Is Rejecting Instrumental Music in Worship Racism?

"Bob Ross says so: Did Baptists, Methodists, churches of Christ and Presbyterians reject instrumental music because they hated Yankees? "My friend said that he had been taught in the Pepperdine extension course offered at the church that there was a split in the church during the civil war that was really over slavery, but under the ruse of music differences. He thought that my opposition to instrumental music was related to my approval of slavery today."

See Bob Ross and Anti-instrumental attack.

No. Not true. To teach such nonsense means that the enemies of the American Restoration effort have no knowledge of the entire Old Testament history of music as worship. They do not comprehend the New Testament and have no knowledge of the history of the church's struggle against attempting to worship God with machines. 1800 years of scholarship rejected the use of music before there was an American Civil war, racists or Southern red-necks liars. Jesus warned that the "Doctors of the Law always take away the key to knowledge."


C. B. Arnette, Those East Main Street People and their Houses, Murfreesboro, TN, writes the history of buildings including the Church of Christ. Woodson-Choate in Blue

  1. Sometime after the forming of the Church of Christ in Murfreesboro, TN a "house of worship was built" and they met in January, 1833 with Tolbert Fanning preaching the first sermon.

  2. "Despite any claim to the contrary, it is unmistakably evident by 1848 that the introduction of the organ into the worship of the Restoration churches was becoming a point of contention.

  3. A document was registered in Murfreesboro, TN on July 22, 1851 nothing that the East Main Street Church of Christ "has lately erected a house of worship."

  4. James R. Garfield as part of the occupying army, participated in the worship of East Main Street Church of Christ in 1863.  He led the communion and the singing was a capella.

  5. In 1866 Alfred Blackman deeded to Christian Church and also Church of Christ.
    Church of Christ exists in 1833
    New building errected in 1863
    Christian church gets property in1866
    No "fellowship existed."
  6. That proves that the Christian Church after the war COULD HAVE met with an existing Church of Christ BUT had already SECTED OUT of the Restoration Movement as part of the Society and Organ FACTION. That was long before 1906.

  7. J. E. Choate and Woodson, Clanging Brass, note: We suggest Restoration historians look elsewhere for causes leading to the division of the Restoration churches in 1906. As a matter of fact, churches did divide indiscriminately over the organ, North and South, and also East and West." (p. 39)

  8. "As a matter of fact only one church in 1870 in Memphis had adopted an organ and there were only six churches in Tennessee at the turn of the century. The leading Southern writer, David Lipscomb, did not see it as important at the time.

  9. The Taking Captive of churches of Christ didn't really get under way until about 1887: that was when PSALLO was first invented to try to force the organ into peaceable churches.

  10. A convention was called and Myher was sent out to promote a denominational structure under the Missionary Society. As well, he intended to introduce the organ in every church in Tennessee.

  11. Andres Ivarson Myher was brought from Missouri to Nashville as an evangelist of the Missionary Society. He began in 1890 at $1500 per annum plus expenses; Lipscomb noted that he was paid more than the state governor.

  12. But some organists made over $5,000.oo to ATTRACT the crowds. Of course it was big money if you could sign up even the children in Tennessee as Life Members, sell the Bibles, "authorized" song books and Bible School literature.

  13. It is noted that Myher had subscribed to the idea that the Old Testament was not inspired but was influenced by the myths and legends of the time. If Myher had remained in Norway or St. Louis there might still be no division.

  14. "In 1905 the pro-organ sect made a surprise announcement. They had written Dr. J. H. Thayer of Harvard University for his scholarly opinion on the meaning of psallo. The letter was passed on to Dr. J. H. Ropes as Dr. Thayer had died.
Dr Rope's decision was as clear and sweeping as that of Judge Cooper.
The harp was not inherent in psallo even as far back as the Septuagint (250 B.C.).
Dr. Ropes stated that psallo did not include the harp in the beginning of the Christian era if it ever had.
Dr. Ropes, a liberal higher critic, favored the organ and deplored that Christians could seek a uniform method.
This was the old J. Carol Stark and George P. Slade contention that
should have been long dead in the water, but it is still swimming today." (p. 116)
Of course  NO  scholar ever DEFINED Psallo as  meaning to PLAY an instrument: the Lexicons simply show in WHAT CONNECTIONS the word PLUCK is used.  While one PLUCKS a harp string  you ALWAYS have to define WHAT is to be plucked.

Rubel Shelly uses the same Race Card even today. At the same time, non-instrumentalists are uniquely singled out as being racists.

One apostle of love is so sure that levels of fellowship have been established. The first level of pyramid power is the "Jesus only" theme. Just the CORE, no doctrine and no APPLE can be used to decide whom we must fellowship.

The second level of fellowship is wine drinking (ten times). We have less demand to fellowship wine drinkers than the Just Jesus band.

The third level of fellowship is based on whether we fellowship churches who use instrumental music as worship -- even those who have tossed out the original owners and installed instruments using stealth technology.

One can be a Just Jesus -- stripped of His teachings or doctrine -- and be saved. One can be a wine drinker and we probably need to fellowship them. However, not attending churches which use instrumental music is the base of the fellowship pyramid at which one has been anathematized.

Just Jesus




If we expected any logic then to fellowship churches which don't fellowship every ecumenical group under the sun would in itself be a sin.

One is cast into outer darkness where there is weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth -- without even the toot of a flute. That is because those who don't have the time or inclination of the underemployed are:

"Fratricidal, traditionalist, legalists, attitude of superiority, unChristian posture, schismatic, Satanic, sectarian, idolatrous, irrelevant, just pushing junk." The same people who don't have the time or inclination to "fellowship" musical churches are said to preach an "ology" of church which is decadent and deliterious. To those without doctorates, that is rotten and destructive. Click or not.

To that we must add "pharisaical and racist."

If you say that white is black Paul understood that "fools love to be fooled."

