Where Is Your Piano?
When you walk into our worship assembly, one of the first things you may notice is that there is no piano or any other musical instrument prevalently used today. Why is this? Briefly, we adhere to simple singing because God specifically instructs us to sing:
… Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:18-20)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)
You may notice that “singing” is commanded, but instrumental music is not specifically forbidden by these verses. This is a fair, logical observation. Why would one forbid what is not specifically excluded? The answer, in short, is that we do not presume to adopt any practice that God has not authorized. This application flows from our understanding of God’s nature, as He has revealed Himself throughout the Bible. For example, please consider what the Lord said to David:
Now it came to pass, when David was dwelling in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under tent curtains.” … But it happened that night that the word of God came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: “You shall not build Me a house to dwell in. For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought up Israel, even to this day, but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another. Wherever I have moved about with all Israel, have I ever spoken a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’”’” (1 Chronicles 17:1-6)
God expected David to continue to observe the ancient revealed pattern for the tabernacle despite its simplicity. The silence of further revelation (“have I ever spoken a word”) should have been deafening to David, as it should be to us.
Furthermore, later under the Old Law, God specifically commanded the Jews to include mechanical instruments as part of their temple worship (2 Chronicles 29:25-28). If instruments required a specific command to be authorized in David’s day, why would we presume to use them in the absence of a similar command, especially since God told us specifically to “sing … making melody in your heart”? This is a subject that many of our religious friends question, so we welcome your questions. This will give us all an opportunity to study God’s word together, so that we may draw closer to Him.