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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Instrumental Music In Worship

How often the matter gets discussed among preachers in churches of Christ, I cannot say. But, I know that it does. More members of the church than we might care to think do not have this matter settled in their minds, especially as it has to do with the state of those who have been immersed for the forgiveness of sins, submit to the authority of Christ in other areas of their lives, but who use the instrument in worship. Some have said they think its use is wrong and we have been right to argue against its use but do not think they can say it is a salvation or fellowship issue. It should be stated that many of these are sincere brethren who love the Lord and people nor are they change agents intent on trying to destroy the Lord's body. Too often, we have lacked an environment where we could have healthy, constructive dialogue free of name-calling, suspicion, and visceral discussion. But failing to discuss and work through matters like these does not make them disappear.

Having said that, here are some hurdles I just cannot jump regarding this matter:

• The presence of singing and absence of instruments in New Testament passages. The fact that every instance of singing in the context of the Christians' activity together reveals singing (Greek is a precise language; ado means to utter words in a melodic pattern [Louw-Nida] and ). Psallo, according to Lexicographers, encompassed praying musical instruments at an earlier time in its linguistic history, but did not mean that in New Testament times (e.g., BDAG, 1094; TDNT, 8:494). Interestingly, the translators of English translations, beginning with the King James Version, were unanimously members of religious groups that used mechanical instruments in music. Despite their obvious bias in worship practice, they translate the Greek "singing and making melody in your hearts."

• The absence of instrumental music in worship in early church history. Though a member of the church of Christ, Everett Ferguson has the utmost respect from scholarship across the religious spectrum. In multiple volumes, Ferguson meticulously sets forth the case that instrumental music was absent in the church from its establishment until many centuries later. His studied conclusion is that this was neither incidental nor coincidental. He writes, "The historical argument is quite strong against early Christian use of instrumental music in church" (The Instrumental Music Issue, 98; the whole chapter is a worthwhile read). In another work, he states, "The testimony of early Christian literature is expressly to the absence of instruments from the church for approximately the first thousand years of Christian history" (The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today, 272). John L. Girardeau, a Presbyterian scholar, devotes an entire, well-documented chapter to the historical case of only vocal music in Christian worship for many centuries and upon doctrinal grounds (see Instrumental Music in the Public Worship of the Church, 86-100).

• The examples of how God dealt with unauthorized worship throughout history. What do we make of what God does with Cain's worship in Genesis 4, Nadab and Abihu's worship in Leviticus 10, and Jeroboam's worship in 1 Kings 12? Why would God care in the Patriarchal and Mosaic Dispensations that His commands for worship be followed per His instructions, but lose that desire under His Son's covenant?

• The fact that God draws definitive, doctrinal conclusions through the use of silence. The writer of Hebrews says, "For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests" (7:14). The argument shows that Jesus could become a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, but not under the Old Testament rule and covenant. Why? God specified Levi as the tribe for the high priest under the old law. It did not explicitly say that a high priest could not come from any other tribe, but it did not have to. What it specified was sufficient, an argument made in the New Testament.

• The fact that authority can and must be tangibly determined. Why is it that we sing in worship at all? Is worship merely a matter of what we come up with and wish to offer? Few would argue such. The basis for worship arises from what the New Testament teaches. Nearly everyone, then, would say there are definitive, delineated boundaries. If there is and must be divine authority for worship, and thus "rules" that are objectively determined, there must be activity that falls out of those bounds. Where will we find the boundary markers if not in Scripture?

This list is not meant to be exhaustive and it cannot, in one brief article, be exhaustive. It is included here to show us the great pause that should exist in changing our minds or our teaching on a matter where God has been vocal and specific. The weight of that is not insignificant or inconsequential. May we lovingly and wisely approach this matter and take great care before we relegate a matter of divine importance to a mere matter of human preference.

--Neal Pollard

Larry and Jan Dover's grandson, Riley, has pneumonia.
Ajaya Macon, the teenager daughter of Derrick and Erica Macon, has been in the hospital since Saturday with fluid on her heart. They are trying to narrow down the cause of this. Please pray for this faithful family at Parker (former BV members).

Darlene Havens, Tracie Payne's mom, has been diagnosed with cancer.
Joy Bevilacqua's friend, Sue Davis, is going through her fourth round of chemo for cancer.

