Olan Hicks: Non-Instrumentalists and PhariseesIn our first review of Olan Hicks connecting the Law of Silence to the non-instrumental group Olan suggests that this "law" was invented specificially by the church of Christ in order NOT use instruments. However, we pointed out that the church of Christ, like many Baptists, Presbyterians and others, just continued to observe the universally-recognized position among the Fathers against fleshly means of attempting to worship a Spirit God in our own spirit.
Olan Hicks Instrumental Music in Worship
Olan connected that view to being like the Pharisees:
Olan Hicks: It seems we are inclined to misunderstand many times in the same way the Pharisees did. In their pre-occupation with minute "letter of the law" details, they overlooked the weightier matters of the law and actually ended up opposing the will of God.
We will show below that the Pharisees assumed the authority to make up their own worship to replace that which God had commanded: they operated on the presumption thag God had not commanded THEM. Jesus calls the Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites which in Ezekiel 33 He identifies as speakers, singers and instrument players. That is THE meaning of a hypocrite.
But Jesus said that it was deliberate: they took the liberty of changing the Biblical patterns just so they could add their own traditionalism. The purpose was, like moden Seeker-Systems, in order to get paid for long prayers (praise services) and to steal the widow's houses.
They used the loopholes. We do not believe that the church of Christ uses any loopholes in order to NOT add something which would violate all that we know about music as worship and which would give glory to the preachers and make the elders happy by paying off the debt. Therefore, we should look for Pharisees among those who:
- Change the rules to be popular with the modern mind,
- Who have elaborate praise services or
- Who acknowledge that musical performance will help pay for the new "temple."
But Jesus told them to take care of the weightier matters but not leave the minor items undone. Not even the Pharisees ever fell for the temple worship or its instrumental music. Jesus used them to say that the most spiritual people can be hypocrites but they were mortal enemies of the Temple system which, for its entire history, had been political capital of the nation. The synagogues did not have instruments or "praise service" so they understood the universal meaning of the people's assembly for the general population who were not permitted in the temple.
Remember that Jesus said that truth had been hidden in parables "from the foundation of the world." This was to fool the clergy who wanted to repackage and retail the prophecies to "make self a prophet." From the foundation of the Bible we discover that the serpent in the garden of Eden was NOT a snake. It's name throughout the region meant a Musical Enchanter: the Naga or Nachash. In Revelation the serpent is OPHIS which speaks of such an enchanter. The word is included in sOPHISts. All rhetoricians, sOPHISts, singers and musicians were known to perform the task of SORCERY. Because people had rejected the musical exorcism at the centers of animal sacrifice where musicians were employed, they came to be called PARASITES.
ALL of the "musical" events in the Old Testament speak of creating mental excitement to STEAL something. Cain means "a musical note" and his descendants Jubal, Jabal, Tubal-Cain and Naamah spoke of using music, force, cattle stealing and enchantment to control others FOR THEIR OWN USES. This is the meaning of heresy.
Olan Hicks continues:
Olan Hicks: In the restoration movement this began to happen near the end of the 19th century. The leading architect of the concept was Daniel Summer. Evidently in a very strong desire to close the door of the church against "innovations," he changed the principle of exclusion into an absolute law of exclusion, and coined the phrase "law of silence."
No, the instrumentalists thought that silence gave them permission to impose instruments: they had the ethics to leave and begin another congregation because by making the addition THEY became the sectarians. However, we have shown many times that God commands what He wants and since He is God excludes what He does not command. That is because church is a SCHOOL OF THE WORD and it has no other function. It was the Pharisees who made up their own acts of worship.
We noted that this was in response to a very aggresive "evangelistic" effort to "convert" non-instrument and non-denominational churches into "life members" of an organization which would ultimately "encompass Christendom." A major protagonist was the Standard who wished to supply the Sunday School material. Of course, the Sunday School movement did not consist of Bible Classes: they planned your classes somewhat independant of the "church." The problem was that those who wanted to SOW DISCORD by adding musical instruments thought that they ought to TAKE the property. The Illinois Supreme Court held that innovators did not TRUMP the original owners.
There is little to no exception to the rule in the Bible and church history that the Christian ekklesia is governed by the Bible in terms of direct commands, examples and governed ideally by even hints and inferences.
