Thanks for your good question. I am thankful that you found our web-site, which has presented an opportunity to answer these good questions:
email wrote:I have seen people healed by the music I've played unto the lord....I have felt and witnessed the power of God and I know others have also.....
This question is very difficult to answer, simply because there is no objective standard to measure this statement. This is subjective evidence, based not on hard evidence. Instead, it is rooted in a person's feelings. I cannot and will not disagree with what you felt; however, I would plea for consistency in your judgment: If you are willing to justify an activity based on a person's feelings, how would you answer the Mormon, Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu, who also offer their personal feelings as justification of their beliefs? For example, any of these might say, "But, I feel like my religion must be correct, because I feel the presence of <insert name of creator being here>."
If you accept a person's feelings as evidence and justification, how would you deny the validity of any of these religions? I have studied with both Mormons and Muslims, who have made this very argument. They have based their conversion, and my potential conversion, on the testimony of one's personal feeling and reaction to their "invitation".
Even the Lord warned of people who felt and believed that their religion was sincere. However, He promised that He would ultimately reject them, if they had not obeyed the truth:
Matthew wrote:"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' (Matthew 7:21-23)
The point is that feelings are not enough. In fact, in regards to determining objective truth, they are meaningless. Our sincerity, emotions, and feelings have little to do with the rightness or wrongness of any matter. Since Christ will ultimately judge us based on His Word, I would contend that we should only be concerned with the Bible as our standard (John 12:48
). If you disagree with this conclusion, then we should pause and discuss this point further; otherwise, the following arguments, grounded in Scripture, will not hold any ultimate sway over you, as they do hold over me.
email wrote:There are several testimonies and medically documented instances. Why would God choose to come through music or a instrumental song and heal if it was not permitted to help and aid the people of God as he instructs?
God may use many means to accomplish His will; however, that does not mean that He sanctions everything about any given pathway He uses. For example, an atheist doctor may be used to heal your child as an answer to your prayer, but would you understand that God sanctions atheism? Again, we can only know God's will based on what He reveals to us through His word.
Paul wrote:For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (I Corinthians 2:11-13)
... how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: (Ephesians 3:3-5)
email wrote:Also, Tithing is from the old testament and many churches still practice that.
Yes, and for the same reason, I also believe that tithing is wrong! Tithing may be practiced by many churches, but this practice cannot be justified using the New Testament. The New Testament pattern is for voluntary, weekly contribution, as seen here:
Paul wrote:Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. (I Corinthians 16:1-2)
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. (II Corinthians 9:7)
But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were, but voluntary. (Philemon 1:14)
The Old Testament practice of tithing ceased, when the covenant under which it was established ceased. ... In my opinion, it is a failure to properly teach and educate members regarding the Scriptural differences between the Old and New Testament that have led to much of the division, confusion, and error that we see among those who wear the name of Christ today. Outside of Calvinism, I can think of no doctrinal point that has such a pervasive and divisive impact upon our belief and practices, beside the distinction between the Old and New Testaments.
email wrote:doesn't the bible say all things are lawful but not expedient.
Yes, it says that, but do you think this is a "blank check" to do whatever we want? Clearly, such an interpretation is taken out of context, because it would eliminate any notion of sin, which certainly exists even under the New Covenant:
John wrote:Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. (I John 3:4)
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (I John 2:1)
If the phrase, "all things are lawful"
, is applied to every possible action, then there would be no way to commit "lawlessness"
, correct? Therefore, it must not be interpreted as permission to do anything and everything we want. If we look at the context (see context of I Corinthians 6:12; 10:23
), we see the discussion surrounds the eating of meats. The discussion is limited to the eating of foods; therefore, we should not pluck this statement out of its context and extend its application beyond "the eating of meats"
(I Corinthians 10:23-31
). Furthermore, if you look closely at the context, you will see that Paul is actually refuting this idea ("all things are lawful"
), especially in the context of I Corinthians 6
). In fact, he mentions several unlawful acts, which if we continue to do, will condemn us to hell (I Corinthians 6:9-11
); therefore, I do not think Paul is issuing us a "blank check" to justify any practice we want, even instrumental music.
email wrote:One more thing, if you had a child and that child was sick and God used instrumental music to heal that child, would you say God take it back because it wasn't supposed to happen that way?