Notes from a Baptist pastor who apparently has links to some college:

"Several times I have been contacted by persons who have expressed appreciation for the help received from my writings on Campbellism, and some have even been ministers of the Church of Christ. One minister, who heard one of my debates when he was then a teenager, said he read my books, and now is a teacher in a Church of Christ college, teaching the history of the Restoration Movement just as I have written it. Another minister whom I debated years ago is now an advocate of justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ [Who isn't?], which he did not believe when he and I debated. A Church of Christ gentlemen in Missouri recently sent me some materials he is using in his classes, and it was composed of photo-copied materials from my books. Bob Ross

This writer also includes Bill Swetmon as one of his own in defending instrumental music against the "legalists" at the Freed Hardeman Preacher's Forum which resulted in a more pro- than anti- instrumental argument. And he lauds those teaching a direct operation of the Holy Spirit and those who deny the almost-universal view of the necessity of baptism before Zwingli (1500s) gave rise to John Smyth in the 1600s.

The friend might be Carroll D. Osburn who claims to be training Prophets, Chanellers and Facilitators to go out and subvert churches of Christ. Well known to Jesus is the fact that doctors of the law "take away the key to knowledge." "Scholars" get their information from other scholars who have never read the original. We will prove to you that this fellow cannot even quote Luther and others straight.

So, If the curriculum for the Restoration Movement comes from the wrong source you might wind up believing the wrong history.

First, the non-musical churches did not refuse to fellowship musical churches.

Music simply did not exist except among Anglican- or Church of England influence, and was not part of the scholarship or culture of worship among Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians who restored themselve. Music was not there to reject based on racism! It is a fact that the dominant method of singing has more in common with the Southern black experience than with the Bible.

The church of England tried to remove instruments but was vetoed by Queen Elizabeth who loved the musical pomp.

Grasp that point. Even during and following the civil war, instrumental worship was not there to divide over among most Baptists, Presbyterians and Christian churches! It - was - not - an - issue! So there could be no petty, peeved, puling, psalloed, people to do a "nah, nah, nah" at the Yankees wheezing their organs!

On the other hand, it is clear that the Baptist church was the church of the slave owners. It believed that God COULD NOT let them be defeated because Lee and Jackson were the apostles of the confederacy. The great dissapointment forever divided the Baptists into racist groups repudiated only in the last few decades.

Fron The American Religion, Harold Bloom, p. 191f

"Ahlstrom's judgment was based upon, and supported by, W. W. Sweet's remarkable compendium of source materials, Religion on the American Frontier: The Baptists, 1783-1830 (1932).

Sweet's collection of documents shows how difficult it was for Baptists to institutionalize their essentially experiential (Gnostic) faith,

even just before Cane Ridge.

"The minutes of their meetings regularly speak of accepting new members on the evidence of "a relation of their experience,"

with their auditors judging the authenticity of the accounts, presumably by comparing these to memories of their own conversionary experiences.

"The followers of the Campbells and of Barton Stone merely confessed Jesus as their savior, without needing to personalize the confessions.

In the same way, Baptist sinners would be readmitted to membership on their own testimony in regard to repenting of fighting, gambling, sexual misconduct, swearing, "immoral dancing," and Masonic activities.

"Mystical Baptists, illuminated by the inner light of the Lord's candle, tended to be skeptical of evangelicism. I find in this the seeds, however remote, of what the Southern Baptist Convention now calls the Controversy, the struggle between Moderates and Fundamentalists. But these seeds grew crookedly in the furrow, and the anti-intellectualism inherent in that crusade against missions eventually became the almost lunatic resentment of mind in the currently dominant Fundamentalists of the Southern Baptist Convention. The mystical inwardness went one way, the fear of learning the other, but that will be a later story.

"It is a leap forward from the antimission agitation of the early decades of nineteenth-century Baptist religion in the South, to the actual rise of Southern Baptists

as the Established Church of the Old South, and then of the Confederacy and Reconstruction and on into our own day.

"I am pretty well convinced, as I have intimated earlier, that Mormonism will become the dominant religion of the entire American West, a process that is already well under way.

"The Southern Baptist Convention is already the prevailing faith of the South and Southwest. These experiential beliefs are antithetical to one another; they are rival American Gnosticisms, and may well dispute the spiritual future of our nation.

"There is a shadow upon both religions, which each has attempted to eliminate. African-Americans are not numerous among the Mormons, but technically they are now welcome.

"So long and vexed is the Southern Baptist relation, first to slavery and then to the immense struggle for African-American rights, that I must evade any true sketch of it here.

It is a dismal record, though not of course unique among the Christian churches of the United States.

Before and following the Civil War, Northern churches fought one another about the forced introduction of instrumental worship. This never took place in the South. The northern churches charged those restoring Law-based worship with being sectarians because they were. Let's look at the history:

The view "held in toto" for all more than two thousand years was that Psallo does not permit instruments. Nor does "worship in spirit and in truth permit instruments." The literature, pro and con, are in agreement with that.

The view of our branch of Protestants (Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians) held the vew in toto against musical instruments. Many Baptists and Presbyterians still do. The official position of the Catholic church is decidedly against non-biblical material and instruments. See our Music Index.

The American Restoration Movement brought this view with them and did not invent it.

A sectarian is one who creates "a division and the formation of a party or 'sect' in contrast to the uniting power of 'the truth,' held in toto; 'a sect' is created "generally with the expectation of personal advantage." (Vine)

The first Christian churches to add instruments and try to force them into the churches in the South needed no Biblical authority: they just needed more members to compete with others. Therefore, those who added instruments were the sectarians. (See J. W. McGarvey's northern experience)

Musical churches, from time to time, try through "unity forums" to evangelize non-musical churches. Those who through weakness fall for the teaching, in turn, attempt to evangelize others to their view. (This is one of the most ancient traditions). To that extent, they are the new sectarians. This is proven by the acknowledgement that "we need to attract new members" where paying the bills is one motive. The only ones who have an "expectation of personal advantage" are the staff clergy which does not want to obey Christ and "go into all the world."

