Monday, July 5, 2010

They Forgot To Tell Me That

When I was a member of the COC I cannot tell you how many times I not only sung the hymn "Ivory Palaces", but also led it from the pulpit straight out of the congregation's Sacred Selections for the Church songbook (entry #70). I love the melody and the words to this song:

"My Lord has garments so wondrous fine,
And myrrh their texture fills;
Its fragrance reached to this heart of mine
With joy my being thrills.

Out of the ivory palaces,
Into a world of woe,
Only His great eternal love
Made my Savior go....

Shame on me for never looking at the top of the page where the Scriptural reference/basis for the song was noted. Look for yourself, it's Psalms 45:8. If I would have only taken the time to flip over to Psalms 45 I could have read for myself just what exactly the Scriptures say is coming out of the ivory palaces. Want to guess what it is? Let me quote the verse for you from the NASB:

"All Thy garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made Thee glad." Psalms 45:8 NASB

Hmmm. I guess they forgot to tell me that. Maybe that's why we're told to "Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately." 2 Timothy 2:15 NET

Are you being taught the message of truth accurately? If you're a teacher or preacher of the Gospel, are you teaching and preaching it accurately?

Is It "Scriptural?"

Here is a pet peeve of mine. Some will say that it is "unscriptural" for you to worship God with musical instruments. Many of the same people will also tell you that you should "speak as the Oracles of God" and use "Bible words in Bible ways." But what does the Word of God say? Is the use of instruments "unscriptural?"

On the contrary! Under the terms "Scripture" and "It Is Written" the New Testament quotes the book of Psalms as "Scripture" many times. Read these examples: Matthew 21:16, 42; John 2:17, 13:18, 19:36; Acts 1:20; Romans 3:4, 10-18; 4:17, 8:36; 15:9, 11; 1 Corinthians 3:19, 20; 2 Corinthians 4:13; 9:9.

So, is the use of instruments in worship to God "unscriptural?" Well, if (A) the Bible refers to quotes from Psalms as "Scripture" and (B) Psalms provides examples of worshiping God with the use of instruments, then who can say that the practice is "unscriptural?" Who is really "speaking as the Oracles of God?"