Thursday, June 14, 2018

Job 12:2 - An Example of Sarcasm

All sarcasm is not sinful. The bible is full of it. Many bible students, when reading the words of prophets, apostles, and even of the Lord Jesus Christ, often fail to realize that some words are spoken sarcastically, and therefore cannot be taken as statements of fact. I believe Job is one of the prophets who spoke sarcastically to his "miserable comforter" friends and the following words are evidence of it. Said Job to his three friends:

"No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you."

Barnes' Notes on the Bible (emphasis mine)

No doubt but ye are the people - That is, the only wise people. You have engrossed all the wisdom of the world, and all else are to be regarded as fools. This is evidently the language of severe sarcasm; and it shows a spirit fretted and chafed by their reproaches. Job felt contempt for their reasoning and meant to intimate that their maxims, on which they placed so much reliance, were common-place, and such as every one was familiar with.

And wisdom shall die with you - This is ironical, but it is language such as is common perhaps every where. "The people of the East," says Roberts, "take great pleasure in irony, and some of their satirical sayings are very cutting. When a sage intimates that he has superior wisdom or when he is disposed to rally another for his meagre attainments, he says, 'Yes, yes, you are the man! ' 'Your wisdom is like the sea.' 'When you die, whither will wisdom go?'"

I use irony and sarcasm in dealing with Hardshells and other cults. Using the language of Job, as a retort to all the Hardshell rhetoric about how they are all right and others all wrong, I could say -

"No doubt you all are the theological experts, and the church and the truth will die with you." 

I do not make that statement to affirm what is actually the case, or true, but being sarcasm, it is rather a denial of it.

Of course, using sarcasm for good takes some art and skill, and so those who use it should know when and how to use it. God help us to follow the example of Christ and the prophets and apostles.

Saved Before Faith - Hardshell Fundamental Premise

The following is from "Cayce's Editorials" under the heading "SALVATION BEFORE FAITH" and published October 30, 1906 (emphasis mine):

"ELDER C. H. Cayce: Dear Brother - Which is first-salvation or faith? I ask this so you can answer through THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST, as I want to show it to those who say “faith precedes salvation.” I write like I know you see it as I do - that a child must be born first, which is life, and life is salvation, and it is to the living that God gives gifts, and faith, I think, is a gift. If I am wrong and you see differently, I hope you can make it plain to me.

We most assuredly think you are correct in saying salvation precedes faith. If faith is used in the sense of belief, then it is a mental act, an act of the mind. The unregenerate man is in possession of a carnal mind, and the carnal mind is enmity against God. He is not in possession of a spiritual mind, or the mind of Christ. For one to be in possession of a natural mind, or carnal mind, be must necessarily be in possession of the natural life."

Where in all the bible does the bible say that salvation precedes faith? Why did Cayce not give those texts that say that? Instead, he uses arguments based upon reasoning, and such reasoning that first accepts an unscriptural premise and then builds upon it. The reasoning used by Cayce supposes that by "carnal mind" is meant some physical, rather than moral, condition. Further, to him, a man has a spiritual mind first and then he believes, which argumentation assumes that a mind can be spiritual when it lacks faith in God and in his Son the Lord Jesus! I wrote on this in my book on the Hardshell cult, talking about how spiritual mindedness cannot be divorced from faith, and also how carnal mindedness cannot be divorced from unbelief. (see here for that posting)

Not only do the Hardshells teach that sinners are "saved before faith" but also "without faith."

In Zion’s Advocate for August, 1898, page 225, Elder (Dr.) Charles Waters stated:

"Every saved child of Adam is saved eternally, faith or no faith; infants and idiots must be so saved for they cannot believe, though they must be regenerated, faith (belief) therefore is not necessary to eternal salvation.”

How anyone can come up with such a proposition from reading the scriptures is bewildering.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Fight For "Dominant Power" within the Cult

Wrote Elder Walter Cash of Missouri in his periodical "Messenger of Peace" (1925):

"Along about the year 1900 a movement began in the Primitive Baptist ranks that culminated in much distress, and division in some localities, before it's close."