Thomas Campbell and the restorers did not formulate a denomination to INCLUDE certain historical beliefs and practices but as a DECLARATION OF FREEDOM of individuals from clergy who are the ONLY ones likely to innovate and improvize. In the post-war Restoration Movement these innovations dismissed the Bible as authority and saw CHURCH GROWTH as the ideal for the church. This demanded organization which J.H.Garrison saw as enfolding ALL OF CHRISTENDOM and especially sought to sign up members as LIFE MEMBERS long before Jim Bakker.
The Declaration and Address has been linked and annotated. Those who conferenced around the Declaration and Address agreed with Jesus, Paul and Thomas Campbell that ekklesia was A School of Christ. Worship consisted of holding school by READING the Bible and discussing its doctrine and admonishing everyone to keep it.
Nevertheless, the non-instrumental church in the South did not participate in this and David Lipscome condemned it.
Furthermore the "law of silence" is well documented in both Testaments and by many of the church Fathers and Reformation leaders we have researched. The concept was not invented by neo-Pharisees just in order NOT to do what it was already NOT doing based on both Testaments and all of church History before the liberal 19th century.
There were several innovations imposed on peacable churches of Christ by innovators after the Civil War. The christian churches had returned to a HIGH CHURCH view that Scriptures could be bent to fit culture. Of course, no council had ever agreed on this principle. See Hislop in Instrumental Music and the High Church heresy.
See how the Race Card is Played to blame the "Anti-instrumentalists" for dividing the church because of regional ignorance.
What's more, you have to be asleep to think that the Bible is SILENT about instruments pointing to Satan, prostitutes and sodomites.
The PRO-instrumental group in fact uses the LAW OF SILENCE. They say, "God DID NOT SAY 'dont' use instruments' so WE gonna use them knowing that they were deliberately sowing discord.
As a response to that review: Ray Downen on Olan Hicks Law of Silence:
Ray Downen: I hope no one will misunderstand my position. I am convinced that God speaks to the nations now through His Son, uniquely born, who was raised from the dead after being put to death unjustly.God has never been silent in connecting instrumental sounds with people telling Him that they will not obey the command to PREACH the Word (only) by READING the Word and also connected to BURNING for presumptious sins intending to sow discord.
God has never spoken by what He did not say. Prior to the giving of the gospel, God spoke in specific commandments both positive and negative.
What men were required to do was spelled out in some detail. What men were forbidden to do was spelled out in equal detail.
God spoke with words, given normally through dreams, or visions, or revelations to particular prophets whose task it was to deliver God's Word to God's people.
Because The Spirit of Christ was the Spirit of the Prophets (1 Peter 1:11; Revelation 19:10) we believe that He continued to issue direct commands. Furthermore, He returned in Spirit form to guide the Apostles into all truth.
And that truth claims to supply all that is needed for life and Godliness in a relationship with the Spirit World sense.
Jesus based his believability on the fact that He spoke only what He heard from the Father.
What Jesus did not hear He did not teach or command.
Paul followed that Divine Pattern by teaching what Christ delivered to Him.
Furthermore, Paul commanded that we do the same things in order to be imitators of Christ and to prevent sowing of discord the moment a "new and improved" idea pops into the head of clergy who have come to believe that they are God's agents to plan every moment of the believers life. Read the Community Rule of the Dead Sea Scroll and you will discover that legalism consists of endless programs and rituals.
Someone missed a lot of warnings about not going beyond that which is written. Peter summed it up:
Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. 2 Pet 1:12
Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 2 Pet 1:13
Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. 2 Pet 1:14
Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things alway in remembrance. 2 Pet 1:15
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 2 Pet 1:16
For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 2 Pet 1:17
And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 2 Pet 1:18
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 2 Pet 1:19
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 2 Pet 1:20
Private interpretation means FURTHER EXPOUNDING. You cannot honor God in Christ if you try to ammend that which He revealed and enabled through His Spirit to the Apostles.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Pet 1:21
Then, Peter shows why you have no right to HEAR SILENCES:
BUT there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 Pet 2: 1
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 2 Pet 2:2
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Pet 2:3
No one every suggested that God issues direct commands by NOT issuing commands. That would seem like a silly invention.
Ray Downen: "Those who most admired law in Jesus' day on earth were the most thoroughly castigated for their lack of faith by the Master Teacher. They supposed they were better than lesser men because they knew the law best and because they observed it minutely. The Pharisees knew the details of the law, but they missed understanding the Law-giver.
