Are All Musical Styles Fit for Use in Worship?

July 30, 2021

First Corinthians 10:23 may be a passage that some believers may think supports holding that all musical styles are fit for worship because of what it says about all things being lawful for them:

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Because of what this passage teaches, we can diagram what it teaches using the Venn diagram at the top of the post. In brief, all things are lawful, but because all things are not expedient, all things that are expedient is a subset of all things that are lawful.

Similarly, all things that edify is also a subset of all things that are lawful.

Furthermore, the diagram shows that there may be an unknown amount of overlap between the things that are expedient and the things that edify. That overlap would be all things that are lawful, expedient, and edify.

Application to Our Understanding about All Musical Styles

If one understands that the teaching about “all things” being lawful in this verse applies to our understanding about all musical styles, then the verse would teach that all musical styles are lawful. It is vital, however, to understand what else the verse would then teach about all musical styles.

Because the verse clearly teaches that it is not true that all things are expedient, the verse would then teach that not all musical styles are expedient. Moreover, because the verse clearly teaches that it is not true that all things edify, the verse would then teach that not all musical styles edify.

We would then have divine revelation saying to us that not all musical styles would be expedient and not all musical styles would edify. Because not all musical styles would be expedient and not all musical styles would edify, not all musical styles would be fit for use in worship because only styles that are lawful, expedient, and edify can be used in worship.

Thus, even it were true that the Bible taught that all musical styles are lawful (it does not teach this), it still would not be true that believers could use all musical styles in worship. They would still only be able to use a lawful style (or styles) that both is expedient and does edify.

Conclusion

Because of the teaching of 1 Corinthians 10:23, we know that it is not true that all musical styles are expedient, and we also know that it is not true that all musical styles edify. All musical styles, therefore, are not fit for use in worship.

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

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Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.