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Woodmont Hills Family of God - Defines the Church of Christ

Woodmont Hills: A review of Rubel Shelly's Rejection of churches of Christ as Pharisees and Hypocrites. Great Themes #27 - Our Hearts.

Ex-Church of Christ: Pharisees and Instrumental Music

Kenneth Sublett, Piney.com, Hohenwald, Tennessee

False "profits" love to hate monger by accusing non-instrumental groups of being Pharisees and legalists. It is a symptom of paranoi to so accuse the larger majority of Christians who have always recognized the Satan- Music connection because it prevents the READING or giving heed to the Words of Christ in song and sermon. Satan was identified by Jesus as "he speaks on his own" and he and his sons are the "great liar" simply by virtue of refusing to "speak where God has spoken." Legalism is an attempt to do an end-run around the Word under the assumption that God's silence is His "divine oversight." Nothing is more legalistic than music which was always to "call down the gods" or even to seduce them (as in the Vineyard, aka New Wineskins) by music. The word they use is enthusiastic but Philo coined the word Enthus O Mania meaning music and other drug-induced insanity. Paul defined the Corinthians as looking as if they were pagans where madness was seen as proof that the "spirits" were inside.

We will add some more Greek evidence connecting theatrical performers with charismatic and therefore real or virtual homosexual yearnings too often played out among the "team." See the Charismatic Connection which MARKED the clergy to whom Jesus refused to speak in non-parable language.

Reviewed Material

Our Commentary

Bible and Other Quotations

Here are some out takes:

Rubel Shelly: We choose the easy way of being distinctive --even peculiar (weird, queer, abnormal)--about card-playing, movies, dancing, instrumental music, weekly communion, and a dozen other things.

Not one of these things requires any significant heart adjustment in us though.

So we don't dance

but (we) let children suffer abuse because of a lack of safe foster homes.

We sing a Capella and

(we) continue to play the race card against blacks or whites or Hispanics.

--While most Christians know the Pharisees as "hypocrites," that is an unfair generalization based on the unpleasant exchanges Jesus had with some of their leaders. Either Jewish or Christian scholars would tell you that, for the most part, the Pharisees were simply

conscientious literalists who wanted to be right in everything they did in their religion.
 
I can't be too critical of that spirit. To the contrary, I could wish that more people had such an attitude.
Or should that be my wish?

--A certain preacher I know filled a pulpit for over three years

by preaching legalistic orthodoxy,

defending the distinctives of the Church of Christ with vigor,

[Distinctive: marked off as unique]

and making a reputation for himself as a "sound gospel preacher" in this state.
Much of that reputation was built on attacking others.


Our review in Blue or Red. While we might agree that lots of preachers are "decadent and deleterious" it is not reasonable to judge an entire fellowship based upon ones own youthful experiences. The problem with trying to build a neo-church of Christ denomination is that when headquarters becomes legalistic the entire "lump" is leavened. As a congregational body, a given church must be judged upon its own practices and not by what may have happened to me.

And being caught with another man's wife does not invalidate the Word of God.

Because this sermon is heading in the too-common direction of castigating churches of Christ rather than teaching the Word of Christ "as it has been delivered to us" we will try to fill in the blanks and define Pharisees and hypocrites.

The Britannica notes the similarities between priest craft, witchcraft and magicians. A hypocrite is an actor or magician or an illusionist. This was the basis of all ancient paganism which came in two forms:

First, as "commercial religion" the soothsayer or witch of Endor used a "musical" device such as a familiar spirit which was an "empty wineskin." It was hollow and empty but the echo was an illusion that the "gods" were inside repeating what the witch mumbled as a ventriloquist. Because the brain "expected" a message from the god and wanted to be in their presence, they didn't notice that she was just a merchandiser of superstition.

Throughout the literature, people have always lusted to enquire of musical instruments as the actual idol and demand that it "speak to them" because they could not live with the quiet Word of God which was free of charge.

Second, the Satanic illusionist or hypocrite was an actor. They were being "moved," like Judas, by Satan as their "unholy" spirit. They were consciously, unconsciously or subconsciously performing illusions to make you think that you were hearing from God when, in fact, the goal was to keep you from hearing God's Word. This will come across as "anger" but frankly my engineering brain will not allow me to believe that ignoring the Words of Christ "as they have been delivered to you" in song and sermon by hiding them behind the "mask" of diatribe and singing "Fanny Crosby" or "Twila Paris" can not possibly be anything but Pharisaic and Hypocritical. Somehow the more conservative a man may be (even if ignorant) the more he sticks to the text and context to teach rather than lecture and manipulate.

Therefore, one might not try to worship God with instruments, ignore children and still not be a hypocrite unless he is claiming some superior status.

Magic of forms of speech, body movements or music was the hypocrite's (prophesier's) weapons of choice. The Bible often shows clear examples of how beautiful singers, dancers, or instrumentalist are both the cause and symptom of refusing to hear God's Word.

In fact, "prophesier" with song and instrument is usually falsely peddled as "being a prophet" as a spokeswoman for God when in fact they were actors, hypocrites and their "songs" are often false doctrine.

Therefore, we should be aware that Pharisees or Hypocrites were the actors accusing Jesus of being the agent of Beelzebub or a Chaldean Satan - The Baal or Lord of the fly. One sought information from God or Baal: God speaks through His Word so the other alternative is easy to discern.

Being wrong or even a "conservative" and ignorant does not make people Pharisees or Hypocrites. You need this information. Click on the following link at your leisure and see how people hear and see what their brains are preconditioned to hear or see. We are anxious to fill in the blanks and see what others want us to see.

> Can't See or Hear Two Things At Once <


Rubel Shelly: [Jesus] went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him "unclean." For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man "unclean." ' "

Have you ever wondered why some of the Jews of Jesus' time made such a big thing of legalistic rules about hand-washing and ritual purification? "It's in their Bible!" did you say? Not really. There are some rules about hand-washing for priests handling the holy articles of worship (cf. Ex. 30:19-21). And there are rules about ritual purification for both the priests and their families who ate portions of sacrifices presented at the altar of Yahweh (cf. Num. 18:8-13).

Instrumental Music is the modern "hand washing" added as tradition.

It is equally true that "praise" and "instrumental music" was not part of even the Law of Moses in any sense. In fact, the Law was given "because of transgression" and that transgression was repeating the musical "play" or ritual drama (actors were hypocrites) using the instruments of Egypt. As a result, Numbers 10:7 seems to prohibit blowing trumpets and "making a joyful noise" when the general "congregation" was assembled always for instruction and never for "worship."

Consistent with that, when the music and sacrifice began the "people's congregation" except for the princes or "standing men" was put outside the gates or outside the camp.

Instruments "like the nations" were added but only to the civil temple in Jerusalem and the general congregation was specifically excluded "outside the camp" when the loud noise of instruments hid the horror of animal slaughter to make them aware of their sinfulness and not for theatrical performance. And modern scholars are aware that "instruments" for worship have no other tradition but that Satan forced them in with his agents to hide the Word.

"Somewhere along the way, some highly scrupulous --and I suspect well-intentioned --Christian scholars began to teach that these instruments should be respected by every man and woman who wanted to be holy to the Lord or - "be led into the presence of God."

Britannica Online notes: "The first time theater truly freed itself from religious ritual to become an art form was in Greece in the 6th century BC when the dithyramb was developed.

This was a form of choral song chanted at festivals in honour of Dionysus, the god of wine, fruitfulness, and vegetation.

"Originally, it celebrated his rejuvenation (revival, Jubilee) of the earth; later, it drew on Homeric legends for its subject matter. According to Greek tradition, the actor and playwright Thespis invented the drama when he augmented the chorus of the dithyramb with a single actor who wore masks (i.e. a hypocrite) to portray several different characters.

"So, somewhere along the way, someone decided to add music and drama back into "worship" and in time one must use music and support those who do are be charged with being hypocrites and fratricidal (murderers of brothers).

Strabo [10.3.9] "But I must now investigate how it comes about that so many names have been used of one and the same thing, and the theological element contained in their history.

Now this is common both to the Greeks and to the barbarians,

to perform their sacred rites in connection with the relaxation of a festival,

these rites being performed sometimes with religious frenzy, sometimes without it;

sometimes with music, sometimes not; and sometimes in secret, sometimes openly.

And it is in accordance with the dictates of nature that this should be so, for, in the

first place, the relaxation draws the mind away from human occupations and turns the real mind towards that which is divine; and,

secondly, the religious frenzy seems to afford a kind of divine inspiration and to be very like that of the soothsayer; and,

thirdly, the secrecy with which the sacred rites are concealed induces reverence for the divine, since it imitates the nature of the divine,

which is to avoid being perceived by our human senses; and,

fourthly, music, which includes dancing as well as rhythm and melody, at the same time, by the delight it affords and by its artistic beauty,

brings us in touch with the divine, and this for the following reason;

for although it has been well said that human beings then act most like the gods when they are doing good to others,

yet one might better say (that they act most like the gods), when they are happy; and such happiness consists of rejoicing, celebrating festivals, pursuing philosophy, and engaging in music.