The people with a Biblical background and a spiritual sensibility could not, therefore, be the Pharisees or Sectarians because they have no expectation of a financial gain, and instead have the expectation of being labeled "racist Pharisees" and, to the extent it is legally possible, eleminated (Machiavelli) or exterminated (Hitler).

Once instruments became common in Northern churches, the promoters attempted to force the Missionary Society and the Organ into peaceful non-musical churches totally in fellowship with one another in the South before the forced "shotgun marriage" with the Society accompanied with organ music.

When the force change agents refused to quit trying to divide and conquer the peaceful "natives," the Southern writers began to write and preach that people should not listen to them and create division by adding instruments. History shows that overwhelmingly the Southern church members were totally Biblical literate and understood why they did not use instruments. It simply would not have occured to them to invite such an unauthorized and destructive, non-speaking, non-breathing machine into the "choir." In fact, in Tennessee and Alabama, the Stone Restoration movement did not often 'convert people.' It was only when the preachers began to preach what the people already understood about baptism that they found an audience.

Therefore, most of the American Restoration Movement was a people in search of a leader who would affirm their understanding of the Bible. But then preachers always take the credit.

It was only when non-musical Christians refused to worship at musical churches (they had their own congregations, you know.) that musical churches charged them with dividing the church.

Those who teach what they believe are always considered divisive by those who want to force their opinion on them. There is a well-established "Guilt Principle" which upsets all of the laws of logic, common sense and common decency.

It is true that men like Garfield came to Murfreesboro, Tennessee and essentially agreed that churches of Christ should stay out of the war because they were pacifists. The good future general and president returned North and raised an army at Bethany. It is also true that the Northern churches publicly branded Southern churches as traitors. Because there are not "Northern churches" in the "South" and because there is no denominational organization there simply is no need to "fellowship" those a thousand miles away.

To try to restrict or enlarge a "fellowship" is to promote a denomination. Therefore, you should understand that churches of Christ are congregational and recognize no "fellowship" or "denominational" control.

As a result, the decision of how to worship and whom to fellowship is based upon freedom of belief and freedom of association. Division was created when one group presumed to form a denominational structure to govern who, what and when worship and fellowship would be extended. It is a simple fact that it is almost impossible to "fellowship" other churches in the city when you are involved in the work of the church and too busy to buzz around like flies.

The "division over music" was fought out in the North and violently opposed by Northern Christians long before there was a Civil War. And this division happened in all denominations and groups not related to the church of England who had fought their own losing battle against instruments.

The division occurred closer to the turn of the century when there was no widespread instrumental music used in any denomination in the south. The break came because some people decided they needed the power and respectability and money available only through a denominational organization whose "mission field" included Tennessee. While there was little concern over instruments or societies in the South at the time, the "St. Louis" and the "Cincinnati" centers sent missionaries to Tennessee specifically to win churches over to the Missionary Society and to introduce organs.

Even then, the "division" was for churches under attack simply to refuse to participate with them in their indoctrination meetings or their music. This, of course, included many other things such as "open membership" and accepting as members unbaptized people.

The "Guilt Principle" of course blames the problem on those who refused to submit to being run over theologically and organizationally and financially.

Again, we ask:

Did Southern churches of all stripes refuse to accept instrumental music and denominational organization because Northern churches began the practice first and Southerners just hate Yankees and are racists?

Well, that is one of those arguments adduced when nothing else seems to work.

The 1950 "jubilee year" like all "observing of days" seems to bring the kooks out into the daylight. We know, for instance, that after world war two, the feeling of infallibility from winning the war created a violent backlash when we still had to fight wars, got to colleges, earn a living and fight bad breath.

Musicologists defining the rise of Jazz and other music forms note that in the 1950s the loss of confidence brought out the charismatics and a radical change to church music. For instance, the pope who was strongly against contemporary music at the turn of the century signed on to changes in the 1950s. The old hymn books became obsolete and shades of jazz, Rock and even Voodoo filtered in from Black society which had always lived on the ragged edges because of Racism. 150 years earlier, at Cane Ridge, this same pre-emancipation music was a strong influence among those who were just as enslaved by Calvinists and were looking for "signs" of God's approval. The Black religious experience found ready acceptance among whites who might have believed themselves racists.

See the voodoo connection.

The fact is that music is often a way to soothe the pain and as an expression of lostness. Many now urging the use of music to bring the attendance back up also have an urge to find the lost "God" and bring the worshipers into His presence, or have Him land on the "team" as a platform. Indeed, a radical change in music has always been considered the "dying songs of a dying civilization" and not a sign of confidence.

The racists charge seems convenient just now as it was during the last "Jubilee" period:

"In the 1950s, Restoration historians played down the role of the societies and instrumental music as the leading causes of separation in 1906. They surmised that environmental factors rooted in the Civil War created a gulf between the North and South... The assertion that the Christian Church in the North adopted the organ and that the Christian Church in the South rejected the organ because of its northern connection remains unproved. (p. 37-38)

If the racism charge is correct then the northern churches adopted instruments because they were not racists and southern churches refused to follow the leader because they were racists. But racism has never known a border while commercial domination has.

However, music defenders would now suggest that music is the bridge to reconciliation because even Southern red-necks love music. Could Nashville, the Grand Ole Opry, Hee Haw and the Hootenanny suggest that Southerners reject secular music just because the Yankees love music? Quite insane!

Choate - Woodson note that the-

"Despite any claim to the contrary, it is unmistakably evident by 1848 that the introduction of the organ into the worship of the Restoration churches was becoming a point of contention.

