So What's the Big Deal? - Worship
Most denominations believe that choirs, solos and singing groups (praise teams) are perfectly acceptable when worshipping God in the worship assembly on the first day of the week. Why then does the church of Christ make such a “big deal” about this?
First, when you read the Bible, one point that stands out clearly is that God is serious about worship. Cain and Able (Gen. 4) shows that God does not accept all worship. Leviticus 10:1-2 shows that God does not accept perverted or “strange” worship that is not according to His instructions. Nadab and Abihu supplanted God’s instructions for worship with their own thinking. God destroyed them for their disobedience. God is serious about worship.
Second, God is particular about worship offered to Him. In Malachi 1:6-10 God refusded to accept Israel’s sacrificial worship because they offered the lame and blind and sick animals to Him. God has instructed them to bring their first fruits, the lambs without spot or blemish to worship Him. But they brought what they did not want for themselves and gave it to God. Was God honored by such worship?
Third, Christians have an individual responsibility to offer up worship to God. In John 4:23 says, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” The phrase, “when the true worshippers will worship the Father,” places the responsibility of worship on the individual Christian. I cannot hire or appoint someone to offer worship to God in my stead and count that as my worship to God. Add to this the fact that my worship to God must originate and procede forth from within my own spirit, not, by proxy, from someone else’s spirit.
Fourth, in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 God’s instructions to sing are for each individual in the assembly. Wayne Jackson, in a article on choirs and solos, states, “…the terms heautois (“one to another” [Eph. 5:19]) and heautou (“one another” [Col. 3:16]) are grammatically classified as reciprocal, reflexive pronouns.” (Source, https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/261-are-choirs-and-solos-authorized-for-the-church-assembly.) In other words, everyone in the church assembly is engaging in the activity of singing.
Fifth, God’s standard is inclusive not exclusive. Man has [perhaps unwittingly] imposed a standard of being intune and outwardly melodious. You sometimes hear, “He (or she) has the voice of an angel.” This is indeed a compliment. But notice God’s standard: “…singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” No vocal training or expertise is required in God’s standard. Normally a person who cannot “carry a tune in a bucket” is not asked to sing with the choir and certainly not allowed to do a solo. Only those with talent are asked to engage in such activity. God’s standard is in stark contrast to the world’s standard. God’s standard is inclusive of all Christians no matter the tonal quality.
Lastly, there are no examples or commands for choirs, solos or “praise teams” in the worship assembly in the New Testament. Such are without authorization from our God.