From an unbroken stream of literature hypocricy was the theatrical performance who acted pious on "worship day" and then stole away with a worshiper's wife on the secular day.

A person might have all of their theology correct and even be a righteous person, but if they did not for a foster home institution they were, as told to this church, legalistic hypocritss.

Rubel Shelly: Somewhere along the way, some highly scrupulous --and I suspect well-intentioned --Jewish scholars began to teach that these rules should be respected by every man and woman who wanted to be holy to the Lord (not just the priests) and to all food handling (not just the devoted offerings). They quoted texts such as this one in support of their intent to expand the obligations about ablutions and purity to every Israelite: "Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false" (Psa. 24:3-4).

Well, I don't know about this one. I am not informed enough to find where "they quoted" this text to force hand washing before you could "ascend into the presence of God." It seems to me that they were saying: "Who may eat but he who has clean hands" and not "who may worship."

Let's take a look at the "proof text" the Woodmont people will believe was the Jew's proof text:

Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? Psalm 24:3

He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. Psalm 24:4

No literate Jew would insert "washed hands" here: Clean means:

Naqiy (h5355) naw-kee'; (Joel 3:19; Jonah 1:14), naw- kee'; from 5352 (blameless); innocent: - blameless, clean, clear, exempted, free, guiltless, innocent, quit

Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. Jl.3:19

Now, look at the vanity which disqualifies one from approaching God. We won't proof text but allow God to define the vanity which prevents the lambs from feeding "after their manner" while in a following article Dr. Shelly denies that the church is the "feeding place for lambs" but is like a flock of birds who need rotating leaders.

Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah. Isaiah 5: 10

Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them Isaiah 5: 11

Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music (melody) of your harps. Amos 5:23

And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands. Isaiah 5: 12

I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Am.5:21

"Your assemblies do more harm than good" 1 Cor 11:17 Paul

Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Isaiah 5:13

The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land--not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. Amos 8:11

Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. Isaiah 5: 14

Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm (maggot) is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. Is.14:11

And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty (elevated) shall be humbled: Isaiah 5: 15

Finally, God shows the new wine model failed because they saw the "wine" as a symbol of "exhilaration" or charismatic feelings from their worship. Like all pagans, the use of drugs and music to enhance the feeling took absolutely no heart adjustment.

However, a heart adjustment is required if you are going to replace a weekly "exhalting ceremony" with judgment and right living:

But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness. Isaiah 5: 16

Only when the "religious festivals" are silenced is it possible for the lambs to live like lambs and not like a flock of vultures:

Then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat. Isaiah 5:17

Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope Is.5:18

As we noted, Dr. Shelly will advise Woodmont that not using instruments is somehow connected with mistreading kids.

Therefore, clean didn't mean "freshly washed" but innocent, blameless. For instance in lifting up holy hands the emphasis is not lifting hands but holy hands. That is still a command.

Aren't we lucky that Jesus clarified the parable and repudiated this tradition even as He repudiated the children playing the musical worship games of Dionysus and "put the musical mourning team out 'more or less violently'."

Oh. Remember, the magic above? You didn't notice that Jesus did not repudiate them for washing their hands after every sneeze. Notice that Jesus was condemning the FOR HIRE meaning hirelings:

A hupokritês [hupokrinomai] an interpreter or expounder, one who plays a part on the stage, a player, actor, metaphor a pretender, dissembler, hypocrite, Often appears with the Pharisaios, a Pharisee, Separatist (from pharash, to distinguish), one of a sect who separated themselves from other Jews as affecting superior holiness. Peter outlawed private interpretation which is FURTHER EXPOUNDING.

THEN came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, (preachers, book writers) 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

Jesus said that it was the doctors of the law who took away the key to knowledge. These were pharisee specialists:

Scriba A doctor of the Jewish law, one whose duty it was to guard and expound the sacred text

It is possible to be a Pharisee, Scribe or of the SECTARIAN hypocrites in the condemned sense if you are a PROFESSIONAL RELIGIONISTS.

Defiled does not mean sinful but ceremonially 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 but they had their right 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?]

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

Contrary to the enemies of the Word, hypocrites are NOT those who grasp that Scripture condemns things like "body worship" with music of a Holy Spirit God. Rather, the Pharisee sectarians looked for loopholes because they were legalists.

"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.

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 they 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 fit 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.

Now, the sin was not in washing hands (not playing instruments) but the sin was hiring a musical worship facilitator to lead us into the presence of God.

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

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-tech 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:

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

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.

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, who is the Pharisee:

Those who reject the authority of the word and push instrumental music

or those who accept the command of God and "play" the "instrument" God gave us for spiritual worship - the voice and human heart?

Hypocrisy always involves performance.

Hear Job: Undoubtedly the rich who practiced Babylonian rituals washed their hands:
 
Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power? Job 21:7
Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes. Job 21: 8
Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. Job 21: 9
Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf. Job 21: 10
 
They send forth their little ones like a flock,
and their children dance. Job 21: 11
They take the timbrel and harp,
and rejoice at the sound of the organ. Job 21: 12
They spend their days in wealth,
and in a moment go down to the grave. Job 21: 13
Therefore they say unto God,
Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. Job 21: 14
 
They knew that there was no "profit" in serving God. But Job knows that their smoldering wick will be snuffed when Messiah brings forth justice.
 
How oft is the candle of the wicked put out and how oft cometh their destruction upon them! God distributeth sorrows in his anger. Job 21:17

The direct command of God through Paul is to "teach" using the Word of Christ or Spirit. The resource is inspired and the method is the same word "to preach." The singing and melody is in the heart and directed to God and not externally directed to the "audience." Psalms were the resource and still are in many groups.

Music was added by David to the "like the nation's" temple because that was the tradition of all temple-state nations. Remember, the Monarchy was under a curse and would go into captivity because of their kings and the musical worship teams were the slave drivers to build the temple which would be destroyed.

Instrumental music is one of the oldest traditions. At Mount Sinai it was the tradition of the Egyptians and sentenced Israel to destruction.

Therefore, according to the definition of Jesus if you are going to define a Pharisee it should be those who sowed discord by adding instruments.

Churches of Christ come under harsh judgment because it believes (often without understanding) that what Jesus and Paul commanded is important.

Churches of Christ lay aside no commandment of God in order NOT try to worship a Spiritual God with machines.

Not using a machine is not the tradition of churches of Christ. It was the commandment recognized by all of the church Fathers.

Therefore, how could anyone use Jesus' definition of a Pharisee

    and define churches of Christ as Pharisees for not using instruments.

When the example of Jesus is honestly understood, it is possible for one NOT to use instruments even if it be a tradition and not mistreat orphans, homosexuals, prostitutes and blacks.

Eventually a party (i.e., denomination) within Judaism bound these rules and many others like them with scrupulous zeal. They came to be known as the Pharisees.

But now we should know that they bound sanitary rules upon the people and Jesus didn't condemn them.

Rather, if they were going to follow sanitary rules and just criticize the unwashed they didn't have to be hypocrites also - a brood of vipers?

By analogy, if we are going to bind the singing of silly praise songs and instruments upon the people (or they must get out) then how can the clergy identify a whole group of people as Pharisees for not binding these practices? And make no mistake about it, from the middle of the 19th century there has been a harsh, evangelistic effort to bind instruments on non-instrumental churches by means most foul at times. Nothing can be as violent as to identify those who do not participate as Pharisees or racists.

On the contrary, history knows that you cannot (as Nimrod believed) make spiritual changes with external means such as instruments and the women's choirs who pranced around behind him.

See Babylon Music
See the Practices of Nimrod The Child of the Mother

Because there is no positive command, instrumental Music and choirs fall into the role of "washing of hands" and rejecting the clear command of Paul and all of the clear Biblical evidence which will never get on the fill in the blanks.

Therefore, we believe that promoting instrumental music as a change agent when it has no internal effect is the mark of a hypocritical and, yes, paganistic ritual because it repudiates the power of the unaccompanied Words of Christ.

The Jews admitted and Jesus confessed that this was the "traditions of the elders" so no one doubted whether there was a command, example or inference about it.

If you wash your hands after every visit to the bathroom (there is a command on the door) and you do not violate the commandments of God through Paul then you are still not a hypocrite.

The Hassadim (spiritual) were taken over by those who became Pharisees (external ritualists) to get away from the temple which was the den of thieves, a house of merchandise. The temple was the focus of musical festivals which had made the Feast of Tabernacles into a pagan fertility ritual. In the Synagogue they taught the Word and prayed and "there was no praise service in the Synagogue."

