The Instigator
ChristianDebaterBrad
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
VocMusTcrMaloy
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Instrumental worship for New Testament Christians can be justified (debate #2)

Do you like this debate?NoYes+4
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision - Required
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/6/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 7,141 times Debate No: 17425
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (158)
Votes (4)

 

ChristianDebaterBrad

Pro

My opposition must agree that the ONLY authority to go by is the 66 books found in the Holy Bible.

I have this exact argument going on with someone else but I would like to take on another opponent as well.

What I'm proposing: New Testament Christians can worship God accompanied by instrumental use (only stringed instruments) and the bible is not silent on this matter.

Evidence of my proposition to be true:

Christians in the New Testament were plainly instructed to sing and do it from their heart, but from Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 the use of the term "psalms" is a clear indication of allowance of stringed instrument accompaniment within our song worship.

Things to make my position more clear:

Instruments of any kind that wouldn't allow the player to sing would not by definition be what God wants for New Testament worship.

The bible is NOT silent on instrumental use because of the word psalms.

All of the Old Testament Psalms that I know of were only accompanied by a harp, or possibly a lyre. The only indication I have is the footnote above the chapter but I have never seen one that explicitly said one was accompanied by anything other than a stringed instrument. Psalm 150 may talk about other instruments but that does not prove that the psalm itself was accompanied by the instruments that is mentioned within that chapter. Also, I would argue that Psalm 150 shows that God accepted in the Old Testament instrumental music alone WITHOUT the accompaniment of voices to be worship. I say this because David explicitly says to praise God on these instruments with no indication of singing as accompaniment and the only logical conclusion is what I'm proposing. One might argue that verse 6 which reads "Let everything that breathes praise the Lord" that this is specifically meaning singing. What you have to understand is that singing is praising but not all praising is singing. Also, within context of this chapter it makes more since to think that the "praise" in verse 6 is in reference to praise just instruments and instruments alone. If though the "praise" in verse 6 means to sing, David is not saying sing with the accompaniment of the instruments that he just mentioned in psalm 150 but rather just sing. If David said to do both at the same time I'd like to know where. My point to all this is it is apparent stringed instruments are okay by the definition of psalm and knowing that David used the harp to accompany some of his psalms. BUT instruments that are not stringed or would not allow the player to sing are not authorized from Ephesians 5:19, as well as even in the Old Testament there is no example or command to allow such instruments to accompany vocal singing.

Questions to my opponent:

1) If stringed instruments allow the player to also sing and the word psalms by definition allows accompaniment of stringed instruments, where do you draw your conclusion of sing and sing only?

2) If you argue that we were only instructed to sing and sing only and that to do anything else while we sing (such as playing an instrument) is sinful, then would you agree that using a song book (reading while you sing) would be adding to the commandment of just sing only?

I hope to find another good debater and that if I'm right that I have enlightened someone to Truth found in God's word and that if I'm wrong someone will show me the Truth and where I am erring.

Thanks and I'm looking forward to the debate with whoever decides to be my opposition.
VocMusTcrMaloy

Con

I agree that musical instruments are not forbidden in Christian worship. I disagree that ONLY stringed instruments are allowed.

(Correct me if I am wrong). It appears my opponent is saying that if the New Testament does not explicitly ALLOW certain instruments to be played in worship services; then those instruments are FORBIDDEN. My opponent seems to be saying that because Colossians 3:16 uses the word Psalm, that stringed instruments are ALLOWED. I agree with him here; however, that is where my agreement ends. I cannot agree that certain instruments are forbidden on the basis that they are not referenced in the New Testament. Following this logic, the following items that are considered to be staple items in church are ALSO NOT ALLOWED:
1) pulpits
2) P.A. systems
3) carpeting
4) modern clothing (robes only)
5) pews
6) running water
7) electric lighting
8) rest rooms
9) AIR CONDITIONING!
10) church buildings (the Early Church met in homes)

There is not ONE verse in the New Testament that FORBIDS any instrument in Christian worship. My opponent has the burden of proof if he is saying any particular instrument is forbidden in the Church.

Jesus fulfilled the need for animal sacrifice and many other Old Testament rituals; but, the New Testament does not indicate that He fulfilled the need for Psalm 150 worship. Psalm 150 and Exodus 20 are here to stay!
Debate Round No. 1
ChristianDebaterBrad

Pro

"My opponent said "There is not ONE verse in the New Testament that FORBIDS any instrument in Christian worship. My opponent has the burden of proof if he is saying any particular instrument is forbidden in the Church." Ephesians 5:19 we would both agree makes allowances for instruments with the word psalms. I would argue that it only makes an allowance for stringed instruments based on it's definition and old testament usage. In Ephesians 5:19 psalms ALWAYS had words, music alone would not suffice as a psalm. Also, Ephesians 5:19 commands we must sing. If you play a trumpet you can not sing, and we do not have authority to worship God with instruments alone in the New Testament, if so where?
VocMusTcrMaloy

Con

By the way, please forgive me for not thanking you in my opening argument for posting this debate. This should prove to be an interesting exchange. I would like to address a few of the statements in your second post:

"we do not have authority to worship God with instruments alone in the New Testament"

Ok, you have not cited a chapter and verse where I might find this statement in the New Testament; therefore, we shall conclude that this is man's opinion, and not God's Word.

