Before I talk about that, though, I want to clarify something: I don't intend my criticism of the ad to be a defense of the decision made by the Quail Springs elders and their preacher. I still prefer, and would argue for, a cappella worship. But in addition to that, I have my questions about the way in which this change at Quail Springs was made. Maybe there was due process before the decision was announced. However, from this distance it seems as though many members at Quail Springs were surprised. Was that the case? I don't know. Either way, preachers and elders should pay close attention to that section of Christian ethics that would fall under the heading "the ethics of congregational change."
About the ad: I said, among other things, that it contains a good bit of Scripture twisting. What follows are three of the more glaring examples:
2 John 9
The ad states that instrumental music in Christian worship takes a person “outside the doctrine of Christ.” But take another look at the passage in context. A reading of 2 John clearly shows that “the doctrine of Christ” refers specifically to the doctrine that Christ came in the flesh. So how does the music question fit into that? One thing I've noticed is that people sometimes want to place anything and everything under the heading "the doctrine of Christ." That way, if you happen to cross one of those many lines, then you're outside of the doctrine and, according to the verse, don't have God. That's nonsense.
“You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” The ad states that this verse applies to pro-instrument people when they refer to Old Testament passages that mention instruments in the worship of ancient Israel. But once again, the meaning of the verse and its application in the ad have absolutely no connection. In Galatians 5:4, Paul is speaking against the idea that Christian men must be circumcised in order to be true members of the family of God (see the many references to this in Galatians 5:1-12). Another part of the mindset in the Galatian churches was that all Christians had to observe the various "days and months and seasons and years" of Judaism (Galatians 4:10). Contrary to the ad's mishandling of the passage, the question of whether it's proper to appeal to the Old Testament for a certain practice is nowhere in view.
The authors of the ad cite this verse as the basis for their marking of the Quail Springs preacher. But had they done the least bit of study, they would have discovered that Romans 16:17 gives no support for the practice of publicly branding another Christian.
For example, twenty five years ago, Dr. Jack P. Lewis published the short article, “Mark Them Which Cause Divisions.” It first appeared in an issue of the Firm Foundation dated February 22, 1983. Five years later, it was reprinted in a collection of Lewis articles called Exegesis of Difficult Passages (Searcy, AR: Resource Publications, 1988) 111-115. Evidently, it should be required reading in preacher training schools everywhere. Here's how Lewis begins:
"The obligation, almost universally felt among our preaching brothers, to label other preaching brothers who hold positions thought to be erroneous, rests upon a misunderstanding of Rom. 16:17 which in the KJV and ASV reads:
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Under the influence of the KJV and the ASV, we have men who apparently feel their chief mission in life is the branding in the eyes of the whole church all those who differ with them. We have a type of journalism whose chief function seems to be to attack the reputation of those who differ . . ."
In his characteristic style, Lewis goes into a study of the biblical text, giving attention to every fact. His conclusion is that Paul's meaning in Romans 16:17 is that Christians are to "take notice of" those who cause divisions. And, in 1611, the publication date of the KJV, that's exactly what "mark" meant. To quote Lewis again:
"The verb 'mark' in 1611 meant 'to take notice of'; it carried no connotation of branding. It did not suggest that one should do what the Lord did when he put a mark on Cain. . . . Today, apart from the phrase 'mark my word,' 'mark' is seldom used in the sense of 'take notice of' but does primarily carry the sense that it is most commonly understood by our people when they read Rom. 16:17. They register the meaning they know best, not asking themselves if that is the correct one."
Lewis concludes by saying that he has no problem with spiritual vigilance, but that he does have a problem with religious vigilantes. So should every Christian.
For the sake of comparison, you can see the ad here.