Milton Jones: No Dispensational DistinctionMilton Jones Sermon Review Pro Musical Worship Number One based on No Dispensational Distinction. This is refuted by Campbell, John Locke, John Knox, Martin Luther, John Calvin and Justin Martyr. To that we can add the Old Testament prophets, Jesus, Paul and the collective host of church Fathers.
We have found no historical scholar outside of the liberal-tainted 19th century who agrees that Old Testament ceremonial ritualism can be added to Christian worship without also resting on the animal sacrifices to which music was exclusively attached in a worship sense.
In order to ignore direct commands of Paul about music it is convenient to riducule commands, examples and inferences as God's way of communicating His will for our lives. This riducles all of history's scholars and assumes a post-Biblical authority.
Commands, Examples, Necessary Inferences
In the need to impose instrumental music in worship it is not uncommon to claim that Restoration Movement theology gets its authority from John Locke rather than from Jesus. Or that Alexander and Thomas Campbell somehow slipped into southern, red-necked mentality to invent this method of determining God's will.
However, it is difficult for this writer to think of any other way to express my will to my children than the generally-recognized methods unless you have a direct connection to God. For instance,
If we command our child to do something they might assume the "doctor of the law" pose and try to find a legal way to get around it.
If we example refusing to accept a social drink our child absorbs it like a sponge even though we have said nothing.
If we say "I would not do that" they will infer that perhaps they should not either.
Because power corrupts, our "think sos" become a direct revelation from God and our "claiming so" exerts that authority on others. In the end, the error in the book of Enoch for which God will come with ten thousand of his saints to execute judgment is a way to corrupt the Word and the people so that they will not be able to evaluate anything beyond "sound bytes" put to the tune of pagan or contemporary replacements for the Word of God. If one professes to be Post-Modern then getting rid of the Bible as the product of Jesus' assignment for His time is a reasonable conclusion.
Therefore, to reject commands, examples and inferences is often accompanied with the claim of some supernatural connection with God in which one learns His will in some mysterious way. Experiencing God by Henry T. Blackaby and Claude V. King infuses such notions among those needing power.
Tertullian noted that:
For such is the power of earthly pleasures, that, to retain the opportunity of still partaking of them,
it contrives to prolong swilling ignorance, and bribes knowledge into playing a dishonest part. To both things, perhaps, some among you are allured by the views of the heathens who in this matter are wont to press us with arguments, such as these:
(1) That the exquisite enjoyments of ear and eye we have in things external are not in the least opposed to religion in the mind and conscience; and
(2) That surely no offence is offered to God, in any human enjoyment, by any of our pleasures, which it is not sinful to partake of in its own time and place, with all due honour and reverence secured to Him.
The only true worship in a physical sense is to "fall on your face" in the awareness of the greatness of God. And you cannot fall on your face when you are confronting a holy God trying to "move the worshipers into His presence" with authentia which is the sexual authority absolutely outlawed by God because authentia is "both erotic and murderous."
Worship, even under the Law, in a spiritual sense was "giving heed to God and His Word." We worship whatever or whomever we "give attention to." If feminine and effeminate performers present themselves as the Willow Creek "image of what a Christian should look like" then we are practicing "the idolatry of talent." We are FORCING people to give heed to the performers and their words. This is another violation of Paul's direct command to give heed to Christ's Word or Spirit power.
The rejection of God's only avenues of communicating authority is as hostile to the Spirit of Christ as any "heretical" view we could invent. Therefore,
"If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every part of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, then I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all battlefields besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point." Martin Luther
Jefferson stated: "Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematical plan of reducing us to slavery."
Rejecting Rituals Connected to the Sacrificial System as Christian "acts of worship."
- David, my servant, whom I chose
- To guard my flock, to crush my foes,
- And raised him to the Jewish throne,
- Was but a shadow of my Son."
- Sir Isaac Watts Psalm 891. Then the prophet Elijah arose like a fire, and his word burned like a torch.
2. He brought a famine upon them, and by his zeal he made them few in number.
3. By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens, and also three times brought down fire.
4. How glorious you were, O Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! And who has the right to boast which you have?
5. You who raised a corpse from death and from Hades, by the word of the Most High;
6. who brought kings down to destruction, and famous men from their beds;
7. who heard rebuke at Sinai and judgments of vengeance at Horeb;
8. who anointed kings to inflict retribution,and prophets to succeed you.
O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. Hosea 13:9
I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? Hosea 13:10
I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath. Hosea 13:11
When the "king set over us" is a dominant, Post-Modern preacher then God has appointed him to inflict retribution because you believed his childish belief in the Post Modern (Post-Biblical) children's gibberish.
"The same basic thought is in view throughout all these references, including II Peter 3:3 and Jude 18. Mockers, in the Word of God, are those who "belittle," "ridicule," "scorn," "make light of" both the living Word and the written Word.
Jude and Peter allude to the Book of Enoch and comparable documents. These show that mixed-sex choirs, instrumental music and eye and other sense appeal was introduced by Satan to take the worship away from God and direct it to him.
This ignoring of the Word in order to introduce human forms of worship define one as a liar and Satanic because Jesus defined the Devil based on the fact that he speaks on his own.
Jesus also defined the Pharisees in the same term and identified all of the Jewish leaders as sons of their lying father the Devil for committing the same sin.
There are many Psalms which ask God to crush my foes but the weapons of Christian warfare are not carnal or lifeless instruments.
The second effort to transfer authority from Christ to a secular society passes Judgment upon Alexander Campbell and others for rejecting playing of loud instruments.
We have found no historical scholar outside of the liberal-tainted 19th century scholarship who agrees that Old Testament ceremonial ritualism can be added to Christian worship
without also resting our faith on the animal sacrifices to which music was exclusively attached in a worship sense. This has historically included rejecting instrumental music.
Hebrews 6 makes this the unforgivable sin.
Contrary to the need to diminish Locke and Campbell in order to personally replace them as authority, both taught principles which would increase religious toleration by limiting, in the collective assembly representing many opinions, only those "acts" for which there is a direct command. This was not to be exclusive but to be inclusive by not doing things not necessary for salvation which would deliberately offend those who did not have the votes to force their will.
Thomas and Alexander Campbell went further than most by teaching that approved examples which seem approved in the Bible also be allowed. Even further toward toleration was to allow "necessary inferences." For instance, the command for the Lord's Supper does not need a direct command to get in out of the rain so we infer that we can meet in a building without changing the nature of the Supper. Nor would we offend anyone.
Later American Restoration participants did not add things such as instrumental music to their existing practices -- rejected by most Protestants and even Catholics at least intellectually -- because there was no command, example or even inference that Christ or Paul or anyone had ever hinted that it would be productive. Furthermore, it would be sectarian because it would automatically "include" in a fraternal sense those who agreed, and it would "exclude" those who could not add music to the historical practice. It also answered to being sectarianism because those who added music had a vested financial interest in increasing attendance (See Vine's definition of sect and heresy). Locke Letter of Toleration
Mass religion fails when the individual believer becomes Post Modern. A gravestone in Rome reads: 'I didn't exist, then I existed, then I died. I don't care.'
Ain't it the truth? for now....
ON THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN DOCTRINE AND LIFETherefore doctrine and life should be distinguished as sharply as possible.
Doctrine belongs to God, not to us; and we are called only as its ministers.
Therefore we cannot give up or change even one dot of it (Matt. 5:18).
Life belongs to us; therefore when it comes to this, there is nothing that the Sacramentarians can demand from us that we are not willing and obliged to undertake, condone, and tolerate (LW 27:37).
With a straight face, yet, people will tell you that music has been the universal rule and to oppose the forced introduction into Christian worship is legalism and sectarianism:
"Those of us who protest against this revolution in Presbyterian worship are by some pitied, by others ridiculed, and by others still denounced as fanatics.
If we are, we share the company of an innumerable host of fanatics extending from the day of Pentecost to tile middle of the nineteenth century.
We refuse not to be classed, although consciously unworthy of the honor, with apostles, martyrs and reformers. But neither were they mad, nor are we. We "speak the words of truth and soberness." Mindful of the apostolic injunction, "Prove all things," we submit arguments derived from Scripture, from the formularies of our church and from the consensus of Christ's people, and respectfully invoke for them the attention of our brethren. George Girardeau, Presbyterian
Review of Sermon, Milton Jones, Northwest Church of Christ, Seattle, Washington.
A visitor taped this sermon and because the preacher outlawed taping it it is not clear enough to transcribe directly. However, Milton Jones makes the common proof-text apology which we wil review:
First, I gather that Alexander Campbell is represented as the first person in the history of the world to have taught that there is a dispensational difference between the Law of Moses (added because of transgression, and that transgression being musical idolatry at Mount Sinai) and the Covenant of Christ.
Perhaps his uniqueness was to declare the fact to theologians who often "saw godliness as a means of financial gain." Furthermore, Campbell argues that Calvinists need to preach the law in order to radically panic the prospects into some emotional experience which could be translated as conversion and a sign of God's acceptance. This dissociation -- an integral part of the new marketing schemes -- terminated the process and therefore baptism was placed under the "New Covenant" as an optional act. That is, people were saved under law and baptized under grace. In "believer's baptism" one actually "becomes" Christ or Christ comes as in the "mass" and dies again for the personal salvation of the believer.
