Monday, August 20, 2007

The Greats of the Past Said What?

I’m a collector of sorts of quotes … particularly quotes of people who have made important observations about music and worship in the church. A few weeks ago, I ran across a list of quotes that I found rather interesting (click on title above to be taken to my source for the content below). Consider the opinions of great leaders from the history of the church and what they said (or wrote) about matters musical in the church:

Martin Luther: “The organ in the worship service is a sign of Baal.” Realencyklopadie Fur Protestantische Theologie und Kirche, Bd, 14, s.433 cited in Instrumental Music and New Testament Worship, James D. Bales, p. 130.

Thomas Aquinas, Catholic Theologian; 13th century: “Our church does not use musical instruments, as harps and psalteries, to praise God withal, that she may not seem to Judaize.” Bingham’s Antiquities, Vol. 2, p.483, London.

John Calvin, Reformation Leader, Founder of Reformed & Presbyterian denominations: “Musical Instruments in celebrating the praises of God would be no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting of lamps, and the restoration of the other shadows of the law.” Calvin, Commentary on Psalm 33, see also commentary on 1 Samuel 18:1-9

John Wesley, Founder of Methodist Denomination: “I have no objection to instruments of music in our chapels, provided they are neither heard nor seen.” Cited by Methodist commentator Adam Clarke; Clarke’s Commentary, Vol. 4, p.684

Charles Spurgeon, Baptist Author/Pastor: “We might as well pray by machinery as sing by it” and “Israel was at school, and used childish things to help her learn; but in these days when Jesus gives us spiritual food, one can make melody without strings and pipes … we do not need them. That would hinder rather than help our praise. Sing unto Him. This is the sweetest and best music. No instrument like the human voice.” Charles Spurgeon, Commentary on Psalm 42

That’s enough to think about for now.


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