"if so, where?"

The affirmative position in a debate has the burden of proof, not the opposing position. You affirm that with the exception of stringed instruments, Christians do not have authority to use musical instruments in Church. Can you prove this affirmation with scripture? If you do not produce proof for your position, then you are merely stating human opinion.

"Ephesians 5:19 we would both agree makes allowances for instruments with the word psalms. I would argue that it only makes an allowance for stringed instruments based on it's definition and old testament usage."

I would have to say that I don't agree with this statement because of the phrase "makes allowances." Ephesians 5:19 is not a list of things that are allowed in Christian worship. Preaching isn't on that list, does that mean preaching is not allowed in Christian worship? NO! This passage does not LIMIT a Christian service, man does that.

In my opening argument, I pointed out a number of things that are thought to be "necessary" to Christian churches, such as pulpits, pews, etc. that are not "authorized" by New Testament scripture, does that mean those items are FORBIDDEN in church?
Debate Round No. 2
ChristianDebaterBrad

Pro

I previously said "we do not have authority to worship God with instruments alone in the New Testament" and then you replied, "Ok, you have not cited a chapter and verse where I might find this statement in the New Testament; therefore, we shall conclude that this is man's opinion, and not God's Word." I stand by my statement, nowhere in the NT explicitly or implicitly hints that God allows Him (God) to be worshiped by the playing of instruments alone. This is especially true from Ephesians 5:19 where it commands that we definitely are required to sing, and also (allows, which you said you agreed earlier, 'I agree that musical instruments are not forbidden in Christian worship.') we would both agree that psalms makes an allowance for instruments. You would claim that any instruments are suitable but by the command in Ephesians 5:19 we MUST sing and therefore if we play an instrument that would not allow us to sing (ex. trumpet) then we would not be following the commandment. The part of the verse in Ephesians 5:19 that says "Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord," is in reference to the three types of songs we were commanded to sing, psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. WE MUST SING. When then considering psalms, psalms only allows, by example of the OT usage of David, that stringed instruments are permitted and that stringed instruments are permitted by the words definition. Here are some authorities that confirm that the definition only calls for stringed instruments:

(1) "Sung with musical instruments" (Matthew Henry's Commentary, p. 1136).

(2) "Denoting ‘music on stringed instruments' or more generally, ‘songs adapted to such music'" (Unger's Bible Dictionary, Moody Press).

(3) "Song, psalm: to stringed instrument" (Karl Feyerabend, Ph.D., Greek-English Dictionary, McKay co., 1918).

(4) "The psalm (PSALMOS) is the melody produced on the musical instrument (ORGANON). The song (ODE) is the utterance of melody (MELOS) through the mouth with words. Hymn (HUMNOS) is the praise offered to God" (Gregory of Nyssa, 370 A.D.).

(5) "A harp-song taken from Jewish religion by the Christians... (Music Lovers Ency., Doubleday & Co., p. 662).

(6) "Song of (hence the song sung to) a stringed instrument..." (The Columbia Ency., Columbia University Press, p. 1450).

(7) "Song accompanied by a stringed instrument, psalm" (A Glossary of Later Latin to 600 A.D., by A. Souter, Oxford, Clarendon Press). Psallo: (verb) "I play on the harp (or other stringed instrument;" psalmos (noun), "a psalm, that is a song of praise, etc., to God, with an accompaniment on the harp," (A. Souter, A Pocket Lexicon to the Greek New Testament, Oxford, Clarendon Press).

(8) "To be uttered with a musical accompaniment" (Hitchcock's Analysis of the Holy Bible, p. 1137).

We also know though, by example a psalm is still a psalm whether it has musical accompaniment or not, based on David's psalms that had no accompaniment. We have no evidence of God not being pleased with David's psalms that were not accompanied, therefore it would be illogical to assume He was unhappy with them.

If the word changed in meaning the burden of proof is not on me, its you to prove that it did in fact change. I would like evidence of this. Some argue that 'Apostolic example' would be proof as well as all historical records of the early NT church never using instruments being proof that the word changed. This is not proof at all. Since by my evidence and proof that the command to sing psalms can be fulfilled without using instruments, I would argue it was in the Apostles and early churches liberties to choose to not use an instrument.