The fact that they were hypocrites is more attributed to their presuming to be God's authorized agents even for physical punishment and death.

They were willing to murder Jesus and others to keep the people from listening to Him. I assure you that those spirit-abused by the music and praise superstition will do you violence to keep you silent.

While most Christians know the Pharisees as "hypocrites," that is an unfair generalization based on the unpleasant exchanges Jesus had with some of their leaders. Either Jewish or Christian scholars would tell you that, for the most part, the Pharisees were simply

conscientious literalists who wanted to be right in everything they did in their religion.

I can't be too critical of that spirit. To the contrary, I could wish that more people had such an attitude.

Or should that be my wish?

Above, Jesus defined a Pharisee as one who:

  1. Lays aside the direct commandments of God.
  2. Worships according to the traditions of man.
  3. Our attacker delights in making fun of "commands,
    examples and inferences."

We would be in danger of fire if we accused them falsely but Woodmont Hills makes the association between churches of Christ (generic) and being a Pharisee. Some are sinners but may not be hypocrites unless they try to make spiritual changes with external machines and theatrical performance.

More: What is a hypocrite?

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

Hypocrites (g5273) hoop-ok-ree-tace'; from 5271; an actor under an assumed character (stage-player), i.e. (fig.) a dissembler ("hypocrite"): - hypocrite.

Huokrisis (g5272) hoop-ok'-ree-sis; from 5271; acting under a feigned part, i.e. (fig.) deceit ("hypocrisy"): - condemnation, dissimulation, hypocrisy.

Hupokrinomai (g5271) hoop-ok-rin'-om-ahee; mid. from 5259 (pour out) and 2919; to decide (speak or act) under a false part, i.e. (fig.) dissemble (pretend): - feign.

One who preaches what he does not believe is an actor: a hypocrite and deserves no sympathy but is suffering the foreordained and inescapable fate.

One who tries to improve the Word of God by music and drama is by definition a hypocrite -- just acting and often "for a price, always for a price."

One who claims direct inspiration is self-deluded.

Here Thomas Paine described a hypocrite:

"It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind,

as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe,

he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.

He takes up the trade of a priest for the sake of gain, and, in order to qualify himself for that trade,

he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive anything more destructive to morality than this?" (Thomas Paine who gave you political freedom and freedom from government-like religious tyrants.)

Jesus said to help us identify the hypocrite:

The hypocrites are specifically those who attempt to come into the presence of God through some form of speaking, singing or musical manipulation. It is a sin to try to manipulate people "into the presence of God" using external means when Paul said that "He is far from all of us."

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 fsar 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

The NAS reads:

Then the Lord said, "Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me,

And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, Isaiah 29:13

Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the discernment of their discerning men shall be concealed." Isaiah 29:14

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 1Co.1:20

After singing a song about five times you don't even think about it: you just give God lip service from rote or reading some "prophetess." Perhaps Jesus would call that hypocritical especially when we sing things Biblically wrong or we don't know the meaning of the poetic language.

Ezekiel said something similar about hypocrites:

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

This defines mouth religion as including talented singers and musicians. The language is that of prostitution which spiritually is selling the free word of God.

Churches of Christ do not honor (worship) talented singers and musicians.

Therefore, churches of Christ do not hang out "around the walls" and cannot by this be defined as hypocrites.

Churches of Christ are also denounced for teaching as authoritative more than just the "core" gospel. It teaches the commandments of God.

Churches of Christ do not focus upon drama and theatrical performances.

Churches of Christ do not "make love" to God with beautiful voices and well-played instruments and the display of women.

Therefore, by Jesus' definition churches of Christ are not the hypocrites even though many individual members are. The enemy of churches of Christ has the duty to stalk them down and lock them up if they are so vile.

The Pharisees and Hypocrites (Vipers) were not conscientious about anything but a religion as a means to suck in the people and suck out their money. Jesus identified all of the hypocritical temple "staff" as a Generation of Vipers -- sons of Satan. He identified the same generation as children playing the musical fertility games of funeral and wedding. They piped trying to seduce Jesus into the dance of Dionysus. This would allow the Judas principle to "triumph over" him with wind instruments (Psalm 41).

Perhaps only up to 12 thousand were involved with the temple which continued the legalistic Musical Worship Teams as a way to "triumph over" the common people and keep them as still "strangers" out of the symbolic presence of God in the sacrifices.

The Pharisees were more related to the synagogue where legalistic music had been replaced with prayer and listening to the Word. It was not "temple" but "school" and THERE WAS NO PRAISE SERVICE IN THE SYNAGOGUE.

In the text the Pharisees were condemned for what they specifically did wrong. They were not singled out for being Pharisees or Jews in general.

Jesus' Antipathy to Legalism

Rubel Shelly: Jesus never once distinguished the motive of the Pharisees from their excesses of legalism and judgmentalism, as if to congratulate the former while criticizing the latter. He appears to have made no distinction between motive and outcome, and he roundly condemned their legalisms. He warned his own disciples against adopting their ways.

And we still have wound up looking more like them than him across history

We tried to show above that the issue was not legalism but a tradition which was inconsistent with evil. It had nothing to do with the law:

And when the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed before dinner. Luke 11:38

And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening (extortion) and wickedness. Luke 11:39

Ye fools, did not he, that made that which is without, make that which is within also? Luke 11:40

We believe that the teaching contrasts external "worship services with music and theatrical performance" which is true legalism with "worship in spirit" which is internal to the mind or spirit. For instance, the Jew's insistence on absolute silence while they searched for leaven during Passover directly repudiates a musical worship team stimulating the externals while they are trying to "discern the body" during Lord's Supper. We have heard of a church which has removed its communion table to the foyer and replaced it with a wired up, amplified "worship team" destroying the worship of the body.

Jesus might have meant that they could keep on washing their hands before eating but at the same time practice judgment, mercy and faith:

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 23:23

Tithing was still legal. This was taking 10% but only of the produce of the lands which were given free by God. This ten percent was supposed to take care of civil services (9%) and priestly services (1%).

However, we can find the legalist very easily because churches of Christ have historically rejected tithing which when taken from non-Jewish farmers living on Jewish lands in Palestine was still extortion or as Malachi called it "robbing the wage earner." Remember:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion (take by force) and excess. Matthew 23:25

There is no "collection plate act of worship." To add one based on "command" rather than love is extortion. Jesus paid the "temple tax", Peter said that God did not demand a "tithe" when we sell our property and Paul insisted that:

I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 2 Cor 8:8

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 2 Cor 8:9

A vow of poverty went with the office of evangelist. Paul never authorized more than the "oxen's nibbling" or the "soldier's daily dole" or the temple-servant's daily dole as it worked in the temple -- except among the legalistic extortionists. There can be no "demand" -- and get money out of literate Bible students who remember the "old church of Christ" where extorted giving and tithing were legalistic -- just priestly extortion.

By depending upon the free will giving there would be a non-legal exercise of religious freedom and, in the end, more money out of love:

And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. 2 Cor 8:10

So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given. 2 Cor 9:5

Paying a debt is not a gift.

So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren to go on to you before me, and arrange in advance for this gift you have promised, so that it may be ready not as an exaction but as a willing gift. 2 Cor 9:5

So I have asked these other brothers to arrive ahead of me to see that the gift you promised is on hand and waiting. I want it to be a real gift and not look as if it were being given under pressure. 2 Cor 9:5

Plenoecia (g4124) pleh-on-ex-ee'-ah; from 4123; avarice, i.e. (by impl.) fraudulency, extortion: - covetous (-ness) practices, greediness.

Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: Mk.7:22

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. 2Pe. 2:1

And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 2Pe. 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 Pe.2:3

Peter and Jude speak of those defined by the Book of Enoch. God will come with ten thousand of His saints to execute judgment on the "sons of vipers" or the agents of Satan defined by the story of Jubal the father of those who handle (without authority) musical instruments and by all known traditions about instrumental music, mixed-sex choirs, tolerance for wine and beer and abortionists.

Modern false prophets who introduce any form of performance (preaching or teams) in order to "attract the crowd" fall under the condemnation of the Jubals of the world who are defined as legalists and just out for the money.

See the ZOE and the "run to the hills" theme as the Mark of the Beast.

Perverted sex and power with musical instruments was the power of Inanna (Ishtar-Tammuz worshiped by the women in Jerusalem, Eze 8) and it was the ancient Babylonian-Whore form of worship. The "women and children" first had to get the "Patron god of music" drunk on new wine to force these gifts from him.

Rubel Shelly: When we are painfully honest, you and I must admit that Christians

often display a pharisaic tendency

to place great importance on avoiding relatively trivial things.
 