This was seven years before Tolbert Fanning and William Lipscomb began publishing the Gospel Advocate. And it was eleven years before Dr. L. L. Pinkerton brought the melodeon into the Midway, Kentucky, Christian Church. This was done over bitter protests." (p. 21) [That is in the north]

Almost the entire battle over instrumental music was fought on Northern territory.

"music debate" got underway in 1865, its principles were, each and all, northern residents such as John W. McGarvey and Issac Errett.

"In all that was written by the "Disciples" during the war years and after the war, not one writer, North or South, even suggested that sectional differences played any role at all in the instrumental music debate.

We suggest Restoration historians look elsewhere for causes leading to the division of the Restoration churches in 1906. As a matter of fact, churches did divide indiscriminately over the organ, North and South, and also East and West." (p. 39)

No rebels up there! This was in about 1859 over the protest of the elders. The "Dr." put it in; an elder and an African American took it out through a window, the preacher put it back in." Probably no elder in Restoration history introduced an organ. By this time the Restoration Movement which had no room for "located evangelists" were organizing along denominational lines so that the "minister" became "master" and certainly exhibited no Christian principles. Shortly before the war L. L. Pinkerton, head of the Kentucky Female Orphan School and minister of the church in Midway, Kentucky boasted:

"So far as is known to me, I presume to you, I am the only 'preacher' in Kentucky of our brotherhood who has publicly advocated the propriety of employing instrumental music...and that the Church of God in Midway, Kentucky is the only church that has made a decided effort to introduce it." (p. 22) (1959)

Earl West, in The Instrumental Music Issue (Ferguson, Lewis, West) noted that:

"Pinkerton, however, was not althogether accurate in his facts for when John Boggs visited the services at the Sixth Street Church in Cincinatti where D. D. burnet preached in 1855, he found that the church was using the instrument in worship along with 'crimson cushions' and 'rented pews." (p. 61)

History of Cincinnatt 442 The Mt. Healthy Christian Church was organized October 12, 1839, with twenty-seven members, among whom were David S. Burnet, the pastor; Reuben S. Compton, clerk; Joseph H. Virgin, John T. Snodgrass, William Durham, Joseph C. Dawson, Samuel Cook and Isaac Sparks. James McCash and Aaron Lane were the first. elders. Prominent among the early preachers were David S. Burnet, Walter Scott, James Challen, Dr. Pinkerton and Benjamin Franklin. The first place of worship was the union chapel. The first church stood at the corner of Harrison and Fourth streets. The present church is a frame structure on Harrison street, and was dedicated at Easter, 1885. Rev, A. McLean was pastor at that time. and has been succeeded by Revs. Frank Dowling, C. J. Tanner, E. E. Curry, W. J. Wright and A. Chapman.

445. A ladies' seminary of some celebrity was conducted many years ago on the Mt. Pleasant pike, a mile south of that village, by David S. Burnet, in a large house erected by Oliver M. Spencer, a wealthy Cincinnati banker. This house was one of the largest and most pretentious in the vicinity of Cincinnati, and was known as "Spencer's Folly." Burnet's school ranked high among institutions of its class.

Alexander Campbell (north) thought that instruments were proper if:

> When the Church never had or have lost the Spirit of Christ

> If a church has a preacher who never had or has lost the Spirit of Christ, who has become a dry, prosing and lifeless preacher

> If a church only intends being a fashionable society, a mere place of amusements and secular entertainment and abandoning the idea of religion and worship

> If a church has within it a large number of dishonest and corrupt men...

> If the church has given up all idea of trying to convert the world.

The queston continued in the north even while the country was in the middle of the war.

"With the end of the war and the vast acceleration of material prosperity, together with the rapid growth of cities, the vast expansion of industrialism, and the giant influx of rural citizens to urban centers, an era of growth set in for the churches.

This was especially true in northern cities which
reaped the accruements of supplying a large succesful army.

Members of the church moved to the city-centers and shared in some of their growing wealth. "With their weekly earninga as entrepreneurs or factory workers, their contributions rose with the rise of membership, and new church buildings dotted the streets of burgeoning cities.

And churches were not hesitant to compete for the most prestigious edifices.
A resplendent church structure without an instrument seemed strangely incongruous.

The use of the instrument now possessed new inducements." (p. 63)

West points out, p. 64f, that the church in the north had organized itself into a denomination by 1849. This bundling was in part to confront growing Catholicism from an influx of Irish in the North.

Of course, evangelists who had been largely self-supporting saw the "denominational meetings" as a grand event to become known through writing and speaking.

Moses E. Lard predicted that the question of instrumental music in the churches of Christ would wreck the young restoration movement. It had everything to do with popularity and money and nothing to do with racism.

This was a 'Northern' affair being carried on in Lexington, Kentucky, and beyond. It was acknowledged that instrumental music came from "fashionable New York churches and was becoming a substitute for the simple and genuine worship of the apostolic church." The entire debate was carried out in the North. And the differences were largely settled for them between 1870 and 1880. It was still not a Southern issue.

"As a matter of fact only one church in 1870 in Memphis had adopted an organ and there were only six churches in Tennessee at the turn of the century. The leading Southern writer, David Lipscomb, did not see it as important at the time.

Again, the primary division originated in the North. For instance another organ was brought into a church in St. Louis, Missouri. The minority refused to accept the organ and withdrew. It is clear that the offender in this and all cases are those with the power to force the organ in. None of the Northern churches introduced organs without dividing the church and creating discord among brethren. This, according to J.W. MaGarvey was reason to "mark" them and shun them. But he did not and the South did not.

The "sectional" charge was made by the Northern, pro-music sectarians over people's refusal to "buy" their song books. Indeed, most "song books" have been propelled by commercial interests without regard to the truth taught in the sentimental poetry:

"Restoration historians have made much of the theory that the Christian Churches differed over the society and the organ along sectional lines. Lipscomb did not think so, nor did Issac Errett.

