Someone asked me recently if I would be comfortable worshiping with a group of Christians that use Musical Instruments in their worship; when, as far as they could tell, the scriptures were silent on whether instruments are an acceptable form of Worship in the New Testament Church (even though they used them in the Old Testament, and they are using them in the Intermediate Heaven, even as I type).
Let’s just say – although I don’t think I would agree with that position of Musical Instruments being wrong [On my scale of certainty it’s about a 1 – that is; I wouldn’t teach it openly that it’s ok; but I won’t say that it’s wrong either] – so back to the discussion – let’s just say that using Musical Instruments during the Church Service is wrong, because we should be ‘singing with our hearts’ (although, I think you can still sing with your heart, even with an instrument, or even without literally singing, because the idea of the ‘heart’ transcends the tongue).
If you look over, and the person two pews down from you is not singing, rather listening, and you feel that they aren’t doing what you think God wants them to do – do they cause you to sin? What if the person playing the musical instrument isn’t singing, and they are displeasing God, does that cause you to sin?
How about in the case of someone sitting three pews down from you that was drunk on Saturday night; or recently slept with someone they aren’t married to, and they are back in services on Sunday morning singing right along with you, does the fact that you are singing with them, cause you to sin (we’re not talking about whether or not you should approach them in love, and talk to them about changing, just whether their actions cause you to sin)?
It’s not that I would normally take this argument; because I think if there were people in a worship service with pictures of Satan on their shirt, I wouldn’t feel comfortable whether I was wearing the shirt or not – but I guess what I’m saying is (And my wife said that she has always felt that way) – is that our worship to God, while done collectively, is also an individual thing; we can’t know the hearts and minds of anyone else in the building, nor can we, or should we judge the actions and motives of things that are not clearly violating scripture, as Romans says that we will all stand before God and give an account to God, and we can stand, because the power is in the Lord to make us stand.
Anyway, just a thought…