Did anyone else grow up in a church culture like mine in which dancing was forbidden --along with card-playing, going to movies, and mowing grass on Sundays?

Is it fair to suggest that the stage is set to discuss legalism and pharisaic tendencies?

Next, are we legalistic and pharaisaic in order to avoid trivial things?

Is it logical to think that the following list of things are trivial?

What are they? card-playing, movies, mowing grass on Sundays.

Because not using instrumental music is defined as one of those pharisaic practices, we should act that churches of Christ act rather than react. The action defined by Paul is to preach or teach with the revealed Word of God and the emphasis is not upon music. To do that obeys the Word of Paul without a hint that "not using instruments" somehow makes the practice more powerful over God.

As I remember it, I grew up in that environment also. However, one cannot define these as trivial without giving explicit permission for them. Most lives begin their down-hill slide with dancing and "new wine." I knew a lady who was addicted to playing Rook. I know lots who are addicted to Bridge and alcohol goes with it. Never heard of anyone drawn up on charges for mowing the lawn on Sunday. We often had a barbecue picnic with softball and a trip to the swimming hole. One might imagine that adults never quite get over rebelling against youthful restrictions. Many authorities define addiction to music as one of the most destructive.

But we had our Sunday blast with Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians. And as I remember it, opposition to dancing and cards didn't originate with legalistic (and lost) churches of Christ. As I remember it the Baptist preacher (we did attend their meetings) was most deadly against "them ole 7-Up cards" and "mooin pitchur shos." We kids attended the local school Saturday Western along with cartoon. Got a moon pie and a RC. Never heard it called sin in the church.

However, NOT attending the movies would not make you a legalist.

Rubel Shelly: Yet we never seemed to notice how racist our churches were. While we fought theological battles over financial help to widows, orphans, and the poor through "the church treasury," I know of no battles that were fought over our widespread neglect of helping society's most vulnerable by some means rather than letting them suffer or feel dehumanized by some of the agencies to whom we abandoned our duty.

We will look back and say: "Yet we never seemed to notice how pagan-like our churches were." Or something like that. Hindsight isn't fair to judge one group without lumping all people together. We will wonder how we proposed to "revive" the church with keynote, well-published speakers. We will wonder how we could have gone beyond necessities and built those mansions for God. And those steeples? People will remember that those were the phallic symbols of the dominant clergy: mine is longer than yours.

There never was a battle over financial help to orphans. Never. The battle was over giving OUR money to YOUR program with lots of it raked off the top and sent far away. But the mail worked and we could send our money to the homes without a cut from the middle. I never heard of opposition to these programs until preaching became professionalized: remember a man who experienced a church division in Lebanon, Tennessee over the first hired preacher in the area.

We listened to Paul and therefore church was not the "social security agency" but the place to learn how you could move beyond "tokenism" to teach Blacks and take food to the hungry and sit up with the people being eaten alive with cancer or sit with the TB patient and shoot the birds out of her trees or share a freshly-killed pork or help pay for the pigs for Sunday in the summer. Members often struggled to feed their families and were downright hostile to putting someone on the payroll to do our work for us. I remember living in a slave cabin at 15 below zero and the family''s proceeds were 11 dollars after the credit store was paid off. My dad spent $3.95 down for a battery radio and we became the community theater to "watch" Joe Louis fights and watch war news and hope the "on welfare" (commodities and WPA - We Piddle Around) would give us our first taste of raisins. Perhaps Dr. Shelly remembers his own past and too readily projects it to the "decadent and deleterious" church of Christ.

Did he know that those on welfare were almost always the best fed in the neighborhood? And they did share with the working people.

Isn't it a sin to level a blank accusation against a religious society which was built upon the basis that, once freed with the help of Thomas Paine and John Locke, it would remain free from dominant clergy, musical instruments and denominational structures bigger than the local congregation? It turns out that the "anti" views against most of the collectivistic groups proved correct.

Rubel Shelly: Our churches were more generally known for refusing to use pianos and organs than for helping alcoholics get sober or sheltering children from abuse.

Is it fair to suggest that the stage has been set above to discuss legalism and pharisaic tendencies?

Are we legalistic and pharaisaic in order to avoid trivial things?

Is it logical to think that the following is trivial?

What is it? refusing to use pianos and organs.

It seems clear that this a past tense discussion of the old "deleterious and decadent" church of Christ and is not Woodmont.

Is it far fetch that we are still on the same topic? Then is "refusing to use pianos and organs" trivial? And if trivial then not legalistic and pharisaic?

If this is not a fact and I, honest and trained, get the message with no "turf" or pulpit to defend or books to sell why are you paying so much when a trained writer could be clearer? Is there any way you can see my reasoning?

The "more important than sobering up drunks" has no meaning unless the use of machines to worship a Spirit god is so trivial that we should not notice them smuggled in the windows in the dead of night or slipped in after a long series of "water drops" pre-silencing anyone who would dare discuss the wrong of music. Heard a close to Nashville preacher gloating that his preacher friend had developed to the point that he would never again preach against instruments. Well, with the old sermons I can understand why they would not appear so Biblical illiterate.

Most of the Baptists and Methodist I grew up didn't spend a microsecond back then worrying why we didn't use instruments.

"Our churches" had members who gave a nickel a week and we still sent part of it to the closest orphan home. Where was doctor Shelly? The rurals survived and only the overgrown and overblown urbans wanted big buildings, choirs , organs and a "paid" pastor -- even hiring professional musicians away from the theater. Why? To attract "the largest miscellaneous audience." Wouldn't those millions of dollars really help if just funneled directly into well-established "social gospel" organizations?

The drunks in my neighborhood didn't want to get sober. The one drug addict got put in jail but smuggled in a pill and a rusty nail. Poke a hole and put the pill next to the blood. We didn't know how to help people like that and neither did atone else. Instead of the tithe we not give up to 40% of our income to do what the tithe used to do. That allows people who know how to cure addicts cure addicts and that assuredly does not include ministers having attended a counseling seminar.

The only judgmentalism I ever heard has been from church of Christ preachers who have some instinctive knowledge that they are "hatching and batching rather than going and bestowing." It is easy to get morally and emotionally sick doing bulletins when they would, if the money was there, willingly go to the Balkans and stay.

Rubel Shelly: More people said of Churches of Christ that "They're the ones who think everybody but them is going to hell" than "They're the people who will treat you with dignity and kindness --the way Jesus treated people."

I must have missed that Gallup poll. However, Gallup did do one I remember: "80% of first-person, true preacher illustrations are false." What is it about NOT playing instruments that makes church of Christers more likely to not treat people with dignity and kindness? Is this a way of saying "churches of Christ" will not treat you with kindness and dignity but Woodmont will? What DOES that mean?

I have never heard that from anyone but preachers like Rubel Shelly and I remember the old speeches where "liberalism" got you lost. Therefore, it can possibly have meaning only if it is to "cut off" those who object to the teaching at Woodmont or to "navigate" people away from "them" and toward we who have been enlightened.

Actually, I see that constantly on the Web addressed to the "cult" of the church of Christ. Don't remember a church of Christ web page saying that and have never personally heard it. It is one of those "tares" sown by the enemy.

Rubel Shelly: Why have both Jews and Christians (churches of Christ) erred in this matter of majoring in minors and minoring in majors?

Instrumental music as a means to force your way or break through to God has been one of the major themes of the Bible. Didn't know that? Thought so. However, it is a fact. If playing or not playing instruments is a "minor" then why is there such a major effort made to disparage those who don't, endorse those who do, and sentence those who do not to hell.

Because they had a professional ministry when every priest and Levite was bound, as Paul insists, to have a vocation so that the listeners did not have to pay for the Word of God. None of this comes out of the pews and rarely out of the eldership. Whence cometh it? You fill in the blank.

This is not to denounce honest ministers. Dr. Shelly thinks that the use of huge sums on instruments and having the audience watch the team (often replacing the communion table) is majoring in minors. Perhaps if someone will arrange it we will all just drive Fords. A semester on the history of music and the Bible's strong association between music and ignoring His word would reveal to some of us that this is a major issue. That is why most groups excluding the Catholic-Anglicans rejected instruments until the "doctors of the law" came spilling out of the seminars in the mid 1800s.

Rubel Shelly: Can you envision Jesus mounting the pulpit of this church and saying something like this:

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices --mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law --justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel (Matt. 23:23-24).

Jesus never mounted a pulpit and preached. That sounds so, so exciting. Jesus read the Word and then, so spiritual, sat down in the synagogue.

We submit that conservative churches, especially churches of Christ, have been in the forefront of looking after widows and orphans. The NOT playiing instruments did not hinder them.

Can we rewrite this and apply it to musical worship (with or without machines)?