However, Errett [North] injected sectional differences as the root cause for Lipscomb's rejection of the society hymnal:

"We see the reaction has begun. It has been charged us [that] withal our opposition is sectional. [to the hymnal] While we know the charge to be false, and made only by men who cannot conceive of a man being actuated by other than sectional motives;

we still have never doubted that the book would be repudiated by the true brethren in every section.

"Whereupon, Lipscomb quoted Moses E. Lard who labeled the society hymnal as unfit for Christian congregations. Lard was convinced that Campbell had not given his hymnal to the society when still possessed with a sound disposing mind." This, too, was in Northern states -- not the South. (p. 76)

McGarvey, in the North, was the one who advised disfellowship with those who introduced instruments.

Lipscomb, in the South, noted that: "If we have not misunderstood their teaching, they have advised brethren to withdraw from and refuse to worship with a church which adopts an organ." With McGarvey's statement in mind, Lipscomb, at this time, would not go so far as to advise disfellowshipping the organ brethren:

"While we condemn the organ certainly as wrong, unauthorized, corrupting, we have never decided that it is Christian to go to the extremity. Churches became corrupt in primitive times and yet no such advice is given in scriptures." (p. 77)

Lipscomb wrote as late as 1878 that:

> 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 for the organ." (Sounding Brass and Clanging Cymbals, J. E. Choate and William Woodson". (p. 78).

> Of Australian Presbyterians;

When the issue was first brought up in the southern churches in 1874, one Session declared that they were "unanimously of the opinion that the use of such is both inexpedient and unscriptural and

think that those who have ventured to cast the apple of discord into our midst have much to answer for,"
and another considered that the introduction of organs "into the public worship of God is dangerous to the peace and purity of the Church."

The debate at the next Synod was the largest up until then, and the innovation was passed by a very slim majority. The dissents, appeals and protests lasted a few years, but the issue was finally settled in 1877,

the final dissent reiterating once more the regulative principle and concluding that it was "giving a place to instrumental music hitherto unknown to the worship of this Church."

The last church on the Taieri plain to have an organ introduced was East Taieri, near Mosgiel, in 1894. To a number of members, it was "equal to a sentence of excommunication,"
they now having "no Presbyterian church near Dunedin to which they can have access."

The latter-day arguements, are in fact based on the Law of Moses.

Daniel Sommer, editor of the Octographic Review, called a meeting at Sand Creek, Illinois (North) to disfellowship churches and individuals pushing the society and the organ.  This, of course, involved the Disciples trying to confiscate his church to introduce the organ.

"David Lipscommb (South) denounced the meeting since it suggested a Disciple's convention with appointed delegates. "Just another effort to organize. In turn, it was suggested that Sommers be disfellowshiped." [spiritual father of Leroy Garrett]

The authority for the introduction of organs was often pragmatic: to compete with other churches. The idea of "aiding" the singing was popular. However, it was not until the 1870's that someone hit on some obsolete definitions of psallo to prove that Paul approved, nay, demanded the use of the organ. That proof dried up by 1880 but resurfaces only after already having made the decision to divide the church over organs.

"In 1905 the pro-organ sect made a surprise announcement. They had written Dr. J. H. Thayer of Harvard University for his scholarly opinion on the meaning of psallo. The letter was passed on to Dr. J. H. Ropes as Dr. Thayer had died.

Dr Rope's decision was as clear and sweeping as that of Judge Cooper.
The harp was not inherent in psallo even as far back as the Septuagint (250 B.C.).
Dr. Ropes stated that psallo
did not include the harp in the beginning of the Christian era if it ever had.

Dr. Ropes, a liberal higher critic, favored the organ and deplored that Christians could seek a uniform method. This was the old J. Carol Stark and George P. Slade contention that

should have been long dead in the water, but it is still swimming today." (p. 116)

The Final Push

Division didn't really get under way until about 1887.

Andres Ivarson Myher was brought from Missouri to Nashville as an evangelist of the Missionary Society. He began in 1890 at $1500 per annum plus expenses; Lipscomb noted that he was paid more than the state governor.

A convention was called and Myher was sent out to promote a denominational structure under the Missionary Society. As well, he intended to introduce the organ in every church in Tennessee.

It is noted that Myher had subscribed to the idea that the Old Testament was not inspired but was influenced by the myths and legends of the time. If Myher had remained in Norway or St. Louis there might still be no division.

However, after two years of spending a lot of money, out of 50,000 disciples in Tennessee and out of 350 preachers,

there were fewer than twelve preachers present for the Woodland Street Convention.
three preachers out of 350 from Middle Tennessee attended.. Lipscomb noted that: "We do not believe that this convention work can be introduced into a single one out of 350 churches in Middle Tennessee

without bringing strife and division into that church."

So, if you look for "division" just say that the Missionary Society - pro organ sect held a party and only their disciples came.

Does remaining away from a religious meeting mean that you create division? Some would say yes!. Click to See.
They still accuse those who simply did not go along with the organ after 1800 years of scholarly opposition of being sectarians when they leave after the musical performers have stolen the church property.

In 1891 the General Missionary Society began the "census" division between the churches by counting all Christian Churches and members in the nation.

Because Myhr began counting his "flocks" and including those not part of the Missionary Society,

Lipscomb began counting churches which were not part of the society and the organ sect.

Therefore, the lie that the non-instrumentalists divided by counting churches is totally false.

In 1892, the Sand Creek Church (North) invented the "creed in the deed" to prevent the society and organ players from confiscating church property owned by others.

Only in 1895 did the Advocate shift its teaching emphasis to instrumental music. Because of Lipscomb's opposition to war this could hardly be a case of ignorant racism and retaliation for the civil war.

It was concluded that the Christian churches which attempted to force churches to join the Missionary Society and introduce organs were separated by their own actions in August, 1897. If organized and organ-ized churches continue to try to force non-musical churches to join, they have defacto decided that non-musical churches should not co-exist with musical churches.

