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Churches with instrumental services return to directory

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Some Churches of Christ that formerly practiced a cappella worship exclusively — but have since added instrumental services — will be included in the 2012 edition of “Churches of Christ in the United States.”
The directory, published by Nashville-based 21st Century Christian, omitted from its previous edition in 2009 several congregations that added instruments, including the Richland Hills Church of Christ in Texas — the largest Church of Christ in the nation in terms of adherents.
Carl Royster, data compiler for the directory, said that the new edition addresses “issues involving a small number of congregations left in a statistical ‘no man’s land.’”
A cappella Churches of Christ are one of three groups descended from the Restoration Movement of the 19th century. The second is the instrumental Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, and the third is the Disciples of Christ.
Previously, researchers thought that, when a cappella Churches of Christ added instruments, they essentially became part of the second group, which maintains its own directory.
But some churches, although they’ve added instruments, continue to identify with a cappella churches, Royster said.
Such churches, including Richland Hills (now The Hills Church of Christ), will be included in the 2012 directory and designated as having instrumental services.
News of the change on The Christian Chronicle’s blog drew mixed comments.
Some church members applauded the change while others, who believe the Bible does not authorize instrumental music in worship, expressed disappointment.
“The directory does not take positions on theological issues,” Royster said. “Instead, it is a simple resource for church members.”  

  • Feedback
    I was very happy and blessed by your website and encouraged so much. Thank you. I’m Filipino, living on the island of Bohol.
    fernando d. impang, Jr.
    Tagbilaran City, Bohol
    November, 28 2012

    It is sad so see division has crept into the church and leaders are not knowledgeable in the Word. God has given us ALL the ‘instrument’ we need by creating us in the image of GOD and that instrument should be used to worship God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Why do men feel the need to add to what God made perfect?
    church of Christ
    Aberdeen, Maryland
    March, 6 2012

    As I have written before about the use of instruments in church service being Biblical. Nor was a church building, a PA system, electric lights, heat and air conditioning, toliets, hot and cold water, indoor places of Baptisim etc. etc. all made for better worship.
    Foothills Bible Church
    Littleton, CO
    February, 18 2012

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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