What I grasp from the words and their tone is that the audience is to see this new, unique but presumptious wall between law and grace as so radical that no "modern" person could possibly agree with them. Connect this with the theme of "breaking down the walls" to any and every system of religion and you see why dispensational distinction stands as an obstacle to ceremonial worship with music.
While many of Campbell's contemporaries believed that they could pick parts of the legalistic, ceremonial "like the nations" worship under the Monarchy, the problem with this approach is that Campbell and all of his Reformed and Baptist friends had always rejected instrumental music based on the "Regulative Principle" that -- out of respect for God and mankind -- "where the Bible speaks, we speak but where the Bible is silent we are silent." Many Presbyterians and Baptists are still faithful to that rejection of instruments.
They fully understood that to restore the music was to trust in that part of the Law which governed Israel after they rejected God and lived like the Canaanites in their midst.
And, long before Locke or Campbell we hear: "In essentials, unity, in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things charity." - Pope John XXIII, Ad Petri Cathedram and popularly attributed to Augustine
Second, the Campbells, and therefore the American Restoration Movement, is charged with being disciples of Locke rather than the disciples of Christ. This, of course, denies that they were true-blue scholars and question Locke's Christianity.
The implication is that Locke was some kind of rationalistic creature who operated from his God-given mind rather than listening to the voice of the Spirit. Locke was not fond of the Calvinistic demand for supernatural signs and this may explain why those who distort Calvin don't like Locke.
Because the audience (nor do most of those camp-following lectureship guys whose "buzz code" is "down with John Locke.") know little about Locke it is easy to minimize one who stands at the top of the heap intellectually and promoted religious tolerance when it was dangerous to do so. Both Locke and Campbell taught that if you don't rely only on direct commands it is not possible to function as a united local body. And that is a self-evident fact of life.
The freedom which we enjoy as citizens under the Constitution of the United States and as free-to-choose worshipers of God depends heavily upon the work of Locke.
As a result of his work, Campbell's approach would promote religious toleration in a polluted ocean of tribal warfare among too many clergy chasing too few dollars.
Third, besides questioning the motives and spirituality of those who oppose music in the modern sectarian movement, the motive seems to be to aggrandize the period of the Monarchy or the Kingdom where God granted Israel a human king to replace Him so that they could worship like the nations and fulfill their sentence at Mount Sinai because of musical "play."
This would not allow, but totally prohibit, women or younger men from being "musical overseerers." If we need a "law" to answer to Paul's absolute prohibition of "non-sedantary" women in the assembly, this is it.
Quoting Psalm 150 as "proof text" shows that the preacher does not share any understanding of the difference between the covenant of grace offered at Sinai and the Book of the Law given to govern a people who turned back to the musical worship of their Egyptian gods.
There is a problem when a Psalm is used as "proof-text" or legal authority to add instruments even if we never see David as a theatrical performer in ceremonial legalism or "church worship." We do see him playing himself into a naked dance with the slave girls. The word "play" of David is identical to the Mount Sinai experience and Condemned by Paul to the Corinthians. The word "halal" means that he "made himself vile" and bragged that the slave followers would hold him in honor.
Nor does he share any understanding with the audience that some of these instruments were not allowed in the temple service (never congregational) and were not allowed on the seventh day sabbath which was to "be kept holy."
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Isaiah 58:13
If we use Psalm 150 as proof text for modern instrumental music what will we do with Psalm 149 which says:
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; Psalm 149:6
- To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the
- people; Psalm 149:7
David "sang to the Gentiles" with his feed on their necks as he shed the blood OF the Gentiles. However, Christ shed His blood FOR the gentiles and when He sings we "preach."
The church "fathers" understood these either as written by a vengeful God or must be interpreted in a spiritual sense as Christ "playing" on our heart as we teach His Words (Col 3) or Spirit (Eph 5) to one another.
Fourth, with the destruction of "dispensational distinctions" the legalistic Levitical Musical Teams become the authority for many modern musical worship teams to replace the elders. These teams are now allowable if it can be proven to the audience that songs are to be sung using mechanical instruments with Psalm 150 as the "proof-text."
Once the walls have been broken down between the sacrificial system and the Christian dispensation it is just as reasonable to replace the communion table with sacrificial bodies offered up with musical noise. Paul would associate them with the shaven heads of the pagan prophetesses (1 Cor 11:5)
In fact, the instrumentalist "noise makers" played panic "music" during the sacrifices but this was not "worship."
In the wilderness, the Levites stood between the people and the Tabernacle to prevent them from "coming boldly into the presence of God."
The fact is that the Levitical musicians were later added to the like the nations temple services when Israel fired God and got their "own assignment" from the pagans around them. This put the temple, animal sacrificial and the Levitical musicians under the control of the king and the commanders of the army. This also meant that the literal songs, weapons and instruments were to punish anyone who ventured into the temple rituals or who did not fall down during animal sacrifices."To the priests was committed the charge of the sanctuary and the altar,
while the Levites were to take care of everything else about the tabernacle. The Levites were to attend the priests as servants--bestowed on them as "gifts" to aid in the service of the tabernacle--
while the high and dignified office of the priesthood was a "service of gift."
"A stranger," that is, one, neither a priest nor a Levite, who should intrude into any departments of the sacred office, should incur the penalty of death. ROBERT JAMIESON
The "musical noise makers" served in the court which represents the world: they never entered the holy place (church) nor certainly the Most Holy Place where one worshiper at a time goes boldly before the throne of grace. A "musician" who attempted to follow the priest into either place (church or spirit) would be run through with a sword: any theatrical performers who attempts to do it today has been run through with the Sword of the Spirit.
Therefore, to adopt a Monarchy pattern is to adopt "worship like the nations" and to deny the work of Christ Who permits us all to come boldly before the throne of grace. Anyone who pretends to bring you into God's presence has been hatched in downtown Babylon.
It is also a fact that most complex harmony "panics" the enemy into "flight, fight or sex" before the induced morphine-like drug produces the "high" which can be peddled as a "spiritual" feeling.
Fifth, because many might not buy the "no dispensational distinction" argument, the word psallo is dredged up when no one understanding the Bible, the classical writers, church history or that no informed by scholars ever attempted to wrestle Paul's words until challenged about the forceful introduction of instrument.
Except to "poison the wells" it is difficult to understand the string of logic connecting Locke to Campbell to the Greek word "psallo." Rather than the Bible, an obscure but real-life "parasite" called Lucian of Samosata is used as proof that psallo demanded the use of instruments well past the time of Paul.
'It is impossible to pipe [aulein] without a pipe or to strum [psallein] without a lyre or to ride without a horse' (Parasite 17)
This doesn't work either because Lucian of Samosata needed patrons out of the intellectual and ruling classes and therefore used the Attic Greek he had learned in his native land from the Classical writers. That is, his use of "psallo" dates perhaps 400 years before the time of Paul. Furthermore, he always associated this music with pagan or secular rituals dominated by performing women. His writings help explain the Marzeah held by Israel and condemned by Amos.
In Alexander the Oracle Monger, Lucian shows how to construct a seeker form of religion with women a primary attraction.
In addition, external "melody" has its foundation in twanging arrows, plucking hair or abrading the enemy to death with "playing instruments and making a joyful noise before the Lord" which was the Israelite battle cry. Twanging a literal arrow makes the string twang and the arrow sing on its way to your heart: when you hear the twang of a bowstring, therefore, you panic because you know that the arrow is making its "melody" in your heart. See the background to twanging arrows. A similar word defines the SOP Jesus hand abraded as a sign to Judas that He was the prophesied agent of Psalm 41 who would try to triumph over Jesus with the musical warriors of the priests.
Well, it is pretty hard to blow a pipe without a pipe! I can buy that. However, if this is supposed to prove that it is impossible to psallo without a lyre then:
- This demands that every singer have their own lyre or harp.
- This would exclude theatrical performance for the "audience." .
Sorry, but history, including Lucian, never treats "divine" musicians much better than when Jesus insinuated that the Jews were seeking John because he might be "soft" and Jesus because He might sing and dance the effeminate chorus of Dionysus while they played the pipe:
Pseudo-Apollodorus notes of the word strum that: "The infants were exposed, but a neatherd found and reared them, and he called the one Zethus and the other Amphion.Now Zethus paid attention to cattle-breeding,
but Amphion practised minstrelsy, for Hermes had given him a lyre
The two brothers are said to have quarrelled, the robust Zethusblaming Amphion for his passionate addiction to music and
urging him to abandon it for what he deemed the more manly pursuits of agriculture, cattle-breeding and war.
The discussion between the two brothers,the one advocating the practical life and
the other the contemplative or artistic, seems to have been famous. The gentle Amphion yielded to these exhortations so far as to cease to strum the lyre."
