Are Song Leaders, Song Books, etc. Aids or Additions to Church Worship?

Major Premise: All authorized and specified acts of New Testament church worship are actions which may have subordinate expedients (aids) authorized by God.

Minor Premise: "Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" is an authorized and specified act of New Testament church worship (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16)

Conclusion: Therefore, "singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" may have subordinate expedients (aids) authorized by God (such as, songbooks, projectors, projector screens, pitchforks, male song leaders, microphone).

Since "Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" is authorized by God, it would be advantageous for true worshippers to seek out ways to aid (expedite) this authorized act. For example, a songbook would serve as a subordinate expedient that would aid the worshippers to sing "to one another" (Ephesians 5:19) in a harmonious, orderly, and descent manner (1 Corinthians 14:40). A pitchfork would serve as a subordinate expedient to aid the song leader to pitch the psalm, hymn, or spiritual song in the right tune. A projector and a projector screen would serve as a subordinate expedient in aiding the worshippers to worship together in a harmonious manner. A male song leader (compare 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; 14:34,35 - which would specifically qualify the expedient based on the authority of God with regards to the spiritual function of the role of men and women) would serve as a subordinate expedient in aiding the congregation in starting the song since singing a song necessitates the starting the song. A microphone would serve as a subordinate expedient that would help the male song leader start and project the song so the congregation could follow. Each of these subordinate expedients are those which would help aid the congregational singing and do not add any unauthorized or foreign element to the worship of God nor does it change the nature of the action authorized and specified. For instance, when one sings with the songbook, he does no more than sing, aiding in the fulfillment of God’s desire to “sing to the Lord.”

Advocates of mechanical instruments of music in church worship would argue that instruments are also merely aids like songbooks, microphones, etc. There are two honest questions that need to be asked: (1) Is it possible for congregational singing to be performed, in and of itself, without the accompaniment of mechanical instruments of music? Yes. (2) Is it possible to fulfill the commandment of congregational singing (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19) if only the mechanical instruments of music were played? No.Should it not be seen then that mechanical instruments of music would be regarded as an addition, rather than an aid? Yes. Is it possible to sing without songbooks, projectors, or pitchforks? Absolutely. Introducing mechanical instruments of music into the worship of God is "strange music" (addition - compare Leviticus 10:1, 2) that is unauthorized by God under the new covenant; whereas, song leaders, song books, etc. are aids to New Testament church worship.



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WorshipJoey Ferrell