Definition of a Pharisee:
We are assured that trying to justify NOT using instruments as the works of human hands to worship a Spirit God makes us a Pharisee, hypocrite and sectarian. Therefore, if we are going to communicate we need to understand that the Pharisees were Post Modern and did not see God's commands as binding.
> Non-instrumental churches have not changed from the first practice of the church defined without question by Paul.
> They have not improvized or innovated "with the times" and have no vested financial advantage in not becoming as much like the world as possible.
> Therefore, by no known definition can not using instruments make one a Pharisee.
Here is the Catholic Encyclopedia's (one of those hated secular sources) defines the various parts of the professional Pharisee sect:
"They (Pharisees) interpreted the Law according to its spirit;
when in the course of time a law had been outgrown or superseded by changing conditions,
they gave it a new and more acceptable meaning,
seeking scriptural support for their actions through a ramified system of hermeneutics.
It was due to this progressive tendency of the Pharisees that their interpretation of the Torah continued to develop and has remained a living force in Judaism. Catholic Encyclopedia Pharisees
That was what the instrumentalist did to create the musical sect.
It was the Pharisee's "ramified" system of hermeneutics which would say:
God has not issued a direct command "Thou shalt not change with the times."
Therefore, based on the Law of Silence the "spirit" of God permits us to change the old traditionalism into a new traditionalism.
For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens, and lay them on men's shoulders; but with a finger of their own they will not move them.
The burden Jesus died to remove was "spiritual anxiety created by religious ritual."
It is a fact that the burden words are Musica, Cantus, Melodia, Exegetice, Hermenuo and MAGICA.
The BURDEN in Hebrew was a SONG. The intention was to lift you up with spiritual anxiety. The purpose was called Heresy meaning to TAKE you away for their own USES.
These burdens are defined as "spiritual anxiety created by religious ritual. By definition, a Pharisee would change the "music" which according to Plato means that they "are changing the laws." One cannot be a private layman and be a hypocrite, Ray!
"And all their works they do for to be seen of men.
For they make their phylacteries broad, and enlarge their fringes.
And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues.
And salutations in the market place, and to be called by men, Rabbi" (Matt., xxiii, 1-8).
Then follows the terrible arraignment of the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy, their rapacity, and their blindness (ibid., 13-36).
And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the market places, Mark 12:38
And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Mark 12:39
They consumed the widow's livlihood and repaid her by making a long prayer. That is, they sold their litugrical magic:
Which devour (eat down) widows houses, and for a pretense (show) make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation. Mark 12:40
In today's Pharisee profession the theatrical performers (hypocrites) use "the idolatry of talent" often deliberately "take away the key to knowledge" just to substitute their own "songs" and then pretend that this is the magical "God manipulation" which earns them a tithe even from the widow on wellfare.
You cannot sell the vocal teaching of the Word to the broader world. Therefore, non-instrumentalist cannot be honestly called Pharisees.
Ray Downen: "God's people today do not do well to imitate the Pharisees. God gave no law to take the place of the one which was figuratively "nailed to the cross." God's people today live by grace through faith and not by law. We are called to holiness, for we are called to live like Jesus did, to love as Jesus did, to serve God as Jesus did while on earth.
Jesus castigated the Scribes, Pharisees and Hypocrites. The Hypocrites were a SECTARIAN GROUP. They included rhetoricians, sOPHISts (serpents in Revelatio), singers and musicians. The Scribes were the "doctors of the law" who took away the key to knowledge. They were legalists because they "parceled out the Law" like a preacher.
Jesus never condemned a single person for obeying HIS LAW. The Pharisees made up their own worship practices to fit the culture to steal the houses of widows. That is, take their money for preaching or praying or singing.
All of history knows that their is NOTHING more labor intensive and therefore legalistic than USING music and musicians to ENHANCE what Jesus died ot remove to give us REST. Rest is almost devoted to saying: stop the preaching, stop the singing, stop the instrument players.
Furthermore, MUSIC as "prophesying" is the WORLD'S OLDEST PROFESSION. Emotionally or sexually abnormal people became priests and prophets. The SUPERSTITION has always been that you can appese or even threaten the "gods" by perversion and music.
The concept of salvation by grace through faith always misses the FIRST half of Ephesians Chapter Two. Paul defines baptism as being raised with Christ just as he does in Colossians 2 and Romans 6. The command for baptism is a "statement of cause and effect" and that makes it a LAW. But, not as Paul would say The law of Moses. Click for Ephesians Two which is used in error as salvaton by faith only.
