Should the gathered people of God sing even though the government says that we shouldn’t? Is not singing a form of Christian charity or an act of disobedience before God? The early church when they met together (Acts 2:42) devoted themselves to the word of God, fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayers. In Ephesians, we learn that a church which is filled with the Holy Spirit and living under his influence will address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs and who make melody to the Lord in their hearts. Since singing is one way that the people of God address each other when filled with the Holy Spirit, it follows if we are to engage in the world (with the weapons of our warfare, 2 Cor 10:4) in a way consistent with scripture, we need to meet and sing.
If a church plays some instrumental music, is this for God or for the people? In other words, if we are coming to worship God and not man, we should sing, since addressing one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs is both an act of worship and edification. However, is there a, however? let’s address this in a different way, is the wearing of a face mask a form of Christianity charity? Should a brother or sister in Christ forego their God-given liberty for the weaker brother? Yes, this should happen in some cases (Rom 14) but at the same time, we are not to allow the weaker brothers in the faith to re-orient the entire church. Paul clearly teaches that this should not happen. Weaker brothers in the faith are not permitted to make demands that divide the church since this would reduce the worship of God and how it is to be practised, down the level of the weaker Christians (Rom 14).
The church gathers to worship God together and while fellowship is one of the four (Acts 2:42) it is a fellowship which seeks to worship God through the preaching and hearing of His Word, the breaking bread and prayers. The singing which Paul mentions in the letter of Ephesians is something which clearly happens within a gathered context. At this point, someone will be tempted to apply Romans 13 to this post as if Romans 13 will nullify the points being made, that we must not resist the authorities since they are instituted by God. It’s true that they are instituted by God, however, we are called to obey God above them and especially show this obedience to God when their laws prevent worship (Daniel 6 / Acts 4).
Daniel like Peter and John knew that what they were doing would lead to them being physically punished, in other words, physical harm would come upon them for obeying God. This act of obedience is not to encourage being physically harmed but it goes with the territory. Does God want us to sing? Yes.