My opponent then goes on to say that Ephesians 5:19 is not a "list" of sings we can or cannot do. This is a classic straw man, he creates an argument that I did not propose. Never once did I say Ephesians 5:19 was a list. My opponent creates this argument to defeat it in hopes of discrediting my evidence. All I ever have stated is what the commands are in Ephesians 5:19 based on what it says. Sure there are a couple different components to consider within Ephesians 5:19 those being: singing, psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs but to say that since this command doesn't mention preaching that your viewpoint is correct is absurd. If you want to say I'm creating out of this verse everything we are ever aloud to do in all aspects of worship (examples: preaching, teaching, Lord's Supper) you are definitely creating an argument that I was never proposing. The only "list" as you put it that I'm addressing is the one found in Ephesians 5:19.

Lastly my opponent poses a question to me which is, and I quote "In my opening argument, I pointed out a number of things that are thought to be "necessary" to Christian churches, such as pulpits, pews, etc. that are not "authorized" by New Testament scripture, does that mean those items are FORBIDDEN in church?" By not authorized you mean that the bible is silent on these things. Where the bible is silent I would say we have freedom. But, based on my evidence the bible is not silent on the matter at hand.
VocMusTcrMaloy

Con

"I stand by my statement, nowhere in the NT explicitly or implicitly hints that God allows Him [sic] (God) to be worshiped by the playing of instruments alone."

I am not denying the above statement. I want to also point out that nowhere in the New Testament do the scriptures explicitly or implicitly hint that God DOES NOT allow Himself to be worshiped by the playing of instruments alone. In order to establish your premise that the ONLY instruments allowed in worship are stringed instruments, you have to give evidence that non-stringed instruments are NOT ALLOWED in worship.

"This is especially true from Ephesians 5:19 where it commands that we definitely are required to sing,"

What the Scriptures MEAN is a matter of opinion, what the scriptures SAY is a matter of fact. In YOUR OPINION Ephesians 5:19 MEANS that saints are COMMANDED to sing; however Ephesians 5:19 does not SAY we are commanded to sing. The word "command" is nowhere in the text of Ephesians 5:19. Now, are we going to base our argument on the Word of God or the opinion of man? The Pharisees had many opinions about what the scriptures MEANT. Jesus called those opinions "the tradition of men" (Mark 7:8)

"My opponent then goes on to say that Ephesians 5:19 is not a "list" of [th]ings we can or cannot do. This is a classic straw man, he creates an argument that I did not propose. Never once did I say Ephesians 5:19 was a list."

Point well taken. This wasn't intended as a straw man, it was a misunderstanding of your use of Ephesians 5:19. I have yet to understand how you are saying that this verse forbids the use of non-stringed instruments. Does a command (your word, not mine) to chew forbid to swallow? Does a command to sweep forbid to mop? A "command" to sing is not a command against instruments.

"By not authorized you mean that the bible is silent on these things. Where the bible is silent I would say we have freedom. But, based on my evidence the bible is not silent on the matter at hand."

If the New Testament is not silent about musical instruments, please copy and paste a New Testament verse that has either "instrument," "trumpet," "horn," "organ," or any other reference to musical instruments that forbids the use thereof in worship. That is the evidence that will prove your point. You have yet to give any such evidence.
Debate Round No. 3
ChristianDebaterBrad

Pro

First and formost, to liken me to the Pharisees in the sense that I'm just giving my opinion and not what God's word actually says is starting down the line of character assisnation instead of addressing my evidence.

My opponent said: "I am not denying the above statement. I want to also point out that nowhere in the New Testament do the scriptures explicitly or implicitly hint that God DOES NOT allow Himself to be worshiped by the playing of instruments alone. In order to establish your premise that the ONLY instruments allowed in worship are stringed instruments, you have to give evidence that non-stringed instruments are NOT ALLOWED in worship."

I will not repeat my same evidence as for why we are to only use string instruments, but I will address why non-stringed instruments (specifically that wouldn't allow the player to sing, ex. trumpet) are forbidden to be used alone in worship to God. It's not my opinion on what this means, it's what it explicitly says. Let me explain...

You can't deny that Paul is prescribing how we are to worship God, so whether or not this verse explicitly says "command" or not, when we are told how to worship God in a certain way it is a command. Once again, the three types of songs we are to do in praise and worship to God are psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs and we are told following that we MUST sing. To only play and not sing is a form of worship not authorized by God. My argument isn't that silence forbids but that where God is specific it forbids. So for example we are told to fellowship in Acts 2:42. There are various ways to fellowship, but if God has said when you fellowship you should only do it on Wednesdays that would exclude any other day of the week because it was specific.

