OceanSide church of Christ

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A Holy Kiss
By: Dalton Gilreath

Another argument has been brought up by one wishing to disprove the church’s logic on the exclusion of instrumental music. The argument suggests that if we cannot use instrumental music because we are only commanded to sing, and we only see apostles singing, then why are we not only kissing one another as a greeting? After all, we are commanded to greet one another with a holy kiss in no less than five passages (Rom 16:16, 1 Cor 16:20, 2 Cor 13:12, 1 Thess 5:26, 1 Pet 5:14). Therefore, shouldn’t a hand shake violate the exclusionary principle the same way instrumental music does?

Certainly we can see why the Spirit would set boundaries on how Christians kissed one another. An inappropriately placed kiss could entice lustful thoughts or make someone uncomfortable. But in response to the argument, the exclusionary principle does not apply to the holy kiss. When it comes to singing in worship to God we never see an apostle or the first century church ever use instrumental worship or make any other alteration to their singing. However, we do see the apostles and first century church greeting one another in different ways. For example, when Paul greeted the people to begin preaching, as well as quiet them down, he did so with the wave of his hand (Acts 21:40). Perhaps an even better example is seen Paul wrote that James, Peter, and John gave him the “right hands of fellowship” (Gal 2:9). We understand this form of greeting very well today.

In summary, there will always be arguments made by the religious world in attempt to justify their vain worship. And certainly as Christians we want to be consistent with our teachings. But how we greet one another is not in violation of the exclusionary principle as is the use of instrumental music in worship to God.