It is illustrated by a fine relief in which we see Amphion standing and holding out his lyre eagerly for the admiration of his athletic brother, who sits regarding it with an air of smiling disdain
This repeats the well-known story of Cain and Able. Cain's descendant, Jubal, was the musical performer. And the story of Genun shows that Satan always leads the musical performers.
Hermes was the agent who was the father of musical instruments, the bow twanging melodious arrows, of liars and of thieves. Because "cows" in the book of Enoch represents people, Hermes represents the Satanic agents who can "walk backward" and hide the cattle he stole from the senior god, Apollo. Apollo is Abbadon or Apollyon or Satan or the beast (Zoe type) who formed an early Seeker Center at Delphi as a theater for "holy entertainment."
However, you cannot blame Locke, or Alexander Campbell or those who insinuated instruments into even non-musical churches by rhetorical force.
We do not think anyone has ever claimed authority from Scriptures to use the organ in worship. They only claim it is not condemned. It is used as an assister in worship...Prayer, praise, thanksgiving and making melody in the heart (mind) unto the Lord are acts of worship ordained of God, but no authority do we find for the organ."
Sixth, the Lucian quote demands the use of instruments. Therefore, Arndt and Gingrich are used as the modern authority for the allowance of instruments in some, but not all, of the New Testament usages. We have some notes on Arndt-Gingrich here. Many of the Lexicons note that Lucian used a pre Koine Greek language.
The real division over the forced introduction of musical instruments happened after Locke, Campbell or Alexander Campbell
Even though some of the churches had adopted an Old Testament structure to their organization, Alexander Campbell noted that:"The argument drawn from the Psalms in favor of instrumental music,
is exceedingly apposite to the Roman Catholic, English Protestant, and Scotch Presbyterian churches, and even to the Methodist communities. (Catholic scholarship still rejects the authority of musical instruments)
This proves that the base of the Restoration Movement was consistent with 2,000 years rejection of instrumental or mechanical devices as "the works of human hands" to worship a Spirit God. Therefore, those who add instruments are the MUSICAL SECTARIANS. They know beforehand and with a high hand "sow discord among the brethren" and the claim to being Post Modern includes the right to lie, cheat and steal. Bill Clinton: "I know that I lied but the Republicans made me do it."
"There were those saying that they could "not abide the election of a Republican President." In which event they would destroy the Union. "And then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, "Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer." Abraham Lincoln, Frost, Vol. 1, p. 274
However, his primary argument was made against worship directed to the body or carnal nature and to the spirit:
"So to those who have no real devotion or spirituality in them, and whose animal nature flags under the oppression of church service, I think with Mr. G., that instrumental music would be not only a desideratum, but an essential prerequisite to fire up their souls to even animal devotion.
But I presume, to all spiritually-minded Christians, such aids would be as a cow bell in a concert.
Therefore, it is simply wrong to hang the sectarian music issue around the necks of these Godly and scholarly men who are probably chuckling in their graves over the second incarnation of the psalm argument.
Thus ends the major points expressing my opinion to interested parties about the first half of the sermon trying to justify the introduction of instruments into a Christian "worship in spirit and in truth." And, indeed, most of these old scholars would see the self-promotion of performance worship as neither Biblical, rational nor quite as entertaining as all artists believe. This is not "rationalism" but rational which is another word for "spiritual" because God gave us a mind to understand Him and not an antenna to suck truth out of the air.
Seventh. It is easy to get into the "church growth" fad but Paul said that the order is "plant and water and let God give the increase." When there is a deliberate sense of panic to escape the hard work the crowd- or hype-induced new marketing schemes seem so attractive.
However, don't forget that of those whom Paul called the "many" and prophecy calls the "multitite" there will always be witting or unwitting efforts to add ritual to take away the key to knowledge.
In the Post-Modern sense the question is asked:
"Are you having difficulty discerning or receiving this "new revelation"? Then you have been interpreting your Bible in the "old way,"comparing Scripture with Scripture, studying diligently to account for every jot and tittle and being careful to rightly divide the Word of truth.
If this describes you, then you belong to the "Old Generation"
which will not enter in to "possess the land" in the Latter Rain Revival.
You may even be a member of a denominational church, with its dogmatic confession of faith and statement of doctrine.
These legalistic forms will be relics of the past in the up and coming "Postdenominational Church." Paul Cain advises that you "dump all that carnal stuff" (doctrine) and listen to what the "spirit" is saying to the churches through the Latter Rain Prophets and Apostles, who are dispensing many "new, sacred truths." Source
In so many of the "uniquely American" churches "testing the spirits" is between relying on the inspired Word which has stood the test of time or rely on those who believe that you should rely on them for faith and practice.
The following added verbage should be considered resources to decide whether you want to trust Jesus and His word which produces unity or the opinions of men who almost always do not understand or who misuse the historical evidence.
In an article on the Second Great Awakening we document the very legalistic nature of the charismatic recapitulation one had to experience to effectively save themselves by bringing Christ to them literally and personally to die for them. In the modern Baptist scheme, which never died in some of the Restoration Movement, God personally picks the person for salvation and in a quieter Presbyterian system makes that known. However, to repudiate Calvinism at Cane Ridge, men like Barton W. Stone still needed some supernatural "exercises" to prove that one could work themselves through the legalistic phase of law and then receive the Atonement. Because these experiences rarely happen in any system, you just have to manufacture them.
Campbell, looking at all of the signs and results, saw this as Satanic and therefore denied that a Christian has to go through the Law and effectively redeem themselve. Then and now music was a powerful machine to "move the worshipers into the presence of God."
Background to the Quoted Resources
We have added the factual information which you can read for yourself to show that:
1. Historical scholars agree that the New Covenant dispensed with legalistic rituals of all kind.
2. They also agree that authority comes -- like all possible authority -- through commands, approved examples and inferences.
3. Lucian did not authorize instruments by using a Post-Paul definition of the Greek word for melody: psallo. His Greek was perhaps 400 years older than Paul's.
4. Only in an after the fact effort to soothe the division caused by adding instruments has psallo ever been used to justify their use.
While the artistics "amphions" of the world are sowing discord by devoting too much attention to their own theatrical performance wouldn't it be wonderful if instead of tackling men like Locke and Campbell the "audience" could have the huge body of information "unchained from the pulpit." While they are creating "body worship" we believe that:
Amphion stands and holds out his lyre eagerly for the admiration of his athletic brother, they sit regarding it with an air of smiling disdain.
Did you know that the Judas bag was for "holding the mouth pieces of wind instruments"? But, according to Psalm 41, Judas would not triumph over (blow the trumpet and rejoice) over Jesus. Look and see how the Judas goats try to triumph over us.
Theologians cannot find God by themselves. Therefore Locke said that God revealed His Word through Jesus Christ, and that this revelation is reasonable to the common mind. He never taught that Christianity can be found by human reasoning. Nor did he advocate using direct commands to regulate the affairs of others but to create the broadest area of reconciliation.
Whence This Judgmentalism Against the American Restoration Movement Founders?
Like the charge of racism against those who refuse to worship with musical instruments, the charge of Locke contamination flows out of those who opposed the Campbell's rejection of ceremonial legalism such as musical worship. Of course they hated Locke for many reasons. They didn't like him or Campbell because both opposed professionalizing the clergy. They didn't like either because they opposed authority which reached outside of the local congregation.
Dr. Robert Richardson wrote in a letter to Isaac Errett:
"The philosophy of Locke with which Bro. Campbell's mind was deeply imbued in youth has insidiously mingled itself with almost all great points in the reformation and has been all the whole like an iceberg in the way - chilling the heart and benumbing the hands, and impeding all progress in the right direction."
What Richardson and the Post Modern Sucked Dry of Scripture detested was that John Locke understood that collective worship cannot take place if we violate the commands of Paul to the Romans in chapter fourteen. Both the Dionysiacs and Orphics both had in common was the use of instrumental music to "make the spirit come" in a sexual sense. Paul issued another "speaking rather than singing" commands in Romans 15 which demands.
The Romans Pattern:
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning (didaskalia teaching), that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Rom 15:4
Barton W. Stone made the same charge against preaching baptism. However, when his preachers got outside of the charismatic atmosphere they found that the people knew their Bibles and were a movement in search of a leader. True conversion will never create mass movements.
However, introducing Locke and Campbell into the music debate is one way to "poison the wells" so that those who have never heard much true biblical preaching will, like Mary's little lamb, just follow along with all critical thinking silenced. However, most people who adduce Locke have never read either Campbell or Locke. Therefore,"Critics assume that orthodox Christianity is fideistic and non-rational.
They also wrongly fancy that Lockean thought is "rationalistic" in such a sense as to exclude orthodox Christianity.
John Locke (1632--1704) was, to be sure, the author of
The Reasonableness of Christianity, but to make a rationalistic deist or Unitarian out of Locke because he thought of Christianity as rational only shows how little orthodoxy is understood. John H. Gerstner
Locke wrote within an invironment which denied the believer any power to hear the message and decide to believe or not believe. Therefore, the missing facts are, first, that Locke defended inspiration against the natural discoveries of philosophers (theologians). Secondly, Campbell was a Presbyterian and would therefore have subscribed to the 'Regulative Principle' which was taught by all of the reformers and many church Fathers, the exception being the Pope who had his own 'assignment' as Christ's visible manifestation.