"But I thought that if the Yellow Creek dropped correspondence this would practically cut them off from the Primitive Baptists of the state, and it would encourage the leaders in the "progressive" movement to double their energy to try to become the dominant power." (see here)

I find Cash's remark about trying "to become the dominant power" within the "Primitive Baptist" denomination very interesting in light of 1) the history of factionalism among the PBs throughout the 19th century, and 2) the outcome of those faction wars as it was manifested at the start of the 20th century, and 3) the political machinations of the PB cult via their factional leaders that yet characterize this aberrant sect.

Well might we ask these questions:

1) Who were the "dominant" parties among the primitives and old schoolers at the beginning of the 20th century?

2) Which party won the place of "dominant power"?

3) What happened to the factions that lost out to the "dominant power"?

We know that Elder Walter Cash was on the side of that faction that has come to be called "Conditionalist" and which has come to represent more than 90% of Hardshells today. Did he compete in this war for "dominant power"? Here is what he said in regard to that "jockeying for position" of the various factions of "Primitive Baptists."

"In December, 1904, at the request of leading members in the Salem association, I visited some of the churches and arrived at an understanding with them that steps should be taken to stop "progressive" preachers from visiting the churches, and that the churches would take steps to let it be known where they intended to stand. To this end I was to attend the next session of the association, which I did. At this meeting I laid the matter before the brethren plainly, explaining the situation, and telling them of the purpose I had in view all along in not dropping the correspondence, but that I could go no farther unless they acted decisively. I said, "You must say now which way you are going. If you say your are going to stay with our churches and associations on the old line, and will show that you mean it, the correspondence will be continued; otherwise not."

Cash was one to "force the issue," and worked to promote division (what he and other PBs would call "purifying" the ranks). He pressured churches to take a stand with him and with his faction.

I have seen it in modern times, in the time I was among the Hardshells. You have preachers today who want to be the "dominant power" among the PBs, or at least among their faction. Will it ever end?

Hardshells Declare Non Fellowship Against Gospel Preaching

In Cayce's Editorials, we find the following under title "OUR WORK ENDORSED" for October 10, 1905 (emphasis mine):

"The Forked Deer Association met with the church at Flowers Chapel, near Rutherford, Gibson county, Tenn., on Friday before the second Sunday in September, 1905. Elder John Grist, of Friendship, Tenn., was moderator, and L. J. Law, Trenton, Tenn., was clerk. The following appears in their minutes as the third and fourth items of their business on Saturday:

By motion and second, agreed that we adopt as the sense of this association the action of five of our churches as expressed in their letters, that we declare non-fellowship for the idea of a federal form of government, that the commission was given to the church and not to the apostles or ministry, that it is the duty of the ministry to admonish the alien sinner to repent and believe the gospel, and against affiliation in and with secret institutions."

I have already shown how the first "Primitive" or "Old School" Baptists believed that it was their duty to preach to dead sinners, and to call upon them to believe and repent for salvation. But, notice, that from 1833 till 1905 things had changed! Now, it is heresy to preach to "alien sinners" and to "admonish" them to "repent and believe the gospel."

Now, who was right? The founding fathers of the "Primitive Baptist" (1833) or Cayce and his fellow reformers at the start of the 20th century? Further, if it is heresy to preach to alien sinners and to call upon them to repent and believe, then today's Hardshells must admit that the founders of their denomination were heretics! How then can they claim to have an unbroken chain of non heretical churches?

Further, by such an evil declaration of non fellowship, they condemn the prophets and apostles, and even the Lord Jesus Christ himself! Such men did in fact admonish dead sinners!

Monday, June 11, 2018

A "Hollow Log" Regeneration

"But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." (Acts 26:16-18 KJV)

Why was Paul sent as a preacher to the Gentiles? It was in order that these things might be experienced by them:

1. To open their eyes
2. To turn them from darkness to light
3. To turn them from the power of Satan unto God
4. To have them obtain forgiveness of sin
5. To have them obtain inheritance among those sanctified by faith

Because the Hardshells have denied that preachers are means in the regeneration and eternal salvation of the elect, and denied that conversion is essential to regeneration, they have therefore forced themselves into redefining the experience of regeneration or the new birth. Anything connected with conversion and with the means of gospel preaching must be excluded from the experience of regeneration; And, what is the consequence of that? Is it not a watered down, or "hollow log" regeneration? I have written on this before. For instance, see the posting "Is It Regeneration?".

