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Contemporary social changes have primed and prepared us to be entertained. This idea to be entertained has come into the worship services of the Lord's church. Thus some members of the church are looking for the congregation that stimulates them the most emotionally.

Consequently, hand clapping has been introduced Into the worship services in the form of applause. Hand clapping at sporting events, yes. Hand clapping at concerts, yes. Hand clapping at theatrical performances,, yes. But hand clapping at the worship services of the Lord's church, No. Why--because it lacks divine approval in the New Testament (Col-3:17). Worshippers simply lack scriptural permission for hand clapping and therefore it is not an acceptable endeavor in the context of worship.

Our society shows it's endorsement to a performance by applause for the performer. But we must never turn the church worship services into a theatrical performance. If you agree with what the preacher has said then tell him following the worship service. Saying "Amen" is not the same as hand clapping. -It in an affirmation of what has been said.

Let us remember where our focus is to centered during the worship service. Is it on the preacher (as an entertainer) or the message from God's word? We should never want to call attention to the preacher, nor to glorify him. God wants us to center our attention on the meaning of the message and it's truthfulness to the Bible and the Bible only.

I wonder what other innovations will be introduced into the Lord's church because some of our people want to be entertained, as if they are at the theater. Remember we are governed by the Bible and not by men (I Peter 4:11). Man may authorize in the services, howling, hollering, standing on the pews, stomping --our feet, rolling in the aisles, even the MTV "grind" expression. These may be acceptable in our worldly, entertainment - centered society but in worship services we must ask where God gives His approval for such actions. When we worship as man directs we fail to respect, honor and set apart God as He instructs and our worldly behavior really shows through.

May the scriptures always be our guide in how to worship and may we as God's people be willing to bring ourselves into uncompromising compliance with what God says. May we also be willing to respect the silence of God's word. Let us set aside our personal desires and demand "a thus saith the Lord" for what we practice in the work and worship to our God.

We used to be a people that heard quite often from the pulpit and the classroom, "Let us speak where the Bible speaks, Let us remain silent where the Bible in silent, Let us call Bible things by Bible names and let us do Bible things in Bible ways." If we still demanded that today, the question of hand clapping in the worship services would never have been a problem for any congregation. It was never a part of the worship of the lst century church!

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