West Point Road Church of Christ
Strange Sounds in Worship
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  • Authorized in Worship

    One of the words translated worship is the Greek word “proskuneo.” The word can be translated to kiss towards. It is the idea of sending reverence and respect toward a superior being.
    God is the audience of our worship. God is the subject of our worship. Therefore, the worship should be tailored to approach Him correctly and please Him.
    God has been diligent in giving proper instructions for approaching Him in worship.
    Genesis 4:3-5
    Genesis 4:3–5 KJV 1900
    And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
    Two different offerings were made to God. Why did God accept one and not the other. We learn from the Bible that the answer was that Abel’s offering was accepted because it was an offering according to the instructions given by God.
    Hebrews 11:4
    Hebrews 11:4 KJV 1900
    By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
    Romans 10:17 KJV 1900
    So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
    Romans 10:17
    Abel offered correctly to God by faith. Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of God. Therefore, Abel offered correctly to God based on the words of God.
    God does not allow approaching Him in any way that man sees fit.
    Leviticus 10:1-3
    Leviticus 10:1–3 KJV 1900
    And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.
    The “strange” fire was an unauthorized fire. It was not according to what God had instructed.
    When we worship God, we are approaching Him. We kiss towards Him. We must do this by faith. We must do this in a way that is in accordance to His words.
    John 4:24
    John 17:17
    John 4:24 KJV 1900
    God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
    John 17:17 KJV 1900
    Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

    Music in Worship

    When it comes to music in worship, we have the word of God that gives us authority as to what is authorized. If we do what God’s word authorizes, we will be worshipping in truth and by faith.
    Ephesians 5:19
    Ephesians 5:19 KJV 1900
    Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
    Colossians 3:16 KJV 1900
    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
    There are other examples of music to God in the New Testament, but they also involve singing.
    Notice the different components we may learn from these verses:
    Singing is authorized
    The instrument is the heart
    The purpose is to teach and admonish
    Introducing music or sounds that do not meet this criteria, would be introducing music or sounds that are unauthorized or “strange.”

    Strange Sounds

    Mechanical Instruments

    Mechanical instruments of music are “strange” and unauthorized because:
    They are not singing, they are playing.
    They are a separate instrument, not the instrument of the heart
    They do not fulfill the purpose of teaching and admonishing

    Hand Clapping

    Hand Clapping in music is “strange” and unauthorized because:
    It is not singing, it is playing.
    It is a separate instrument, not the instrument of the heart
    It does not fulfill the purpose of teaching and admonishing

    Humming

    While humming uses the mouth like singing does, it is “strange” and unauthorized because:
    It is not singing
    It does not fulfill the purpose of teaching and admonishing
    At best, humming is similar to the sounds we might hear from a mechanical instrument of music. Humming introduces different tones of sound with no meaning. Mechanical instruments of music introduce different tones of sound with no meaning. If humming is allowed, then why would mechanical instruments of music not be allowed?
    The argument might be that humming is made by the mouth and making sounds with the mouth is clearly authorized by the use of singing. Making sounds with the mouth is authorized, but the use is to sing and the purpose is to teach and admonish. By humming, I am not fulfilling the use of singing, nor am I fulfilling the purpose of teaching and admonishing.

    Oohs and Aahs

    Some songs introduce vocal sounds, such as “oohs” and “aahs” to be made while other people sing the words.
    While singing “oohs” and “aahs” use the mouth like singing does, it is “strange” and unauthorized because:
    It does not fulfill the purpose of teaching and admonishing
    At best, it might be described as background sounds or ambiance to affect emotion.
    Making “oohs” and “ahhs” is similar to the sounds we might hear from a mechanical instrument of music. "Oohs” and “ahhs” introduce different tones of sound with no meaning. Mechanical instruments of music introduce different tones of sound with no meaning. If making “oohs” and “ahhs” is allowed, then why would mechanical instruments of music not be allowed?

    Beatboxing

    Beatboxing is the use of the mouth to make different sounds like a mechanical instrument of music.
    While beatboxing uses the mouth like singing does, it is “strange” and unauthorized because:
    It does not fulfill the purpose of teaching and admonishing
    Beatboxing is similar to the sounds we might hear from a mechanical instrument of music. Beatboxing introduces different tones of sound with no meaning. Mechanical instruments of music introduce different tones of sound with no meaning. If beatboxing is allowed, then why would mechanical instruments of music not be allowed?

    Conclusion

    God has authorized and therefore desires us to approach Him with singing.
    Approaching Him with music or sounds that are not according to His word is approaching Him with “strange” or unauthorized sounds in worship.
    Some sounds are attempted to be justified because they are made with the mouth. We can make all kinds of sounds with the mouth, including flatulent noises and raspberries. If any kind of sound with the mouth is allowed, why do people not use these sounds? Many times it may be because they are not trying to make just any noise with the mouth, they are trying to sound like mechanical instruments of music. Humming and “oohs” and “ahhs” may sound like a keyboard or guitar, and beatboxing may sound like drums. But the problem with these sounds is not that they are made with the mouth. The problem is that they do not fulfill the purpose of singing to teach and admonish as specified by God.
    Colossians 3:17
    Colossians 3:17 KJV 1900
    And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
      • Genesis 4:3–5KJV1900

      • Hebrews 11:4KJV1900

      • Romans 10:17KJV1900

      • Leviticus 10:1–3KJV1900

      • John 4:24KJV1900

      • John 17:17KJV1900

      • Ephesians 5:19KJV1900

      • Colossians 3:16KJV1900

      • Colossians 3:17KJV1900

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