What kind or regeneration is it that does not open a person's eyes? That does not make him see anything? What kind of rebirth is it that does not save a man from darkness, or does not turn him from the power of Satan to the power of God? What kind of regeneration or saving experience is it that does not impart forgiveness of sins? That does not give one title to God's inheritance?

Another Thought

Many Hardshells at the start of the 20th century were teaching that God's elect are regenerated by the personal preaching of Jesus to a sinner. I plan to write much upon this in the future, but let me say a few things now in this context.

If Jesus first appears to these Gentiles, before Paul preaches to them, then why did not the preaching of Jesus do the things enumerated above? Further, why even send Paul to preach to them if Jesus is doing the preaching himself?



Absolute Predestination & Accountability by Beebe


Beebe, in an editorial on "Predestination" wrote (Feb. 6, 1833 - see here):

"The doctrine of absolute Predestination when rightly understood does not involve the idea of man's acting involuntarily in sin nor does it exonerate him from accountability, this may be discovered by noticing the following examples."

Well, amen to that! The anti Predestinarians ("Conditionalists") were often falsely accusing men like Beebe of doing away with human responsibility by believing in full predestination. The London Confession was also clear on this issue.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Birth or Adoption? Cayce's Answer

Elder Claud H. Cayce was one of the leaders of the "Primitive Baptist Church" from the late 19th century until his death in the 1940s. He had many errors and helped to lead the Hardshells further away from the faith of their fathers. That being said, he did get it right on the subject of "adoption." I have written on this subject much under the heading "Waiting for the Huiothesia." I find it interesting that Elder Harold Hunt, an aged leader still with the Hardshells, and one who I have written critically against over the years respecting his heretical views, thinks very highly of Cayce and thinks that the young ministers should study his writings. But, Hunt should have listened to what Cayce wrote.

First, let me cite from Hunt. Hunt wrote (see here - emphasis mine):

"I cannot think of a subject which I had more difficulty in understanding than I had with the subject of adoption. But, for that matter, there is probably not a simpler subject in the Bible. The problem that arose in my mind, and the problem that bothers most people, is simply this: If we are born of the Spirit of God, why is it necessary for us to be adopted? My wife and I have four natural born children, and the thought of adopting those children has never entered our minds. Can you imagine how people would react if I told them that we were to go about adopting those children? The Bible does teach that we are born of the Spirit of God, and it does also teach that we are adopted. But, why are both necessary?"

Of course, as I have shown in my writings on this topic, we are not adopted, but born. The word "adoption" is not the right translation of huiothesia.; And, in scripture, whatever is "adoption," it is yet a future event.

Under the heading "Birth and Adoption" (September 19, 1911) Elder C.H. Cayce wrote:

"Brother G. M. Birdwell, of Dunlap, Tenn., asks us to explain the difference between being begotten or born and adoption. There are but two ways by which one can become a legal heir to an estate, or be brought into a family. One way is by birth and the other is by adoption. No one adopts his own child, for the child is already his by birth. This is true in nature. For one to adopt a child, he must take a child out of another family and receive it into his own family as his own child. Adoption, therefore, is the transferring of one from one family into another. In the work of regeneration, or the new birth, the sinner receives the divine nature. He is born into the heavenly family, and is made akin to God. This is a work of the Holy Spirit upon the spirit, or soul, of the sinner. As stated, in this work the sinner is born into the heavenly family, so that when the body dies the spirit, or soul, goes to a place of rest in the presence of God. The body, being mortal, decays and goes back to dust. But it shall not remain that way. In the last great day the body will be raised again and adopted into the heavenly family. In (Romans 8:23) the Apostle Paul says, “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.'' This seems to be very plain to us that the adoption is the redemption of the body. The body will be changed and received into the heavenly family. This is complete deliverance or salvation of the whole man - salvation of the sinner of Adam's race - the whole man, soul, body and spirit, finally saved."

