Instrumental music in “worship”, a sin?

There are many well-meaning folk out there today claiming that God’s word prohibits instrumental music in “worship”. Many go as far as to say those who partake in instrumental music in “worship” are sinning thus deemed as wayward brethren in need of repentance.

The brunt of their argument hinges upon the silence of scriptures e.g., the regulative principle. At this time I wish not to address the flaws with the arguments made from silence; rather, I will affirm the authority for instrumental music in “worship”.


To begin with, instrumental music was not originally part of the law of Moses. Most recognize that the use of instruments was brought forth from King David. In 2 Chronicles 29:25 we see an interesting revelation. We find that the ultimate source of instrumental music in “worship” was God Himself. This was not David acting presumptuously as some contend, or David instituting “will worship”. God gave the order through the prophets.

In fact, David did disobey the Lord and go against His wishes during his life. David conducted a census of Israel that God did not approve of. God sent a pestilence out against Israel as a result. How about his romp with Bathsheba? God took their son. If instruments in worship is sinful, why was David not stricken for this? Is it possible it was and is not sin?

Many will now say, “we are not under the law now, we are new testament people”. However, we may be disregarding something very important about the law, and primarily the purposes the law was given. According to Paul in Romans 7:7, “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Nay, I had not known sin, BUT BY THE LAW: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, thou shalt not covet”.

Question- was instrumental music in worship declared to be sin in the law of Moses? No, absolutely not. Has God changed His mind, revealed in His word on this subject? No. How can we declare something to be sin that God has not declared to be so? Do we have that authority?

Some will say that Romans 14:23 declares that instrumental music in worship is sin, because God has not authorized or commanded instrumental music in worship, and the NT does not specifically mention it.

Some points to consider:

God has never revoked His authorization of instrumental music in worship.

“Psalms” can mean either vocal and/or instrumental music thus we have authorization. Paul says, as Christians, we can sing “Psalms” thus one can conclude from the meaning of “Psalms” that this means vocal and/or instrumental music. At the time Paul wrote the Ephesians, they knew perfectly well that “Psalms” often had musical accompaniment. They had the Old Testament and understood quite well that “Psalms” could mean either vocal and/or instrumental music.

Romans 14:23 says no such thing as it is accused of. It does not say that anything not specifically authorized by God is sin. The context of chapter 14 is “doubtful disputations”, opinionated matters, and matters of conscience. If you notice the end of the chapter, whatever not of faith is sin refers to something that a person is not fully convinced is permissible in his conscience. Yet if he eats though he has doubts about it, he is condemned because he is not doing so in faith. This says nothing about all things needing authority of God to be acceptable to Him in worship.

For those who insist that instrumental music in “worship” to God to be sinful, please show where God changed His mind and revoked His authorization of instrumental music in worship.


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