You said "If the New Testament is not silent about musical instruments, please copy and paste a New Testament verse that has either "instrument," "trumpet," "horn," "organ," or any other reference to musical instruments that forbids the use thereof in worship. That is the evidence that will prove your point. You have yet to give any such evidence."

Don't try and frame an argument that tries to get past what suffices as evidence... Let's review what Psalms means in Ephesians 5:19 and why we don't need any of the words you wanted to find for you. This evidence comes from Bob Haddow who uses authorities such as Thayer (who was, incidentally, secretary of the American Standard Revision Committee)...

First I introduce that outstanding Greek scholar, J. H. Thayer. The reader needs to know that the lexicon bearing his name is very largely Thayer's translation of a Greek-Latin lexicon prepared by Prof. C. L. Wilibald Grimm. Thayer says (in the preface) it was his purpose to let Grimm's work stand as is, and to introduce his own additions" . . . in such a form as should render them distinguishable at once from Professor Grimm's work" (p. vi). He further: says, "Brackets have been used to mark additions by the American editor" (p. xviii). Thayer was the American editor; thus we should not attribute to Thayer that which was merely Thayer's translation of Grimm, especially in a case where Thayer saw the need of making an addition to an entry treated by Grimm. Here is Thayer's addition, which obviously represents his position:

"Syn. humnos, psalmos, ode: ode is the generic term; psalm. and humn. are specific, the former designating a song which took its general character from O. T. 'Psalms' (although not restricted to them, see I Cor. 14:15, 26), the latter a song of praise. 'While the leading idea of psalm is a musical accompaniment, and that of hymn praise to God, ode is the general word for a song, whether accompanied or unaccompanied, whether of praise or on any other subject. Thus it was quite possible for the same song to be at once psalmos, humnos, and ode' (Bp. Lightfoot on Col. 3:16). The words occur together in Col. 3:16 and Eph. 5:19." (From page 637.)

I now introduce the very latest and best, unabridged dictionary in its field: A GREEK-ENGLISH LEXICON OF THE NEW TESTAMENT AND OTHER EARLY CHRISTIAN LITERATURE (pub. 1957), translated and edited by W. F. Arndt and F. W. Gingrich from Bauer's Greek-German Lexicon of the New Testament, fourth edition, 1949-52. Of this lexicon, J. W. Roberts says, "This lexicon must now be accorded first rank in its field." (Firm Foundation, Dec. 24, 1957.) Hear this lexicon define psallo, the cognate verb of psalmos:

"In our literature, in accordance with O. T. usage, sing (to the accompaniment of a harp), sing praise with dative of the one for whom the praise is intended to onomati sou psalo Rom. 15:9 (Ps. 18:49)."

While the parenthetical phrase "(to the accompaniment of the harp)" was supplied by Arndt and Gingrich, that doesn't mean it is any less justified. At the end of their entries on psallo and psalmos, Arndt and Gingrich call attention to M-M: Moulton and Milligan's VOCABULARY OF THE GREEK TESTAMENT. This great work has for quite some time been considered a needed supplement to "Thayer's Lexicon" since it contains the more recent conclusions from Koine Greek inscriptions and Egyptian papyri. Arndt and Gingrich describe Moulton and Milligan's VOCABULARY as "invaluable" (see preface of lexicon). Bear M-M define psalmos: " 'psalm' or `song', sung to a harp accompaniment."

http://www.wordsfitlyspoken.org...

What this evidence is saying is that the word psalms means exactly the same as it's Old Testament usage. To say it means just sing or just use instruments is to redefine the term, and to prove it has changed meaning means that the burden of proof falls on you to prove that it did, in fact change.
VocMusTcrMaloy

Con

My comment about Pharisees was certainly not intended as character assassination. I hardly know you, so I could not successfully launch a personal attack against you. I was merely pointing out that the insertion of human opinion into interpretation of the scriptures was labeled "tradition of men" by Jesus. This phenomenon BEGAN with the Pharisees and has been the root of all denominational differences. There would be no Baptists, Catholics, Church of Christ, Methodists, or Pentecostals, etc. if human opinion were taken out of the picture. This is not a character assassination, this is an observation. At the root of EVERY doctrinal difference between Christian groups there is an "interpretation" of scripture that involves human opinion. I was debating a racist who believed that he had the right to murder "inferior races" and "race-mixers" based on Leviticus 20. When I mentioned how Jesus addressed Leviticus 20 executions in John 8 with the woman caught in adultery , he began to explain what that passage "meant." If one bases a doctrine or teaching on an opinion, he is guilty of the error of the Pharisees: "tradition of men."

