Seriously? You Hear The Strangest Things About The Church Of Christ (#2)
“What a beautiful Saturday morning,” Joe thought as he pulled into Fedoya Park for his daughter’s soccer game. (The coaches had requested the girls all be there a bit earlier than usual for warm-ups.) As he parked and his wife and daughter piled out of the car with soccer equipment in tow, he noticed that his co-worker, Chuck, and his family were already there. Chuck was the “church of Christ guy” from work whom Joe always enjoyed talking to about the Bible because Chuck seemed to know it so well.
After Joe collected the two lawn chairs from the rear of his truck, he waved his wife over and then approached where Chuck was sitting. He had been particularly perturbed lately and at a loss to understand something he had heard about the churches of Christ. Hoping for an answer, he went over and set up his and his wife’s chairs beside where Chuck and his family were sitting.
Eventually, after the introductions and obligatory weather comments had concluded, Joe said, “Hey Chuck; I got a question for you… I’ve heard it said recently that churches of Christ don’t have music… is that true?”
Chuck smiled and responded jovially, “No, that’s not true at all – not even remotely. We enjoy some of the sweetest worship music ever sung. Every Christian there – young and old alike – seeks to pour out their musical praises to God with all their heart, mind, and soul just the way God commanded His faithful New Testament church to do so long ago.”
“That’s not quite what I meant,” Joe responded wryly. “I meant, is it true that you guys don’t use instruments? All the other churches do. Are you saying they’re wrong?”
Without missing a beat, Chuck said, “What I’m saying is this… Let’s suppose your wife, whom you love deeply, has made it abundantly clear that she wants one particular pearl necklace from you for her special day. She has placed a picture of it beside your alarm clock so it’s the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning. She has pasted a picture of it on your medicine cabinet mirror so when you go in to shave you can’t miss it. Coming down the stairs for breakfast, you see she has slid a picture of it halfway under your breakfast plate – as well as one under your coffee cup. Leaving for work and getting into your car, you see she has slipped a picture of it in front of your speedometer. And finally, picking up your cell phone to text her that you got the message already, you see that she has posted a picture of it on there as your wallpaper! That’s six, different, unmistakable messages, indicating exactly what she wants on her special day. And so the question: Do you love her enough to give her what she asked for? Or, do you suppose it would be “just fine” with her if you got her a necktie instead? After all, they both go around the neck.”
“Not if he knows what’s good for him,” Joe’s wife instantly interjected from the seat beside him. “He might have something else wrapped around his neck at that point – and I’m not talking about his loving wife’s arms either!” she continued rather quickly and quite convincingly.
“Exactly,” Chuck continued. So; how many times do those who truly love and want to please and submit to the Lord alone, have to be told by Him precisely what type of worship music He wants before they decide to honor His wishes instead of their own? He has told us all very clearly, not once, not twice, not three, not even six, but a total of eight different times in the New Testament, exactly the type of worship music He wants: singing – and singing only. What makes us think, as feeble human beings, that we therefore have the authority to give Him something else – something we might prefer or even see as better – over what He has so thoroughly indicated?
Completely caught off guard by the absolute simplicity of such sound and logical biblical reasoning, all Joe could stammer was, “But… what about David? He used instruments!”
“He also danced uncovered before the Lord and offered up animal sacrifices too,” Chuck said, chuckling, “but that doesn’t mean that those Old Testament practices are a part of New Testament church worship. It’s like this… Let’s go back to the pearls example. Suppose your first wife loved puzzles. She had a huge puzzle collection. Every holiday you sought to purchase her a new and unique puzzle. She eventually passes away and you remarry. Your new wife makes it extremely clear that she loves pearls – not puzzles. What would you get her when you want to celebrate her special day? Puzzles… or pearls?”
“If I’m the second wife, it better not be puzzles!” Joe’s wife chillingly chimed in once again from her nearby lawn chair.
“Well, it’s the same way with God. Under the Old Mosaic Covenant with the Israelites, sure, they used instruments. It was a very ‘physically-oriented’ system. However, under the New Covenant of Christ, which is a much more ‘spiritually-oriented’ system, we see that God insists, not on some talented few playing their instruments in worship to Him while the rest look on, but on every single and grateful saint in the congregation singing His praises and putting their whole mind and spirit into it; teaching, admonishing, and encouraging one another while singing and making melody to the Lord with thankful hearts and cheerful lips! This is what the eight, exclusive New Testament messages or passages from God on the type of music He desires tell us. Our preacher posted quite an in-depth bible study on this to our website. If you really want to learn more about worshipping as God wants, then maybe you ought to check it out. It’s at http://www.clevelandcoc.com/?page_id=161.
And as far as who’s right or wrong Joe… we in the churches of Christ absolutely believe that the only way to be sure that a person is going to heaven, is to be as close to being right with God as they possibly can. And that the only way they can do that, is simply to study everything out, “book, chapter, and verse,” and then do everything exactly the way God said, period. …Don’t you Joe? Well…don’t you?”