Now, Cayce was on the right track and Hunt is on the wrong track. Adoption is "son placement," and is connected with "the day of redemption," the time of the resurrection, the event called "the apocalypse (manifestation)" of both Christ and his people, who will at that time reach their full maturity as "sons" of God, and not mere babes and children.

Is Bradley Calling For Reform?

 In "A Brief Review of Liberal Websites and Church Papers," Elder Robert Webb had this to say about the "liberal movement" among the PBs (see here).

"Lasserre Bradley once left the Missionary Baptists, and now seems determined to try to convert the Primitive Baptists to their doctrines and practices from within."

Is that so? If it is, it is good news indeed. But, I would phrase the news a little differently than the biased reporting of Webb. I would have said that Bradley and many in the "liberal movement" are simply trying to bring their denomination to repentance and to return them to the truth that their forefathers believed, from which they have departed.

Wrote Webb:

"The columns of the Baptist Witness have included articles advocating that the great commission was given to the church, rather than to the apostles, and now the latest heresy being promoted is Reformed Calvinism."

Such an awful doctrine! Believing that the commission is binding on all Christians! Why, Bradley and others like him are just ignorant on knowing about the great commission! (I speak sarcastically, of course)

The "heresy of Reformed Calvinism"? What about the heresy of hardshellism?

Webb wrote:

"New members are being received without questioning, including some who are living in adultery."

There is that term again - "living in adultery." I doubt that Cincinnati church actually has members who are "living in adultery." They may have some who are judged by Webb as "living in adultery," but we have already seen how the "conservative" hardliners have strict and unscriptural views on this issue. (See our series on the "Hardshells and Adultery" question)

Bob L. Ross on Garrett's Hardshell Research

One of the reasons why very few Hardshells have wanted to debate with us about Hardshell history and heresies is because they know that I know their history better than they do and they know that they cannot handle the truth respecting it. My years of work doing that research and writing chapters in my online book, "The Hardshell Baptist Cult," show that my knowledge of their history is extensive.

Bob himself wrote a small book entitled "History and Heresies of Hardshellism" and is a good work. It is available on the Internet. He did the same with the Campbellites. Neither the Campbellites nor the Hardshells want us to talk about their history.

Here is what Bob posted about my research and which I think makes for a good recommendation for the book. He posted this several years ago. I have continued to read old PB literature and am more informed about their history now.

THE RESEARCH WORK OF STEPHEN GARRETT (SEE HERE)

I just can't say enough in commendation of the tremendous and valuable research work done by the former "Hardshell" minister, Stephen Garrett at the BaptistGadfly.

I measure my words when I say that no writer with whom I am acquainted has done more to plough-up the "Hardshell" heresies and erroneous scriptural interpretations.

Surely, Stephen has come to the kingdom "for such a time as this" when Hybrid, Hyper, Ultra, and Pseudo "Calvinism" is rampant on blogs and websites.

Not only so, but Stephen is also an expert on "Campbellism," and has conducted quite a number of Public Debates with some of the representatives of this "twin" of Hardshellism, both born from the same "womb" of Pedobaptist Hyper Calvinism. Though diverse, these two 19th century (1830's) movements represent two aberrant extremes in departing from the creedal view of the Gospel in relation to the New Birth -- the Hardshells teaching the "Spirit Alone" heresy and the Campbellites teaching the "Word Alone" heresy.

A few years ago, it was my privilege to appear with Stephen and Larry Wessels on Larry's "Christian Answers of Austin, Texas" to do a series of TV programs on "Hardshellism." I never fail to learn from Stephen, especially in view of his many years of affiliation with the "Primitive Baptist Church" (Hardshells).

If you are interested in either or both of these, you will find no better source for evaluating and refuting them than from the writings which Stephen Garrett has erected on the BaptistGadfly.

I thank Bob for his commendation. Bob spent a lot of time doing research, reading many Hardshell writings, before he wrote his book on the Hardshells. It has been my pleasure to be his friend.