"It's not my opinion on what this means, it's what it explicitly says. Let me explain..."

Then you go on to give your opinion, rather than posting scriptures. Here are some examples:

"Paul is prescribing how we are to worship God, "

"we are told following that we MUST sing."

"To only play and not sing is a form of worship not authorized by God."

None of these statements come with a footnote as to which scripture one might find the information given in those statements.

" So for example we are told to fellowship in Acts 2:42. There are various ways to fellowship, but if God has said when you fellowship you should only do it on Wednesdays that would exclude any other day of the week because it was specific"

The problem I have with your position is that the scriptures do NOT specifically teach that God is NOT to be worshiped with musical instruments. Psalm 150 specifically states that God IS to be worshipped with instruments. There is nothing in the New Testament that would indicate that God has rescinded this form of worship. Jesus fulfilled the sacrifice, the priesthood, access to the Holy of Holies, the Law, the Prophets and MANY other Old Testament types and shadows; but, there is nothing in the New Testament that would indicate that He fulfilled the need of Man to worship God!

"What this evidence is saying is that the word psalms means exactly the same as it's Old Testament usage. To say it means just sing or just use instruments is to redefine the term, and to prove it has changed meaning means that the burden of proof falls on you to prove that it did, in fact change."

OK, you are bringing us back to my "straw man" argument. Ephesians 5:19 does NOT have the word "ONLY" in it's text. Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs are three ways to worship; however, there is no indication in scripture that those are the ONLY ways to worship God in the New Testament. In Luke 19:37, disciples worshipped by rejoicing and praising God with a loud voice-not with Psalms, hymns or spiritual songs. Does this mean their worship was unauthorized? Here, in II Samuel 6, and in Matthew 26:6-13, when people spontaneously performed "unauthorized" (unspecified by scripture) worship, they were rebuked by man, but commended by God! The only limitations placed on worship in the New Testament are those given by Jesus, "A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers. God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality). (John 4:23-24 AMP) "Truth" here is from a word derived from ἀληθής, "true (as not concealing)." Ephesians 5:19 does not contain the word "must," but John 4:24 does. John 4:23-24 encompasses not only Ephesians 5:19 worship but also Psalm 150 worship and ANY worship not mentioned in scripture that is done in spirit and in reality toward God.
Debate Round No. 4
ChristianDebaterBrad

Pro

"Paul is prescribing how we are to worship God," - Okay care to let me in on what Paul was doing then??? When it comes to our song worship he is telling us how to do it. All of ch. 5 in Ephesians is explaining us how to live our life in various aspects, and verse 19 addresses the issue at hand... I mean seriously... Oh wait, he's telling us how to wash our hands!

"we are told following that we MUST sing," - Paul tells us to sing, if we don't, then we wouldn't be following God's inspired word.

"To only play and not sing is a form or worship not authorized by God" - Honestly it's getting old repeating my evidence and then you just pulling out my point and not addressing the evidence attached to my point... Refer to older posts...

All refer to Ephesians 5:19.

___

You said:

"The problem I have with your position is that the scriptures do NOT specifically teach that God is NOT to be worshiped with musical instruments. Psalm 150 specifically states that God IS to be worshipped with instruments. There is nothing in the New Testament that would indicate that God has rescinded this form of worship. Jesus fulfilled the sacrifice, the priesthood, access to the Holy of Holies, the Law, the Prophets and MANY other Old Testament types and shadows; but, there is nothing in the New Testament that would indicate that He fulfilled the need of Man to worship God!"

You want to use my logic in your first sentence and say, since God didn't specifically say we couldn't then we can. But, using my logic if He specifically said to sing and also specifically said one type of song is psalms (which allow stringed instruments) then it excludes anything else.

Ex. God says use unleavened bread for communion. This is specific, therefore excluding we use cheeseburgers.

Your Psalm 150 argumentation is not even close to having any validity... Psalms 150 puts restrictions on certain instruments since we must sing (ex. trumpets would not allow us to sing). Just because Psalm 150 talks about instruments doesn't mean that Psalm 150 itself was accompanied by those instruments... In fact, we only have record of any of the Psalms that were accompanied by instruments being stringed ones (harp, and I think maybe a few with lyre which is basically a guitar).

Concerning your Psalm 150 logic as evidence refer to my very first post within our debate where I address Psalm 150 in great detail.

___

You said:

"In Luke 19:37, disciples worshipped by rejoicing and praising God with a loud voice-not with Psalms, hymns or spiritual songs. Does this mean their worship was unauthorized?"

That doesn't even prove they were singing... Just rejoicing and praising God with a loud voice... There are other ways to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice other than sing... Even it they were singing though, they could have easily been doing one of the three types in Ephesians 5:19 and by definition any song to God is a spiritual song (especially when looking at the greek this affirms what I'm saying).

