This blog records my transition from the Churches of Christ to Eastern Orthodoxy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pacifism 9: Another Argumentative Appeal to a Conservative CoCer

There is another argument used among conservative Churches of Christ (CoCs) for their rejection of the use of instrumental music (IM) in worship.  Note these verses:

"Speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.  
Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord." (Eph 5:19)

"Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly 
as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, 
and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs 
with gratitude in your hearts to God." (Col 3:16)

i've heard the argument made more than once that when Paul mentions "sing" in these verses, he necessarily rules out the use of any other kind of music.  i happen to think the argument is just plain bad.  But whether it's a good argument or not is not the point of this post.  

The point of this post is to make a similar argument which, i take it, most conservative CoCer's would not accept, and then ask why the two are significantly different.  In other words, it appears to me that if you accept one, you ought to accept the other also.  
So, then, note these verses:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 
Put on the full armor of God 
so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, 
but against the rulers, against the authorities, 
against the powers of this dark world 
and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 
Therefore put on the full armor of God, 
so that when the day of evil comes, 
you may be able to stand your ground, 
and after you have done everything, to stand. 
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, 
with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 
and with your feet fitted with 
the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 
In addition to all this, 
take up the shield of faith, 
with which you can extinguish 
all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 
Take the helmet of salvation 
and the sword of the Spirit, 
which is the word of God.
(Eph 6:13-17)

So then, if the earlier argument about IM holds true, then since Paul mentions only arming ourselves with spiritual weapons, he necessarily rules out arming ourselves with any other kind of weapons.  If you believe that the first one about IM works, then why not this one?

It seems to me by some of their rules that if anyone should be religious pacifists, conservative CoCs should be.  But they are largely not pacifistic.  Yet, as i say, it seems to me a consistent use of their own argumentation would lead to that particular stance.   

1 comment:

Adam Gonnerman said...

Sadly, interpretation along traditional Church of Christ lines is more about opinions brought to the text than looking for the real meaning.

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