Praise to you, teachers of the law and true-blue-believers, you spiritual giants! You "sing beautiful love songs and play well upon instruments." And because of your focus upon music you have faithfully obeyed the more important matters of the law --justice, mercy and faithfulness. Because you excelled in music, You did not neglect the widows. You ensightful guides! You didn't strain out a gnat and therefore you didn't swallow a camel (Matt. 23:23-24).

Jesus "stood up to read the Word" and had the common decency to sit down and dialog the Word of God -- only the Word of God. He didn't mount things.

Rubel Shelly:Listen to these same verses from a modern translation now:

You're hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God's Law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment --the absolute basics! --you carelessly take it or leave it. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required. Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that's wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons? (Matt. 23:23- 24, The Message).

I just love that guy. I am going to buy his house for ten million dollars and write the check this way:

$1,000,000

See how important commas are?

No one tithed on "every nickel and dime" they got. Tithing was from the food produce from the free land. The sectarian, legalists bought their spices for the same reason that denominationalists still teach tithing.

You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

Did you notice that this version got one thing right: Jesus condemned the "doctors of the law" and absolutely fired them.

All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do;

but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. Matthew 23:3

For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on mens shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. Matthew 23:4

Jesus came to give rest from these burdens which was "spiritual anxiety from religious rituals."

But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, Matthew 23:5

And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, Matthew 23:6 (the pulpit)

And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. Matthew 23:7 (Doctor, Doctor)

But be not ye called Rabbi (Master Teacher): for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. Matthew 23:8

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Matthew 23:9

Neither be ye called masters (guide, counselor, teacher) : for one is your Master, even Christ. Matthew 23:10

But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. Matthew 23:11

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:12

I will bet that there would be some nitpicking over putting a semicolon in place of a comma on the paycheck? What do you bet? It is never nitpicking to try to understand the Word of God after it has been scrambled by the doctors of the law.

Jesus didn't address his condemnation against the common people who heard Him gladly but the unlawful clergy who refused to teach and were highly creative in keeping the Word away from the people: early and latter day chaining the Bible to the pulpit.

Rubel Shelly: I can envision Jesus saying the same thing to us. I've heard the words ringing in my heart now for years. And I've tried to echo them to others --only to be labeled as a compromiser, false teacher, and heretic. One preacher recently told me Woodmont Hills isn't a "true Church of Christ."

Perhaps they understand that "god" is a generic name but Jesus, Joshua or Jehovah-Saves is the name of the Husband of the Bride. Jesus will call you a hypocrite if you use theatrical performance as worship. If you use theatrical performance as worship it can only happen after you throw away the commandments of God and substitute some empty human psychology making the round of the book stores.

Perhaps the critics understand that you can be non-hypocritical and still not use instrumental music or empty the Biblical songs and replace them with "me focused" praise tunes.

Trying to become like modern denominations is a compromise. Promoting (now but not yet instrumental music) is a compromise. Preaching as book reviews or human philosophy rather than reading and explaining the Word without regard to new "pattern making" is a compromise. Compromise is the only way to be popular and it is the only way to attract the masses to the church.

Rubel Shelly: A lady upbraided one of our shepherds about our "Divorce Care Class" and happy Children's Ministry and demanded to know,

Was the shepherd not her shepherd? Did she bitterly attack? The problem with "iffy" compromises made with no Biblical background to inform makes everyone suspicious of any new change. This is why a non-legalistic approach is to strip the "worship" of absolutely everything which might sow discord so that Christ is at the center and people will believe that the kids are truly being instructed in the Bible and not in compromise.

Preachers preach but the paying "lady" upbraideth. If I wanted to silence all of those other opponents of the new practices I would attack her so that everyone in the 'pews' would hear the message: "don't question the program." This will assuredly cut off any communication except praise.

And perhaps the "upstart" lady is a faithful member of the church of Christ. Therefore, anathematize churches of Christ and that will silence the rest of the old "deleterious and decadent" church of Christers.

Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Mt 11:20

Perhaps the upbraider has deeper concerns but has been cowed by previous speeches trying to prove that to reject instrumental music is somehow evil: like starving orphans or whatever.

Perhaps she still holds that old superstition that the preacher was the servant of the contributors and not the master!

Rubel Shelly: "Where will this lead?" Straight to heaven --for those who meet Jesus here!

Jesus is like those who want to run the church for those who do not yet attend. How do we include them into the family rather than exclude them? His teaching had a direct impact on Christian missionary practice when Paul advised the Corinthians to eat whatever was set before them (1 Cor. 10:27)

I have often heard: "We want you to come worship with us to meet God." God is not a "jack in the box." Little David played on his harp believing that God was in the Ark of the Covenant and could live in a fine temple of cedar and gold. Jesus can most often be met in the quiet prayer closet or in the woods and I feel confident cannot tolerate those still "lading spiritual anxiety upon the pack animals" by warning them away from the "church of Christ" or having to be mounted up to the presence of God with a musical worship team. You know, He really doesn't use these teams as "a landing platform."

You know, I just cannot remember Jesus ever speaking of "attending church" as a praise craze (pagan) ritual to enthuse or enrapture (from rape) the audience to bring them into the presence of God. Seems that He endorsed a true Synagogue which was SCHOOL and not WORSHIP CENTER. I remember Jesus demanding:

Worship in spirit (mind) and truth (hearing and returning God's Words to Him.

When you pray go to church? No? No! "Go into your closet, your private place, your spirit." John was "in the spirit on the Lord's day." That is where you worship and anything imposed from outside offends

When you give don't let the organization "hand" know what your own hand gives. Paul said: "Lay by yourself" that means your own savings account for your own charity.

Jesus read the Scriptures and had the decency to "sit down" and dialog.

The Synagogue and early church was "school" and not worship theater.

Rubel Shelly: and told the Romans "that no food is unclean in itself" (Rom. 14:14). Quit judging others (14:4,10,13).

Eat what is set before you? How about that favorite oriental dish of rotten cabbage? Or Islandic shark first buried on the beach for a few weeks? Or the original Hagis with the stuff in the intestines? How about locusts or chocolate ants? How about eating and drinking the "words of the clergy" while draining drops of Christ's Words out of every "praise song" sung for psychological effect.

We will see that Paul specificially spoke to the charismatic musical practices at Rome and then defined the only way for people with "unclean backgrounds" to meet together. That practice was to speak the revealed Words of Christ.

To judge others is to impose pagan music over their objection. Those who resist are turned by The Second Incarnation into "attackers" or, yea, upbraiders.

Rubel Shelly: Quit putting stumbling blocks in their way (14:13). Learn to live in harmony (15:5) and build up one another (14:19) rather than walls of separation. [1]

In Romans 14 Paul warns two major groups: First, the Dionysic, wine-drinking, meat-eating, Instrumental sectarian background. Second, the Orphic, Vegetarian, instrumental idolatry background. The Orphics were the only ones in Rome who would have been vegetarian. however, both of them had an instrumental music background used to "move them into the presence of their gods." Dionysus was the new wineskin god of music, dance, rock and roll and more.

Paul had the same direct command that he issued to the Ephesiand and Colossians. The only way to obey the command of Jesus and NOT DELIBERATELY SOW DISCORD is defined in Romans chapter 15 (which comes right after Romans 14 used as the libertarian creed.)

Cycle One

Cycle Two

WE then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Romans 15:1

And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. Romans 15:10

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. Romans 15:2

For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. Romans 15:3

And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. Romans 15:11

 

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning (teaching), that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4

And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust. Romans 15:12

Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: Romans 15:5

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13

That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify (tell of His works) God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:6

And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Romans 15:14

Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister (deacon) of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: Romans 15:8

Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God. Romans 15:15

And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will

(2) that the offering (bloodless sacrifice) up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:16

(1) confess to thee among the Gentiles, and

(1) That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God,

(2) sing unto thy name. Romans 15:9

ministering the gospel of God,

All of Biblical and historical evidence says that music to excite and incite the audience is unclean because it "inspires" body worship -- of the team most often -- and not worship in spirit.

Historically, this has been the most powerful stumbling block. Sectarians established musical sects by stomping all over literate Bible students who knew the 2,000 year history.

If we believe the Jubal story, the Enoch record quoted by Jude and parable messages throughout the Bible we will find that when God comes with ten thousand angels the cardinal sin will be those attempting to stifle the Words of Christ by performance preaching and musical teams. It is a fact.

Hear Jesus, Enoch and Jude define the unforgivable sins as intruding musical worship and abortion.

Is that legalism? No. It is simply being awake when Jude speaks in terms which cannot be understood without the books of Enoch to inform us. And that information comes in many forms down through history: instruments and mixed -sex choirs is Satan's weapon of choice? Why? It sounds so good. Sure. That is why it takes the mind off Jesus and places the music at the scene: you cannot think about Jesus and listen. Nope.

