Faulty reasoning abounds about worship. This devotional thought centered on Psalm 149.2-3 from a denominational pastor is a prime example of it. This is the entire piece:
This is fascinating because the tambourine and harp were created by other cultures. From the beginning of worship music, the people of God took the instruments that were available in their day and used them for the glory of God. This means that the Biblical picture of praise is one that can incorporate the contributions of any culture, any style. Since that is the case, what do you have today in your culture that you could use to praise His name?
Men choose elements and features of worship thinking that God will like it. They justify it by twisted logic. Gone is any idea of God authorizing what can be done or under what covenant. Culture trumps covenant. Personal preference wins over worship given to God by faith—that faith that comes by hearing the word of God, Rom 10.17.
Man has often sought “an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion” Col 2.23 ESV. And he even uses the Bible to do it.
Man has the impulse of worship buried in his heart. But the proper expression of worship is God-defined. What to do and how to do it are not left up to the people of God in their culture. They are to be different from the surrounding culture, including the way they worship.
Let us therefore follow the New Testament’s instructions for the worship of the family of God. Jesus’ church is not Israel, and the old covenant was replaced by the new.
What the old covenant did teach is that God wants his pattern of worship followed exactly, Ex 25.9, 40; Acts 7.44; Heb 8.5. One of King Ahaz’s abominable practices was copying the altar he saw in Damascus, 2 Kgs 16.10-13. When man replaces God’s instructions with his own worship, there is no more room for the divine pattern, 2 Kgs 16.14.
Such things did not please God. The impulse to be like the surrounding nations leads to departure from the divine revelation, Ezek 20.32.
When Christ came, everything changed in our way to approach God. Not only do we refuse the worship of the surrounding culture, but we no longer follow the model of the Old Testament.
The proper question to ask then is this: What does the New Testament teach us about how to praise God’s name and conduct our meetings together?