WE have not
been able to find The Law
in the Sommer
documents. We believe
that this may have been in the Supreme Court's ruling. All
recorded scholars and founders of denominations defended the law of
silence: John Calvin called for a "Restoration of the Church of Christ"
which would exclude anything not commanded or necessary to carry out
the role of the church: music was NOT necesarry and had never been used
in the modern sense eve by the Catholics.
architect had done business
in peace since 1834 as The Church of Christ although when the brick
building some became architects and put The Christian Church on the
building. The wrecking crew began in the late 1800s to join others
who were "going up town" by attempting to attach the lean-to of
denominational organization with local sunday school controlled by an
outside agency and by adding instrumental music. Their innovations
were truly based on The Law of Silence.
he said was that unless it is in the Bible we
can't know that it is the will of God and therefore have to INFER
on the other
hand, whatever is not revealed in the divine testimony no one can
possibly believe to be the divine will. In other words, whatever the
word of God declares
approbation we can
believe has been or now is the will of God;
word of God does not thus declare we not only DO NOT but we CANNOT
believe has ever
or now is the will
testimony and inference, and thus between faith
and opinion has been the peculiar
strength, clearness and power
of the position occupied by the disciples of the Christ, as every
disciple present today will doubtless confess.
respect to the organ, he
assigned the use of INFERENCES and undoubtedly SILENCES to those
added the organ knowing that it would deliberately sow
read 1 Cor.
8:12, "But when ye sin so against the brethren and wound their weak
conscience ye sin against Christ." I also refer you also to Matt.
25th chapter where the Savior said, "Inasmuch as ye did it unto the
least of these my brethren ye did it unto me."
controversy that multitudes are in danger of being finally rejected
because in this life they have persistently sinned against Christ in sinning against his
conclusion on this point I
mention again that in
there may be inferences, opinions, views, nothings, preferences
there is not
faith that it is the will of Christ that it should be used in
connection with the worship.
But "whatever is not of faith is of sin."
Sommer and others
insisted on "direct commands" to keep the peace and repudiated The Law of Silence. If
he was an architect it was in resisting The Law of
Silence as authority to
add old Roman appendages to the "building" even when they knew that it would drive out
those who did
not obey the new legalism: The Law of Silence.
Sommer is not the
authority for anyone I have ever known and David Lipscomb, speaking
for those who would resume the historic name Church of Christ used
throughout church history, repudiated division and most
people don't know who Sommers was.
Perhaps attitudes were hardened when the innovators used the same
psychology they used on Calvin and others: only the ignorant would
reject our views:
this is not
all. If those who are offended at the organ were the weakest, most ignorant and least
be esteemed in
the church (which
they are not), yet even then it would be a sin to
offend them by
unauthorized instrument a test of fellowship, as is done whenever
the organ is put
in connection with the worship,
then worship there without seeing it and hearing it-
say, when such a course is
pursued, even if those opposing the organ were the least and the most
ignorant, yet that course would be sinful in the sight of heaven." An Address
arguments were based on the
fact that the innovators USED THE LAW OF SILENCE to introduce things
they could never gain by faith.
not infer that I
mean it has been abandoned by them in every particular, but rather in relation to their
their religious neighbors they declare the difference between testimony and inference, and the difference
between faith and opinion.
when they come to the worship and work of the church they make matters of
matters of opinion,
fellowship by thrusting them in upon
can worship or
with them except by practically adopting their devices.
have in some instances
even gone so far as to exclude men and women
who would persist in opposing their matters of opinion."
seems that the Church of
Christ believed that the Christian Church faction preached "direct
commands" but when it came to their own worship they decided that
"inference" or opinion was good enough to force the introduction of
will correct if I have not
read the evidence correctly.
You can take a look for yourself
to the Supreme Court
ruling in favor of the Church of Christ who had remained unchanged against the
Church who had
tried to force a denominational structure using inference or The
of Silence to add--
to the propriety of having instrumental music in the church during
church services, the employment by the congregation of ministers of
the gospel for a fixed time and for a fixed salary, the organization
of missionary societies and Sunday schools as separate organizations
outside the regular church organizations, the raising of funds for
the support of the gospel by holding church fairs and festivals, and
perhaps in other matters of a similar character
The innovators and
progressives created the
sect and then sued to take over the church property even though they
were in the minority.
Illinois Supreme Court
the members of
a religious congregation divide and one faction breaks away from the
congregation and forms a new organization,
title to the
property of the congregation will remain in that part of the
congregation which adheres to the tenets and doctrines originally
taught by the congregation to whose use the property was originally
Creek congregation and
the lawful owners of said property (Church of Christ);
and the plaintiffs (Christian Church) in error having seceded from the Sand Creek
effected a new
organization where the innovations are taught and practiced,
the court to have abandoned all interest in the
property which belonged to the
Sand Creek congregation at
the time they left the organization
and effected a new organization.
this sound like the
Christian Church faction disfellowshiped the non-instrumental group
should come as no surprize
that we rebel against those who intend to rule or ruin. Because we
weren't there it is impossible to be the judge and overturn the
Supreme Court and brand the Church of Christ (known as such since 1834) as the sowers of
discord rather than
the Christian Church sect. From the beginning the church had "done
business" as The Church of Christ.
view that the innovators
and progressives are the sectarians has perhaps a universal
historical precedent: The Supreme Court of Illinois thought so, so I
won't try to retry the the case and brand those who still resist
instruments as somehow the spawn of Daniel Sommer.