As a result, Campbell understood from the Bible and from most scholars who claimed to be "Christian" that authority in worship comes from the Word of God and where God has not spoken man must not presume to "fill in the silence." This is not an "exclusive" law but an "inclusive" principle which broadens fellowship among Bible believers.
From very early even Catholics understood and longed to restore congregational singing and eliminate the theatrical performance which had, as always, been added as an aid to a "seeker-friendly" amalgamation of Christianity and paganism to beat out the fair goers to the nearest city with a cathedral.
When Campbell lived, instruments was rejected by all of the groups out of which the Restoration Movement came. Therefore, it was not an issue until it was added at Lexington, Kentucky again as a Seeker aid to compete with musical denominations.
Only a misunderstanding of ancient Paganism, the Old and New Testament and church history would cause one to accuse those who reject musical worship with concocting a legalistic scheme of "speaking from silence." The opposite is the truth: instrumental worship is derived out of silence while non-instrumental groups just do what Jesus "exampled" and Paul commanded with some "audibility."
It is clear that "evangelists" who have "come in out of the cold" and become dominant pastors usurping the role of the elders and the body of Christ hate Locke because Locke understood them too well. To understand that Locke was not unique in condemning Catholic-derived clergy you may want to read Erasmus who also condemned musical worship:
In Praise of Folly ("MoriŠ Encomium", or "Laus StultitiŠ")
Milton Jones ridicules the "dispensational distinctions" of Alexander Campbell because this prevents using the Legalism of Judaism to add clergy, musical performers and a dominant organization. To be consistent one needs animal sacrifices.
Look at some of the scholars who agree with Alexander Campbell and not with Milton Jones.
- b. c. 100,, Flavia Neapolis, Palestine [now Nabulus]
- d. c. 165,, Rome [Italy]; feast day June 1
Chapter XI.-The Law Abrogated; The New Testament Promised and Given by God.
"There will be no other God, O Trypho, nor was there from eternity any other existing" (I thus addressed him), "but He who made and disposed all this universe. Nor do we think that there is one God for us, another for you, but that He alone is God who led your fathers out from Egypt with a strong hand and a high arm. Nor have we trusted in any other (for there is no other), but in Him in whom you also have trusted, the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob. But we do not trust through Moses or through the law; for then we would do the same as yourselves.
But now -(for I have read that there shall be a final law, and a covenant, the chiefest of all, which it is now incumbent on all men to observe, as many as are seeking after the inheritance of God.For the law promulgated on Horeb is now old, and belongs to yourselves alone;
but this is for all universally.
Now, law placed against law has abrogated that which is before it, and a covenant which comes after in like manner has put an end to the previous one;
and an eternal and final law-namely, Christ-has been given to us, and the covenant is trustworthy, after which there shall be no law, no commandment, no ordinance.
Have you not read this which Isaiah says: `Hearken unto Me, hearken unto Me, my people; and, ye kings, give ear unto Me:for a law shall go forth from Me, and My judgment shall be for a light to the nations.
My righteousness approaches swiftly, and My salvation shall go forth, and nations shall trust in Mine arm? LXX, Isa. li. 4, 5. '
And by Jeremiah, concerning this same new covenant, He thus speaks: `Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt'23 ).
If, therefore, God proclaimed a new covenant which was to be instituted, and this for a light of the nations,
we see and are persuaded that men approach God, leaving their idols and other unrighteousness, through the name of Him who was crucified, Jesus Christ, and abide by their confession even unto death, and maintain piety.
Moreover, by the works and by the attendant miracles, it is possible for all to understand that He is the new law, and the new covenant, and the expectation of those who out of every people wait for the good things of God.
For the true spiritual Israel, and descendants of Judah, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham (who in uncircumcision was approved of and blessed by God on account of his faith, and called the father of many nations), are we who have been led to God through this crucified Christ, as shall be demonstrated while we proceed.
Chapter XIV.-Righteousness is Not Placed in Jewish Rites, But in the Conversion of the Heart Given in Baptism by Christ.
"By reason, therefore, of this laver of repentance and knowledge of God,which has been ordained on account of the transgression of God's people,
as Isaiah cries, we have believed, and testify that that very baptism which he announced is alone able to purify those who have repented; and this is the water of life. But the cisterns which you have dug for yourselves are broken and profitless to you.
For what is the use of that baptism which cleanses the flesh and body alone? Baptize the soul from wrath and from covetousness, from envy, and from hatred; and, lo! the body is pure.
For this is the symbolic significance of unleavened bread, that you do not commit the old deeds of wicked leaven. But you have understood all things in a carnal sense, and you suppose it to be piety if you do such things, while your souls are filled with deceit, and, in short, with every wickedness. Accordingly, also, after the seven days of eating unleavened bread, God commanded them to mingle new leaven, that is, the performance of other works, and not the imitation of the old and evil works.
And because this is what this new Lawgiver demands of you, I shall again refer to the words which have been quoted by me, and to others also which have been passed over. They are related by Isaiah to the following effect:
`Hearken to me, and your soul shall live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given Him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the nations. Nations which know not Thee shall call on Thee; and peoples who know not Thee shall escape unto Thee, because of Thy God, the Holy One of Israel, for He has glorified Thee. Seek ye God; and when you find Him, call on Him, so long as He may be nigh you. Let the wicked forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will obtain mercy, because He will abundantly pardon your sins.
For my thoughts are not as your thoughts, neither are my ways as your ways; but as far removed as the heavens are from the earth, so far is my way removed from your way, and your thoughts from my thoughts. For as the snow or the rain descends from heaven, and shall not return till it waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, and gives seed to the sower and bread for food,
so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return until it shall have accomplished all that I desired, and I shall make My commandments prosperous. For ye shall go out with joy, and be taught with gladness. For the mountains and the hills shall leap while they expect you, and all the trees of the fields shall applaud with their branches: and instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle. And the Lord shall be for a name, and for an everlasting sign, and He shall not fail!'
Of these and such like words written by the prophets, O Trypho," said I, "some have reference to the first advent of Christ, in which He is preached as inglorious, obscure, and of mortal appearance: but others had reference to His second advent, when He shall appear in glory and above the clouds; and your nation shall see and know Him whom they have pierced, as Hosea, one of the twelve prophets, and Daniel, foretold.
Chapter XVIII.-Christians Would Observe the Law, If They Did Not Know Why It Was Instituted.
"For since you have read, O Trypho, as you yourself admitted, the doctrines taught by our Saviour, I do not think that I have done foolishly in adding some short utterances of His to the prophetic statements. Wash therefore, and be now clean, and put away iniquity from your souls, as God bids you be washed in this laver, and be circumcised with the true circumcision.
For we too would observe the fleshly circumcision, and the Sabbaths, and in short all the feasts,if we did not know for what reason they were enjoined you,-
namely, on account of your transgressions and the hardness of your hearts.
For if we patiently endure all things contrived against us by wicked men and demons, so that even amid cruelties unutterable, death and torments, we pray for mercy to those who inflict such things upon us, and do not wish to give the least retort to any one, even as the new Lawgiver commanded us:
how is it, Trypho, that we would not observe those rites which do not harm us,-I speak of fleshly circumcision, and Sabbaths, and feasts?
Tertullian of Carthage (Quintus Septimius Florens Terullianus, b. 155 - 160 Carthage - d. 220? AD)
"Fortified by this knowledge against heathen views, let us rather turn to the unworthy reasonings of our own people; for the faith of some, either too simple or too scrupulous,demands direct authority from Scripture for giving up the shows,
and holds out that the matter is a doubtful one, because such abstinence is not clearly and in words imposed upon God's servants.
"Well, we never find it expressed with the same precision,
"Thou shalt not enter circus or theatre, thou shalt not look on combat or show; "
as it is plainly laid down, "Thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not worship an idol; thou shalt not commit adultery or fraud." Ex. xx. 14.
"But we find that that first word of David bears on this very sort of thing: "Blessed," he says, "is the man who has not gone into the assembly of the impious, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of scorners." Ps. i. 1.
Though he seems to have predicted beforehand of that just man, that he took no part in the meetings and deliberations of the Jews, taking counsel about the slaying of our Lord,
yet divine Scripture has ever far-reaching applications:after the immediate sense has been exhausted, in all directions it fortifies the practice of the religious life,
so that here also you have an utterance which is not far from a plain interdicting of the shows. Tertullian, De Spectaculis
Gregory of Nyssa on Scripture as Authority
- b. c. 335, Caesarea, in Cappadocia, Asia Minor [now Kayseri, Turkey]
- d. c. 394, ; feast day March 9
And in this assertion they do not go beyond the truth; for we do say so. But the ground of their complaint is that their custom does not admit this, and Scripture does not support it. What then is our reply?We do not think that it is right to make their prevailing custom the law and rule of sound doctrine.
For if custom is to avail for proof of soundness, we too, surely, may advance our prevailing custom;and if they reject this, we are surely not bound to follow theirs.