You addressed:

"he [Jesus] only limitations placed on worship in the New Testament are those given by Jesus and you also addressed psalm 150"

The only limitations placed on worship in the New Testament are these given by Jesus? You clearly meant Jesus when He was on earth, especially by the verse you gave where it is Jesus talking while on earth... To refute that Jesus is the only one who placed limitations I will just say the book of Romans... Paul puts so many limitations on New Testament worship it's not even funny... Now you can say that Paul was inspired by God, but your point was that Jesus (while on earth) was the only person to put "limitations" on worship in the New Testament. John 4:23-24 encompasses only what is worshipping "in spirit and in truth" while still keeping in light what is in fact truth, under which dispensation (old and new covenant). So in other words, it was right for a Jew in OT time to have animal sacrifices but in the New Testament this would not be true because New Testament Christians have Christ. So to say as long as we (subjectively) deem something as being in spirit and in truth because we say whatever we do is for God then we aren't being honest with God's word, review 2Timothy 2:15. Matthew 7:21-23 talks about people on Judgment day taking your stance (logic) on deeming things right and wrong instead looking at verses in context (Ephesians 5:19).

___

I will not pose any questions that aren't rhetorical because I would like out or respect my opponent to do the same in his last post since I will not have a chance to respond.

___

Why I have one this debate:

1) I have kept Ephesians 5:19 in context. We are told to sing, therefore we must sing. If God says to do something (Paul's writings are inspired by God) it is a command whether there is a "Thus saith the Lord," or not. Psalms is one the types of songs in Ephesians 5:19 we are to sing and by definition, psalms allow stringed instrumental use as well as when we look at David's Psalms as examples in the Old Testament clearly they affirm God's acceptance of stringed instruments accompanying psalms. Also, my opponent has failed to show that if psalms means anything else how/where it has changed in meaning. Circumstantial evidence of the early church not using instruments is not proof because he my opponent cannot prove the word changed meaning, then it was in the early NT church's liberty to not instrument. I have even cited scholarly sources to back my view. While my opponent may site scholarly sources in his next post, if they say the word (psalms) has changed in meaning they must produce the evidence that it did in fact change, not just claim it has changed with no evidence. If they can't prove with history of proof texts that the word changed/evolve then I am inclined to believe "psalms" has not changed in meaning from Old Testament use to New Testament use.

2) My opponent takes an argument of silence but as I have proven the bible is not silent on this matter. Also, where the bible is specific it excludes... As I have said before, God says use unleavened bread for communion. This is specific, therefore excluding we use cheeseburgers. It doesn't get more logical and easy to understand than that... If that's not the case then I'll just do whatever I want in any aspect of my life and this debate is the last thing I should be spending my time doing. Likewise to the communion example, God has specifically said sing (while psalms allow stringed instruments) therefore using a trumpet would be excluded because we cannot sing if a trumpet is used (I can't inspect every instrument known to mankind, but this is the logic for deciding if an instrument is acceptable or not) - stringed and able to sing while playing it.

3) Using instruments music WITHOUT singing has NO authority explicitly or implicitly of being allowed as worship to God from a biblical perspective (actually forbidden by evidence I have shown) and if we are going to say it is authorized then I should be able to go sleep with all the women I want. I have no authority to do it, but is definitely forbidden by God's word.

___

Thanks for debating, I appreciate your time on this issue and enjoyed seeing your point of view.
VocMusTcrMaloy

Con

First of all, I would again like to once again thank my opponent for proposing this question for debate. I had heard of the idea that there were some groups who did not use instruments in worship services; however, I had never discussed the issue with anyone who believed such. I am glad I had the opportunity to hear the reasoning behind this viewpoint. Secondly, I made reference to Pharisee "traditions of men." My opponent responded by suggesting that my reference was bordering on character assassination. Although no offense or personal assault was intended; I would like to offer my apologies for any offense taken.

Summary
My opponent (Pro) opened the debate by suggesting that stringed instruments, and stringed instruments ONLY were allowed in Christian worship. I responded by firstly agreeing with him that stringed instruments were allowed and by stating that I would debate the issue that ONLY stringed instruments were allowed in worship. My argument was and is that there is no scriptural basis for such a proposal. My opponent then gave Ephesians 5:19 as evidence that instruments (except for stringed instruments) were forbidden in Christian worship. Here is the verse in question:

Ephesians 5:19

"Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;"


My contention has been and is that without the insertion of human opinion into the verse, this verse does not forbid musical instruments. My opponent has responded to my argument by saying that this verse states that one MUST sing, and therefore excludes wind instruments as these cannot be played while singing. My opponent has also pointed out that the word "psalm" in the Biblical context allows accompaniment with stringed instruments and has gone through great length to show evidence of this by quoting scholarly sources. My opponent also argued that since "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" are the only items in this list in ONE VERSE out of the thousands of verses in the New Testament that the list is likened to the communion elements in that it is in his opinion an exclusive list.

