500 members and no piano

Saturday afternoon I was talking with a friend and she related how she became a member of the church. She said the first time she went to the church of Christ, she remarked to her husband, “500 members and they can’t afford a piano?” He shushed her quickly lest someone hear her. She said she didn’t see a piano or an organ anywhere and thought surely with 500 members they could afford one.

I recall as a young girl attending the little Baptist country church near our house. The preacher asked if we had anyone in the church who could play the piano for them that service. Just recently I saw in a newspaper where a young preacher was trying to form a church. He said he was working on getting musicians now before he could begin.

More and more musical instruments are invading the denominational churches of our land. Denominational churches are popping up everywhere. It’s entertainment, folks, that’s all I can see it to be. I wonder how the first Christians worshiped without a piano, organ, drums, horns, or whatever else. We are to worship the King. More and more it seems churches are doing anything to “draw the crowd,” and put on the best show. Often one can’t hear the words to the songs for the musical instruments being played. It’s sad. 

Let us not forget that the power is in the gospel, the pure unadulterated gospel of Christ. Nothing sounds as beautiful as hearing the Word of God being read and preached. Nothing is more beautiful than hearing voices raised up in song pure and simple without the addition of an instrument or full-fledged band. Years ago there was a song, “Give Me That Old Time Religion.” The “old time religion” can be found in the pages of God’s Word when we go back to the Bible and search the scriptures to see what those in the first century did in their worship. It is in your Bible and mine. No instruments in the New Testament which we live under today.

Our son has a Ph.D in Music education. He has been invited to play regularly for denominational churches. His instrument? The piano. He could have made a good salary just doing that on weekends but he refused. We are proud of him for doing so.

We need to get back to the Bible, to do Bible things in Bible ways, to speak where the Bible speaks and to be silent where the Bible is silent. We can find all of the answers in reading and studying the New Testament. Most of us have several Bibles. We need to read and study them more. May God help us to do so.