What is the scriptural basis for the Iglesia ni Cristo to use musical instruments in its worship services?
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Hymn singing and the use of musical instruments

Letter to the Editor:
PASUGO, May 1995, p.2

I AM A minister of the Church of Christ in Dau, Pampanga. I graduated from the Philippine Bible College in Baguio City with a bachelor's degree in Theology.

As of now. I am confused as to the difference between the Church of Christ and the Iglesia ni Cristo.

My question is: Is there a scriptural basis for the Iglesia ni Cristo to use musical instruments in its worship services?

Dominador Layson
Pampanga, Philippines

Editor's reply:

Hymn-singing is an integral part of the worship services conducted inside the Iglesia ni Cristo. It is accompanied by a musical instrument. The Iglesia ni Cristo’s basis in doing such can be gleaned from Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians, thus:

 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Col. 3:16, NIV)

You would notice in the verse cited that there is no mention of any musical instrument but spiritual songs and psalms. Spiritual songs are songs of praise and honor to God. What about psalms? The 3rd edition of Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary defines it as follows:

“Psalms – fr. ME. Psalme, AS sealm, from LL psalmus; Gr. Psalmos, a song sung to the harp, a pulling or twanging with the fingers” (p. 1452).

Hence, the first-century Christians used musical instruments in their singing of hymns.

This is not a new practice, however. Even the Israelites held their worship services with the singing of hymns accompanied by musical instruments as the Scriptures point out:

“Moreover four thousand were porters, and four thousand praised the Lord with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith.” (I Chron. 23:5, KJV)

“And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing with instruments unto the Lord.” (II Chron. 30:21)

Thus, the Iglesia ni Cristo’s use of musical instruments is firmly founded on the Holy Scriptures.

What is the difference between your church and the Iglesia ni Cristo? The difference lies in the doctrines upheld by the latter. The fundamental beliefs of the Iglesia ni Cristo are all taken from the Bible, God’s word. Below are some of the fundamental beliefs of the Iglesia ni Cristo:

1)      The Bible is the sole basis of faith as it is inspired by God (cf. II Tim. 3:15-17).

2)      The Father is the one true God who created all things (cf. Jn. 17:1,3;  I Cor. 8:6; Is. 44:24).

3)      Jesus Christ is the Son of God; He is man by nature as He Himself declared and as His apostles affirmed (cf. Mt. 3:17; Jn. 8:40; I Tim. 2:5).

4)      God sends messengers to let people know His will (cf. Jn. 6:29).

5)      Membership in the Church is essential to man’s salvation because Christ is the savior of the body which is His Church (cf. Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18; Acts 20:28, Lamsa).


Bible Study Suggestion: If you have further questions, please feel free to visit the Iglesia ni Cristo congregation nearest you. A minister or an evangelical worker would be happy to answer any biblical question you have in mind. For the latest Worship Service Directory of Iglesia ni Cristo Locales and Congregations outside the Philippines, please visit www.iglesianicristoworshipservice.com or just click link at home page.

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