The fact is that the disciples of Christ "wing" intended to build a strong denomination (p. 100). This metamorphosed into a full fledged denomination in the 1890s by "open membership" and by the acceptance into membership of the "pious unimmersed." The growing liberal theology was, of course, more prominent in the northern colleges. This growth produced an organization larger than the local congregation. Garrison even signed up children as LIFE MEMBERS: Shade of Jim Bakker.

"relied on strong moneyed societies, fine houses, and fashionable music, and eloquent speeches too often devoid of gospel truth." (p. 100).

This means that the denominational churches pushed the non-musical and non-organized churches "out of the nest."

"When Myhr resigned from the Missionary Society, he had altered 150 churches with 15,0000 members.

"And yet there is another side of the Myhr story. Dr. Herman Norton, distinguished Restoration historian of the Disciples of Christ, tells us something else that Myhr had done:

"But what he did not tell the deligates was that during this same period of time the work for which he had administrative responsibility

had engendered a bitter partisan spirit in almost every congregation in the state.

"He, himself, had helped sow seeds of discord. Strife, bitterness, and alienation had followed in the wake of his program activities. Where there had been one communion, admittedly with discord, when he arrived in the state, there were now two separate and distinct bodies with no meaningful communication between them. Myhr's role in bringing this about had been a major one." (p. 123)

Fixing Guilt to Warn the Disorderly

We feel like we are hallucinating when the guilt trip is placed on those who resist imposing something upon them against their will. Our simple analogy is: "I kicked him in a soft spot in church, he yelled 'ouch, stop it' and therefore he is guilty of disturbing the peace of the assembly." The result is to warn those being attacked not to resist so that "the people being invaded turn around and attack the invaders."

"To Lamar goes the credit for phrasing the 'guilt clause' which became a cardinal refrain of the organ apologists.

The organ was in the churches to stay.
next move was to fasten 'guilt' upon any person or church who would commit one of the 'seven deadly sins' by dividing the church over the organ." (p. 32)

The modern version is that to teach the Biblical facts about musical worship is divisive! Believe that?

When a field mouse has intruded into my house, cut holes in my antique radios and built a warm nest for its cute babies, should I feel guilty when I put her out into the cold or "snap snap" with a trap? I don't think so. However, this is an example of the reasoning power of those who simply do not love truth. Lamar put the punch behind the guilt clause:

"And to withdraw membership fellowship from the church or refuse to fellowship brethren who conscientiously differ with them on the subject, is so manifestly unscriptural that I am surprised to see the Times suggest even the possiblitiy of such a course." (p. 32)

The ACU "Unity Forum XII" at Abilene Christian university goes Lamar a few better. Those who refuse to fellowship musical churches are:

"fratricidal, traditionalist, legalists, attitude of superiority, unChristian posture, schismatic, Satanic, sectarian, idolatrous, irrelevant, just pushing junk."

Of course, the organ and society has been forced in order to attract the audience . That is, it is a mercinery, commercial transaction. Once the people have been offended and the instruments introduced, of course we should use psychological intimidation to force them to remain with us and "put something in the pot."

Thomas Campbell

Thomas Campbell shows from the Bible that Slavery was permitted and regulated and that God's people were often in slavery. Therefore, one does not have to look too far to find slavery in the Bible without any human reasoning. And we have no direct command not to hold slave. However, his concluding remarks were:

"Upon the whole, with respect to American slavery, wherever [7] distinguished by any inhuman and antichristian adjuncts, by any unnatural, immoral, and irreligious usages, we may justly and reasonably conclude that as Christianity and truly moralized humanity prevail,

it must and will go down; and that, in these respects, no Christian can either approve or practise it.
It may also provoke God to destroy it more speedily by terrible judgments, as in the case of Egypt, Babylon, Nineveh, and Jerusalem, wholly destroyed on account of their cruelty and oppression.

"Wherefore, it becomes the American people, both as citizens and "Christians, to consider these things, and so to discharge their duties, both civil and religious,

for the amelioration and ultimate abolition of slavery;
especially those of them that have embraced the gospel.

"They lie under special obligation to do every thing in their power for the comfort and salvation of their fellow-creatures, especially of those whom God has put under their power, as is the case with servants. Christian masters ought therefore to consider the apostolic injunctions with respect to their servants, knowing that whatever they do in obedience to Christ, and for his sake, he takes it as if done to himself.--

They should so do both with respect to the souls and bodies of their servants as they would desire to be done to them in like circumstances.

To the well known contrary, see that the Baptists as a "distinctly American religion" which, in the south, had God defendign slavery and racism, see above.

Racists in the South?

Were people in the South racists? Of course. Would we have been racists at the time? Of course. However, in Alabama I remember my father teaching and baptizing a black man. Was this racists? No. I recently found my grandfather's log book. He was a merchant and a farmer. My family (1932) and an ex-slave lived on the farm in identical housing. When my father worked, he got paid the same amount as the ex-slave. When my father got ten pounds of ham he paid the same as the ex-slave. I played with little black children and no one ever said, no!

Did blacks go to church with whites? No. Do they now? Not often. Is that Racist? Probably not: just different likes and dislikes. The Britannica notes that the separation of worship is usually based on non-Christian baggage.

Did Tolbert Fanning have to be slipped out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee for preaching against slavery? Yes. Was David Lipscomb anti-slavery? Yes.

While it is written off as feudalism or opportunism as a purely racist statement(?), in 1950 Marshall Keeble wrote:

"The door of opportunity is now open to the colored brotherhood of the church of Christ by the Gospel Advocate. For a few years the Gospel Advocate Company published the Christian Counselor [794] for the colored brotherhood, and on account of not being able to get it out regularly, I asked Brother Goodpasture to give us a page in the Gospel Advocate, which is published each week, and he has gladly consented to give us a page each week. Now we can let the whole world know what the colored churches are doing to spread the pure gospel among the colored people of America and throughout the world.

