IS HAND CLAPPING IN THE
Why do some clap their hands (applaud) during the worship of the church? Some clap when they agree with a point the preacher has made. Some applaud when he finishes his sermon. This is to show their approval of it. However, there is no Scriptural authority for hand clapping in the worship of the church! One of the principles which will help us understand the Lord’s will for worship is to ”speak where the Scriptures speak, and to remain silent where the Scriptures are silent.” In other words, when the Lord teaches us by a command, approved example, or implication in His Word, we have authority to do it. If He does not, then we are doing it without His authority.
What is the proper way to show agreement or approval in worship? The answer is found in 1 Corinthians 14:16. Paul wrote: “Otherwise, if you bless with the Spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say ‘Amen’ at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say?” The manner of Paul’s question implies that the proper way to show agreement is to say “Amen.” Even though this passage is dealing with the miraculous spiritual gifts of the apostolic age, it clearly shows how the Lord expects His disciples to show agreement today.
If God had simply said, “Show agreement,” then hand clapping, whistling, or anything else could be done to accomplish it. However, God did not simply say “Show agreement!” He said to say “Amen” to show approval or agreement. This principle is clearly seen in Genesis 6:14. The Lord told Noah to “Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.” Since God commanded the specific kind of wood to be used, no other kind could have been used with His approval. Since, in the New Testament, God has commanded the way to show approval or agreement in worship is by saying “Amen,” then no other way can be used with His approval! God does not have to say, “Thou shalt not practice hand clapping or any other thing except to say “amen.” When He commanded saying “amen,” this eliminated (left out) every other way of doing it!
The apostle Paul wrote: “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians ). To do a thing “in the name of the Lord” means to do it by His authority. Therefore, we must have authority for everything we do in our worship and practice. Where is the verse which gives us authority for hand clapping in worship? It is not mentioned anywhere in the New Testament!
Please consider the following arguments from the Word of God:
All Scripture is given to thoroughly equip the man of God for every good work (2
No Scripture authorizes hand clapping in the worship of the church.
Therefore, hand clapping is not a good work!
It is a violation of Scripture to go beyond what is written (Revelation ,19; 2
Hand clapping in the worship of the church is not written in the New Testament.
Therefore, hand clapping in the worship of the church is a violation of the New
“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”
(Romans 10:17). “Whatever is not from faith is sin”
The Word of God does not mention hand clapping in the worship of the church.
Therefore, hand clapping is not an act of faith and is a sin!
God has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” through His Word 2
God’s Word does not give us anything concerning hand clapping in the worship
of the church.
Therefore, hand clapping in the church does not pertain to life and godliness!
Some try to justify hand clapping
in the worship of the church by arguing, “It is mentioned in the Old
Testament.” While this is
true (see Psalm 47:1), this does not
authorize it in the worship of the church today. We are under the New Testament law of
worship. The Old Testament Law was
Some try to justify hand clapping in the worship of the church today by insisting that it is a matter of option. One can choose to do it, or one can choose not to do it. But if it is an option, why not leave it out? Many Christians cannot do it in good conscience. If it is not commanded, but merely a matter of option, then it should not be used for this will cause division. Those who oppose hand-clapping in worship do not believe it is an optional matter. They oppose it because it is an addition to the God given pattern of worship in the New Testament.
When we worship God, we must simply
follow that which He has revealed to us in the New Testament. Hand clapping as an act of worship is
not revealed in the New Testament.
Therefore, in order to please God, we must leave it out of our
worship! God demands respect for
His Word. To add to it or to take
away from it is to incur the wrath of God.
It will result in one’s being kept out of the
God’s Plan of Salvation for Man
1. We must hear the truth. Romans 10:14; Romans 10:17.
2. We must believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Mark ;
3. We must repent of our sins. Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38.
4. We must confess Christ before men. Matthew 10:32,33;
5. We must be baptized into Christ. Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21;
6. We must continue to live for Christ Revelation 2:10; 2 Peter 1:10;
2 Peter 3:18.
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