Monday, April 22, 2013

Should We Clap While Singing to God?

     This is a question that is asked a lot in the Church of Christ; is it wrong to clap while singing praises to God? You'd be surprised at how many congregations actually do this. But is it wrong? Yes. It is. Today I will be discussing the topic, and explaining the answer as best I can.

    First of all, it takes away from the worship. I have been in (and I'm sure most of you have, too) situations where I was worshiping God, and people started clapping. To me, it seemed to be more of them trying to have fun and goof around, when that's not at all the purpose of those songs at all. When we sing praises to God, it's supposed to be about God, not us having fun. There's nothing wrong with having fun, but in Ecclesiastes 3:1 it says, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven" There's nothing wrong with having fun, but like I said, when we are worshiping God, we need to remember what we're doing, and actually be worshiping. Not trying to make it as fun as we can. Worship doesn't have to be completely boring, we just have to be sincere, and remember where we are, Who we're worshiping, and what we're doing. In Ephesians 5:21 it says that we are to be reverent in our praises to Him. We need to sing from our hearts as I will talk about in a second, and how can we sing from our hearts if we are too wrapped up in ourselves having fun?

     Another reason is that in Ephesians 5:19-21 it says, "addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord in your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ." This is another reason why we shouldn't have instruments, too. In fact, clapping is just like an instrument, but it's attached to your body, so people tend to overlook it. But is clapping being reverent, and singing from the heart? Is it speaking out to someone, or to God? No. It's not. It's not being reverent, it's not being anything. It's just taking something Holy, and changing it to what we want. God never said that He wanted it. In Leviticus 10 we read that Nadab and Abihu tried offering God something that He had not commanded them to, so God struck them dead as you can see in verse 2. God wants us to follow Him strictly, and not to add to what He told us to do. The Bible is a set of rules, not a set of guidelines. In John 14:15, God didn't say, "If you love me, you will follow my commandments as far as you're comfortable with." or, "If you love me, you will follow my commandments and add to them if you want." No. God said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." In Ecclesiastes 3:14 it says, "I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, not can anything be taken away from it. God has done it, so that people fear before Him." God is perfect, and we are not. Everything that God set up, the Bible, everything, is perfect. We are mere humans. We are not perfect. We need to remember that what God didn't tell us to do, we don't do, and what He told us to do, we do because He is perfect, and the rules He set up for us are not impossible. In fact, Jesus was perfect too, and He lived under these rules on this Earth. We shouldn't feel the need to add to that, because then it's not perfect.

     I hope that these reasons have showed you why it's wrong to clap, or use instruments during worship. It's a very important issue, and I know that God does not approve of it, as it is a strange offering. It's something that God didn't ask for. It's like if you ask for a pair of Batman socks for your Birthday, and instead you get a piece of foam. You didn't ask for it, you don't want it, you're just going to throw it away. This is the same way that God is with clapping. It's not the time to do it when we're worshiping Him.