Ask the Pastor – Musical Instruments in Church


Our neighbors believe that instruments of any kind, including piano and organ, are not to be played in church. They sing without instrumental music of any kind in their church services. They say that the New Testament does not permit instrumental music. What does the Bible really say about this?


This indeed is an age-old question that needs an answer. While church music has gone through a great change in the last decade or so, using all kinds of music and instruments that are offensive to the ears and hearts of many believers, we cannot throw out the baby with the bath water.

There are churches that believe that no musical instruments should be played in the church, but in doing this they are extremely inconsistent with what they claim the Bible teaches. They claim if the New Testament does not mention musical instruments for the worship of God or in the church, then this is evidence enough that no one should use them.

Just because something is not mentioned in the New Testament does not override that which has already been stated in the Old Testament. The whole of the New Testament is founded upon the Old Testament. If we are claiming that we are only to use the New Testament for our doctrine and standards, then chances are we will miss the very point God would want us to understand. This is narrow mindedness in the first order!

These same people, who would not want to use musical instruments in the church, would be the first to condemn anyone for the violation of the instruction given in Leviticus 18:23, which deals with bestiality. You will not find any references forbidding such an act in the New Testament. Why? The subject has already been covered in the Old Testament. It is strictly prohibited. These same people would, without any hesitation, tell you that such acts, as are mentioned only in the Old Testament, are morally wrong, and people who commit such acts will end up in hellfire. But, where in the New Testament do you find such prohibition? No place! However, since musical instruments are not mentioned in the New Testament, a different criterion arises. This is very inconsistent! We need to remember that the Bible is a complete whole.

Musical instruments were used in Old Testament times, and this is what sets the precedent. Read 11 Chronicles 5:11–14; 29:25–29; Revelation 5:6–9; 14:2–3. If God was worshipped in the Old Testament with musical instruments, and He is being worshipped in heaven with musical instruments, then why would we not worship Him with musical instruments?

We should keep in mind, however, that the use of musical instruments should not create a bedlam of noise that shocks the senses. This type of music is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time.

Should we be so narrow as to say that, just because the subject is not mentioned concerning the early church, we are not to use musical instruments in our worship services now? No, instruction and examples have been provided in the Old Testament. Although musical instruments are not mentioned in New Testament times, they are not forbidden for use in worship.

Pastor Mike Baugher is Associate Speaker for Steps to Life Ministry. If you have a question you would like Pastor Mike to answer, e-mail it to:, or mail it to: LandMarks, Steps to Life Ministry, P. O. Box 782828, Wichita, KS 67278.