The law "nailed to the cross" did not obliterate the Covenant of Abraham which he kept by keeping God's laws, decrees and ordinances (Gen 26:5).
The Law Nailed was the one imposed at Mount Sinai. The "because of transgression" which is identified was "rising up to play." This was Egyptian, musical idolatry.
David IMPOSED the musical instruments to the BURNING of animals for dedication or purification of king, kingdom, city and temple. Since music was added by "the king and commanders of the army" purification would include exterminating the enemies.
There was no "culture of music as part of the private worship of the people." There was no music or "praise singing in the synagogue." Therefore, one does not need a LEGAL PROHIBITION to quite doing what the people had never done.
The way to live by grace is NOT to impose the Levitical musicians which had validity only in Canaan, in connection with animal sacrifices and then only for dedication, purificatiion or "plague stopping ceremonies."
The Catholic Encyclopedia continues:
"This great work, however, was marred by many defects and limitations. Though standing for the spiritualizing tendency,
Pharisaism developed a proud and arrogant orthodoxy and an exaggerated formalism,
which insisted on ceremonial details
at the expense of the more important precepts of the Law (Matt., xxiii, 23-28).
The "weightier matter" of the gospel was that pastor-teachers should assemble the people to teach them the Word, to honor Christ without honoring the 'humming team' during the Lord's Supper and to take care of one another's needs.
Modern Pharisees would silence teaching the songs and sermons of God through the Bible and introduce a new Law of musical performance which takes away the key to knowledge.
Romans 15 this is "that which is written."
Ephesians 5 this is truth or the Spirit which is the Word of Christ (John 6:63)
Colossians 3 this is th Word of Christ which is the INSPIRED text.
Musical sectarians insist on the ceremonial details of musical performance knowing that it will drive out and disenfranchise those whom they are pledged to serve.
The clergy did that in Amos: replaced feeding the people with the Word and replaced it with musical ceremonialism. The people hungered and thirsted for the Word, could not find it from their clergy and were taken into captivity.
Not in the vilest pagan temple did singers, musicians or preachers ever enter into the holy precincts. The Levitical Warrior musicians never entered into the Holy Place even to clean out garbage. Click for the picture in Amos.
Rubel Shelly connects the non-instrumental position to the Pharisees at the time of Jesus. He does further to associate the non-instrumentalist with firebombers of restraunts, destroyers of animal research or assaulting people who wear fur.
However, we should remember that it was the Clergy and Temple system which tracked Jesus down and had Him killed because He turned out not to be the literal, carnal David type of king who would allow them to continue to prosper selling sick lambs and ripping off the widow's mites and even their houses.
The Pharisees were the most dedicated to honoring the Law of Moses. However, they were hypocrites. This is part of the message of Messiah: that none of the religious systems grasped the spiritual nature of the Covenant and were in error to see the Temple rituals as having any spiritual value.
The problem with the Pharisees was that they used "the law of silence" or were Post-Modern in believing that God wouldn't mind if they changed the rituals to meet the needs of a changing culture. It would also help the cash-flow from widows "pledging their homes" to raise money for the system.
> Not adding instruments to the Jewish assembly (synagogue) or its equivalent Greek ekklesia is
Based on remaining faithful to the negative uses of music in the Old Testament,
The fact that the Qahal or assembly or "church in the wildnerness" must not use the ALARM. This was blowing instruments and 'making a joyful noise before the Lord'." This was the Warrior's Panic music. Later Israelites understood that Music was not to be used in the synagogue which, like the ekklesian Christ built, was a school of the Bible and not a pagan worship center. There never was a praise service in the synagogue or early church of Christ.
The fact that the common people did not worship with music on the Sabbath.
The Intertestament period which rejected instruments,
The events in the life of Jesus,
The direct command to teach rather than sing,
The entire understanding of the ancient scholars,
The views in the Catholic Encyclopedia,
The views of all of the Reformers and
The fact that instruments always sowed discord and "offended many of these little ones."
> Instrumental music and choirs or "mediating teams" are not added because of a scriptural mandate or even a "Christian principle" in favor of it. Rather, like the first instruments added by Catholics it is in the interest of, as Dr. Shelly says, "becoming as much like others as possible" in the interest of becoming all things to all people.
