During the program, which included pre-recorded footage of Robertson speaking yesterday at his "Martinsville Church of Christ", Robertson exclaimed that to have the wrong funeral is grounds enough to displease God! Robertson told his followers to make sure that no instrumental music be played during their last rites.
Here's the transcript of what Johnny Robertson said at "Martinsville Church of Christ" on August 16, 2009 (with bold-faced text indicating spoken emphasis)...
"If you haven't determined how your funeral is going to go, you need to! Because you have family members who do not agree with what I just quoted from the Bible in Ephesians 5:19 about speaking to yourselves in songs, hymn and spiritual song! They will have you in your funeral, all kinds of pianos and stuff like that playing, and you won't want that not at all! But if you haven't said so, guess what? Your family gets to do what they want to do. So let me encourage you today, as we sing that song and we think about going home: when you leave us here behind, as you go home, make sure you leave us some instructions and your family some instructions so EVERYBODY knows how your funeral is SUPPOSED to go. We won't want people dishonoring you, your memory when you leave, what we mean by that is dishonoring you before God. So make sure you make those instructions, young or old, and give them to somebody else who is faithful and will make sure those things get carried out."So according to Johnny Robertson, you are sinning before God if you have musical instruments playing at your funeral. Which makes it all so vital that you leave explicit directions prohibiting pianos, organs and the like from being used when you can't raise any objections from your casket or urn.
That is hyper-legalism to the nuttiest extreme that I have ever heard of.
Heck, Robertson and his followers are worse than the Pharisees were! Jesus took the Pharisees to task for the ridiculous lengths they went to in following the law. In the case of the "Church of Christ" cult (again, it has nothing to do with the regular Churches of Christ) they can't follow the law nearly enough so people like Robertson have to make up law that's not even scriptural! Ephesians 5:19, from the New International Version, simply states "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord". Nowhere does it ever say in the Bible that to have instrumental music is an affront to God.
And then there's the glaringly obvious fact that for all his boasting about "knowing the Bible better than anyone", that Johnny Robertson does not have much of a sincere knowledge of the Bible at all. Because if he did, Robertson should already understand that...
"We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord."We can't dishonor God after we have already left this world and gone into His presence. And not Johnny Robertson or anyone else should have this kind of unhealthy focus on whether our funerals are "right or wrong" anyway.
-- 2nd Corinthians 5:8 (NIV)
It's the life which Christ has given us that matters most of all: that life free by grace according to the rule of love, and not enslaved to the rule of law.