Maligning the church of Christ as a "denomination" puts a stumbling block when the "audience" attends church believing that the Word is going to be taught even as Jesus taught it: just what He heard from the Father and no more. Paul did the same and insisted that what we call "singing" but what he called "preaching" be from the revealed Word of God.

The biggest obstacle to faith in our unbelieving time is the church. The greatest handicap God has in reaching the lost is dealing with the people he has already saved. We become turf- protective of our church, our heritage, our beliefs, and our positions.

Church in the institutional sense is not a Biblical term. So, yes, church in the clergy sense is a great stumbling block and the more they get control the smaller the church becomes. They were hired to create the problem and want to be paid more to fix their problems. Jesus and Paul assigns them the role of servants to go where the gospel has not been preached.

Isn't badmouthing all churches of Christ turf-protecting? Clergy has always been turf protecting and has been the historical cause of most atheism. Men like Thomas Paine was a victim of organized religion which was just as corrupt as government as the other tier of aristocracy.

Isn't the idea that if you attend the church of Christ you are doomed to become a racist, homosexual, drunkard, adulterer or child starver you are doomed just a turf device to say "but if you attend our family we will lead you into the family of God and into His presence."

One always grasps financial dilemmas when the "others" are put down to coerce the lambs to our pens.

We know and understand that the church is supposed to be "distinctive," but we get confused about what makes us authentically unique. We choose the easy way of being distinctive --even peculiar (weird, queer, not normal) --about card-playing, movies, dancing,

Comments from Woodmont: You claim that Dr. Shelley preceded his sermon with a "harsh, judgmental attack upon non-instrumental churches:" and show as evidence Dr. Shelley's statement, "WE choose the easy way of being distinctive --even peculiar --about card-playing, movies, dancing, instrumental music, weekly communion, and a dozen other things."

How can this be considered a "harsh, judgmental attack upon non-instrumental churches" when first, the church at which Dr. Shelley preaches is a non-instrumental church and secondly, Dr. Shelley includes himself in the statement by saying "WE"?

If you have missed the harsh, judgmental message then the charisma and music has done its job very well. This was said to ridicule what we once believed but have matured too spiritually to remain "legalistic."

I think that "we" might be the imperial we because Dr. Shelly does not defend the non use of instrumental music.

The English word "peculiar" means not natural. Why not say (with no backup data) that we spend too much time on the non-use of instruments and not enough on saving children from attack? Why is that our views on instruments have to be weird? Do you not see any connection between not playing instruments and deliberately allowing children to be attacked? Then why closely associate clearly abandoned (theological) church of Christ views with hate crimes?

If you buy the premise that the non-use of instrumental music is not natural then God has sent me to you to tell you that any form of "musical" worship can be destructive of the spiritual meaning of worship.

Dr. Shelly goes so far as to claim that our worship practices violate the freedom of others to injoy instruments as God's gift!

"Have we sometimes overextended our worship practice

so as to violate the freedom of our members to experience and enjoy instrumental music as a gift from God? Yes.

One of the best known liberal scholars claims that the only existing tradition is that instruments were invented and given by "gods" or demons to mankind. The only evidence in my considerable resource agrees. God never gave instrumental music as a gift for worship any more than He gave popcorn for the communion. That statement will lead you astray. He and Max Lucado claim that God is the Divine Dance Master which is totally outrageous

We know that Dr. Shelly follows the party line of the 18th century addition of music as worship in theory if not in practice. Therefore, he assuredly is not confessing by using the "we" that he still holds the "peculiar" or weird, queer, unorthodox view about instruments. Therefore, I conclude that he is pointing a finger away from Woodmont Hills and pointing to anyone who still rejects instrumental "worship" or who might resist if we cease weekly communion. Is that paranoid?

If our way is the abnormal but an easy way just to be different then why in the name of heaven would a group refuse to use instruments when it could become hugely popular and attract all of the "at loose ends" and grow at the expense of already existing churches just down the road? You know: sheep stealing. That would be like beating your head with a hammer just to have something for the aspirin to cure. Is there something about church of Christism that makes you cruel, unthinking and self-destructive? Is this like monasticism?

On the contrary, the non-use of instruments is the hard, thoughtful and immensely unpopular way of Biblical truth. You have to be smarter than you will ever become at Phd U in order to grasp the Biblical and historical condemnation of music because it "takes away the keys to knowledge."

Adding an organic organ in the form of a "musical worship team" (the penultimate oxymoron) or a physical, expensive organ or piano would be the easy, thoughtless, popular way

One who is ignorant of the history of instrumental music as the most powerful method of taking away the key to knowledge is profoundly ignorant of God's Word or Spirit. All of the Bible, pagan history and the church "Fathers" fly in the face the "broken record" mantra that churches of Christ are somehow evil because it refuses to worship with instruments or endorse those who do.

As a "congregational" group why should anyone be so bent on denouncing a whole people because it exercises its God-given and Bible-instructed right to worship according to its conscience?

Would it be non-sectarian for a band of men to infiltrate a church belonging to a musical church and use the law, lies, distorted Bible and History and silencing the instrumentalists from defending their use?

Well that has been the well-established pattern of all sectarian introduction of instruments. This is a defacto and usually stated claim that simply not using instruments and not becoming "life members" of a society to include "Christendom" is sectarian, legalistic and therefore hell-bounding.

Rubel Shelly: instrumental music, weekly communion, and a dozen other things.

Now, to not use instruments and not meeting with those who do is added to weekly communion as one of those legalistic errors of churches of Christ along with "a dozen other things." That just about leaves every act, belief or motive of churches of Christ anathematized. Wonder what is driving this?

I don't know about weekly communion. However, Paul indicated that the reason for assembling in Corinth was eating the Lord's Supper and they had turned to music and away from honoring Christ in the "memorial" rather than the "eating the body of Christ" ritual. The "musical" terms in 1 Cor 13:1 and 14 line up perfectly with the musical weapons spoken of in the book of Enoch and validated by Jude.

I know that history treated the weekly communion as very important. And all history connected it to the first day of the week. Be different just to sow discord? Why? Isn't it scriptural to eat the Lord's Supper weekly? Is it sinful to eat it on the Lord's Day? Why change? Well, perhaps it is to upset the equilibrium to navigate the church closer to the end goal. Perhaps it is "prayerful brinkmanship." For what purpose? Will people be more spiritual because they somehow learn to hate churches of Christ? Is this the obverse side of the same coin which used to say the same about anyone not a member of the church?

Rubel Shelly: Not one of these things (not using instruments) requires any significant heart adjustment in us though.

Not using instruments takes more biblical searching through the "ruins of the wrecked temples" to find the Word of God than any thing one can imagine: I have done it. Therefore, the above statement is the most judgmental statement I have ever heard. Why would it take a trip to the heart Chiropractor to make the addition of instruments easy?

That statement could be patented by Oscar Myer. It clearly tells you and everyone listening (most are not) that continuing to discuss instrumental music is not a "core issue" or not "the bull's eye thing" or not a "heart" issue.

The thing which would take absolutely no "heart adjustment" for a people deprived of the truth about music would be to add a band to the choir next Sunday.

Rejecting instruments takes more heart adjustment than Dr. Shelly allows. On the other hand, adding instruments would be the most popular thing in the world for the uninstructed. Everyone would love you and just flock to you and lust after the team and get their endorphins (morphine-like) stirred up and you can sell it as "spiritual." Rejecting instruments has no advantage and unless it was a heart-adjusted thing who would subject themselves to the spiritual abuse of Dr. Shelly and others?

Perhaps if the song leader didn't lead some silly praise song to "prepare your mind for the Lord's Supper" when it does just the opposite there might be one or two members of the church of Christ who would like to obey the command: "The Lord is in His Holy Temple, let all of the earth keep silent before." We might, as in the Passover, look for leaven in our own heart in absolute silence.

Instrumental music and self-important "musical worship teams" have taken much heart adjustment by those who must adjust to hurt because people have used Romans 14, to run rough-shod over them.

Who says that most people don't take the Lord's Supper from the heart weekly? If not, would monthly "regenerate their souls?" Isn't it harshly judgmental to define everyone as not heart involved?

Rubel Shelly: So we don't dance but let children suffer abuse because of a lack of safe foster homes.

Lordy, I wish I had a degree in psychology. I would love to make the connection between "not dancing" and "letting children suffer." I told my radical sister that I kinda wish that Al Gore had won: I just hate to see George Bush starving all of those babies when killing 42 plus million since Roe vs Wade would be much more efficient!

I would be interested in know how many have been counted who make a point of "not dancing" but are willing "let children suffer abuse."

If we hadn't warned against making love on the dance floor we just might have more foster parents. Well, that makes sense: I know some surplus kids generated as a result of the dance floor -- almost fell in love myself just once. When I see her I break out into: "God moves in a mysterious way, His Wonders to perform."

