Brass and Percussion in Church Worship

Republished February 26, 2015 (first published June 7, 1999) (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org) -

The following is from the Sword & Trowel, 1998, No. 4, copyright 1998, Metropolitan Tabernacle [Elephant & Castle, London SE1 6SD. 0171-735-7076 (voice), www.MetropolitanTabernacle.org (web site), SwordTrowel@MetropolitanTabernacle.org (e-mail)] --

Original spellings are retained in this report.

brass_and_percussion
What does the Bible teach about how instruments should be used in worship? This is a burning issue today. Those who advocate the uninhibited use of solo instrumental ‘numbers’ and groups point to the Old Testament and say that God allowed all kinds of instruments and large orchestras to contribute a major musical element to worship. If God, they reason, is the same yesterday, today and forever, He must want the same kind of worship today.

But is it true that God allowed full instrumental worship in the Jewish church? Is it true, for example, that timbrels (tambourines), played by dancing maidens, led the worship? Is it true that the Jews regularly worshipped with percussion instruments and brass, and that these generated powerful, rhythmic music?

A brief look at the data will show that this idea is a thousand miles wide of the mark. In the Old Testament, God put very firm restrictions on the use of instruments, obviously to prevent the over-enjoyment of music at the human level from overpowering and eclipsing spiritual worship. Instruments were allowed, but only some, and only at certain times. So the Old Testament example teaches a great principle which is tragically thrown away by new-style worshippers today.

We realise that the Church of Jesus Christ is not under the rules of the Old Testament. Their order of worship does not bind us today. However, the general principles then taught by God still apply, and this is why we must examine the claim that God allowed uninhibited instrumental and rhythmic worship.

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The Bruised Reed And The Smoking Flax

February 25, 2015, 2015 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

the_bruised_reed
“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth” (Isaiah 42:1-3).

For more than 40 years I have meditated on this wonderful Messianic prophecy, this amazing statement of the character of Almighty God.

We learn here that the Son of God will not break the bruised reed or quench the smoking flax (Isa. 42:3).

What a wonderful description of Christ’s tender compassion! He is the Good Shepherd who redeems sinners by His atonement and cares for them continually as their High Priest. He does not discard His people when they are weak and overcome by temptation. He has committed Himself to them. They are ordained to be conformed to His image. It will happen! He has guaranteed that it will happen. And it is an eternal process that begins in this present life.

The believer is likened to
a bruised reed. What could be weaker? At his best, the believer is a mere reed rather than a strong and majestic tree. But how often we are bruised reeds. Reeds are easily bent by the wind and injured by the elements. Reeds are highly effected by drought conditions. Likewise, the believer is easily bruised by the world, the flesh, and the devil, bent over by the storms of wickedness and trouble and persecution. We are bruised by failure to abide in God’s Word, bruised by unfaithfulness and sin and backsliding. Yet Christ does not cast away His bruised reeds; He does whatever is necessary to bring them back to health. He cares for them, nurses them, reproves and chastens them. David was a bruised reed after his sin with Bathsheba, yet Jehovah God brought him to repentance and forgave him. In his old age, David wrote great Psalms and received the plans for the Temple by the Spirit of God. The bruised reed was healed.

Likewise the believer is likened to
smoking flax. This is a picture of an oil lamp with a flax wick that is not properly trimmed or that is low on oil. Rather than burning brightly, it is smoking. Rather than burning brightly, it is smoking. Rather than providing light in the darkness as it is intended to do, it is smoldering and producing irritants. Christ doesn’t throw away His smoking lamps. Those with true faith even as weak as a smoking flax are accepted and taken into His tender care. He renews the oil and tenderly trims the wicks and fans the smoldering fibers into a bright flame. Peter was a smoking flax after he denied Christ, yet Christ restored Him, and afterward Peter’s lamp burned more brightly than ever.


