Instrumental Music in Public Worship: Martin Luther

The organ in the worship Is the insignia of Baal or MARK of BAAL. The Roman Catholic borrowed it from the Jews.

See how Luther explains Romans 15 devoid of music to solve the DIVERSITY problems of Romans 14.

by 1501: "By re-introducing public worship, the reformers displaced virtually overnight a thousand years of high church ritual. The Reformation fathers condemned the Gregorian Chant for some very telling reasons, revealing along the way their own evolving concepts of music.

They objected to the distractions of elaborate vocal and instrumental music, the dangers of overly theatrical performances, the unwarranted expense of elaborate ceremonies and enormous pipe organs and the uselessness of text unintelligible to the common man.

"Contrasting the high church's entrenched musical traditions was the simple and pragmatic approach of men like Martin Luther. One of Luther's stated goals was the restoration of true worship.

He understood the tremendous benefit resulting from hearing the word of God and then uniting as a congregation to offer thanksgiving in song.

This stress on congregational participation in worship became a lynchpin of the Reformation.

In 1523, Thomas Muntzer was the first to replace the clerical choir with congregational singing, using virtually the same music. He translated the text into the vernacular--a true beginning of the restoration of biblical psalm singing among the people. Chuck From

ON MUSIC: Luther saw music not as a liturgical act but a natural talent to be used in the world:

Music is an outstanding gift of God and next to theology. I would not give up my slight knowledge of music for a great consideration. And youth should be taught this art; for it makes fine skillful people (W-T 3, No. 3815).

Nor am I at all of the opinion that all the arts are to be overthrown and cast aside by the Gospel, as some superspiritual people protest; but I would gladly see all the arts, especially music, in the service of Him who has given and created them (W 35, 474).

Martin Luther

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)

Writing on Romans 15 and 15, Luther dismissed everything but praise to God through HIS WORD as useless:

"That with one accord ye may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

52. All the good we can do to God is to praise and to thank him. This is the only true service we can render him, according to his words in Psalm 50, 23:

"Whoso offereth the sacrifice of thanksgiving glorifieth me; and to him that ordereth his way aright will I show the salvation of God."

We receive all blessings from him, in return for which we should make the offering of praise. If anything else purporting to be service to God is presented for your consideration rest assured it is erroneous and delusive.

For instance, the distracted world attempts to serve God by setting apart houses, churches, cloisters; vestures, gold-trimmed, silk and [50] every other kind;

silver vessels and images; bells and organs, candles and lamps;
the money for which expense should have been appropriated to the
poor if the object was to make an offering to God.

Further, it keeps up a muttering and wailing in the churches day and night. But true praise and honor of God, a service that cannot be confined to place or person, is quietly ignored the world over.

The pretenses of priests and monks about their system of exercises being service to the Lord, are false and delusive.

53. Service to God is praise of him. It must be free and voluntary, at table, in the chamber, cellar, garret, in house or field, in all places, with all persons, at all times. Whosoever teaches otherwise is no less guilty of falsehood than the Pope and the devil himself.

But how shall there be with us honor and praise of God, true service to him, when we neither love him nor receive his blessings? And how shall we love him when we do not know him and his blessings?

And how shall we know him and his blessings when no word is preached concerning them and when the Gospel is left to lie under the table?
Where the
Gospel is not in evidence, knowledge of God is an impossibility.

Then to love and praise him is likewise impossible. As a further consequence it is necessarily impossible for divine service to exist.

Even if all the choristers were one chorister, all the priests one priest, all the monks one monk, all the churches one church,

all the bells one bell; in brief if all the foolish services offered to God in the institutions,

churches and cloisters were a hundred thousand times greater and more numerous than they are,
--what does God care for such carnivals and juggling?

54. Therefore, God complains most of the Jews in the second chapter of Micah,

because they silenced his praise, while at the same time, they piped, blared and moaned like we do.

True divine service of praise cannot be established with revenues,
nor be circumscribed by laws and statutes.

High and low festivals have nothing to do with it.
emanates from the Gospel, and certainly is as often rendered by a poor, rustic servant as by a great bishop. [51]

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.

The First day and Seventh day were for a holy convocation. This word means to READ or give attention to the Word of God. This was like the synagogue "which never had a praise service."

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

Speaking of Psalm 150:

The same harmony of comparative thought appears in the two clauses of this verse as in such passages as 1Ki 8:13,49 Isa 62:15.

The place of worship where God specially hears prayer and accepts praise, and the firmament where angels fly at his command, and veil their faces in adoration, are each a sanctuary.

The sanctuary is manifestly here looked at as the temple of grace, the firmament as the temple of power. So the verse proclaims both grace and glory. --Martin Geier.

KURTZ "At first the church music was simple, artless, recitative. But rivalry of heretics forced the orthodox church to pay greater attention to the requirements of art. Chrysostom had to declaim against the secularization of church music. More lasting was the opposition to the introduction of instrumental music." (John Kurtz, Lutheran Scholar, Church History, Vol 1, p. 376)

"The Reformation unsealed the Psalter, so that Christ's people might once more drink freely of this fountain of salvation...The Lutheran Reformation restored congregational singing. By 1524 Luther had versified Pss 12, 67, and 130. (Int Std Bible Ency., Psalms, p. 2494A).

The practice among Reformed churches was spotty. For instance, many of the churches removed the idols, painted over the art, and destroyed the organs but some continued to use them. his continued use by the reformed church in Basel was not without opposition: Erasmus (Desiderius), the man who produced the first Greek New Testament (1517), which became the Textus Receptus, had the following to say:

"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).

"One of the developments in which Beza was of great assistance was in Reformed psalmody. Zwingli had opposed music in public worship and it was a century or so after his death before the Reformed Churches in which his influence was strong departed from that precedent.

Calvin did not go as far as Zwingli, but confined the use of music to congregational singing in unison of metrical versions of the Psalms and Canticles." (Latourette, p. 760).

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