Let the inspired Scripture, then, be our umpire, and
the vote of truth will surely be given to those whose dogmas are found to agree with the Divine words.
Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
Chapter 8.-The Jews Liberated from Their Bondage in One Way, the Gentiles in Another.
12. Accordingly the liberty that comes by Christ took those whom it found under bondage to useful signs, and who were (so to speak) near to it, and, interpreting the signs to which they were in bondage, set them free by raising them to the realities of which these were signs. And out of such were formed the churches of the saints of Israel. Those, on the other hand, whom it found in bondage to useless signs,
it not only freed from their slavery to such signs, but brought to nothing and cleared out of the way all these signs themselves, so that the Gentiles were turned from the corruption of a multitude of false gods, which Scripture frequently and justly speaks of as fornication, to the worship of the One God: not that they might now fall into bondage to signs of a useful kind, but rather that they might exercise their minds in the spiritual understanding of such.
Chapter 18.-We Must Take into Consideration the Time at Which Anything Was Enjoyed or Allowed.
26. We must also be on our guard against supposing that what in the Old Testament, making allowance for the condition of those times, is not a crime or a vice even if we take it literally and not figuratively,can be transferred to the present time as a habit of life.
For no one will do this except lust has dominion over him, and endeavors to find support for itself in the very Scriptures which were intended to overthrow it.
And the wretched man does not perceive that such matters are recorded with this useful design, that men of good hope may learn the salutary lesson, both that the custom they spurn can be turned to a good use,
and that which they embrace can be used to condemnation, if the use of the former be accompanied with charity, and the use of the latter with lust.
Chapter 22.-Rule Regarding Passages of Scripture in Which Approval is Expressed of Actions Which are Now Condemned by Good Men.
Therefore, although all, or nearly all, the transactions recorded in the Old Testament are to be taken not literally only, but figuratively as well, nevertheless even in the case of those which the reader has taken literally, and which, though the authors of them are praised,
are repugnant to the habits of the good men who since our Lord's advent are the custodians of the divine commands, let him refer the figure to its interpretation, but let him not transfer the act to his habits of life. For many things which were done as duties at that time, cannot now be done except through lust.
12. We are therefore bound to denounce with abhorrence and contempt the ravings of the astrologers (music from the music of the spheres), who,
when we find fault with the empty inventions by which they cast other men down into the delusions where into they themselves have fallen, imagine that they answer well when they say,
"Why, then, do you regulate the time of the observance of Easter by calculation of the positions of the sun and moon?"-
as if that with which we find fault was the arrangements of the heavenly bodies, or the succession of the seasons,which are appointed by God in His infinite power and goodness,
and not their perversity in abusing,for the support of the most absurd opinions,
those things which God has ordered in perfect wisdom.
If the astrologer may on this ground forbid us from drawing comparisons from the heavenly bodies
for the mystical representation of sacramental realities,
then the augurs may with equal reason prevent the use of these words of Scripture, "Be harmless as doves;" and the snake-charmers may forbid that other exhortation, "Be wise as serpents; "
while the play-actors may interfere with our mentioning the harp in the book of Psalms.Let them therefore say, if they please, that,
because similitudes for the exhibition of the mysteries of God's word are taken from the things which I have named,
we are chargeable either with consulting the omens given by the flight of birds, or with concocting the poisons of the charmer,
or with taking pleasure in the excesses of the theatre,-a statement which would be the clime of absurdity.
XVIII: 34. I am surprised at your expressing a desire that I should write anything in regard to those ceremonies which are found different in different countries, because there is no necessity for my doing this; and, moreover,
one most excellent rule must be observed in regard to these customs,when they do not in any way oppose either true doctrine or sound morality,
but contain some incentives to the better life,
viz., that wherever we see them observed, or know them to be established,we should not only refrain from finding fault with them,
but even recommend them by our approval and imitation, unless restrained by fear of doing greater harm than good
by this course, through the infirmity of others. We are not, however, to be restrained by this,
if more good is to be expected from our consenting with those who are zealous for the ceremony,
than loss to be feared from our displeasing those who protest against it.
In such a case we ought by all means to adopt it,
especially if it be something in defence of which Scripture can be alleged: as in the singing of hymns and psalms,
for which we have on record both the example and the precepts of the Lord and of His apostles.
In this religious exercise, so useful for inducing a devotional frame of mind and inflaming the strength of love to God, there is diversity of usage,
and in Africa the members of the Church are rather too indifferent in regard to it; on which account the Donstists reproach
us with our grave chanting of the divine songs of the prophets in our churches,
while they inflame their passions in their revels by the singing of psalms of human composition,
which rouse them like the stirring notes of the trumpet on the battle-field.
(In the assembly) But when brethren are assembled in the church, why should not the time be devoted to singing of sacred songs, excepting of course while reading or preaching is going on, or while the presiding minister prays aloud, or the united prayer of the congregation is led by the deacon's voice?
(outside the assembly) At the other intervals not thus occupied, I do not see what could be a more excellent, useful, and holy exercise for a Christian congregation.
- b. Nov. 10, 1483, Eisleben, Saxony [Germany]
- d. Feb. 18, 1546, Eisleben
"For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law" (Rom. 3:28) because he felt it was demanded by the German. The word alone or only was retained by the Reformers after him because it seemed to safeguard this important doctrine against such perversions as might seem to make salvation dependent on human achievement or a reward for human merit.
"This difference between the Law and the Gospel is the height of knowledge in Christendom. Every person and all persons who assume or glory in the name of Christian should know and be able to state this difference.
If this ability is lacking, one cannot tell a Christian from a heathen or a Jew; of such supreme importance is this differentiation.
- This is why St. Paul so strongly insists on a clean-cut and proper differentiating of these two doctrines. (Sermon on Galatians 1532)
It may be Post-Modern but it is neither Biblical nor rational to define obedience to the express commands or Christ or to obey even hints which we receive through His Word is legalism.
It is not possible to administer grace by theatrical performance or by a musical instrument.
Therefore, musical worship is not related to salvation. To add it in the midst of general -- if unspoken -- unrest is to become sectarian and law-based.
Luther would go beyond and say that:
"The organ in the worship Is the insignia of Baal" The Roman Catholic borrowed it from the Jews." (Martin Luther, Mcclintock & Strong's Encyclopedia Volume VI, page 762)
Paul "found that, especially in the Church at Corinth, which he had converted by the words of his own lips and brought to faith in Christ, soon after his departure the devil introduced his heresies whereby the people were turned from the truth and betrayed into other ways....
And this is how it is he comes to speak in high terms of praise of the ministration of the Gospel and to contrast and compare the twofold ministration or message which may be proclaimed in the Church, provided, of course, that God's Word is to be preached and not the nonsense of human falsehood and the doctrine of the devil.
One is that of the Old Testament, the other of the New; in other words, the office of Moses, or the Law,
and the office of the Gospel of Christ. He contrasts the glory and power of the latter with those of the former, which, it is true, is also the Word of God.
In this manner he endeavors to defeat the teachings and pretensions of those seductive spirits who, as he but lately foretold, pervert God"s Word,
in that they greatly extol the Law of God, yet at best do not teach its right use,
but, instead of making it tributary to faith in Christ, misuse it to teach work-righteousness. Sermon by by Martin Luther (1483-1546)
In His Cathecism, Martin Luther wrote:
The word holy day (Feiertag) is rendered from the Hebrew word sabbath which properly signifies to rest, that is, to abstain from labor. Hence we are accustomed to say, Feierbend machen [that is, to cease working], or heiligen Abend geben [sanctify the Sabbath].
Now, in the Old Testament, God separated the seventh day, and appointed it for rest, and commanded that it should be regarded as holy above all others.
As regards this external observance, this commandment was given to the Jews alone, that they should abstain from toilsome work, and rest, so that both man and beast might recuperate, and not be weakened by unremitting labor.
Although they afterwards restricted this too closely, and grossly abused it, so that they traduced and could not endure in Christ those works which they themselves were accustomed to do on that day, as we read in the Gospel
just as though the commandment were fulfilled by doing no external [manual] work whatever, which, however, was not the meaning, but, as we shall hear,
that they sanctify the holy day or day of rest. This commandment, therefore, according to its gross sense, does not concern us Christians; for it is altogether an external matter,
like other ordinances of the Old Testament, which were attached to particular customs, persons, times, and places,
and now have been made free through Christ. Larger Cathechism
- b. July 10, 1509, Noyon, Picardy, France
- d. May 27, 1564, Geneva, Switz.
John Calvin, The Institutes (2.9.4), 1536
By the term Law, Paul frequently understands that rule of holy living in which God exacts what is his due, giving no hope of life unless we obey in every respect; and, on the other hand, denouncing a curse for the slightest failure. This Paul does when showing that we are freely accepted of God, and accounted righteous by being pardoned, because that obedience of the Law to which the reward is promised is nowhere to be found. Hence he appropriately represents the righteousness of the Law and the Gospel as opposed to each other. But the Gospel has not succeeded the whole Law in such a sense as to introduce a different method of salvation. It rather confirms the Law, and proves that every thing which it promised is fulfilled. What was shadow, it has made substance..