How do you know God healed because
of the instrumental music or in spite
of it? Again, there are lots of atheistic doctors, even those who use music as part of their medicine. We even have had some academic, non-religious inquiries on the subject as proof to this point:
This question was originally posed by a doctor at a well-known U.S. university, who had little interest in religion outside of its support of her practice.
Therefore, if God used atheists or non-Christians to heal your child, would you tell them to stop? Would you become an atheist?
God used wicked Babylon to punish Judah. In fact, Babylon was more wicked than Judah, whom God had determined to destroy except for a remnant. Since God used Babylon, are we to understand that they were righteous? No! In fact, God stated that He would later punish Babylon, because they performed God's will, but for the wrong reason (Habakkuk 1-2
)! Therefore, we learn that people may even be held guilty
for performing God's will, if they do it for the wrong motivation - or even the wrong way! Remember, God still brought forth water from the rock, when Moses deliberately struck
the rock, in spite
of the fact that God commanded Moses to speak
to the rock (Numbers 20:8-12
). And, this was no small sin: This one sin alone prevented Moses from entering the promised land! Both of these examples providing profound lessons for deeper meditation, self-examination, and application (I Corinthians 1:1, 10; Romans 15:4; 11:21-22
email wrote:Do you think God changed his mind regarding music. ... There are many things structure, government and many more things that we use in society today that we get from the OLD Testament. If we shouldn't use music, we shouldn't use the other things that we build our churches on either...
In a word, "yes!" He changed His mind before (instrumental music was associated with temple worship, and was not used at any point before). He changed His mind regarding animal sacrifices, polygamy, divorce, and many other moral and ceremonial issues.
The Old Testament cannot be used as a basis for authorizing any modern practice (Romans 7:1-4; Colossians 2:14-17; Hebrews 8:7-13
). We have been redeemed under the terms of the New Covenant. If we go back to any part of the Old Covenant, then we are obligated to keep all parts, including animal sacrifices, temple worship, incense, all the feasts, etc. (James 2:10
). It is a seamless garment. We are not free to pick and choose the parts we like; otherwise, our consistency and integrity goes right out the window.
Keep in mind that many things, which were authorized in the Old Testament, are also authorized in the New Testament (government - Romans 13:1-7
; marriage - Matthew 19:1-9
; many of the 10 commandments - Romans 13:8-10
). Therefore, instrumental music is not wrong because it was authorized in the Old Testament. It is wrong because it is not
authorized in the New Testament. Furthermore, singing is the only
authorized form of spiritual music found in the New Testament (Ephesians 5:19-20; Colossians 3:16-17
). It is this positive command (to sing), which eliminates all other forms of music, like instrumental.
Much more could be said, and should be said as you have interest, but for now, please allow me to refer you to our articles regarding the differences between the Old and New Testament as well as our articles on instrumental music:
http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles ... ents2.html
http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles ... story.html
http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles ... ments.html
I realize that I have disagreed with your conclusion quite forcefully, and maybe I have answered your questions too forthrightly. I pray that I have not. If I have, I pray that you will perceive that I am speaking boldly only in an effort to be as clear and transparent as possible. I pray that the these ideas, which I am sure seem extremely foreign, will not be offensive to you. Please do not dismiss them out of hand. I would ask that you spend time praying and researching these verses. Please do not take my word for it. Read each of the above passages in their contexts. The verses stand on their own feet - quite well, I believe.
Check with friends and relatives - or even officials of your local church. I'll be happy to answer any questions that you or others may have. I only want to do what God proscribes in His Word. If I have misunderstood His will for us, you would be a friend to me, and any many others, for showing me the Bible more clearly. We may disagree, but I hope you will not count me as an enemy, because I hope we can have a Christ-like study regarding this very important topic.