Rubel Shelly: We sing a Capella and continue to play the race card against blacks or whites or Hispanics.

From Woodmont: "WE" make sure our children don't dance and thereby feel righteous about ourselves because we saved them from all the sins they would have committed had they danced, rather than becoming involved in a worthy and constructive endeavor such as foster care.

Most child care programs I have evern know about were begun by individuals and usually by "moms or dads" who were interested in saving their children. This was what motivated them into foster care. No non-caring single person would begin foster care!

So, my point is that Dr. Shelly always sets up a dialectic. This was made famous by Hegel and Marx where an idea (thesis) generates its opposite (antithess) leading to a reconciliation of opposites (synthesis).
 
One can see this in most sports where no one would pay for the worthless and shallow experience unless there is a conflict between the good guys (me) and the bad guys (you) so that you like a straw man just fall down flat and burn up to the roar of the paying audience (congregation).

Well, I have three grown up daughters and four grandchildren and I cannot ever remember the word "dancing" crossing our lips. This "no daaancing or ole 7-uuup cards and mooin pitchur shos is undoubtedly out of Dr. Shelly's first sermon outlines. Friend, if I could save my daughters from any mistake at 70 years I would not dare call that an "unworthy" or "unconstructive" endeavor! My momma, like the EverReady Bunny just ran out the last electron of her almost 96 years and she went to her maker with the company of her kids who never divorced, nursing her like a baby until the last breath never returned. She was proudest of that along with a tribe which counted to great-great-great grandkids.

Because we do not dance, does not in any way mean that we condone, cause or allow children to suffer abuse as your statement "Not dancing means that we let little children suffer abuse" implies.

It simply means that while we are focusing our hearts and attention on a certain area, we are missing the big picture.

You have grasped the Mr. Magic scheme perfectly: if I can get you to think only with your emotions (music and charismatic speaking) I can make you believe that I really moved the statue of Liberty.

If we are not "fodder" for sports or magic we can focus our heart on worshiping a Spirit God in our own spirit as the "most holy place" where we meet God.
 
In the Catholic Cathedral the pulpit is the most holy place and it is not filled with the presence of God. Called the "position of the perfect."

I consider "training up a child in the way it should go" the primary "big picture" of every mom and dad. Seems like God said something like that. This sounds like a repeat of Dr. Shelly: "While" we focus we "miss" the big picture. As an engineer I do parallel processing: I can focus on fighting the flood of musical stuff trying to wash away the church, AND at the same time I can remember to feed the dog, and listen to the news, and hear the telephone or watch the C130s refuel the helicopers.

You may find this so strange that your "first" warning will jump me over to heretic status immediately but from a huge collection of information beginning in downtown Babylon 5500 years ago, Satans "big picture" has been finding ways to alter the human mind to take it off God's "big picture" which is His message to us. You may not know that Jude quotes Enoch to say that the reason God will come with ten thousand saints to execute judgment is Satan getting into people like Jubal and Judas and using them to get the bunnies hopping with mixed-sex choirs and instrumental music. If we make a "pie chart" it will be totally filled with picturing music as worship as destructive to the spiritual nature of man and you will not find a single, thin line segment of the pie showing God's endorsement. The odds are 100 to 0. Therefore, if learned men tell you that the music issue is trivial, legalistic or pharisaical you have better watch your soul.

I want to repeat the premise because it is not possible to keep it in mind as one "heaps on" more practices:

Jesus' Antipathy to Legalism

Rubel Shelly: When we are painfully honest, you and I must admit that Christians often display a pharisaic tendency to place great importance on avoiding relatively trivial things.

Is it fair to suggest that the stage is set to discuss legalism and pharisaic tendencies? Ok.

Next, are we legalistic and pharaisaic in order to avoid trivial things?

Is it logical to think that the following list of things are trivial?

What are they? Singing A Capella.

If we give up A Capella will we quit playing the race card against whites and Hispanics? Do you suppose that we might continue to sing A Capella and quit playing the race card at the same time?

We could certainly collect more blacks and Hispanics if we added a band before next Sunday. Would that mean that we are less racists? Or would it mean that blacks and Hispanics are more conditioned to tithing? Or what does that mean? What about a "venue" for "Rock" and "Rap?" Vulgar terms associated with Voodoo.

Is it possible that by associating a capella and racism we might warn people away from the new building just down the street and make them come to help our new building program? I honestly don't know but I do know that I have a heap of trouble logically understanding what is probably the world's best resource on instrumental music and idolatry or you may have a problem with listening critically.

Again, it would be less discord sowing if we had the number of people who sing "a la church" and "Play" the race card. Are there more in churches of Christ in, say, families of God or Community churches. Baptist? Methodists? Catholics? Are we really more racists? Why not let people sing A Capella without making them feel ignorant or legalistic and use the web space to tromp on those who play the race card?

Well everyone has my permission to sing A Capella AND not play the racist card against non-instrumental churches of Christ. The Christian church / Disciples of Christ love to lie about churches of Christ becoming sectarian dividers of the church because of racism.

We have collected some facts about that. to prove that all divisions occurred in the North and churches of Christ were counted separately when "evangelistic" efforts to convert the ignorant, non-productive churches to the use of Instruments and force them to Join the Missionary Society which aimed to include all "Christendom" and promote "Life membership -- even for children."

Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians and even Catholics divided over the Civil War: churches of Christ did not. Did not!

Good Lord in Heaven! Had I known that singing without a musical instrument caused racism I would have been born and constructed a turtle-harp while still in my cradle. The Classics equate Hermes or Mercury to Jubal or Genun who scooped out a turtle shell (Well, I don't know what happened to the BEAST). He strung it with the beast's guts and went out as the father of sheep and cattle thieves. You know how he did it? Well, he walked and marched the animals backward so that the chief god -- Apollo (Apollydon or Abbadon) would never guess that his sheep were being hustled away by the father of harpists! Isn't that precious?

"The tale is interesting for two reasons:

First, the turtle shell was, in fact, frequently used as the resonator of the Greek lyra, and,

second, the tale makes an explicit relationship between the lyre and cattle.

Similarly, in Mesopotamia the lyre was surmounted with a carved bull's head, and in modern East Africa the lyre is most frequently encountered in cattle cultures.

The music at Mount Sinai centered on Apis the agent or bull incarnation of Osiris. This came directly from Babylonia and it sentenced the Israelites to live under the law. Hear it: musical worship always forced legal worship. Rejecting instruments are never termed legalistic.

This was the beast in which the gods actually lived.

Then, further, also near the cradle,
Hermes pierced it (a turtle shell
with strings attached) through,
and said, Call it Lyre."

It consists of seven strings, signifying by these seven strings the entire harmony and construction of the world (kosmos) as it is melodiously constituted. For in six days the world was made, and (the Creator) rested on the seventh.

If, then, says (Aratus), Adam, acknowledging (his guilt) and
guarding the head of the Beast,
according to the commandment of the Deity,
will imitate Lyra,
that is, obey the Logos of God, that is, submit to the law,
he will receive Corona that is situated near him.

If, however, he neglect his duty, he shall be hurled downwards in company with the Beast that lies underneath, and shall have, he says, his portion with the Beast.

And Engonasis seems on both sides to extend his hands, and on one to touch Lyra, and on the other Corona--and this is his confession;--so that it is possible to distinguish him by means of this (sidereal) configuration itself.

The Judas Bag was for "carrying the mouthpieces of wind instruments" and is derived from "speaking in tongues" and "of the Kosmos."

Click to see how they tried to "Mark" or pollute or "triumph over" Jesus with instruments.

Did you know that SOPHIC-ZOE is the mother of male musical teams and is also identified as the Beast?

Click to learn more about the "god" who created a "family'' by force and music to collect money from the worshipers.

We eat the Lord's Supper every week and sow discord among members of the body of Christ. We've strained out a gnat and swallow a camel --a two-humped camel at that.

Unless I am mistaken a survey of the web would have the election conclude that Jubilee has been a powerful sower of discord in the history of the RM. You won't grasp that during Sunday ceremony but you can hear the cries of anguish from all over the country from the push for choirs, instruments and the addition of "praise" songs too sentimental for words or teaching outright error.

And what is the relationship between weekly communion and swallowing a two-humped camel?

Well! If we quit taking the Lord's Supper every week I am sure that we WILL NOT SOW DISCORD among brethren who are just lusting for a music-facilitated reason to quit thinking about Jesus and death every week. Sure, we need some rest.

If Woodmont Hills follows the leader and stops weekly Lord's Supper or makes it a Sabbath keeping law, will they not sow discord more or less?

Where do you suppose the urge to diminish weekly communion as an evil co-partner of sowing discord comes from? Perhaps from the same source as musical instruments to take the glory away from God and give it to the musicians and performers. The sowing of discord or sectarianizing churches of Christ was caused by the introduction of musical instruments for purely commercial or "seeker-friendly" purposes.

