Churches of Christ in the United States about 100 years ago were in a life and
death struggle for their very existence with a strong digressive movement. Isaac
Errett of Cincinnati, editor of The Christian Standard took the position that
instrumental music in worship was not commanded, but it was a matter of opinion.
Due to this approach and the popularity of instruments, hundreds of churches across
Ohio, Indiana and other places were caught up in the so-called, progressive movement
and swept from the old paths of the gospel into the ranks of denominationalism. Had
Errett taken a frontal approach through the pages of The Standard, he might not have
had such an impact. The devil is using the same ploy in this generation by saying to
the young people in the churches of Christ, instruments of music in worship are just
a matter of opinion.
Jeff Walling, of the Providence Road church in Charlotte, North Carolina, has
been making this argument for years. For example, as far back as 1981 he publicly
took such a stand. That year the church of Christ at 816 N. Andover Rd, Andover,
Kansas held a youth rally at the high school. Brother Walling was a guest speaker.
During a panel discussion, which was moderated by Church Northrop (whom I
know and have confidence in, ps), a question was asked about the scripturalness of
instrumental music in worship. Northrop correctly affirmed such was not authorized
and showed from Ephesians 5:19 and other Scriptures that acappella music is
authorized. At this point Walling, who was not on the panel, came to the platform and
in the presence of the young people literally pushed Northrop away from the podium
and declared instrumental music in worship is simply 'a matter of opinion...a gray
area.' Walling has continued to advocate that same position over the years (See Behold
The Pattern, 5114 Montclair, Colleyville, TX 760343, p. 215).
It is a matter of historical record that Isaac Errett's position brought much division,
sorrow and heartache to the churches of Christ in his generation. Jeff Walling is doing
the same today in youth rallies and lecture series. The brethren who constitute the
board of directors of the 'Christian Jubilee, Inc.' ought to know these things, but they
are set to perpetuate more division and heartache in Middle Tennessee because
Walling was the keynote speaker July 1-4. These men are like those described by the
Holy Spirit, 'by good words and fair speeches [they] deceive the hearts of the simple'
(.Rom. 16:18). -BEN VICK VIA EAST HILL NEWS