In part one of this two-part editorial, the Editorial Board discusses why instrumental worship should be implemented in Chapel. Click here to read the opposing argument.
It’s hard to believe allowing instrumental music in Chapel is still even a debate on ACU’s campus when it seems clear that change is needed.
As of this year, more than half of the student body has no affiliation with the Church of Christ. This means more than 50 percent of ACU students have no problem with instrumental worship and, coincidentally, many students raised in the Church of Christ feel the same way.
Immersed Chapel on Thursdays is an instrumental program that attracts a huge crowd every week. It is clear the majority of ACU students have no problem with instrumental music, in fact, many encourage it. Many small group Chapels also successfully utilize instruments in their services. The final stronghold blocking the campus’ wide acceptance of instrumental music are the main Chapel programs that take place in Moody.
Biblical evidence for not allowing instruments in church is sorely lacking and a capella music is now considered more of a tradition than a rule. It is a beautiful tradition and should definitely have a place in ACU Chapels, but with five sessions a week, there can only be so much a capella before it gets old. Highland Church of Christ, one of the most influential churches in Abilene, recently decided to hold a weekly instrumental service, proving it is possible for instrumental music and the Church of Christ to coexist.
Regardless of theological reasoning, ACU is an educational institution and the policies should reflect its student demographics.
ACU prides itself on a diverse student body, which results in equally diverse choices of music. Limiting Chapel to a capella music limits the student’s ability to enter into worship. When students are unable to sing along in worship because they don’t know the lyrics to archaic hymns or are unable to instantaneously pick up on harmonies, it is time for change.
Adding instrumental music to Chapel does not have to take away from ACU’s rich tradition of a capella music. It is simply one more way for students to worship and express love to God. It would allow and encourage more students to participate in leading worship and be more in line with most students congregational backgrounds.
This change is coming whether we like it or not. ACU cannot claim to be innovative if it refuses to move forward. Allowing instrumental music is just one way ACU can live up to its’ motto.