"Like most religious reformers, Calvin relied on song by the people, and discourages musical instruments which he compared to childish toys which ought to be put away in manhood. So deeply did his teaching sink into the Genevans, that three years after his death they melted down the pipes of the organ in his church, to form flagons for the communion. And his principle were adopted widely in Britain." (W. T. Whitley, Congregational Hymn-Singing (London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1933, p. 58).
Perhaps it was John Calvin rather than John Locke who "misled" Thomas Campbell into Dispensational Distinction
"There is then no other argument needed to condemn superstitions, than that they are not commanded by God:or when men allow themselves to worship God according to their own fancies,
and attend not to His commands,
they pervert true religion." Calvin's Commentaries, 9:414.
"Hebrews 9:1. "Then verily the first", &c. After having spoken generally of the abrogation of the old covenant, he now refers specially to the ceremonies. His object is to show that
there was nothing practiced then to which Christ's coming has not put an end.
He says first, that under the old covenant there was a specific form of divine worship, and that it was peculiarly adapted to that time. It will hereafter appear by the comparison what kind of things were those rituals prescribed under the Law.
"Were any one to ask why the Apostle speaks with so little respect and even with contempt of Sacraments divinely instituted, and extenuates their efficacy? This he does, because he separates them from Christ; and we know that when viewed in themselves they are but beggarly elements, as Paul calls them. (Gal. 4: 9.)
A difference is to be observed in this respect between his people under the Old and under the New Testament;
for now that Christ has appeared, and the church has reached full age, it were only to bury the light of the gospel should we introduce the shadows of a departed dispensation.
Then Calvin notes what the Catholics confess: that it was not really a borrowing from the sacrificial system but from the world of entertainment from all pagans:
From this it appears that the Papists, as I shall have occasion to show elsewhere, in employing instrumental music
cannot be said so much to imitate the practice of God's ancient people as to ape it in a senseless and absurd manner,
exhibiting a silly delight in that worship of the Old Testament which was figurative and terminated with the gospel." (Psalm 92:1)
And: "We need not shrink from admitting that candles, like incense and lustral water, were commonly employed in pagan worship and in the rites paid to the dead. But the Church from a very early period took them into her service, just as she adopted many other things indifferent in themselves, which seemed proper to enhance the splendour of religious ceremonial. We must not forget that most of these adjuncts to worship, like music, lights, perfumes, ablutions, floral decorations, canopies, fans, screens, bells, vestments, etc.
were not identified with any idolatrous cult in particular;
they were common to almost all cults.
They are, in fact, part of the natural language of mystical expression, and such things belong quite as much to secular ceremonial as they do to religion. Catholic Encyclopedia on Candles
Of Psalm 71:22. We are not, indeed, forbidden to use, in private, musical instruments, but they are banished out of the churches by the plain command of the Holy Spirit, when Paul, in 1 Corinthians 14:13, lays it down as an invariable rule, that we must praise God, and pray to him only in a known tongue. By the word truth, the Psalmist means that the hope which he reposed in God was rewarded, when God preserved him in the midst of dangers. [Note: Paul connects speaking in tongues and musical instruments which are only useful for signalling in warfare if you interpret the message before you sound it]
The promises of God, and his truth in performing them, are inseparably joined together.
Unless we depend upon the word of God, all the benefits which he confers upon us will be unsavoury or tasteless to us; nor will we ever be stirred up either to prayer or thanksgiving,
if we are not previously illuminated by the Divine word.
So much the more revolting, then, is the folly of that diabolical man, Servetus, who teaches that the rule of praying is perverted
as if we could have any access into the presence of God, until he first invited us by his own voice to come to him.
Of Psalm 33 Calvin addressed both the end of the legalistic system and the use of instruments:
There is a distinction, however, to be observed here, that we may not indiscriminately consider as applicable to ourselves, every thing which was formerly enjoined upon the Jews. I have no doubt that playing upon cymbals, touching the harp and the viol, and all that kind of music, which is so frequently mentioned in the Psalms,
was a part of the education; that is to say, the puerile instruction of the law: I speak of the stated service of the temple.
For even now, if believers choose to cheer themselves with musical instruments, they should, I think, make it their object not to dissever their cheerfulness from the praises of God.
But when they frequent their sacred assemblies, musical instruments in celebrating the praises of God would be no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting up of lamps, and the restoration of the other shadows of the law.
The Papists, therefore, have foolishly borrowed this, as well as many other things, from the Jews.
Men who are fond of outward pomp may delight in that noise;
but the simplicity which God recommends to us by the apostle is far more pleasing to him. Paul allows us to bless God in the public assembly of the saints only in a known tongue, (1 Corinthians 14:16.)
The voice of man, although not understood by the generality,
assuredly excels all inanimate instruments of music; and yet we see what St Paul determines concerning speaking in an unknown tongue. [Paul uses the terms lifeless instruments or carnal weapons]
What shall we then say of chanting, which fills the ears with nothing but an empty sound?
Does any one object, that music is very useful for awakening the minds of men and moving their hearts? I own it;
but we should always take care that no corruption creep in, which might both defile the pure worship of God and involve men in superstition. Moreover, since the Holy Spirit expressly warns us of this danger by the mouth of Paul,
to proceed beyond what we are there warranted by him is not only, I must say, unadvised zeal, but wicked and perverse obstinacy.
Parkes identifies the performing prophet or prophetess as "the oldest profession" and identifies, along with all of the available evidence, Instruments as devices of superstition actually believing, along with many Jews and most Greeks, that the gods lived inside of the instrument. Therefore, what comes out is the voice of the god which leads you into their presence and gives you new revelations. This was always commercial charlatiniasm. Click for more.
In The Necessity of Reforming the Church (1543) Calvin wrote:
"In inveighing against ceremonies themselves, and also in abrogating a great part of them, we confess that there is some difference between us and the prophets. They inveighed against their countrymen for confining the worship of God to external ceremonies, but still ceremonies which God himself had instituted; we complain that the same honor is paid to frivolities of man's devising. They, while condemning superstition, left untouched a multitude of ceremonies
which God had enjoined, and which were useful and appropriate to an age of tutelage; our business has been to correct numerous rites which had either crept in through oversight, or been turned to abuse and which, moreover, by no means accorded with the time.For, if we would not throw everything into confusion,
we must never lose sight of the distinction between the old and the new dispensations, and of the fact that ceremonies, the observance of which was useful under the law, are now not only superfluous, but vicious and absurd.
But in regard to the former, it is plain thatthey are destitute of authority from the scriptures,
as well as of any approved example of such intercession; while, as to the latter,
Paul declares that none can invoke God, save those who have been taught by his word to pray. On this depends the confidence with which it becomes pious minds to be actuated and imbued when they engage in prayer.
But is it not altogether at variance with reason that the ploughing oxen should starve, and the lazy asses be fed? They will say, however, that they serve at the altar. I answer, that the priests under the law deserved maintenance, by ministering at an altar;but that, as Paul declares, the case under the New Testament is different.
And what are those altar services, for which they allege that maintenance is due to them?
Forsooth, that they may perform their masses and chant in churches, for example,partly labor to no purpose, and
partly perpetrate sacrilege,
thereby provoking the anger of God.
See for what it is that they are alimented at the public expense!
And Zwingli wanted to get rid of:
"traditional forms or ceremonies (added) simply on the ground that they were not actually forbidden by Scripture.
b. c. 1514,near Haddington, Lothian, Scot. d. Nov. 24, 1572, Edinburgh"Why may not the church, for good causes, devise ceremonies to decor the sacraments, and others [of] God's services?"
Knox replied, "Because the kirk ought to do nothing but in faith: and ought not to go before, but is bound to follow the voice of the true Pastor." Later during the exchange, Knox added:
"It is not enough that man invents a ceremony, and then gives it a signification, according to his pleasure.
But if anything proceeds from faith, it must have the word of God for the assurance; for you are not ignorant that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Now, if you will prove that your ceremonies proceed from faith, and do please God,
you must prove that God in expressed words has commanded them;
or else you shall never prove that they proceed from faith, nor yet that they please God;
but they are sin, and do displease him, according to the words of the apostle, "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." John Knox, Works, 1:195-96.
[THE FIRST SYLLOGISM] Against the mass, Knox wrote:
The Mass is Idolatry.
All worshipping, honouring, or service invented by the brain of man in the religion of God, without his own express commandment, is idolatry.
The Mass is invented by the brain of man, without any commandment of God;
therefore it is idolatry.
John Bradford, The Places of The Law & Of The New Covenant, 1548
Whosoever truly understandeth the division of the places of the Law and of the Gospel, gathered out of the holy scriptures, cannot by any man's doctrine be seduced from the truth, or read the scriptures but to edify both himself and others:
whereas he that is ignorant of the same cannot, though he were a great doctor of divinity, and could rehearse every text of the bible without book, but both be deceived, and deceive others; as the experience hereof (the more pity) hath taught, nay, seduced the whole world....