Singing with Jeff Wiant continues this Sunday at 5 PM. No Broncos game to compete. :)
There will be a congregational soup, chili and pie cook off Saturday, November 12th at 5:00 pm in the fellowship area. Please bring your favorite soup, chili and pie. For more information please see the Vaughts or the Woolleys.
Mission Sunday
October 16th, 2016

Our Missionaries:
Padova ~ Italy
Jeff & Tia Brauer
Jeremy Korodaj
New Hampshire
David & Keeley Rollert
Phanat Ouch, Chann Lork,
Darat Run and Piseth Rin
Gorlovka, Ukraine
Andrew & Veronica Zhuravlev
Singing Emphasis Workshop at Dahlia St. on October 21 & 22. This is not just for Dahlia St., though--we're hoping for an Area-Wide attendance.

Upcoming Events
• Ladies' Retreat
When: October 28-29, 2016 (Friday evening and Saturday)
Where: BV Building
Kelly Sinkbeil is taking donations of any unwanted wallets for a little something that will happen at the retreat. Please give to her as soon as you can. Thank you!

Senior Servants:
• BOTA: October 15 from 5:30-8:00. This is our annual "Banquet of the Ages" hosted by our youth. Come get to know the youth a little better (and let them get to know you) in an evening of food, fun, and fellowship. The theme this year is a "Crime Mystery Dinner." Join up in a team with some of our youth and be the first team to solve the crime! Sign-up on the sheet in the foyer.
• A visit of encouragement and fellowship is planned for October 30th with the Estes Park church of Christ. Some are planning to go up Saturday afternoon and have an evening out. Others will leave from the Bear Valley parking lot on the 30th at 7:00 AM There is a sign up sheet in the foyer. See Dick Brant for more information.
• Teens In The Word: Every Tuesday from 6:30-8:30. Dinner will be provided.
• Anvil Class: Every Sunday in October from 5:00 - 5:45. The guys will conduct the worship service on October 30. First class meeting will be on October 9.
• BOTA Prep Day #2: Friday, October 14 from 5:30-9:00. Dinner will be provided.
• BOTA (Banquet Of The Ages): Saturday, October 15 from 5:00-9:00. The banquet will go from 5:30-8:00. Skit practice begins at 4:00. Clean up after the banquet will go until about 9:00.
• Teen Devo: Sunday, October 23 from 7:30 - 9:00. Meet at the Arbuckle's. Dinner will be provided.
• Fall Party: Sunday, October 28 from 6:00 - 10:00. Meet at the Vaught's home. Dinner will be provided. We will have a variety of games and will watch another old-fashioned "scary" movie. Invite your friends!

Bear Valley SermonCast
Listen to some of our latest sermons, classes, and special seminars. Click the picture for more details.
Updated 10/9/16

Bear Valley Bible Institute ChapelCast
Listen to the latest chapel lessons from many of our faculty, students, and special guest speakers.
Updated 8/26/16

Higher Ground Encampment
is a camp from young women ages 13-18. The camp aims to develop holy minds and heavenly sight for our young ladies in this world. Click the logo for more information.
A new 2016 report is now available.
CLICK HERE to read it.

Future Preachers Training Camp is a summer camp designed to fan the flame for preaching in young men ages 13-18. The guys will be treated to a full week of training in sermon preparation, Bible study, personal evangelism and more. Click for more info.

Bear Valley Bible Institute
has been training preachers since 1965. With a strong emphasis on the Bible text, men are equipped for better service in the Lord's kingdom. For more information click on the logo above.

Military Outreach
is a program designed to assist military congregation throughout the world. Click for more information.

Getting To Know Your Bible
is a TV program sponsored by the Summerdale church of Christ in Summerdale, Alabama. The primary speaker is Billy Lambert. Neal Pollard, one of the preachers at the Bear Valley church of Christ, speaks on Fridays. For more information, click on the logo.

In Search of the Lord's Way
is an international television and radio ministry with Phil Sanders. You can watch it every Sunday at 7:30 AM on KCDO TV, channel 3. Or click for more information.

The Bottom Feeder Reader:

Great 90 seconds from Denny Petrillo last night.

Bear Valley church of Christ, 2707 S Lamar St., Denver, CO 80227

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