Cled E. Wallace
Edward J. Cain, evangelist of the Christian Church, thinks it is “far-fetched interpretation” that gets any instrumental music out of “making melody with your heart” in Ephesians 5 :19. He goes on to say in the Christian Standard:
I am ministering to a church that uses instrumental music and has been doing so for twenty-five years, and so far hold the position that we may use instruments, but do not want to use any far-fetched interpretation to bolster up my position. I try to keep my mind open to truth and if I ever come to believe our brethren without the instrument are right in their contention I will gladly join forces with them. However. they must prove their point.
“Our brethren without the instrument are right in their contention” that the New Testament teaches that Christians should sing praises to God. “I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also” (1 Cor. 14:15). “Speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19). Cain admits that an instrument must be fetched from afar to get it into this passage.
Our contention is that Christians should do what the New Testament teaches, all that it teaches, and nothing else. “Learn not to go beyond the things which are written” (1 Cor. 4:6). We have proved our “point.” Singing is not playing. Cain’s “contention” is that “we may use instruments” but he cites no proof. I think he should make some effort to prove his “point.” I have cited some clear scripture references to prove my point now let him cite just one to prove his. It is his practice which is in question not mine. I can “bolster up my position” with plain texts of scripture. I have never seen an effort made to “bolster up” his that did not employ an extensive use of “far-fetched interpretation.”
It isn’t exactly fair or courageous for Cain to call on us to prove a negative. He should affirm his practice. The truth is that the teaching of the New Testament had nothing to do with the introduction of musical instruments into the worship of the church. A worldly spirit brought it in. The arguments in its defense are all afterthoughts and about as strong as the ones a Methodist can urge in favor of infant sprinkling.