Therefore, I say, take to thee the glass of God's law; look therein, and thou shalt see thy just damnation, and God's wrath for sin, which, if thou dreadest, will drive thee not only to an amendment, but also to a sorrow and hatred of thy wickedness, and even to the brim of despair, out of which nothing can bring thee but the glad tidings of Christ, that is, the gospel: for as God's word doth bind thee,
so can nothing but God's word unbind thee; and until thou comest to this point, thou knowest nothing of Christ.
Theodore Beza, The Christian Faith, 1558
We divide this Word into two principal parts or kinds: the one is called the 'Law,' the other the 'Gospel.' For all the rest can be gathered under the one or other of these two headings...
Ignorance of this distinction between Law and Gospel is one of the principal sources of the abuses which corrupted and still corrupt Christianity.
The Formula of Concord, 1576
We believe, teach, and confess that the distinction of the Law and of the Gospel, as a most excellently clear light, is to be retained with special diligence in the Church of God,
in order that the Word of God, agreeably to the admonition of St. Paul, may be rightly divided.
b. Aug. 29, 1632, Wrington, Somerset, Eng. d. Oct. 28, 1704, Oates, EssexLocke never taught what Campbell is accused of teaching about the three levels of Campbellian Hermeneutics. He simply warned those who rise above "humility" and add to the Word, that their logic must be beyond reproach or they must be inspired. This was because, in his view, all of the philosophers and theologians in the world when combining their rules of morality had no moral authority to make spiritual changes.
Both Locke and Campbell used levels of authority to teach toleration and not to exclude people by introducing unclear rituals which did not have a direct command.
The Reasonableness of Christianity should be read to see that the preacher is treating Locke with a non-Christ-O-Centric sense of tolerance. Locke makes use of the Bible to make his point. However, he will give professional "pastors" a heartburn and this is probably why he must be discredited before the "audience" catches on to the Biblical authority about human teachers.
We think that the preacher probably is quoting quotes from quoted quotes and may be referring to Locke's A Letter Concerning Toleration. It is clear that the most intolerant effort within the American Restoration Movement is to become sectarian in order to attract the entertainment-based people and thereby exclude those who know that you can build spiritual life only on Christ at the center rather than the theatrical performance of preacher and musical team at the center.
In 1689 Locke deliberately placed beyond criticism churches which by their nature were not Christian.
By definition, a Muslim could not be called heretical or schismatic by a Christian.
However, within the Christian churches which by definition based their faith and practice on the Bible, Locke like Campbell urged the church not to add anything to the worship which was not explicitly commanded.
This was not to upset grown people who hate authority of any kind: This would allow the broadest possible fellowship.
Those who forcefully add musical instruments make it a "condition of her communion" something which is not commanded become sectarian and therefore idolaters in that they put the "music" ahead of those for whom Christ died. John Locke warns:
But since men are so solicitous about the true church, I would only ask them here, by the way, if it be not more agreeable to the Church of Christto make the conditions of her communion consist in such things, and such things only,
as the Holy Spirit has in the Holy Scriptures declared, in express words, to be necessary to salvation;
I ask, I say, whether this be not more agreeable to the Church of Christ
than for men to impose their own inventions and interpretations upon others as if they were of Divine authority,
and to establish by ecclesiastical laws, as absolutely necessary to the profession of Christianity, such things as the Holy Scriptures do either not mention, or at least not expressly command?
Whosoever requires those things in order to ecclesiastical communion, which Christ does not require in order to life eternal,
he may, perhaps, indeed constitute a society accommodated to his own opinion and his own advantage;
but how that can be called the Church of Christ which is established upon laws that are not His, and which excludes such persons from its communion as He will one day receive into the Kingdom of Heaven, I understand not.
If Locke is in the memory bank of preachers who use and abuse him to discredit those who "do not go beyond what is written" he may be crucified because he charged that those who introduce practices which are not commanded are the ones guilty of "excluding from their fellowship" those who rely on the message of the Spirit.
The proof is that those who remain faithful to practices which reach back to the commands of Jesus and the Apostles are labeled as "Sectarian" or even racists.
If the ruling pastor imposes musical worship teams and then mechanical devices, people sensitive to the Spirit of the humble Christ must listen as a condition of her communion otherwise they are excluded and those who make the changes without any Biblical authority are by definition sectarian which word implies some vested financial interest.
Adding Instruments without authority is imposing their own inventions because there is no command, example or inference and the Bible and history are not silent.
Ralph Erskine, The Beauties of Erskine, 1745 A Poem
- The law supposing I have all,
- Does ever for perfection call;
- The gospel suits my total want,
- And all the law can seek does grant.
- The law could promise life to me,
- If my obedience perfect be;
- But grace does promise life upon
- My Lord's obedience alone.
- The law says, Do, and life you'll win;
- But grace says, Live, for all is done;
- The former cannot ease my grief,
- The latter yields me full relief.
- The law will not abate a mite,
- The gospel all the sum will quit;
- There God in thret'nings is array'd
- But here in promises display'd.
- The law excludes not boasting vain,
- But rather feeds it to my bane;
- But gospel grace allows no boasts,
- Save in the King, the Lord of Hosts.
- The law brings terror to molest,
- The gospel gives the weary rest;
- The one does flags of death display,
- The other shows the living way.
- The law's a house of bondage sore,
- The gospel opens prison doors;
- The first me hamer'd in its net,
- The last at freedom kindly set.
- An angry God the law reveal'd
- The gospel shows him reconciled;
- By that I know he was displeased,
- By this I see his wrath appeased.
- The law still shows a fiery face,
- The gospel shows a throne of grace;
- There justice rides alone in state,
- But here she takes the mercy-seat.
- Lo! in the law Jehovah dwells,
- But Jesus is conceal'd;
- Whereas the gospel's nothing else
- But Jesus Christ reveal'd.
By reading the major work of Thomas Campbell it will be seen that he taught a "minimalist" collective worship which rests on commands in order to keep the unity of the body. Our preacher seems to imply that Thomas and Alexander Campbell taught a radically-new hermeneutic in order to exclude people and thereby pass judgment on them. One might grasp from this that instruments were not used and instrumentalists were excluded from fellowship -- all based on a radical departure from understanding the Bible written without walls of separaton.
Simply by continuing to not use mechanical instruments which they had not used since the Reformation and beyond Campbell and all of his fellow Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians are charged with being sectarian and legalistic because they did not follow the self-elected leaders just out of liberal universities. Now, look at this again:
Reformed churches and all of the reformers (including the Catholic theology) from the first century did not use instrumental music to try to attract God.
Seeker-friendly churches (i.e. Midway, Kentucky) add instruments.
Campbell continues just as he has from the foundation of the church and does not add practices which not commanded and are divisive.
Those adding the instruments then label Campbell (and his modern brethren) as racists, legalists and guilty of "sowing discord among the brethren."
They, of course, deliberately ignore the facts and therefore are lying by transference of guilt. A common children's practice.
Locke showed that if people have any interest in unity they will not impose on others their private opinions not based on direct commands. However, he teaches another fact which disturbs religionists or institution-building people: that each person has their own authority to choose a congregation and therefore the authority to leave a group without being condemned. Because "clergy" in the minds of most writers of that period meant spiritual and financial corruption, Locke and the Campbells gave all of the authority to the individual and none to the self-ordained clergy.
Campbell first made the point made by many before him: the church Christ founded is described only in the New Testament. One may be many things in religion but a Christian is one who accepts the explicit claims of Christ and His Spirit-guided apostles as containing all that we need for life and godliness. If the silence of Scripture is a "divine oversight" and we can make up for God's "failure" then why would He come and declare that His Words are Spirit and Life (John 6:63)?
Contrary to the false charges, Campbell did not lay down some legalistic scheme by which one can exist as a church. Rather, the whole Declaration and Address defines principles which must be followed if various congregations are to walk in fellowship pursuing the same goals.
By analogy, the rule of the hunting camp is: "Thou shalt take a bath at least once a week." Freddy the Fumigant never takes baths. OK! Freddy, you dont have to take baths but you cannot bunk in our cabin but we will still say "hay" outside the camp. Campbell described it this way:
2. That although the Church of Christ upon earth must necessarily exist in particular and distinct societies, locally separate one from another, yet there ought to be no schisms, no uncharitable divisions among them. They ought to receive each other as Christ Jesus hath also received them, to the glory of God.
And for this purpose they ought all to walk by the same rule, to mind and speak the same thing; and to be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment.
Thomas Campbell might say: "You can burn billy goats and dance naked around the altar if you wish and we will still say 'hay' at the coffee shop. However, you cannot burn goats and 'cry out' to God like a lost David while we are eating the Lord's Supper and 'searching in silence our own hearts' in obedience to the will of Christ." Therefore, in order that we do not become sectarian or:
3. That in order to this, nothing ought to be inculcated upon Christians as articles of faith;nor required of them as terms of communion,
but what is expressly taught and enjoined upon them in the word of God. Nor ought anything to be admitted, as of Divine obligation, in their Church constitution and managements, (Locke LT)
but what is expressly enjoined by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles upon the New Testament Church; either in express terms or by approved precedent.
