Raising One’s Hands in Worship

Jeff and I do not believe in doing what we do not feel led to do.  Some people feel led to raise their hands in worship.  We have never felt that way.  We do not feel this is a defect, though some people in the country are being accused of not being spiritual enough if they do not wish to raise their hands.

Outward signs like hand-raising, arm-raising or clap offerings, feel fake to me.  We’re not supposed to be fake in worship.  When the worship leader tells us to do a clap offering or chooses songs specifically to cause an emotional response, it feels like manipulation.

In an article about the pros and cons of the Promise Keepers movement, after noting a lack of Scripture and preaching in PK meetings and “prayer and worship,” LCMS pastor Don Matzat wrote,

The evidence for the presence of the Spirit or, as Bill McCartney put it, ‘God coming into the room,’ is the emotional response and repentance of the men.

In my estimate, ‘God coming into the room’ does not cause this response. It is the result of the motivational presentations that stir the emotions.

Evidence for the Holy Spirit is the contrition and faith that is stirred within the hearts of men causing them to understand and grasp what God has done for them in Christ Jesus.

This is the result of the preaching and teaching of the Law and Gospel. –Don Matzat, “Inside Look at the Promise Keepers.

(As a sidenote, you can read an Orthodox view of the Promise Keepers here.)

If you want to raise your hands etc., be sure you’re being moved by the Spirit rather than by the service itself.

The Orthodox Church considers many Protestant services to be “man-centered,” going by what makes us feel good: Orthodox Worship vs. Contemporary Worship

What is the nature of worship?  The Nature of Our Worship

Also see:

Worship by Rev. Thomas Fitzgerald

Orthodox Worship by Rev. Alciviadis C. Calivas, ThD

Worship is defined in the Youth Ministry Platform as:

For Orthodox Christians, corporate worship is the sacramental expression of and participation in Holy Tradition, and is the indispensable foundation of youth ministry at all levels. Upon this foundation, we must cultivate a daily personal prayer life and reading of Holy Scripture.

We read in the Orthodox Study Bible (p. 810) that worship means, “to bow down.’ In the Christian sense worship is the adoration of God through participation in the services of the Church, the highest act of a Christian (see John:4:19-24).”

Further, Liturgy is, “The work or public service of the people of God, which is the worship of the one true God. The Divine Liturgy is the Eucharistic service of the Orthodox Church.” Worship stands at the very core of youth ministry; in fact, all ministries begin with prayer and worship. –Archpriest Joseph Purpura, Plan Your Youth Program

“Frequently Asked Questions About the Orthodox Church” by Father Steven Tsichlis of Saint Paul’s Church  (See question “5. Do you mean you Orthodox believe your elaborate worship is based on the Bible? I’d like to know where.”)

Why I Don’t Raise My Hands in Your Church by Bill Blankschaen

Why I’ve Stopped Singing in Your Church by Bill Blankschaen

Written around 2005/2006

Index to my theology/church opinion pages:

Page 1:

End Times and Christian Zionism 
God’s Purpose/Supremacy of God Doctrine 
Cat and Dog Theology 
Raising One’s Hands in Worship 
Christian Music 
On the “still, small voice” and Charismatic sign gifts
On church buildings 
The Message Bible 
The Purpose-Driven Life 
The Relevance Doctrine, i.e. Marketing Churches to Seekers 
Republican Party 
Abortion Protests 
The idea that God has someone in mind for you 
Literalism in Biblical interpretation

Page 2:

Name it and Claim It Doctrine, Prosperity Doctrine, Faith-Formula Theology, Word-Faith Theology,  Positive Confession Theology, Health and Wealth Gospel, and whatever else they call it
More about Pat Robertson
Dr. Richard Eby and others who claim to have been to Heaven
Women in Marriage/the Church
Spiritual Abuse 
Other Resources 

Page 3:

Why do bad things happen?
Should we criticize our brethren’s artistic or evangelistic attempts?  Or, how should we evangelize, then?
Angels: Is “This Present Darkness” by Frank Peretti a divine revelation or fiction?
Halloween: Not the Devil’s Holiday!
Hell and the Nature of God 
Is Christmas/Easter a Pagan Holiday? 
Is everybody going to Hell except Christians?
How could a loving God who prohibits murder, command the genocide of the Canaanite peoples? 
What about predestination?
Musings on Sin, Salvation and Discipleship 
An Ancient View which is in the Bible, yet new to the west–Uncreated Energies of God

Page 4:

The Didache 
Technical Virginity–i.e., how far should a Christian single go? 
Are Spiritual Marriages “real”?  (also in “Life” section, where it’s more likely to be updated) 
Does the Pill cause abortions, or is that just another weird Internet or extremist right-wing rumor?
What about Missional Churches, Simple Churches, Fluid Churches, Organic Churches, House Churches or Neighborhood Churches?
Is Wine from the Devil–or a Gift from God?
What is Worship? 
Evangelistic Trips to Already Christianized Countries
Fraternities, Sororities, Masonic Lodge 
Was Cassie Bernall a Martyr?
Some Awesome Things heard in the Lamentations Service (Good Friday evening) during Holy Week

Conversion Story

Phariseeism in the Church