Can a person add things to their worship so long as they don’t require it of others?


I'm curious about things and friends of mine who go to other churches. I want to understand why they do the things they do. Regarding Christians doing what they personally want to do is what I'm trying to understand. I understand if they use musical instruments, dance, etc. in the religious practice of what God didn't command, of course, that is wrong. I'm asking if they do it because they want to, not as a requirement. More as an addition to bring more praise to the worship by choice and not more as doing because we have to or because they're adding it to His Word.  In this case, they're not doing that as far as I know but to do it just to praise him from a personal feeling because they know how to play the instrument. I feel as if you don't need musical instruments. What's the point of having it if no one can play it. God commands us all to sing. You said that it becomes something entirely different when someone tries to make it a part of our religious practice. Is it wrong to play an instrument if it's not in use of religious practices and they play every Sunday? If I blow on the tuba in worship service, am I not doing what God commanded me to do by singing songs and hymns? Aren't we all suppose to be in one accord? Since God commands us to sing, should we all sing? If God commanded us to play an instrument, shouldn't we all play an instrument? Apparently the gift to play an instrument isn't given to everybody but singing is.

As I said in another one of my other emails, a friend of mine is a liturgical dancer. In the same sense, I'm asking about that as well. Is it wrong if her church is dancing every Sunday and is not using it as a requirement or religious practice but just to praise him?  I just want to know and understand. It's like what you said about circumcision, It's not wrong or right, but keeping God commandments is what matter. But in the New Testament, though, circumcision was sinful. Musical instruments and dancing weren't brought back in the New Testament as a sin as far as I know. If people do these things but still do what God commands, is it an issue?


"If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15).

"Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (I John 2:3-6).

If your mother gave you $10 and sent you to the store for a loaf of bread, would you have done as she asked if you returned with a loaf of bread and a bag of candy? The answer should obviously be "No" because something was added to what she had asked. She did not give you the authority to make additional purchases.

When a person plays an instrument while singing to God are they keeping God's commandment? "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). The answer should, just as obviously be "No" for the same reason.

God has not asked us to do as we please in the worship of Him and that He will accept it. He has told us what we are to do. That is why there are warnings both in the Old Testament to the Israelites and in the New Testament to Christians not to add or subtract from God's commands. When your friend wants to dance to the Lord in worship to Him, she is adding something that God didn't command and assuming that God will be happy with her addition. Whether she thinks other people should also join her in her dances or not is a side issue. The key issue is that she is making up ways to worship God which the Lord has not commanded. Thus she is announcing to the world that her personal desires are much more important to her than the Lord's desires.

I would like you to go through the outline, "What Silence Says" and look up all the verses. The point of the lesson is that God means exactly what He says and we have no right to alter it in any way, on a congregational or personal level.

You missed the point about circumcision. It isn't a sin to be circumcised. "Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters" (I Corinthians 7:18-19). God didn't make circumcision a sin in the New Testament. Paul is proving that circumcision is no longer a religious practice because God did not command it of Christians. And for Christians to use circumcision as a religious practice is then departing from the faith.

When a person brings in any aspect of the Old Law as part of their religious practices, they are claiming -- willingly or not -- that the entire Old Law is binding on them. That was Paul's point in Galatians, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace" (Galatians 5:1-4). It was the attempt to bring in a part of the Old Law into the New that made it wrong. You can substitute any other practice that the Old Law commanded and that isn't in the New Law and come to the same point.

Since the New Testament has everything God wants us to do (II Peter 1:3; II Timothy 3:16-17), adding anything to it is a claim that the New Testament is not complete or perfect. If we accept that every godly act required of us is found in the pages of the New Testament, then any act that a person wants to do which isn't found therein must be an ungodly act.


Thank you, that really helped me.

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