4. That although the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are inseparably connected, making together but one perfect and entire revelation of the Divine will, for the edification and salvation of the Church, and therefore in that respect can not be separated;
yet as to what directly and properly belongs to their immediate object, the New Testament is as for the worship, discipline, and government of the New Testament Church, and as perfect a rule for the particular duties of its members,
as the Old Testament was for the worship, discipline, and government of the Old Testament Church, and the particular duties of its members. (Declaration And Address)
If you are still using the legalistic Levitical "offering the sacrifice" music while I am trying to take my mind off you as "at the center" and focus on Christ Who is the Center then you may be repudiating the blood of Jesus and you assuredly are being sectarian as you drive away those who cannot engage in The Book of the Law worship after God has restored The Book of the Covenant first given to Abraham.
The Liberalizing Influence of Thomas Campbell
The environment in which Thomas Campbell studied and preached laid down the "rule" that only direct commands could be used as authority for religious practices.
The Campbells had no "direct command" about baptizing babies and so they were excluded from the Presbyterians.
The believed Acts 2:38 to be followed as an act of faith without all of the Baptist baggage and was forced out of the Baptists.
Campbell actually "liberalized" this by permitting approved examples to be used to expand the church's freedom of religious practices. For instance, because Paul laid down no official power to decide who could eat the Lord's Supper he believed that he could offer it to "brand B" presbyterians who did not have their little token of acceptance from "brand A" presbyterians.
He learned that he could not do that and be a Presbyterian.
Later, this was liberalized even further by agreeing that sometimes a necessary inference can be drawn to do things necessary to carry out direct commands. For instance, there is no direct command nor approved example for building church buildings, adding pews, song books or many other things but God gave us credit for having enough sense to get in out of the rain without a direct command.
There is no command, example or necessary inference for mechanical music. It is not necessary to carry out any function of worship. To the contrary, there is a large body of Biblical material which associates music with refusing to listen to God's Words.
Conclusion: Campbell's motive was not to exclude but to eliminate any element of worship which has no clear command because to do so sectiaranizes the church when people have to leave when non-essentials are imposed upon them. He is not responsible for the use or misuse of this principle to which he added approved examples and inferences as Lockean toleration.
It is important to understand that adding music to triumph over the others looking for sheep is based on the claim of "putting Christ at the center." The fact is that performing preaching and music is clearly put at the center: you cannot see through any person and see Christ. That is why He commanded us to go into our secret places.
Such churches condemn non-musical churches with being legalistic simply because they do not add rituals out of their own head or paganism from which Catholicism acknowledges borrowing music to aggrandize their ceremonial. In fact, music is an agent of force of mind control to put you into the mood suitable to the group mind -- the collectivistic state in minature.
The repudiation of Campbell's sermon on the law surely has to be based upon the fact that the peak of legalistic worship is musical or theatrical performance. Campbell noted the only reason people charged him with heresy for preaching the sermon as:
"we shall briefly notice the reason commonly assigned for proposing the law as a rule of life to Christians.
"If Christians are taught," say they, "that they are delivered from the law, under it in no sense; that they are dead to it, will not they be led to live rather a licentious life, live as they list;
and will not the non-professing world, hearing that they are not under the law of Moses, become more wicked, more immoral and profane?"
This fits perfectly with so called Post-Modern or Latter Rain religion using shepherding techniques and repudiating paying members for daring to speak against the lone ranger dominant pastor. The law is absolutely required as a source of ceremonial legalism such as music and the control of the body from any upsetting teachings. This is not a sign of freedom in Christ but of the same fearfulness which plagued David, the Psalmist.
Repudiating Campbell is a certain urge to fall back under legalism which is the only security a non Christian has.
The reviewed sermon imagines that Campbell was the first "creature" in the universe who believed that the Old Testament worship ritual had been replaced with worship "in spirit and in truth."
He taught along with most of history's scholars that the Old Testament describes a system of national worship added because of transgression and to remind the people of their continual sinfulness. It prevented them from ever having a clear conscience before God.
He also taught with the worlds scholars (except Catholics) that the dispensation of grace has abrogated all of those rituals by the one righteous act of "worship" by the offering of the blood of Jesus Christ upon the cross.
Therefore, to see this as something outrageous dismisses the intelligence of the "audience" who, if they do much reading of the Bible should know better.
The goal of the sermon seems to be that if Campbell can be discredited then those who think like him can be discredited. This probably intends to prove that the "Musical Worship Teams" under the commanders of the army and used during animal sacrifices can be lifted out of their historical context and plunked down where the table of the Lord's Supper used to rest.
Campbell would have acknowledged that in his own time theology had degenerated so completely that the professors could not grasp that the command to build an ark was not a "direct command" to go thou and do likewise. Heard a sermon where the naked dance of David was an "approved example for Christian worship." I suggested to the preacher that he go first and that would end the "act" of worship. Campbell was aware that then (as now) the Bible was a grab bag for blind men.
In his Sermon on the Law Campbell noted:
"For, in truth, the present popular exhibition of Christianity is a compound of Judaism, Heathen Philosophy, and Christianity; which, like the materials in Nebuchadnezzar's image, does not well cement together."
As a result,
"There are not a few professors of Christianity who suppose themselves under equal obligations to obey Moses or any other Prophet, as Christ and his Apostles. They cannot understand why any part of divine revelation should not be obligatory on a Christian to observe; nor can they see any reason why the New Testament should be preferred to the Old; or why they should not be regulated equally by each. They say, 'Is it not all the word of God, and are not all mankind addressed in it
"A fourth conclusion which is deducible from the above premises is, that all arguments and motives, drawn from the law or Old Testament, to urge the disciples of Christ to baptize their infants (dedicate them); to pay tithes to their teachers; to observe holy days or religious fasts, as preparatory to the observance of the Lord's supper; to sanctify the seventh day; to enter into national covenants; to establish any form of religion by civil law:--and all reasons and motives borrowed from the Jewish law, to excite the disciples of Christ to a compliance with or an imitation of Jewish customs, are inconclusive, repugnant to Christianity, and fall ineffectual to the ground; not being enjoined or countenanced by the authority of Jesus Christ."
Campbell understood the Word of God and the history of theology which acknowledged the distinction between the Old and New Testament. The Jews understood it very well: no Jerusalem, no Temple; no Temple, no music."
The Monarchy period was added as a curse earned at Mount Sinai when Israel rejected the Covenant of Grace, musically worshiped Osiris their old Egyptian god, and later sealed their doom when they demanded a king like the nations so that they could worship like the nations. The "congregation" did not participate with the king and clergy "inside the gates or camp" and therefore Jesus has to be found "outside the camp" and not in connection with music during animal sacrifices. You cannot restore the music without being consistent and sacrificing some of your "lambs."
Failure to understand the difference between the Book of the Covenant and the Book of the Law at Mount Sinai leaves one open to fatal flaws and grace may have been forfeited. Adding instrumental music in worship is both a cause and sign that the first century "god" has been retired.
If you could absolutely prove that the Law of Moses is still binding you would be forced to the conclusion that only the clergy, king and officials engaged in the sacrifice of animals where the loud instruments were used to make a crashing sound. The common people were put "outside the camp" during this process. Furthermore, the people always "synagogued" to hear the Word read by the priests and only "draft age or musterable males" were required to attend the national festivals three times a year.
We believe that Milton Jones and the Northwest Church of Christ in Seattle does not grasp the significance of instrumental music in worship as a key pagan practice and universally condemned (when God speaks) as evidence that people are saying: "We won't hear any more from you." The claim of being Post Modern and the Seven Ones of Rubel Shelly as the "core" gospel and everything else just interpretation can lead you down some strange paths following the majority.
Both Locke and the Campbells limited tests of fellowship to direct commands so that collectively more people would be able to meet together for worship. Conclusions based on anything else might not prevent fellowship (meeting with) those who did not share your opinion. However, such differences might mean that you may use your God-given authority to find others to worship with. And when others add non-essentials to their worship they may exclude you from their communion.
Most literate scholars from the earliest church history understood the Old Testament and therefore understood that it had nothing to do with "spiritual worship" and that people "outside the camp" could meet God in reading and prayer.
They also understood that the prophets clearly predicted the end of the period of curse as Israel fulfilled their fondest wishes and worshiped like the nations.
They understood that Jesus put an end to the sacrificial system by offering His own body upon the cross "outside the camp." The Jews understood that with the end of the temple came the end of the sacrificial system; and with the end of the sacrificial system they 'hung up their harps" until 1815 AD in a liberal synagogue led back into seeker-friendly legalism by "Christian" practices.
Therefore, to blame Locke and Thomas Campbell and then treat them as some uniquely strange theologians simply lacks a hint of scholarship -- or it intends to distort in order to disturb.
- Sermon Review: No Dispensational Distinctions: David's Civil Rituals Authorizes Instruments?
- False Conclusions: Lucian of Samosata and Psallo From Attic Greek
- False Conclusions:: Lucian of Samosata Explained by The Church Fathers
- False Conclusions: How About Psallo and Psalm 150?
- Some rebuttal: Reasonableness of Christianity - Locke
- Some rebuttal: A Letter of Toleration - Locke
- Counter added 6.25.07