Stop Putting Your Hands Together (Clapping) in God’s Worship

Brethren all over are being urged to put their hands together/clap in God’s worship and many see nothing wrong with it. Orchestrated hand-clapping may be practiced by many congregations but it is still done without one lick of bible authority because the bible does not teach it. There is no scriptural support for clapping hands in worship in the New Testament. Clapping hands is mentioned in the Old Testament (Job 27:23; Lam. 2:15; Ps. 47:1; 98:8; Is. 55:12), but not in the New. This is proof that God knows how to say it and he did not. Since the New Testament is silent on hand-clapping, the practice of clapping hands should be silenced too. Any collective act in worship must be biblically authorized since whatever we do together in worship is not a matter of opinion but of bible authority. The worshiper is not free to do whatever they want but what is commanded or allowed (Ps. 89:7; Eccl. 5:1; 1 Cor. 14:40; 1 Tim. 3:15). For example, God does not demand the saying of “amen” but allows it (1 Cor. 14:16). But this is not so with hand-clapping. Worship must be according the truth/word of God (John 4:23-24; 17:17) or it is unacceptable (Matt. 15:9; Col. 2:22-23). Orchestrated hand-clapping is biblically unauthorized making it unacceptable. Noticed the three areas:

Applause: People applaud to express what they approve of. However, God does not ask for man’s approval about worship. God is the audience of our worship as the primary one we are trying to please, so no one should be applauding except God. Secondly, no individual is worthy of applause for spiritually doing what they should. Jesus said, “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10). For example, no one deserves to be applauded for being baptized since God commands all to be baptized. They are only doing what they should. We express our joy by saying, “amen!” which gives God the glory (1 Cor. 14:16).

Praise: All New Testament praise is vocal. Not one time in the New Testament did anyone praise God in any other way. It was always “out of the mouth” that God was praised (Matt. 21:16; Luke 1:64; 2:13-14; 19:37-38; Acts 16:25; Heb. 2:12). There are biblically no such things as “praise dancers” or “praise teams” in the New Testament. Neither is God praised by running, jumping, stomping, clapping and waving. Praise is always articulated with the mouth by magnifying God for his goodness. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Heb. 13:15).

Rhythmic: Rhythmic handclapping accompanying the singing where it can be heard is making the unauthorized sound of a percussion instrument. New Testament singing is always acapella without the use of mechanical instruments of music. “Making the melody” (as one would play an instrument) is commanded to be done in the heart (Eph. 5:19). God tells us where to play and does not have to tell us all the places where not to play (organ, piano, guitar, bongos, etc.). The human instrument is played in the heart with the mouth through singing words. Using an instrument, or the hands like one, is an unauthorized addition to singing (Col. 3:17).

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