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Of the Clean and Unclean Instruments...

Behold, these are the laws of the clean and unclean instruments.


Write them on thy cue cards and post them on the tops of thy instruments.  Talk about them in the sound check and in the time thou dost tear down thy stuff and depart unto thy dwellings.


Of the wind instruments, know that brass that vibrateth by air passing through the lips making a sound similar to that of unspeakable bodily functions, thou shalt not bring such into the house of worship.

Surely, bringest not trumpet, for those that playeth the trumpet dost think themselves Gabriel and playest loud enough to slay Philistines before them.

And bringest not the tuba into the house of God.  For after the tuba will follow the uniforms and then the drum majors and behold, thou and all thy musicians shall be required to march around and form strange shapes upon the stage, while those observing on television will be compelled to watch overdressed church experts discussing what will happen in the second half of the service.

But, above all, forbid that the French Horn be brought unto the sacred place.  For, behold, the French Horn becometh its own religion and those playing up it think of little else.  They neither marry nor are they given in marriage.  Awake they lie in the watch hours of the night and plotteth ways that they and their beloved instrument might rule over all other instruments.  Then would they force all others to listen to French Horn solos for days without number. And those wretched souls that would not perish would pray that it might be so.

Of the keyboards, know that the piano is clean and may be rightly used in the house of worship.  Behold, the electronic keyboards are also clean, having many sounds and variations.  These are good, lest they be purchased at Sams Club.  Then they are an abomination.

Of the organs, verily they art beloved for the sake of the patriarchs.  Whether the reed organ or the pipe organ of the electric organ.  Be it known that of all those instruments formed by the hands of men, none is greater than the Hammond 3B.  Requiescat in pace.

Of the guitars, thou shalt surely ponder, for they are as abundant as the sands of the seashore or the multitude waiting in the only working cashier line at Walmart: It is indeed a number no man can count.

Thou shalt be watchful of the solid body guitars.  Observe them without ceasing, lest they forget where they are and commence assaulting those present with the loathsome noises of popular rock.  May those who do so be appointed a place with the despised, even whereunto be the Accordions, in that outer darkness, where there is Polka music and weeping and the gnashing of dentures.

But, above all, welcome the drums with exultation and dancing.  For those who play them are like the little children, knowing neither when to come in or when to stop their play.  In them is the scripture fulfilled, Behold, thy left hand knoweth not what thy right hand doeth.  And remember, when thou dost hear the loud beating of the drum exceedingly louder than all other things, and thou doth see the people falling prostrate or fleeing in terror, it is not the drum that they fear.  It is the drummer.

And, should it ever come to pass that though thy and thy fellow workers observeth all these laws and precepts and yet, when the sacred time comes, the power to quicken thy instruments floweth not from the walls into thy amplifiers and pickups.  Then be still.  For in that terrible silence that will oppress all who pluck the string or strike the drum, that strange sound that is then heard is called the human voice.

Such is the mystery of the working of God.

4 comments:

DaBlounts said...

Thou hast outdone thyself in this sacred writing. I thankest thee for thy inspired edification, and I praise my Lord, that I playeth not an instrument, utilizing only my human voice as I lead others in Celebration. I shall indeed passeth these words of wisdom along to the unruly members of the praise band that darest to accompany my vocal emissions (which alas, may at times sound like unspeakable bodily functions).

Tom Lawson said...

Thankest thou

John Jordan said...

Thou hast omitted Jesus' own instrument, the trombone. Apparently its simplicity and nobleness speak for themselves even unto this day.

Tom Lawson said...

Alas, John. The trombones were all assigned to stand with the Methodists, since they were forever sprinkling those around them with those little water bottles they use the spray their slides.