When the fellow has been kicked in the soft spot and yells "ouch" in church, he is not, dear friend, the one who created the discord.

Beer and Pornography

We are going to skip the personal stuff:

The anxiety Christ died to remove (that is gospel) was not that of separating one way or another. Jesus said:

Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Mt.11:28

The burden was:

Portizo (g5412) for-tid'-zo; from 5414; to load up (prop. as a vessel or animal), i.e. (fig.) to overburden with ceremony (or spiritual anxiety): - lade, be heavy laden.

Music and mind-altering preaching styles has always been the most powerful way of inducing spiritual anxiety in order to control people.

It is judgmental to endorse the use of Instrumental music as a "theologically sound line drawn in the sand to sow discord among bretheren." If Dr. Shelly pronounces that you can engage in what the Bible calls "noses" and be saved he is speaking where the Bible has not spoken.

God does not respect the new "boundaries we create and carefully protect" about the Biblical authority for instruments and the condemnation of those who reject and condemn them. For instance,

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Mt.7:21

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Mt. 7:22

Trying to cast out devils makes the pagan use of instrumental music certain as part of the "prophesying." The same is true in 1 Cor 11:5 concerning uncovered prophesying.

False prophesying was most often the result of crying "Lord, Lord" to the accompaniment of instruments. Ezekiel condemned it as primarily a woman's effort.

Adam Clark notes of prophesying:

The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 1 Sam 18:10

"He prophesied in the midst of the house. He was beside himself; made prayers, supplications, and incoherent imprecations: 'God preserve my life,' 'Destroy my enemies,' or such like prayers, might frequently escape from him in his agitated state. The Arabic intimates that he was actually possessed by an evil spirit, and that through it he uttered a sort of demoniacal predictions." (Clark, 1 Sam 18, p. 270).

"In ancient times, says Justin, kings used a spear instead of a diadem: And as spears were the emblems of supreme power, hence they were reputed as attributes of the Divinity, and were worshipped as representatives of the gods." (Adam Clark, 1 Sam. 18, p. 270)

The Christian church uses the word "prophesying" to justify "singing with instruments." Click Here for our review.

"In the environment in which Christianity arose was surcharged with such phenomena (raving prophecy). In the Greek oracles messages were uttered by priests or priestesses in a state of ecstasy,

consciousness being in abeyance, and it was necessary to interpret them to the laity, as both Plutarch and Heraclitus testify... In the orgies of the cult of Dionysus music, dancing, drink, and other means were employed to supereninduce the ecstatic state, in which the devotees ate raw flesh, disported themselves with frenzied enthusiasm in the forests, and indulged in wild phallic excesses.

The ecstatic person was 'in the divinity' and out of normal consciousness. Cicero makes prophecy and madness practically synonymous." (Clark, Elmer T., The Small Sects in America, p. 86, Abingdon)

"The religious ecstasy induced by music expressed itself either in an outburst of emotions, thus giving rise to religious catharsis,

or in a transfer to the state of prophecy.

In this way music became an important factor in divination. In the mysteries of the Magna Mater this relationship between music and divination is particularly clear.

Through the din of tambourines, cymbals and flutes

the ecstatic worshiper of the goddess prophesied the future to those present.

Prodigal grace was not available while the son was still prodigal.

Apparently listeners are not able to hold the premise in mind after it has been bombarded by any form of music, and under the sway of a charismatic speaker who apparently can even use navigating birds as the "paradigm" for the church and its leadership and not wake up. Therefore, again the premise is:

Rubel Shelly: A certain preacher I know filled a pulpit for over three years

by preaching legalistic orthodoxy,

defending the distinctives of the Church of Christ with vigor,

and making a reputation for himself as a "sound gospel preacher" in this state.

Much of that reputation was built on attacking others.

Hmmm! Legalistic Orthodoxy is defined as "Church of Christ distinctives."

But, he was a lover of porn and other men's wives!

As I understand it, the Navigators have determined that 85 percent of pastors are female-oriented while 85 percent of their flocks are male-oriented. Sexual deviation has always been the hallmark of all ancient priesthoods. Indeed, H. Bamford Parkes identifies the "charismatic prophesier as the world's oldest profession." The clergy tried to seduce Jesus into the Dionysus dance by piping to him -- always considered obscene. And they hoped that John wore "soft" clothing which is defined as the clothing of the king's house catamites.

So being a preacher does not improve nature.

However, being a church of Christ type does not cause sexual deviation.

We want all of those boys and girls out there to know that continuing to attend a traditional church of Christ (as opposed to the Family of God) really will not cause you to become a pervert.

And one doubts that amnesia to become a gay pastor was caused by being a church of Christ preacher.

How can you sentences all churches of Christ to hell because of one deviant preacher who certainly didn't get addicted in the church? All of you Baptists out there. You are so lucky that there are no deviant Baptist Preachers. And Catholics?

A legalist might believe that he can use a "musical worship facilitator" as a mediator to "lead the worshipers into the presence of God." That is legalistic. Sucking everything but a few facts ABOUT Jesus out of the Bible and defining the rest as opinions refuses to trust that God is competent to both instruct and mediate.

Jesus refused to speak to the Jewish clergy and fired the "doctors of the law" for taking away the key to knowledge. They were not preaching legalism in order to save people: they were preaching tithing, ritual ceremonies (sacrifices), instrumental music, taking up public collections, preaching and making two-fold disciples of hell and most of them -- then and now -- were Biblically illiterate but doctors of tradition -- new or old.

Rubel Shelly: Then his addiction to pornography broke over his head, when his wife found him at his computer at 2:30 a.m. one Tuesday. He had dabbled with pornography since high school, and the Internet had become his portal to everything he could imagine and more besides. Chat rooms. Prostitutes. Affairs with three women in his church. The externals were in perfect working order. The heart was corrupt.

"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jer. 17:9). "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me" (Psa. 51:10).

Are we to believe that this guy was just evil because he didn't play instruments? Or for taking the Lord's Supper each week?

Do we set up a "venue" for sexual deviants and adulterers? Perhaps we could add a few computers as a Seeker Friendly Service. After we get them there we can then minister to them and wean them off porn. If it works for sexual music (Rock, Rap as Voodoo based) music why not porn?

Conclusion

Rubel Shelly: In today's text, Jesus challenged not purity but legalism, not obedience to God but defensiveness of human tradition. While not saying that all tradition is bad or unhealthy, he did say the ultimate test God will apply is to our hearts. And you don't need a system or set of legalistic rules to protect your heart. You need a relationship. You need to be so filled with love for him that the idea of cherishing any evil thing in your heart that would offend him would become unthinkable to you.

We suggest that no one does not NOT use instruments as a method to earn their salvation. They do not use instruments, among other reasons, so that they are not mind altered or "intoxicated" as on new wine while God is trying to speak to to them without a human mediator.

Instruments in all known traditions are introduced by Satan to keep people from hearing the Word of God.

"In pagan traditions, musical instruments are invented by gods or demi-gods, such as titans. In the Bible, credit is assigned to antediluvian patriarchs, for example, the descendants of Cain in Genesis 4:21. There is no other biblical tradition about the invention of musical instruments." (Freedman, David Noel, Bible Review, Summer 1985, p. 51). (Proof Here).

And since God never said: I just love that, why would it be legalistic, sectarian, racist and child-abusive to not use instruments?

And why would it be more spiritual to fly in the face of all known resources and become God's unique family by calling out a new body built upon sowing discord among brethren?

Hard to grasp. Hard to grasp. The only logical reason based on Jesus, Enoch and Jude is too hard to contemplate just now. I will think about that tomorrow.

Rubel Shelly: "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Prov. 4:23).

My version has a context:

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Prov 4:20

Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. Prov 4:21

For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Prov 4:22

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63 I

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Prov 4:23

Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee Prov 4:24

MY son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: Prov 5:1

That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. Prov 5:2

Isaiah prophesied:

AND there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: Isaiah 11:1

And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; Isaiah 11:2

And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: Isaiah 11:3

One might believe that this was in the mind of Jesus when He warned us against paring out a "core gospel" in order to reject the commandments of Christ the Spirit and add destructive traditions of men. That is His definition of a Pharisee. And a hypocrite is an actor standing in the place of Christ Who died so that we might all come boldly before the throne of Grace without human mediators.

Nothing destroys spirit faster and more fatally than musical performance while God is trying to speak.

[1] David E. Garland, The NIV Application Commentary: Mark (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996), p. 284.

[2]Donald W. McCullough, "Serving a Wild Free God," Christianity Today 39 (Apr. 3, 1995), p. 17, quoted in Garland, Mark, p. 285. San Francisco Theological Seminary.

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