Why Don’t We Use Mechanical Instruments of Music?

musicTITLE: Why Don’t We Use Mechanical Instrumental Music?

SUBJECT: Worship

PROPOSITION: In this lesson, we will look at why it is wrong to use instrumental music.

OBJECTIVE: That each listener would understand why we should not use instrumental music in worship because it would be sinful.


1. Read: Leviticus 10:1-3

2. About the Text:

1) What do we think of when we think of sin?

2) Murder, rape, theft, torture, genocide, etc.

3) Most limit sin is what is morally wrong.

4) Are there sins against God that are not moral in nature?

5) What about not believing that Jesus is the Son of God?

6) What about using mechanical instruments of music in worship?

7) To many, religion has become an institution to uphold moral concerns alone.

8) This is why many accept the notion that all religions are the same.

3. What makes up religion?

1) Fundamental areas of belief: morality, practices of worship, and foundational truths.

2) Morality is easy to understand “Thou shalt not murder,” and “Do not commit adultery.”

3) Who really wants to go to jail or be pursued by a jealous husband?

4) Does it really matter whether “It is sinful to use instrumental music in worship?”

5) Is it just tradition?

6) This thinking destroys Christianity by eroding worship and foundational truths.

4. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.


I.   Practices of Worship Are Important to Religion

1. Every religion has some kind of practice of worship.

2. These are formal events that embody what it means to adhere to a religion.

1) Muslims pray five times a day.

2) Eastern religions speak mantras in meditation.

3) Jews practice circumcision.

4) Worship practices are different in different religions.

3. Does it make sense to ask: “Are there any worship practices that are right, wrong?”

1) We wouldn’t say that all worship practices of all religions are wrong or right.

2) Surely there are some that are right and there are some that are wrong.

3) So, what makes one right and another wrong? True or false?

4. Wouldn’t God communicate what He desires through command and example?

II.  Some Religions are Right, and Others are Wrong.

1. A true religion is one that is supported by truth.

1) For a religion to be true, it must be self-consistent (doesn’t contradict itself), real (describes a real world), and applicable (makes a difference in life).

2) Christianity does all of these things.

3) We must heed what it says about morality, worship, and foundational truths.

2. Believing false foundational truths or engaging in false worship practices is as sinful as immorality.

3. Human sin is not consigned to morality alone.

4. One sins by engaging in false worship practices including using mechanical instruments of music to worship.

5. Why is this?

III. There are essential practices to worshipping as a Christian.

1. To worship as a Christian, one must do some uniquely Christian practices of worship.

1) For example, one must observe the Lord’s Supper to be a Christian (1 Cor.11:23-26).

2) One must pray to God the Father through the Son (1 Timothy 2:1-8).

3) One must give to God (2 Corinthians 9:7).

4) One must listen to God’s word being taught (Acts 2:42).

5) One must also sing (Ephesians 5:9, Colossians 3:16).

2. Where do we get instruction for uniquely Christian worship practices?

1) What informs correct worship practices for Christians?

2) It must be Christian scripture.

3. As Peter writes, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11).

4. It would be sinful to not speak as the oracles of God in regard to . . .

1) Morality

2) Foundational Beliefs

3) Christian worship.

IV.  God Wants Christians to Worship Him In a Certain Way.

1. Jesus: “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24).

2. Jesus taught that some worship was empty, meaningless, and sinful: “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9).

3. God wants us to worship “in spirit and in truth.”

1) Is worshipping God with mechanical instruments of music “in spirit and in truth?”

2) Is worshipping God with mechanical instruments of music “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” and empty?

V.   Singing Alone Is the Practice of Musical Worship that Christianity Supports

1. Christians worshipping in spirit and truth find instruction in the New Testament.

1) There is no example of a Christian worshipping with an instrument in the NT.

2) All commands about music in the New Testament church are about singing alone.

3) The apostle Paul wrote, “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).

2. What about the Old Testament use of instrumental music?

1) There is no doubt it was used.

2) The Old Testament informs worship practices of Jews, not Christians.

3) The Christian listens to Jesus and His apostles, not Moses or David.

4) Playing mechanical instruments was a Jewish practice that even Thomas Aquinas acknowledged in c1250 AD when he wrote, “Our church does not use musical instruments, as harps and psalteries, to praise God withal, that she may not seem to Judaize.

5) Instrumental music is Jewish, but not Christian.


1. Is it sinful to use mechanical instruments to worship as a Christian?

1) Christianity must have unique worship practices.

2) These worship practices are as necessary to Christianity as its teachings of morality.

3) To dismiss discussion of worship practices as trivial undermines Christianity.

4) It implies that truth in religion isn’t important and ignores Christian scripture.

5) Worshipping with mechanical instruments of music is not “in spirit and in truth.”

6) There is no legitimacy to such worship in uniquely Christian scripture (the New Testament).

7) To use instruments is to offer empty worship because it is worship based solely upon human tradition.

8) While it isn’t immoral to so worship, it is sinful.

2. Invitation