Thursday, December 3, 2009

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

In an Associated Baptist Press article about worship changes in some Churches of Christ — churches that have traditionally shunned the use of instrumental music in worship, Seventh Day Baptists receive an incidental mention as "early promoters of hymn singing":
During the Reformation, clear divisions began to emerge. Some groups influenced by Martin Luther retained the instruments. Those influenced by John Calvin placed strict limits on music in worship. Still others, influenced by Ulrich Zwingli, disallowed music of any sort.

Calvin's influence was greatest among Baptists and the Churches of Christ. He placed three restrictions on music in worship: scriptural songs only (mostly the Psalms), human voices only, and unison singing only.

"Most Churches of Christ and Primitive Baptists long ago gave up the restrictions on text and part-singing but cling to the one against instruments," Richardson pointed out.

Different Baptist groups traveled differing routes. For example, Seventh Day Baptists, strict sabbatarians who know a thing or two about defending a minority position against steep odds, were early promoters of hymn singing, despite criticism from other Baptists. [emphasis added]

At various times in Baptist history, instrumental worship was rejected because it was practiced by the Church of England, which persecuted the free-church followers like the Baptists. Organs were often rejected – and later violins – because they were used to provide worldly entertainment. .... [more]
Associated Baptist Press - Some Churches of Christ re-examine tradition of instrument-free worship