Conclusion

1. Concerning the evidence that the term "psalm" allows stringed instruments: I had not previously responded to this evidence because I have no contention with allowing stringed instruments; therefore, it is irrelevant to the debate on the terms in which I accepted the debate. Although my opponent had good documentation for the position; that evidence should be dismissed from this debate.

2. My opponent's argument that Ephesians 5:19 teaches that worshipers MUST sing is pure conjecture. As I stated earlier, what the Bible MEANS is a matter of opinion, what the Bible SAYS is a matter of fact. Once again, here is the verse in question:
Ephesians 5:19

"Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;"


As can be seen in the text, neither the word "MUST" nor any other directive is in this verse. The second part of that argument was that since one MUST sing, one could not play either a woodwind or brass instrument. First of all, because one is playing an instrument doesn't mean one could not sing at another time to fulfil the alleged requirement to sing. Secondly, one may not be able to play while SINGING; however, one could play while: Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

3. My opponent has insisted that since the verse in question lists forms of singing but does not list instruments; that it implies an exclusion of instruments. What the Bible implies and what the Bible SAYS are two different things. The former is conjecture, the later is the Word of God. Once again, my opponent is building his case on human opinion and not on the scriptural text.

4. In the fourth round, I mentioned that Jesus gave us the only directive concerning worship in John 4:24: God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality). (John 4:24 AMP). My opponent responded by saying that Paul had given many directives for worship. The following is EVERY occurrence of the word "worship" in the Pauline epistles in the King James Version:

1 Corinthians 14:25
And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

Philippians 3:3
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Colossians 2:23
Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

Hebrews 1:6
And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.


As is obvious, NONE of the above is a directive for worship! Now let us compare Ephesians 5:19 with John 4:24:
God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality). (John 4:24 AMP)

"Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;" (Ephesians 5:19 KJV)


John 4:24 has the word "must" AND the word "worship." Ephesians 5:19 has neither. As I stated, the ONLY directive for worship in the New Testament is that the worshiper worship in spirit and with reality. ANY worship that fits that description is authorized by God. In order to meet that requirement, the worshiper must have a pure heart. If the requirement is spirit and reality, God will judge the heart, not the method.

Closing Words

One thing that is consistent about my opponent is the element of conjecture. He has taken ONE verse and based his whole argument on his opinion about what the verse means. Matthew 18:16b says, "in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." An opinion as to what ONE verse means is not enough evidence to draw the conclusion that ONLY stringed instruments are allowed in Christian worship.
Debate Round No. 5
158 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 6 years ago
ReformedArsenal
That's assuming that all congregations are filled with the Spirit...
Posted by ChristianDebaterBrad 6 years ago
ChristianDebaterBrad
No, it's either a result or the participles are what fill you. There is no if, really it would be better as "When a congregation is truly filled with the Spirit, singing will be present."
Posted by ReformedArsenal 6 years ago
ReformedArsenal
Brad, I think its more accurate to say that "If a congregation is truly filled with the Spirit, singing will be present" since this takes into account the 2nd person plural and collective nature of the verbs/participles.
Posted by ChristianDebaterBrad 6 years ago
ChristianDebaterBrad
Either way, it is implied it is required though. If the results are this then that means if I'm truly filled I will sing. Or, if I want to be filled I will sing.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 6 years ago
ReformedArsenal
Participles MAY take on the nature of a verb they are in context with, but they don't have to. Beyond that typically participles take on the nature of verbs that they PRECEDE, not ones they follow.

Furthermore, just because they CAN take on the verbal nature doesn't mean they MUST take on the verbal nature.

Be Filled with the Holy Spirit is indeed a command, but the participles "Speaking," "Singing," and "Making Melody" are not commands. They get translated as commands in English (by some translations) but that doesn't change the fact that in the original language Paul had a choice to make them imperatives, or make them participles, he chose to make them participles and not imperatives.