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About Way of Life
- The name “Way of Life” is from Proverbs 6:23: “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” The biblical instruction that molds men to God’s will requires reproof. It is not strictly positive. It does not focus on man’s “self-esteem.” It does not avoid controversial or unpopular subjects. It warns as well as comforts. It deals with sin and false teaching in a plain manner. It is reproves, rebukes, exhorts with all longsuffering and doctrine (2 Tim. 4:2). This is what we seek to do through Way of Life Literature. The Way of Life preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. A mail stop is maintained in Port Huron, Michigan.

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Friday Church News, Volume 16, Issue 8

The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, though this does not imply an endorsement.
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JEWISH JOURNALIST RECORDS ANTI-SEMITIC HATE ON PARIS STREETS (Friday Church News Notes, February 20, 2015, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Ten Hours of Fear and Loathing in Paris,” nrg.co.il, Feb. 17, 2015: “Welcome to Paris 2015, where soldiers are walking every street that houses a Jewish institution, and where keffiyeh-wearing men and veiled women speak Arabic on every street corner. ... In modern-day Paris, you see, Jews are barred from entering certain areas. ... For 10 hours I quietly walked down the streets and suburbs of Paris, with photographer Dov Belhassen documenting the day using a GoPro camera hidden in his backpack. Given the tensions in Paris, which is still reeling from a wave of terrorist attacks (including the murder of Charlie Hebdo magazine journalists), I was assigned a bodyguard. ... Areas known as tourist attractions were relatively calm, but the further from them we walked, the more anxious I became over the hateful stares, the belligerent remarks, and the hostile body language. At times it was like walking in downtown Ramallah. Most women were wearing a veil or a hijab, most men appeared to be Muslim, and Arabic was prevalent everywhere. We decided ahead of time that I was to walk through these areas quietly, without stopping anywhere, without speaking to anyone, without so much as looking sideways. My heart was pounding and negative thoughts were running through my head. I would be lying if I said I was not afraid. Walking into a public housing neighborhood, we came across a little boy and his hijab-clad mother, who were clearly shocked to see us. ‘What is he doing here Mommy? Doesn’t he know he will be killed?’ the boy asked. ... Over at a nearby street I was lambasted with expletives ... At a nearby cafe, fingers were pointed at us, and moments later two thugs were waiting for us on the street corner. They swore at me, yelled ‘Jew,’ and spat at me. ... Two youths were waiting for us on the next street corner, as they had apparently heard that a Jew was walking around their neighborhood. They made it clear to us that we had better get out of there, and we took their advice. ‘A few more minutes and this would have been a lynching,’ the bodyguard told me as we were getting into the car. ‘Leave this area right now.’”

CHINA’S INTERNET ADDICTION CAMPS (Friday Church News Notes, February 20, 2015, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Teen’s cure for Internet addiction,” Fox News, Feb. 3, 2015: “About 14% of China’s youths may be addicted to the Internet, says a psychologist; he runs a rehab center, or ‘boot camp,’ that takes a tough approach to the weaning process, the Telegraph reports ... Others, however, take action on their own. Witness the case of teen known only as ‘Little Wang,’ who, in an effort to end his addiction, cut his left hand off. ... China is one of several countries grappling with what the Telegraph calls an addiction ‘epidemic’; in China, it’s known as wangyin, the New Yorker reported last year. Taiwan has established fining systems ..


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What Would Colonial Baptist Preacher John Leland Say In 2014?

February 19, 2015 (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

The following is from The Fundamentalist Digest, Dec. 2014 - Jan. 2015 issue:

A "THEORETICAL” LETTER FROM THE 18TH CENTURY BAPTIST PATRIOT JOHN LELAND

Actual author Dr. Roger L. Salomon

johnleland200
My 21st century friend, Dr. Roger L. Salomon, National Representative of the Association of Baptist Church Schools, has said that God insisted that I be born in the 18th century. I wanted to take part in the fundamental-modernist battles of the 1920's and 1930's but God placed me in the developing years of America because He wanted me to lead a persecuted people called Baptists in their struggle against the established church.

