Article - Early Denominations Opposed Instruments In Church
Since Jesus did not give Christians the right to worship God with an instrument, who or what organization took it upon itself to introduce this unauthorized music into the worship, thus corrupting the worship of the church (John 4:23-24; Matthew 15:8-9)? Answer: The Catholic Church (the first denomination to depart from the New Testament church, 1 Timothy 4:1-5). According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, however, the Catholic denomination used only vocal music in their worship for hundreds of years before the instrument was introduced and accepted as part of Catholic doctrine. When this new, unbiblical practice was officially accepted by the Catholic leadership, many Catholics divided from the Catholic Church in A.D. 1054 and formed the Greek Orthodox Church. Catholic scholar Thomas Aquinas was opposed to the instrument, stating, “Our church does not use musical instruments, as harps and psalteries, to praise God withal, that she may not seem to Judaize” (in Summs around A.D. 1250). The founders of the various Protestant denominations were also opposed to the instrument in worship. Martin Luther (Lutheran denomination) considered organs “among the ensigns of Baal.” John Calvin (Presbyterian, etc. denominations) made it clear that instruments in Christian worship were borrowed by Catholic papists from the Jews and were no more suitable in Christian worship than burning incense and lighting candles. Calvin considered their use “outward pomp” and “noise.” John Wesley (Methodist denomination) said, “I have no objection to instruments of music in our chapels, provided they are neither heard nor seen.” Famous Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon refused the instrument in his 10,000-seat church in London in the 1800s. After much debate and battle, most denominations since the 1800s have accepted the instrument in their worship, despite these facts. Though man continues to add to God’s worship (Revelation 22:18-19), the New Testament has not changed. Jesus still only authorizes vocal worship in His church. Will you follow Jesus or man?
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