This freedom to "fill in the blanks" or just ignore the direct commands is the true definition of Pharaseism:
THEN came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, (book writers, preachers) which came from Jerusalem. Mark 7:1
And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. Mark 7: 2
The "common" people could RECITE or TEACH that which is written without any anxiety creating ritual. A Pharisee would insist on ADDING something to gain control and insist on ceremonial details knowing that they were deliberately sowing discord.
Dr. Rubel Shelly insists that the Pharisees made this into a law and imposed it. This is then equated to non-instrumentalists who impose "not doing something" based on the same principle. He uses proof texts to show that the Pharisees saw washing of hands as necessary to come into Gods presence.
However, defiled does not mean sinful but contaminated.
Koinos (g2839) koy-nos'; prob. from 4862; common, i.e. (lit.) shared by all or several, or (cer.) profane: - common, defiled, unclean, unholy.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common; Ac.2:44
The custom did not make it so. We shake hands at church or visit the junk shop and wash our hands before we eat. I still like to wash my pots and pans before cooking or eating from them. This was just the tradition of the "washed" while the disciples of Jesus were the "unwashed." They might drop a dead fish and pick up a piece of bread and I wouldn't want to let them hand me food. However, they had their tradition as the Jews had their right. Not washing hands after petting the wet dog will not make us "holy" and non-hypocrites.
However, if we make a great stink disparaging those who do not endorse instrumental music but refuse to sing the Word of Christ or Spirit even with "played" music we may be hypocrites.
There is no connection here between going to God's Holy Mountain!
For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. Mark 7: 3
And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not, And many other things there be,
[Can't you see that they washed their hands in preparation for eating -- not in going to God's holy hill in Jerusalem?]
Except they PLAY instruments they SING not!
which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Mark 7: 4
Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? Mark 7:5
Jesus didn't give us "liberty" to eat out of contaminated pots and pans or eat without washing the "brethren" off. Rather,
> He asked why the Pharisees were so careful about the external body which was actually commendable.
> But at the same time they were so "unwashed" and ignorant that they thought that they could make up their own "worship" plans to ignore the Word of God in "song and sermon."
Does this condemn as Pharisees those who take baths AND obey the commandments of Christ? We think not.
We believe that this applies to those who don't eat with the pigs but are quite willing to make up their own "traditions of the elders" about what to teach in sermons, sing in songs, play with instruments and practice before the watching world.
They might make a panic-like attack upon churches of Christ but "eat and drink" with every other religious group under the sun. In fact, go quite radical in inventing epithets to apply to those who will not worship with those who are unwashed in the baptism sense. Rubel Shelly makes wine-drinking a lower order element of fellowship because "what are we gonna do with those who have wine in the fellowship meals?"
Now, the sin was not in washing hands (not playing instruments) but the sin was assuming that God's commands were permissive. That is, the law of silence permitted them to introduce new practices.
He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Mark 7: 6
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Mark 7: 7
For laying aside the commandment of God,
ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. Mark 7: 8
Hupokrin� reply, make answer, expound, interpret, explain, speak in dialogue, hence play a part on the stage, deliver a speech, declaim, of orators and rhetoricians, use histrionic arts, exaggerate, represent dramatically,
rh�tor-ikos, techn� (craftsmen in Revelation 18)
I. an interpreter or expounder, Plat., Luc.
II. one who plays a part on the stage, a player, actor, Ar., Plat., etc.2. metaph. a pretender, dissembler, hypocrite, NTest.
Often appears with:
Pharisaios 1 a Pharisee, Separatist (from pharash, to distinguish), one of a sect who separated themselves from other Jews as affecting superior holiness. [Why else would they want to get PAID?]
Definition: d�mag�ge�: to be a leader of the people, licence, arrogance, turann�n: curry favour with, conciliated by popular arts: psuchag�ge�, ton pothon (yearning, regret) of a work of art, to theatron (drama, music) introduce measures so as to win popularity, h�don�n charizesthai (pleasure, lusts; erotic sense, grant favours to a man) t�i pl�thei (a large crowd). See how the NEW STYLE WORSHIP has taken you captive by strange people
Thespesios (theos, root sep, espete): divinely uttered or uttering (thespesiē, ‘by divine decree,’ Il. 2.367), divine; aoidē, Il. 2.600; Seirēnes, ‘heavenlysinging,’ Od. 12.158 ; bēlos, ‘of heaven,’ Il. 1.591; then of anything prodigious, vast, wondrous, mighty, a storm, clamor, panic, etc.—Adv., thespesiōs, Il. 15.637.
