Is that a piano that I hear?
I Corinthians 15: 1-8
15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
Something quite unexpected happened yesterday morning. Laura was in the basement of the church working on a bulletin board. I was in my office and heard a knocking at the door. I asked Laura if she had heard it. She said no but we both went to the door to find a retired gentlemen standing there. We invited him in.
He said his name was Joe and he lived in MacDonald and attended the Church of Christ in Columbiana. He was looking for a closer Church of Christ. He asked me if we used instruments in our worship. I said we did. He said why? I said because we do, we can and we like the fact that it aids in our worship and it is mentioned throughout the word of God. For the next 30 minutes he launched into why God has no use for instruments and in the new covenant instruments were forbidden, but God kind of winks at that and allows us to play them. It’s kind of like divorce, God just winks at that also…were his words. After he was done, Laura said “Well, we appreciate you stopping by and my feet hurt so….” She left… He and I talked for a few more minutes and I kept asking him “why are you here? Why do you want to leave your church?
But he was really hung up on the fact we use instruments and that in the eyes of God we were sinning.
How is it that people have become so locked up in their crusade to “correct” what they perceive to be our doctrine that they have totally lost site of the main thing. We say Keep the main thing the main thing. I asked him if he based his church attendance solely on the lack of musical instruments? He didn’t have an answer, which kind of gave me his answer.
14 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.”’
12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
An amazing thing occurs on an adult level that we would never tolerate on a children’s level.
If we hear our kids or grand kids say “Billy says chocolate is better than vanilla” and as only kids can do they can work it up into a major fuss. We stop it by saying, they’re both good and nothing’s wrong with either of them now settle down!
On an adult level we don’t use instruments therefore you are wrong and I wish to debate it, chase rabbits and argue about it all day long until you see it my way. You get the feeling Jesus would walk up to us and say Hey, you want instruments, you don’t! Whatever… nothing wrong with either of you get back on track and settle down!
When we lose track of our mission…..everything becomes a distraction from it. Distraction ultimately equals failure.
There will be no next time for me when someone wants to debate such things. 30 minutes was too long and I will never get it back.
It’s a lesson that the Gospel, death, burial and resurrection is the main thing. Everything else is a distraction if we allow it to be.