Sabbath or Sunday Worship Part 3 Series
Religion-Sabbath or Sunday Service Part 3 – Music
Justin Martyr Does Not Mention Music while Describing Christian Worship in his First Apology addressed to Emperor Antoninus Pius. Therefore, this article will only center on Justin’s defense of Christian religious practices, as written in chapter 67.
Justin Martyr thoroughly described the practice of the Lord’s Day from preaching (sermon) to teaching, Scripture reading to praying, tithes and offering, and saying “Amen,” an agreement to what has been prayed for. A pastor leads the service, and the church’s deacons take the portion of the bread, wine, and water brought to the service to those absent. However, understanding the praise and worship in today’s service includes music to praise or commend God for His involvement in human activities and worship to uplift and glorify God for all His glory.
Music in the assembly is not as complicated as when Justin omitted music in his detailed letter to Antonius Pius. It was misinterpreted as an omission or something against Justin’s work. Why would Justin omit this vital aspect of church worship beyond imagination when we reference Psalm 100:2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
It is more appropriate to read the entire contents of Psalm 100, which is giving God our grateful praise. A psalm. Forgiving, grateful praise.
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and not we;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good, and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100 is more about praising God our LORD than worshipping Him, singing and performing like jumping, screaming the name of the LORD and His excellent work, and giving thanks for all His promises is an act of the faithful. Compared to yesteryears, the meeting of the faithfully used hymns and the public reading of the Scriptures combine, and the listeners clap their hands or stump their feet in response to the hymn. If Justin did not mention the musical aspect, it would be more likely to avoid separating the praise and worship.
With the use of modern instruments, which are well accepted by many groups of Christians nowadays, others do it differently. Praise and worship come hand in hand nowadays also. Worship is a reflection directed toward God, while praise or gospel music tends to use solo or chorus vocals that unite the performer’s spirit.
God is all in all