Friday, June 8, 2018

On The Musical Instrument In Worship Debate

Kevin Pendergrass, who I have recently cited in the series on "Hardshells & The Adultery Question," was once a staunch opponent of the use of instruments of music in church. However, he has recently seen his error on the subject and has converted to the truth on the subject, seeing them as approved in Scripture. Here is what he recently wrote on the subject under his article titled "MUSIC IN THE CHURCH: WHY I CHANGED MY MIND" (see here - emphasis mine):

"I no longer believe that Christians should bind vocal music in worship as being the only kind of music acceptable to God in worship. In 2012, I had a public debate on the subject of music in Christian worship. In the debate, I affirmed that vocal music was the only type of music authorized in New Testament worship. I have since changed my position. I believe that it is only fair for me to explain why I changed my position. I have changed because of my study in the Word of God and I am thankful to be able to share those studies with you.

I have read dozens of books, articles and debates on the topic of instruments in worship (I have too - SG). I even had a debate on this topic myself when I opposed instruments. Some were actually converted to the belief of “vocal music only” because of my debate. However, I have now changed my mind because of my own study on this topic. I realized I didn’t know as much as I thought I did and I was very biased in my previous way of studying. Please do not allow anyone to do your thinking, including myself (Phil. 2:12). I do not want you to accept what I am saying just because I am saying it. (or because your mom or dad believed it - SG) I also do not want you to reject what I am saying just because I am saying it. I ask that you please do your own thinking. The idea of “proxy thinking” is when you allow someone to do your thinking for you. The Church of Christ is often times accused of this and sadly, I have been guilty of this as well. However, I realized that if I was going to study objectively, I must allow the Bible to dictate truth, no matter where it leads. I ask that you do the same."

Many of today's PBs do not do their own thinking but read and interpret scripture with a bias.

Under the heading "INCONSISTENCIES REGARDING WORSHIP MUSIC" Pendergrass wrote:

"There are some in the Churches of Christ who have no problem using instruments in worship songs as long as they are not used in “corporate worship.” Some will condemn their neighbor on Sunday morning for using mechanical instruments in worship, yet they themselves have no problem listening to worship songs with instruments on Sunday afternoon. There are some brethren who condemn worship choirs only to turn around and have a choir sing worship songs at a funeral or have a Church of Christ college choir sing at their church."

I mentioned this in my book on the Hardshells. I too saw the inconsistency of non instrumental PBs, who would praise God in private or non corporate worship with musical instruments. They also have small groups sing at funerals, but the same thing would be a no no in corporate worship.

Pendergrass wrote:

"I think that this belief stems from a lack of proper understanding of the context of Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. These passages are by no means limited to the assembly or even in direct reference to the assembly (although I do believe they can have application to the assembly). God did not give different regulations and restrictions for worship songs when sung inside the assembly versus outside the assembly (see: Acts 16:25; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; 1 Cor. 14:15; Ja. 5:13; etc.). I say all of that to say that perhaps we have been blinded by our own plank (Mt. 7:1-5; Rom. 2:1-5)."

There is no way that you can limit the above two verses to corporate worship only. If such verses condemn musical instruments, they condemn them in both private and corporate worship.

Pendergrass wrote under the heading "WHAT LAW IS BEING VIOLATED?":

"In order to know if God sanctions a practice, we need to first see if there is a law against it. Paul writes in Romans 4:15: “Where there is no law, there is no sin.” Paul is stating a universal principle. 1 John 3:4 specifically teaches that sin is violation of law...those who believe that it is a sin to use instruments in worship are obligated to provide the New Testament law that they feel is being violated."

Agreed! Let the anti instrumental PBs show us the scripture that is being violated in the use of instruments.

Pendergrass wrote under the heading "GOD HAS GIVEN NO DIRECT LAW AGAINST THE USE OF INSTRUMENTS IN NEW TESTAMENT WORSHIP":

"One can read their New Testament as many times as they would like and they will never find any type of proclamation against instruments in worship. In fact, there is not even a hint of any kind of negative connotation to instruments in worship. John’s vision symbolically presents instrumental worship to God in a positive light (Rev. 5:8; 14:2; 15:2). Realizing that this is symbolic, I do not want to overstate this point nor do I use the passages of Revelation to authorize mechanical instrumental music in worship. However, I do find it interesting that the times that instrumental praise is seen in the New Testament in connection with worship, it is spoken of positively and never negatively."