Most people believe that in 1620 the Pilgrims came to these shores seeking religious liberty and that all Americans since then have enjoyed this freedom. This is not the way it was. The Puritans arrived after the Pilgrims and immediately began persecuting those who had other God-given convictions. In 1636, only 16 years after the Pilgrims arrived, Roger Williams had to flee Salem, Massachusetts, being threatened with death. By 1659, the Puritans were hanging Quakers in Massachusetts, only 39 years after the coming of the Pilgrims, By the time I was born in Grafton, Massachusetts, in 1754, the New England colonies, except Rhode Island, had state established churches and religious persecution.

At the age of 20, I was converted, and two years later my wife Sarah Devine and I moved to Virginia where I was pastor of the Mt. Poney Baptist Church in Culpepper County.

God led me into the midst of religious persecution in Virginia. This great persecution of mostly Baptists led to greater numbers of baptisms and church growth. In 1760 there were only 10 Baptist churches in Virginia, but by 1770 there were 90 Baptist churches. During the years before the Revolution, there were 42 Baptist preachers who were jailed for preaching without a license and others were whipped, dunked, dragged away from preaching and beaten. I was once threatened with a gun for baptizing a man's wife. But God allowed me to become one of Virginia's "three mighty men" in this struggle for religious liberty. With the assistance of the Baptists, Thomas Jefferson was able to have approved The Virginia Statute for Religious Liberty which abolished the state church status of the Anglican Church in Virginia; and James Madison was able to amend the U.S. Constitution with a religious liberty amendment--the First Amendment in our Bill of Rights.

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Darwin's Errors

Enlarged February 18, 2015 (first published January 27, 2013) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org;)

darwins_errors
In the late 19th century, the evolutionary doctrine of Charles Darwin was thought to have disproven the Bible. This was a great turning point in history, and each quarter century since then has witnessed an increase in skepticism and open animosity toward God and His Word. Today it is widely assumed that the Bible is filled with myth and scientific blunders while Darwin has been authenticated.

The truth is quite the opposite. Scientific research since Darwin has authenticated the Bible and discredited Darwin. In reality, it is Darwin’s writings that are filled with myth and scientific blunders.

It can be argued that Darwin couldn’t have known scientific facts that weren’t yet discovered in his day and that he is not to be blamed for the blunders that appear in his writings, but that is not the point. The point is that Darwin’s writings are filled with scientific blunders, whereas the Bible,
which was written thousands of years earlier, has no such blunders. This is clear evidence of its divine inspiration.

Consider some of Darwin’s errors:

THEOLOGICAL LIBERALISM

It is theological liberalism that paved the way for the acceptance of Darwinian evolution. Originating in Germany and spreading though England during the first half of the 19th century, liberalism attacked the divine inspiration and historicity of the Bible. The Tubingen School of liberalism in Germany was founded by F.C. Baur, who lived at the same time as Darwin, dying a year after Darwin published
On the Origin of Species. German liberalism had made strong inroads into the Church of England.

Just five years after Darwin’s death, the Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon described the effect that theological liberalism had upon British society:

“Attendance at places of worship is declining and reverence for holy things is vanishing. We solemnly believe this to be largely attributable to THE SCEPTICISM WHICH HAS FLASHED FROM THE PULPIT AND SPREAD AMONG THE PEOPLE (C.H. Spurgeon, Sword and Trowel, November 1887).

All of the founders of Darwinian evolution were influenced by theological liberalism, assuming that the Bible had been discredited by the liberals.

Darwin said that the Bible “was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian” (
Autobiography, p. 85).

Thomas Huxley, “Darwin’s Bulldog,” called the Bible a myth and claimed that Jehovah God was an invention of man.

In Darwin’s day statements like the following were being published and widely accepted:

“The time, of which the pre-Mosaic narrations treat, is a sufficient proof of their legendary character. It was a time prior to all knowledge of writing” (H. Schultz,
Old Testament Theology, 1869).

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