He may have been giving further clarification on the process of being filled by the Spirit, or he may have been saying that these are the results of being filled by the Spirit.
Posted by ChristianDebaterBrad 6 years ago
ChristianDebaterBrad
Although I find singing psalms hymns and spirituals and making melody from our heart to the Lord expected from us, the only part that is explicitly, when looking at sentence structure, a command is the be filled with the Spirit. I think it also makes more since that we are to be filled with the Spirit and as a result sing. Singing is not going to fill you with the Spirit, but will I would argue it could make you more zealous.
Posted by DAN123 6 years ago
DAN123
You may waffle. You may agree that the phrase, "be filled," is a command, and then deny the need to obey ψαλλοντες since it is a participle. Again, I refer you to the rules and definition of a participle, when says it takes on the arguments of the verb. The thought of singing (not playing) is thereby embedded into the thought of being filled with the Spirit. Therefore, if the verb is a command (and it is), then the participle is ALSO a command. Ψαλλοντες is a command, and it is one that must be obeyed by all.
Posted by DAN123 6 years ago
DAN123
Notice, the Greek word for the phrase, "be filled," is Strong's number 4137. Next, note the parsing code for Strong's number 4137; "V-PPM-2P." The Phrase, "be filled," is a verb (V); not a participle. To be a participle, the parsing code would be, "V-PPP," with the third "P" being the position indicating a participle, and it is not. It is present tense (P), which denotes a continuous action. It is passive voice (P), which indicates it is something we must allow to happen. It is imperative mood (M), which means it IS a command. It is second person plural (2P), which means it applies to everyone.

This is clearly a command, and cannot be side-stepped by those pinned by the truth. Since it is a command, then all following modifiers declare HOW to carry out the command. When combined in context, Ephesians 5:18-19 says the way to be filled with the Spirit is to speak to each other (not some play to others) in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Making melody may be a participle. That does not eliminate it from being a command. It fulfills the command to be filled with the Spirit, so it is in itself a command.
Posted by DAN123 6 years ago
DAN123
Oh, very sorry about the numbers. I can't post greek words....
Posted by DAN123 6 years ago
DAN123
In Ephesians 5:18, the argument is, "be filled," is a participle. As such the argument is that all the following, modifying phrases are participles and carry no weight as commands. Is it a participle as claimed? Since the English translation ends with the suffix, "-ed," many think so. Here is the English text with Strong's numbers for identification, followed by the Greek text with the parsing codes:

"AndG2532 be not drunkG3182 G3361 with wine,G3631 whereinG1722 G3739 isG2076 excess;G810 butG235 be filledG4137 withG1722 the Spirit;G4151 SpeakingG2980 to yourselvesG1438 in psalmsG5568 andG2532 hymnsG5215 andG2532 spiritualG4152 songs,G5603 singingG103 andG2532 making melodyG5567 inG1722 yourG5216 heartG2588 to theG3588 Lord;G2962"

"καιG2532 CONJ μηG3361 PRT-N μεθυσκεσθεG3182 V-PPM-2P οινωG3631 N-DSM ενG1722 PREP ωG3739 R-DSM εστινG1510 V-PAI-3S ασωτιαG810 N-NSF αλλαG235 CONJ πληρουσθεG4137 V-PPM-2P ενG1722 PREP πνευματιG4151 N-DSN λαλουντεςG2980 V-PAP-NPM εαυτοιςG1438 F-2DPM ψαλμοιςG5568 N-DPM καιG2532 CONJ υμνοιςG5215 N-DPM καιG2532 CONJ ωδαιςG5603 N-DPF πνευματικαιςG4152 A-DPF αδοντεςG103 V-PAP-NPM καιG2532 CONJ ψαλλοντεςG5567 V-PAP-NPM ενG1722 PREP τηG3588 T-DSF καρδιαG2588 N-DSF υμωνG4771 P-2GP τωG3588 T-DSM κυριωG2962 N-DSM"
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by t-man 6 years ago
t-man
ChristianDebaterBradVocMusTcrMaloyTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro never pointed out a verse where non-string instruments are forbidden.
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 6 years ago
ReformedArsenal
ChristianDebaterBradVocMusTcrMaloyTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Psalm 5 indicates that the musical instrument used is a flute. Your whole "Stringed instruments only" presupposition falls apart at the onset. Clearly some psalms were intended to be accompanied by people playing instruments that prohibited them from singing. Conduct against Pro for saying "the ONLY authority to go by is the 66 books found in teh Holy Bible" then quoting modern commentaries.
Vote Placed by ApostateAbe 6 years ago
ApostateAbe
ChristianDebaterBradVocMusTcrMaloyTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro used modern authorities (breaking his own rule) that did not effectively affirm Pro's case (strings and ONLY strings should be used). Con relied on the primary sources (Biblical texts). The burden of proof was on Pro, but he argued as though it fell on Con. The ancient psalmists did not use anything but strings probably because other instruments (like horns) did not produce more than one note. Their specificity seems merely pragmatic, not moral.
Vote Placed by GMDebater 6 years ago
GMDebater
ChristianDebaterBradVocMusTcrMaloyTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: also Psalm 150