Well, amen to all that! Can the anti instrument PBs show us where instrumental praise is condemned in scripture?

Pendergrass wrote:

"I have changed because I do not believe that God ever specified vocal music to the exclusion of instrumental music as I once did.

There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the Greek words used for sing in the New Testament (“psallo,” “ado” and “humneo”) ever excluded instruments. None of the words used in the New Testament for “sing” ever meant “sing only” or “sing to the exclusion of instruments.” These are not specific words that exclude instruments. Those believing that these words exclude instruments would be obligated to provide the evidence."

I changed my views also, and for the same reason. I studied the scriptures on the subject and approached them without bias and with an honest heart.

Pendergrass wrote:

"In fact, the Greek word “psallo” used in the New Testament is a word that permits instruments. There are five occurrences of the Greek word “psallo” in the New Testament (Eph, 5:19; 1 Cor. 14:15 twice; Ja. 5:13; Rom. 15:9). In the Greek Old Testament, the word “psallo” is a word which can include instruments (1 Sam. 16:16; 1 Sam. 16:17; 1 Sam. 16:18; 1 Sam. 16:23; 1 Sam. 18:10; 1 Sam. 19:9; 2 Kings 3:15; Psa. 33:3; etc.). It is important to note that while the word “psallo” can include instruments, it doesn’t necessitate them. This can be seen by the way it is translated in the Greek Old Testament (Judges 5:3; 1 Sam. 16:16; 1 Sam. 16:17; 1 Sam. 16:18; 1 Sam. 16:23; 1 Sam. 18:10; 1 Sam. 19:9; 2 Sam. 22:50; 2 Kings 3:15; Psa. 7:17; Psa. 9:2; Psa. 9:11; Psa. 18:49; Psa. 21:13; Psa. 27:6; Psa. 30:4; Psa. 30:12; Psa. 33:2; Psa. 33:3; Psa. 47:6; Psa. 47:6; Psa. 47:7; Psa. 57:7; Psa. 57:9; Psa. 59:17; Psa. 61:8; Psa. 66:2; Psa. 66:4; Psa. 68:25; Psa. 68:32; Psa. 69:12; Psa. 71:22; Psa. 71:23; Psa. 75:9; Psa. 92:1; Psa. 98:4; Psa. 98:5; Psa. 104:33; Psa. 105:2; Psa. 108:1; Psa. 108:3; Psa. 135:3; Psa. 138:1; Psa. 144:9; Psa. 146:2; Psa. 147:7; Psa. 149:3)."

Come on, my Hardshell brothers, answer these arguments if you can.

Pendergrass wrote:

"I studied every occurrence of the word “psallo” in the Greek Old Testament and above you will find an exhaustive list of every time the word “psallo” occurs. It is important to note that the word “psallo” itself never excluded instruments. Furthermore, examples of those living close to the time of Jesus such as Josephus and other Hellenistic Jews can be cited to show that they used the word “psallo” in such a way as to be able to include instruments (Corbitt, Danny. Missing More Than Music, p. 28)."

"Psallo" is a word that "never excluded instruments." If it does, show us the proof from scripture.

Pendergrass wrote:

"If Paul wanted to exclude and forbid instruments from worship, why would He have used a word that didn’t exclude its use and was in fact a word inclusive to instruments? Neither the Greeks nor the Hellenistic Jews would have understood the word “psallo” to exclude instruments. The Greek word “psallo” didn’t exclude instruments in the Greek Old Testament and the Greek word “psallo” didn’t exclude instruments in the first century. Therefore, there is absolutely no basis for anyone to objectively argue that the word “psallo” (which never excluded instruments) somehow excludes instruments the five times it is used in the New Testament. God certainly knows how to make something clear when He is being specific and exclusive. Since none of the words used for “sing” in the New Testament means “sing only,” God could have still excluded instruments with these words by adding the word “only” to “sing” if He wanted to."

From a debater who opposed instruments, he has become a powerful voice in debate on their behalf. All it takes to see the truth on this matter, or any scriptural matter, is to approach it honestly.

