, that is, with the prophets, whom we follow, as much in fact as in words.

He thus spoke concerning justice: "Adore and worship this word, O son."
But the worship of God consists of one thing,
not to be wicked.
Also in that perfect discourse, when he heard Asclepius inquiring from his son whether it pleased him that
incense and other odours for divine sacrifice: were offered to his father, exclaimed:
        "Speak words of good omen, O Asclepius.

For it is the greatest impiety to entertain any such thought concerning that being of pre-eminent goodness.
For these things, and things resembling these, are not adapted to Him. For He is
full of all things, as many as exist, and He has need of nothing at all.
        But let us give Him thanks, and adore Him. For His sacrifice consists only of blessing." And he spoke rightly.

For we ought to sacrifice to God in word; inasmuch as God is the Word, as He Himself confessed.

Therefore the chief ceremonial in the worship of God is praise from the mouth of a just man directed towards God. That this, however, may be accepted by God, there is need of humility, and fear, and devotion in the greatest degree, lest any one should chance to place confidence in his integrity and innocence, and thus incur the charge of pride and arrogance, and by this deed lose the recompense of his virtue.

But that he may obtain the favour of God, and be free from every stain, let him always implore the mercy of God, and pray for nothing else but pardon for his sins, even though he has none. If he desires anything else, there is no need of expressing it in word to one who knows what we wish; if anything good shall happen to him, let him give thanks; if any evil, let him make amends, and let him confess that the evil has happened to him on account of his faults; and even in evils let him nothing less give thanks, and make amends in good things, that he may be the same at all times, and be firm, and unchangeable, and unshaken.

And let him not suppose that this is to be done by him only in the temple, but at home, and even in his very bed. In short, let him always have God with himself, consecrated in his heart,

inasmuch as he himself is a temple of God. But if he has served God, his Father and Lord, with this assiduity, obedience, and devotion, justice is complete and perfect; and he who shall keep this, as we before testified, has obeyed God, and has satisfied the obligations of religion and his own duty.

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 Lactantius has proven DeGroot wrong.

By denying the Word of Christ as that which must be taught and sung "as it has been taught" one might be denying that it was truly Christ (God) Who came in the flesh. If the Spirit Christ cannot protect His revealed Word then one has denied the fully deity of Christ and that is being Anti-Christ.

This was always held to be true with respect to the preached and taught word:

Basil A.D. 360

"But considerable prominence was given to the hymns by the Gnostic, Bardesans, who composed a psalter of 150 psalms. However, the 59th canon of the Synod of Laodicea, 360 A. D., enjoined that 'No psalm composed by private individuals nor any uncanonical books may be read in the Church, but only... the Canonical Books of the OT and NT." Int Std Ency., p. 2494

"In competition with pagan musical art, congregational singing began to wane. Basil states that he had 'the Psalms rendered by skillful presentors after the manner of the triumphal Odes of Pindar,
        the congregation joining at the closing verse, with the accompaniment of lyres." Int Std Bible Ency., p. 2494A

Johannes Quasten, Music and Worship in Pagan andd Christian Antiquity, notes of Philo:

"One cannot truly offer thanks to God as the vast majority of men do, with external effects, consecrated gifts and sacrifices..., but rather with songs of praise and hymns--
        not so much as the audible voice sings, but such as are raised and re-echoed by the invisible mind."

Philo saw that the high priest had to lay aside his long flowing robe, set with little bells and colorfully adorned, when he went into the holy of holies. This was an indication that one must not worship God with music and colorful array; owe should rather pour out to him one's soul's blood and offer him one's whole spirit as incense.

For if the soul has opened itself totally in word and deed and is filled with God then the voices of the senses and all other burdensom and hateful noises cease..

Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the LORD and when he comes out, so that he will not die. Exod 28:35


He is to put on the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarments next to his body; he is to tie the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban. These are sacred garments; so he must bathe himself with water before he puts them on. Lev 16:4

Then Aaron is to go into the Tent of Meeting and take off the linen garments he put on before he entered the Most Holy Place, and he is to leave them there. Le.16:23

"According to what has been said, it can be seen that the doctrine of the 'spiritual sacrifice' not only repudiated bloody sacrifices but also rejected music, particularly instrumental music, as a means of worshipping God. Although the 'spiritual sacrifice'

was originally explained in terms of hymns of praise to God's goodness and majesty,
logical development eventually considered singing unsuitalbe for divine worship." p. 54-55

Therefore, rather than RISING ABOVE the Campbells who only agreed with almost universal history, Alfred T. DeGroot is simply reciting some of the most ancient heresy.

Kenneth Sublett Comments Welcome

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