Question:

I witness the following conversation between two brothers and it went like this:

Brother A stated "We are not to worship or praise God on this side of the cross with instrumental music."  Brother A went on to state "This applies to the first day of the week during corporate worship or praise and outside of the corporate worship or praise as well." 

Brother B stated "Men and women have the gifts and talents to play instruments that were given to them by God and you are stating that they can't use these gifts and talents to worship or praise God, of course, not during corporate worship but any other time." 

Brother A stated, "No, they can't use these gifts and talents to worship or praise God and please Him."

Now according to scripture is this true?  Can you shed some light on this matter?


Answer:

Brother B's argument is a fallacy. To illustrate this, I have a talent in creating computer programs, so does this mean I should use my programming skills as worship to God? What about a farmer who is really good at growing corn? Is his farm operation a worship of God?

Actually, some would claim that these illustrations are forms of worship. In fact, they would go so far as to say that all of life is a worship of God. But this, too, is false. Worship is something specifically done and directed to God. See "What is Worship?" and "The Worship of God." Because worship is directed to God, then it is God who defines how He wishes to be worshiped.

Our use of God-given talents can lead to the glory of God, but this is not the same as worshiping God. "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17). "In the name of the Lord Jesus" means with Jesus' authority or approval. When I give a cup of water to a thirsty individual, I do so because God commanded kindness. Thus, though the giving of water was my choice, it also gives glory to God because it follows His commands.

But worship is an purposeful action in directing praise to God. "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). To worship in spirit is to do so from the heart, to give sincere worship. To worship in truth is to do as God directed, not as I wish to offer but as God commanded be offered.

That is the mistake Brother B makes. He assumes that rules for worship only apply when the church assembles. Individually he believes anything a person decides to offer is acceptable to God. Thus, he places the individual in the driver seat telling God what He will find acceptable. Isn't that the same mistake Saul made? He was told to wipe out the Amalekites. When he came back with spoils from the Amalekites, he tried to excuse his disobedience by saying that it was being brought to worship God. Samuel's reply was, "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king." (I Samuel 15:22-23).

God tells man how to properly worship Him. Man has no authority in change what God requests. "For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10). Such is true both inside and outside the worship assembly.