Musical Instruments – Wrong In Worship?

There is a group of Christians who believe that using musical instruments in worship is wrong, namely the Church of Christ.  Of course, after worship services they will get in their cars and listen to music on the radio, but I guess that doesn’t count because it’s not worship.  I’d like to point out some verses that may shed some light on this by pointing out the truth of the matter.


musical instruments

Their argument is, “musical instruments can be distracting and interfere with genuine worship.  God wants to hear our voices, which is what He made, and not manmade instruments.”  What I would first like to point out is that there is no bible verse that says such a thing.  If a person prefers to worship God by singing without instruments, that is fine… but when they say that worshiping God by singing with instruments is a sin, we have a problem.


Praise the Lord with harps

Psalms 33:2 – “Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings”

Psalms 92:3 – “Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.”

Psalms 144:9 – “I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.”


Those and other similar verses are found in Ps 33:2, Ps 43:4, Ps 57:8, Ps 71:22, Ps 81:2-3, Ps 92:3, Ps 98:5, Ps 108:2, Ps 144:9, Ps 147:7, Ps 149:3, and Ps 150:3.


The Church of Christ is familiar with these verses.  While talking to a member of that church, I asked them how what they believe lines up with those verses.  They said, “well, that’s part of the Old Testament, so it doesn’t apply to us anymore.”


  1. Only the Law of Moses was abolished (Eph 2:15).  Psalms was not actually part of the law that God made for His people.  If anyone says that Psalms was the law that everyone had to follow, that means that EVERYONE had to play musical instruments or else be in sin.  That means if Jesus and all the disciples (and every Jew for that matter), didn’t play musical instruments, they’d be in sin… but we know that’s not the case because there’s no mention of the religious leaders playing musical instruments.
  2. Later on in Revelation times, saints and angels will be given harps to worship God (Rev 5:8, Rev 14:2, Rev 15:2).  How does it make sense for God to be ok with musical worship in the past and in the future, but for some reason, not in the present?
  3. If God allows musical instruments in heaven, why should we consider it un-heavenly to have musical instruments in churches?  If it’s acceptable to God in heaven to have harps playing, then it should be acceptable to us to have such instruments in churches.


The bottom line is this, “anything that is not faith is sin” (Rom 14:23).  If playing musical instruments in worship causes you or your brother to stumble, then it’s wrong (Rom 14:20-23).  On the other hand, and I’ll take Romans 14:3 into a new context, ~ Don’t despise others for NOT using instruments in worship, and don’t judge anyone who DOES use instruments in worship, because God has received them both!~

Kent Owen

Author: Kent Owen

After college I lived in China for 5 years, working as an English teacher and foreign marketing manager. Now i'm an insurance salesman, but my real passion is Christ and learning the bible.

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