Pendergrass wrote under the heading "DOES THIS MEAN THAT ALL CHRISTIANS MUST PLAY A MECHANICAL INSTRUMENT?':

"Since Christians are supposed to “psallo” and the word “psallo” never excluded instruments, does that mean that Christians are commanded to play a mechanical instrument? I used to use this argument when I believed that instruments were unauthorized in worship. In other words, I used to argue that if the word “psallo” didn’t exclude instruments, then that means that all Christians have to use instruments since all Christians are to “psallo.” However, this argument assumes that the word “psallo” is a word that demands a mechanical instrument and that is just not the case as can be seen by multiple passages when the word “psallo” is used in the LXX (Psa. 7:17; Psa. 9:2; Psa. 9:11; Psa. 47:6; Psa. 47:6; Psa. 47:6; Psa. 47:6; Psa. 47:7; Psa. 57:7; Psa. 57:9; Psa. 59:17; Psa. 61:8; Psa. 66:2; Psa. 66:4; Psa. 66:4; Psa. 68:4; etc.)."

Let the anti instrumental PBs show us where "psallo" clearly "demands" that instruments be included or excluded.

Pendergrass wrote:

"In other words, my argument is not that “psallo” means to play an instrument; my argument is that the word “psallo” doesn’t exclude them. According to the Bible, you can “psallo” acceptably with or without a mechanical instrument. If God would have commanded Christians to play an instrument, we would expect to see words that necessitate playing (such as “kitharizo,” “auleo” or “kreko”). However, that is not what we find. Instead, we find that the word “psallo” is a generic praise word that authorizes instruments but doesn’t necessitate them."

Honest research into this will yield the same conclusion as reached by Pendergrass.

Pendergrass wrote:

"Furthermore, the Greek word combination that Paul uses in Ephesians 5:19 is “ado” and “psallo.” These two words are paired together multiple times in the Greek Old Testament and they never exclude instruments nor do they necessitate instruments. If God wanted to allow mechanical instruments without commanding them, then the word “psallo” would have been the perfect word, and that is the exact word that is used. The paring of “ado” and “psallo” can be praise without an instrument (Judges 5:3; Psa. 27:6; Psa. 68:4; etc.) or it can be praise with an instrument (Psa. 33:2-3; etc.). Therefore, one could acceptably “ado” and “psallo” to God with or without a mechanical instrument."

Well, what say ye to this my Hardshell brothers?

Under the heading "WHAT ABOUT MUSIC IN YOUR HEART?" Pendergrass wrote:

"In Ephesians 5:19, the Bible says that Christians are to sing and make melody in their heart (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). Some argue that if the melody is to be made in the heart, then that would somehow exclude melody being made on a piano, a guitar or any other instrument. Some claim that the instrument that we are to pluck or play is the instrument of our heart strings, thus, excluding any mechanical instruments. This alleged argument holds no weight and should be dismissed for the following reasons:

The phrase “in your heart” in Ephesians 5:19 is an adverbial prepositional phrase which describes the manner of the action, not the method (Gen. 17:17; Josh. 14:7; Psa. 15:2; Prov. 3:5; Psa. 119:2; Lk. 2:19; Mt. 5:28; etc.). “Things done from the heart i.e. cordially or sincerely, truly” (Thayer, Joseph. Greek-English Lexicon, p. 325). Paul is teaching Christians that they need to worship and praise God sincerely. What makes any action “dead” or “in vain” (whether it be an instrument or vocal music) is the heart from which it proceeds (Mk. 7:7-9). “Whether with instrument or with voice or with both it is all for naught if the adoration is not in the heart” (Robertson, A.T. Word Pictures in the New Testament, vol. 4, p. 405). The idea is that the praise needs to come from the heart in order to be acceptable (Mk. 12:30; Mt. 22:37-38).

Singing in the heart has never excluded mechanical instruments. The Bible teaches that it is possible to sing in your heart with the accompaniment of a mechanical instrument. Singing “in your heart” does not nor has it ever excluded a mechanical instrument."

Amen! Thanks to men like Pendergrass and Bob L. Ross for their writings on this subject.