Guess, Baptist, The
Argument From Silence is Used by Instrumentalists
in trying to
get around the plain New Testament teaching on the type of music to
be used in the church, have endeavored to argue from
to this method, because the New Testament does not say,
shalt not use the instrument,"
since there is no express condemnation of the practice,
must be acceptable to God.
is a false conclusion
derived from the erroneous premise that the silence of the word of
God is as much a guide for men as its positive commands. In other
words, some wrongly believe that a thing is all right for worship
unless explicitly forbidden. But it can easily be demonstrated that
this type of reasoning will not work.
then, Sommer didn't invent
Carthage (Quintus Septimius
Florens Terullianus, b. 155 - 160
Carthage - d. 220? AD)
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,
authority from Scripture for giving up the shows,
that the matter is
abstinence is not
clearly and in words
imposed upon God's servants.
"Well, we never find it expressed with the same
enter circus or theatre,
thou shalt not look on
combat or show; "
it is plainly laid
"Thou shalt not
kill; thou shalt not worship an idol;
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."
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,
divine Scripture has ever far-reaching
immediate sense has been exhausted, in all directions it fortifies
the practice of the
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
c. 335, Caesarea, in Cappadocia, Asia Minor [now Kayseri, Turkey]
c. 394, feast day March 9
in this assertion they do
not go beyond the
for we do say
But the ground of their complaint is that
custom does not
Scripture does not support it. What
then is our reply?
do not think that it is
right to make their
prevailing custom the
and rule of sound
For if custom is to avail for proof of soundness, we too,
surely, may advance our
if they reject this, we are surely
not bound to follow theirs.
the inspired Scripture, then, be our umpire, and
vote of truth
will surely be given to those
dogmas are found
to agree with the Divine words.
Locke in The
Reasonableness of Christianity noted that:
any one will pretend to
set up in this kind,
and have his rules pass for authentic directions,
either he builds his doctrine upon principles
of reason, self-evident
themselves, and that he deduces all the parts of it from
thence, by clear and evident
must shew his commission from heaven, that he comes with
authority from God, to deliver
his will and commands to the world.
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 Christ
make the conditions of her communion consist in such things,
and such things only,
the Holy Spirit has in
the Holy Scriptures declared, in express words,
be necessary to
compare with John Locke)
some twist of logic this
engineer's brain cannot
follow, this it turned around and made to say that if WE have already
"imposed" theatrical performance to
our worship, you are too late to take the high ground. Now, if YOU try to impose the
instruments on US then you are adding that which is not necessary to salvation.
Therefore, YOU shot Cock
Robin even though the arrow came from our twanging bowstring!
you get it? NOT playing
instruments is NOT necessary to salvation. Therefore, from now 'till
evermore, NOT playing instruments violates the the freedom of those
who are just trying to EXPERIENCE music as a GIFT OF GOD. For instance, Dr. Rubel
we sometimes overextended our worship practice
as to violate
the freedom of our members to experience and enjoy instrumental music
as a gift from
to IMPOSE SOMETHING
you have to ADD something which does not
exist and which you know sows discord because you are doing it with a
high hand over the objections of others.
you have never USED
instruments then it is illogical to think of IMPOSING something which
has the Bible and all of church history to support its view.
extend beyond reasonable limits or beyond one's capacity to meet
obligations or commitments." Webster
would interpret this to mean
that if we don't allow our members in their worship service to enjoy
musical instruments if they so desire to mean that we are not complying with God's
Will that WE "enjoy" as a way to
Because WE don't "mole into"
instrumental churches and try to
impose our worship practices perhaps God will not burn us!
continues to defend your
rights not to play instruments:
ask, I say, whether this be
not more agreeable to the Church of Christ
for men to
impose their own inventions and interpretations upon others as if
they were of Divine authority,
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?
requires those things in order to
ecclesiastical communion, which Christ does not require in order to
eternal, he may, perhaps, indeed constitute a society accommodated
his own opinion and his own advantage;
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.
from fellowship those who disagree. And those who have used stealth
techniques and false teaching to impose instruments without a doubt
exclude others from ever teaching against instruments again in
your-now-our church house.
D&A Thomas Campbell
noted: 11. That (in some instances)
neglect of the expressly
revealed will of God,
and (in others) an assumed
authority for making
approbation of human opinions and
human inventions a term of communion, by introducing them
into the constitution, faith, or worship of the
and have been,
the immediate, obvious, and universally-acknowledged
causes, of all the corruptions
that ever have taken place in the Church of God.