“Now all of you together become a choir so that being harmoniously in concord and receiving the key note from God in unison you may sing with one voice through Jesus Christ to the Father”
-Ignatius (110 A.D.)
“The use of singing with instrumental music was not received in the Christian churches, as it was among the Jews in their infant state, but only the use of plain song”
-Justin Martyr (139 AD)
“Psalmody was the joint act of the whole assembly in unison.”
“It was the ancient custom, as it is still with us, for all to come together, and unitedly to join in singing. The young, and the old, rich and poor, male and female, bond and free, all join in one song…All worldly distinctions here cease, and the whole congregation form one general chorus.”
-Chrysostom (349–407 A.D.)
“Though Presbyterian churches have decided to permit the use of organs, yet seeing the apostolic church did not use any musical instruments its practice is of more weight in the matter than all the modern churches in Christendom. Indeed such instruments were not introduced into the church before the seventh century, when it became very corrupt, because it had greatly departed from the simplicity of the gospel. It is only within this present century that Presbyterian, Congregational, Baptist and Methodist churches began to follow this sensuous practice. The supposed unanimity in this matter is of too short duration to have much reasonable weight.”
-D.B. Cameron, Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, Vol. 1:517, Toronto: Presbyterian Printing and Publishing Co. Ltd. 1889.
“I am an old man and an old minister, and I here declare that I have never known instrumental music to be productive of any good in worship of God, and have reason to believe it has been productive of much evil”
-Adam Clark (Methodist, and commentator)
“I would as soon as to pray to God with machinery as to sing to God with machinery”
-Charles Spurgeon (preached for the largest Baptist church in England)
“I have no objections to instruments of music in our chapels, provided they are neither seen nor heard!” -John Wesley (founder of the Methodist church)
“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”
-John Calvin (Founder of Presbyterianism)
“The organ in worship of God is an ensign of Baal”
-Martin Luther (founder of the Lutheran church)
“The organ is said to have been first introduced into the church music by Pope Vitalian I in 667 AD”
While our complete concern is not what the majority may or may not believe about a certain subject, it is certainly interesting to note that religious leaders since the 1st century have been convinced that instrumental music in worship was absolutely wrong. Neither the majority, nor the minority make a thing right or wrong, but rather the authority (standard or rule) by which all are judged (John 12:48; Phil. 3:16; Col. 3:17).
What authority does Christ give concerning our music in worship? Let his word stand alone as the sole judge:
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19).
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16).
“What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also” (1 Cor. 14:15).
These are just a few verses, not all, that teach us about music in worship as produced by the voice. No verses are found in the New Testament, which authorize such use for the 1st Century, nor for the 21st Century. It is also interesting to note that while instruments were used in Temple worship, they were not used in synagogue worship. The early church worshipped in that same setting often and according to that pattern according to the New Testament.