A Lying Wonder includes musical performance pretending to be for God.
aoidos ( [aeid�] ) singer, minstrel, bard,
2. fem., SONGSTRESS, polu�dris a. Id.15.97 ; of the nightingale, Hes.Op.208; of the Sphinx, S.OT36, E.Ph.1507 (lyr.); aoidos MOUSA (muses of Revelation 18)5. = eppsdē, spell, incantation, “okhēes ōkeiais . . anathrōskontes aoidais” A.R.4.42, cf. 59. Cf. ōdē. [Dissyll. in Hes.Th.48 (unless lēgousi t' aoidēs be read) and in Pi. l.c. (unless melizen be read).]
The MUSES were the musical performers turned into LOCUSTS because they failed to honor the Mother of the Gods. They were under the direction of Apollo who is Abaddon or Apollyon. Apollo restores the muses or LOCUSTS as end-time MARKERS.
And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; Rev 18:22
The CRAFTSMEN were the techne who were "theater builders and stage managers."
Musical sectarianism lays aside the commandments of God and uses the Law of Silence to make a new legalism based on the traditions of men. They even call their worship ministry: "The Levites." Some call themselves priests and mediators.
Now the sin is not in washing hands. The sin began in laying aside the commandments of God as authority. This then permitted them to put their whole focus upon washing hands (playing instruments in our parable).
The specific sin condemned by Isaiah had a cause:
WOE to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices. Isaiah 29:1
Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel. Isaiah 29:2
And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee. Isaiah 29:3
And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. Isaiah 29: 4
The familiar spirit was actually a musical instrument. Most instruments were believed to be the homes of the gods. The witch could mumble or whisper into it and the echoing sound was interpreted as a message from the god:
Owb (h178) obe; from the same as 1 (appar. through the idea of prattling a father's name); prop. a mumble, i. e. a water-skin (from its hollow sound); hence a necromancer (ventriloquist, as from a jar): - bottle, familiar spirit.
This is quite identical to the psaltery which had the guts stretched across it so that it was a "beast" or lifeless instrument which could still speak:
Nebel (h5035) neh'-bel; from 5034; a skin- bag for liquids (from collapsing when empty); hence a vase (as similar in shape when full); also a lyre (as having a body of like form): - bottle, pitcher, psaltery, vessel, viol
The Greeks in Corinth had a high-tek familiar spirit:
Chalkos (g5475) khal-kos'; perh. from 5465 through the idea of hollowing out as a vessel (this metal being chiefly used for that purpose); copper (the substance, or some implement or coin made of it): - brass, money.
The resounding was:
Echeo (g2278) ay-kheh'-o; from 2279 (roar, confused, sound); to make a loud noise, i.e. reverberate: - roar, sound.
The Classical writers define this as the device supplied by the gods.
Isaiah then speaks what Jesus quoted. He defines a Pharisee as one who removes their heart from the Lord but "for a pretense" replace His Words with their own words:
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me,
but have removed their heart far from me,
and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Isaiah 29:13
Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder:for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. Isaiah 29:14
It seems to this writer that the Pharisees are the same people who in Isaiah assumed that God NOT covering every possible situation gave them divine permission to fill in with their own teachings.
The musical Law of Silence says: God has not made a law against instruments. Therefore, we will just replace God's Spirit Word with songs "taught by the precepts of men."
For this presumption, which involved the praise singing with instruments, God just as at Mount Sinai blinded the eyes of the Pharisee's ancestors so that they could not see the spiritual meaning in the Word.
Ezekiel has God saying it this way:
Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. Ezekiel 33:30
And they come unto thee as the people cometh,
- and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words,
- but they will not do them:
- for with their mouth they shew much love,
- but their heart goeth after their covetousness. Ezekiel 33:31
And, lo, thou art unto them
- as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice,
- and can play well on an instrument:
- for they hear thy words,
- but they do them not. Ezekiel 33:32
And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them. Ezekiel 33:33
Of all of the clergy:
And he said unto them,
- Full well ye reject the commandment of God,
- that ye may keep your own tradition. Mark 7: 9
Now, Jesus has repudiated the Pharisees and the Jews which He uses in a derogatory sense. Why? Because Pharisees do two things to qualify:
- > They reject the command of God
- In order to observe their own traditions.
- > Because fun and games reap greater profit that justice and righteousness.