Could that be a cool, mercenary move to insert black writings and send them to the white church in 1950? Not as I remember. 1950 was long before forced integration and we are told that this relationship existed between the publisher of the Gospel Advocate for 40 years when Keeble died in 1968. Don Hames then writes that:

When Keeble died in 1968, Goodpasture preached his funeral in the auditorium of the Church of Christ in Madison, Tennessee-- one of the few buildings of the Churches of Christ that could then begin to seat all who wished to attend. Keeble and Goodpasture had by then been associated for 40 years. Goodpasture had produced Biography and Sermons of Marshall Keeble from stenographic transcriptions of the 1931 meeting in Valdosta. Keeble, 17 years older than Goodpasture, had long since requested that the younger man preside at his memorial. Whether Keeble should have performed a similar service to Goodpasture, we may never know. Had Goodpasture died first, we should have learned something more about what they really thought. Certainly now the ambiguous relations between them demand careful, critical investigation.

Well, aren't relationships between preachers, writers, publishers and everyone else "ambiguous"? Would a preacher preach without getting paid? Would the critic and judge of dead men publish the works of a conservative? Are liberals prejudiced against conservatives? Of course. And we ask, so what? Those old timers were neither as wise, liberal, intelligent nor as discerning as we moderns. If the critic inherited a cotton farm with twenty slaves in 1840 would he free the slaves? We will never know, will we?

And yet those who say that Southern churches get their anti-instrument authority out of their old, racist heads are practicing a form of cultural racism. The mercinary -- rot really ambiguous -- goal is to diminish the influence of churches which did not add musical instruments after the war when they would never have used them before the war.

Yes, unsuspecting lambs are told that "if they resist instruments now, they would have owned, used and abused their slaves before the civil war.

Indeed, "Love is a many-splintered thing."

Marshall Keeble couldn't comprehend a "North - South" conflict in the church. The reasons was not racists, as the Britannica notes, but cultural:

"There was a time that the white brethren over this country opposed holding meetings for the colored people because they feared they were too spasmodic. I have had white brethren to tell me that we ought to have done this 20 years ago (1920), Keeble, but we thought your people were excitable and spasmodic and this would not appeal to them. Thus, we didn't offer it to them. But when they called me, or called for another colored preacher and the colored man responded they forgot--

they forgot if they ever did know--that the gospel can take the dance out of the man, stop him from dancing,
pull him out from under a mourner's bench and set him up on a seat. That's all they need. But look how long the colored man suffered with a misunderstanding and a misconception of the white man.

"The same is true today. Somebody said the southern problem and the northern problem. When you meet my brethren in Christ in the north, in the south, in the east, in the west, there is no problem. My brethren in Christ today, white, are looking out every way possible to bring the negro to Christ, north, south, west and east. I see no problem. Only thing I see is this: let's carry the gospel to the lost souls of the world. And if the young man needs preparing to carry it, let's establish an institution where he can get the preparation, where he can be prepared, where he can meet these intellectual giants that come out of these sectarian colleges. I don't have nothing to boast about, but I'm just bragging a little. Now then, somebody is worried about whether a mixed faculty will work. That has come up and naturally it would come up; some white people on the faculty and some colored--will that work? Gentlemen, if it'll work in a sectarian school, it ought to work better in a school where everybody is a Christian. It works in sectarian schools. Fisk University, a congregational school, had a white president and white people on the faculty for the last 75 years and we have more of the spirit of Christ than they had, I think. Don't get excited--it's God working to lift the people that have been possibly misled. And now your hearts are running out for them. The very spirit of Christ is in your heart or you wouldn't be interested in us. It's the interest of the church of Christ that has missionaries in Africa, it's the interest of the church of Christ in America that sent Brother McMillan and all the missionaries to Japan after they had stabbed us in the back. That's fine. That's the spirit of Christ. I believe these missionaries have forgot that attack at Pearl Harbor. The gospel of Christ will knock out of us all the prejudice and malice we have against any man. It will knock it out. And when it hasn't done so, we haven't absorbed enough of the spirit of Christ. Gentlemen, I must appeal to you. This has been my experience for the last 50 years, working with both races, and the colored people are anxious to be led.

I was holding a meeting at Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and the white preacher met me when I came down on the Pan-American-- a lot of colored people standing on the platform. When this white man grabbed both of my grips and put them in the car and me following along behind him, it excited the Negro in Hopkinsville and he couldn't understand that. He never will till he obeys Christ, then he will understand it. (February 23, 1950, at Abilene Christian College)

If Southern churches are still resisting Instrumental Music because they are ignorant, Pharisaical Racists, then why spend all of that time and money dividing a northern church over instrumental music? Why not take the obscenely-large "staff" and the money and send them south to preach the "Racism" out of them so they will be intellectually equipped to add their own instruments?

And those who now try to destroy those churches which did not and will not follow them into the use of instrumental or mechanical worship will not comprehend -- cannot comprehend -- until they turn to Christ.

Did Marshall Keeble get a new understanding of Acts 2:38 because the Northern churches were practicing "open fellowship" and accepting unbaptized people as saved? Wouldn't that be a racist charge against Brother Keeble? Did Marshall Keeble reject instrumental music just to be a Professional Uncle Tom? Wouldn't Marshall Keeble, like modern Change Agents, want to add a Rock band to attract his "spasmotic" brothers who loved to dance? If he was a pragmatist he would. However, he gave up what appealed to his human senses because he loved the Lord and His Word more than the praise of men. Let's give them credit and not try to destroy the church by the libelous charge of "Creedal Racism."

A Common Love - From the Presbyteians

From the Watchman And Observer, Richmond VA
February 22, 1849, Volume IV, No. 28.