Denying that God has "commands, examples and inferences" and that they are authority for our lives is one side and adding instrumental music is telling God "Depart from us, we desire not the knowledge of they ways."
This is the only "pattern" we can find.
So, if we wanted to be judgmental we might ask: "Who is the Pharisee?"
> Those who reject the authority of the word and push instrumental music when one expert whines that if we don't "we will have to worship in a telephone booth." Music to the rescue was identical to the Pharisees whose practices are equated to singing with instruments in Ezekiel.
> or those who accept the command of God and "play" the "instrument" God gave us for spiritual worship - the voice and human heart?
The attempt to triumph over Jesus in Psalm 41 was with instrumental music:
And there is no rest for me in my trial. They sound my censure upon a harp and their murmuring and storming upon a zither." Ps.41:11 They have overtaken me in a narrow pass (gap) without escape
Nevertheless, In Victory:
18 I will groan with the zither of lamentation
- in all grief-stricken mourning and bitter complaint
until iniquity and wickedness are consumed
- and the disease-bringing scourge is no more.
Then will I play on the zither of deliverance
- and harp of joy,
on the tabors of prayer and the pipe of praise
- without end.
XV. A Psalm. Of Solomon. With a Song.
- I hoped for the help of the God of Jacob and was saved;
- 2 For the hope and refuge of the poor art Thou, O God.
- 3 For who, O God, is strong except to give thanks unto Thee in truth?
- 4 And wherein is a man powerful except in giving thanks to Thy name?
- 5 A new psalm with song in gladness of heart,
- The fruit of the lips with the
- well-tuned instrument of the tongue,
- The firstfruits of the lips from a pious and righteous heart
- 1 When I was in distress I called upon the name of the Lord,
Jesus might have meant that they could keep on washing their hands before eating but at the same time practice judgment, mercy and faith. However, the issue was of the heart:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for ye devour widows houses,
and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Mt.23:14
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Matthew 23:23Jn 8:35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever,
but a son abides forever.
Jn 8:36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Jn 8:37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants,
but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. Jn 8:43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.
Jn 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
Jesus called them hypocrites by quoting Isaiah and againEzek. 33:30 Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people
still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses,
and speak one to another, every one to his brother,
saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.
Ezek. 33:31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh,
and they sit before thee as my people,
and they hear thy words, but they will not do them:
for with their mouth they shew much love,
but their heart goeth after their covetousness.
Christ gives an example to explain those who become massed multitudes (beasts) knowing that they have no intention of listening to what He has to say:
Ezek. 33:32 And, lo, thou art unto them
as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice,
and can play well on an instrument:
for they hear thy words, but they do them not.
Ezek. 33:33 And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,)
then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.
We noted above that Jesus quoted Isaiah and the Ezekiel equivalent to define a Pharisee. Pretense would be "praise services" or a "praise team" in order to attract more people for the often-acknowledged purpose of "keeping us from having to worship in a phone booth."
Pretense would be to have a talented singing team with perfect instrumental music but the symbolism throughout the Old Testament is that those attracted often lust after "Sister Singers" and get every (every) nerve ending tickled. However, science knows perfectly well that music is one of the most mind-altering or diverting tool known to mankind.
A non-instrumental church knows that it is going to be despised and rejected by most men and that it is missing out on a very powerful weapon for paying off the new church building. However, Jesus would tell us that we would have to be innovative and substitute the attractions of the world in order to collect a crowd who hopefully will help us get out of financial difficulty. Remember old Solomon sold the cities of his own people and enslaved Israelites in order to pay off the mortgage on his temple--which God never dwelled in.
The musical overseers were "excellers" because they used instrumental music to drive the slaves (including Israelites) to make the stones move quieter and easier.
So, branding non-instrumentalists as Pharisees is turning the Words of Christ upside down.
One might not play instruments trying to appease or attract God and also be a Pharisee in the modern misunderstanding of the Word. However, if we are not changing the commandments of Christ in order to follow our own new and better laws and we are not trying to get more money out of widows and orphans then we are not hypocrite.
So, if you come in contact with a member of the church of Christ and he is not playing a harp or singing, dancing and clapping his hands don't worry: he probably is not going to kill you for wearing fur nor will he likely fire-bomb your restaurant.
Discussion of Non-Instrumentalists as Pharisees
Couner added 10/27/04 at 2200 5.06.10 6000 10.06.14 6366