Mr. Editor. I have been pleased to see in your paper, some discussion on the use of organs in church-music. This subject cannot be regarded as one, affecting the fundamentals of religious truth; but it has its importance, especially as a symptom of the spiritual state and opinions of our churches. And it is well that the views of Presbyterians should be digested and settled on some rational principles, before the silent tide of Fashion has swept them all into an imitation of a thing alien to their institutions

"It has always been common among the advocates of this Popish mode of worship,

to meet the objections of simple minded Protestants to the organ,
with the retort that their scruples were the relics of fanatical prejudice,
and rustic ignorance.

The resort to this species of reply appears the more ill-considered, when we remember that

Dr. Girardeau is supporting the identical position held by all the early fathers,
all the Presbyterian reformers, by a Chalmers, a Mason, a Breckinridge, a Thornwell, and by a Spurgeon.
Why is not the position as respectable in our author as in all this noble galaxy of true Presbyterians? Will the innovators claim that all these great men are so inferior to themselves?

"According to the Papists' own theory of his worship, the mass is a grand Action.

It is all in an unknown tongue; but this matters not: he asserts that even though there were not an articulate word pronounced in any language, the solemn drama would convey its instructions to the heart, through the genuflections, the pantomime, the adoration of the priests, and the varying harmonies of the music.

Their theory of church music is just the same. The hymns are in an unknown language: if the worshipper heard every syllable articulated, he would not understand the ideas that are sung, nor does it matter that he should. The sentiment of devotion is conveyed sufficiently, by the character of the music.

"But the theory of Protestant religious music is, or ought to be, essentially different. We appeal to the understanding and to those intelligent emotions, which are produced by the understanding on the heart.

We sing articulate, intelligent words, in a familiar language,

All Early Churches

See the history of music in paganism leading to effeminacy.

The Baptists

Alexander Campbell never wrote much about instrumental music as an act of worship because the facts were so clear in the Bible and the experience so fatal in history that it never occurred to him that anyone would attempt to drag an organ to church."

This was the common love of the Scriptures as normative for faith and practice in most churches.

As organs were gradually accepted when the old folks died out without any exposure to Biblical teaching on the subject, non musical churches are now harvesting the crop of liberal preachers spawned from liberal colleges and Vineyard-like groups as a few of them are attempting to go through the Jubilee cycle of attempting to restore the Old Testament Atonement and to musical forms of ceremonial legalism.

A.D. 1859

The following quotation agrees with Job 21; Isaiah 5; Amos 5, 6, 8 and Ezekiel 33. Music is always the cause or result of ignoring the Words of God and replacing them with commandments taught by men. In time, people are conditioned to enjoy the music and starve to death for the Word:

"In my earliest intercourse among this people (the Baptists), congregational singing generally prevailed among them... In many congregations the old pitch pipe was seen in the hands of the leader of the singing, and by degrees small instruments of music were introduced into the singing galleries, where extra efforts were made among the performers, and finally the bass viol, then the plus ultra, the perfection of instrumental music, became a permanent fixture in a portion of our congregations. Strong prejudices, however, for a time existed in the minds of our old members against all kinds of musical instruments, and church difficulties arose on this account.

But by degrees these prejudices subsided as the people become more and more interested in the performance of their singing choirs, and as their congregations were augmented by the new attractions in their religious worship...

"...The changes which have been experienced in the feelings of a large portion would as soon have tolerated the pope of Rome in their pulpits as an organ in the galleries,

and yet the instrument has gradually found its way among them, and their successors in church management, with nothing like the jars and difficulties which arose of old concerning the bass viol and smaller instruments of music." (Dr. David Benedict, Fifty Years Among the Baptists, 1859).

"A small organ was obtained by a joint stock company, which, in the end, became a permanent fixture in the house. This clever little concern, still alive in another congregation, took the place of all the inferior cymbals on which our singers had hitherto depended for instrumental aid, and by degrees became favorite with all the people,

however much some of them had previously been biased against any artificial aid in the melody of the sanctuary, and, indeed,

to the attractions of the gallery rather than the pulpit, some people slyly ascribed the full houses which we generally enjoyed." (Dr. Benedict, Quoted in Gospel Advocate, 1951, p. 56).

A.D. 1880

"Men still living can remember the time when organs were very seldom found outside the Church of England. The Methodist, Independents, and Baptists rarely had them and by the Presbyterians they were stoutly opposed. But since these bodies began to introduce organs, the adoption of them has been unchecked. Even the Presbyterians are giving away, and if we read the future by the past, we can hardly doubt that in a few years, unaccompanied singing will very seldom be heard. Yet, even in the church of England itself, organs did not obtain admission without much opposition." (John Spencer Curwen, Studies in Worship Music, p. 179, 1880).

Again, we respond to our e-mail's question:

"Are churches which reject instrumental music as a method of worshiping a Spiritual God guilty of racism? No.

Most denominations rejected instrumental music on Biblical grounds before, during and following the civil war. How then could refusing to worship with instruments or those who use instruments be a new dogma created by racists as a result of the war?

How could continuing to do what one has always done be a reaction? Logic gets lost among those trying to judge and destroy those who will not "follow the leaders."

Why then would anyone try to divide the church by claiming that non-instrumental groups are living on an outdated theology, are racists or, as in one pro-music book, "oppose the use of musical instruments based on a Southern, red-necked mentality"?

You should understand that when people make the decision to reject the Biblical evidence and sign onto a "post modern' or "post denomination" theology they have lost contact with the Head.

Numbered page quotations from "Sounding Brass and Clanging Cymbals, J. E. Choate and William Woodson".

See Civil War, Musical Worship, Revivalism, Racism

See Dabney (anti Campbell) Presbyterian

See Girardeau Presbyterian

See Guess Baptist

Restoration Mo vement

Musical Worship Index

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